email marketing

Talk-Commerce sraa Alrawi

Mastering Email Marketing: Insights with Israa Alrawi

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Talk-Commerce Laura Hanlon

Driving Multi-Channel Ecommerce Success: Optimizing Social, Search, Email with Laura Hanlon

For ecommerce brands looking to grow, implementing a strategic multi-channel approach is essential. Relying solely on one marketing platform – be it email, paid social ads, SEO, or otherwise – leaves significant opportunities on the table. By effectively leveraging multiple integrated channels, businesses can gain a more complete view of the customer journey and use those insights to maximize conversions across touchpoints.

In this episode, we talk to Laura Hanlon, the Company Director at Pink Leopard. We’ll explore key strategies and tactics for optimizing a diversified digital marketing mix to accelerate sales. Topics covered include:

  • Efficiently capturing email addresses
  • Crafting on-site popups that convert
  • Advanced email sequencing techniques
  • Cross-channel retargeting best practices
  • Attribution modeling and data analytics
  • Channel optimization & testing
  • And more…

Let’s dive in and uncover exactly how leading ecommerce marketers are connecting the dots between social, search, email, and additional platforms to profitably scale their online businesses.

Expand Email Lists Through Lead Gen Campaigns

Email marketing remains one of the highest converting digital channels available to ecommerce brands. But to fully capitalize, you need a substantial list of engaged subscribers. Relying solely on visitors stumbling upon opt-ins or organically signing up during checkout is not enough. Savvy marketers are proactively growing their lists by running targeted lead gen initiatives across multiple channels.

Run Dedicated On-Site Pop-Ups

Having a pop-up form for collecting email addresses is a quick win for boosting sign ups. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe by prominently displaying the opt-in on site. Offer an incentive like a discount code or free gift for further motivation. Just be sure to avoid intrusive placement that disrupts the user experience. Limit to first-time visitors only and don’t show again after sign up.

Promote Through Social Ads

Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms provide extensive targeting capabilities to home in on your ideal audience. Create campaigns with the specific goal of generating email sign ups rather than direct sales. Offer an irresistible lead magnet to capture interest. And utilize built-in lead forms for seamless list building right within the ad units.

Search Retargeting for conversions

Running paid search ads can help drive targeted traffic, but retargeting those who don’t initially convert is crucial for maximizing ROI. Remarketing past visitors with new email list promotion messaging helps capture leads that may have previously slipped away.

Influencer Partnerships

Teaming up with influencers who align with your brand can provide access to new, qualified audiences. Negotiate promotions where the influencers specifically promote your email subscriptions to their follower base to grow your list rapidly.

The larger and higher-quality your email list, the greater potential revenue it can drive through effective ongoing nurturing and retention campaigns. Invest time upfront in strategic list growth for long-term payoffs.

Craft On-Site Pop-Ups That Convert

As discussed above, on-site pop-ups present a convenient opportunity to capture visitor email addresses. But the most effective pop-ups balance list building with driving immediate sales. Follow these best practices for maximizing popup success:

Promotional Messaging

The messaging itself is key – it needs to clearly communicate the pop-up goal, whether email sign up, limited-time discount or both. Keep copy crisp and direct.

Placement and Timing

Don’t immediately blast visitors with a pop-up the moment they land on your site. Allow them to browse first before triggering the popup. And when it does appear, avoid disrupting if they are actively navigating pages or have items in their cart.

Mobile Responsiveness

With the majority of ecommerce traffic now on mobile, pop-ups must function seamlessly on all devices. Test across smartphones to ensure usability.

Offer Relevance

Whatever promotional offer or coupon you include should relate directly to products the visitor has been viewing. For example, if they were checking out apparel, the deal should apply to apparel purchases rather than unrelated items.

Limit Frequency

Nothing frustrates visitors more than being bombarded with the same pop-up over and over. Use frequency capping to ensure users only see it once.

Tasteful, strategically-timed pop-ups can boost conversions without annoying customers. Continuously test new variations to refine your approach.

Advanced Email Sequencing Techniques

Sophisticated email sequencing takes your campaigns to the next level. Instead of just bulk blasting promotional messaging, properly structured sequences nurture subscribers through customized journeys personalized to their behaviors. Let’s explore proven sequencing strategies for increased sales:

Welcome Series

The initial welcome series introduces new subscribers to your brand. Share valuable content that establishes your expertise and highlights product benefits. End by offering a coupon or promo to incentivize their first purchase.

Browse Abandonment

If a subscriber browses your site but leaves without buying, trigger a follow-up reminding them of items they showed interest in and offer a discount or free shipping to nudge them towards conversion.

Cart Abandonment

Similarly, if a customer adds items to their cart but doesn’t complete checkout, send an automated follow-up highlighting their would-be purchases. Offer a coupon and gently encourage them to finalize the transaction.

Win-Back Series

For subscribers who haven’t purchased in awhile, win-back messaging attempts to re-engage them. Ask why they haven’t bought recently, promote new arrivals and remind them of your brand.


For subscribers who have bought certain products in the past, send a reminder when it may be time to replenish those items. Include links for easy reordering.


Requesting product reviews from recent purchasers helps build social proof. Follow up post-purchase asking if they’d take a moment to leave a review.

Get creative with sequences tied to specific subscriber actions and preferences to maximize relevancy.

Retarget Across Channels

To fully capitalize on hard-won site traffic, savvy marketers retarget visitors across channels even after they leave. Here are proven cross-channel retargeting strategies:

Paid Social Retargeting

If someone bounces from your site without converting, you can continue engaging them through paid social ads on Facebook/Instagram. Tailor creative and offers to reconnect based on pages visited.

Search Retargeting

Similarly, you can remarket to site visitors via paid search ads on Google. This allows you to promote products they showed interest in across the web.

Email Retargeting

As discussed above, email sequences provide powerful retargeting capabilities. Automated flows can follow up with subscribers after on-site interactions to re-engage them.

SMS Retargeting

For subscribers who have provided their phone number, SMS messages are another channel for post-visit outreach. Send timely alerts on limited-time sales or promotions.

Direct Mail Retargeting

Even direct mail can play a role in cross-channel retargeting through services like Printi. Upload customer lists and retarget past site visitors with customized print catalogs.

Each retargeting touch is another chance to win conversions from promising leads. Continuity across channels improves results.

Attribution Modeling

To accurately gauge channel performance, ecommerce brands need effective attribution modeling in place. This analyzes how each touchpoint contributes to conversions across customer journeys. Here are key considerations when configuring attribution:

Algorithm Selection

Various algorithms like last-click, first-click or multi-touch assign conversion credit differently. Select a model that fits with your goals and reflects true channel impact.

Platform Limitations

Native channel analytics like Facebook Ads Manager often only report on activity within siloed channels. Leverage multi-touch attribution solutions for a unified view.

Data Connectivity

Connecting data across marketing and analytics systems is essential for Attribution. Ensure platforms share cross-channel insights.

Analysis Cadence

Continuously analyze attribution data to identify optimization opportunities. Review channel contributions regularly and tweak strategies accordingly.

Proper attribution provides visibility into how your assorted initiatives are driving sales. These insights empower smart optimization decisions.

Continuously Test and Optimize

To maximize results from a multi-pronged digital strategy, savvy ecommerce brands constantly test and optimize across channels. Here are impactful ways to improve performance:

A/B Test Email Content

Regularly A/B test email content like subject lines, preview text and calls-to-action to determine what resonates most with subscribers. Apply learnings to future campaigns.

Experiment with New Channels

Adding emerging channels like TikTok ads, SMS marketing or direct mail to your mix allows you to evaluate new customer touchpoints.

Dynamic Segmentation

Divide lists into highly-targeted segments based on behaviors and attributes. Send hyper-personalized messaging to boost engagement.

Iteratively Refine Offers

Test different promotional tactics like dollar-off coupons vs. percent-off discounts to see what best incentivizes purchases.

Monitor ROI

Dig into channel revenue attribution and profitability metrics. Double down on high-performing drivers and prune inefficient spend.

Agile marketers avoid stagnation by continuously evaluating and evolving their multi-channel programs. A/B testing and data analysis are invaluable for guiding enhancements.


What are the top marketing channels ecommerce brands should focus on?

For most ecommerce businesses, paid social ads, email marketing, SEO, and paid search tend to provide the highest ROI. But emerging options like SMS and TikTok ads are worth testing as supplemental channels.

How much budget should go towards each channel?

There are no fixed allocation percentages that will work across the board. Analyze attribution data to understand your unique channel contributions, then allocate budget proportionately to the sales impact of each.

When does it make sense to bring on an agency versus handling marketing internally?

In the early growth stages, outsourcing to an expert ecommerce agency can provide greater focus on optimizing channel performance. Later on, larger in-house teams may offer benefits like institutional knowledge and integrated workflows.

What metrics indicate poor multi-channel optimization?

Indicators like decreasing conversion rates across channels, low referral traffic between platforms and poor attribution to certain touchpoints all signal opportunities to improve integration.

In Closing

By coordinating social media advertising, email marketing, SEO and additional digital initiatives, ecommerce brands can gain a holistic view of each customer’s journey. Strategic nurturing and retargeting across channels maximizes engagement at every touchpoint.

Continuously track channel analytics through multi-touch attribution to allocate resources appropriately based on ROI. And keep testing and optimizing campaigns through A/B experiments and customer segmentation for sustained innovation.

With the right integrated multi-channel strategy fueled by hard data, elevating performance across all digital drivers is an attainable reality for forward-thinking ecommerce marketers.

SEO Meta Title: Driving Multi-Channel Ecommerce Success: Strategies for Optimizing Social, Search, Email & More

Meta Description: Grow your ecommerce business by effectively leveraging social ads, email marketing, SEO, PPC and other integrated digital channels.

Key Phrase: ecommerce multi-channel optimization

Excerpt: Implementing a strategic multi-channel approach is essential for ecommerce brands looking to grow. This article explores proven tactics for optimizing social, search, email and more to maximize sales.

Tags: ecommerce, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, paid search, attribution modeling

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Talk-Commerce-Jessica Totillo Coster

Unraveling the Power of Email Marketing: A Conversation with Jessica Totillo Coster

Hello everyone! I’m the host of the podcast “Talk Commerce Today,” and I recently had the pleasure of having a fascinating conversation with Jessica Tosto-Coster, an e-commerce and email marketing strategist for scrappy entrepreneurs. Jessica has over 20 years of experience in retail and e-commerce, and she uses her expertise to help small businesses grow their traffic, sales, and profit. Today, I want to share some of the key insights from our conversation.

Meet Jessica, The E-commerce and Email Marketing Strategist

Jessica is a passionate e-commerce and email marketing strategist who has dedicated her career to helping small businesses thrive. She offers one-on-one coaching, a membership program, and digital courses to equip entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. Jessica’s passion lies in shoes, but she also loves spending time with her family, including her husband and cat.

The Power of Newsletters and Email Marketing

During our conversation, we delved into the topic of newsletters. Despite having a prolific blog and podcast, I’ve always hesitated to start my newsletter. Jessica, however, highlighted the importance of email marketing, stating that it has the highest ROI of any marketing activity and is essential for converting leads into sales.

She advised small businesses to prioritize email marketing over social media, as it generates more revenue. Jessica also addressed the common concern of not knowing what to say in newsletters, ensuring it’s simpler than it seems. The content should focus on solving customers’ problems, inspiring them to buy, or nurturing repeat customers.

The Art of Email Marketing: Providing Value and Segmenting Your Audience

Jessica emphasized the importance of not trying to please everyone with your email marketing. She shared an example of an email marketer in the online education space who shifted their mindset to prioritize providing value to their audience rather than segmenting them based on their engagement frequency.

I shared my personal experience with a company that emailed me even after purchasing. This highlighted the importance of segmentation and targeting the right audience to avoid annoying them. Jessica agreed, adding that sending the same product to someone who has already purchased it is lazy email marketing. She advised considering the product being sold and customers’ consumption habits to create a successful email program.

We also discussed the importance of email deliverability and being intentional about who we email and the content we send. Jessica emphasized the need to practice positive email practices, clean our email lists, and stay engaged to avoid any deliverability issues.

She also highlighted the legal considerations regarding automation like checkout abandonment or browse abandonment emails. It’s crucial to ensure that only those who have opted in to receive marketing emails from us receive these subsequent emails.

The Importance of Guiding Customers to the Right Product

Jessica and I discussed the common tendency for e-commerce businesses to focus too much on perfecting their websites. Jessica advised listeners to prioritize keeping their e-commerce operations running smoothly and consistently reaching their target audience. She emphasized that having a visually perfect website is not as crucial as ensuring that people know about the business and its products.

Closing Thoughts and a Special Offer

In closing, Jessica shamelessly plugged her membership program, “The Lounge,” which offers guidance and optimization opportunities for small e-commerce businesses. She describes it as the best place on the internet to grow traffic, sales, and profit. She also offered a special gift for listeners, which can be accessed through a specific link.

Our conversation with Jessica was enlightening and packed with valuable insights. Whether you’re a small business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, I hope you found this recap as informative and inspiring as our original conversation. Remember, the key to successful email marketing is to provide value, segment your audience, and always stay engaged. Happy emailing!

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3 Reasons Why You Should Care About Email Segmentation

3 Reasons Why You Should Care About Email Segmentation

Email segmentation is not a new marketing technique. However, it has become an essential tool for businesses to target their customers with relevant and timely messages.

Talk-Commerce Jacob Anson

Segmentation is the key to your email success with Jacob Anson

If you want to grow your business and increase your profits, you need to learn how to segment your email lists effectively. In this Podcast, Jason Anson explains the best ways to segment your email lists and provides you with some of the best tools, tricks, and tactics for ensuring that every one of those subscribers is engaged.

Look for the Free Joke towards the end of the podcast. We learn that most people don’t understand Brent’s Jokes.

Check out my article on Segmentation in email marketing here

3 Reasons Why You Should Care About Email Segmentation
3 Reasons Why You Should Care About Email Segmentation


Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce. Today I have Jacob Anson, and Jacob is the co-founder of Agency JR. Jacob, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us what you’re doing day to day and maybe one of your passions in life. 

Jacob: Perfect. First of all, a pleasure to be here. So thank you for having me on. And yeah, quickly introduce myself.

Jacob: I’m the co-founder of Agency JR. We are an email marketing focused agency. I’m one of the two co-founders agency, and within my day to day, I’m mostly focused on the backend, like building out interest infrastructure, the systems, the processes, hiring, like all of the. Not so fun stuff as people say, but I love it.

Jacob: And in terms of some, what are things right now in this phase of my life, it’s mostly boric. I love it. It wouldn’t be that way. But outside of Boric, I guess there’s a bit of fitness and more of work. So fitness work. So that’s about all. 

Brent: Yeah, that’s, that sounds like my life. We won’t get into a lot of fitness right now.

Brent: We want to do it towards the end of the podcast. I could talk about running all day, but we won’t get, Let’s talk about email marketing and I know that that is something that you have a passion for. So tell us a little bit about some of the mistakes people make in email marketing.

Brent: Maybe we’ll start there. 

Jacob: Sure thing. Honestly, the biggest mistake is not doing email marketing. So let’s start there. But email marketing means it’s a broad term. There’s like a lot of verticals, a lot of niches that can use email marketing. But we see that a lot of them don’t use it or there’s not frequent use of it.

Jacob: For example, e-commerce even if you’re a small eCommerce store, you should be doing email marketing with email marketing is and can be very passive. Of course you can also, it can be very active, but you can do the bare minimum, set up some automations and it’s gonna be there and generate revenue while you sleep.

Jacob: And this also applies to any other kind of business out there, but it’s SaaS info product, whatever else that’s selling something. You need email marketing, even if they small scale. So that’s the mistake I see happening. But then to dive would be a bit more specific. So we, we ourselves are usually more eCommerce focused.

Jacob: We also have a couple of info or SaaS businesses as well, but than the eCommerce. Like the other mistake, which is a bit more specific would come down to campaigns. So campaigns, if you’re not too familiar with your marketing, are those one time email plus, for example, that in your Gmail. Those are like, for example, the Black Friday campaigns or like 4th of July sale campaigns and stuff like that.

Jacob: The mistake there usually comes down to the segmentation. So with your eCommerce shop, you have your customer list. Let’s say you have 10,000 customers, you have 10,000 emails. The mistake there is a lot of people think, Hey, I’m gonna get the best performance if we’re gonna take this whole list, these 10,000 people, and blast out an email to all of them.

Jacob: If you think about it in the first thought, it might seem logical because, hey, the more people see the email, the more people are gonna open email. The more sales I’m gonna get, maybe for the first email, yes. But if you continue doing that, they’re just gonna go into the negative spiral in your sales are eventually gonna go down to zero.

Jacob: Why? Because it all comes down to deliverability and list health. So first we’ll have to make sure that people you’re sending out. Actually wanna get your emails. If you’re onlay sending out everybody, a big chunk of the list usually is not engaged. You’re just ruining your del deliverability.

Jacob: And with deliverability, if you’re getting bad open rates, you’re gonna get even worse, open rates later down the road. So it’s important to segment your list. Target mostly to engage parts of the list, segment it and make sure you get, get good open rates as that’s gonna heap you open rates healthy. And then we’re gonna make sure your list stays healthy for a long time and you can extract more revenue and more profit out of it.

Brent: As you’re segmenting, is there specific engagements that you should look at? If a customer is highly engaged, Should you send them more or target it or I know that there’s a way of oversending, so if they’re over engaged, then eventually you’re going to Oversend and tell us some ideas around that.

Jacob: I’m gonna spill the beans of our agency strategy. Basically how we in inhouse do the segmentation. The first thing, it’s very simple. It’s very dumb down, so it’s easy to follow and easy to execute. So the first thing is the engaged customers.

Jacob: You can send them out more emails. So for example, within a month, if we send out 12 campaigns, Around eight to 10 of those campaigns are gonna go out, that Engage list, and that’s completely fine. And the engaged part of the list, it can be built out. We usually have three buckets. Engage 30, Engage 60, engage 90, and Engage 30 basically means someone who has opened or clicked. One of your emails within the last 30 days. Then of course the last 60 days, last 90 days. Those are the engagement tiers. Depending on your rates, which just basically choose one of those the open rates should, ideally for the campaigns be around 30%.

Jacob: If they use Engage 90 and see if it’s around 20% of, we might jump one tier down, test out, Engage 60, and see where at which of those stages it comes out to roughly 30%. And then rest of the campaigns. So for example, we send out nine campaigns to engage segment. The rest of those three campaigns, we can test all different parts the list to try to get them into the engaged parts, the list. So we usually like to do one re-engagement campaign a month. , which is focused specifically on the unengaged part, the list. So we take, all the people don’t open their emails and we send out one email specifically to them once a month just to try and reengage them.

Jacob: And then few emails usually are like smaller segments, a bit more specific segmentation. Might it be like a specific product upsell email or maybe like an announcement or whatever. Something with also like more specific segmentation. So that’s what we usually. Works like a charm. Easy to follow. 

Brent: Yeah, those are some very ironclad rules that they actually make a lot of sense.

Brent: So I would I think if there isn’t any listeners who aren’t paying attention, that would be one part that I certainly would implore people to pay attention to. How about the over engagement? Is there a point in which you can over engage? 

Jacob: Over engaging. Yeah, so like over engaging, like at least how I understand is like burning out the list.

Jacob: So if you have like 10,000 customers, let’s say half of them are like engaged customers opening up your emails, obviously they don’t wanna be over spammed and they don’t wanna receive two emails a day from you. Like the cadence of your campaigns also. Usually to make sure you, you’re not over spamming and over accentuating your list.

Jacob: We usually don’t go over 15 emails a month on regular months. Obviously all of that gets thrown out of indoor during q4. Then you can do what you want in terms of email frequency. But for like regular months, summer spring and so on, I would not go over 15 emails a month and that’s just gonna ensure you’re not over engaging or burning out your list essentially. 

Brent: Yeah. So I know you mentioned q4, so you’re talk a little bit about specific strategies for Q4 compared to the rest of the year. 

Jacob: Yeah. Within the eCommerce, so obviously Q4 is the most important part of the year. Hands down, that’s where all of the revenue profit was made.

Jacob: So within US agency and basically I think every other eCommerce through our agency, they take it very seriously. Like some of the key differences between Q4 and regular months, always these email frequency. If for example, during July, June, we’re sending out maybe 12 to 15 emails a month.

Jacob: During November, December, we’re sending up to 30 emails a month. So it comes down average one email a day. So that’s first thing. And the second thing is how you build out your sales structure. So here maybe also you can spill the beans of our agency tactics and strategies. So for Q4, what we usually like to do, we build out a specific sales cycle, sales calendar, if I can name it that way, and essentially how it’s structured is that we go through certain phases. The first phase, which you usually start around October, started October, is a re-engagement phase which usually lasts about two weeks and that during these two weeks, it is basically try to re-engage as much of the unengaged customers as we can to build up the engaged part of the list, which is gonna get spammed too during the next couple of weeks. Then the next phase is the warmup phase. So once we have reengage as many customers as we can, we really wanna nurture the engaged part, the list, build it up, warm it up. And we usually do that through value campaigns. We do that through educational campaigns.

Jacob: We do that through a very specific warmup campaign. Which is essentially focused on getting the customers respond to the email. So it maybe could be an email, like a text based email, Hey, respond to this customer. But yes, if you wanna stay in the loop for Black Friday emails and what this does, which is really cool if Gmail sees that somebody replies to you, they automatically

Jacob: flag or white list your domain. So like your, all your future emails are gonna go in the primary tab. So it’s like a small tactic to ensure your deliverability is very good for those customers. And obviously also value campaigns. Obviously you don’t wanna always sell to your customers. Give them some values, some tips so they know not just selling them.

Jacob: Build a relationship with them. And once we have warmed up the customer at the start of November, we usually go into a buildup phase, a hype phase where we try to get some early bird list signs for like early Black Friday deals and stuff like that. Really hype up the audience for Black Friday.

Jacob: Let them maybe tease some deals, maybe let them know about the Black Friday timeline and stuff like that. Really get them hyped up for the upcoming sales. And then obviously once the Black Friday week starts, then we usually have two to three email sends a. Like a main email resend up the same email, three non openers, and like a different email depending on how the offers are structured for the client.

Brent: I want to jump back to what you’re saying about sending a text to get him to respond to the email. Are you saying you’d send him an SMS text to do that? Or How do you mean? Can you just explain that a little bit? 

Jacob: Yeah, sure. Maybe I explained, maybe use the wrong word.

Jacob: So it’s an email, so it’s a text based email. So basically, actually this is a good talking point. So text, like in this case I’ll explain maybe this specifically and i’s talk about text based emails. I think that’s interesting as well. So like for the email, hold the warmup email, it is a text based email, so like an email you would send to your brand.

Jacob: It doesn’t contain any graphics. None of that. Basically usually sent out from a brand representative. It mentions something like that. Hey John we see within our list, et cetera, et cetera. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have our Black Friday sale and we’ll really think you’re gonna enjoy the discounts, the offers, whatever.

Jacob: If you wanna stay in the loop and make sure you receive your emails or show you how excited you are for the deals, respond to this email. But for example, yes. And that’s basically just make sure the customer respond to that email. It’s something, it doesn’t matter, but what they respond, the most important thing is that they respond with something as that is gonna white list the domain and it’s gonna ensure that the future emails for them.

Jacob: Much, much more likely to land in the primary folder, which then is obviously gonna boost up the open range. 

Brent: Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. does it help to do social as well, to drive people to, Is there a way to use social to p get people to respond to emails? , 

Jacob: of course. This of course depends like how used is like social media for the specific brand.

Jacob: Some brands, they’re not that heavy in social media. For those, obviously, it doesn’t make sense to push people there if they’re not gonna do anything with. Those extra follows. But if the brand has like a good social media strategy, then of course we can push people from emails to sign up on social media to stay in the loop with what’s happening there.

Jacob: And obviously if the social media, females that takes care of the Black Friday and everything is synergized, then they’re just gonna be much more likely to stay in the loop because we are gonna remind them through emails. The social media team’s gonna remind. Through social media. So they’re constantly informed about what’s gonna be happening for that specific brand.

Jacob: So if the brand has good social media, then yes, of course. Good. 

Brent: All right. So tell, talk a little bit about some trends that there is in retention for marketing, for email, things like that. 

Jacob: Yeah, sure. Trend, So biggest strength I would honestly still see is SMS marketing. I think maybe it seems maybe the SMS marketing has gone by.

Jacob: SMS marketing was really hot a couple of months ago, may be a year ago, but that, that still is one of the biggest trends I see and let a lot of brands have not properly adapted to. There’s still a lot of brands lacking proper SMS marketing or SMS marketing at all, which I think is a very huge thing.

Jacob: But with SMS marketing, it doesn’t really matter how big or small you are, you can still set up like some initial things that are there that. Drive you extra revenue, extra profit. You don’t really have to worry about it that much. And then at a certain point, you can build out a team, hire an agency to do all of the active work there as well.

Jacob: But some of the other trends we see within the marketing world from our perspective is some more integrated things within, for example, marketing and Facebook ads. Like for example, some funnel build outs and basically just more synergistic marketing strategy. overall because for the last couple of years, like there’s email marketing, there’s Facebook ads, there’s marketing, but there was not a lot of connection between all of those channels together.

Jacob: Maybe even maybe more for, so for huge brands. For bigger brands. But right now I see a lot like, also like medium science brands to really have more synergistic marking strategies. Everything works together much more oiled .

Brent: Is there a difference between open rates on devices? I’ve heard that post iOS 14, that sometimes you may not be able to measure open rates on emails and that might skew some of your KPIs. 

Jacob: , Yeah. So with this, like I have slight slightly the front take on this, like obviously the tracking it is slightly off.

Jacob: So like each new change and adaptation in terms of iOS or like platform is, it’s gonna skew the data a bit. So like it’s gonna skew what we see that the effect of gonna see marketing is still gonna stay the same. If you don’t see maybe like the 10% less people, the emails, that’s what they see on our end.

Jacob: But then in the end, like how many people open up the emails is still gonna be the same amount. But of course if it can skew the data, it can also play around with the conversion data conversion tracking. Because sometimes, for example, some of the email softwares, they also use the open metric as the as one of the, within the conversion windows.

Jacob: So for example, if the open is falsely tracked, it can either not count a certain conversion to. For the email also count an extra conversion for email, if that makes sense. But with this, we have not seen a huge issue, like we mainly use Kavio. I think Klavio has done a smart thing to battle this. Not too technical about this, but I think one thing that they did, which is really smart, is that they noticed how Apple works.

Jacob: So here, nobody quote me on this, but if I understood correctly, So basically how it works when you send out an email to an iOS device or an email with an iOS privacy email once to send out email, there’s gonna be an auto open like within one second. Once you send out the email and Kavio just disregards that and they usually look for the second open.

Jacob: And the second open usually comes for the from the real person, or it maybe comes after five seconds that the, not immediately after the emails sent. So there are things that the. Platforms are doing also to battle this. So I’m not too worried about this, but of course it can play around and with the date and skew a couple of things.

Brent: Yeah, it’s interesting. I think that merchants aren’t gonna worry. Some bigger merchants should worry about this, but. It’s, the whole privacy thing has been such an interesting journey in the last year especially. Just talking about privacy from the US compared to Europe. Europe is much more restrictive on sending emails.

Brent: US has the same rules, but maybe not as well followed. Talk about the best way to grow your list, that’s legal.

Jacob: Good question. That’s legal . Yeah. So obviously Europe, gdpr like in terms of like list growth, generally the same tactics strategies are gonna apply both US and Europe. Within Europe, if you’re gonna be completely legal.

Jacob: Is it? Gonna be a bit less effective. But the best growth strategy for list is actually, is gonna be just driving more sales to your store. Focus on your customer acquisitions you like, your paid ads, Facebook ads, Google ads, whatever. Because most of your list, it’s still gonna come through the purchasers.

Jacob: So people that go to the checkout, if they purchase or don’t purchase, The big, biggest bulk of your list and the highest quality bulk, your list is gonna come directly through that. So that should always be your main focus email. Just basically thanks those customers and turns them into repeat purchases.

Jacob: But if you wanna focus on growing your list specifically, or implement different kind of funnels, which are email first, conversion second obviously popups are. , so have popups on your side as well but popups to give you some tips, some value, a big mistake. I see a lot of agencies, a lot of brands, , Maybe it’s not a mistake.

Jacob: Sometimes it can also be valuable, but most of the case, it’s not really wanted. It’s having popups at very short triggers at very short delays. So if there’s a brand within three seconds, if you’re landing on a brand page, you see a popup, it’s not a good thing for a couple of reasons.

Jacob: First of all, nobody can really make a purchasing decision in three seconds. So if you are three seconds, then you see a popup for 10%. What it’s gonna do, first of all, is gonna scare the customer base, gonna have a negative effect on your conversion rate. And second of all, for the customers that do end up buying, you’re just gonna give away 10% of your margin.

Jacob: Because nobody can really decide in three seconds, Hey, I’m gonna buy this product or not gonna buy this product. So that’s not the good thing. So what we usually recommend is having popups at longer delay. and that’s just gonna mostly focus on driving X revenue. Usually go around like 30 to 55 seconds as that’s what usually sees the average time spent on site.

Jacob: And that is maybe gonna be more cater towards undecided buyer. So maybe they’re still thinking about the product and hey, boom, there’s a 10% off discount and that just gets them over the edge. So that’s a. Better strategy there. And then some other things you can just run direct lead gen campaigns. So for example, for q4, what we are gonna be doing is running leg gen campaigns to, for the early bird list, we’re gonna have a landing page.

Jacob: We’re gonna have our clients basically run, pay that so their warm audience, that planning page, generate a bigger lead list so we can hype it up and push. More revenue through the q4 sales. So good. 

Brent: Yeah. I have an episode that is called Learn to Love Your Popup. So I would encourage listeners to go back and I can’t remember the guest right now, but it is learn to love the popup.

Brent: And I have to admit on my own Talk Commerce website, I need to get a popup rolling on there. Jacob, I’m gonna try something new with you today. Before we close out the podcast. Generally if you, if anybody listens to this they know that before every podcast, I give you a free joke.

Brent: So I wanna a free joke. There’s no obligation. You don’t have to laugh. In fact, I have a laugh track behind. But today I would like to try reading you the free joke and just getting your opinion on it. And I guess the reasoning is, should I charge for it or not? So let’s try it really quick. Ready?

Brent: Three men are on a boat. They have four cigarettes, but nothing to light them. So they throw a cigarette overboard and the whole boat becomes a cigarette lighter.

Jacob: I don’t think I get it right, , so 

Brent: I’ll read it. I’ll read it one more time. It might not think about what we call a cigarette lighter in the US It’s called a cigarette lighter to light cigarettes. I’ll read it one more time. 

Brent: Three men are on a boat, okay? They have four cigarettes, but nothing to light them with, so they throw a cigarette overboard and the whole boat becomes a cigarette lighter.

Jacob: Oh, gotcha. Okay. ? Yeah now I got it. Yes. It’s a smart board play, like the English jokes. They’re sometimes a bit, It’s okay. 

Brent: I completely, I side swiped you with this, so I apologize, but the opinion is should I continue to offer them for free or do you think I should charge for that type of joke?

Jacob: For charge for that type of joke? Good question. I don’t know. For me, It was hard to get. So maybe I’m too dumb. I would not, definitely not wanna pay for that kind of joke. So for now, maybe leave them for free and then later on maybe you can start charging them for them as well 

Brent: and charging.

Brent: That’s the joke. And I apologize, I have to explain all my jokes. In fact I spend a lot of time in Latin America and nobody gets my humor. So you’re not new. It’s completely normal.

Jacob: Okay, so charging is also part of the joke. Okay. I then I’m definitly out. No. Perfectly. Okay. 

Brent: I’m out the league. This is just the way, this is the way for me. I apologize. I appreciate you being a good sport on the joke. No worries. It was fun. No worries. Jacob, as we close out, I give everybody an opportunity to do a a shameless plug about anything you’d like to.

Brent: and a plug in English is a promotion about something you’d like to promote. And so if you’d like to promote, if you like to promote that jokes, I’m all for it. But you are welcome to promote anything you like to. 

Jacob: All right. Thank you for the opportunity. So yeah, in terms of the shameless, once plug, I think I’ll go with the agency.

Jacob: If you need email mar help with email marketing, whether you’re an e-com SaaS info you can check out Agency JR. So it’s agency jacob You can check out their case studies what we’ve done and talk with us to see if we can help. And also for agency owners we’re always open for new partnerships.

Jacob: So whether we have an e-com, SaaS or info focused agency you can also reach out through us, through Agency JR and see if a partnership makes sense and. Always have good, and I’ll make sure 

Brent: I get the links from the show notes and they’ll be able to get in touch with you through that as well.

Brent: So Jacob Anson, the co-founder of Agency JR. Thank you so much for being here today. 

Jacob: Thank you for having me. It’s been a blast. Thank you.

Talk-Commerce Kyle Stout

Learn to Love the Popup with Kyle Stout

Episode Summary

If you can do one thing to speed up the growth of your email list, “learn to love the popup.” Kyle Stout answers some of the most crucial questions regarding your email marketing strategy, such as knowing if you’re sending too many or not enough emails and what to do if you’re still sending every email to your entire list. He also helps us understand some of the common pitfalls merchants fall into with email marketing and how to avoid them altogether.


Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce today I have Kyle Stout. Kyle is the founder of Elevate and Scale, a email marketing agency. Kyle, go ahead, and introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about what you do day to day and maybe one of your passions in life. 

Kyle: Thanks for having me.

Kyle: Day to day is pretty much working with eCommerce businesses, with their email marketing helping them increase sales in their sales process drive up customer lifetime value and also just long term keeping a healthy email list. So people stick around and wanna buy. And then yeah, outside of work, I I’m really big into fitness.

Kyle: I love to get active and hang out with family and friends and get outside. 

Brent: So let’s just dive right into email marketing is email marketing still relevant today? 

Kyle: Yeah. So it’s funny cuz you always hear every few years or so the email marketing is dead thing comes about, but I feel like it’s only marketers that say that as a joke and it never really is something that’s ever.

Kyle: Something that actual users or business owners are saying, but email marketing to me, why it’s always been relevant is because it’s a platform where you have direct access to your customers and you own that platform. And over time, as we’ve seen attention shift from different social media platforms and things go from maybe where we were a lot heavier and blogging in the past, and then it shifted to social media.

Kyle: Email marketing was there was tried and true all along. And right now, especially with paid media costs all over the place and a lot of uncertainty in the market. I really think that over the next year or two, you’re gonna see people revisiting their email marketing strategy because a lot of businesses have I don’t wanna say totally neglected it, but maybe just, didn’t realize that they weren’t doing as much with it as they could.

Brent: And do you think that email is what we’ve discussed? That it’s still important, but so from a strategy standpoint, how much of that should be put back into email and how much should be put onto social and other channels that are out there? 

Kyle: Really, I think ideally you have both. I think of it as email marketing serves as a great function to help you get a better ROI from your top of funnel marketing.

Kyle: So you still wanna have your social media and doing anything you can to bring in new leads, bring in new customers and email marketing, cuz there’s two ways you can look at it. Part of it is just having some automated systems in place to maybe to help optimize your sales process. So help you get more revenue from the traffic that you’re already getting to your site.

Kyle: But then once you’ve got this growing email list, you’ve got this database of people that you can nurture and continue to get repeat sales over time. I really look at it as, partially something to help you get a better ROI from your top of Mar top of funnel marketing today, but also just helps you get better lifetime customer value in the long term.

Brent: Do you think one of the big mistakes that merchants often make is marketing the same email to every single client on their list. 

Kyle: Definitely it’s one of the biggest mistakes I see is that, and again, a lot of times people just don’t know any better. Like they’re just going off of that worked in the past and it just wasn’t email marketing and all marketing, just wasn’t quite as nuanced in the past, especially digital marketing.

Kyle: But yeah you really wanna personalize the content. So you want to be segmenting your list and sending different messages to different people. That’s most likely to resonate with them. 

Brent: From a personalization standpoint. Is there any particular strategy that you. Talk to clients about, and I just I’ll frame that in the sense of, at some point it gets a little creepy when it’s too personal.

Brent: Is there a balance between the two? 

Kyle: So yeah, there’s a lot of new technology where they’re trying to, totally personalize the email and. Talk to you, Brent, specifically about things that I can imagine where it’s gonna get really creepy, like what you’re saying, but really what I’m talking about more is at a higher level, just being able to segment people on your list and there’s different.

Kyle: Ways that you can segment. So you can segment people on different profiles based on if they’re a lead that’s never purchased before. And then you have customers who have purchased one time and then you maybe have repeat customers and then maybe you have VIP customers, and those are different groups that you could segment and then send a different type of message.

Kyle: Because the VIP customer, you’re gonna talk to them very differently. You don’t really need to educate them on your product anymore. They’re like the close friend they’re in on the joke they’re in, on all the inside jokes, they know what’s going on. And you’re also gonna wanna show them more love for being a VIP, whereas a lead, they might be almost a stranger and they might need to be reminded of some of the value propositions and the brand story and all that other stuff

Kyle: that they’re just not maybe aware of. and then there are other ways you can segment so you can segment based another really great way to segment would be, especially for e-commerce businesses would be based on engagement. So breaking down groups of people you can have, you can create segments for example, like a 30 day engaged group, meaning that everyone in that group have engaged with your emails or your website,

Kyle: however you decide to define it in the last 30 days. And you can expand that out to 60 days, 90 days and so on. And every business will be a little different, but after you send emails to these different groups, you’ll get a high level overview of not only how engaged they are, but how they respond to different offers.

Kyle: And you’ll find that the people who are most engaged, they wanna get more emails from you. So you can actually email them more often, or you can send them a more diverse content. Whereas the people who are less engaged, it might not be that they don’t like your brand or don’t like your products.

Kyle: It could just be that they only wanna know whenever there’s a really big sale going on or a new product coming out or something like that. So you might email them less frequently. 

Brent: Maybe walk us through how they test that engagement. Do you look at open rates, click through rates, things like that for the engagement.

Brent: And then if they seem like they’re engaged I know it still goes back to a tipping point where, Hey, you send ’em something every day, pretty soon they’re gonna unsubscribe. And I know there’s a magic amount of time for every engaged customer, as opposed to somebody that’s just wanting to learn.

Kyle: Yeah. So the way I do it is you have your key metrics you wanna track. So open rate, click rate conversion rates, and you can first, let’s just say for an example, send an email out to a 30 day engage group. Actually, one way, if you just wanted to test this, if you just wanted to say over the next week, do a quick test and get a baseline for all of this.

Kyle: You could send that one email out to your 30 day. Engage. Look at the metrics and then that’s, there’s a baseline for you. And then send the same email out to the 60 day engaged group and exclude the 30 day engaged folks, because you don’t want to that to throw off the data and look at the metrics there

Kyle: and then you want to have a certain threshold, like you said, of where you don’t want to go below that. The thing about open rates is they are a little inflated right now because of iOS. But traditionally it’s all the rule of thumb has always been, you don’t wanna go below 20%.

Kyle: If you send out to that 60 day or 90 day engage group, and you see the open rate fall below 20%, then you know, okay, that’s the threshold. I need to pull back and focus more on these groups up to that point. And then maybe only include those people in the big, like the black Friday type of promotion and, but so open rate’s one thing, but you really also wanna look at click rate.

Kyle: And this is gonna vary a lot from brand to brand. There’s industry benchmarks, but honestly it’s all over the place. So you really wanna look at just historical data for your company and compare that. Sending that first test to the 30 day engage group, and you might find that even the click, rate’s not where you want it to be with that group.

Kyle: But that’s a better determinant of engagement right now than open rates, because a lot of times open rates are higher. They’re showing as falsely higher than they really are. And clicks are also not only is it easier to get someone to open. It’s harder to get people to click and we’re not getting those false readings on the clicks right now

Kyle: like we are with opens. So I would wa I would pay a little bit more attention to that as you’re doing that whole test. 

Brent: When you include engagement, do you include social media? Just website visits, if you’re tracking holistically across and you know that this user’s, they’re looked at Instagram, they’ve visited your website but they haven’t opened an email.

Brent: All that goes into the fi the factor of some kind of engage. 

Kyle: Yeah, so you can go, you can get into social media and all that. In general, I stick with email and website engagement. So looking at, if they’ve either gone to the website or you can even create these different segments that are targeting product interest.

Kyle: So whenever someone visits a product page in the last timeframe, or they’ve added it to cart in that time, Then they are in the engaged group, whether it’s based on pure engagement across the board or interest in that particular product 

Brent: You mentioned iOS a few times and there’s the post iOS 14.

Brent: That is blocking a lot of of information that we can see through some platforms. Is, has it changed the landscape on how you measure engagement? 

Kyle: It really is one of those things that’s been blown outta proportion. We were all like bracing ourselves for it. And, and preparing by looking at our engagement groups.

Kyle: And when I say that, the segments that we create and someone’s email account and doing some reporting on, okay, it’s going live now and what’s gonna happen but honestly, the way it’s played out. It’s inflated the open rates. And so we just don’t really pat ourselves on the back as much as we used to about open rates and

Kyle: that’s been the biggest change, I have not seen a significant change in impacting these engagement groups to where or these engagement segments, I should say to where, we’re getting this negative feedback. Like people shouldn’t have been included in there or the conversions.

Kyle: And actual purchases don’t seem to line up anymore with the clicks and everything else with the email. It’s really just an inflation of open rates has been the main thing. 

Brent: Yeah. Maybe explain to our listeners why open rates would go up? 

Kyle: Because it’s showing that the iOS devices that receive the emails it’s showing them as having opened the email, regardless of whether or not they didn’t.

Kyle: So this is gonna be, this is going to come down to your list and lists that have way more iOS users on their list. They’re gonna have more skewed data and if you want to get. Let’s just say, you feel man, this is really clouding my data and I don’t like this. I just want more clarity.

Kyle: What you can do is similar to what I was mentioning earlier, where maybe you run a test where you create some different segments. You can create segments to exclude iOS devices, and then send an email. To you can go pretty wide or, whatever you would normally do, but take out those iOS people and then see what the numbers are.

Kyle: And. . 

Brent: Yeah. And it sounds like the amount of segments isn’t like too many segments isn’t necessarily bad until you get to a segment of one user . 

Kyle: Yeah, exactly and also, so that’s really the thing, the bigger your list is the more room you have to do to create more segments, which gives you more room to send more emails without everyone getting every email. And that gives you the potential to scale up the revenue you get from your email marketing. But like you said, if you try to take it too far, too early, you’ve got groups of, 5, 10, 20 people. It’s probably not worth all the effort. 

Brent: As a new business, you mentioned earlier growing your list a lot of people look at buying a list from somebody and I think that’s not the way to do it and probably illegal in a lot of countries, but, and if you send them email, I should say what do your recommendations around growing that list and making sure that it continues to grow and doesn’t decrease.

Kyle: Okay. Yeah. So regarding buying lists and I’ve never personally done it, I’ve never seen it work. I’ve known many business owners who have shared that they’ve done that, or, and I’ve seen the analytics and I can tell you, I’ve never seen it be a really worthwhile endeavor. And especially if you consider all the risk, but the damage it could do to your domain and all of that potential legal risks.

Kyle: I wouldn’t even mess with. So it’s gonna come down to the type of business. So for e-commerce businesses, oftentimes you’re not going to do the typical lead magnet type of approach, like a service business would. But you definitely can. So the first thing is you wanna look at your website and you need to have some sort of offer to get people in.

Kyle: So I know a lot of business owners hate popups. They just personally hate them. They hate going to a website and seeing a popup, the first thing they land on the site. And. Honestly, I used to hate popups too, but knowing what that popup can do for your business, you will learn to love them.

Kyle: You can create popups in a way that aren’t so intrusive. You don’t have to have the one that pops up as soon as they hit the page. You also don’t have to have it take up the entire page and you can make it very easy for people to leave to exit out of that popup. So in general, I would recommend at least having an exit intent popup.

Kyle: On your website, that fires, when people are leaving and give them some sort of offer to get into your email list for eCommerce it’s typical, but the thing is it works is usually you will see a small discount, a coupon code that they have to sign up for a 10 to 15% discount.

Kyle: The bigger the discount, the more opt-ins you’re gonna get. But ultimately it doesn’t necessarily mean those would be the best customers long term. So I don’t think it’s necessarily the best idea to go really aggressive and go 20, 30, 40% 10, 15% works. It could also just be free content.

Kyle: It could be a free guide. Or it could be, a free trial. So there’s different ways you can do it. Doesn’t always have to be a discount. It could be a value add where they get something extra for free with their purchase, and that’s gonna have high purchase intent cuz someone who’s signing up for that is already thinking well I’m planning on making a purchase.

Kyle: So I want that. I want that free bonus. So you definitely gotta have something. Your website itself, then when it comes to getting people to your site to sign up, that’s where it varies. From what I’ve seen in the last, six months of what’s working with paid media. So a lot of times I’ll be working with the brand and I’m working side by side with whoever’s running their paid media, and there’s always this temptation to have the whole ad campaign be based around, signing up for something free on the list.

Kyle: And I can say that the majority of the time, those freebie seekers. They don’t purchase and they don’t stick around and they really drive down the engagement of your list. I’ve found what’s better, is to go after customers and send ’em to your site and have your site optimized to where they’re going to see these signups.

Kyle: So see those popups or whatever you have in place and get. Actual interested customers to sign up for the offer thing you don’t wanna have your first impression going out to cold traffic or going out to strangers, be some freebie thing. You really want them to be interested in the actual products or services that you sell.

Kyle: And when they get to your site, they just find out that, oh, it’s like a surprise. They happen to get this extra thing that incentivizes them to sign up.

Brent: So I’m gonna highlight two things. So learn to love popups. I like that one, but the freebie seekers, I think, is something I’ve heard over and over again where people think that getting your list bigger is gonna be better no matter how you get that name.

Brent: And I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have that user, but having that pop up or giving him some value is probably more well, is more important than just the free thing they’re gonna get. So just talking about mistakes and I can think of one mistake that’s very annoying that I dislike is when you’re signed into a site and you get that exit intent pop up, or you bought something from them clearly, you’re their customer. 

Brent: Worst case is you’ve signed in and you get a popup to sign up for their email, super annoying. But even if they know your cookie and theoretically cookies are still around, we should block that popup. If you know that person, especially if they’re on the list. 

Kyle: Yeah, and that’s a really easy fix.

Kyle: In your software. We like to use Klavio most of the time with eCommerce businesses specifically. It’s just a box. You check whenever you’re building out your form, there’s an option to exclude current or existing Klavio contact. So anyone who’s already signed up, they won’t see.

Kyle: And it’s actually an opportunity to present them with something new. So maybe it doesn’t have to be a popup now for an exist. Contact but maybe offer something up to get their birthday so you can surprise them on their birthday later, or, just get more information about them to enrich that customer experience.

Kyle: So there are times when you would want to target the people that are already signed up specifically, but, you wanna do it in a way that adds some value to them? You’re no longer just trying to get their contact info anymore. So in general I like to just leave them alone for the most part. 

Brent: So may, maybe you could go over a few more mistakes that companies typically make for email.

Kyle: So first one the biggest one is what you were saying earlier. People just emailing the entire list instead of, trying to. segment and somewhat personalize the content towards people. Another thing is email frequency, and this goes both ways. Cuz a lot of times you’ll have smaller businesses emailing too frequently because everyone wants to grow.

Kyle: So they want to grow faster. Email is a great channel for driving revenue and they just get a little I think in my opinion, they get a little too excited too quickly. They get a taste of the email of, what it’s like to send an email. And all of a sudden you see a bunch of users on your analytics dashboard, on your site, and then the sales come in and you burn out your list way too quickly by doing that.

Kyle: You haven’t even let this list grow and mature and let these people stick around with you for a while. Then on the other. You’ll have big businesses that have a huge list. And let’s just say they’re only getting five, 10% of their total revenue from email marketing. a good gauge of if your email marketing is, doing a good job, at least when it comes to the situations where people can click the email and buy the product, they don’t have to hop on a sales call or any of that would be if you’re generating 30% of your revenue from email marketing, you’re doing a good job with your email marketing.

Kyle: And if you’re below that, then there’s probably either some room for improvement with what you’re doing, or there’s also potential that maybe you’re just not emailing enough depending on the situation. So yeah, it, that the frequency thing goes both ways. And then another big mistake. These are like the greatest hits right here would be only emailing your list when you have a sale or a promotion.

Kyle: And again, it goes back to sometimes people just get, they see what that does. They see that spike in revenue and they don’t like to send an email out that doesn’t get a massive spike in revenue. and I definitely encourage you for the major holidays. Yeah. If you wanna run a promo every major holiday, go for it.

Kyle: If you get into a sticky situation and you need a quick infusion of cash, okay. This is a channel you have available to do that. And if you’ve been taking care of your list, then it’s okay to do that. Whenever you need to, but. But really you want to be showing up. You wanna have different reasons to show up and educate people, inspire people, entertain them, give them other content.

Kyle: And the big thing is try to get them to buy without having to discount, give them reasons to be excited about your product, to care about what your product does, the problems that it solves for them without having to give them a discount just solely, because it’s a good offer. 

Brent: Yeah. I remember interviewing the founder of Gigz.

Brent: They’re a gifting service and instead of giving them a discount, they would give something to somebody based on a purchase. And they always equated discounts with with the decreasing revenue. And if you do too much of it, obviously you get people dropping off. Is there a point in which you send too many emails and that becomes counterproductive?

Kyle: That’s typically what I have seen over the long term. And it’s deceptive because at first you can get away with it for a while, because a lot of times let’s just say, let’s just say, you’ve been running your business for several years. Things are going well. Maybe you switch to a different team or person who’s managing the email marketing and they want to drive up those sales numbers because it makes them look good.

Kyle: And maybe they honestly just have pure intentions and they think it’s what’s best for your business, for whatever reason. And the people on your list, aren’t used to getting these deals all the time. So they might actually take advantage of two to three back to back sales. They might just reach into their wallet several times in a row.

Kyle: And then you would think as the business owner, oh man, every time we do a sale they keep buying, they must love it, but it never lasts. It really never lasts. And then by the time people notice the decline because every email you send out, you’re gonna get some unsubscribes. If you have a big list, you’re, there’s always gonna be, there’s a million of reasons why someone would unsubscribe.

Kyle: It’s just a normal part of email marketing. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong or they hate you. But that you keep emailing more and more. And you keep doing these big promotions more and more. You’re going to get more of that. And eventually if you’re not paying attention, you’re losing more people than are coming in.

Kyle: So that’s one problem. But then the people who are sticking around now, they’ve gotten trained to where I they’re only gonna buy. When you offer a discount. So now the random impulse purchases those go away. And now they know, they always know there’s another sale right around the corner. So why would they, in fact, I’ve found myself as a customer doing that with companies where I genuinely do like their products, but I always get this.

Kyle: It seems every time I would make a purchase, they would have a sale a few days. So I swear it was almost like, I always, I wondered if it was planned or something, and I’d have this regret. I’m like, if I waited three days, I could have saved a lot of money and I got to where I’m like, oh, I only buy whenever they have a sale now.

Kyle: Cuz they have ’em frequently enough. So why not? 

Brent: Yeah, I can remember buying a pair of Cole Haan, and having that exact same experience where they’re constantly bombarding you with emails and then suddenly you buy something and then you get another email. That’s 5% bigger discount or something. It was anyways, I did unsubscribe from Cole Haan eventually, cuz it was so annoying when I got that.

Brent: And I guess that just illustrates the point that there is never. Nobody has it down. And Cole Haan is a pretty big company. And you’d think maybe it was just my own experience, but big companies make these mistakes and they’re still making these mistakes. So it’s always good to be looking at all those numbers.

Brent: What are some of the key metrics that, that a marketer should look at to ensure that they’re not making some of those mistake? Is there leading indicators that say, oh, I’ve sent five emails this week. Maybe that’s too many. 

Kyle: Yeah. So there are, and actually I want to say something really quickly about what you just shared, because this is a really common misconception I think is that when people look at these big brands, you assume that this it’s this big successful brand.

Kyle: I know they’re spending a ton of money on their marketing. I know they can hire the best consultants. They can get the best information they’ve so they must know what they’re doing. And. I see them just making terrible mistakes all the time. My theory is that it’s because when they get to a certain level where they can bring in so many people, they can just, they just have the money to buy so much traffic buy.

Kyle: Acquire so many new people onto their list that they can burn through it. They can afford to burn through a lot of people. I don’t know what’s going on with the overall picture with their marketing, but I would definitely say if you, if your gut is telling you I don’t know, but this big brand is doing it.

Kyle: Definitely question it because what works for them will not usually work for most small businesses. But so looking at your metrics, of course you want to month to month, you should be looking at your averages, open rates, click rates, conversion rates, and also there’s also certain things.

Kyle: So for example, with an e-commerce business, you can have what’s called a welcome series or a welcome series for non buyers. Which is the typical automated email sequence that someone will go into when they first opt in through that popup. That one is very sensitive to the traffic. That’s hitting your website.

Kyle: So that’s one way to look at I know whenever we see the sales. And just actually overall engagement, not just sales deviate from the norm, pretty aggressively, either negative or positive that company has made some changes with their paid media. And sure enough, I’ll have case we’ll have a call and be like, okay, we’re seeing some decreases what’s going on.

Kyle: I I wanna get more context to make sure it’s not just what’s happening with the emails. That happens more often than not it’s that entry level series is a good way to gauge the quality of traffic that’s coming in. So that’s one thing to look at. but you can also run engagement reports on those different segments that I talked about.

Kyle: So having those key segments that you’re gonna be emailing most frequently in Klavio, and in the other tools, you can run an engagement report where you can see the open rates, click rates, and average order value of that particular segment. And you can see. People are starting to disengage more. And if you’re looking at a highly engaged group, like a 30 day engaged segment and you start to see people disengaging in that one, that’s a really bad sign.

Kyle: Okay. Something is definitely wrong. We’re hammering this list or this particular segment way too hard because just by its very nature of how that segment is created, everyone in there should. engaged. And then another thing to look at something that people might have to Google is you can look at the unique reach.

Kyle: So the unique opens the unique clicks on your email list. So that would be the total unique people, cuz it’s one thing to. A lot of times you’ll have the same people who continue to open and click all your emails. You just have a lot of people who are engaged, but you’re not seeing the big picture of everyone on your list.

Kyle: So when you look at the uniques, whenever you measure that, so that’s just a key there. Whenever you’re, if you’re Googling this or you’re talking with your email service provider, then you can see how many unique people you’re reaching on your list. Cuz ideally you wanna be reaching more people month to month.

Kyle: So if your list is growing or even if it’s staying the same. You want to be engaging more total people, total unique people. So I like to measure unique opens and unique clicks as a way to know, okay. You know what? Even if sales were a little down this month, we’re getting more engagement from more people and that’s usually a sign of better, long term success.

Kyle: Whenever you see those uniques going down, that’s something where, okay, if we’re reaching fewer unique people, then the odds are that the sales will come down. Let’s just say sales are, steady. Those sales will come down because we’re just reaching fewer people. And we can’t always rely on the same people to keep buying and buying.

Kyle: Cuz depending on the products you’re selling, you run out of stuff where they’ve just bought it all they’ve bought all that they want or need. So you really want to be looking at making sure you’re actually reaching more people within the list that you have, and also trying to retain more of them.

Brent: And I would imagine that these numbers all flip flop, when you’re talking B2B to B2C, like it’s a completely different arena when you’re talking, how you engage with the B2B customer compared to how you engage with the B2C customer. 

Kyle: Yeah. B2B is very different where. See B2C is I guess what I’m talking about.

Kyle: When I say B2C, a situation where it’s not gonna be like a, a really expensive product where someone has to hop on a sales call or anything like that. It’s something where they can click the email and buy right there. So you get really objective data. With B2B it’s a little trickier because you have more things involved in closing that sale.

Kyle: So a lot of times you’re using email marketing to get people into a sales call. And then from there it could be that you follow up with email after that, and then you get the purchase. So that’s one way to measure it, but you can’t neglect what happened during the human to human interaction.

Kyle: Of the sales call. So you have to be tracking that. So a lot of times you can’t get clean metrics where a lot of times people aren’t just going to click a link in an email and pay the invoice like that. It’s gonna be a manual process where a salesperson emails them an invoice, and then you get that and then you get the payment that way.

Kyle: So from there, it’s really more about mapping out the whole sales process step by step. So looking at each stage of your sales process, adding in automations, when you can so automated email or SMS or whatever you wanna. In between each of those steps where you can in between the human interactions. To try to move people along and you can measure that you can measure opens and clicks and how many people are moving through.

Kyle: And how many people signed up for the sales call, but then how many people actually showed up? So you need to start tracking all of that stuff as well. So it’s not quite as clean as it can be with B2C, but there’s still a lot that you can measure and give you a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

Brent: I think the important part there is putting it into a place where you’re tracking everything. So some kind of a CRM , where you manually put notes in for. Phone call or even better you call directly from the CRM. So that call gets recorded as a call with the client and then that engagement would then just play into your engagement with the customer, no matter if it’s in person or on the phone or through some kind of a service.

Brent: Kyle, we have a couple minutes left here. If you had some great bit of advice in 2022, to give somebody that wants to start email marketing, where would they start? 

Kyle: You need to have an offer and you need to at least have someone on your list. You definitely need to have a way to get people on your list.

Kyle: But’re but really the most important thing that it comes down to. And I think what’s. Forgotten is we look at all these systems and ways to optimize everything. And we need to get back to remembering that there’s another human on the other side of this email and just thinking about, okay, what content are they really going to care about?

Kyle: Or when it comes to my product or my service. What really matters to them, what do they really care about and crafting it around them and having your emails be more conversational. And it doesn’t mean you can be salesy or ask for the sale and all of that. It just means being more thoughtful to what’s going to help them make a buying decision.

Brent: One last question or advice that you could give the client, then learn to love popups, right? And let’s just say you don’t have HubSpot or Klevio or something like that, but you just want to get ’em into, let’s say you’re using MailChimp or whatever it is. 

Brent: I remember hello bars or whatever it was called before. Is there a free tool that you would recommend to get that popup going on your website? That’s fairly easy to install and get running on whatever website you’re running, whatever platform you’re on and you can install your popup and get it rolling.

Kyle: I think MailChimp has the popup capability. But most of them have that built in. And then there’s a bunch of like fancier tools where if you wanna get more advanced, honestly, the free tool that’s within your email service provider, most of the time is good enough.

Kyle: It’s gonna take you a very long way. You don’t need to get any of the other fancy tools. A lot of times those things you it’s just, you don’t have enough traffic. For the small amount of performance difference that you’re gonna get to even matter. It’s just gonna add an extra cost and some of those things potentially even weigh down your site and slow it down.

Kyle: If you’re e-commerce, you can go with Klavio. You can start out with a free account and you can use their free you can, get a popup going. I believe MailChimp has a popup tool. I just haven’t used MailChimp in so long, but pretty much all of ’em have a popup tool it’s already gonna be included.

Kyle: So if you’re, even if you’re paying for the cheapest plan, you already have that. I just say, don’t even overthink it right now. Get a good offer on that popup, get it live and then focus on getting people to show up to your site so they can see 

Brent: it. 

Brent: It. All right. Cool. Love your popup. I’m gonna keep saying that over and over again.

Brent: Kyle as we close out, I gave everybody a chance to do a shameless plug about anything you like to plug, what would you like to plug today? 

Kyle: Okay. Yeah. For anyone who’s interested in elevating their email marketing, you can go to elevate and and there is a link there to book a call, which is not a traditional sales call, even though I know everyone says their call is not a sales call.

Kyle: You will get information prior to that call about our service and everything. But the point of that call is to give you clarity around how email marketing fits into the overall strategy for your business. So we’ll actually break down your sales process on that call. If you have numbers that you can share, that would be awesome, cause it makes it even better.

Kyle: And we can identify where the most immediate opportunities are for you right now to get more revenue from your existing sales process. And then talk about a strategy for you to grow your business over the long term with email marketing. Perfect. 

Brent: And I’ll put I’ll put those links in, in the show notes for this Kyle Stout.

Brent: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. It’s been a great conversation. 

Kyle: Yep. Great. Thank you.