Rytis Lauris, the Co-founder and CEO of Omnisend, the powerful marketing automation platform that’s focused on moving ecommerce marketers beyond the generic email marketing tools. He believes that rich customer data and an omnichannel approach empowers ecommerce businesses to generate more sales by sending highly personalized messages via various channels, including email, SMS, Facebook ads, Google retargeting and others. Rytis is a successful entrepreneur who has spent more than 10 years building and driving a few startups which has brought him to the ecommerce field. He has shared his knowledge and expertise in numerous ecommerce conferences, including Litmus Live and Meet Magento.
Welcome to the podcast Rytis. Hey nice to be here Arlen. Hi. Yeah, thanks a lot. Yeah, we appreciate having you home and we were talking before the recording that are our company names a share of the first four letters they sinned and I'm the star.
Yeah where I mean starfleet's offer you amnesty. So we definitely have that in common, but it's absolutely accidental. I mean we did not agree on a bad does it happen and we should we share them? Yeah, our customers as both of us are serving e-commerce field. Yes. Yes. Definitely. That's fun.
That's fun. Yeah. So today I was really excited to talk to you because today we're going to be talking about. Email marketing automation. I've touched on it a little bit with some previous guest but I was really interesting to see your take on things, especially since you run an e-commerce email marketing automation company so really excited to find out what you have to say.
But before we get into all of that. Why don't you tell us a little bit about your background and specifically, you know, how you got into what you're doing today. So we have like a digital marketing agency. So it's quite quite usual journey. I would say once you serve your customers like a developing websites online stores doing marketing on behalf of your customers, including like email marketing.
And for those who are selling online online as well. We saw that there is there is a specific need and there are specific opportunities for those who are selling online. That mall less you traffic all entirely of a customer Journey online and you have a lot of data which might be analyzed which might be automated because you have a lot of data you can automate a lot of your marketing activities and we have started to we have started the product.
It was kind of a spinoff from the digital marketing agency five years ago initially. It was really like easy to use email marketing solution made for online stores. Now on this end is like omni-channel robust omni-channel marketing automation tool. As we moved from those like really really beginners with the promise to bring.
The most easiest to use solution for them we moved up Market to those growing businesses for really like smart marketers who are graduating generic email marketing tools. Like, you know MailChimp call you name it. There are a lot of different tools in the market who really are more built for everyone and then bear really generic so that kind of was the story and we ditched our marketing like digital marketing agency activities three years ago and focus solely on the product.
It really took off. Now we have more than 50,000 online stores using the as worldwide vast majority of those are in the United States. This is kind of our my primary income market and the second-largest Market is the UK. Yeah, so that's that's kind of basically the story and we. We fell in love this with this field and really I believe we're going to stay for quite a long here.
Okay? Okay, great. Yeah, that's that's awesome. And you're so right. There's email marketing Automation and emails are they're not going anywhere, you know from time to time you hear talks about. Email and we could there be a inevitable into email of the death of email, but I don't think that's gonna happen.
Not at all. No, I don't want these days. There's so much business reliant on it. And I mean, I almost can't think of any replacement for it. You know that we have the social networks, but as far as the. The ease of use the the personalization in the fact that you know, pretty much everybody has an email account is something that's not going to be able to be replaced quite easily completely agree, you know, once someone is like telling me that talk about email maybe so outdated technology.
So I always compare it with Madonna the singer. That's you know, it's really mature. But still she is the best-selling female singer. So, you know all the Britney's we come and go and matano. Stay sober same a female. Yeah, that's that is so true. Yeah answer that is definitely a great analogy and nobody can replace her stats there.
And yeah, that's that's for sure. Yeah. So what I want to do is I always like to kind of frame Mark the conversation that I have been really kind of break it down from the basic. For those listeners that you know aren't too familiar with it or maybe a new startup or somebody new to the to the industry.
What exactly is email marketing Automation and you know, why should every Ecommerce business be doing it as a marketing automation is worried about sending the right message to the right person on the right time and I would add like through the right channel as a male is very important Channel but ever channels are very important as.
And very effective as well. So it's basically the new automate some activities you create flows mainly based on your customers or your visitors your prospective customers behavior on your site on your own e-commerce site. So the basic example Morgan ago to mation is really like welcome emails about somebody sign up into or to your newsletter.
You start campaign immediately not when you decide to send some like campaign. When you have to say something, but then the person is really opting into your mailing list. Another good example is like Browser Bundle, but let's let's call your cart abandonment, which is very popular and highly effective when someone is browsing on the online store and adding products to the shopping cart and abundance virtue opencart.
You start campaign immediately. I mean it's impossible to do it manually and the tools like calmness and adapt it to is marketing automation tools. So they do it on behalf of you. You just set up once the flow and as I say for the customer, so we'll prospective customers that automation is as good as you sleep and the tool is working marketing automation is working on behalf of you and you are earning money.
Real money. Yeah, so that's that's kind of like two basic examples and it can be expanded to like post-purchase activities. Let's say customer activation Things based on their previous activities purchasing activities. So let's say Arlen has bought three months ago, but then we haven't seen him for a while.
So maybe that's the right time to start a reactivation Campaign which again it's being done. Absolutely matically and the campaign is being starting then three months passed from your last purchase. And you just get into a specific segment and the campaign is being started automatically. You don't have to do anything and you just time to time just tweak things to make those campaigns more effective.
So that's basically what marketing automation is. Okay, great. Great. Yeah that makes total sense. And I appreciate that breakdown of the of exactly what it is. Now, of course, we see it because we're heavily embedded in the Commerce industry, but for those businesses that. Don't know a whole lot about it Automation and our marketing automation.
Maybe they have some basic email campaigns. Why do you feel that? It is so essential for e-commerce businesses these days. Yeah, so I would say like the combination of promotional campaigns alongside with automation activities. What should be done? I mean you should not rely on campaigns only on automation on it should be combined.
So because still like email and addict it text messages SMS, which Kyle effective push notifications. Like Facebook Messenger messages on one single flow is the way how you can retain your customers in the most effective way. So always he works as follows that let's say you send the campaign because you have some unique sale today or maybe this week and you have very special offer and.
So this is kind of bull campaign promotional campaign. You send it out to send email blasts and some of the visitors via coming to visit your website and they are looking at some specific products, but they do not complete the purchase. So where the automation gets in and you start to kind of really targeting those customers who have kind of landed to your website because of a promotional campaign, but automation follows them up and really.
Help them to make the consideration again and again in really then come back and complete the purchase. Right? Right. Yeah that that is really critical. I think these days to have the whole process automated because especially, you know any business that's going to continually build a customer base Builder subscriber base.
There's just no way you can do you can manage it manually these days, you know or even effectively so yeah automation. I think is it is critical not only an email but you know a lot of aspects of a business now, I talked to so many e-commerce businesses all the time and I kind of always kind of feel the pain of e-commerce businesses and especially young companies that are.
Wearing a lot of hats, you know, we talked to a lot of business owners people that are in charge of the marketing but they also do other aspects within the business. And so anytime you talk about like newsletters and email campaigns and content in general. I always kind of hear a little bit of a cringed from e-commerce businesses because you have to come up with content for these campaigns.
So what do you think are some of the best ways for e-commerce businesses to come up with content? For these email campaign. That's very good question that I absolutely understand day and they really feel that pain. Especially from like smaller businesses. The same person is wearing so many hats. So so again, this is where automation is really helpful because your visitors your customers do really suggest your content if you use automation, so my my advice would be that you know, there is two kind of contact one is for your promotional campaigns.
You should not. Send those campaigns too often. I mean if this is a challenge for you to really think over the content and you don't really have nothing to say at that specific moment. So maybe it's not the time to send the campaign. So when someone asked me, so how often should I send those campaign?
So like my aunt is always as often as you have something to say. So if you have something to say, so that means that you shouldn't really care about the content because you have a message already. So it might be it depends on your brand. I mean if you are like in the fashion industry that might be some advices some advices it may be related with with the seasonality or with some occasions Etc.
If you let's say if you are like the best price deal business or something like that. Maybe you have to you have to say something each and lovely day like. Some coupons discount coupons from you might be sending out them every day and they are recipients expecting you to really send those messages quite frequently.
My advice would be like for campaigns. Don't be don't be artificial just just really be yeah be yourself. I mean a new if you have to say something. So then this is where I attempt to do alongside. The automation is really removed the headache of content because the content is really suggested by your Visitors by our customers.
So. Again example if someone is visiting the best specific product category. So the automation marketing automation tool is adding products to the newsletter from that specific category and the your visitors suggest what kind of content she or he wants to receive so yeah, so this is kind of you know automation really helps with a Content as well.
It's so very true. And that's some great advice. Another thing that I will add to that with regards to actually coming up with the content. Because you know these days, you know, unfortunately not that everybody is good at writing and good with Grandma and coming up with you know, attractive and kind of spicy emails that are interesting so we know that it can be difficult to do that.
But these days because of our global economy and the access to be to literally everyone all over the world and then some of the top content writers. What I always recommend people do is is go out there even though if your small. You can definitely Outsource content writing, you know at a better level.
Like you said your visitors are going to dictate what type of content that you're going to need to send out because they're going to let you know what's popular what they're interested in. So at a bear level what a business owner could easily do is just come up with just kind of a framework or even just a basic outline of what they want in the email and then, you know Outsource, you know, this content actual the actual writing of it writing of the email.
Content writer or someone, you know, that's a freelancer that you know has able to write kind of a you know, the spicy language the attractive subject lines and that type of thing that are going to that's really going to give the. Email a lot more opens and read through so that's definitely one thing that I would suggest doing completely agree completely.
What else should be taken into consideration that like visuals are even much more important than the text. So visuals really sell so I would say like Premier Li you should be making great visuals. I mean if you have like if you have some old Sailors who are providing good visuals when you are like if you don't if you like.
Reduce something yourself. So be sure that you have good visuals great visuals and they needed both of a store and for marketing campaigns including like emails Facebook push notifications. Those visuals are very important. So visuals are much more clickable benefit text self. So I would say I mean if you are not good in like creative thing and you should choose between visuals and good text and good copies.
So I would say go for good visuals with that's more important than a good cop. Gotcha. Gotcha. That makes sense. And I am glad you mentioned that because that kind of brings up my next question because these days I've heard two schools of thought with regards to email content in the visuals and emails because there's there's one camp that says.
You know like you saying the style the graphics the look of the email is really important and almost just supporting or if not more important than the actual content, but then there's other camps that say, you know, it's all about the content. Don't worry about all the flashy visuals just have a short simple message and make it easy to read.
What's your take on that? The the style flashy versus The Bare Bones. Are you kind of more leaning towards the more graphical more attractive emails? You know, I would say both of those right? It really depends on the business you do. So if you are in a fashion industry, let's say and you are fashion fashion online store.
So definitely visuals is what's the most important for you? It's like people this is a spontaneous buying and visuals really help to sell that. You know, let's say the girl she's buying that Red Dress because she has a dream that she will be super pretty. That specific night wearing that specific dress.
Yeah, so like be able and content will not sell that if you are let's say in consultancy business. So really sending out strip down emails looks text only emails might really work for you much better comparing to like HTML Rich emails Etc because you just need to show your expertise. I mean, you shouldn't make beautiful pictures of yourself because you're not selling you're not a model.
You are professional in some specific area. So yeah, so just showing expertise frou-frou like, you know, very basic emails that might be the case for as well and having been having in mind that like those strip down emails like. With all the HTML they have much higher possibility and probability to get into primary inbox on Gmail and those who are like visuals Rich HTML Rich emails.
We definitely are going to Promotions tab. So that might be like the case for some of the businesses as well. Right, right. Yeah, that is so true. And that's some great advice there really is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what you should do. It really is going to depend on your business the nature and and your overall objective.
So it's this very true. You can't necessarily say. The bare-bones ones are going to be more effective. It just depends on the your business in the industry for sure. Now, since you're of course running any my marketing automation company and and Tool I know, you know a lot about features and what a business should look for when they're deciding to go that route as far as purchasing and email marketing automation system.
What are really some main features that you. A business really needs to look out for above anything else when they're looking to make a purchasing decision with regards to marketing automation. So I would say is like segmentation is like does the tool provide the robot segmentation as although?
Let's say you are still the small business, but then you grow up and the tool should grow together with you. So one day you definitely would like to start segmenting your customers and really making more segmented campaigns and like having more personalized campaigns through segmentation. So another thing is would say integration with your eCommerce platform.
So I. I think Magento Shopify Bigcommerce, maybe homegrown platform. So does the to have API and How Deeply can you integrate because of the data which is being synchronized between your Ecommerce platform and email marketing automation tool is really crucially important for running good quality marketing automation campaigns.
You have to initially have to have good quality data in order to run good quality campaigns. So that would be second very very important thing. So how. How good is it integrated with your online store? And yeah, the Third Wheel I would say which is which is probably not have a standard. But but what we really appreciate honest and so we definitely a marketing automation should move from email marketing automation to really omni-channel marketing Automation.
And what do I have in mind by that is not only just using separately like let's say email as a Channel or like text messages SMS as Channel, which is really really having its Renaissance. Now as like smartphones like text message on the smartphone is it's a short email with with can be image attached you just press on the link and you go directly to the online store where you can complete the purchase.
So it covers the entire Journey. You don't lose the customer New Journey and like Facebook Messenger messages. So push notification. So having all of those on one flow is really the future. We absolutely believe in that. So what do you mean by that? So. It's kind of an example. Let's say we know that darling who has added a specific product to his shopping cart and he has abundant by shopping cart.
So initially we started we start campaigning by email us is the most cost-effective Channel. And we have Orleans permission to do that. If we cannot reach Arland through that channel may be starts happening like push notification campaigns if we do have permission and if he still ignoring us, maybe he is actually preparing like text messages or what's up.
Messages or maybe Facebook Messenger messages and those channels are a bit more expensive as you pay for every separate message being sent out and if still he's kind of ignoring all my messages we can start to be marketing campaign synchronizing this email address with Google Google ads and Facebook ads.
So, yeah, so and having it on one flow. It really helps you to run your marketing automation campaigns in the most effective way. And really reach 11 people on relevant time with a relevant message and through be relevant channels because really different people prefer different channels for brand communication with them.
Yeah. So I would say this is kind of the future the future has like retail is going on the channel marketing should. Go on the channel as well, right? Yeah, that is so true. And I'm glad you mentioned that that whole omni-channel suppose. I keep hearing I'm new channel so much these days from listening to a lot of the other marketing experts and they're consistently chiming into exactly what you said because with all of these channels that have popped up over the past, you know decade or so, not everybody is going to be.
In one just in every in one channel. So, you know not everybody's checking their email consistently. You have some people that are strictly text messages. They you know, they don't do anything with your email on the smartphone. So you've got to be able to reach them that way and then on the other side of things like you said, there's the Facebook messaging there's some people that are heavy on that.
So if you don't have that omni-channel approach, then you're definitely missing out and you're going to. You're going to have some customers and prospective customers that are going to slip through the cracks because you're not going to be able to reach them because they're not you're not marketing on that correct channel.
So that's that is so very true. Now one of the things that I always. I'm a huge advocate for is looking at what some of the other larger companies are doing with regards to email marketing and automation because I think you can learn a lot from these big companies because they spend so much money and so many marketing dollars go go behind making decisions.
Do you have any examples of any e-commerce companies that have its outstanding email marketing automation campaign? That you know anyone can just sign up for so we can kind of get a feel for what they're doing. Actually, I would like to share not not those giants. But I have I have some examples of like midsize companies which don't have huge marketing departments if we don't have huge resources, but they still do it in a smart way.
So I would say that for listeners might be more even more useful to learn from such a companies which are not to know Giants in the market and you know that okay. This is kind of maybe 20 people have touched this newsletter. So that's reason it's bad bad good, you know. Yeah, so I would say like know how style.com know is like like opposite to yes, no high style would come very beautiful emails very well set up automation on like apparel brand or never apparel brand is Dixon quality that comes.
With double X 6x car Dixon quality, they really have super interesting approach so you can subscribe and have a look they really do kind of campaigns of sales of new collection release quite often with very limited time offer for that. So it's really kind of hard to say the marketing messages combined with with automation flows values is really really great to follow and really great great to see.
I know that I would like to mention is Rolf Prima. They are selling bikes and the. Anything around bike. So again, they do really have a good setup of their marketing automation flows. So I would recommend we had to have a look at let's say those three three brands to subscribe to their to their mailing list and to react to just play around, you know, once once you subscribe and you'll see the first email when go go visit their website see what happens when Etc because you know with with marketing automation, I mean to follow campaigns like basic and pace is a bit.
Yeah, because for automation you have to trigger those emails, so it's not it's not enough just to sign up or you have to sign up and then you have to do some activities on the web on their website to trigger messages. Great. That's that's great. Yeah, I appreciate those examples and for all the listeners I will include links to those examples in the show notes as well as.
In the transcript on our website e-commerce marketing podcast.com so you can check that out. Once this episode is goes live. I'm a huge advocate. Like I said for just taking a look at it some solid examples, you know, of course, you don't have to copy or totally mimic any of these companies of exactly what they're doing, but you'll be able to get a good idea as to.
You know their overall strategy like how often are they sending these emails? What type of emails are they sending? How were the emails formatted? You can really learn a lot from those types of examples. So I appreciate you sharing that with us today read this and you know like to know any of that.
Yeah, no problem. Definitely like to thank you for joining us here on the e-commerce marketing podcast. You've definitely provided a whole wealth of information regarding email marketing automation. We appreciate it. But I'd like to close things out with one final question. What kind of a different subject and what I like to always ask my guest is what is one thing that our audience would be surprised to know about you.
It's kind of constant thing which I'm really proud of I took the challenge to read for this year to read one book the week and I'm I'm I'm I'm good with that. So really what I recommend, especially for those who in general like reading so rapid reading is an awesome thing that you just. The speed then that which you read and then you can you know, just dedicating only one hour per day.
It really can help you to read one book per week. So it's kind of just you know, it's not about my personality, but it's my current Challenge and I'm really kind of spreading the word how happy I am about taking that challenge and really recommending for everyone else as well. Okay? Great. Yeah, that's that's awesome.
I love that challenge one book per week. And it like you said, all you need to do is dedicate about an hour a day and it. Done. Over time you'll of course the your speed increase if you're going to be reading at that level. So yeah, that's that's awesome. That's a great tip. Especially for entrepreneurs that are out there that are listening that you know, especially when you're in your early stage of the business you need you want to try to digest this much as possible in your particular area about marketing about business management.
You don't kind of the whole nine. So that's a great way to do it for sure. Well read this, you know, if any of our listeners want to get in touch with you. The best way for them to do. It definitely is kind of ominous send.com website. And yeah, feel free to find me on LinkedIn. That's kind of my favorite social network.
I'm using so yeah my name and surname and on Ascent so definitely let's let's let's get in touch. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or tweet or we are already teased at the Omni send that combats my email address. I'm always open for. Poor any conversations with online online marketers with online Merchants anyone who is e-commerce industry.
Okay, great. Alright. Thanks again. Read this for joining us today on the e-commerce marketing podcast. We appreciate you and everything that you've provided our listeners. Thank you. Thanks playing why I think it was a pleasure. Thank you for listening to e-commerce marketing podcast. Do you need to get more feedback and reviews from your customers and improve your customer retention?
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Co-founder and CEO of Omnisend