How to use it to optimise eCommerce ROI?

Add To Cart Podcast
Episode 4

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Jason Anderson from Andzen to discuss email automation. In this episode, we dive into email automation to understand how to optimise it for the best returns. We dive into the differences between popular email platforms – particularly Klaviyo and Dotmailer. We hear some examples from retailers such as Eco and Muscle Republic. And we even find out how Nathan ended up as an active member in a gardening Facebook group. Weird. 

🎧 LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE:

Questions answered in this episode include

  • What is the difference between email and marketing automation? 
  • What are the key automation you should start with for maximum return? 
  • Which email platforms should you consider for your eCommerce business? 

🔥 HOT TIP

Jason outlines his three must-have email automations for eCommerce:

  1. Data capture series
  2. Abandoned cart emails
  3. Nurture from first purchase to second purchase

This is a great place to start when you are looking to automate your emails!

🔗 Links from the episode 

About your co-host

Jason Anderson from Andzen

Jason Anderson is General Manager at Andzen: Brisbane’s leading Lifecycle Marketing agency. Jason’s major focus is on helping eCommerce brands boost their customer lifetime value using email marketing. With the right strategy, tools, and creative, Jason helps brands not only convert leads into buyers, and keep those customers for life.

You can contact Jason on LinkedIn

This episode was brought to you by…

Full Episode Transcript

Nathan Bush:
Hello everyone and welcome to episode four of Add to Cart. My name is Nathan Bush from e-commerce consultancy 12HIGH. Joining me today will be Jason Anderson from email marketing agency Andzen, that’s A-N-D-Z-E-N. He joins us to talk everything about email marketing automation. We’re going to cover which email marketing platforms you should be considering for your e-commerce business, what kind of scenarios or user flows you should think about when starting your automation journeys and then how to get started. Where do you start in setting up something that’s really intelligent and lifts your ROI significantly by using email? All that is really practical and some great expert tips from Jason. But before we get into that, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has rated and reviewed us. We are up to 4.9 out of five out of nine ratings on Apple iTunes. That’s amazing. Knowing the level of professionalism from myself, I put it all down to producer Gill who’s getting us those results.

Nathan Bush:
One piece of feedback which I thought was great that I just want to discuss was from [Rens 00:01:54] who said it’s a great e-commerce podcast, but he’d love to see it being less Shopify centric. Obviously we have partners, Shopify Plus who sponsor this and make sure that we can bring you this podcast, but in no way are we just a Shopify podcast. We know that they make up a huge part of the e-commerce ecosystem and are really important and doing some really exciting things, but we do intend on going bigger and broader. [Rens 00:02:22] if that’s just a way of you saying that you want less Josh Newport on the show, I think that’s common and I don’t hold that against you, but I think Josh may even be back. So hold tight, but yes, [Rens 00:02:33], we aim to give you a lot broader perspective than just Shopify in the coming episodes. As I said, thanks to Shopify Plus for partnering with us to deliver you this podcast. Let’s get into today’s episode, which is all about email automation. Bringing it to us is Jason from Andzen, hello Jason, thanks for joining us.

Jason Anderson:
No worries. Thanks Nathan, glad to be here.

Nathan Bush:
Right. Pleasure. Let’s straight into it. Today we’re going to be talking about email automation. It’s an area that I know that you guys have been in for a long time. You specialize in it long before a lot of the latest e-commerce hype. Can you give us a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your organization?

Jason Anderson:
For sure. My name is Jason Anderson and I’m the general manager at Andzen. Andzen is a email marketing and marketing automation specialists agency and we actually specialize in marketing automation for e-commerce. Our background is over about 10, 15 years. We were actually the Australian office of an email marketing software that’s about 20 years old. When that software was acquired, it was actually acquired by GoDaddy, we ended up spinning off from the Australian team and creating Andzen and I guess offering consulting for marketing automation and we started off very much the B2B space. But then as e-commerce has grown in Australia over the last 5 to 10 years, we specialize more and more until today now where we’ve got offices around the world and we really do specialize in marketing automation for e-commerce.

Nathan Bush:
Awesome. When clients come into your office and they go, “Jason, we need help with marketing automation or email automation.” Do you find that most people understand what email automation is?

Jason Anderson:
Yeah, actually, a lot of people when they come to us, they’re probably doing a big migration or maybe moving say from Shopify to Shopify Plus or maybe from Magento 1 to Magento 2, They’re an established brand. They have grown up on really strong top of funnel acquisition strategies, but they’re at that point in their brand maturity where they’re looking at their brand thinking we really need to maximize our existing customers. We really need to get the most out of all of those dollars that we spent at the top of the funnel to really create long lasting relationships with our customers and not just have lots of first purchases, but lots of really strong customers with a really great last time value.

Nathan Bush:
Awesome. Where’s your view on the difference between an email automation and marketing automation? Because they both get thrown around a lot, right?

Jason Anderson:
Yeah, 100%. We see them, obviously as going hand in hand, but really when we talk about email automation, we’re talking about the fundamentals of automating any email sent. But when we talk about marketing automation, for us, what we’re talking about there more is really the automatic transfer of data. A really simple example is the automatic process of when someone who’s on your website and they’re looking at a specific product and we’re tracking that and if they place an order, having that data automatically transfer through to your email marketing software, even through the Facebook into Google for you, maybe you had funnels and things like that. The actual automated process of that data moving around and then when we’re talking about email automation or even advertising automation, we’re talking about really that specific niche delivery of that exact message.

Nathan Bush:
Because it can be really confusing, right? Because there’s a lot of platforms out there that go, “We’re the marketing platform.” And you look on their website and it’s full of jargon and you go-

Jason Anderson:
Absolutely.

Nathan Bush:
… “What are you? Are you a CRM? Are you an email blaster? Are you a intelligence agency?

Jason Anderson:
Completely. We even see, lots of companies are saying, “We’re a marketing automation agency.” But they might be a Dev studio that just builds APIs for things brought through to people like us and certainly that’s part of my business. We have Devs and we do work with APS, but really what we are is a marketing agency and we are looking at email specifically as a niche and how we can use all those philosophies and tenets of marketing and apply them really strategically in email.

Nathan Bush:
Awesome. You touched before on some of the journeys and we might come back and talk in detail around if we’re starting email automation, what journeys should we prioritize? While we do though, let’s get in the head space of some brands that people might know about. What are the kind of top platforms that you see used for email automation?

Jason Anderson:
These days it depends a lot on your CMS. What are you using for your actual e-comm site? We’re definitely starting to see more and more lines being drawn between platforms where they have a really specialist relationship with maybe one or two CMS. Which really allows them to get that extra layer of data that can give you that cut through, which is maybe the difference between 5% or 10% conversion rate. The main platforms that we’re seeing, BSAs that are being used are really Klaviyo and dotdigital. Those two platforms I think have the most reach in terms of being affordable, but also being able to generate a really high ROI. They’re generally attainable at a pretty small to medium stage for a lot of e-Commerce stores and they’ve got a feature set that allows you to scale really right up until your enterprise.

Jason Anderson:
We often find that those two platforms really suit almost everybody’s needs and even between the two of them, they can be quite comparable. Really what you’re looking at when you’re picking between the two is what you’re looking for in a platform. dotdigital, a little bit more advanced, more features, probably has a lot more things in one place, whereas Klaviyo, much more about messaging. You’re really focused on email, they’ve just launched SMS. Very much focused on that rather than having necessarily sort of the deeper integrations with your ad platforms, but certainly as a tool, much simpler to use than dotdigital because it is so much more focused. It’s maybe easier to grasp, if you’re a merchant, you’re still doing a lot on their own or you’ve got maybe just start one marketing manager in your team and you need them to be really efficient, that can be a better option.

Jason Anderson:
Whereas dotdigital, if you’ve got a team or if you’re using an agency that you want to arm them with really powerful technical platform that they then have the skills to implement, that can be a better option. But really for the two of those, you can start on those, even if you’re on a basic Shopify plan and you can scale all the way up to pass on, Magento 2. dotdigital comes pre-installed, Magento’s now, I believe is for…

Nathan Bush:
Wow.

Jason Anderson:
Both of those platforms are really great. Then of course, you’ve got your ones that have been around forever, like MailChimp, which these days obviously they’ve had the big breakup with Shopify, which we might talk about later. But probably much more on the entry level side and then you’ve got other ones that are maybe your medium to bigger sized like Emarsys as well.

Nathan Bush:
Because I saw Emarsys has just won or they were just ranked in the Gartner Quadrant right up high for dedicated email or independent email platforms. They seem to own that space really well while they’re out there, they’re going, “We just do this and we do it really well.”

Jason Anderson:
They’re definitely been around for a long time and in software that means a lot. You’ve had developers that have been there for a long time, it gives you a lot of time to develop your platform and develop really great features. But I would say for something like Emarsys it can be on the higher level for some people to try and reach for. Again being a bit more of advanced and can sometimes be a little bit more technical. I think depending on it really comes down to what’s happening about who you are. What maybe your team makeup is. Who you’re working with to make a decision. But I would certainly say for us, the two platforms that we’re seeing really shining when it comes to the level of support they’re giving their customers the rate at which they’re releasing new features, the integrations that they’re building and really having their ear to the ground in terms of what the market needs and responding quickly, clearly on dotdigital have been doing for us.

Nathan Bush:
Nice. I just worked with a client who was going through a similar exercise and we did an RFP with them and in the requirements, both of those Klaviyo and dotdigital came out very similar. In the end it came down to dotdigital won the business because of a better support model, because of [association law 00:11:30] or how it fit their businesses. They kind of went, “Well, these guys are on the ground for us in our area and we feel that we’ll get that input because it’s so important for us to get the intelligence around it, not just the technology but input for our team on how to use this well and we felt that they would do it.”

Jason Anderson:
Completely. It’s a big advantage to have two offices here and they’ve got an office in Singapore, they’ve got an office in London. They’ve got a really good spread around the world in terms of support hours and having dedicated teams. That means a lot for a lot of people completely understandably, right?

Nathan Bush:
Yup. What about, we kind of touched on it last time in the last podcast with Josh Newport, the Shopify and the MailChimp breakup. Which seem to come out of the blue because I think-

Jason Anderson:
I can say actually I can [inaudible 00:12:20].

Nathan Bush:
… Exactly. I think anyone who kind of grew up with the digital era in the early 2000s probably got on MailChimp as one of the early ones because it was so easy to use. Grew up with it, knew it and they’re kind of going on their own journey now.

Jason Anderson:
Very much.

Nathan Bush:
Where do you see the future for these two?

Jason Anderson:
It’s interesting. I think, look, MailChimp, I think is doing something pretty clever in their space, but I think they’re probably moving towards isolating themselves a bit and I don’t think they have a problem with that. I think where MailChimp sees their future really is if you can imagine we’ve got things like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, right? These all in one big enterprise platforms, Adobe, others as well, Oracle has this. I think MailChimp have really done a good job of identifying that at the bottom end of the market there is nothing like that. If you’re a merchant trying to get started today and this on you to learn how to use Shopify, learn how to use maybe Klaviyo or something, learn how to use Facebook and all these platforms just to get your brand started. I think they’ve identified that there’s a niche there available for someone to come in and offer a single source set of tools for you to be able to get started really quickly.

Jason Anderson:
That’s going to have a lot of appeals to a lot of people I think. But the drawback of that is if you get started on a platform like that, that’s catering to that end of the market, you really have to ask yourself early, is that going to trap you? Or what is it going to mean if you scale and you quickly outgrow this suite of tools, where is that going to leave you? But having said that, I think there’s absolutely a place in the market for it, for people that are just testing out a brand, this mom and dad businesses that we see that have an idea and they want to give it a go. I think MailChimp have done a good job of creating a product that caters, that test that very very early stage market.

Jason Anderson:
But my big fear for someone like them is that while they put putting a whole lot of Dev resource and a lot of their capital into developing all of those tools, the thing that they’re really good at, which is email and the automation and everything they have is the development on that side of the platform going to continue and at what rate and are we going to see it improve or is that going to maybe sit where it is as they develop out these other tools? Because it is a great platform, but it really lacks a lot of the functionality that platforms like Klaviyo do. When you’re talking about the price gap, I’ve never seen an instance where someone’s moved from MailChimp to Klaviyo, started pain more, started using this more advanced features and not make ROI, that completely justifies the migration. I think that’s the challenge. I think MailChimp is doing something very smart and I think they’re going to cater very, very well for the market that they’re going after. But I think that they’re going to sit very much in their own space as a product or firm.

Nathan Bush:
Can you give us some examples around where you see people move from a MailChimp into Klaviyo or a dotdigital and you talked about that increased ROI. What are the specifics around that that really lead to that ROI?

Jason Anderson:
There’s some really simple examples to be honest, and actually we’ve had merchants before who’ve made the ROI back entirely on just a single flow. This is something that we’ll talk about later, but discounting is obviously very common in e-Commerce, right? We talk a lot about if you’re going to build an abandon cart flow, at what point might you offer an incentive? A lot of people that we see on MailChimp, they’ll set up the standard three-stage flow that only has a sort of a relative amount of intelligence in it and that sort of leads to them saying, “Well, at the point of email three we’re going to attempt to set off in there.” It’s very easily abused, right? Once people figure out the first time that they get that they can just abandon icon every time you’re going to get that email every time. When you use something like Klaviyo, it’s really one step to add something in that says if they’ve ever placed order before don’t send them the email with the discount. Then very quickly you plug that hole in your brand and your offering that incentive to get people over the line the first time and then the people that don’t get over the line, you might just send them a basic email that says, “Hey, don’t forget that your account’s about to expire.” and then they’re more likely to come back and check out at a full price.

Jason Anderson:
Or obviously you can get more intelligent with the writing, something that we often do. If they’re coming back for a second order, we might look at their car value as well and have another split and say, “Well, if they car value is enough to get free shipping, why don’t we send them an email to say, “Hey, you’ve qualified for free shipping.”” If not, well we send them an email saying, “Hey, you’re only X dollars away from free shipping.” With just a tiny little addition and feature set, we’ve had people take their abandon cart flow where maybe by changing the language that they’ve used in the emails based on where the customer is in their journey stage, they might go from converting a, say 8 or 9% up to a 15%. Also, a big fraction of that eight odd percent increase is now checking out at a hundred percent margin-

Nathan Bush:
Wow.

Jason Anderson:
… instead of only 90% margin. You can imagine that increase in conversion rate coupled with that decrease in margin forfeit actually ends up with a lot of money on the bottom line.

Nathan Bush:
That’s the big difference I suppose between a platform that is built like MailChimp that is built for opens and reach versus something that’s built for retail and e-commerce like-

Jason Anderson:
Intensity. Absolutely.

Nathan Bush:
Cool. All right, so let’s get into some of those journeys because I know this is something that you guys specialize in. If a buyer comes to you and goes, “Hey Jason, we’re ready to do some email automation. We’ve just bought the best wizbang version of Klaviyo or dotdigital, where we get started?” Where do you guys look for the journeys that you’ve got to create?

Jason Anderson:
Early on there’s really three key stages that we look at. The first is obviously capturing data on that nurture series. What are we going to do to make sure that we’re getting subscribers? Then once we’ve got them, how are we going to nurture them towards their first purchase? That’s step one. The next thing that we’d look at is abandon cart. That’s obviously just a hugely, for almost everybody it’s generally the highest version automation that they have. Some very low hanging fruit, we tackled that quickly as well.

Nathan Bush:
Which is funny, I’ve never met anyone who likes an abandon cart email, but they work.

Jason Anderson:
They work. I’ve seen people with abandon cart flows that net more than a hundred thousand dollars a month. Obviously that depends on the size of people that you’ve got abandoning carts and maybe that leads into you have a commercial problem but still… Those two and then the third one that we often help people with, that’s one really when we’re talking about customer training that flys under the radar, is having a dedicated automation series to taking someone from their first purchase to their second purchase. It’s such a crucial engagement with a customer to get that engagement right and generally you find if you get someone from first to second, it’s much more likely that you’re going to get to third and fourth. Whereas if you-

Nathan Bush:
It’s sounding a lot like a dating analogy at the moment.

Jason Anderson:
Absolutely. Right. If you can get someone onto that base. But this is the thing, it sounds like a no brainer, of course if someone goes back a second time they’re more likely to come back three or four times, but you’d be amazed at how many people have this steep drop off. Maybe 90% or more will check out once and never come back and they’ll put in place some generic repurchase automation and the stats on the surface might look good, but when you dig into it, it’s actually because they’ve got a really good core set of retaining customers that are engaging with that automation. But they’ve got this massive hole in people that have gone through the first time and they completed [inaudible 00:20:24].

Nathan Bush:
Got you.

Jason Anderson:
That’s the other big one that we try and tackle. Those would be my three. I think if the metric was to say to me, I’ve got nothing, what first three should I look at? It’d be those three.

Nathan Bush:
How was your Black Friday and Cyber Monday? If you’re a Shopify merchant, I dare say it was pretty bloody good. Shopify merchants sold $2.9 billion worth of goods across 175 countries over the Black Friday, Cyber Monday weekend. That’s a 60% increase from last year. Where Shopify excels is in those sales days, where they take care of tech to allow merchants to take care of the selling and that’s why their clients love them. If you had not such a great Black Friday, Cyber Monday, it might be worth considering whether you are on the right platform. Shopify Plus have a handy commerce evaluation guide that walks you through what questions to ask and what you need to consider when choosing the right platform for your business. You can download the guide that shopifyplus.promo/commerceguide. That’s shopifyplus.promo/commerceguide, to get your hands on the guide today.

Nathan Bush:
On that last one, what are some of the techniques you’ve seen to really convert people from that first purchase to the second? Because I’m assuming the first one is done out of necessity or a price or a big discount.

Jason Anderson:
Let’s say it could be during a certain period.

Nathan Bush:
What are some of the techniques you’ve used to guide to the second base.

Jason Anderson:
It can be pretty broad and usually what we do is incorporate a few things depending on the type of store. If it’s someone like say fashion, particularly if they appeal to two genders, we’ll generally try and be a bit clever about how we launch into that automation. If we identify that somebody has, let’s say it’s fashion with a back to back client is good example, having met some of them inactive way, we can see where they purchase a collection from, right. Was it from the men or women’s range. Straight away at the side of that flow we’re branching people off depending on if they purchased from men or women and if they purchase from both because some people buy for their partner, whatever.

Jason Anderson:
Then from there we’ve got different product recommendations for other flows, so we might use slightly altered language to talk about the products that we’re offering. Initially we’d usually start off with a thank you. You’re trying to increase your people into your family and into your brands. It can be a really strong time to get a little bit of history about the brand story, maybe talk about where the brand came from and what the brand stands for. Thank them for placing their, from there we might look at trying to get a review for the first time, so you send that off. The great thing about asking for reviews, you can usually offer an incentive, so if you do have those prices and people, you can get a little bit of great user generated content in return for giving them an incentive and that may then lead to the second purchase organically, which is great.

Jason Anderson:
The next thing that we also find can be a great thing to do is to offer an incentive to people who refer a friend, and it’s really important that you’re timing that emails. Select your email depending on what your shipping time is. If you know that standard shipping let’s say in Australia, your customer’s going to have it within say five days. If you tell them they have seven days, give them a day with the product, you know that their affinity, assuming they have delivered on your product promise, is going to be a full time high, right? They’re never going to be as happy with your brand when they’ve just got their product. That’s a perfect time to hit them and say, ‘Hey, do you love your product? Tell a friend about it, they’ll get 10% off and you’ll get 10% off. Immediately people are probably thinking, particularly if it’s fashion, “Oh, that’d be the perfect shirt to go with this skirt or the perfect jeans to go with that top.”

Jason Anderson:
You’re getting the right message in front of them at the right time and then from there, usually what we’d do and apart from say Klaviyo and dotdigital make this really easy, is we start doing some intelligent cross-selling. Both of those platforms have the ability to put a block into an email and you can basically say, just display the top three products that they’re most likely to buy based on what they’ve purchased before. Klaviyo, dotdigital, their AI engines will do the math and they’ll look at every customer that’s added what your customer has and everybody, what else did they ordered and then drop that straight to the email for you. You can tailor that to being, if it was popular in the last 30 days or the possible popular the whole time or whatever. It can be really relevant, really recent and obviously mathematically or statistically going to be the most likely to convert.

Jason Anderson:
But it also helps your… if you imagine as a customer, because you’re using that data driven content, it’s very likely that you’re going to nail it and it’s very likely that customer’s going to open that email and think, “Oh wow, this brand actually… this is personalized, this is tailored to me.” Personalization is something throughout really that post-social, it’s that initial one. That’s probably a more overarching thing is even doing simple things like I mentioned before about breaking it up by gender or if you noticed that they purchased a certain MVP product from your line if you’re a tech ology company for example, be really smart about that first attraction and try and make it as personal as possible because that’s really what’s going to build that relationship, push people over to the next level.

Jason Anderson:
People love to love brands. There’s a reason we all shop and there’s a reason why most of the time you see someone walking down the street in a Nike shirt, they’re also wearing Nike shoes. When people find a brand that they like, they like to be loyal and they like to feel like they’re part of a community and a tribe. So you really got to be thinking about what is it in my content, in my product range that I can put in front of these people to make them feel that they’re included, that we’ve got a community?

Jason Anderson:
The other big thing that we see working really well these days is private Facebook groups. We don’t do much of the Facebook work, but we’ll often build automation, particularly in that first purchase training to say, thanks for joining the community. We’ve got a private Facebook group that’s only for our customers.

Nathan Bush:
That’s cool.

Jason Anderson:
Click the secret link, go apply to be invited. You can even put an email. We’ve had people who will actually say or they may double check to make sure that you’re an actual customer once you request to join and once you are, we’ll approve you. It adds that level of exclusivity and then people feel really engaged. Then again, you opened up a new marketing channel as well to be able to communicate with them by having a private group on Facebook.

Nathan Bush:
That’s a really good tip and I think I’m showing my age here, but I bought a hose link, a retractable hose, it goes on your car. I’m like, “Man, I’m so old.” But I bought it and I was really pumped about it and then I’ve got a email following saying, “Come join our Facebook group.” I ended up doing it and now I’m this member of a hose link group on Facebook where [crosstalk 00:26:52] sprinklers and stuff all the time and I love it.

Jason Anderson:
I think you do.

Nathan Bush:
I never thought I’d turn into that guy.

Jason Anderson:
We’ve got a client become more than essential, so they do essential oils, right? And they have blends for fuses and things like that. But they do a whole range of things with essential oils and they have a face in community and it’s incredible. The people that are in that community creating their own blends for their essential oils, posting their recipes and sharing them amongst each other, they’ve really built and they’ve done a lot to nurture that but they’ve built an incredible community. That’s a core part of the email strategy that we have for them, is when someone becomes a customer, we’re really pushing them into the community to say, there are people here that are as passionate as you about these products and come and find people that you can relate to.

Nathan Bush:
Cool. The two key integrations to do a lot of the stuff that you’re talking about there is obviously in to product, which I’m assuming Klaviyo and dotdigital, if you’re integrated through the Shopify plugin or the BigCommerce plugin or-

Jason Anderson:
Magento, whatever it is.

Nathan Bush:
… [crosstalk 00:27:51] plugin.

Jason Anderson:
They’ve all got really tight native integrations, which is obviously really helpful. This is not stuff that you need to be a developer to do. This is point and click and it’ll get done for you, which is how you need it to be.

Nathan Bush:
Beautiful. Then the second integration is with your source of truth for your customer.

Jason Anderson:
Yes.

Nathan Bush:
This is I think probably a contentious one because they’ve got customer data platforms making a move in the old school, we’ve still got CRM systems out there. Some people manage customer records within their e-commerce platform. Where do you see the central source of customers? If you want to go, “I want to know which customers open what and what products they’re interested in,” how do you pull that together?

Jason Anderson:
It’s an interesting one I guess. I think it comes back to the merchant. Like I said before, if you’ve got a really strong bricks and mortar presence and you have your ERP and then you have your strong online presence, you need all of that to be syndicated somewhere so that it’s all reconciled. Then you probably are going to be looking at one of those bigger data platforms. But some of those have integrations as well. Or at least they have APIs and Klaviyo and dotdigital both have open API so you can integrate that sort of stuff. We’ve worked with both and we’ve integrated a fair bit, we’ve done the IP integrations with both, maybe not dotdigital.

Nathan Bush:
Cool.

Jason Anderson:
It’s definitely possible. We’d be selfish and say for us it’s always great to have it in the email platform, because obviously it puts a lot of data at our finger tips. But you know that isn’t to say these days the way that APIs work, it’s really up to you and what you’re most comfortable with. Most of the stuff can be pushed around if not live very close to. For me we generally like it to be in the email platform, but I mean even that now, Klaviyo released a feature now where they can actually push data back upstream to Shopify. If you want to use it, keep Shopify as a central point of truth. You can have us be recording data in Klaviyo. A really good example is if you’ve got a complex product range, we might sometimes do something with, say in your welcome email, we might say, “Hey, here’s your 10% off email, let’s get you to the right place.” And put a couple of category titles in front of you, but whichever category title you click on first, we’ll tag you in the background and say they’re probably more likely interested in this product collection. We can add that as a profile on Klaviyo and we can push that upstream to Shopify automatically. It really comes down to your website.

Nathan Bush:
That’s a really smart way to do it and is an advancement on the old when you used to sign up for an email form and it used to say, “Tell us what sports you’re into, Rugby League, netball, whatever it is.” You’d have to click dots of what you’re interested in and a lot of time what you clicked isn’t actually what you’re interested in or is your normal behavior.

Jason Anderson:
That’s it. Exactly. We do a lot of similar stuff like that even when it comes to the data capture, even further up the funnel, right? We will be looking at was the pop up on a male product page or a female product page in terms of what the collection they’re looking in. And we might assume, have a tag that assumes that they’re probably one of those two genders based on where they signed up from. If it’s more collection based, which collection do they come from? There’s a lot that you can do intelligently these days, which back in the day you would have to do manually and like you said, it can be very sketchy.

Nathan Bush:
Absolutely. Touch on loyalty for a second and email automation for loyalty. Where have you seen email play a critical role in loyalty programs, I’m talking about loyalty programs, not the overall concept of loyalty, in terms of driving that engagement beyond just discounts for members?

Jason Anderson:
Eco is maybe a good example as well, we can model so they use a loyalty program and currently their data capture is really just structured around signing up. But we’re looking to make a shift from that towards being much more points orientated. It’s actually a great way to gather data as well. A really good example is a lot of people in the loyalty program, you’re sort of sacrificing the same the attempts and often you first sign up to rather be get 200 points when you first sign up and you kind of rely on the customer to do the maths in figuring out that that’s going to get them a discount. But what we generally see is actually you can almost survey a customer and give them a few points that total up to that discount. You get quite a lot of good information out of them to get that 10% off more than just signing up from a form.

Jason Anderson:
For example, you can have that about say get 200 points for signing up when they go through and they sign up. Then the next page says, “Great, now they’ve signed up, get an extra 100 points for giving us your birthday and an extra 100 points for filling out your first name or some extra data or something like that. If you have it very clear on the screen, that amount of points that are got is going to total that next discount tier that they’re looking for. Great. They’re going to hand that over. They’re going to get that extra discount. You have a much richer engagement with the subscriber straight out of the gate and trying and nurture them so far as searches.

Nathan Bush:
Which is nice too because it probably allows you to take less information upfront knowing that you can get a similar track.

Jason Anderson:
Yes. Exactly. But another example, an active client of our is Muslim Nation, so before they were considering doing loyalty program, we did a little trial for them where we basically created some tiers that we didn’t tell anyone about. And the customers kind of, if they spent a certain lifetime spend, they would just get hit with an email that says, “Hey, congratulations, you’re in the secret club.” Once they got in the first time, we sort of told them about the different levels and told them what they’re aiming for and what discounts they’d get when they got to these new levels. But getting in in the first place was completely secret until you did it. That automation series ultimately currently has, I guess, the average conversion rate of about 19%-

Nathan Bush:
Wow.

Jason Anderson:
… when people receive it, which is great, but when we actually launched it, we backdated it and launched it to existing people to introduce them into their tiers and basically say, “We’re launching this thing.” When we launched it, it actually had a 31% conversion rate and one of the emails in the flow actually converted a 37% brilliant.

Nathan Bush:
Brilliant.

Jason Anderson:
The most interesting thing that we found when we launched the program was some of the discounts were quite heavy that we were offering. If you were in some of these top echelons of discount, what we saw was that even though we were giving a fixed dollar amount of people with these high coupons could have checked out and just had a completely free order free shipping, pay nothing, just got their products for free, almost none of them did. Almost all of them spent an equivalent amount of money if not more, because they had that discount. Some people were getting discounts of $75 and previous to that they would have had an average order value of about $75, they would have come to the store and spent $150 and used that $75 voucher.

Jason Anderson:
They actually ordered what would have been about $225 but there were so, I guess, inspired by the discount and the loyalty that the brand was showing to them that they just went on a massive shopping spree and splurged. We did our product release about two weeks later, a new collection launch and a lot of people had hung onto their discounts. When we did that product launch, we saw people order the exact same amount that they normally would and then they just used the discount to get all those same products in different color. But they still went out and spent that money. They weren’t just abusing the codes and abusing the discounts. It’s easy to just assume that people are just going to take advantage, but actually what it was doing was building such brand loyalty that these people weren’t thinking about it. Like, “Oh, great, I’m going to get a free extra order.”

Jason Anderson:
The way that they were thinking about it was, “Great, I should go and spend some money and I can spend even more because I could have this extra discount.” That’s the whole point of these loyalty programs rather, the point isn’t to just necessarily give them more discounts. The point is to educate a customer, say, “Hey, don’t just shop with us three times a year, shop with us five times a year.”

Nathan Bush:
You know what I’m loving about your approach in this, going through the whole episode here, is that you haven’t had a purest view of engagement in terms of just hit them with the right content, the right story, the right time and the rest will take care of itself. Also you haven’t gone just rely pricing and promotions to move the needle every time. You’ve kind of used both together and I think it’s usually a really telltale sign, as soon as you speak to a retailer in how they use email, whether they use it as the needle in the arm to inject sales quickly whenever they need it or whether they see it as that longterm relationship building. But you’ve got a nice approach where you blend in them both together.

Jason Anderson:
That’s right. Email is a part of your [buck knee 00:36:20] of your system right? It doesn’t sit on its own and you need to be thinking about when you’re doing your marketing, it’s a bit of a cliche, but you need to think about all of your marketing and all of your brands and the role that email plays in that. Email plays a crucial role, in our opinion, really in everything. If you want to have a good social strategy, you need to have strong email strategy that is directing people there at the right time and the right place. If you want to have a strong loyalty program, if you want to be generating lots of reviews, we build integrations, even subscription platforms, right, where we have something like recharge integrated with Klaviyo so that we can ensure that by my setting automations we’re actually tracking those people that have become a subscriber and then sending them emails to thank them for becoming a subscriber on top of also checking out.

Jason Anderson:
Then we might even build different statements around, when we’re going to run a promotion campaign. We might talk to those people a little bit differently. Or if we have a loyalty program, we might talk about the subscription very differently and say, “Look, if you get a subscription, we’ll give you double points every time your subscription order comes in and you’re going to sit in the special subscriber tier, where you’re going to get this many extra points per dollar spend and things like that.”

Jason Anderson:
Email is great because it’s really the only one to one email tool other than messenger that’s available and it allows you the amount of data that you could pull them out if you pull into your email platform and drop into an email when it sends, actually allows you to have really authentic one on one conversations with people where you can build that brand loyalty.

Nathan Bush:
Mate, thank you very much. You’ve been so generous with your knowledge in what you give out to your clients to make it available to our audience. We’ve talked a lot around the different technology and especially the dotdigital and Klaviyo platforms, which is used by many e-commerce retailers, talked about some of the journeys that you would start with. Then when we’ve dived into a little bit more around the strategy, especially with loyalty and ongoing engagement. Hopefully there’s something that everyone can take at least one or two tips out of and apply to their business. But I have left the last question and probably the hardest question to last.

Jason Anderson:
Sure.

Nathan Bush:
What makes a good subject line?

Jason Anderson:
Oh, what a question. It’s interesting, the old subject line debate and I think, not to cop out a little bit, but it does come down to your brand. I think these days, you need to be considering when you’re writing a subject line, who you talking to and when you’re talking to them in the journey. It can be really helpful to segment, if you’re talking about a campaign like Black Friday is coming up, right? A really simple piece of easy advice, if you’re going to send a campaign around Black Friday, go into your email platform and create two segments. One segment for people who placed an order before and one segment for people who haven’t. Everyone who’s placed an order before, you’ll have their first name because that will have come through from your CMS integration. Put their first name in the subject line.

Jason Anderson:
For everybody who hasn’t place an order before keep it simpler, keep it short, have the discount, if you wants some emojis, if they fit your brand, do that. Just mention the difference even in doing that. But that’s what I mean about, I guess, being intelligent about the relationship that you’re having with the customer. When you’re going to run a campaign like that think about what data you can use in that subject line that’s going to make the most out of it. If you’re launching a new collection, think about how you can pull something in. You get a lot of data when someone places an order these days and a lot of that you pull into subject lines and preview tents by using the short codes.

Nathan Bush:
Mate, you have just made a silly question really sensible, well done.

Jason Anderson:
No worries, thank you. I thought you we’re going to ask me, the question I always get is which day and what time is the best to send an email?

Nathan Bush:
I think there’s a whole episode coming up on that, so we’ll wait [crosstalk 00:40:06]. Mate, where can people find you and Andzen?

Jason Anderson:
Just Google us, Andzen, A-N-D-Z-E-N, jump on the website. We’ve got case studies up there if you want to have a look at some recent client work. Otherwise obviously get in contact. We do audits for free, so we’ll happily just jump in for a merchant and have a look at what they’ve got set up and provide some advice. If we can work together then that’s always great and if not, we’ve got a blog that’s full of really rich content on how to get started, how to set things up, how to take this to the next level. So please jump on the website and have a look and reach out.

Nathan Bush:
Legend. Thank you so much and hopefully we get to have a chat again soon.

Jason Anderson:
Nice, cheers mate. Have a good one.

Nathan Bush:
How good was that? Despite my efforts to throw Jason off with some stupid jokes about getting to third base and ask him silly questions about the best subject lines, he remained the zen master and really answered every question with something that was really practical and useful. I really loved his balance of an approach around generating instant sales verse a long time loyalty and brand approach. I think some really great points there. Hopefully you’ve got one or two things that you can take out of it for your business and for setting up your email automation journeys. As we said, Jason can be found in LinkedIn and also on his website, so feel free to reach out to him there. If you’re often more e-commerce news, insights and information, sign up for 12HIGH’s email, HIGHmail. You can go to 12HIGH, 1-2-H-I-G-H.com.au/highmail, H-I-G-H-M-A-I-L and sign up for the newsletter.

Nathan Bush:
Every month we release a This Month In E-Commerce newsletter. We’ll even do one just near the end of December and it goes through everything that you need to know from that month. It’s a bit of a 10 minute read, but we think that you get a lot of value out of it. Guys, if you haven’t finished trading, go well. There’s a few days left before Christmas. Other than that, I hope that your website stay up, that you have a successful period and that you come back in the new year feeling a little bit refreshed and ready to go all again. Thanks guys. Merry Christmas.