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Welcome to the E-commerce marketing podcast. Today’s guest is Andrew Bialecki, and Andrew is from Klaviyo, Welcome to the podcast Andrew, How are you doing?
Andrew: Good, thanks for having me Robert.
Robert: Thanks for being here today, we are going to be talking about the different types of email campaigns that e-commerce businesses can set up to get repeat business, get more traffic, but before we get into it or dive into it, can you just give us a quick introduction about yourself, what you have been doing, how you ended up in Klaviyo and what does Klaviyo do?
Andrew: Yea, Awesome. First off what does Klaviyo do? We started Klaviyo because we saw all the emails that a lot of businesses were sending but especially e-commerce businesses and we just didn’t think they were very good. A lot of them weren’t exciting, we weren’t excited to get them and we thought we can make that better. So Klaviyo’s mission is to help E-commerce brands basically make more money right? Drive more engagement, if it gets customers more excited it leads to more sales [02:00] and we do that through Email targeting and personalisation so basically if you are focused only on open rates then Klaviyo is probably not for you but if you want to use email to really grow your business to attract new customers and turn customers into repeat customers then that’s what we are all about.
Robert: Ok, and what inspired you to start it? Did you have a personal experience with some other software and that’s when you got the idea, maybe we need to look at personalisation and just trying to target?
Andrew: Yea, so prior to Klaviyo I had a background in working with really big companies, really big retail companies so like the Target’s, The Walmart’s, the Starbuck’s, and helping them use data to basically figure out who, what were the different segments of their customer base. And how they should be treating each of those customers differently. Whether they should be sending them different kinds of promotions, different kind of rewards, or different messaging, and what that really turned me onto was the fact that all sorts of business have all this great data about what people are interested in. Either because they are asking, they are asking for their interests or because they are looking at what people are buying. And I realised those big brands were doing this and we were spending a lot of time helping them but there was no solution for really anybody else. You know marketing software was always kinda sidled away from where the really good data was so we though we should fix that. So we spent a lot of time figuring out how we can connect to different E-commerce platforms and pull in kind of the good stuff. The good data that you can use, and then how we can make it easy, make it easy for people to get started. So figuring out what are the most common use cases that would help E-commerce businesses do that, send more relevant emails right and grow their businesses. Yea, we got started four years ago, and we have been growing ever since.
Robert: Ok and you mentioned good stuff like what’s the good stuff? So in your own way can you tell us what’s the good stuff that E-commerce businesses need to be paying attention to as far as email and maybe you can just answer [04:00] this quickly and then we will dive into the emails?
Andrew: Totally, so in short, we saw that a lot of marketing software was focused on things like sending campaign’s to people who had opened an email or clicked an email. And that’s just not very interesting data. Especially in E-commerce you have all this great data about what people are buying, which specific product, which product they are viewing and so that is just a much richer data set. So it lets you send much more interesting emails, like for instance if somebody opened an email, you don’t really know much about why they did that, They might have clicked on it by mistake, but if somebody has, you know, purchased a pair of pants, you know that tells you a lot about the kind of person they are, their style, what they are interested in you know, even their gender. So that’s the good stuff.
Robert: Ok, Ok, and when we are discussing these six emails that E-commerce businesses should set up or should be using I wanted us to use an example store so the example store I thought of was lets say we have Mary and Mary is selling Jewellery online. What are the emails Mary needs to set up for her business?
Andrew: Yea, Great. So let’s start with probably what Mary and her jewellery store are doing today, most businesses you will see, is that people have set up a news letter, they have some way of collecting subscribers and they send that out every so often. Could be once a week, could be once a month and that’s basically all that they are doing. What we believe is, is that the best emails are ones that are personalised and they are relevant to each person in some specific way. So that could mean either that you are personalising the content in that you are segmenting your audience, so you can do that with news letters. Or really the other email programmes are all about triggering emails based on activity. So what people are doing. So if you think about it Mary has ten thousand, a hundred thousand, a million customers or a million subscribers’ to her news letter. They are all different; they are all at a different stages of their customer life cycle. Some of those people just subscribed recently and don’t know much about Mary and her brand. [06:00] Some of those people are first time customers, some of those people are repeat customers and of course they all have different kinds of things they are interested in. for instance some people might be interested in, if it’s a jewellery store, could be necklaces versus earrings and some people might be shopping for wedding rings, there’s all sorts of different types of contexts. So that kind of leads like into the different kinds of email programmes that we want people to setup. And which ones are exactly, we wouldn’t say these six are right for every business, but one of the things you need to do is look a little at the kind of business you are, right.
Andrew: So depending on how many different products you have we have some businesses that have very few skews in which case, you know a welcome series could be more important, you need to teach them about your products. Or in some cases we have seen brands that have hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of skews, in which case they have a great inventory and they are constantly turning it over. In which case things like “what’s new” or just taking people through the different categories on your website, It can be really valuable, it’s almost like you are giving somebody a tour.
Andrew: So if we talk through like what are those six programmes, of course the news letters important, but the trigger emails we are talking about will just go kind of in order of customer life cycle. If you think about somebody does not really know much about your brand all the way through to being a great customer. The first one is a welcome series, so that happens when somebody first signs up for your news letter, and so that’s really interesting because in a lot of cases those people may not know much about you or your brand. And so you want to highlight your most popular products, right, or sometimes just introduce them and make them realise there are actual people behind your company.
Robert: Yea, so with the welcome series, before we move onto the second series, with the welcome it’s just not sending “Hey, thanks for joining our newsletter”, you are saying that you should probably tell your story, tell your story about Mary, how she got into designing her jewellery, I mean, and then at the same time sell some of the jewellery in the email?
Andrew: That’s right, so I will give you two different examples of two different kinds of E-commerce companies. So lets say that what Mary does is she makes,[08:00] she hand makes jewellery and she only makes, has a couple of different products, a couple of different skews, in that case a welcome series is really valuable, in lets say that its these are high end items, right. They are expensive, they are Hundreds even thousands of dollars. For her newsletter subscribers you can think of people who are probably interested in what Mary makes but they just, they need to understand more about it. They want to hear the story of how Mary handcrafts those pieces, they want to understand what the process is like, you know usually if it’s a high, if you’re average cart size is larger then you want to spend more time getting people comfortable with the purchase. And so welcome series is a great way to do that. I mean because you can do that over the course of a couple of emails, tell them about the process, show them products and tell them about the different aspects of it. If Mary has a lot of skews right, if she is selling Necklaces and earrings and rings and all sorts of other types of jewellery then in that case what’s actually most valuable is some people might visit her site and not really take a look at what her product catalogue looks like, they may not know much about what she sells. The analogy offline can be, somebody pops into the store but only walks down one lisle. They just miss a lot of what’s there. So in that case there is an opportunity to kind of back up and show them you know what’s interesting. Or like what are her best sellers, what’s most popular. So for instance a good welcome series there might be showing off your six most popular items then following up with another email showing off items seven through twelve. And then maybe finishing off with a third email that just highlight’s new arrivals, things that have recently arrived.
Robert: And at the end of the welcome series do you transition them to the next series? Or is that the end in that email life cycle?
Andrew: Yes, that’s probably the end in that email lifecycle; I mean there’s other ways to set it up, but we see is a lot of people and we would recommend using the welcome series as kind of an onramp, So one of the reasons the welcome series is nice is if you just start sending someone your regular news letter they may not have a lot of context for what you normally email about and for instance you don’t feature [10:00]your best sellers in every single newsletter. So sort of starting somebody off with an overview of your brand right, and sort of the items you defiantly want them to see, that’s a good place to start and then you know if you send seasonal emails or promotional emails then they will have some more context for the kinds of things that make you special.
Robert: Ok, What’s the next series?
Andrew: Yea, so as you think about somebody becoming a customer obviously the bread and butter for a lot of E-commerce business is the abandoned cart, it is tremendous, you know for a lot of businesses, for a lot of e-commerce brands it is the most valuable email you will send. It’s not uncommon for us to see businesses making between $5-00 and $10-00 per email sent. Like regardless if somebody even opens that email. So an abandoned cart reminder is a great email series and what’s important there is that you want to make sure that you are showing people what was in their cart but also giving them a reason to be interested or excited. So one of the things we like to recommend people do is you can make your abandoned cart show off the products that are there but also make it interesting for some other reason. We have seen people use humour; sometimes it’s like a funny picture that sort of shows off like “hey, you’ve left something behind”. Its also a good time, it’s a good opportunity to use segmentation because if somebody has abandoned their cart and you know that they are a first time customer there is also the opportunity there to introduce like a discount, right, so you could offer free shipping to first time customers versus you don’t have to do that with repeat customers.
Robert: OK, but to be able to do all of this you need a system that’s tracking all of this. Like that’s tracking all this activity on the website, and,
Andrew: That right,
Robert: Yea, I don’t know if a lot of the e-commerce platforms already have that built in, or do you need something separate?
Andrew: Yea, it depends. What we have seen is that many e-commerce platforms have some kind of abandoned cart functionality but it’s usually pretty limited. It might be that you can’t really customise the email very much or there are not many opportunities to like I said to segment the contents to different centres so for instance like offering a discount to first time customers but not [12:00] to repeat customers. And that’s were something like Klaviyo can come in and help because we connect up to your e-commerce platform basically pull in all the same data that they have so it includes when people will start checking out, what products, you know, all the information about those products, right. And give you the ability to basically customise that email and really make sure it matches your brands. One of the other important things of all of these email programmes is that you want to have consistency across them. So you spend a lot of time building your newsletter template you want to use a template that has a similar header, similar footer, and similar layout for all of your triggered emails too.
Robert: Ok, And with the abandoned cart programme, is that everything that you just need to focus on or is there something else that you think people should be thinking of when they are setting that up?
Andrew: No, that’s probably a pretty good start; I mean one of the things we recommend is if you are just getting started with any of these email programmes you recommend, first get it going and then once you’ve done that then you can start, you can be more adventurous with your segmentation and customising content. And start to do things like AB testing, so but the first thing is you want to establish a baseline, so getting that up and running is probably step one then we usually like to wait a few weeks, see how its performing, and then start to do more advanced stuff.
Robert: Ok, and what’s the next? I don’t know I keep on saying the next programme as if customers are going through each like welcomed and abandoned, I mean they are not going through that order in, in that order really, but its something that’s set up, that you have to set up for your business.
Andrew: Yea, so the other, I mean the other emails that we talk about are similar to abandoned cart, there’s a browser abandonment email which is once somebody visits your site maybe after they were a customer and they come back but they don’t make a another purchase, maybe you haven’t seen them in a while. There is also post purchase emails so for instance if somebody buys a pair of earrings but there’s a related set that they may be interested in it gives you the option to do some cross sell and just show them other products that they may have missed [14:00] and then the last one is if somebody is a good customer, say they are a repeat customer but go inactive sending them a re-engagement email, a win back. For all those emails one of the important things is, to not be overwhelmed by the fact that there is so much to do, you should just pick the one that is most relevant for your business, and that depends on kind of what we say is like the shape of your business right, what your average order size is, how many customers you have, what your website traffic looks like, whether people typically are repeat buyers or they typically only buy once and then start with one programme and get that up and running. And once you have one running the nice part is that while you are waiting that couple of weeks to sort of gather some data so you can target optimise you can start working on the next one. And so you can typically make a calendar of each week you are going to work on one programme and then once you have them all up and running now you have rather than just sending a news letter you have all of these great touch points where people, like you said, don’t necessarily go in order but you think of as people are interacting with your brand, as they are visiting your website, as they are making purchases, you have all these great ways to, you know, re-engage with them. They’re great because they are all relevant, tied back to things that those people did.
Robert: Ok, Is there risk once you have all the programmes going? Is there risk where a customer is in multiple programmes at the same time and then they will end up getting bombarded by emails from your brand or is there a way to set up the system where that doesn’t happen? Because at the same time you want to communicate with the customer but you don’t want to start feeling spammy or you just sending them too much email.
Andrew: Yea, totally, its great, so we talk about that like its kind of a high class problem right, a lot of brands struggle to even get started right, but no, you are totally right because you know one of the things is you are using something like Klaviyo where its easy to set these up one of the things that happens almost right away is you say, Well, I used to only send one kind of email now I am sending two, three, you know we have people that send dozens of different types of emails. And Yea, one of the things they need to think about is “oh, shoot, my sending multiple emails a week [16:00]right to the same customer, they are all like relevant but its sort of like its way too much, right, and nobody wants, well, depending on your audience they may not want to hear from you nearly that often. So one of the things that is built into Klaviyo is the ability to limit and even order which emails you want somebody to receive so this is the way that we believe all email will be done in the future, right. Is that you are going to have all these different programmes and actually what you really want is your email service to do is help you make it easy to setup, that’s sort of goal number one, and then when you are trying to figure out well which email should I send? You want your email software to basically figure out based on looking at that customer and other similar customers which email is most likely to, you know, delight them, to make them happy, to keep them interested right and you know, to get them, you know the intent is to get them to make a purchase, you know that’s going to lead to sales. So Yea, what we do right now is we have setting in Klaviyo for how many, how often you want somebody to be eligible to receive an email and then on top of that we can help you basically, rank order those emails. For instance, if an abandoned cart email is more important then say a welcome series email we can prioritise that so that somebody gets an abandoned cart and we skip the welcome series.
Robert: Ok, Ok, that makes sense. And any final thoughts on the six email programmes businesses should be sending?
Andrew: No, I mean the most important thing is to just not be intimidated. I know it often seems like it’s a lot to do and its sounds great. You know, sort of step one, is just picking the one that you are most interested in and just getting that started.
Robert: And how can people reach you? What’s the best way to reach you?
Andrew: Yea, cool. So if you want to learn more about Klaviyo or frankly want to learn more about the different kinds of emails the best resources for us are our website, klaviyo.com so that’s K L A V I Y O.com, and I definitely recommend checking out both our blog, and follow us on twitter @klaviyo, we post a lot of content, we write a lot about all of these different kinds of emails you can send and how to make to make them personal.
Robert: Ok, and the last question, [18:00] what is the one thing an E-commerce business can do right now to grow, get geographical get sales.
Andrew: Yea, so in line with what we have been talking about, I’d recommend picking the two easiest ones to get started with are usually your welcome series and abandoned cart. If you are not already sending one of those I would pick one, don’t go with both and yea, just get started on that today.
Robert: Ok, Andrew, thanks for being on the podcast
Andrew: Awesome, Thanks Robert.
Robert: Thank you for listening to the E-Commerce Marketing Podcast. Join the E-Commerce Marketing podcast facebook group to learn connect, colaberate and grow with other E-commernce marketers at ecommercemarketingpodcasts.com/fb. Subscribe to us on I-Tunes by searching for ecommercemarketingpodcasts and please leave a rating and a review. Thank you for listening, see you next time.