Social media is a drama queen, which is why you need something stable stewing in the back for your D2C brand: email marketing.
George Kapernaros, Founder of YOCTO, holds the secrets in space…including how to recover SIX FIGURES in 5 minutes:
🔥 100K+ in 1 email campaign.
💪🏻 Worked with 200+ stores.
⭐️ Segmentation instructor @ CXL.
Still think Emails are for yo Grandma? Prepare for an AMA that unlocks it all.
🗣️: Which do you think is more effective, especially when it comes to conversions: Social Media or Email Marketing?
💬 George: So email marketing is a channel that works AFTER you have traffic to collect emails from, right? Whether you bring traffic through social media or any other way, the fact of the matter is, without traffic, you have no emails, without emails, you have no email marketing. 🙂
In terms of conversions, email is obviously converting at higher percentages, but this doesn't have to do with emails themselves, but more about the audience. When someone signs up on an email list, it's as if they're raising their hand, they're saying, "I am interested." Their level of intent is significantly higher than someone who's randomly scrolling on IG.
🗣️: What’s the best way to grow my email lists?
💬 George: It's a simple equation:
More form eyeballs + Higher Form Conversion Rate = More List Growth
This is also related to my previous answer if you don't have traffic to the website, you don't have eyeballs, therefore your email marketing is not sustainable, as people will naturally churn over time.
🗣️: What's your #1 main rule when you’re writing an email?
💬 George: Do not clear your throat and get to the point immediately.
🗣️: Based on your experience, what are some good incentives/offers that work well for customers to willingly sign up for our mailing list?
💬 George: Most people that visit an online store do so because they're browsing to decide what to shop, or to actively shop something. So universally, the best incentive you can give is financial. A good rule of thumb is to offer X% X$OFF at orders above your median order value. Another strong incentive to get someone's email is the personalization of the shopping experience - a good example is the quiz here.
🗣️: We currently work with clients both big and small and I’m trying to find the balance between appropriate levels of depth when compared to efficiency and effectiveness. When working with smaller stores that probably don’t offer as many segmentation and data collection angles, do you tend to gravitate to other strategies? Or mainly building on fundamentals until they are at that level?
💬 George: I really love this question. I think business-wise, you should calculate the hourly rates of your team members + evaluate how much cost does serving these 'smaller' projects really has vs the fee they pay you. Then you should commit to helping them in the best possible way you can WHILE keeping a profit margin that you consider healthy for your business.
Overwhelmingly, for smaller stores, it makes sense to optimize what gets seen by most people, as opposed to doing bespoke work for smaller sub-audiences, as this will have a high impact, MUCH quicker.
If you have 10,000 subscribers or w/e. From an efficiency/effectiveness balance, it makes sense to try to create THE BEST POSSIBLE EMAIL FOR THEM instead of trying to create 10 different emails, for 1000 subscribers.
If you have 1000000000 subscribers, that's a different story.
Anyway - going back to smaller stores, the best use of time is almost always going to be in improving sign-up forms + the content of their retargeting and onboarding (welcome subscribers + welcome buyers) automation flows AND THEN optimizing their campaign content.
🗣️: Your rules for writing email content.
Every sentence has one goal: To get the reader to read the next sentence.
Specificity (”18.89% better”) is more convincing than vague claims (”better”).
Structure claims like this: CLAIM —> BENEFIT —> REASON TO BELIEVE. For example; The most comfortable bra (claim), for a bra-free feeling all day long (benefit), thanks to its seamless design and easy front-closure (reason to believe). Every claim needs a reason to believe.
Target a core emotional driver when writing. These core emotional drivers are the Catholic Church’s 7 deadly sins. Everybody is vulnerable to these, at points. We want to agitate them, discreetly.
Everybody is experiencing (a degree of) uncertainty, stagnation, and a desire for a better life.
Everybody prefers easy rather than complicated, immediate results, rather than slow, no risk to high risk.
Frame prices attractively. 30 dollars a month should be framed as 1 buck a day.
Anchor prices to a bigger number before revealing the actual cost. A supplement that costs 30 bucks (or 1 buck a day) should be mentioned after we established that the cost of getting the ingredients of the supplements by yourself is over 100 bucks.
Write to one person (one audience) only. Content that targets beginners should be beginner-friendly, and content that targets seniors should be senior-friendly. Don’t try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one.
Don’t clear your throat. Get to the point immediately. Every word counts. Cut words mercilessly.
🗣️: The biggest issue right now for my eCommerce store is facing retention (Customer Lifetime Value) from email marketing. Therefore, tell me how to properly work with retention strategies (for example, birthday, anniversary, etc.).
💬 George: Simple ways to increase LTV in no particular order:
Bounceback offers - these are offers that get triggered as soon as someone purchases.
Winbacks are triggered BEFORE a customer's estimated day of the next order - the goal being to keep you top of mind, and only provide incentives if/when users don't buy on their own. You can time them appropriately by evaluating the average days between orders of customer groups.
Birthday, anniversary, etc - let's call all of these experiential flows. My boy Adam Kitchen from Magnet Monster has done some truly spectacular work on this. I will drop a link to one strategy he did which I found very very clever.
Get set up with a tool like Malomo or Wonderment, etc. - or otherwise, find a way to: 1) brand your transactional content; 2) drive back this 'transactional' traffic to your website.
Feature offers or specials in your packaging inserts.
Target customers and non-customers separately, and by that, I mean to create custom content FOR customers, not just schedule the emails differently.
Now I'll wear my dark lord hat and make a point that goes more into product development / upsells, etc. We purchase things to cause problems, but when we do, we create new problems. For example, you want to drive around, so you buy a car. But buying a car creates the problem of having to buy fuel. If you apply this logic, you can create highly successful upsells + bundles.
For example, we used to work with a very popular digital product company in the running space. We created an upsell, following up the running app purchase that focused on the running app not training the user's UPPER BODY. So their workout wasn't complete until they bought the upsell too. Buying the running app -> solved the problem of not working out But running created the problem of them not having an upper body workout.
🗣️: Someone signs up for your onsite discount promo - in exchange for their email. Is the first automated email a verified double opt-in to validate that they are human or do you just send the code? In the instance the discount code is made available onsite do you begin customer segmentation with your welcome email or revert to the double opt-in first.
💬 George: I do not recommend double opt-ins. They lead to better RATES but lower TOTAL performance, so they make email marketers look better but lead to a smaller business impact. In regards to the discount code - the correct way to think about this is: "What's best for the customer?" What's best for the customer is to show it straight away, so they can apply it immediately, AND also feature it in the welcome email, in case they don't.
Of course, single opt-in will lead to less engaged leads, so list-cleaning + consent affirmation during the journey becomes more important. What I recommend is to have sunset flows get triggered within the customer journey, not only after someone is super inactive.
So for example if someone signs up, but doesn't do anything for 14 days, even though they've received 7 emails -> add them to an early sunset flow and filter them out.
RE: Segmentation. I've done a course on customer segmentation which explains my thoughts in great depth.
IN AN IDEAL WORLD -> yes you personalize from the very first email, because this would mean you collect data from the maximum number of people. But for many companies, this isn't' feasible, they won't know what questions to ask, how to orchestrate this, and more importantly, what to do with it. In brief, here's what I think:
You can segment people according to WHAT they do (through RFM). This is create for offer timing, and setting correct offer thresholds, so you min-max profits.
You can segment people according to WHY they do it (through customer research). This helps fine tune and optimize messaging, creative, etc.
The ultimate way is to segment according to WHY the individual does it, which is really, personalization. These 3 steps are progressive.
It's very easy to assume that trying to do that last one-to-one personalization is the best way, but you need to think in terms of IMPACT VS REACH. In other words, "how big of an impact will it have to show a user XYZ-personalized content, as opposed to general content" + "How many users will see this" + then evaluate if this is worth the effort.
IMO - it is worth the effort a) when a database is super big ( = many people see it) b) it happens very early on, such as through a quiz ( = many people see it) AND there are meaningfully different reasons why people would buy a product (e.g. taking probiotics to aid weight loss vs. relieve constipation vs. having more energy, = high chance personalized content has impact).
🗣️: From the biz owners perspective. Our emails land in the spam/promo tab how you'll fix this?
💬 George: Regarding the spam question, answering this for posterity, off the top of my head:
Get on a dedicated sending domain, if you're not
Exclude exclusion segments
Make a secondary Gmail account and send emails there for preview. If it lands in promo or spam, change the content and test again. You can find spam word lists on Google, Klaviyo has many. A good rule of thumb: If it sounds promotional, it goes to the promo tab. More simple than this process is to use a dedicated tool like Glockapps.
Encourage replies, as these boost deliverability and automatically white list you.
Have GIF + test whitelisting instructions in the welcome flow, depending on the user's inbox (can do a conditional split), so you ask people to whitelist you early on too.
There are a few more things but these are some good tips.
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