How to Increase Revenue Up to 40% Using Email Marketing with Expert Russell Miller

Episode 161

On today’s episode we have the pleasure of interviewing Russell Miller.  Russell Miller has 14 years of experience in ecommerce and digital marketing, and has helped brands drive over $20m in ecommerce sales. He runs an ecommerce marketing agency, Zavient, and an email agency, Ryzeo.  Mr. Miller has worked with brands including Texas Instruments, UFC, SCUF Gaming, Massdrop and others. He is a graduate of MIT.

How can the guests contact?  website, email, social?

Free 45min consulting session. You’ll come away with actionable strategies to grow your ecommerce sales. Signup: calendly.com/zavient/growth_chat

Zavient.com – Ecommerce Digital Marketing Agency.  

Go here to book a time: calendly.com/zavient/growth_chat

Ryzeo.com – Ecommerce Email Agency.  

Go here to book: calendly.com/ryzeo/call

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00;00;00;00 – 00;00;32;03
Speaker 1
Welcome everyone to the Firing the podcast. On today’s episode, we have the pleasure of interviewing Russell Miller. Russell has 14 years of experience in e-commerce, in digital marketing. He has helped brands drive over $20 million in e-commerce sales. He runs an e-commerce marketing agency. Xavien An email agency, Rizzio, and is involved in a lot more. Mr. Miller has worked with brands including Texas Instruments, The UFC scuffle, Gaming, Bastrop and many others.

00;00;32;04 – 00;00;46;14
Speaker 1
He is also a graduate of M.I.T.. Be sure to stay tuned to see how you can get a free 45 minute consulting session covering how to grow your e-commerce sales in a crowded and competitive space. Welcome to the show, Russell.

00;00;46;17 – 00;00;49;24
Speaker 2
Thank you so much for having me. David Count Really excited to be here.

00;00;49;24 – 00;00;59;05
Speaker 1
Absolutely. So to get things started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and some of the previous companies and experiences you have?

00;00;59;07 – 00;01;30;16
Speaker 2
Sure. Yeah. So I’ve had kind of a long career in digital marketing. When I kind of, you know, where I started was really at a couple of different startups. And then I was this is like right after B-school. And then I was able to join Texas Instruments. I ran digital marketing for one of their microchip divisions. I did that for about five years.

00;01;30;16 – 00;02;01;10
Speaker 2
That was really exciting because it was during the rise of Facebook and really the rise of e-commerce. And I moved to California in about 2014 and then started working for an agency and then shifted to a startup called Repair Pal that was doing LBJ and the auto repair space. I stayed with them for about five years before kind of leaving to do my old agency.

00;02;01;12 – 00;02;29;03
Speaker 2
And since then I have I have two agencies, so it’s avient and sort of like the digital marketing sort of umbrella, and that really focuses on ads, but I’ll call it sort of programmatic CEO of Enterprise also. And then I also took over as general manager for Roxio, which is an e-commerce enabled agency, and it’s distinguished by having life.

00;02;29;07 – 00;03;01;14
Speaker 2
It’s both software and and in that time kind of run mate and see as both I’ve had the chance to do work for some a lot of different ecommerce brands. You know you mentioned and it’s been really interesting to help them kind of scale up. And yeah, so now no one with Curveball is really focused on, you know, either email marketing or like paid media and SEO.

00;03;01;17 – 00;03;09;23
Speaker 1
Awesome. Awesome. I have to ask is can either huge UFC things might be that for the UFC.

00;03;10;00 – 00;03;43;15
Speaker 2
The UFC was actually really interesting. So I was a sub for an agency that half that had the UFC merch out and this was a real thing. This is like really in the weeds. But so we were in charge of like, you know, shirts for I forgot who some of the big guys are, but we were, we were selling like all their, like T-shirts and sweatshirts and like the belts you can buy.

00;03;43;17 – 00;04;10;22
Speaker 2
And it was tricky because we were bidding to get some of the same keywords. What we the big lesson that I took away from that account is you are really well, I’ll kind of circle back to this more later, but even if you have kind of a super well-known brand, right, some of these fighters are super well-known and, and, and the UFC is obviously super well known.

00;04;10;22 – 00;04;22;03
Speaker 2
Brand You’re lucky if you have a low average order value. It makes everything else so much harder.

00;04;22;06 – 00;04;25;17
Speaker 1
Can you define can you define that number? Just curious.

00;04;25;17 – 00;04;54;16
Speaker 2
You know, so so to, you know, be really brass tacks. We were selling 30, $35 like branded T-shirts, you know, when people were, you know, searching for their favorite fighter. Should be a great business, except that the math just wasn’t in our favor. So we were having to pay a buck or two bucks a click. And it was just really, really hard to get that math to work.

00;04;54;16 – 00;05;17;17
Speaker 2
And so we switched it to instead of kind of marketing that stuff, really focusing on kind of the higher end, which was these like really nice hoodies and you could actually buy the, the championship belts, you know, if you wanted one of your own. And that that made more sense. But it was a that that was a key lesson there.

00;05;17;17 – 00;05;38;29
Speaker 2
And also we had to be very careful. We would turn off merch ads because when the fights were they would promote the names of the fighters as the keywords and want to drive signups to the fights. So it was kind of a good, good lesson in kind of working with the other parts of the team, because we knew that the fights were ultimately the big moneymakers and the merch was just kind of a secondary effect.

00;05;39;01 – 00;06;03;12
Speaker 3
Yeah, like the timing on that and competing for keywords. So, you know, if you’re selling a pay per view for like a George St-Pierre or a Jon Jones, then you want to toggle those keywords off. So you’re not betting merch against a pay per view. Yeah, definitely huge UFC fan. So like hearing about that. Let’s dive right into lifecycle marketing for ecommerce now and how it affects your ad.

00;06;03;12 – 00;06;25;22
Speaker 3
Rojas. So as I think of like lifecycle marketing for ecommerce, like you know, prior product launch and then you have product retires or kind of sunsets off and so anywhere, everything in between. Can you kind of speak to what, you know, what your thoughts are in that you spend more upfront and taper off? What’s your strategy there?

00;06;25;26 – 00;06;57;05
Speaker 2
Yeah, So this was, I think, one of the big aha moments of my ecommerce career. So what I talk about like circle marketing and really talking about the customer lifecycle rather than the product lifecycle and you know, here’s my, my sort of aha story for many years I was focused on ads and direct sales and the model was you bring a customer in and you try to make it sale and maybe you like retargeting.

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00;06;57;07 – 00;07;25;21
Speaker 2
And it was a siloed approach because like it would be one part, you know, of a larger or reflect different marketing channels. And so I wouldn’t necessarily see the bigger picture what, what, what’s happened to me since sort of expanding out email marketing is I’ve really started to think about as an ecommerce store owner that you’re you really need to think about the whole customer lifecycle and it’s, it’s kind of a long term approach to create the most value.

00;07;25;23 – 00;07;58;05
Speaker 2
So when you think about your channels going forward, you know, the job of ads is to make sales, but it’s also just to acquire customer information. And so ads is a costly channel, you know, whether it’s on Amazon or anything else, as you guys know. And initially, when you do an ad and you look at your tracking, you’re like, Oh, I have a ROAS of like, you know, where in a cost of like 1.1 or 1.3 or whatever, and like, that’s not that great.

00;07;58;08 – 00;08;15;26
Speaker 2
So lifecycle marketing is basically we’re going to use channels that we own, you know, like email and SMS. Another thing to advertise the cost of our customer acquisition, you know, which is maybe an accounting way to look at it. But essentially, hopefully they would appreciate that.

00;08;15;29 – 00;08;18;23
Speaker 1
I sure do. I sure do.

00;08;18;26 – 00;08;20;28
Speaker 3
I thought, yeah, David’s going to relate to that one.

00;08;21;02 – 00;08;22;05
Speaker 1
Speaking my language.

00;08;22;06 – 00;08;43;03
Speaker 2
So, you know, for all for all your listeners now think about this. When you when you advertise on Amazon or whatever, you know, like man that with this break even maybe at the start, right Maybe you just got like a Ross or nay costs of like 1.1 or two, but you’re going to keep marketing to that customer if you’re clever, right?

00;08;43;06 – 00;09;01;17
Speaker 2
You’re going to have a strategy to keep engaging with them over time. So what starts out like 1.1 or 1.2 over time, few months, three months becomes 1.5 to 4 or five, six months becomes 4 to 6 X. And so that’s like the big idea.

00;09;01;19 – 00;09;23;05
Speaker 3
Do you have any tips or tricks for the listeners on because Amazon is a very strict marketplace and platform and you know, they’re they’re not going to give us the emails because then we’re going to take them off of, off of that platform. So how do you what are some ways to engage with the Amazon customers, you know, down the road, capture an email or get their attention in other ways.

00;09;23;07 – 00;09;56;11
Speaker 2
That is an excellent question. Can I think what are the best tricks I’ve seen is to is to engage the customer with the actual product itself. And so let me give you a couple examples. So by I like supplements and vitamins, I order a lot of them, and the better ones that I get will have a QR code on on the wrapper that’ll serve, you know, four, 5% off your next purchase scan and go here and give us your email.

00;09;56;13 – 00;10;46;19
Speaker 2
And I consider that a really cheap, effective way of, of acquiring a purchase and any sort of, you know, giveaway that you can incent in either the packaging or the actual product itself to acquire that email to keep going is just crucial until I think about your offer, whether it’s a discount on the next one, whether it’s to be, you know, put me to a raffle or whether it’s to like drive, you know, user generated content, right, to get people to be like if it’s something more like also buying, you know, like fun little sports things like ping pong battles, you know, show us using this and we’ll feature you on our social media or

00;10;46;19 – 00;10;57;24
Speaker 2
something like that. But you control the unboxing experience as an Amazon seller, not Amazon, which is kind of which is which is what I would encourage you to think about.

00;10;57;27 – 00;11;26;27
Speaker 1
I like that. I really like that. And, and warranties is one that we’re given and try to on a product that like seems reasonable to sign up for a warranty and so I really like that in and the percentage of that user generated content and and so let’s let’s dive in to email marketing and as I mentioned before the show, we are just we are just spinning up our email marketing department.

00;11;26;27 – 00;11;36;12
Speaker 1
We’ve been active for about six months. And so what are some industry standard like benchmarks for email marketing? How do we know if we’re doing good?

00;11;36;15 – 00;12;05;24
Speaker 2
So get is that is a super important question for all e-commerce sales and this is actually something we’ve we’ve been thinking about doing is we’re going to we’re actually going to roll out a service of industry specific benchmarking, and I’ll mention this on my work and later, but if you email me with like your contact info in your industry, I will email you back your industry benchmarks.

00;12;05;26 – 00;12;36;25
Speaker 2
But what I can say generally is I’m going to distinguish between campaign emails which are like mass emails and then workflows, which are those 1 to 1 emails like cart abandonment. So if you’re sending campaign emails and you are good at what you do and people like your brand, we have customers that do an open rate of 10 to 20% click rate of about 1% or so, and then a conversion rate of half a percent.

00;12;36;28 – 00;13;08;18
Speaker 2
That’s pretty good for workflows. And so for campaign email, that’s like your entire list for workflows. The numbers are much smaller of what you’re sending, but but the rates are much higher. So for for automated workflows, we want to target an open rate of like 40 to 60%, a click rate of like 10 to 15% and a conversion rate of 5% and that.

00;13;08;19 – 00;13;13;20
Speaker 2
So it’s like the conversion rate is like roughly ten X even though the volume is smaller.

00;13;13;22 – 00;13;32;14
Speaker 3
So Russell on on those. So that’s very different between say like manual campaigns versus using those. Yeah. Why like what, what why are the the metrics so, so different. Is it just the response or what do you think.

00;13;32;17 – 00;14;11;13
Speaker 2
Yeah. Also a really insightful question. So it’s it’s kind of the level of your your buyer intent. The campaign has sent out your entire list and they don’t they’re sort of we’re sort of interrupting them with a message from your store, whereas a flow is a response to something they did on your site, right? So a flow is a triggered email that’s a response to them, like signing up on your site or viewing a product or taking some action.

00;14;11;16 – 00;14;28;20
Speaker 2
So a flow is, you know, talking to a customer that’s already engaged with you. And that’s why the the response rate is so much higher and you can almost think about flows as retargeting, you know?

00;14;28;23 – 00;14;48;21
Speaker 3
Okay, yeah, that totally makes sense. It’s like you’re a warm lead versus a cold lead. Yeah. Of yeah. And so like a retargeting or an abandoned car, like they’re already there. And so when they see that they’re like, Oh wait, yeah. Versus getting a random message in your inbox of like, oh, maybe I want to look at that or not.

00;14;48;21 – 00;14;50;05
Speaker 3
So it makes sense.

00;14;50;09 – 00;15;15;07
Speaker 1
So one follow up question I have today is in when I it’s it’s interesting. We have an email marketing department and I, I also like subscribe to some newsletters and when I open those, I ask myself like, why did I open that was actually title, Was it good content in usually the ones that I don’t subscribe to have great content I like, I enjoy reading them.

00;15;15;07 – 00;15;28;11
Speaker 1
They’re providing a ton of value, so I just let them keep showing up. And so in terms of content, what would you recommend for someone who’s just getting started? What what should I send my email list?

00;15;28;14 – 00;16;12;05
Speaker 2
Okay, so let’s talk about that. There’s there’s kind of a cookbook of different strategies we have that are kind of slow between whether you’re B2B or B2C. I think most of your viewers are probably, you know, DTC direct to consumer brands. So you can email and your customers or why, but you can’t sell every time as a good rule of thumb, you know, maybe you sell over your like you can email like two or three times a week, but you’re mostly like educating or being interesting, right?

00;16;12;08 – 00;16;51;00
Speaker 2
And so you want to talk to content about why people buy your products. So, for example, my buddy shout out to my friend Jabari Martin, who has a brand called Great Snacks. He sells, he calls it a performance sport nugget and it’s like this little type of thing. And he is a bodybuilder and a trainer. And so his stuff is sometimes about growth, but mostly it’s a lot of aspirational stuff about, you know, your goals and achieving your goals and your workout and your fitness and like stories and content and around that.

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00;16;51;02 – 00;17;20;01
Speaker 2
And so the, the people that are buying grit are, you know, wanting to become like better athletes and more a physician and and enable to do more. And so a lot of the time you’re talking to kind of the underlying reason what your you know, the idea of like jobs to be done so someone is buying your product to do a job and what is that job and how can you help them to, like, achieve that job?

00;17;20;03 – 00;17;55;14
Speaker 2
And so if you’re thinking about broad categories, right, about, you know, how to use this thing effectively, the people that do this thing. So interviews is a great one, right? People that, you know, use your stuff really effectively or or don’t even use your stuff just in the same area. Talk to them because you’re your customer base wants to hear from them and they’re just rounding up other stuff from the web, you know, and using current news events as jumping off points, I think is a really easy one, if you can find a way to relate it back that you know, makes sense.

00;17;55;16 – 00;18;17;25
Speaker 3
Yeah, I like that a lot. Now, a little bit of a deeper question for, you know, email marketing and kind of engaging our our subscribers. What is your take on using like templated emails versus like just text based only? Do you use both or do you all use one? What are your what’s your preferences there?

00;18;17;28 – 00;18;46;02
Speaker 2
I think a really strong split between business to business and consumer and and then kind of products versus everything else. My agency just focuses on products for people that are doing, you know, B2B email where it’s like services are everything go with text, right? People that are buying consulting don’t really want like a big slash would complete or whatever for, for, for our universe.

00;18;46;05 – 00;19;21;06
Speaker 2
I think templates are important, but templates should mean cookie cutter. All I mean by is we’re going to build out a graphical email which has good photography of the products. When you’re thinking about your your email strategy and just broader, investing in product photography is really important because that allows you to give the designer either it’s us or someone else, you know, something to work with because we want to highlight your stuff and make people excited about that.

00;19;21;09 – 00;19;57;17
Speaker 2
We can’t do that with with just text, although text is an important part of it. So let me give you a totally different example. One of our clients sells scientific equipment, things like ventilation hearts, right? So our picture of a ventilation hood will will be what it it’s with that audience, you know, the guy who writes up a copywriter who writes that has a master’s in chemistry, and he’s writing about some, you know, very detailed product specific attributes.

00;19;57;19 – 00;20;09;22
Speaker 2
And in that case, it makes sense to be more tech stuff. But if you’re selling something that is most people can just evaluate off the bat, then I think maybe more made for the visuals.

00;20;09;24 – 00;20;35;27
Speaker 3
Okay. Yeah, that’s interesting. What we’ve noticed is whenever the templated, like product based emails we get, we get way more conversions. And so if we’re looking to, you know, if it’s a sales you type of email, we use the templated ones. And then if we’re see, we’re saying we’re putting out an email to get to give feedback on something or we want replies user generated content, then we go with the text base because it just seems like we get more replies.

00;20;35;29 – 00;20;39;04
Speaker 3
It’s like more of a 1 to 1 personal type, you.

00;20;39;08 – 00;20;39;17
Speaker 2
Know.

00;20;39;17 – 00;20;40;12
Speaker 3
In the tax base.

00;20;40;12 – 00;21;03;10
Speaker 2
And so yeah, I’m kind of now that is really, I think really a good point. Like I think gathering the user generated content is super important, so maybe a text based appeal might be better. The thing that I would AB test there is using pictures of other UGC that you’ve got to kind of draw.

00;21;03;12 – 00;21;09;05
Speaker 3
Inside the text, inside the text email. Yeah, yeah. Okay. I like that.

00;21;09;08 – 00;21;18;25
Speaker 2
You know, if you, if you’re if you happen to have it and if you don’t happen to have it, if you’re having it, go have your girlfriend or your friends just like goes let’s talk about this.

00;21;18;27 – 00;21;21;28
Speaker 3
It get it get a quick UGC.

00;21;22;01 – 00;21;22;12
Speaker 2
Right?

00;21;22;18 – 00;21;27;11
Speaker 3
Yeah I like that. Awesome. David, over to you.

00;21;27;13 – 00;21;40;23
Speaker 1
Yes. We’ve spent some time talking about what are good things to put in emails. Let’s can we spend a little bit of time on what should not be in emails, like what gets you in the penalty box or in that spam folder? What do you want to avoid.

00;21;40;25 – 00;22;10;23
Speaker 2
When you’re so this is this is going to be nerding out a little bit when you’re setting up your email, set up a different domain for your email domain versus your store, Right. Because God forbid you should ever get in the spam jail and you don’t want that to affect your domain itself. So if you look at any of the major brands, if you’re signing up to the app or anything, you’ll see the email address is not from like app directly, but from like got to the email account or something like that.

00;22;10;25 – 00;22;39;23
Speaker 2
There are some things you can set up there to kind of improve your reputation. It’s kind of an alphabet soup. It’s there’s three acronyms SPF, DKIM and DMARC, and I’m going to explain it at a very high level. These are all ways of proving to Google it’s email that the person sending is actually the same as the domain.

00;22;39;26 – 00;23;09;21
Speaker 2
So it’s basically there’s a little sign certificate that says, yep, this is really from my domain, this, this email. So that’s some sort of fraudster. Can’t pretend to send an email from your domain. Try to set that up if you can. When you are collecting emails, make sure to give, you know, an opt out. So the United States is an opt out country, which means we’re just required to have an unsubscribe link, whereas Europe is under GDPR and that’s opt in.

00;23;09;23 – 00;23;33;11
Speaker 2
So you can email them if you want here, make sure to give them way to opt out. And the best way is to do it in the header and then avoid that. I’m trying to think of other way. And then the other way is use a warm up service, which is what we do when we’re getting someone ready.

00;23;33;14 – 00;24;10;16
Speaker 2
Right? So if on day one you set up this new domain and you’re like, Oh, cool, I’m going to email my list. Google doesn’t like that, and the other email providers don’t like either. So you’re very gradually kind of ramping that up and you’re actually starting with a warm up service that puts your email list with other email lists and essentially they robot email each other and open those emails to prove to all the email peers that like, Oh, these are your emails are good emails because other people are opening them before you ever email like a real person.

00;24;10;19 – 00;24;30;24
Speaker 3
Yeah, I like that. That’s a savior from getting no replies in having having a very low open rate. Not not due to, you know, something you did, but due to due to Google or so that’s that’s good. And I like how we’re going to keep on on email. That’s awesome. So the next question I have here says I have a stat here.

00;24;30;24 – 00;24;45;11
Speaker 3
It says eCommerce owners need to shoot for 20 to 40% of sales from email. What size of an email list do you think a brand needs to have to turn to get to shoot to that? Is it is it size or quality or what are your thoughts?

00;24;45;13 – 00;25;25;07
Speaker 2
Yeah, so that’s there’s actually a bunch of stuff that goes into that which I think is great. So we actually have a customer that has a relatively small amount of subscribers. They have about like 3000, 4000 subscribers, but they’re achieving that. But also in general, there are a couple of critical factors, mostly for, oh, you want to have monthly traffic of at least 5 to 10 K to your website to kind of acquire emails or, you know, you’re doing some sort of advertising to kind of get that.

00;25;25;09 – 00;25;59;00
Speaker 2
And in order to kind of like build your list. But even if you have a list of like 5 to 10 K, it’s doable. You know, we see like if you just do this yourself and you kind of don’t do it that well and you just set up like a single part of random email, you’ll get like 5 to 10% with professionals who are going to put in many different workflows and kind of build those workflows out and kind of monitor it.

00;25;59;03 – 00;26;28;05
Speaker 2
You should be able to do 20 to 40% and you should be able to do that with as little as like a 5000 to 10000 person. West It definitely helps as you get bigger. The other thing you want to, you know, all the other kind of factors that we get people to target, you know, having a certain amount of traffic is helpful as is having a high healthy.

00;26;28;08 – 00;26;56;23
Speaker 2
You know, when I say high, I mean at least like 50 or $100 just to make the math worth it, to like set up an email program. And then in terms of like when to bring in professional help, once you cross like around like 50, 60 K in revenue, then it makes sense to, you know, maybe bring in some help to kind of scale.

00;26;56;23 – 00;27;26;15
Speaker 2
I because the if you kind of think about the math, if you’re if you’re doing 50 came up on revenue, you’re probably doing 5ka month in email and someone else can probably add an additional 5 to 10 K, So it’s sort of more than pays for itself. And if you’re a lot of the Amazon sellers might have relatively low site work, their relatively low traffic and you’re out of that.

00;27;26;18 – 00;27;45;12
Speaker 2
A lot of the Amazon ad sellers might have relatively low traffic to their site in early days by low cost traffic like to get emails so you’re not trying to necessarily get sales, you’re trying to find a low cost supply of potentially you trusted people you can market to for a while.

00;27;45;15 – 00;27;48;29
Speaker 1
And you go into this a little bit more on how to do this.

00;27;49;00 – 00;28;22;23
Speaker 2
Let’s talk about kind of kind of the world out there. So if people there’s demand fulfilling, which is Google, people are searching for your product category that’s kind of expensive and there’s demand creating, which is more like image ads. And that would be like the Facebooks and the tech talks of the world. Run a bunch of Facebook campaigns with the goal of just collecting an email address or buy lists, you know, tell you to do it.

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00;28;22;23 – 00;28;48;02
Speaker 2
But like, think about doing it right, because your whole goal here is to like, if you’re running an Amazon start, if you’re running a Facebook campaign, you show people some, you know, interesting image and you want to educate them about your product category, give them like an e-book or some explanatory video or something in exchange for an email address as cheaply as possible.

00;28;48;04 – 00;29;19;26
Speaker 2
Right? And so if you can acquire that, you know, email address in exchange for giving, you know, some sort of value and then just market to that over time. Right. So how cheaply can you and there are a bunch of there are always new channels kind of coming up, whether you know, influencer marketing is another one, but whatever low cost way you can of acquiring people that are interested by giving them something of value.

00;29;19;28 – 00;29;44;20
Speaker 2
So if it’s like I’m selling ping pong battles, I’ll be like, These are the five ways people screw up their ping pong game. I was like a little bit, but or check my video, you know, about how people screw up, screw up their ping pong game, and then return to that just in their email. And I just want to do that and kind of rev up the attention until I, until I can maybe get a, you know, a decent of commerce.

00;29;44;22 – 00;29;54;29
Speaker 1
So to follow on two questions, that inner accountant in me has got to ask what is a good price for an email and how much like how much is too high. Yeah.

00;29;55;01 – 00;30;21;21
Speaker 2
So that is the, the $10,000 question. A lot of pens are doing your math. So this is this is why I like my rule of thumb is if you’re in e-commerce, you want to have a product that sells for 50 or 100 bucks, right? Because in it then you have enough margin and like hopefully 50% gross margin. So at least 30%, right?

00;30;21;23 – 00;30;52;19
Speaker 2
So the the smaller that is, the trickier it gets in general. I’ll say like if you can acquire, you know, there’s a general rule of an email subscriber being worth a dollar, right? So if you can acquire them for like ten, 20, $0.30, you know, it makes sense. But you have to remember that you’re going to amortize this over a period of time.

00;30;52;21 – 00;31;11;22
Speaker 2
So you have to have kind of the, you know, the dry powder to be able to do that. So I would say like, you know, without knowing more about the business, I would say ten, 20, $0.30 per email, try to keep it in the definitely in the up in the lower range of that.

00;31;11;24 – 00;31;40;22
Speaker 2
But, you know, as you have and sort of the other levers you can dial like dialed under the math gets much more attractive. So one of our one of our customers was a furniture company and they’re selling like $5,000 chairs. So for them, it just doesn’t matter. Right? Whatever you can do there. Another way to acquire emails is through giveaways or raffle, right?

00;31;40;29 – 00;32;05;18
Speaker 2
So you have products and you can say, Hey, enter, you know, and ah, for a chance to be given this, you know, we give one away every month. Right. And so you can do that on your site. You can also, you know, do that as a Facebook campaign. You can also do that as when someone, you know in the unboxing enter to receive free product.

00;32;05;19 – 00;32;37;05
Speaker 2
Okay yeah I’ll give my so you want to know your you want to try different stuff out but these are not like giving value or some form and keeping that that that costs low as long as someone is engaged. It’s like it’s not a, you know, fraudulent email or fraudulent collect, but as long as like, okay, I can reasonably expect that person to just in the product, then I think it’s worth it to pay, you know, ten, 20, $0.30 for that.

00;32;37;08 – 00;32;45;19
Speaker 1
Okay. My second question, I can I’m going to kick it over to you. Where do you like to buy lists?

00;32;45;21 – 00;33;22;17
Speaker 2
I have not bought lists for direct to consumer as much. We are actually on boarding though A this is for more established companies, but like as you maybe speak to this a bit later but essentially if you already have 5 to 10000 visitors a month we have technology will actually tell us the emails and some of those people and just capture them so you can start sending out like emails to them.

00;33;22;19 – 00;33;45;28
Speaker 2
That’s definitely worth testing. But if you’re just there are various list brokers out there and I don’t know all of them for my direct to consumer, but if you want to hack it the other way on Facebook is just to go around to your competitors pages and market for people that like their pages.

00;33;46;00 – 00;33;53;03
Speaker 1
I Aha. That’s yeah, I like that. I like that. All right Jen over to you.

00;33;53;05 – 00;34;06;24
Speaker 3
Sure. Now good stuff. So to kind of bring it bring it up a little bit at a higher level here, Russell, what are what are the top three revenue generating email campaigns that you normally recommend to run?

00;34;06;26 – 00;34;18;00
Speaker 2
Yeah. So if you’re if you’re sort of starting out, you’re doing nothing else, You want to do a welcome email card, abandonment and product demand.

00;34;18;03 – 00;34;45;07
Speaker 2
So everyone knows about the card abandonment. So all of us talked about that first. But the card abandonment issue in your marketing funnel, those are the people that are the most, as we say, like down funnel ready to buy, right? So they put it into their cart and then wait for some reason. So that is going to have the highest conversion rate, but the lowest value because it’s at the very bottom of the funnel.

00;34;45;10 – 00;35;13;13
Speaker 2
So you should definitely have that set up. You should hit people up a couple of times once they’re in that stage. But what a lot of people forget is the other parts of the funnel. So the Welcome series goes out to everybody who subscribes and that’s where you’re going to educate your customers about the product and the brand and you and your story and build trust over time.

00;35;13;15 – 00;35;39;01
Speaker 2
And then you’re going to, you know, ask them to purchase. So in other words, they hate your site. Maybe they’re an out visitor and they’re going to bounce because most pay traffic is like a 70% bounce rate. You capture that in the email, you have two or three more chances to talk with them. And that’s like build up the story of like who you are, what you’re about, why you’re a good guy, and kind of like how you can help them out.

00;35;39;04 – 00;35;56;26
Speaker 2
And then there is product abandonment, which is maybe the least known, which is essentially saying, we’re going to get you sort of at the middle of the funnel, which is you’ve what about a product? So if you’ve been to the site at least once, now you’re a little bit deeper and but you haven’t added it to the part.

00;35;56;29 – 00;36;14;05
Speaker 2
So the conversion rate is lower than like the cart abandonment, but it’s five times the volume. So it ends up being it usually outweighs the revenue of the card of being very nice.

00;36;14;08 – 00;36;17;20
Speaker 1
How do you capture the emails of anonymous users?

00;36;17;23 – 00;36;57;21
Speaker 2
Yeah, so that’s really interesting. So essentially when you like, let’s say, let’s say you sign up for one of these early gen sites like, you know, apply for a credit card in your wallet or something like that. They are part of these large networks that cookie you and then try to, you know, sell you different ads. And so we’re working with a technology partner that is essentially when you sign up for these your cookie ID and your email is hashed, it’s coded with a thing called an MI5 five hash.

00;36;57;23 – 00;37;18;28
Speaker 2
So we have a tech partner that just bought, you know, 100 million emails and then also run them through the same hash. And so all we’re doing is a lockout. So we have an anonymous visitor with an MD5 hash. We have a huge table of other MD5 hashes, and if we mash want to be like, Oh, that’s probably this guy.

00;37;19;00 – 00;37;38;05
Speaker 2
And if he’s active on the site, we’re going to fire him. But it only works if your site has, you know, because it’s we’re not going to be able to identify everybody we want at least 5 to 10000 visitors, you know, coming through, you know, sort of get the volume. But essentially it’s it’s sort of boiling the ocean.

00;37;38;06 – 00;37;42;13
Speaker 2
It’s getting all the email address, McCann passing Bamford and seeing if there’s a match.

00;37;42;15 – 00;37;59;18
Speaker 3
That’s awesome. Yeah, we’ve been testing that out. It’s it’s working wonderfully and in our company. Yes. All right. So can you share with your audience how to use email to drive reviews and user generated content? This is probably one of my favorite questions here.

00;37;59;20 – 00;38;45;23
Speaker 2
Oh yeah, that is super important because it feeds into everything. I’m a fan of paying people a lot of like do whatever you have to do. So the the way we normally implement it is a certain amount of time after a product purchase, you know, we’re going to head people up for reviews and user generated content. And so that’s actually whatever review program or UGC program we signed up with, we wire that into the email and then we sort of send that to them on a certain interval after they’re after their purchase.

00;38;45;25 – 00;39;05;18
Speaker 2
And we want to do it in such a way that we only get good feedback because we don’t want bad feedback from the store. So that’s really critical. We want to tell people that, hey, if you have if you’ve had a great experience, go here, leave us a review. If you have not had a great experience, get in touch with us and we’ll make it right.

00;39;05;20 – 00;39;50;12
Speaker 2
So we want to be very clear, you know about that. And, you know, and then in the review part, you know, if we can offer people any any incentives, either being interested in drawing or being featured or free product or whatever, you know, let’s let’s do that. It’s so, so important. And then on the flip side, if anyone leaves your bad review, like do whatever you have to do to get them to take it down, because it’s just it’s, it’s, it’s kind of an outsize effect of the, the negatives to the positives.

00;39;50;15 – 00;39;51;20
Speaker 2
Does that make sense?

00;39;51;22 – 00;39;52;16
Speaker 3
Yeah.

00;39;52;18 – 00;39;53;25
Speaker 1
Absolutely.

00;39;53;27 – 00;40;29;29
Speaker 2
Yeah. And there are other sort of factors you can drives is like the at a high level if your product has like an emotional aspect and you can kind of create a community feeling around your brand, that’s the best, right? So it’s way of, of belonging and being part of a tribe, you know, and it’s different for different types of products, right?

00;40;29;29 – 00;40;45;21
Speaker 2
If you sell portable generators or something like really technical, there might be around like, you know, show your professional competence or other stuff.

00;40;45;23 – 00;41;07;06
Speaker 2
Another great way is to interview your customers and then ask them for review. After that, because usually they’re their incentive to give a better, you know, a good review or after you’ve been able to help people, like if you ever sort of go above and beyond in your store and people are really appreciative, that is a fantastic time to ask them.

00;41;07;06 – 00;41;16;23
Speaker 2
But gathering those reviews and piping them out to all your channels is so, so important.

00;41;16;25 – 00;41;26;04
Speaker 1
Very nice. Very nice. Why don’t we turn the corner and talk about Sapient and Rizzio and you know, they could help e-commerce businesses.

00;41;26;06 – 00;42;10;18
Speaker 2
Oh, that’s awesome. So. So we spent a lot of time talking about email. So I’ll I’ll start with right here. So radio I took over as general manager, but it’s been and we drive about and pay 30 million top wine for the other businesses that every year if you are if you have like doing 5060 K in sales and you have like five 10,000 visitors a month and you’re only getting, you know, 5 to 10% of revenue from email, we’re going to analyze what you’re doing and a bunch of other series and then start testing stuff.

00;42;10;20 – 00;42;37;28
Speaker 2
We have sort of two different plans. We have kind of a a more kind of cookie cutter one, which is more low touch and then a higher, harder touch one for like the bigger, bigger brands. So if you’re like in the maybe sub 2 million a year space, we’re going to set up our system for you, which is going to get you probably by 15, 20% for the brand that are doing like maybe four or 5 million.

00;42;38;00 – 00;43;20;06
Speaker 2
It’s that plus like continual testing and optimizing segmenting because they generally have larger lists and we’re going to try to get them to like 25 to 40% of sales. So that’s ratio. And then for Xavien, Xavier is mostly about ads and SEO and it uses ratio ads for email. With ads, we’re focused very heavily on feed optimization and figuring out how do you really optimize your your feed so that you can get more sales at a higher price that’s on the outside.

00;43;20;09 – 00;43;50;06
Speaker 2
And then on the SEO, we’re thinking a lot about basically people are searching for your product or product category and how are those product and brand pages set up so that you do well search? And then also same thing with your food. I think at this point in, you know, 20, 23, feed optimization is just like a really big part of everything.

00;43;50;09 – 00;44;19;11
Speaker 2
And so that’s more for like, you know, brands on the higher end are doing like four or 5 million a year in sales and you’re like, I want to drive more sales and lower price and that’s where it premium lifecycle marketing. So for XAVIEN, we would plug in ads, SEO and email. We can we can pay a little bit more for ads with, you know, within the amortized cost switching now and because we’re doing the whole thing, we could kind of see, you know, down the road, do you like, okay, here’s, here’s how this puts off.

00;44;19;14 – 00;44;20;22
Speaker 2
That makes sense.

00;44;20;25 – 00;44;37;15
Speaker 3
Yeah. No, it’s awesome. And I like how, you know, kind of both of those companies like work hand in hand and, you know, one, you know, takes takes it here and this one takes it over there. So that’s really cool. So, Russell, on every show we have, we run our guest through the ringer. It’s called The Fire Around.

00;44;37;18 – 00;44;38;14
Speaker 3
Are you ready?

00;44;38;17 – 00;44;40;08
Speaker 2
Yeah. So.

00;44;40;11 – 00;44;43;04
Speaker 3
All right. What is your favorite book?

00;44;43;07 – 00;45;15;18
Speaker 2
Okay, so I think the book that I had two and they’re both kind of similar one is called Succeed by Heidi Halverson. The other one is called Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck. Succeed is a lot more practical. I was like really practical habits for how to be more successful. Growth mindset has really like one big idea, which is when you do badly you need to take that is like feedback and, and like look closely at it in a non personal way and you’re like, What can I do better?

00;45;15;20 – 00;45;27;17
Speaker 2
Instead of taking it personally and being like, That’s a judgment on me. And I found that really helpful in work and in just growing and perfect go like this.

00;45;27;20 – 00;45;29;25
Speaker 3
What are your hobbies.

00;45;29;28 – 00;45;55;10
Speaker 2
For four or five years I did improv, which was, which is really fun. It’s a lot of people are like afraid of public speaking and stuff. I learned it really helped me to relate to people and make small talk and really improved my listening skills because a lot of what you’re doing is what someone else talks or kind of repeating it, repeating it back and making sure you’re both on the same page.

00;45;55;12 – 00;46;01;02
Speaker 2
And so it really helped me. It was kind of an awkward guy who sits in front of a computer all day. Yeah.

00;46;01;04 – 00;46;15;11
Speaker 3
That’s awesome. That’s cool. That’s that’s the first time I’ve heard that answer. So that’s awesome. And that’s something that yeah, I don’t think I could do that. Cool. What is the one thing that you do not miss about working for the man?

00;46;15;14 – 00;46;46;09
Speaker 2
Oh, that’s. That’s a great one. So I spent four or five years working for Texas Instruments, which is a company of like 50,000 plus people. It has a campus that’s so big that when you like, enter the campus, you still have to drive like another half a mile to get to your particular building. And I was in a lot of meetings where I was like the audience, like I wasn’t the person talking, but I wasn’t the person being talked to.

00;46;46;12 – 00;46;55;14
Speaker 2
But I was kind of like a seat filler at the Oscars. And I once talked to the like, how much of my working life has been spent. So I definitely don’t miss that.

00;46;55;17 – 00;47;06;02
Speaker 3
Nice. Yeah. All right. Last one. What do you think sets apart successful e-commerce entrepreneurs from those who give up fail or never get started on?

00;47;06;04 – 00;47;30;27
Speaker 2
I think a lot of people would answer this question with something inspirational about persistence and grit and stuff, and I’ll say that’s an important quality and you should definitely have that quality. But I think everyone gives that answer. So I’m going to tell you the answers I’ve gotten from like more like the school of hard knocks, like just the really brass tacks.

00;47;31;00 – 00;47;57;17
Speaker 2
You need a high margin, you need a high gross margin because that allows you to invest. You need a high average order value because the cost of that, it’s always going to be a dollar or $2 a click. And if you’re selling a $20 product, the math is not on your side. You need a good niche where you’re like, okay, I can I can dominate this.

00;47;57;17 – 00;48;19;25
Speaker 2
I’m excited enough about it. Like I get the people to do it. I can I can work at it. And then you need good SEO and you’re like pumping out a lot of content videos on and, and stuff about like that content and you’re going to like, I have this one weird thing and, and son of a bitch.

00;48;19;25 – 00;48;29;25
Speaker 2
If anyone searches for this on YouTube or any of the other places, they’re going to find me. So that’s, that’s kind of like my my formula for it.

00;48;29;28 – 00;48;40;24
Speaker 3
Okay. I like it. That’s that’s really cool. Kind of a and all around awesome. So, David, do you want to close out the show It I think Russell’s got a couple of links here in the show notes.

00;48;41;00 – 00;48;46;17
Speaker 1
So Russell, if people are interested in getting in touch with you, what would be the best way?

00;48;46;19 – 00;49;23;16
Speaker 2
Yes. So if you are a non, you know, kind of a an e-commerce business on the larger and doing a couple million or more in sales and you want help with your whole digital strategy go to cowardly dot com slash David slash growth underscore chat I also find it on the website dating dot com. If you want help specifically on email go to cowardly dot com slash ratio slash call or just go to the website ratio wise CEO dot com and the other one it’s sapient a.k.a.

00;49;23;18 – 00;49;31;06
Speaker 1
Awesome and we’re going to post links to all that in the show notes Russell what thank you for being a guest on the firing main podcast and looking forward to staying in touch.

00;49;31;06 – 00;49;32;11
Speaker 2
Thank you guys so much.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Halvorson, Heidi Grant (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)