Jessica Totillo Coster is an eCommerce & Email Marketing Strategist for scrappy entrepreneurs. After 20+ years in retail, owning her own multi 6-figure brick & mortar boutique, and 3 years as the ONLY employee of a 7-figure eCommerce store, now she’s sharing everything she learned the hard way so you don’t have to. In this episode, she will specifically focus on the power of emails and why you should plan for a good email campaign regardless if it is the holiday season or not.
Learn from Jessica the top email campaigns you can launch for your ecommerce business!
[00:01 – 05:06] Opening Segment
- Let’s get to know Jessica Totillo Coster
- Why she’s in love with ecommerce
[05:07 – 11:07] Starting a Business
- How she built Ecommerce Badassery by accident
- Not everyone knows what you know
- Here’s how to start a business
- Jessica’s fears in starting a business and how she overcame them
[11:08 – 21:50] Making More Money for Your Business
- The 3 ways to make more money on your business
- The difference between cross-sell and upsell
- How to stay consistent with your email calendar
[21:51 – 31:19] Encouraging Customers to Buy Again
- How to think of content ideas to send to customers
- Want some Amazon refunds? Check out Getida
- Promo code: FTM400
- How to get people to buy again without incentives
[31:20 – 41:52] Using Email Automations
- Why Klaviyo is perfect for ecommerce businesses
- The email automations to increase revenue
- How to become an ecommerce badass like Jessica
[41:53 – 47:44] Closing Segment
- Know more about Jessica in the Fire Round
- Connect with Jessica!
- Links below
- Final words
“[Entrepreneurship] is not a one and done. You have a few tries first before you land on the thing that really works.” – Jessica Totillo Coster
“The biggest thing for me about being an entrepreneur is being able to own all of my own success and failures.” – Jessica Totillo Coster
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Jessica Totillo Coster 0:46
Once you have all those dates, now you can kind of start plugging in the actual emails that you want to send. So if you think about, if you have a new product launch, or a sale happening, something like that, like you’re not just sending one email on the day of like, Hey, look at me, I have this thing, right, you want to prime them, let them know what’s coming, give them sneak peeks, you want to launch it, you have to send a reminder, you’ll want to send a last chance. And so every single one of these initiatives has multiple emails attached to it. And so you can be consistent and send on a regular basis very easily. This is not an email platform that’s like, oh, let’s tack on a couple of E commerce features so we can compete in this market, right? Like everything that they create in that platform is to help you sell more physical products. And they’ve done that by creating very deep integrations with you know, that are just built in, they do have an open API. So I have had clients who like use crate joy for their subscription box who have integrated with klaviyo as well. But the data, the depth of data that you get on your customer and their behavior, and the products that they love and the traffic sources that they’re coming from, is unparalleled and I’ve never seen anything like it. And if you think about, you know, customer service inquiries, right? Upset customers, or even in personal relationships, like the reason why there’s a breakdown and why this happens is because of unmet expectations. So use that welcome series to really lay the foundation of your business and what they can expect from you, being on your email list, and just using your product and all of that good stuff, and you’ll have a lot happier people. And that is the foundation of building that relationship.
Welcome everyone, to the firing the man podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more then join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your hosts, serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.
Alright, Jessica, welcome to the show. First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself and your path in the E commerce world.
Jessica Totillo Coster 3:17
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. It really started when I was a little girl who slept in her new shoes I would never let my mom take them off. So it was really no surprise when I ended up going into you know, the retail and fashion apparel space. I owned my own brick and mortar boutique back in the day. And most recently, I was working for a national retailer in the marketing department for their brick and mortar stores. Right? That was really my experience brick and mortar, I had a little bit of E commerce experience as well from some previous jobs. And at that job, we decided we were going to take E commerce back in house because at the time it was just a white label commissioned site that we honestly did nothing with whatsoever. So we created this whole new division. And I was the only employee of that division for the first three years, aside from a part timer who packed and shipped orders for me. So like I always tell people, you know, it wasn’t my business, but it felt like my business because I was doing all of the things. And I cried a lot at that job. But I learned a ton as well and really had the pleasure of working with a lot of high level consultants that like the average ecommerce CEO wouldn’t have access to because it’s very cost prohibitive. And going through that, I mean, I wouldn’t do it again but I wouldn’t take it back if that makes sense. Right? Like I credit that experience for those years to everything I’ve learned along the way and I fell in love with E commerce because it really is that marriage of like the creative and analytical, and I’m definitely like, I like to use my brain 50 50. So it just feels like this is where I’m supposed to be
Nice. So, Jessica, so how long have you been an entrepreneur? You mentioned earlier, like, for like, since you were little like, so in terms of like jobs and you know, running your own thing. So how long has it been?
Jessica Totillo Coster 5:19
Yeah, so this is actually my fourth time as an entrepreneur. So I think the first real one was when I opened my brick and mortar, and that was in 2009, in the wake of the worst financial crisis we’ve seen in our lifetime, which was insane, but I did it anyway. And we actually did very, very well. And then there was a time when I thought, oh, you know what, because I love personal styling, so I was like, oh, I’m going to be I want an online business, right? A location independent business, I’m going to be an online stylist. Then I figured out my heart just wasn’t all that into it anymore. And that’s why I could never get that business off the ground. I had a subscription box for a hot minute there. I think that was like 2018. And my business partner got pregnant with her first baby, like, right as we were shipping the first season of our subscription box. And it was a side gig for both of us. And we were like, this is never going to be sustainable. So we’re like, let’s just get out like now while we still can. And then I was like, just still working my job and I knew I wanted to do something I just didn’t know what it was going to be. And I actually ended up starting ecommerce badassery by accident, and I can tell you that story if you want to hear it. But I’ve been full time in this business since September of 2020. So I feel like nobody, any entrepreneur like it’s not a one and done right. You have a few tries first before you land on the thing that really works.
Well, let’s dive into that. So you mentioned that you started ecommerce badassery by accident. So let’s dive into that. Tell me a little bit more.
Jessica Totillo Coster 7:01
Yeah. Absolutely. So I guess, when was it, maybe three years ago or so it’s kind of all a blur, to be quite honest. But it was right when MailChimp and Shopify broke up. And I was in a lot of entrepreneurial Facebook groups, because I just loved being surrounded by that energy. And everyone was freaking out because they didn’t know what to do. What do you mean, MailChimp doesn’t work on Shopify anymore? So I just started talking to them about klaviyo because I had already been using that email platform for the last three years or so. And they started reaching out to me well, I’m on klaviyo but I’m really struggling, can you help or I just switched and my emails are going into junk, can you get me out of it? And I was like, hmm, all right. Well, let’s try this out and see what happens. Right? So those first two clients, it was the most joyful thing I’ve ever done. And I remember sitting on the couch with my husband and him being like, so are you going to start a business or like what are you doing? I was like, hmm, I guess I could start a business. What I realized is, when something comes really naturally to you or you’ve been doing it for a really long time you take that for granted, right? You think everyone knows this stuff, and you don’t realize that people are actually willing to pay you to do it for them. So that was ecommerce badassery. I did it on the side about 18 months as a side hustle on my very demanding full time job. And I just went full time in September of last year. So it’s been, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.
Oh, very nice. We call that firing the man. You fired the man.
Yes, I did.
So, congratulations on that.
Jessica Totillo Coster 8:53
Thank you. Thank you.
So, to rewind a bit. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane to when you were an employee, and you were thinking about employing yourself, right, being self employed firing the man. Let’s zero in on that. What were some of the biggest fears that were holding you back from moving forward on it?
Jessica Totillo Coster 9:12
My number one fear?
If at all. Maybe you didn’t have any fears.
Jessica Totillo Coster 9:15
Oh, yeah. Totally. Tons of them. The number one thing being I was afraid I was going to be broke. Like that simple. And really, you know, growing up like my family, we didn’t have a lot of money, single mom the whole thing, always the struggle. You know, I’ve had a job since I’m 14 years old, and I don’t know if people are gonna see this video, but this gray streak is real. Okay, this is not made like this not dye. That’s really my gray hair. So I’m old now. And just, I had those same stories and misconceptions that like, you know, you get the job, you climb the corporate ladder, you’re safe, it’s secure. And it’s just not true. But, you know, for our parents and our grandparents that was true and that those are the stories they knew. So they’re the stories they told you and you start to believe them because you don’t know anything else. And I, did I ever really get over it? I don’t know. I mean, obviously, I made the leap. But it took me a really long time to do it. And what’s crazy is it was the beginning of 2020, and my husband and I were planning my exit. And then COVID happened. And I was like, well, I’m just happy I have a job right now. And so I’m just gonna stay right. My husband is an entrepreneur, too. So I was the one with the 401k, and the health insurance and all the things he didn’t have. And he was a real estate photographer in Los Angeles, and at the beginning of COVID real estate just like, shut down. And we were like, well, he doesn’t have much income coming in. And that just like solidified all the fears I already had, it was like this is exactly what I’m afraid of. And obviously, I didn’t quit my job at that point. And it’s, you know, I got there eventually. But it was definitely a journey for sure.
Yeah, that’s a, you know, interesting story. Thanks for sharing that. And, you know, it’s like you mentioned earlier, like, entrepreneurs, the first thing that we start never usually works out. And so we continue to hone our abilities and try new things and ideas and entrepreneurs are never short of ideas, right? We have ideas floating around all day long. So but yeah, like, it sounds like so the timing of you, you know, firing the man was a little bit crazy with COVID. But you just jumped into it and now here we are. So, and also I wanted to give you props on the name ecommerce badassery. That’s a killer name. I love it. It’s great. Yeah. So let’s just get right into some more ecommerce stuff. So can you share with the audience a few quick wins for success, like easy tweaks or something? Something for immediate results, everybody wants something immediate.
Jessica Totillo Coster 12:01
Hey, you and me both. Absolutely. So, yeah. This is actually one of my favorite topics, because I think we get caught up in like, oh, what’s this person doing over there? What’s that person doing? And I have to try this and I have to try that. But like, really, I encourage everyone, and this really works whether you’re ecommerce or not, but I’m going to give you two things that you can actually implement on your own website in the next 24 hours, that will give you immediate results. But I want you to remember that there’s really only three ways to make more money in your business, right, you can acquire new customers, you can bring your existing customers back more often. Or you can get them to buy more when they’re already shopping. And which of those is the easiest and cheapest to do is to just get them to spend more when they’re already shopping. So my two favorite ways to do that. One is to raise your free shipping threshold. And I like to look at this every you know, three to six months, depending upon how quickly your business is growing. If your current free shipping threshold is at or below your average order value, then you are. So the idea is your shipping threshold should be a couple dollars more than your average order value. You don’t want your customer to have to like double what they were planning to spend, that’s a really big ask, we want them to maybe add one more item to their cart. And studies show I think it’s 60 to 70% of people will add more to their cart just to get free shipping. Myself being one of those people, it feels like it irritates me to pay for shipping because it feels like a waste, right? So people will spend. The second thing is to add some sort of cross sell. So you know, there’s a little bit of confusion in cross sell versus upsell. So cross sell is where you sell a complimentary product with the one that they’re already purchasing where an upsell would be a bigger version of the same item. So what we’re trying to do is get them to buy something complimentary. And I know most people say that they hate pop ups, right? Because oh it’s so intrusive to the experience. But the reason marketers keep using them is because they work. And you can take advantage of that by showing a pop up of related items after someone hits the add to cart button. Now, of course this only works on your own website. But that interruption has the highest conversion of say selling a bundle from the product page or just showing related products like on the bottom of the page that pop up is what tells them to take action. So I don’t know any app specifically for say like a WooCommerce. But on Shopify, there’s an app called selly SELLY that’s my favorite one for cross sells. And I mean, it takes minutes to get it set up, and you will see immediate results, and it should pay for itself, and then some.
I really like that, that suggestion of, or breaking down how to make more money into, you know, really those three things that you mentioned, capture everything, right. And so I’m always curious in terms of like, I always like to look to an example, and I’ll give you an example of an example. Anchor is a, they’re on Amazon, and they have wonderful product photography, wonderful infographics. And when I’m coaching somebody, either on our team or a contractor, I often like to point to those because it’s just a great example of what professional images look like. And so curious if you can think of any brands off the top of your head, that you know, when you are shopping on their websites do a really effective job of this cross sell that you mentioned.
Jessica Totillo Coster 16:06
Yeah, I, of course I can’t think of one right now. Because you’re asking me and I wasn’t prepared. But if it comes to me throughout the episode, I will definitely mention it. But you know, what’s funny, though, is there are so many businesses that don’t take advantage of this at all, it kind of blows my mind, right? Even like the big ones don’t do it. So this is really like your way to kind of stand out. But because you asked for examples. And we can get into kind of content marketing and creating content a little bit, but who I think does a really great job in terms of creating content that their customers care about is beard brand. And the man registry. So if you want some people to go check out in terms of that, definitely go check them out. We can talk more about that, of course.
Excellent, excellent. Yeah, it’s always nice to you know, look at examples. And, and I’ve heard of one of those brands, and I’ll definitely be checking those out. But anyway, so let’s pivot a little bit. You had mentioned email marketing. And it’s my understanding that one of the ways to be successful in email marketing is to have a calendar that you stick to. So anyway, I would say like in one of my own brands, this is something that I’ve struggled with. And so what would be some suggestions and what to do when building an email marketing calendar? And how you would stay consistent at that?
Jessica Totillo Coster 17:37
Yeah, absolutely. This is one of my favorite things to talk about, because I’m a total email marketing nerd. But first, I want to set the stage and say most of the time, we’re overthinking this and making it way more complicated than it needs to be. So kind of the first step is to figure out what can you be consistent with, right? So what’s amazing, and you know, the people I work with, they’re, you know, early six, multi going into seven, they, you know, they do all the social media, they’re doing ads, they do all this stuff, but like, they’re still not consistent with email. So I just want to kind of set that stage that if that’s you, that’s okay. And you can just get started with even just one email a week, it doesn’t have to be crazy and kind of ease yourself into it. But I have a very specific system that I use. And this is, in my previous day job, email was one of the many things I was responsible for. And so sending, you know, four emails a week to 250,000 subscribers, we had probably three to four different customer avatars, we had online and brick and mortar. And I tried all of the things. And this system is what kept me sane and kept me consistent. So at a minimum, you want to kind of be planning this out is at a time, right? Because that way, you kind of see that whole big picture of what’s happening. And this works during holidays, during product launches, just when you got nothing else going on. And you want to, just by laying the foundation with your important dates so that’s your calendar holidays, that’s any social media holidays that makes sense for your business. And then I want you to add in your product launches, whether that’s a brand new product or a collection or it’s a new season. So you want to kind of mark when that goes live and then give yourself a runway of one to two weeks free pre launch. And then lastly, you’re going to put in any recurring content you have, so if you have a weekly blog, or if you do live video on social, you have a YouTube channel or a podcast, whatever it is, put in plug in those dates as well. And at this point, you’re just getting the dates on the calendar, you’re not really creating any content yet. What you will find is, when you lay that all out, your calendar is going to fill so much faster than you think, right, and you’re not actually going to have that many holes. But when you do, you’re going to fill those holes in with educational and lifestyle content. And that, you know, we’ll talk about what that looks like. But that’s where those examples of like the man registry brand really come in. Because they are amazing at creating content. Once you have all those dates, now you can kind of start plugging in the actual emails that you want to send. So if you think about, if you have a new product launch, or a sale happening, something like that, like you’re not just sending one email on the day of like, hey, look at me, I have this thing, right, you want to prime them, let them know what’s coming, give them sneak peeks you want to launch it, you have to send a reminder, you’ll want to send a last chance. And so every single one of these initiatives has multiple emails attached to it. And so you can be consistent and send emails on a regular basis very easily. Like I mentioned, in the beginning, we overthink this and so don’t try and be perfect, like one crappy email is better than no email, like just get it out and keep that relationship going. And one of the last things I’ll say here is, when it comes to the content, and I love to dig into that more, is you know, it doesn’t always have to be the hard sell, right? It’s not always, hey, buy my product. Sometimes it’s hey, don’t forget I exist. So when you’re ready to buy a product like mine, I’m the first person that you think of, and I think when we kind of take the pressure off, it becomes a little easier to create content.
Nice. I like that method, Jessica, how you kind of start in like little chunks and you get the calendar and you just start filling it out, it seems you know, seems like it’s a lot easier versus thinking about, 12 months. And so breaking it down smaller chunks that makes complete sense to me. So in terms of like, so with my background, I come from engineering, so I’m not creative. So in terms of like, if it, for anyone out there listening, that’s like, hey, I’m trying to come up with content ideas, whether it’s for, you know, email, social, whatever. What are some ways that you come up with like content ideas?
Jessica Totillo Coster 22:25
Yeah, love this one, too. We are often overthinking this, right? Because we feel like oh, it has to always be exactly about our product and featuring our product and all the cool things our product does. But I want you to just like stop being so hard on yourself, and remember that it’s a human on the other side of that email address. They are coming to you for a specific reason, right? There’s a reason why they need your content, or your product. And it’s either they’re solving a problem, relieving a pain, they want to feel more confident, usually, you know, if you’re talking apparel and accessories, for example. If you’re a luxury brand, it’s because you have you know, they like pretty things and they want status like why else do we buy very expensive things? Because it makes us feel good. So when you can nail down the reason why they buy and the outcome that they’re looking for, you can use that as a jumping off point for content. And additionally, what else related to your product do they care about? So let’s say you’re a CBD brand, and you mark it that your product gets better sleep, well you can create content around getting better sleep, right? The age old turn off the electronics an hour before going to bed creating a nighttime routine, etc. If you sell fitness apparel, that person is likely interested in workouts, nutrition. If you sell makeup, they probably care about skincare. So I know a lot of times too, we feel like oh, I’m I’m not an expert in that thing. Maybe you’re not but you’re a CEO, which means you’re scrappy, and you got to figure things out. So whether it’s you learning it or partnering with someone who is an expert in the field to create that content. And when you look at someone like the man registry, which is such a great example here, they sell groomsmen gifts, right? So they create content all around wedding planning, dealing with the drunk uncle, when to give the groomsmen gifts, how to ask your friends to be a groomsmen, like all of that stuff. And then when you get there to read that content, it’s like oh, cool. And look, they sell what I need. And when you create bigger pieces of content like that, and you can break that down and repurpose it, you have content for days, like totally for days. So I think the biggest trick here is, you know, removing the idea that it always has to be about directly selling your products, really understanding who it is that you’re selling to. And if you’re truly stuck, and you really don’t know what your people care about, I love the tool answer the public, where you put in a couple of keywords and it spits out all the questions people are asking about that topic. And then you can just create content that answers that. Super simple.
Sorry to interrupt the episode, you may have heard Ken and I talking recently about a new tool that we’re using for Amazon refunds. Now I have used other refund tools like this. However, I can tell you in the first seven days, they scrubbed the back end of my Amazon account going back 18 months, and found $5,000 of refunds. And the nice thing about this is, it’s my money, Amazon made a mistake, and they are just auditing my account. The other thing I really like about this tool is there is no monthly fee, they only charge a commission if they are successful in getting you your money. Go to www.GETIDA.com GETIDA and enter promo code FTM for firing the man FTM 400. This is an awesome tool. I can’t say enough good things about it. Now back to the episode. I really like that answer. I really like that. One thing I want to circle back on that you mentioned a little bit earlier in the episode was repeat customers, right, that is a good source of income for any business. And you know, one strategy that we use in our business is oftentimes, if someone buys from us, we will add them to our email campaigns. And maybe we’ll give them a 10% coupon to be used in the next 90 days. And I would love to have those customers just come back without offering a discount. You know what I mean?
Jessica Totillo Coster 26:49
I do. Yeah.
And so do you have any suggestions on how to get those customers to come back without offering up that discount? Just offering a solid product for them to buy again?
Jessica Totillo Coster 27:00
Yes, the age old question, how do you get people to come back without offering an incentive? The core of this is about building relationships, and my go to way to do this, and then of course, it depends a little bit on your product. So let’s talk the easy stuff. First, let’s say you have a consumable product that people need all the time. Sometimes it’s as easy as setting up an automation that triggers X number of days after their purchase, based on what you know about your customer. So if you know on average, people are coming back every 60 days to get you know a replenishment, set up the email a few weeks before that to remind them, hey, you might be running out soon. We are forgetful, busy, overwhelmed people, right? In general, we all have a lot going on. And a lot of times, it truly just is because they forgot. And so you can use email to support you in that. If you don’t have a consumable product, and this kind of works for both, but I really love to focus on that post purchase experience right after they buy from you that first time and that second time, I feel like once they get to the third purchase, that’s when they’re like really your customer. But before that, they’re still kind of feeling it out, right? So I love to set up a really powerful post purchase series. And I ask myself and I do this with my clients, you know, what does the customer need to know and understand to have a really great experience with your product, so that they come back and leave you a positive review? Just because you got the sale doesn’t mean that your job is done. And so that first impression is really, really important. So some examples of this, and you know, not that I didn’t know that a post purchase was important, but it was actually this experience at my previous job where it like truly clicked for me. And we had this new product, it was completely innovative, new to the market. It was blowing up the industry, it was such a huge deal. And all of these customers, and they would come back afterwards and want to return it. Or they would you know, contact customer service and be like I don’t like this like this is not good. What is going on. And what we figured out after talking to them was it was user error. Because we did not do a good job of educating them on how to get the most out of the product. So once we set up and created that content and set it up in an email, the customer inquiries stopped and it was like oh whoa, light bulb. So this is something I dig in really deep with the people I work with. And like another example is we had worked with someone, she has a handbag line, she has six main styles, but they’re all very, very different from each other. So what we did was created content specifically to each of those bags that we show dynamically. Now I’m getting a little techie, but we show dynamically in the email based on what they bought. So if they bought, you know, handbag A, they see this block of content, if they bought handbag B, they see this block of content. And I was actually just talking to her recently, and she was on a podcast talking about this, and she said, once those went live their customer service inquiries have decreased dramatically. And I think one of the things we forget is that customer service inquiries are also a very important metric to track in your business, right? Because that’s time, energy, effort you have to spend servicing these customers that you could be doing something else. So that’s just kind of my favorite way of building the relationship. When they feel taken care of, they’re going to want to come back to you anyway, because you have an awesome product, and you give them an awesome experience. And so it really does start with the experience and building the relationship.
That’s awesome. So Jessica, like earlier on you alluded to, and actually I did some research before the show and found that that you were kind of a klaviyo expert, so I was secretly very excited, because we’re in the process of migrating from ConvertKit over to klaviyo. And so yeah, I was wanting to see if you can share with everyone like what makes klaviyo so powerful? We’ll just start off with that one.
Jessica Totillo Coster 31:44
Yeah, gosh, my favorite thing, I’m such a klaviyo nerd. And it’s so funny because I talk about them and people are like, I don’t know, if she’s sponsored. I’m like, I’m not I just love it that much. Klaviyo, if you’re listening. So the reason why I love it, there’s a few reasons. But one, the number one reason is, it was built as an E commerce email marketing platform first, this is not an email platform that’s like, Ooh, let’s tack on a couple of E commerce features so we can compete in this market, right? Like everything that they create in that platform is to help you sell more physical products. And they’ve done that by creating very deep integrations with you know, that are just built in, they do have an open API. So I have had clients who like use crate joy for their subscription box who have integrated with klaviyo as well. But the data, the depth of data that you get on your customer and their behavior, and the products that they love and the traffic sources that they’re coming from, is unparalleled and I’ve never seen anything like it. And I, you know, this is better than like enterprise platforms that I’ve used in the past. So it gives you visibility into your customers that you really can’t get anywhere else. And because you are able to store as much data about an individual as you want through customer profile properties, it gives you the opportunity to collect a lot of first party data. And it can be the source of truth for you, right. So you don’t have to like go into your ecom platform to figure out where the traffic is coming from. And then you need to go over here for this and then you’re trying to figure out who buys what. It’s all in there for you. Really, you’re only limited by your imagination. And they, who’s ever used a SASS platform that never seems to update like ever, right, and they have like threads of inquiries of like, I could really use this feature and like years go by and they never do anything. That is not klaviyo, they’re always updating, pushing new releases. I just went through a survey about a week ago asking about how, you know, I use their product recommendations. So looks like they got some things coming down the pipeline there as well. It’s just a really great platform and it’s built for you know, small, medium and Enterprise E commerce businesses. So no matter where you are, right, it’ll work for you now and as you scale and grow.
On the topic of email marketing, let’s talk email automations. What are what are some email automations that we can use either as a standalone product or with klaviyo to increase revenue?
Jessica Totillo Coster 34:41
Absolutely. So typically, when I work with someone I will set up six initial automations. The welcome series, a browse abandonment, a checkout abandonment, the post purchase, a never purchase series and a win back, which I know it feels like a lot. So, if I had to break it down for you, if you could only do half of that, do your checkout abandonment, you’re welcome, and your post purchase, like we talked about. What makes the automation so amazing is that it’s based on the customer’s behavior, right? And they’re set it and forget it ish. So you know, that’s as close to like passive income in E commerce as you can get is if you have email automations. And you can craft it specifically for your person and the action that they just took. So that’s why I love them so much. And, you know, really understanding like that journey that everyone is taking and making sure that you’re sending the right message at the right time to the right people. And we could dig into those a little bit deeper if you want. But that’s where I would get started.
Yeah, so can we dig into just a couple of those on which like, you maybe just break down the top three that you said, like, I like small chunks, you know, if my plates to full I don’t get anything done. So if we could break it down to the top three, and then maybe like, just a couple tips on each one of what points to make sure that that we’re doing?
Jessica Totillo Coster 36:12
Yeah, absolutely. So let’s start with the checkout abandonment. And I’m calling it checkout abandonment versus cart abandonment, because I work mostly in Shopify, and in that case, they have to press a button that says start checkout, right, otherwise it doesn’t count. So the thing about that is, if you think about where that customer is in the journey, right, so they’ve already done the research, they discovered you somewhere, they made it to your website, they looked at the product page, they added it to their cart, and they decided, yes, I want to check out. But they didn’t finish. So what are they potentially struggling with at that step? And how can you overcome that inside of your checkout, abandonment emails? A lot of times, and you’ll see a lot of stuff on the internet about oh, it’s for too high, unexpected shipping costs, things like that. And that may very well be true. I will say in my experience, we tested a lot of stuff when it came to shipping, and it made no difference. And people paid for the shipping. So already on that, work it out in your own business. But I would think more of the psychology of why they are buying from you. Right? What is the outcome that they’re looking for? What hesitation might they have? So this may be where you’re putting in frequently asked questions, and the answers to those obviously. I had a client who had a do it yourself, like make your own nail polish kit. And one of the main hesitations is people are afraid they’re gonna mess it up, because you basically have this base, and then you have to add all the pigments and the colors and mix them together. And I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely no artist. And I always ended up with brown when I try to mix colors together. So we focus really heavily on overcoming that objection, these emails. So that’s where you can start there. And then for your welcome, this is your first impression right with these people. And obviously, the success of the welcome requires traffic, right. So you need to be pushing traffic before you see this make you a lot of money. But you should see the majority of conversion coming from that very first email. Of course, if you offer a discount in exchange for an email, you’re gonna see a higher conversion, it doesn’t mean you have to offer that. But if you have room in your margin for it, you might as well it’s not training people to wait for discounts. It’s removing some of the risk of trying a new company, if you think about it like that. And these days, I feel like offering a 10% off is probably cheaper than offering free shipping because rates keep going up. But think about that very first impression. And in that initial welcome email, you kind of want to balance giving them a little bit of information about you. But ultimately, your number one goal is just to get them to click and go to the website because you want them to make the purchase. And then in subsequent emails is where you can kind of start introducing your company more, your brand more. What you’re brand is for depending upon, you know, if you own a piece of the company, you can talk more about that. It’s where you get to introduce you know what other channels you have, what they can expect from you. And if you think about, you know, customer service inquiries, right? Upset customers, or even in personal relationships, like the reason why there’s a breakdown and why this happens is because of unmet expectations. So use that welcome series to really lay the foundation of your business and what they can expect from you, joining your email list, and just using your product and all of that good stuff. And you’ll have a lot happier people. And that is the foundation of building that relationship. And then, you know, we have the post purchase, which we talked about already. If you guys listen to this on two times speed, go back and listen again and take some notes. But, you know, those are the three most important ones for sure.
Awesome. Yeah, those are dynamite. Thanks for sharing. If you’re listening this and you don’t have any email sequences set up, like, go get those three set up and get ready for q4. So awesome. David, over to you.
Yes. So can you tell us a little bit more about e commerce badassery?
Jessica Totillo Coster 40:47
I sure can. So ecommerce, badassery is honestly still a little bit of a work in progress, right. So what I mainly do is I work like one on one with ecommerce CEOs, when they want to get their email automation set up. I have a service where I literally do everything for them A to Z, they don’t have to lift a finger other than you know, tell me about their customer and their product. And then I also work like one on one at a higher level, just ecommerce in general. So we talk about email marketing, and SEO, operations and all that stuff. And my number one goal, and the reason why I do this is because I want to put more money in the pockets of entrepreneurs. Because I think we do much better work than some of our corporate behemoths out there right with our money. I think the dollar goes a lot further because it’s supporting families and other local businesses and all of that good stuff. So, you know, my goal is to figure out what this group this like mid level E commerce group needs, and serve them in that way. And I really love to focus on you know, actionable things that people can do, just like we talked about in the beginning. Go implement these right now in the next 24 hours, and you can see results. And that’s really what ecommerce badassery is all about.
Excellent. I really like that mission. David, do we want to cover anything else? Or are we ready for the fire round?
I’m ready. What about you, Jessica?
Jessica Totillo Coster 42:28
I’m ready. Let’s do it.
Alright. What is your favorite book?
Jessica Totillo Coster 42:33
I don’t read that much, to be honest. But if I am going to probably listen to a book, right, it’s going to be a business book. And some of my most recent favorites are, I think I want to say it’s Jeff Walker has the launch strategy book. I don’t remember what it’s called, that one. But really what he talks about is like building up the hype for whatever it is that you have coming next, which has proven to just like be a game changer for most businesses.
Awesome. What are your hobbies?
Jessica Totillo Coster 43:13
Is shopping a hobby?
Yeah. I would say it’s probably one of the most popular hobbies ever.
Jessica Totillo Coster 43:19
That is definitely my hobby. Like, you can take the girl out of fashion, but I still collect shoes, even though I rarely leave the house. But other than that, I just really love to break bread with friends and family and like experience this life through food.
Very cool. Yes. Same here. What is the one thing that you do not miss about working for the man?
Jessica Totillo Coster 43:41
One thing? In all seriousness, it’s the biggest thing for me about being an entrepreneur is being able to own all of my own successes and failures, right? Like when you are working in these large corporations and you’re reliant on other people and you get caught up in all the red tape and all the sword fights at the top like I was just sick of it and even if I’m gonna mess up, like let that be because I messed up not because someone else messed up.
Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. What do you think sets apart successful ecommerce entrepreneurs from those who give up, fail or never get started?
Jessica Totillo Coster 44:23
Oh, man, perseverance and resilience. I think there is a huge misconception in the space that like E commerce is easy, right? And it’s just it’s passive income, running some ads and you’ll be a millionaire. And that’s just really not how this works like, you know, does it work sometimes because you nailed like a really cool product and you had a whole bunch of money to spend? Yeah, but that is not the norm. And I think a lot of people get into it with unrealistic expectations of what it takes to really do this and they get so bogged down in the design of their website and every little pixel and like I have this email list of 200 people, but it doesn’t convert, what am I doing wrong? Like you’re not doing anything wrong, you need more traffic and you need more eyeballs. And when you are starting, acquisition really needs to be your number one focus. And I think that we would rather just hide behind our computer then get out there and sell our product.
Awesome. Awesome. David, you want to close out the show?
Yeah. How can people get a hold of you?
Jessica Totillo Coster 45:33
You can find me at ecommerce badassery and all of the places, that’s my website, my Instagram, I have a Facebook group, a podcast, all ecommerce badassery.
Very nice. And you were kind enough to set up a link for us, so you do have a free resource center. Go to www.ecommercebadassery.com/firingtheman. We’ll post a link to that in the show notes. Jessica, wanted to thank you for being a guest on the show. And we look forward to staying in touch.
Jessica Totillo Coster 46:00
Amazing. Thank you so much, David and Ken for having me. This was so much fun.
Alright, thank you.
Yeah, thank you.
Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing the man podcast. If you liked this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services. That is www.firingtheman.com\resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, for that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man, and on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer
and Ken Wilson. We’re out
Before you go, fun fact for all you Amazon sellers out there when you start selling in international marketplaces, all of your reviews come with you. At the beginning of this year, Ken and I sat down and talked of ways that we could double our businesses in size in landed on international expansion as our number one initiative this year. We partnered up with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing ecommerce and he has made the process an absolute breeze walking us step by step through the process. If you want to grow your revenue and reach new customers head on over to www.maximizingecommerce.com/fire and connect with Kevin Sanderson today. Now back to the show.
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