Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Lessons from Airtable’s unconventional growth strategy | Zoelle Egner

Lessons from Airtable’s unconventional growth strategy | Zoelle Egner

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Zoelle Egner is best known for her time at Airtable (currently valued at $11 billion), where she was the 11th employee and built and led the initial marketing and customer success teams. Currently she’s the Head of Marketing and Growth at Block Party, a company that designs consumer tools for online safety and anti-harassment. In today’s episode, we explore the marketing strategies that helped Airtable punch above its weight and build an established brand. We also dig into how Airtable was able to find its first super-users, how customer success played a key role in getting early traction, and the do’s and don’ts for marketing investments. Zoelle also shares her experience working for VaccinateCA (which ended up playing a massive role in helping get people vaccinated during the pandemic) and several tips for obtaining valuable customer feedback.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Where to find Zoelle Egner:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/zoelle

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zoelleegner/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/


• Patrick McKenzie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/patio11

The Last of Us on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-last-of-us

• Airtable: https://www.airtable.com/

• Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/

• Block Party app: https://www.blockpartyapp.com/

• Kathy Sierra’s book Badass: Making Users Awesome: https://www.amazon.com/Badass-Making-Awesome-Kathy-Sierra/dp/1491919019

• Gainsight: https://www.gainsight.com/

• Datadog: https://www.datadoghq.com/

• Notion: https://www.notion.so/

• Zapier: https://zapier.com/

Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation: https://www.amazon.com/Computing-Taste-Algorithms-Makers-Recommendation/dp/0226822974

Ancillary Justice: https://www.amazon.com/Ancillary-Justice-Imperial-Radch-Leckie/dp/031624662X/

The Happiness Lab podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-happiness-lab-with-dr-laurie-santos/id1474245040

Gastropod podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/gastropod/id918896288

Everything Everywhere All at Once on Showtime: https://www.sho.com/titles/3493875/everything-everywhere-all-at-once

Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81518991

• Figma: https://www.figma.com/

• Webflow: https://webflow.com/

• Clay: https://www.clay.com/

• MKT1 Newsletter: https://newsletter.mkt1.co/

• Emily Kramer on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-build-a-powerful-marketing-machine-emily-kramer-asana-carta-mkt1/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) How VaccinateCA helped bridge a gap in infrastructure

(05:00) Zoelle’s lessons from her time at VaccinateCA

(18:04) How Zoelle broke into the tech industry

(19:01) Flocking patterns

(24:21) What Block Party does

(24:32) Zoelle’s storytelling

(29:15) Tactics for punching above your weight as a small startup

(31:30) The importance of having a highly detail-oriented person on staff

(33:33) Why Airtable used billboards

(36:43) Growth and marketing strategies at Airtable

(42:29) Using data provided by your customers to build features that help future customers

(50:59) Why customer success and marketing should be one team

(52:56) Things to avoid in marketing

(58:04) The power of templates

(1:00:58) Why Airtable did not prioritize templates for top-of-funnel revenue 

(1:02:04) Why just getting PR to “get PR” is not a good strategy

(1:04:57) The importance of getting customer feedback and investing in customer success

(1:05:51) Simple strategies for getting customer feedback

(1:07:53) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.