Guillaume: Hello everyone. Guillaume Le Tual here, host of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast where I feature leaders in e-commerce and business. Today’s guest for the second appearance is Reinis Krumins and we’ll be talking about the biggest mistakes in email marketing. He is the co-founder of AgencyJR which specializes in email marketing.
Reinis, thanks for being here again today.
Reinis: Happy to be here as always.
Guillaume: All right. So what are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen in emails’ marketing?
Reinis: Yeah. I’ll start with the first one, not sending enough emails. Brands that generate eight, nine figures send more emails than you think. Typically, before we start working with a brand we see they might have like a weekly newsletter going out, like one email a week, or something like that, it’s not enough. It’s the same thing for abandoned checkout sequences and the flows, they might have wanted email set up but that’s not enough. Typically, for example, for abandoned checkouts we have five to seven emails set up to remind them about getting the purchase and converting the customer again. That’s probably the biggest lever you have to generate more sales through email.
Guillaume: How much spacing do you put in between, let’s say, this specific example of abandoned cart email earning five to seven?
Reinis: The answer is, it depends, but typically there’s a structure. The first one we always send after 15 minutes. We’ve done splits and 15 minutes works the best.
Guillaume: 15 minutes, wow!
Reinis: Yeah, that works the best. Typically, the next one can be either a few hours afterwards, so three to nine hours afterwards or the next day. And what we like to do with the next day’s emails is not just sending them one day afterwards but sending them like 22 hours afterwards or 26 hours afterwards so that it doesn’t go out at the same time but it goes out at different times. So if the person may be more busy the next day at the same time, we send them in different timeframes.
Guillaume: They might get it late morning, mid afternoon, or early evening and you hope to catch them?
Reinis: Yeah. I mean, not a big variation, it’s typically just a couple of hours. So like, if, for example, they’ve tried to place an order at four we might send an email at two or six, like it’s separately two hours to three hours max deviation from the time. But it’s a good way so it’s not always going out at four, one day it goes out at two, the next day it goes out at five, then it goes out at three, then it goes out at six. And what we do there is typically the emails would be 15 minutes, around six hours, 18 hours, 26 hours, there might be like a two day space and another one day space, something like that. So then throughout the week they get a few emails.
Guillaume: Did you get any unsubscribe from bumping up the base like this?
Reinis: Yeah, you do but it’s worth the conversions. And typically, the bigger the brand you are the more emails that generate from your traffic, it’s not going to bother you as much. We were in a conversation with a nine-figure brand and they were sending, for example, three meals a day every single day. I think it’s very aggressive to go from zero emails and one email a week to three a day. And they all are also doing nine figures a year which obviously helps you to grow the list lots further and the churn for the customers they’re not that worried about it because they’re everywhere. They have their own TV channel, they’re on basically all the social media platforms, massive team, and they’re scaling the crap out of the brand.
Guillaume: Okay, interesting. So what’s the biggest mistake number two?
Reinis: People are not paying enough attention to segmentation. So one of the easiest ways to make money with emails is personalization. What most people do is they just take a big chunk of their list with everyone and just start sending them emails. What we want to do instead is start segmenting them and taking the customers and putting them into different buckets. Buyers, non-buyers, engage customers, disengage customers and then we can personalize an email to each one of these specific segments to generate more sales. For example, with buyers you can invite them to buy another product or teach them how they can better use their current product. For non-buyers you can feature testimonials and other kinds of social proof and other special offers to help them convert. For example, for buyers you might not need as much push risk, for non-buyers you might need to push them more and it’s better for you to push them more because you can either have them buy the product at a lower margin or you can have them not buy a product at all. So it’s better for you to make some money than no money at all.
Guillaume: What more can you tell us about the segmentations? Okay, you said buyers, non-buyers, disengage buyers, do you also segment in some other ways? And I guess it depends on the size of the list for this to make sense. Like, if you do sell similar categories, or if somebody bought, let’s say, men’s clothes, it doesn’t even make sense to send them women’s clothes. Maybe they’re shopping for somebody else so you say, keep hammering men’s clothes.
Reinis: Yeah. I mean, typically, Klaviyo predicts the genders. So you can send emails to the genders but we don’t do it all the time because it’s not 100% accurate. And if, for example, there’s someone like me where Klaviyo has no idea whether I would be Elise or I will be Andrew because it’s trained us as a non-English name and it has no idea whether I’m a man or a woman, it would just decide. And if I’m always getting women’s dresses, I’m not interested in subscribing. So it’s more about knowing who your ideal customer is, like we have, for example, one brand where their ideal customers are basically women, like 36-60 years old or gay men. So those are the two audiences but we know the majority, like 95% of the audience, is women. So we would primarily talk to those people as if they were women in that case, because like, 5% if there’s an accurate way for us to split this and take that out, in that case, that could be with a protected gender, we could talk to them differently. But in the case of that brand there wouldn’t be that much of a difference in language or benefits for each gender and so we use both. But if we can get the data we would segment. It depends on how deep the CRM is. Some CRMs are more shallow than others.
Guillaume: And that was about gender. So let’s say if you go to other kinds of categories, maybe more product categories, maybe electronics or cameras, I guess you push accessories that are cross-selling for that specific thing. Do you go into other categories, say if they were interested in a digital camera do I push a laptop or not?
Reinis: Yeah. We work with shops that have like one to 20 SKUs and we work with shops that have like five-figure SKUs. For the shops that have under, I’d say 100 SKUs, for them it’s more personalized, or like if they did buy this, now, these are more complementary products. But it all again depends on the size because typically we might see they might have a hero SKU which we will buy through paid ads and we try to upsell and cross-sell them complementary products. And we talk about how these can make this product better or if they didn’t buy the main product we can talk about these alternatives if they are. As for shops that have high three, four, five, six, figures in SKUs, for them it’s more general, we’re not going to be personalizing as much. Because if you have 100,000 SKUs in your shop it’s like us taking a specific color of a specific shoe and then aggregating data to see if they will buy a laptop. I think a machine does that, that’s a decent test but realistically speaking that’s too deep. We typically would feature multiple product categories and then kind of give them the choice. Because it’s like, for example, Amazon. You go on Amazon you have to have a specific product you want to buy or you just want to see what they have. In this case it all comes down to the angle, we might be doing an electronics specific sale, we might be talking about the size of the products we sell in the shop and so on and so forth.
Guillaume: So you might go one level up and sort of feature a whole category because of course if you just bought a digital camera for $50,000 it’s unlikely that you need another one for a while and also like buying a car it’s unlikely that you’ll need a second one right away. So you might just go up the category and see if there’s other things that fit the broader category of like electronics and then feature a few subcategories and see if you’re just phishing and see if they click on something and then you know this user also likes laptops or also likes sound equipment or also likes music stuff.
Reinis: I mean if you typically acquire customers through a laptop, for example, upselling them headphones, maybe keyboards, so on and so forth that is logical. But if they come from all over the place, I would look at more of the category side and go broader.
Guillaume: Okay, pretty good.
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Guillaume: All right, what’s the third biggest mistake?
Reinis: Just sending notions, just hammering sales out of the customers. Imagine you have a friend and every time you talk this friend starts asking for favors, for money. And it’s always take, take and at one point that might feel malicious. Like every time they talk to you they’re trying to take from you. So the same thing happens if you only sell but in your emails. Instead of just pushing sales you want to educate your customers on how they can better use your product or create advertorials that feature your product as a useful tool for them to make their lives easier. Like for example, if you sell mops or other home cleaning accessories, instead of sending campaigns that tell you this mop is the best and why it’s the best, you can send an email showing three tips on how your customers can clean their homes 30% quicker and then you include your product as a tool to just basically help you do better.
Guillaume: Okay. Pretty good. A fourth one?
Reinis: Yes, stay native to the medium. For example, if you run paid ads on Facebook, you know user-generated content works well. With email marketing what we see brands do is they only send visual emails. We do send visual emails but we mix them together with text-based email. So text-based emails have no images, no code, nothing, it’s just text. It looks like an email that was sent by a colleague or sent by a friend. And they perform really well because they’re native to the medium. HTML and visual emails have their place but these ones are very, very personalized.
Guillaume: Okay, so you’re saying by email you should explore text-only emails?
Guillaume: Once in a while you may have a full HTML visual but it’s meant to write text and text. So do that, basically.
Reinis: Yeah, for example, if we send follow ups, if we have a sale launched, like a big Black Friday sale, that might be a visual email to showcase a product. But then the follow ups afterwards might be text-based where we only showcase text.
Guillaume: Yeah. You’re just having a conversation or a discussion. Pretty good. And when you are talking about sales on Facebook, user-generated content works well. So what will you do, will you send ads or use ads to boost and promote specific users’ content?
Reinis: No. User-generated content is just like video testimonials.
Guillaume: Okay, in that sense? But of course you need a way to capture obviously [Inaudible-13:01]?
Reinis: Yeah, I mean, everything is done by actors. You just see it as a lie. It’s a marketing buzzword but most of these user-generated content type ads are created by actors. Because a person who doesn’t know how to have proper lighting, who doesn’t know how to properly take a video, their ads would suck. They just do not perform well, they might have worked in 2007 but not anymore. Now you need something that can stand out to be more professional.
Guillaume: Okay, interesting. Any other tips were the other stuff for the other platforms, do you do the same whether it is TikTok or stuff like that?
Reinis: Yeah, it works well on TikTok. I mean, you have to make your TikTok look like a native video, just add direct response elements to it.
Guillaume: Yeah. Which is what I meant by, do you just promote something and have some kind of ‘call to action direct response to it’. All right. Okay, so we have a fourth one, do we have a fifth?
Reinis: Yes. Making your emails and websites congruent. Like if someone gets an email from you we need that to be congruent to your website, so someone can click on the email, get to the website and then you can be able to place an order. And the more similar we make them, for example, if you send the visual email it looks very similar to the website that has the same color, similar layout, etc., the higher conversion rate we’ll see. Because if they, for example, see an email and then go to the website and they are completely different they might think it was some sort of spam email. Even if they purchase from you, they have a sketchy feeling where some things don’t add up.
Guillaume: Brand consistency and experience and consistency across all channels.
Reinis: Yes. And I’d say the next mistake would be, the bigger you get the more busy you’re going to get but that doesn’t mean you can exclude and neglect email marketing. That’s typically true because the bigger you are, the more SKUs you might be managing, the more inventory you have to manage, there’s a lot of work that gets involved. And this is where starting to neglect the emails can be easy but it costs you a lot of money. It doesn’t cost you a lot of money directly but it costs indirectly. Because we have brands that do a million of sales a month and on top of the million which would make 315k from emails, massive sales. If they were to neglect that they’re losing a third of their monthly revenue. This I think connects very well with the last mistake, you shouldn’t be doing email marketing yourself. It is very profitable for you as a brand but it’s not going to move your business forward, if you know what I mean. The stuff that is going to move your business forward is you acquiring more new customers, you having more new skills, and then having either someone in-house in your team or like an agency freelancer who can do the email marketing to combine your efforts with emails and retention. You focus on acquiring customers cheaply as possible with the highest lifetime value and then you have another team that can focus on getting these customers to buy over and over again.
Because if for example, you shift your entire focus to email marketing, acquisition gets neglected. In emails alone it’s kind of like a shrinking bubble. Because people from email can unsubscribe and they can go away and they might have purchased everything they want so it gets smaller. So if you can combine both you can really accelerate growth because the money you make from emails can be reinvested in paid ads, you can invest that money into paid ads, you can scale more and make more money. Then you have more money coming from emails, you can have this nice flywheel of growth.
Guillaume: Yeah, coming from multiple angles, and of course, even subscribers ideally purchase but maybe they just subscribe to the newsletter anyway to keep increasing this flywheel as you say. Pretty good. So we have our seven biggest mistakes in email marketing and now they know how many we would end up with, this is a pretty good number. So Reinis, if somebody wants to get in touch with you, what’s the best way?
Reinis: Hop on a call from the agencyjr.com/call. So no phone call, it’s pretty straightforward.
Guillaume: Thanks for being here today, Reinis.
Reinis: Happy to be on, thank you.