In this episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey and Erica Salm Rench talk about company newsletters and the importance of personalization. Erica Salm Rench is the Director of Customer Success of Rasa.io. The company was recognized in our list of Top New Orleans Startups too! Listen to Erica and Matt’s interesting talk about reaching audiences with personalized and well-thought-out newsletters.
Covered In This Episode
Company newsletters are often ignored by the recipients. But, with Rasa.io, reaching audiences with personalized messages is easier.
Tune in to Matt and Erica’s conversation now by listening to this Startup Hustle episode.
- Erica Salm Rench and her story (3:25)
- Newsletters that aren’t that effective (5:10)
- How do you figure out the content that people wanna read (7:15)
- How Rasa.io creates the content for the newsletter (10:00)
- What are the differentiators? (11:30)
- When you’re telling the story and giving facts, there are unlimited ways to say it (14:3)
- How Rasa.io will know what content to deliver (16:10)
- The challenges as a business or building the software that Rasa.io has encountered so far (21:07)
- The struggle with communication (25:00)
- What do you want to pay for in software to use (26:40)
- AI is not replacing humans (31:55)
- What if there is no content (34:16)
- How Rasa.io shares content on Twitter (36:17)
- You have to make it a frictionless process (37:57)
- Key takeaways from Erica (42:08)
Now, look, I’m gonna tell you that it takes a lot of thought, preparation, and consideration to do these things well, so if you’re out there and you are creating your newsletter, or your quote, value-added content, and you’re just cruising through it, and you’re not giving any consideration to it, do me a favor, and don’t send it to me because I’m not gonna read it.– Matt DeCoursey
And so that’s what intrigued me about Rasa.io because we have the ability to scale good email using the power of AI and what’s inherent in AI, which is automation. And, so now we give folks in all different verticals, across you know, so many different sizes of business, the ability to send a really powerful good newsletter within a fraction of the time.– Erica Salm Rench
So how do you engage with people in a meaningful, relevant way in between those episodes of engagement, so that’s where you kind of just plug Rasa into your existing solutions. And, you know, make sure that you’re sending out relevant, personalized content alongside whatever blast email campaigns, you know, you might be running to.-Erica Salm Rench
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.
Matt DeCoursey 0:00
And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. If you received a newsletter, maybe you’re getting gobbled in the mail, you know. That’s right, the mail still offends people. And oftentimes, you’ll get newsletters, updates, value-added content, whatever you want to call it. Now, look, I’m gonna tell you that it takes a lot of thought, preparation, and consideration to do these things well, so if you’re out there and you are creating your newsletter, or your quote, value-added content, and you’re just cruising through it, and you’re not giving any consideration to it, do me a favor, and don’t send it to me because I’m not gonna read it. That’s right. I only want to hear what you have to say when you’ve thought about it. I don’t want to hear a bunch of sloppy stuff put together, and that’s exactly what today’s guest and company help us with. Now, before we get too far end of that, today’s episode Startup Hustle is brought to you by Gusto. Gusto has modern solutions for HR problems, whether it’s talent management, payroll, or onboarding tools. Gusto HR platform has it all for you, be better than your competitors and try a three-month free subscription now. Sign up at Gusto.com/StartupHustle. Once again, Gusto.com/StartupHustle, you know, it’s even easier as you just scroll down to the show notes and you click the link, and then you don’t have to type all those letters. And I mentioned today we’re gonna talk about company newsletters and how modern technology is making them better. With me today, I’ve got Erica Salm Rench, and she is the Chief Operating Officer at Rasa.io. This email marketing company is also one of Startup Hustle Top New Orleans startups in 2022. So you know, that list hasn’t come out yet. We’re a little ahead of the curve. Because you know, we want to put up the newsletter and let everyone know that it’s happening. So that’s up, so it’ll be out on the ninth of March. But without further ado, and straight out of New Orleans. Erica, Welcome to Startup Hustle.
Erica Salm Rench 2:03
Thank you so much, man. I’m thrilled to be here.
Matt DeCoursey 2:06
Yeah, I’m excited to let you know; we were talking before we started on dealing with a blizzard. We have children running around in all different shapes and forms. And you know, we’ll see what happens today, folks, and maybe we’ll maybe we’ll write a newsletter about it and send it out with
Erica Salm Rench 2:23
the pandemic, never know what you’re gonna get.
Matt DeCoursey 2:27
Right, it will totally, and you know what, speaking of links in the show notes and background, you can scroll down and go to rasa.io. It took a few minutes before the show, and I took a look at you doing some cool stuff. Now before we get into all that. And maybe we can I want I’m looking forward to talking about what’s good and bad and newsletters. But let’s do a little let’s get a little bit of your backstory and Rasa’s backstory as well,
Erica Salm Rench 2:49
So, thanks. So I came down to New Orleans to go to Tulane. And after I graduated, I started working for their admission office and strategic recruitment. And what really drew me away from the recruitment aspect of that position was the marketing aspect of it and all the amazing tools that were emerging in that time in the early 2000s. And so I focused, I evolved to focus more on the marketing aspect of the recruitment process and admission. And from there, I went on to manage a team at the largest digital marketing agency in the Gulf South. And we did everything online, we did front-end and back-end video, we did pay digital and all the most popular platforms. We did social media marketing and content marketing, basically everything online. But the one thing that we didn’t touch was email because email is so hard to do in a really quality way and at scale. And so that’s what intrigued me about Rasa.io because we have the ability to scale good email using the power of AI and what’s inherent in AI, which is automation. And so so now we give folks in all different verticals, across you know, so many different sizes of business, the ability to send a really powerful good newsletter within a fraction of the time.
Matt DeCoursey 4:15
So what makes the newsletter good, because, you know, at the beginning of the show, I wasn’t kidding, please, people don’t send me your crappy newsletter. If it’s good, I’ll check it out. But you know, like, for me when I look at some of the stuff that people send me, I mean, honestly, it’s laughable. I mean, it really is so, and I’m not trying to like poke fun at other people’s efforts but kind of poking fun at it because it really like I get some stuff and I look at it, and I just think I’m like did you did you think anyone was gonna look at this so like, you know, I think it’s presentation it’s also value. And then sometimes for me, it’s like do like the Wall Street Journal just appeared, or a bad version of it just appeared, and My inbox and I’m like TLDR,
Erica Salm Rench 5:03
who cannot read that? Yeah, exactly. And so relevance becomes so important sending people content they’re actually interested in, I think newsletters when they’re just all advertorial. And they look like Times Square, and they’re just this billboard for the organization. Nobody’s interested in that. They want content that’s relevant to them. They want content that they want to read. They want it to be personalized.
Matt DeCoursey 5:27
Erica Salm Rench 5:28
funny I’ve ever received.
Matt DeCoursey 5:31
Well, sure, yeah. And we were talking about this locally. And look, this struggle is real. So you know, we were talking to Erica, and I were talking before the show, she asked me how many episodes I have done, and I was like, God, I don’t even know 600. Some myself 800 Coming up on 800. For the show, actually, you ask when the 800th one comes out? It’s March 7. So it’s here in a few days. But, you know, with, we’ve got this firehose of content that’s come out, and we are trying to, I don’t, I don’t, I wasn’t calling it a newsletter, I was calling it more of like a value-added content. Because to me, when I hear newsletter, it’s like, here’s news, like the term news kind of indicates things that may have had occurred, or maybe announcements and things that are coming, we’re trying to put together something that was like, Hey, are you interested in venture capital? Here’s like, three or four episodes that were any good. But like, I mean, I was saying the same thing. I was like, no one wants to hear us, us. Us, you got to have the what many people call with them? What’s in it for me? You figure how do you figure that out.
Erica Salm Rench 6:39
So the way the platform works is you first identify different sources of content, that produce content that’s relevant to your subscribers, your audience, your space, and then you plug those into Rasa. So really powerful part of our platform is also the curation engine because we’re going to pull in all of the content that your sources produce. And then from there, we’re going to say, okay, of these 50 articles, here are the five that are most relevant to Matt here, the five that are most relevant to Erica, and we’re going to personalize, automate the setup process, put together individualized email code for each and every subscriber automatically from that pool of rich, relevant, trustworthy content. And then you can also infuse your own voice into the email newsletters, you can add promotional content, of course, of course, you don’t want to do too much of that. But it just makes the whole process so much faster. Because, let’s face it, putting together an email newsletter can be like the least sexy task in an organization like nobody wants to do the newsletter. So we want to flip that on its head, and we want to make the newsletter an easy thing to do and very relevant for subscribers.
Matt DeCoursey 7:55
We always share the real transparent truth of entrepreneurship and like, we had like internal office fights over over that were over the newsletter. Yeah, no one wanted to do it. Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Erica Salm Rench 8:14
Matt DeCoursey 8:16
Yeah, it was. Well, it is. For us, it was more along the lines of like I said, it wasn’t about news. It was there was an outbound nature to it was really value added. Because we’ll just use Startup Hustle as an example. There are 800 episodes like, I mean, we were talking before the show came on that, like, that’s even hard for me to keep up with, like, I have actually run into people in public that were like, yeah, they’re referencing the show. Yeah, they were talking about listening to it. And I had, like, forgotten that they were on it. Because it’s a lot. You know, it’s a lot. So you look at this whole thing. So I’m kind of curious, like when you talk about the curation. And so you mentioned, like being able to assign tags or routing topics to people. So we have a whole bunch of like, what we just call them add tags, but we use them to like, sort episodes and stuff like that. So we could take, for instance, we could take venture capital and tie that to certain numbers of people and Rasa.io is helping us create the content that goes with it, or like, I mean, just how does that work? Is it just kind of decluttering our lives for,
Erica Salm Rench 9:22
right, so you could plug your podcast feed and Rasa we would basically suck in all the content. And we actually use AI to tag it ourselves. So you don’t even have to worry about the taxonomy. And we’re going to conceptualize it just as it comes into the system. And then from there, we can begin to personalize. So if we know that one of your listeners is really into FinTech, and that’s the content that they’re interested in reading about. As they click on those episodes. As they open those emails and click we’re gonna start to give them more of what they’re interested in. And you don’t have to do pretty much anything.
Matt DeCoursey 9:58
I mean, I’m on that I liked that. part, the whole part where you pretty much don’t have to do anything that’s like the guy at the office. I’m like, I’ll do that one. So, okay, you just have a really great site. By the way, I really like how this spells it out. And I do. I was just looking, I was just looking at monkey doe, who has a character on the website. And he’s he’s clearly having some hard time. He’s he’s finding solutions people. And that’s really what matters, trying to
Erica Salm Rench 10:27
find the right content for him, and that he needs your asset.
Matt DeCoursey 10:32
So, so real question. So there’s a lot of stuff that on the surface, like when you look at it, it sends emails out, you know, like we we use HubSpot to manage some of our sales process and I see them on your website is you work well with them. So is this is this more of like we work with things rather than compete against them? Or like how it works? The Birgit? Where’s the is the differentiator, the AR? I mean, tell me about it.
Erica Salm Rench 11:00
Yes. So Matt, that’s a great question. We integrate with a lot of platforms like HubSpot. So we integrate with HubSpot, MailChimp, Constant Contact, sandbox, all of these many different email platforms that send out blast emails or do a really good job with like nurture campaigns. And so what we do is we’ll sync subscribers with those tools, so that you can use Rasa for your newsletter, and use Rasa for you know, in between episodes of engagement. So oftentimes, you might have a product where, you know, people might buy it once a year, or if you’re like, a car salesman, people are buying a car like once every seven to 10 years, right? So how do you engage with people in a meaningful, relevant way in between those episodes of engagement, so that’s where you kind of just plug Rasa into your existing solutions. And, you know, make sure that you’re sending out relevant, personalized content alongside whatever blast email campaigns, you know, you might be running to.
Matt DeCoursey 12:02
Yeah, I think that’s smart. Because, you know, you mentioned a lot of things. I’m also the founder of Gigabook.com, which, starts as an appointment site, right? In saying, you know, you need invoices, and then you need all this different content, and then people want follow up. And then next thing, you know, it’s like, wow, you know, we started this company to do like, one thing, and now we’ve got to do 15. And it’s hard. I mean, it really is difficult. And I appreciate I’ve, I’ve outside, as I’m turning into an old man, slowly in front of my mirror. This year in the world of tech, I have a new client, that’s 23. So I did point, I was like, Dude, you know, I’m twice your age. And he’s like, you don’t look that old. I’m like, thanks. I have some I have some friends that are musicians. And they always worked in the music industry for awhile. So they share complex results with me that people give them like an example as talented musician, you know, I really love your early stuff. So yeah. I have my co-author of the realest guide to successful music career is in a quote, jam band, and people will be like, I really love it when you guys don’t saying this seems like a good time to talk about messaging. You know, some of those things. And by the way, if the comment that you made to someone ends up being texts to someone else later as a punch line, then you know that then your messaging sucks, I am a big I refer to what I call fax shaping. So there’s, there’s fax, this is not like anything other than that. But with when you’re telling the story and you’re giving facts, it technically means that there’s a nearly unlimited number of ways you can say it, word it phrase it, which means some are better than others. So how, you know when I sometimes when I think about AI, and it’s getting better, but you know, how does how does all this? How does Rasa helped me with my messaging, because you know, like, I think a good example, if I say cheap or affordable, many people use those words interchangeably, but they have a much, much different meaning when they’re heard, like cheap is Brettell disposable. It’s crap, affordable as value, and like a good deal. But people really do use those words interchangeably.
Erica Salm Rench 14:44
And perception is reality. Absolutely. So one of the cool things about our platform is that we pull information in from the publisher, so we’re going to pull in the metadata that the publisher wrote. The imagery that the publisher wrote, so you don’t have just spend a ton of time like rewording and thinking about those descriptions. And you can, you certainly can edit those descriptions and put your own spin on it. But I think So oftentimes, we, you know, get our selves, so deep in the details and in the weeds of that. And so if you can just let the publisher kind of promote and speak to their own content, it’s kind of cutting through, you know, the tedious nature of that of that task.
Matt DeCoursey 15:29
Okay. Now, how do you know? So when you talk about what you’re gonna deliver to someone? How do you determine that?
Erica Salm Rench 15:40
So we’re gonna look at what folks have interacted with in the past, what they’ve opened, what they’ve clicked on, and then we’re going to put together future emails based on their engagement behavior of the past. And that’s something also that I feel like a lot of listeners are probably thinking about is, you know, well AI, like, don’t you just end up in an echo chamber of your clicks? And you know, what you’ve done in the past? And isn’t that kind of a danger of AI and hearing, you know, all about what’s going on, and, like, what social media platforms are doing to folks these days, we want to mitigate against that. And so we do make sure to leave a portion of real estate available in the email for not, you know, not specific recommendations to the individual. But instead, you know more about what the, what the newsletter editor wants them to see or wants everyone to see.
Matt DeCoursey 16:33
Okay, so for exempt now. Alright. So for those of you listening that, so Full Scale, that’s the company I That’s my real my real job outside of this, currently. Yeah, that’s the real one. So I have 235 employees worldwide. They’re in different countries where we’re in three, three employees in three different countries, mainly in the Philippines. But with that, we have this firehose of content that, you know, the Full Scale blog has eight or 900 articles in it, we have this show, we have Startup Hustle dot XYZ site has a new blog recently. So am I able to tie all these things in together? Like an art? Like my, my, just all of it?
Erica Salm Rench 17:18
Yeah. Yeah, I just feed that all into the platform, we pull it in as it publishes. And then you know, every time that the newsletter goes out, we look to see what’s come in and then personalized based on each reader’s interest.
Matt DeCoursey 17:34
By the way, most episodes, I don’t ask this many questions about the product, which tells I’m like, generally, I’m genuinely interested here. Because I mean, it really was this really was a little bit of a battle. And I’m not kidding, no one at our office, like we really did have fights about it, where we wouldn’t call it a newsletter, though, I got angry about that. I literally said these words, for the ad seven-time, it’s not a newsletter. So just because it wasn’t really what I want here, well, here’s the thing, I didn’t want him to be dated, I didn’t want him to have timestamps, because when we heard that phrase, nurture our drip, like there’s people that are constantly entering the process. And when it comes to marketing automation, I’m really sensitive about this, because I hate Robo stuff that is just like a waste. Because, you know, the thing is, is what if I email someone, if I call them if I contact them, I want it to be to the point, I want it to be clear, I want it to be concise. I want it to have some kind of value. I don’t like wasting people’s time. And another thing too is I don’t want to be annoying. So you know, the thing is, is like I’m very sensitive about the touch points that come out, you know, whether it’s a social media post an email or anything, so yeah, this is this is a, you do need to be thoughtful. Now. You know, speaking of being thoughtful, managing your team can be as easy as 123 when you use Gusto, no more late nights for processing payroll, or dealing with business tax filings, no more painful spreadsheets for attendance tracking and say hello to your new smart HR platform, to gusto.com forward slash Startup Hustle, make sure you click the link or at least put the forward slash Startup Hustle on there. You get a free three months subscription now and that’s a gusto.com forward slash Startup Hustle. You have some experience with them, don’t you?
Erica Salm Rench 19:30
Please guys overview. Yeah, we love them. We live in a little pig.
Matt DeCoursey 19:35
Is there a pig?
Erica Salm Rench 19:36
There’s a little pig? Yeah, the page icon is like a little walking pig.
Matt DeCoursey 19:40
Oh, I should. I should know that. Let’s see. I’m not the person that does that at Full Scale. But yeah, we have pretty much we have pretty much acknowledged on this show that no one likes doing payroll or HR. I mean, even on the office, it was pretty notorious my Well, Scott made it pretty clear that no one likes HR. HR people earmuffs. So according to my notes, Ross has been around since 2015, you mentioned to me earlier that you had been with the company for nearly that entire timeline or for a long time, what’s been some of the stuff that’s been a challenge, either just as a business or building software, because both are tough.
Erica Salm Rench 20:30
So we actually started in 2015, we started as a community platform, which is essentially like, you know, the equivalent of Facebook, like having people engage in a platform, comment on each other’s posts and the articles that they share, et cetera. And we, the clients that we did have were, we were finding that these like digest emails that were generated off this community platform, we’re getting such incredible engagement because the digests were personalizing the articles that each recipient would receive. But these people were never like logging into the platform, they were never going in there to be a part of it, they just wanted to get these personal and digest emails. So we saw that engagement, and we’re like, oh, like maybe this is the way to pivot, this makes much more sense. And email, like the dinosaur that it is, is still really effective. You know, for better or worse, we can’t really escape how effective email is, you know, for conversions, for nurture, for whatever. And so that was like the pivot to newsletters about four years ago. And we’ve just seen, you know, such great applications, such great product market fit, because people need a newsletter that, you know, is not hard to put together. But that is good. And so and so that’s that was at that time, it was a struggle, because, you know, we couldn’t really, you know, there were a lot of other community platforms out there. And we were trying to find, you know, our niche. And so it was, it was hard, but it was the right move to pivot. And I feel like that was when you tip it is a word that’s thrown around like kind of loosely, but it was like a pivot in its truest form.
Matt DeCoursey 22:17
Alright, so I got a couple of stats here that I find interesting. So apparently, companies with 100 plus employees, 83% of them send email newsletters. Now we actually do that for our internal company. And actually, I actually had a very interesting episode I recorded recently with a company called workshop that specializes in internal email, conversation, I mean, not not not not newsletter type content that actually just like informing people. So I will tell you is, as you know, some of this stuff, communicating to a large number of people is a challenge. And you know, a lot of like, we use Slack, which every time we send out an update in Slack, I get like three comments and our feedback. We have an anonymous feedback; we built a whole system to manage our company. And people were like, couldn’t you quit? Can you quit informing everyone in Slack, it’s not where I see everything, I guess, you know, it’s like to end up sending it out in three different places, which is
Erica Salm Rench 23:23
for employee feedback.
Matt DeCoursey 23:26
So we actually built our own entire system to manage Full Scale. So you know, we’re, we help we help software companies build teams of developers, leaders, testers. And so we there’s a lot to it’s got four facing sides, we have applicants, we have sales partners, we have admin, and we have employees, and they all they all are very different. So yeah, so rather than daisy chaining a bunch of tools together, we’ve spent three years now, you know, building this fortunately for us that development, bandwidth is something we never have a shortage of, you know, I haven’t hundreds of people,
Erica Salm Rench 24:08
most other organizations,
Matt DeCoursey 24:10
right right. So we kind of have the if we complain if we have too much development bandwidth because that means we’re not selling enough stuff but anyway that is you know, that’s the struggle is real with communication it’s also that you know, the overall there’s a high level of adoption for for bigger companies is saying 79% send send lead nurturing 71% As you know tracks are transactional so overall like you I mean, you’re you’re it’s very supports very much what you what you’re saying about you know, this being a real thing now that doesn’t make it easier now, I do think it’s clever, the the integrations with stuff because that’s one of the things that I mean, I think is kind of a growing problem amongst just businesses in general, you end up with 19 different things, have a Zapier integration. So you know, I’ve been, I’ve been using Zapier since it came out with that, yeah, it’s great. Yeah. And for those of you listening, like I have no vested interest in pushing Zapier, but it really, it really is a magical thing for many people, because it just makes it’s it’s no code, and it connects a lot of things and makes so much easier. It does. And the main thing for us with Giga Buck was, you know, if you if you’re a builder, if you’re a tech founder, and you look at all of the things that you can, or potentially need to connect your platform to, you’re like, oh, wow, so a team of 10 people could work on this for infinity and never hit the bottom. And it really is true. I mean, the number of things and then the changes, the upkeep and all of that. So, you know, I think it’s pretty cool, how easily you can, you can do a lot of that stuff now. So
Erica Salm Rench 26:03
yeah, when you’re embarking on putting together your tech stack, that is like the number one factor to consider what which platforms talk to each other, and you’re gonna make your life easier
Matt DeCoursey 26:14
answers, none of them until you make them and the question is, maybe more. So what do you want to pay for, you know, the build, you know, to build and I mean, even things like Zapier, if it’s your platform, you still have to go through a fair amount of work to then make it connect to other things. And I mean, they’re pretty specific they do a good job and by the way, thanks to them because they put GigaBook amongst their top their favorite booking engines for several years. And yeah, we get a lot of traffic from that. So thanks, APR, I should probably send you a beer or something. Okay, so you know, I can to newsletters is the case study? For many people? Is there one that stands out? That’s a favorite Ross’s when it comes to the impact you made.
Erica Salm Rench 27:01
Yeah, I have to say, I think the American Marketing Association that one is, is near and dear to my heart we started working with about three years ago. And they sent out a weekly newsletter, that was all their own content, which is good and but it was hard for them to put together took a lot of time, they were writing and publishing the blogs and then taking those links and rewriting the descriptions, placing them in the email. And so what they did when they came to Rasa is they decided, wow, there’s a lot of awesome marketing content out there. One, we could be, you know, the brand that sends that out and is sort of like this is daily voice of the latest in marketing. So they switch to a daily where they send personalized marketing content. And then the other piece of it is, like if you’re a quote-unquote, marketer, like how many different kinds of marketers are there out there. They’re the branding folks. They’re the SEO folks. They’re the video folks, the graphic design. So if you’re wanting the latest marketing news, like a one size fits all doesn’t really work. So they still send out like their blog, but they do daily. And then the rest of it is personalized for what specific marketing interests you know, the user has. So it’s, and then the sent process is automated. So all they do is you know, publish the blog, and then the newsletter goes out daily. So that’s been a really fun one, we’ve had a great time with their team. And it’s been a really a really great use case for us.
Matt DeCoursey 28:30
Do you have an opposite story of something funny or humorous? If you look back at it, and you’re like, Oh, wow.
Erica Salm Rench 28:39
Yeah, I won’t say the organization. But we
Matt DeCoursey 28:42
often leave people anonymous. And these stories actually,
Erica Salm Rench 28:47
this one can be this one can be anonymous, I think, you know, when we when we worked with these folks, and they, you know, had to work through the transition of like, okay, well, we spend, like literally, their whole job was to put together the newsletter. And so like a couple people, like all they did was put together the newsletter and so the idea of like, not selecting each and every story that each and every person gets was a really hard hurdle to get over for these folks. So but and the idea that like, Okay, well, we’re gonna take, you know, our eight-hour day and maybe, you know, condense it down quite a bit. Like not everyone’s ready for that. I would say that, you know, the best. The best rasa use case is one where, you know, the human works alongside the AI, and that’s where the magic happens, but not everyone’s ready to relinquish you know, a little bit of control as to choosing what each and every person sees each and every day or week or what have you.
Matt DeCoursey 29:46
Yeah, I’ve run into that. I’ve run into that a lot. You know, the first book that I published is called balanced me as the real estate guy, just successful life and in the very part in the very first page, it says, Look, change is difficult and require it’s hard. And it requires constant upkeep and reassessment and all that. And if you’re not ready to admit that you might, you are most likely your biggest obstacle to getting what you want, then just put the book back because I’m not going to be able to help you. Because it’s really is us and people that get in our own way. We, you know, and oh, my God, I mean, hold my beer, I could go on about that. But so yeah, but change is difficult. And I run into that a lot at Full Scale. Because, you know, our tech team is in the Philippines. So often, it’s not uncommon for a co founder, CTO, or someone to want to introduce the offshore team. Yeah, are people and people get really threatened by it? You know, and, and, you know, and so, I mean, I have a whole approach pattern that I basically have to prepare people for. Yeah. You know, and, and, you know, without that preparation is, you know, it’s like, Hey, you got to explain to people that this is for you. This is for your sanity for your success for your help. But you know, you I mean, in your case, they’re probably sitting there going, is this replacing me? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yes, it is. If your attitude doesn’t improve, it will certainly replace
Erica Salm Rench 31:26
a replacement. It’s like, well, now we’re letting you go do the things that humans do best, which is like the creative piece, like, go be creative. Go write the awesome content.
Matt DeCoursey 31:36
Right. Well, please, please note my sarcasm there. Because if, if your work I mean, well, that’s the thing is sure a lot of things can replace you if you have a bad attitude.
Erica Salm Rench 31:50
Change with regard to your attitude is probably the hardest. And then the second hardest thing is changing your software.
Matt DeCoursey 31:56
Yes. While God forbid we have to do that. But it’s hard. I mean, there’s a lot of really interesting stuff out there. So okay, so how about let’s talk for a second. So if you know, there’s a lot of organizations that want to do stuff like this, and they don’t know where to start. So what’s advice for listeners that want to, and by the way, on the way you think about that for a moment, I have already signed up for your platform. I already grabbed it, grabbed my blog and grabbed a logo, it has created a sample outline that is giving me some different layouts and options. I’m gonna choose to edit to do this. I’m gonna edit some one part of it, which it’s going to, but it’s created basically a sample outline that starts with what does a project manager and software development do? It has top 10 PHP developer questions. I mean, a whole bunch of different stuff in here. So yeah, I mean, it’s just, you know, and for those you listening, I mean, this is walking me through, it’s given me I got, I got a couple different templates, I can go with newspaper, I’m a big and bold person. So I’m gonna switch.
Erica Salm Rench 33:12
If you have good imagery, I definitely recommend the big Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 33:16
But no, I mean, I think that’s, I think that’s cool. So I, I may have answered my own question. But, but yeah, I mean, so what is that? What? So this was easier for me? Because, okay, by the way, this found my blog on the Full Scale. And, you know, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of, I don’t know, but what if I, what if there is no content?
Erica Salm Rench 33:39
That’s a great question. So oftentimes, we will find your website blog. But if it’s not like the one of the basic iterations that we go through, when we look programmatically for the blog URL, you might just have to plug it in yourself, which is fine. But, you only have to do that one time. So what Matt is going through right now is I’m going to use a really 1990s term is like our sort of wizard that will grab in a bunch of web inputs and then eventually get you to create your account. So a good way to kind of get your feet wet is we do have a free two-week trial where you can kind of explore the platform, use the basic functionality. And then you’ll see it on the site as you progress in whatever tier you sign up for. If you become a paid user, you’re going to have more functionality, obviously, the more you pay for, and then we also have a lot of enterprise and association clients where we do more of like a Full Scale onboarding. So we’ll help you with the content curation, we’ll help you with a strategy, we’ll help you with you know, authenticate your domain consultant deliverability all those all those great things so we we kind of are full spectrum in terms of like the different types of plants you can go down.
Matt DeCoursey 34:52
Yeah, and I have also now emailed myself my sample. Yeah, I don’t like the image that I have on my own site. So I’m busy changing that in the background, which is to do it. According to Rasa, my logo looks great. So thank you for the positive. Yeah, it’s funny, you mentioned the 1990 terms because, you know, I’m old enough to remember when computers really came out. And I remember people were so angry about how rude they were syntax error.
Erica Salm Rench 35:27
Like it didn’t like the messaging and the errors. Yeah,
Matt DeCoursey 35:32
I just think that it’s. It does want me to connect my Twitter feed. Now, I’m not sure if I’m ready to send that out to my email list.
Erica Salm Rench 35:40
Yeah, and the way Oh, Matt, just for your reference, the way we do share Twitter content is we’re going to pull in the articles that you tweet out, as opposed to like the 180 characters of the tweet, if that makes sense. So we’ll so for you tweet out relevant articles to your subscribers, we’re gonna pull those in as you tweet them out.
Matt DeCoursey 36:00
There, I’ve selected my Twitter feed. It’s out DeCoursey MOUT. Now, after three years of ignoring Twitter, I’m back, people.
Erica Salm Rench 36:06
So back in action, folks,
Matt DeCoursey 36:08
I don’t. Yeah, I was shocked that like for considering that I literally had no activity for three years. I’m surprised that I still have some like, a minuscule 1500 followers, but I don’t know where they came from. Because I literally started a Twitter-like three years ago, looking. There’s too many things, man, there’s too many things to keep up with. I all I mean, I literally have people that helped with us, and we still don’t keep up with it on Sunday. So anyway, this was interesting. I took a little approach at, you know, folks, the show’s conversational. So I, I normally don’t go through a whole product. But I, this was such an interesting subject, because this really was a struggle for us. Think about that, if you’re struggling, you have four people, I’m telling you, we have 235, and we were struggling. So definitely interesting. I think this is really cool. And I did I just changed my header. I just did a bunch of different stuff in here. So it’s quick and easy to sign up. I think that that’s, that’s cool. If you, you listen to my shows enough. You know, I’m naughty about onboarding. Like if you can’t get people set up and moving quickly, then your software sauce. It’s just
Erica Salm Rench 37:14
simple to make a frictionless process,
Matt DeCoursey 37:18
which is tough, because you got to get enough info, but not too much. You got to demonstrate enough that maybe not too much. You got to do a lot of stuff, but not too much. You got to just find that happy medium. There are three words that will help you with that people. Test test test. So alright, so here we are. We’re once again with with Erica from rasa.io. And Erica Psalm ranch. I should point out to me that she uses the three names because she made it she gets to name all of her children. She’s I’ve been trying I’ve tried for the naming rights. My wife knows me well enough to know that that would be a really bad deal. I when I found out my daughters, my oldest and you know, we were really excited. She was what do you think we should name her and I said, payback. And she was like, No, we’re not naming our daughter payback. But she said any daughter of mine is probably going to be a payback. Now she’s a window for us to kind of get the middlemen.
Erica Salm Rench 38:19
She didn’t want to name your firstborn payback. I mean, that’s shocking.
Matt DeCoursey 38:24
I just thought it was. Yeah, I got shot down on pretty much my first 76 CVS Jen. So her name is Dylan now. I love that’s funny. I did it’s actually so there. You know there’s a boy Dylan spelling and a girl Dylan spelling.
Erica Salm Rench 38:39
What’s the girl don’t spelling D.
Matt DeCoursey 38:42
Which was the why I got that part. I wanted that. People are like, oh, like Bob Dylan. I’m like now. But I did take Dylan to see Bob Dylan once. So that was fun. All right. So once again, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by Gusto. If you’re looking for an all in one HR platform, it’s time to check out Gusto. You know, everything you need and just a few clicks of a button. You’ll even get three months free when you go to Gusto.com/StartupHustle. Once again, Gusto.com forward slash Startup Hustle. There’s a link for that in the show notes. There’s also a link to Rasa.io, so much easier to just scroll down and give it a click. You know, I do want to say I really did sign up and send myself a sample version. Like I mean, I’ve got a real email here. It’s got five, five different blog articles. And you know, here’s the thing, it’s organized. Well, it’s not overcrowded, it’s clear, it’s concise. It’s got, it’s very easy to click and go to the actual article. When I click it. I do see a tracking code in here, which I’m assuming that you guys allow for plenty of that because people are nutty with their with their analytics. So what measured gets what gets measured gets done, but here we are at the end of the episode, and I just wanted to point that out and I
Erica Salm Rench 40:08
connect your HubSpot, Matt. Just go connect your HubSpot, and
Matt DeCoursey 40:12
I just hired a new senior marketing guy, so like pretty much every he starts Monday so pretty much everything I do right now. I’m like, yeah, we’re gonna wait for Kyle to do that. I’ve been doing it forever, and it’s like too young to be too long now. So Eric, I and my episode Startup Hustle with what I call the founders’ freestyle. And whether you’re a founder or not, it’s really just a good time for us to wrap up the things that we have talked about, any key points and messages now I said my episodes, I am not the only host of the show, make sure you tune in every week. And listen to Andrew Morgans, the founder and CEO of Marknology. Andrew is a specialist in Amazon brand acceleration and E-commerce. And make sure you tune in weekly and join Lauren Conaway, one of my she rose, she is the founder of InnovateHer they just got their 5000 members in Kansas City. Yeah, InnovateHerKC.org. And Lauren, as she always gets mad at me, because I always leave the KC off. I’m like, No, you’re going global, lady. You’re going global. We’re getting the case. Yeah, so here we are at the end of the show. And I mean, what are a couple of things that stood out? Anything that you didn’t say that you shut up? Or anything you need to clarify or wanna clarify?
Erica Salm Rench 41:32
Oh, gosh, um, no, I think we got to a lot of it. I’d say, you know, so many folks, when they hear AI solution, they get scared, you know, like, AI is scary. It’s killer robots, right? But it doesn’t have to be by any means. We work with marketing AI Institute or partner there, and they do a great job of communicating. But how there’s so many marketing solutions out there that aren’t, you know, fully AI, like you just, you know, enter in your email, and the AI goes off and doesn’t think the magic really happens when the human needs the AI. And so, it takes away a lot of the tedious nature of a given task. So I if you’re someone who thinks like, I want to experiment with AI, Rasa is really good tool to kind of start down that path with
Matt DeCoursey 42:19
you, I think, one thing that stood out from this episode as well, I really was being fully transparent, like we really did have friction internally, when it came to the we weren’t calling it a newsletter, it was, you know, we were referring to that more as outbound marketing, essentially, and the format and the layout and the structure of it. It was, it was a newsletter, you know, the in appearance now, with that, you know, there’s something I’ve learned. So I’ve written three books, hundreds of blogs, and podcasts and stuff like that. And people don’t like writing. In general, people don’t like writing content. They don’t like writing really anything. And, you know, it’s it’s difficult to get people in general at your business to do it consistently to do it well. So that invariably ends up being the reason that so many organizations don’t do outbound stuff. And they don’t pay attention to their messaging. So you know, when it comes to things that make it easier, and make it faster, and make it, you know, more consistent, I really think you need to look into it. And yeah, like I said, is if you’re just sitting around and always ask yourself, why so when we’ve wanted to do that, and well, why, so people always make excuses as to why they’re not it’s not the right time. I don’t have the right people, but you can’t have the right tools. Like, by the way AI isn’t scary. It’s helpful. Yeah. Like, the Terminator is not going to emerge from your screen. When you sign up for Rasa. I just did it. Nothing’s killed me yet. So I’m feeling pretty good. I’m feeling great about that part. So but yeah, I mean, overall, like there’s a lot of tools that can help with a lot of stuff. And I think when you’re looking at shopping for tools, it’s really it’s smart to look at the things that connect with the other things you’re already using. Because you know that there’s you look at like HubSpot like Sorry, HubSpot, but your outbound templates are exactly okay. They’re not great. You know, so like, I mean, that’s part of what was slowing us down. It was really cumbersome and kinda lame to build a lot of the stuff. So it’s like,
Erica Salm Rench 44:38
you can actually import your own HTML and Terrassa. If you don’t want to use one of our standard templates, you can and then put the AI tags in the content. So there’s
Matt DeCoursey 44:48
Good to go. It’s got my logo. I’m inside. It’s got a little Full Scale logo up at the top. Now the one thing that I need to do is maybe go back and redo it for Startup Hustle, but that “Let’s do it.” Maybe, yeah, that might be good. Although, yeah. Well, one more thing to aggregate to do it. Thank you. You heard it. He’s, yeah, he’s trying to get caught up. I talked to him the other day, and he was furiously trying to listen to podcasts to get caught up. And I was like, Dude, you’re never gonna get caught up. And by the way, Stephen Ford, if you’re listening, if you have caught up, we got a guy that was coming legitimately close. He was at 650 or 700. And he messaged me a while ago and then basically said, Do you really you guys really went to five days a week? Like he was because we used to do three, and then we did four, and you know, he was getting close to getting caught up. So every day, Yes. And Steven, we’re thinking about weekend supplemental issue episodes. So to listen more, listen more. But anyway, thanks for the listeners out there and everyone that keeps up and thanks for joining me, and congrats again on being in Startup Hustle, New Orleans Top Startup. So I’ll catch up with you down the road.
Erica Salm Rench 46:14
How much man I appreciate it. Actually.
Matt DeCoursey 46:17
I will send you my newsletter down the road.
Erica Salm Rench 46:19
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