Arlen Robinson [00:01]
Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast, everyone. My name is Arlen and I am your host. Today, we’ve got a very special guest, Lucas Robinson, founder and CEO of Weblife, shares insights on leveraging CRM data in e-commerce marketing. He emphasizes the importance of clean and organized CRM data and recommends hiring a subject matter expert to set up the CRM correctly. Robinson highlights the power of AI in analyzing CRM data and creating personalized marketing campaigns. He discusses the role of customer segmentation and avatars in tailoring marketing efforts. Robinson predicts that AI will play a significant role in CRM data analysis and marketing strategies in the future. Welcome to the podcast, Lucas.

Lucas Robinson [01:06]
Thanks for having me, Arlen. Excited to be here.

Arlen Robinson [01:09]
Thank you for joining me. Today, we’re going to be talking about the power of leveraging data, specifically CRM data, and focusing on historic customer records. We’ll discuss how you can dissect and understand different customer segments based on all of this data, making sense of it to grow your business and increase customer lifetime value. Before we dive into that, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and how you got into what you’re doing today?

Lucas Robinson [02:03]
Absolutely, Arlen. I never had a traditional job. Right out of high school, I walked up to a Lowe’s hardware store and asked the store manager if I could set up a shaved ice cart. When winter came around, I asked if I could convert it to a hot dog cart. By the time I graduated from college, my future wife and I had a dozen different locations selling shaved ice and hot dogs. I took my LSAT thinking I would go to law school, but a couple of professors suggested I focus on business instead. I stumbled into the world of mailboxes and real estate development, finding a niche opportunity. But when the real estate market crashed in 2008, I pivoted to e-commerce. I Googled how to build an e-commerce store and found a developer to help me build
budgetmailboxes.com. Since then, we’ve grown and acquired multiple sites, forming Weblife as a privately-owned portfolio of brands, with budget mailboxes being our flagship.

Arlen Robinson [05:58] 
That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. You definitely have a diverse background. Starting from selling shaved ice and hot dogs at Lowe’s, then moving on to selling mailboxes, and now leading Weblife. Very impressive.

Lucas Robinson [06:26]
Yeah, I always encourage young entrepreneurs to start with a vending-style business. It allows you to see the entire business in a microcosm, from marketing to product costs. It’s a great way to learn.

Arlen Robinson [07:14]
Yes, for sure. Now, let’s dig into the subject matter today. How has leveraging historic CRM data changed your approach to understanding and segmenting your customer base at Weblife?

Lucas Robinson [09:11]
In 2010, I discovered CRM because my first two employees and I were stepping on each other’s toes with customer interactions. Fast forward 14 years, we now have a quarter-million contacts in our CRM. We have used AI to really grasp our customer segmentation, identifying builders, property managers, municipalities, etc. This allows us to create targeted campaigns based on customer segments. We can do outbound phone campaigns, retargeting campaigns on Meta, LinkedIn, Google, or Microsoft ads, and targeted email marketing campaigns. The real value lies in offering tailored promotions and understanding customers’ purchasing patterns.

Arlen Robinson [11:50]
That’s awesome. AI seems to have come at the right time, helping us sort through data and make intelligent decisions quickly. It’s much more efficient than the old-school methods.

Lucas Robinson [13:38]
Absolutely. AI has done a better job identifying our customers than our own phone reps did. It’s not a knock on the phone reps, but AI can analyze multiple data points simultaneously. It’s been a better system than what we had before.

Arlen Robinson [14:24]
Definitely. So, when you’re making decisions based on all this data, what metrics or indicators do you prioritize when dissecting customer acquisition costs and informing your marketing decisions?

Lucas Robinson [14:55] 
We focus on the LTV (lifetime value) of our top 20 customer segments. We align all our marketing teams on a single customer segment, allowing us to track metrics like new customers and LTV. All our goals fall into three buckets: creating new customers, increasing LTV, or increasing enterprise value. This strategic shift has enabled us to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns, driving better results and sustainable growth.

Arlen Robinson [16:30]
Great. Tailored marketing campaigns seem to be significantly more effective. How has this approach compared to a more general approach in terms of effectiveness?

Lucas Robinson [16:55] 
Tailored campaigns are significantly more effective. They resonate more with customers, leading to higher engagement and better ROI. For example, when marketing to home builders, we focus on their specific pain points like USPS requirements. For homeowner associations, we emphasize aesthetics and compliance. The messaging is very different, even if the product is the same.

Arlen Robinson [18:32]
Targeted campaigns definitely seem to be the way to go. If you were advising a new e-commerce startup, what would be the first step to leveraging their CRM data to understand their customer segments?

Lucas Robinson [20:09]
First, ensure your CRM is clean and organized. Hire a subject matter expert (SME) from platforms like Upwork to help set it up. Use the CRM natively without customizations that might cause problems later. Once the CRM is set up, focus on customer segmentation and understanding your customer avatars. This sets you up to tailor your marketing effectively.

Arlen Robinson [23:23] 
Great advice, especially about getting the setup right from the beginning. It prevents a lot of headaches down the road. Now, looking into the future, how do you see the role of CRM data evolving in terms of creating more personalized and efficient marketing strategies?

Lucas Robinson [26:26]
AI will augment CRM data. Many tasks we do today will likely be handled by AI agents in the future. AI will handle data discrepancies, analyze reports, and identify customer segments. The potential is huge, and I believe within the next three years, AI agents will be a standard part of operations, significantly reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Arlen Robinson [28:23] 
It’s going to be interesting times ahead. AI agents will definitely accelerate things like never before. Thank you for sharing your insights, Lucas. Lastly, before we let you go, can you share one fun fact about yourself with our listeners?

Lucas Robinson [29:28]
I love adventure and outdoor activities. I’m planning to organize a getaway for business owners to Baja, Mexico, with a Navy SEAL friend. It’ll be an adventure trip for entrepreneurs.

Arlen Robinson [30:15]
That sounds awesome. Definitely keep me posted on that. Lastly, how can our audience reach you if they want to learn more about this topic?

Lucas Robinson [30:40]
You can find me on LinkedIn. Just search for Lucas Robinson. I’m pretty active there, and it’s a good place to catch up with me.

Arlen Robinson [31:00]
Got it. We’ll include the link in the show notes. Thanks again, Lucas, for joining us today on the e-commerce marketing podcast.

Lucas Robinson [31:13]
My pleasure, Arlen. Thank you.

Arlen Robinson [31:15]
Thank you.

Podcast Guest Info

Lucas Robinson
Founder and CEO of WebLife