Gini Dietrich

The Fireside Chat: Email Marketing with Andy Crestodina

By: Gini Dietrich | August 25, 2017 | 
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Fireside ChatI am super, duper excited to bring you today’s Fireside Chat.

My guest is no stranger to Spin Sucks nor stranger to the marketing industry.

He is widely known for his incredible brain, his ability to make technical things seem easy to us mere mortals, and his willingness to share his fancy cocktails (or maybe that’s just with me).

I met Andy Crestodina when he first blogged for Spin Sucks in 2010.

Though he works and lives within one mile of me, we had never met.

But we became fast friends when he complimented me on the work we do here (and he also once told me that I could pass for a college student if I were to wear a hoodie and baggy jeans).

It’s hard not to love him.

In fact, everyone loves him.

I can bet with 100 percent certainty you’ve been nodding your head along with everything I’ve said so far.

Andy is co-founder and chief marketing officer at Orbit Media, a web design and development firm in Chicago.

He’s the author of Content Chemistry, a copy of which I keep at my side at all times, the founder of Content Jam, Chicago’s largest content marketing conference (where, BTW, I am going to be the closing keynote this year), and he’s a regular face on the national circuit.

If you’ve had the opportunity to hear Andy speak, you know I’m downplaying him.

If you’ve not yet had the chance, settle in for this Fireside Chat.

You will not be disappointed.

The Fireside Chat: Email Marketing with Andy Crestodina

To prepare for this interview, I asked for help from the PR Dream Team.

They have some burning questions for Andy, so we started with those as our framework.

  • What is your opinion on giving away content for “free” versus gated content?
  • Where should content sit on a website? Should it be front and center, or should it be on a blog tab, or what?
  • Quality versus quantity: We hear conflicting reports regarding how long a blog post should be when considering multiple factors like readability, user preference, and actually ranking better in Google. You recently wrote about how great writing leads to high rankings, but I’m curious if this changes over time based on the algorithm?
  • About a month ago, you and I had an email debate about dates on blog posts. We have them, but are considering doing away with them. The other day, I did a search for “deskside briefings.” We actually come up first as the featured snippet. But it’s a blog post from 2007 and it’s uncategorized, doesn’t have images or links, and is just really old. So what say you? Dates or no dates?
  • What’s next for Andy?
  • The speed round

My Favorite Parts of the Conversation

Your head is going to explode with all of the great tips Andy gives away during our conversation.

You’ll also be goo-goo in love with him by the end (if you aren’t already).

Some of my favorite things we discussed include:

  • The three Ps of email signup forms
  • When gated content does—and does not—work
  • What is an ethical bribe and when you should do it
  • How to organically grow you email list
  • How to write your content mission and where to publish it
  • Why you should reconsider the label of your blog
  • Where you content should live
  • Prescriptive advice for content development
  • How to organically increase website traffic
  • What to include in your content/SEO audit

He also emailed me after we recorded and asked me to include the three books he’s read this year.

He blanked when I asked him the question and wanted to redeem himself.

They include:

And, last but most certainly not least, Andy is conducting his annual blogger survey.

If you blog, reserve three minutes (that’s all it really takes) to take the survey for him. He’ll appreciate it (and so will I).

Enjoy the conversation…and let us know what you think!

(If you can’t view the video below, click here and you’ll be magically transported to YouTube to watch it.)

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • Woohoo! I’ve been waiting for this every since Gini recorded it!! Can’t wait to watch!

    • The part about Andy sharing his drinks with me is pretty perfect.

  • Andrew McLaren

    What a great way to start the day. How fabulous was that. Not only getting heaps of cool tips, but also loving every minute of it. The rest of the day is going to be pretty mundane. Perhaps I will just watch it a few more times.

  • Love, love, love this. I always, always like hearing and watching you guys.

    Maybe a “Gini and Andy” series is in order…

  • Shea Drake

    Gini, your article couldn’t have been timed better. I just met Andy last week and he was freaking awesome. The best thing about Andy is his genuine desire to help others succeed like he has.

    I learned a ton from him on content marketing and utilizing semantic phrases. I’ve been looking over my notes from him (he was nice enough to give me his slides of his presentation). My team is already working on implementing as many things as we can from him.

    What hit hardest is updating older pieces before moving on to create new pieces.

    I’ll stop fangirling now 🙂

    • He’s great, isn’t he? I will fangirl with you.

  • I love the Four Ps. And his philosophy behind free vs. gated content and how engaged those subs are (or aren’t). And that’s (quantity over quality) not the only thing I freak out about with Yoast (and Laura… stupid passive vs. active voices).

    • I’m pretty sure mice would like stinky cheese…

    • Oh, that’s a great question. I wonder about the “reading time” stamp, too.

  • Julia Carcamo

    Note to self…don’t listen to this in close proximity to my Echo Dot.

    • LOL!! It’s super fun to see if you can get her to respond that way.

  • Peyton Rodgers

    I loved this Fireside Chat! The Ps of email subscription signup forms are extremely helpful. Prominence, promise, and proof! I find that many email subscriptions for companies do not provide enough proof of its benefits for the potential subscribers to encourage them to actually sign up. Awesome and informative post!

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