Stensul raises $34.5m in Series C funding

Geoff Smith, SVP Marketing

"Email is marketing’s workhorse, but it was taking my team way too much time and energy to execute."

I lead the Stensul marketing team. I’m responsible for strategy, product positioning, and messaging. I also oversee efforts to create pipeline. We use Stensul at Stensul. It takes two or more weeks for 80% of companies to get one email out the door. My team is far more efficient. Stensul lets them create emails in minutes, so they have time to focus on higher-value work. Below is content I’ve found helpful as a marketing leader. If you have questions on building a successful team or investing in the right martech, I’d love to chat.

There have been many times I could have used Stensul as a marketing leader

By Geoff Smith

I’ve found myself in situations that bring to mind a line in an old Rod Stewart song: “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” If you’re in a role like mine, the head of marketing, I’m sure it resonates. 

At several companies, mainly in the SaaS arena, I’ve been responsible for the overarching strategy, product positioning, and messaging that explains the problem the company solves and how. Then, as now at Stensul, I also oversee the entire demand generation side of the business, creating pipeline the sales team can go after.

Email plays a significant role in filling the pipeline. It’s been central to every program I took from an idea to a Salesforce dashboard. It’s a marketing workhorse. And that’s where Rod Stewart’s tune comes in.

Looks can be deceiving

I was leading marketing at a tech company a few years ago. We needed to create email templates, but in-house technical resources did not exist. So we hired an outside consultancy. What came back looked good. The design was appealing and framed the message well. It was exactly what I needed. But looks in email can be deceiving. The technical aspects underpinning those templates did not work. 

5 things that surprised me about Stensul as a marketing leader 1. The executional time savings was so large that I was able to focus the team on higher value activities 2. Customizable Review & Approval workflows significantly reduced the back and forth 3. Being able to actually see everything coming together in one environment heightened collaboration which yielded better outcomes 4. Our email performance went up as we were able to do more A/B testing 5. Team morale improved because many tedious manual tasks were automated by Stensul

My vision of having these emails produce results that, with a rinse and repeat motion, could go again and again went poof! Trying to troubleshoot the technical problems was migraine-inducing. It underscored just how complicated it is to create emails. It made clear why there are technical and design specialists who only focus on email.

To paraphrase Rod, I wish I knew about Stensul then.  

Let me put that into perspective. One of the things that attracted me to Stensul – to create and build its marketing function – was that they had figured out how to make email creation uncomplicated. The Stensul Email and Landing Page Creation Platform was the solution.

Email is a workhorse, but it takes work to create

Email as a marketing channel has been around for about 30 years. It’s been a remarkable performer, producing an ROI of about $40 for every $1 spent. What makes that so impressive is most organizations have been building emails as they have been since the late Nineties. That means in our fast-moving, highly-competitive business environment, lots of resources, time, and energy gets expended to produce a marketing email. Stensul found it takes 80% of companies two or more weeks to get one email out the door.

It can be easy

Stensul’s platform makes it much easier for everyone involved to work collaboratively to create email assets in a very streamlined and simplified way. Instead of taking days or weeks, Stensul lets you quickly create high-quality, on-brand emails with ease in minutes. The same holds true for creating landing pages. 

Instead of taking days or weeks, Stensul lets you quickly create high-quality, on-brand emails with ease in minutes.

How easy is it? 

At the end of every Stensul employee’s first day, that person must introduce themselves to the rest of Team Stensul through an email they create in Stensul. There’s no training or hand-holding. They’re on their own. Since I’ve been at Stensul, our headcount has grown dramatically, and every new hire has pushed out an email without a glitch. If you can drag and drop, you can create an email in Stensul. It’s that easy.

One of my skills is building the foundation of a marketing organization with a small, highly-capable team. Each team member has skills and experience they apply to their focus area, like product marketing, demand gen, or content marketing. However, they must also take on other tasks outside their assigned area. In this day of doing more with less, even the best will be under pressure to get lots done to generate big-time results.

One of the things that attracted me to Stensul - to create and build its marketing function - was that they had figured out how to make email creation uncomplicated.

With the Stensul platform, you can achieve that with certainty. It doesn’t require coding knowledge, design skills, or even knowledge of the company’s branding guidelines. Programmable guardrails ensure any email will conform to branding rules and comply with industry and regulatory requirements.

As a marketing leader, there have been times you may have felt divorced from the nitty gritty details of all it takes to produce an email campaign that ultimately gets sent and, hopefully, starts prospects on their journey down the sales funnel. 

It happens to me. Sometimes I need to stop and regain the perspective of how much work goes into readying a marketing campaign. But now I know about Stensul and how it helps to change the nature of that work.

Strategy, not nuts and bolts

Instead of your team spending almost all the time it has on email production-related activities, Stensul makes your email creation process immensely more efficient, like 9x more. 

With that new-found time, you can refine strategy, test, and even work on personalization, so your emails perform better. Stensul prevents you and your team from being bogged down in the nuts and bolts, the operational aspects of getting an email out the door. You discover ways to optimize performance that makes a meaningful and measurable impact on your business.  

As early as my high school years, I was attracted to marketing. I may not have known what marketing was or how it requires you to use both sides of your brain well, but it’s what I wanted to do. I probably equated it to advertising. In those days, commercials aired during the Super Bowl were a big deal.

Revenue matters

I translated that desire into my schooling, getting an MBA in International Marketing, and a career. I also realized that real marketing was not just nifty campaigns that piqued people’s interest. It was data, and I had to be ready, willing, and able to crawl into it and dig out insights that could drive results and produce revenue. Truth be told, I’m kind of a data dork. 

I realized early on that as a marketer, if you’re not tied to revenue, you’re just a name on a spreadsheet. Your responsibilities and compensation will be closely connected to your ability to contribute to generating revenue. 

No marketing channel is as strong a revenue generator as email. Know what I’ve come to know: Stensul lets you create those money-making emails more efficiently. 

Ready to transform how you create emails?​