Arlen: Welcome back to the e-Commerce Marketing Podcast everyone. My name is Arlen Robinson, and I’m your host. And today we have a very special guest, Reinis Krumins, who is the co-founder of agencyJR, an eCommerce email marketing agency working with your favorite 7 & 8 figure brands. His team has generated over $30,000,000 in email sales in the past 3 years.

Arlen: Welcome to the podcast. 

Reinis: Happy to be here. To be fair, within the intro it feels like, like imagine you’re at restaurant and you know, they, your friends tell your waiters you have a birthday and you have, you know, someone that comes to you singing a happy birthday and they’re just praising you and whatnot.

Reinis: Intro is amazing how you feel. 

Arlen: Anytime kind of you hear somebody introduce you. Yes, yes, 

Reinis: yes, yes, yes. You gotta get that feeling . Yeah. Yeah. Wait, waiters are gonna come by and start singing Happy Birthday . 

Arlen: Oh yeah. That’s, that’s awesome. Well, I’m, I’m super excited to talk to you today. We’re going to be diving deep.

Arlen: Into product launches with email marketing, you know, how to successfully announce a product launch using email marketing. And so I know email marketing is, is your agency’s bread and butter. So you able to, you know, enlighten us a little bit on that. But before we do get into that topic of today, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and you know, specifically how you got into what you’re doing.

Reinis: Fair point, to be fair, as most marketers or people who have been in sales, I think those are the, the two most common verticals where no one really grows up to think I’m gonna be a marketer. Right? For the most part, it’s kind of something where you try to start a business or you try to work on something and you realize, oh, you know, you build this beautiful landing page and a product and you fall back into marketing, you fall back into sales.

Reinis: It’s something you, you only start to think about. You know, start your passion, start your, your business and whatnot. And I kind of come from a similar background in a way. For me, this started when I was a fitness influencer at like 15, and then I, I wanted to start monetizing the audience. So that was when I like seriously got into business, which later led me to try to seek a bigger opportunity in the form of instead of doing influencer marketing, I wanted to go to businesses and then show them how they can grow their own social media.

Reinis: At that point in my country, it didn’t work that well, primarily because the mindset was very limited. And this is back in like 2017. It’s where the US was only like starting to catch on social media marketing and big brands were starting to do it properly in our country, literally three years ago Max.

Reinis: It was the same level as US was in 2017. So this led me to kind of pivoting from just focusing on a small market in, you know, Europe to, you know, seeing the bigger picture. And I turned my eyes to the us. I always loved the US market, loved the businesses. I felt like, you know, you can always make more money there.

Reinis: So it’s, it’s not as complex as other, other markets, so it’s easier to start and relatively easy to scale. I. So then I, I basically started networking with people online. One thing led to another. All of a sudden I were building chat bots for an e-commerce store in the us. This led me to the same brand wanting to work with me on a deeper level.

Reinis: I started doing email marketing, got referred to another company called Motivator Fit. So it was a course created by a guy named John Batia. So he right now is working at Tive Skateboarding, a great e-commerce brand, and also Brandon Shrem, who is a celebrity trainer coaching Jennifer Lopez, the game Prince Royce.

Reinis: And they create a a course online together, and we helped them with email marketing in this kind of rolled off into more and more referrals. Us working with bigger brands, us working with brands such as big Trick. Us working even on, on Jordan Belfort, for a while. Um, not related to email marketing, but we were helping write landing pages and whatnot.

Reinis: Uh, yeah, all, all those were exciting times and now we’ve grown to around 50, 60 people on the team and we’re working with around 1890 brands actively right 

Arlen: now. Wow, that’s awesome. Yeah. Quite a story. You know how you mentioned you came from being a fitness influencer and you kind of leveraged your experience there into marketing in that particular, Kind of the fitness and nutrition space and then we’re able to kind of, that kind of propelled you into it.

Arlen: Yeah. So good stuff. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that. You know where I want to kind of start with our conversation, as I mentioned product launches with regards to email marketing, you know, these days, email marketing historically over the past, I want to say maybe 10 years or so, has always gotten kind of a bad rap.

Arlen: You know, there was always a period of time where, you know, as you know, I know and our listeners probably know where, you know, email was like a, a dirty word. You never send a mass email out to customers or prospective customers, you know, spamming and everything. Spamming. Yeah, that’s spamming. And you know, it was like people were trying to do a lot of other things, but when it comes down to it, I think we’re kind of past that phase.

Arlen: Where now companies still realize that there is an extreme, still extreme amount of value in email and doing email marketing. And so when we’re talking about email marketing to, you know, announce particular product launch for a. E-commerce brand. What do you think are some of the most effective ways? You know, it all really comes down to is the actual email list.

Arlen: So what do you think is one of the most effective ways, or some ways that an e-commerce brand can acquire either an email list or you know, to grow and announce their brand or build it? What would 

Reinis: you suggest? . So I will tell you this, email marketing is a supportive marketing mechanism. So if you’re business, you know, like imagine you know, you know paid ads, for example, from a marketing perspective, paid ads a co, and things that drive new traffic to your site as the backbone.

Reinis: Email marketing is a ribcage. It attaches to it. It’s like a supportive marketing mechanism. So first things first, if you think that email marketing is gonna build your business, you can buy a list and start it that way. You’ve already lost. Email is something that should be done for businesses that are already relatively successful.

Reinis: Typically, if we look at a maths perspective for your roi, a minimum of like 30, 50 K a month in sales. That’s how much you should be generating for you to like make a significant ROI from email marketing. With product launches might be different and I’ll talk a bit more about that, but they’re just taking a step back and looking at the fundamentals.

Reinis: The product launches themselves. We have four main phases we go through and we’ve done this for brands that we’re starting off, nothing. A company selling a fitness app for them, a country build brand’s name unfortunately. But with them we did 251 K in 24 hours from nothing. We had another company, skincare company, Manila.

Reinis: Last year we did 136 K Euros with one email sent. And that was, again, because of the strategy, and it’s not because of the one email we sent, but it’s of the things we did before and after. So whenever you’re launching your product, I’ll make two assumptions. So the first option I’ll tell you about is for people who already have a business that’s making a million a year, let’s say, you know, 600 K to 10 million.

Reinis: There, you already have an email list. You already have your audience, which you can use and leverage, right? So for you, the story is a bit simpler in a way, but still a lot of tactics apply. So the four phases we go through, number one, phase one is the hype up. So we get people excited and we tease the product.

Reinis: We showcase maybe like the outline of the product. And start a conversation with the audience. If you have, for example, a community, like I had a conversation with the founders of my avi, the supplement brand. They’re the second largest collagen protein group. They’re able to leverage that community, start conversations and figure out which products.

Reinis: Their community wants to once have launched, and then with email we can tease them a little bit. We can make people sign up to the email list or even the SMS list to get early access, quicker access before you know it launched to the site, to everyone. That’s kind of like phase one, phase two we dive into in is the, the presale or the commitment phase.

Reinis: So this is where you can do a lot of interesting stuff for a brand that either has, you know, existing business or existing business. By that I mean existing email list, or even if you don’t, a cool tactic you can run here is have a funnel where people can opt in to get early access, and then immediately you take them to sales page where they can pre-order the product.

Reinis: This product. On, you know, a discounted rate. But that way if you have a new product, you can fund the product through your customers. And if you’re unsure whether the product would work, this is a way for you to validate without much risk. Because if the product doesn’t work out and people don’t buy it as much as you thought people would.

Reinis: You don’t have to order as much stock and this can also help you with finances, figuring out how much stock you need. This can also help you like reimburse and kind of like publicly fund the product’s cost with maybe whichever molds you might need to buy and so on and so forth. That’s a very creative way to, to launch a product.

Reinis: What this also allows you to do is to run paid ads. These product launch. Typically collecting emails through paid ads like Legion Forms and whatnot, don’t work well because when you optimize for cheap emails, you get emails with no intent with this. Instead, you have a validation source where you can see whether people are buying or not, and if they are buying, you know the emails you’re getting, they’re high quality.

Reinis: They are people who have funding because if you just do leads, you can get people. Probably, you know, a lot of times where they don’t have, you know, they don’t have the highest interest, they’re just on Facebook to leave their email in a bunch of places. So Facebook optimizes and shows their ads to these people.

Reinis: Once you’ve gotten people to commit by either just signing up to get early access without like a pre-sale page on step two, or even having the pre-sale page and getting people to pre-order product, we move into the next stage, which is the the big sale launch. In between this big sale launch, we basically keep people updated and keep them posted on when the products are gonna be launching, the updates of the product.

Reinis: If you have even footage from, you know, your manufacturing facility, packing the product and you know, putting them into boxes. Showing that is also very exciting because you take the, your customers along on a journey of this new product being. For the big sale launch, we make a huge announcement.

Reinis: Typically for the email list, we give them a couple of hours headstart to purchase a product before other people can. This also induces real scarcity because if you can sell out with just email, the people who didn’t get to buy the product, they have real scarcity and the product might be, you know, out of stock for, for a specific, you know, amount of time.

Reinis: But with this, we typically would send out two emails the same day, one in the morning, and then one in in the afternoon to the people who didn’t open emails. And then we move into phase four, which is the follow up where we follow up with the people who haven’t purchased the new product. Yet they weren’t on the early bird’s list, general email as so and so forth.

This is like an overview of, of this strategy. 

Arlen: I appreciate you breaking it down like that. One of the key things that really stuck out to me is that you mentioned the success that you’ve had with the email campaigns that you’ve helped your clients to. Go through and manage. The key thing is what you do before and after the actual Yes.

Arlen: In sitting of the email. You know, a lot of times I think, you know, businesses think that it’s just kind of magic. You send out this blast email and people are gonna magically flock to your site. Purchased your product and it’s just, that’s it. They just sit back and start collecting the , you know, 

Reinis: collecting their book.

Reinis: Well look, a great case study of this is actually a German public company, which entered into, for example, our market, the country. I’m from, Latvia, for a month before you could even buy a product. They’re buying up influencer ads, TV ads, billboards. Obviously they have a huge marketing budget, but it shows like this.

Reinis: Repetition before you. Builds trust. If you’re launching a new product, even if it’s your customers who are your fans, they still may be skeptical, right? Because they don’t know what they’re buying. It doesn’t have reviews yet, doesn’t have nothing yet with through frequency, through just this familiarizing with the product.

Reinis: You can build trust and you can actually generate more sales. Yeah, for 

Arlen: sure, for sure. Would you say that this whole process, the kind of journey that you described, stepping people through various phases of, you know, the product development, showing people Yes. What’s happening behind the scenes, going all the way to the manufacturing, getting ready to ship it out, showing that process.

Arlen: Would you kind of consider the email exchanges or emails that you’re sending out during that time? Would that be kind of considered, I guess you could say kind. In email terminology, we, we’d like to think of it maybe as warming up your list, so to speak, where you’re not just blasting out a final email when everything is done.

Arlen: Is that what you kind of think of 

Reinis: it as? A hundred percent. You even have a couple of cool tactics, and this is something we’re doing for q4, where we actually send people warmup emails. So these are purely plain drain emails, text based emails. We ask the people to reply to their email or we bae them into replying to their email because as a result, what happens when someone replies your email is your send from address gets saved into their contact book on their e s P.

Reinis: So then the next emails you send, whether that’s a product launch, whether that’s a sale, you know, six months from now is gonna go with their primary. 

Arlen: Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah, very good tactic. That’s very important where, yeah, you wanted to go into that primary folder and not into the newsletter folder where it’s just gonna kind of get lost in the shuffle.

Arlen: So that makes sense. Yeah, yeah, for definitely, for sure. Now, you know, I know you’ve been in the industry for a while. You guys have used various tools and things to do. Obviously you’re gonna need some type of platform to make all of this happen. What are some specific MAR email marketing tools that you recommend that you’re familiar with that yes, e-commerce business should think 

Reinis: about using?

Reinis: If you do e-commerce, you have two main options. Omnis and and Clavio. You have MailChimp. But MailChimp is like, imagine you have three cars in front of you. You have a Bugatti, you have a Lamborghini, and you have like a Fiat 500, a very tiny car, right? You’re not gonna go in the Fiat five hundreds. And go to MailChimp.

Reinis: You know, it’s, it’s dumb. You know, your competition’s gonna smoke you. You really have the two options between Amni and, and, and Clavio. Personally, obvious Clavio throughout when we started, actually went to their office. Okay, here’s a little gift I had. I went to their office two weeks ago. Clavio’s the best.

Reinis: Okay. I have checked out and tried Omni for a bit. Clavio is generally speaking a lot easier to, to use it, easier to optimize and that’s one I recommend. And I, and I believe most of the brands who are gonna be here, they’re gonna use Clavio Clavio funded by Shopify. Okay. I preferred 

Arlen: sold too. You’re not the only person that I’ve had on that mentioned Clavio, and it’s kind of highly regarded them as the kind of the go-to email marketing solution for That’s right.

Arlen: That’s right. Yeah, makes sense. Makes sense. You know, and that’s good to hear because these days, as we know, there are a ton of tools. You know, there’s a lot of different options out there when it comes to emo marketing. But yeah, the specific thing is with Clavio there, it was developed with e-commerce businesses in mind.

Arlen: And so you kind of can’t go wrong with that. One thing that I was thinking about when it’s coming with regards to, you know, email marketing, you mentioned a lot about the creation of this whole journey. You’re kind of taking the customer through a journey via email. I think a lot of times, sometimes businesses may struggle with how do you coordinate a particular journey via email that you’re taking your customer through.

Arlen: Content and things that you put out via social media because Right. You know, all of these things do really have to be in sync because you don’t wanna mention things prematurely, or you mention things after the fact that people may already be aware of because you’ve posted it on your socials. You know, there’s a lot of.

Arlen: Things that have to kind 

Reinis: of spin the answer. Simple. Number one, create a content calendar. Okay. See what’s going on on social media and email marketing. Align it. That’s the thing. We’ve worked with a lot of people where they have their media buying teams, social media teams, and we’re an outsource company, right?

Reinis: We have a content calendar team, their marketing managers approve it and we shift things around. As simple as that. That’s a simplest solution. Maybe another question, I guess that might be a deeper question, like within this is how do right emails are convert? Right? Because you know, it’s not a channel really.

Reinis: Email marketing is, is about giving people ideas. That’s a simplest mindset shift you can have there. A great example for this is there’s a company, I had a call with them two weeks ago. They sell. Skiing equipment, so skiing, jackets and pans. And they’re a very seasonal business deal with seasonality. They started selling swimming shorts and now, you know, we’re going into wintertime and they have the swimming short stock left over and they’re trying to figure out what to do with it.

Reinis: Like every day it stays in on their warehouse. It costs them money. It’s ’em, look, you know, don’t need to sell this to, I don’t know, what was it, uh, Marshalls or something like that. Right. But what we can do instead is we can have an email. Giving them an idea. And this idea is like, look, if you purchase, for example, use skiing equipment, you’re gonna go to resort.

Reinis: What’s the resort? Gonna have a pool here? Shores, they’re, they’re gonna, you know, fit with it. This is kind of like, like a general idea of the email, the big angle, but a lot of times it’s just giving people ideas. If you sell someone a bag, Your job to upsell them. You might have like a store that only sells one bag with email marketing.

Reinis: Your job to get people to buy that bag again is to tell them how they can buy it as a gift for their mother, grandmother, girlfriend, so and so forth. You need to give people ideas because we are simple human beings. You know, it’s monkey see, monkey do kinda right? We see like, hey, okay cool bag I buy for.

Reinis: Cool bag. They tell me to buy from my mother. You are right. Let’s, let’s get it right. So that’s how you can also write the emails I convert. Yeah, 

Arlen: makes, makes sense. For sure. Yeah. You gotta lead people to the proverbial fountain. They’re not gonna just drink from it. Yes. Even though they’re thirsty, you gotta lead to it.

Arlen: So that’s awesome and thanks for sharing that. And as we get ready to wrap things up ais, I wanted to see if you could don’t mind sharing a few examples or maybe. A particular e-commerce brand that you’ve worked with, that has gone through this process of, you know, announcing a product launch via email, and what were some kind of specific things that they did that they 

Reinis: had success with?

Reinis: So, so with this kind of like what I went over Manila, the skincare company, we did that with them. So like I broke down the structure. Another thing was the fitness app for them, the reason really why we did a product launch. So it was a. We did 251 K and 24 hours for a fitness company. They started from scratch.

Reinis: Yep. And really a, a great way to drive traffic. And the kind of, this is another tactic for them was they used an influencer. And the way you can drive sales with an influencers is we aligned all the marketing material to have the influencers. Pictures, influencers, branding, so it looks like, like a real collab between, for example, a product and the influencers.

Reinis: So you can leverage their authority, you can buy promotions on their page, and then instead of you, for example, paying, I don’t know, well, you know, you spend a four, $4,000 on a couple of promotions that pushed people to your brand. What we can do instead is we can build an Optum page that looks like it’s something that they have built, that they have really worked on.

Reinis: You know, they might have been, they might have given input into the product and yet can have ridiculous conversion rates. It’s 30% of the, like if you have a very, very good opt-in page. Then actually on Twitter I shared in a resource post, the exact landing page structure, which I can send you after the call to put in the footnotes as well.

Reinis: If you have like that landing page structure, you can get a 20, 30% Optum rate. And then you get a lot of emails. In the case of that fitness influencer, we collected around 40,000 emails. Yeah. And that’s, that’s a list we can send emails to whenever I want to. I don’t need to ask the influencer for permission.

Reinis: I don’t need to ask, you know, Facebook, Hey, can I spend more money on, you know, advertising? Now I own that. Going back to email marketing, you don’t look at it as a primary marketing channel. It’s a supportive channel. Makes, makes sense. That would be maybe like, you know, giving out the tactic. Another cool life hack we’ve seen with q4.

Reinis: This is just like a Q4 specific thing. Mm-hmm. launch products in q4. Mm-hmm. launch products in q4, people are looking for gifts. Yeah. During Black Friday, serve Monday launch products before Black Friday. Serve Monday, launch products on Black Friday. Serve Monday, launch products after, because you have that void, you know, in between B F C M and then Christmas.

Reinis: People are gonna wanna buy gifts, and this is something how we can keep sales high throughout the entirety of q4, not just for like, you know, singles. Black Friday, cyber Monday, and c. You can keep sales very high if you launch products. And then this also gives you an edge over your competition because the consumers in niche are gonna talk about you because you have new stuff when your competition doesn’t.

Reinis: Yeah, yeah, for 

Arlen: sure. Yeah, that’s some great advice for sure. You know, because that’s, that’s where everybody’s eyes are on, you know, what can I buy? What I got a, you got 1,000,001 gifts to get. Yes. How do I get those gifts? And, you know, everybody wants something unique. They don’t want the same old thing that they got last year and.

Arlen: Fact that you mentioned leveraging the power of these influencers by using their kind of authority, their reach, their yes, their brand. And creating a landing page around that. Like you said, it almost is like this is something that the influencer put together, but you know, you’re just working really kind of collaboratively with them cuz you’re using, you know, their image, their likeness and then that goes a long way.

Arlen: And so, but that’s also some great. Lois. Well, I, I definitely, I learned a lot today for sure. And all our listeners and viewers have as well. It was great having you on. Lastly, before we do let you go, I always like to switch gears here so our audience can get to know you a little bit better. Mm-hmm. If you don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact about yourself that you think we would be interested to know 

Reinis: that at the age of seven, the government.

Reinis: like took me in and they tried to build like, you know, in, in the US you have Captain America. Mm-hmm. , the same thing. They tried to build in Latvia, so I’m Captain Latvia. They, they did testosterone tests. They took me through very intensive training. Okay, so right now I’m actually 12 years old and I’ve grown a beard

Reinis: That’s funny. The terrible joke aside. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know, like I don’t know much to be fair. I’m a very, very ordinary human being. Just, just decided to go down this path and, and. Got, got some success here. I do, I do like, I do focus a lot on self-improvement from like a fit, like not just in business or in the monetary sense, but also from from your health and, and and wellness standpoint.

Reinis: Relationships and something. I’d like to actually, two lessons. I want to, you know, leave a takeaway lessons number one. Recession is, you know, a big risk. The big, the biggest thing that people deal with in recession is they start cutting back on spend and they start, you know, to, they go in the scarcity mindset.

Reinis: Instead of, what you should do is you should realize the market is shrinking, but this means that you can take market share and once the market expands back, you know, outside of recession, you’ll be able to beat your competition. And if you’re doing 2 million in sales right now, With a recession, you might scale down to, you know, 1 million, but if you can keep up your spend, you might be at, you know, 1.5.

Reinis: This 1.5 could be an equivalent of 5 million in yearly revenue. This, I’m just throwing random numbers out here. That’s how you should look at it and think about how you can spend the same, same amount of money on marketing. Still during like a recession, it might mean you launching your products might mean even you like consolidating your offering and killing stuff that doesn’t work that well.

Reinis: It might mean you going outside of the traditional media buying platforms, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and going to the different verticals. And as a ct, a from my end as a marketer, if you want to learn a bit more about how we do these product launches or just chat with me and ask me questions, hit me up at email Reis on Twitter, Instagram, so it’s email R E I N I S, or Yeah, you can just hop off to our site as well.

Reinis: Agency g.com. And 

Arlen: look at call. All right. That’s awesome, Rainis. Thank you for sharing that. And you almost had me with that Captain American joke.  For a minute. I was like, okay, after this podcast I’m gonna have to hit Rainis up and see how I can get some of that Super Soldier serum.

Reinis: super, super soldier serum.

Reinis: I’m not on juice. Full of Naty. 

Arlen: Got it. Got. I hear you. But yeah, good one though. And thank you for joining us. We appreciate it. I’ve learned a lot. I definitely encourage our listeners and viewers to reach out to you if they wanna pick your brand anymore about EMO marketing and uh, how they can benefit their business.

Arlen: And thank you for joining us today on the eCommerce Marketing Podcast.

Reinis: Thank you for having me. 

Podcast Guest Info

Reinis Krumins
Co-founder of agencyJR