From — March 27th, 2021
Email is the best way to talk one-on-one with anyone in the world. Well, maybe second to carrier pigeons and owls. As you grow the numbers of those you talk with, there will ultimately be more people who care about what you have to say. We sat down with Chase Dimond to chat about how email can be so much more than just a communication medium - it's your marketing platform.
This FF episode was sponsored by Netcore. Revolutionize email experiences with the only email delivery platform that leverages AI to power deliverability and increased customer engagement.
Matt Helbig: What's up email geeks. Welcome back to another Feedback Friday, this week with an amazing guest. What's up, Chase? How's it going?
Chase Dimond: What’s going on, man? How are you?
Matt Helbig: Very good. Thanks for jumping on. Everyone should follow you on Twitter. It's a must-follow. So tell me a little bit about yourself. Awesome.
Chase Dimond: Awesome, I appreciate that. I’m happy to be here. I've been doing email now for about five and a half or six years.
I actually started my first three years in terms of building community and building newsletters and whatnot. And the most recent three years have been specifically focused on working with e-commerce brands. I run an agency where we've got about 55 to 60 e-commerce brands as clients.
We love email. We're obsessed with email. We've gotten pretty good at it. I'm pumped to be here. Big fan of what you guys are building.
Matt Helbig: You sent over these examples. I believe it's pronounced “way” (OUAI) and maxbone. So I thought we could walk through this with your amazing expertise. Hopefully we can add a little feedback on this Feedback Friday episode.
Chase Dimond: Awesome. I will follow your lead or if you want me to lead, let me know.
Matt Helbig: Yeah, I can jump right in. We don't usually cover signup forms on the series, but I thought, this one popped up and I think you have some expertise on how to make them really good. So what are your thoughts on this initial pop-up?
Chase Dimond: For me, it loaded right away. I think that's a little bit too soon.
Typically we're messing with time delays of, let's say like four to six seconds or like a 25 to 30% page scroll. So I think one in terms of the behavior. Giving people the opportunity and the chance to look at what's on the website, I think is important.
What are your thoughts on the timing?
Matt Helbig: Usually we try to gauge how long people scroll or maybe pushing that sign up to a product page versus the initial signup. But I do think it is pretty simple and clean making you sign up for email and text. It was an interesting feature to actually get that coupon code.
But I think this 15% off is a pretty good way to grab people's attention, at least before they sign up.
Chase Dimond: I agree. I think 15% is a little bit on the high side, but higher than we're typically using at least with our clients. Most of the time we're rolling a 10%. So I think a 15%, because you have to do the email and the SMS, I think that's attractive.
And I think that will get people to actually enter their email. The design, right? Clean, minimalistic, whatnot. That's important. The copy is obviously important. We talked about the time delay, but the incentive itself really does, in my opinion, have a big weight on whether someone gives you their email or not.
We have some data internally. We also have been looking at data from Privy, people just saying, Hey, enter your email for updates. That's really not that exciting, right? Typically we're seeing a one to 2% conversion on traffic to that. Whereas with some kind of offer, whether it's a dollar off or a percentage off or free shipping, we're seeing in the ballpark of about five to 10% of people actually giving us their email.
And then the most recent one that we've been testing is more of an enter to win. So, enter to win our weekly or monthly drawing or giveaway, that's actually converting in the low teens. So I think them going with a standard 15% off for text and email is a good one. Also, one other thing is we've noticed that the order of what you asked for email or phone number matters.
When you asked for the email first and then SMS second, we found that to be more successful than asking for a phone number first, email second. Do you have any thoughts or data on any of that?
Matt Helbig: I think with e-commerce, it's a little bit different because people just want to really get that offer and move on with their day versus a newsletter where you're potentially setting expectations, or giving a teaser about what your content is going to be about. I think that's more of the focus that we've been on, but it's always interesting to see people A/B test.
We can move right on to this first welcome email. Did you have any initial thoughts on this one?
Chase Dimond: In this email, and I haven't gone through the actual phone number parts since I've given my phone number off to so many companies, my phone has kind of blown up at this point, but I think for me, it's like, where is the offer here?
Maybe it was because I didn't enter my phone number that I didn't get one either, but I missed the offer at least from what I saw in this email. So I think a lot of times people enter their email into the pop-up, with the intention of going to their email to actually be able to redeem and use it.
I think from a conversion standpoint, that's probably a big missed opportunity.
Matt Helbig: Yeah. I agree. I feel like the goal of this welcome email is to drive traffic towards the site, or like you're saying, highlight that offer that you just opted into, and it kind of feels like it's leaving some money on the table where they're introducing you to the brand, but the next steps are a little bit unclear to me.
It's a pretty long scroll. We have an all image email, which is kind of a bummer. You know, each section is clickable, but it's not super clear exactly where this is going to go. They have this sort of social proof company endorsement area, but these are actually linking to these individual products.
And that wasn't super clear to me initially when I looked at this.
Chase Dimond: Yeah, I think aesthetically, it looks nice, but I think it really does look nice from a brand. But I think even some of the texts, having them actually be a text block and having the text actually be alive and not just an image, I think would be a huge win.
I think that is a missed opportunity as you pointed out. Other than this CTA at the bottom, while those images are hyperlinked, I think people might exit out because it's not really clear, obvious. I think having some kind of call to action above the fold, in this case, would be kind of nice.
Matt Helbig: One tip that I've heard you talk about was the re-mail on the welcome series.
Chase Dimond: Yes, so to elaborate on that. For everything that we've seen, the first welcome email always drives the most engagement and also the most revenue out of the entire welcome series. So we typically have four emails.
Email one, which is this email that we're looking at typically will drive the most amount of revenue. And because it typically has the offer and some of this important information and whatnot, what we'll always do is we'll set a 24-hour timer up that basically says if someone's opening, great, push them down to email two. However, if someone has not opened this email, change the subject line and send the exact same email to anyone that has not opened it.
And we kind of see the conversion, the performance on that resend, somewhere in between email one and email two in terms of, you know, engagement in revenue. So the resend is not going to do nearly as well as the first session, but performs in between and are more in line with what you'd expect the second email to perform.
Matt Helbig: I feel like this, even if I resent this welcome email, it might not be super actionable. I like to maybe highlight some best sellers in this initial email or mention that discount, or even play with the from name to make it feel a little bit more personal.
This just kind of feels like a promotional blast and it doesn't really feel like I'm being welcomed to this new brand and learning a lot.
Chase Dimond: Yeah, completely agree. And building up what you just said. So if we wanted to change the from name from, let's say the founder or some kind of spokesperson, whether it's the community manager, support manager, we might even want to try a plain text version for the reset.
Make it feel really personal, to be pretty short and sweet. You know, Hey Matt, thanks so much for signing up for our list yesterday. You know, I wanted to take a quick second to welcome you. Introduce our brand highlights, some new products. I'm in, by the way, here's the 15% off code that we promised you, you know, let us know if you have any questions, whoever's going to sign off.
So I think the ability to have some resend be like a plain text, or even just a shorter version of this with some live text, I think that's a really great way to untraditional A/B test it. It's not a true A/B test ‘cause it's not going to be on the same first email, but I think it gives you an opportunity to see how something like that could perform.
Matt Helbig: Yeah. I agree. Keep testing your welcome email, because like you said, there's a lot of traffic going to that first send and it's really the first communication you have with the customer and sort of sets the stage for the rest of the communications.
Well, we can move right along to this more promotional-style email.
This is kind of a product announcement. And I thought this one was interesting because it is sort of like this waitlist, almost like a teaser release email, and it kind of stood out to me just because I don't see a lot of brands doing something like this.
Chase Dimond: So I think this email, in terms of some of the copy and the imagery, is really well done. That image we're looking at right under the fetch me the waitlist, that's a really cool, fun, cute image. So, I mean, that's something that if this is a cool email, it's relevant, I might talk to my friend about or share it.
I think the imagery and the assets they've used in the design and some of those things are really strong. But again, on the negative side, the all images, making it a little bit more, I don't want to say pop because it does pop, but leveraging GIFs or things like that, making it a little bit more enticing. I think it would be cool.
Matt Helbig: I haven't really done a lot of the whole waitlist thing, but it would be interesting to see if you join this waitlist, maybe they send you a special version of the next email for this one. Maybe if you don't have a pet, I'm not sure if they don't send any additional promotional emails about this product, if they're sending it to their whole list or if the waitlist is just a way to build hype, but it's interesting to see.
Chase Dimond: The waitlist is definitely interesting. One thing that we've had a lot of success with brands that we've tried before, a product drops we'll typically do like, Hey, just a heads-up, product dropping tomorrow, you know, in three days, in a week, whatever it is. And we'll actually allow people to add it to their calendar.
So there are a couple of apps out there. There's one called Calendar Snack. There are a couple of tools out there that I think are free, where you can actually have a link that allows people to add an event to their calendar.
Not only are they going to get an email on when items are available for purchase or when the collection drops, but if they add it to their calendar and they opt in, and you can actually see the metrics in some of these apps of people that have received it, people that have opted in, people that have confirmed saying yes, that they're going to attend.
There's some really cool stuff that you could do there as well if you didn't want to do this whole sign up for a waitlist type thing.
Matt Helbig: And this is the product launch email tied to that initial signup. So they’re launching this product, and like you said, the copy is pretty interesting before, as a positive. But I think on mobile, especially, things start to get pretty small, which is why having that live text or a more designed out template would be a benefit to this brand.
Chase Dimond: Hundred percent agree.
Matt Helbig: Not too much else. But I think like you also said some animation, I think would be very nice in this brand. Some down here where we might lose interest, maybe bringing in some animation would catch your eye and bring you in a little bit more to this product announcement.
Chase Dimond: Yeah. One thing that I wanted to share, that's kind of related to the previous emails and any emails in general is, our head of design at our company, she put together this really cool, almost audience kind of archetype. Depending on whether someone's Gen Z or millennial or kind of a boomer, she has this way then which she teaches our team to design for emails.
I think it's really important to know your audience. So this brand OUAI, I'm guessing they're probably targeting women or girls that are probably between 18 to maybe their early to mid-thirties. So, designing for Gen Z and for millennials - For Gen Z, she talks a lot about having mobile-first design. A lot of us are opening it on our phone, having the messaging being really direct. Making sure that the images are highly curated and really on point, playing to the fact that these audiences for Gen Z have a really short attention span.
So making sure that the emails are concise and very clear, and not too busy, having some kind of creative call to action and styles that prompt them to want to have that intrigue and want to click through. That's typically how we design at our company for Gen Z based on how she's built it, and then millennials. But I think it's also relevant and similar for this company that we're looking at, again, mobile-first design is huge.
A lot of the content, whether it's the copy and the design, making sure that it's both aspirational as well as educational. So think about companies, like Away, very aspirational, then pairing it with companies that also teach you something and educate you on something, whether it's about their specific product, whether it's about the environment, whether it's got a category, and really kind of curating the experience and having creative styles for the CTA.
Matt Helbig: It’s an interesting way of segmentation and maybe it's something you can even try to capture at signup or maybe a survey later on, but it is cool to see that designing for those specific audiences, checking in and seeing who makes up your brand when it comes to the age groups.
Chase Dimond: Exactly. I think through your point, when you mentioned the pop-up, you're looking at the analytics within Google Analytics or whatever your analytics platform is. You're looking at how people engage with your website, how much time they scroll on your homepage, what they do.
To your point, if you want to send a survey out or even within certain ESPs, and that's just email service providers, so it's like, Klaviyo, Omnisend, MailChimp, so on and so forth, there are ways to survey and poll people within an email by clicking a single button.
You could ask people for gender or interest on a pop-up and those are typically called like a radio button. So there are many ways that you can collect data on who people are, in certain ESPs. At Klaviyo, for example, they also even have predictive analytics around gender.
So I think the more that you can understand the group of people on your list, but also this specific person on your list, you can design and curate content for the things that they care about. I mean, that's the goal, right? That's what brands are going to have to do in 2021 and beyond to win.
Matt Helbig: Moving along, this is a cart abandoned email based on that product launch. So I know you've done a lot of work with abandoned cart, some experimenting, how long you should wait before you send that retention email, that abandoned cart email. Experimenting with adding discounts further along if people are still not engaging.
So what kind of tips do you have for abandoned cart emails, and any feedback on this one?
Chase Dimond: The first one kind of talking about this in general is, I want people to make sure that they understand, in most cases on those ESPs, there's a difference between the abandoned cart and the abandoned checkout, right?
Most people, by default, have what's called an abandoned cart if they're on Klaviyo and Shopify. But if you look at the trigger for it, it's actually “started checkout.” So I think making sure that people understand that there's a difference between an abandoned cart, which takes the trigger of added to cart, and then abandoned checkout people actually got through the entire process. They just left the checkout. And why do people do it? They get distracted. They're waiting to see if you are going to send them the offer. Maybe you didn't have free shipping, those types of things.
So I think it's really important to preface the fact that there are differences between the two. In terms of a time delay, we're testing anywhere from about 30 minutes, kind of on the early side, which is a little bit more aggressive.
30 minutes after someone adds to cart, and then abandons it. Or 30 minutes after someone starts to check out and then leaves, we're having success with that. And then with other brands, more around like the two to four-hour mark is working.
We'll typically run an A/B test where it's 50% of traffic are gonna receive a 30-minute time delay. And then the other 50% are gonna receive a two-hour time delay. Everything else is going to be the same. It's gonna be the exact same subject line, the exact same copy. The only difference that we're testing is the time delay.
I think it's really important to test those types of things, different users, different companies, depending on what you're sending, will see a different result. But typically between that 30 to four-hour period is kind of work we're testing and where we're seeing success, and then in terms of the content, yeah. Typically like email one is kind of just a simple reminder of here's what you've left at your cart, or here's what you left behind.
And we are linking people to where they dropped off. So if they dropped off at the cart, there's no special link. You just have to have company name, backslash cart. That's where you typically take people for where it shows finished shopping. Whereas if people abandoned checkout, you can drop them back out on the checkout window that shows their item or all their items.
Email one could be something like this. Email two could be something similar, maybe some different images, maybe some different text and whatnot. And then typically email three, if they don't convert, we'll go with a plain text email from the founder or community person saying, Hey Matt, I noticed my team sent you a few emails over the past couple of days, wanted to see if you had any questions, here's a 10% off discount code. If you need anything, also hit reply. I check and respond to all my emails, and let me know if I could help you.
What we'll do is just kind of a simple reminder. And then as time goes on, if people aren't converting, we'll try an offer and a plain text email to try to really loop them back in and take them from consideration into conversion.
Matt Helbig: I feel like a lot of people actually expect these kinds of emails and maybe will postpone a purchase just waiting to see what a brand might send them. It's always cool to see brands sort of experimenting with those touchpoints and what it takes to actually make that sale.
Connected to this brand is maxbone, which did a collaboration with OUAI. What do you think of this pop-up compared to the one that we previously saw?
Chase Dimond: That one on mobile, I think it's kind of a cool and unique experience. To some degree, some people might say it's annoying ‘cause it takes over the entire window. But I think it's pretty cool.
I liked the fact that they're trying a dollar off. I think most people typically do a percentage off, so I'd be curious to know, have they tested a percentage off and found more success with the dollar off. I think dollars off, depending on the price point of a product might make sense and it might seem like more, versus a discount.
So I think it's pretty clean. I liked the text. I liked the background color. I liked the image asset that they used. So I think it's pretty interesting and well done.
What are your thoughts?
Matt Helbig: Yeah, I think it caught my eye a little bit more. I think that $10 off is definitely a good attention-grabber.
As you're seeing here, they're also using text and email signup. The more people getting an SMS, wanting to be on channels that people are interested in opting into if they want to receive communications on something like SMS, where they want to be like a really true fan and learn about your products.
Chase Dimond: I think you nailed the sentiment of how we're describing SMS to our clients. So we've started offering SMS as a service maybe two months ago, just because clients kept asking about it. And we were like, Hey, we do retention, but we're only focused on emails. So we kind of offered it now.
The way that we are positioning it with our clients is that it really is like a VIP exclusive club for people that want that personal connection and want to know things first. It really is for the VIPs that want to know when something's dropping and they want to know about the current events. And we are still trying to truthfully find out the right cadence.
You could send two, three, four, five emails a week, and it's pretty normal as long as the expectation was there. But you can't really send two, three, four, five texts a week. That's pretty intrusive. So we're kind of thinking right now along the lines of, yeah, one text a week, maybe three texts a month is kind of the sweet spot.
We're using it as a complementary channel where the verbiage and the copy and the text is very similar to the emails. We're setting up the welcome series, the abandoned cart, some of those same types of things. It's for those customers that really want to go one step further.
If a brand can support actually allowing people to respond, having that one-to-one communication, those one-to-one texts with the consumer, has actually been really huge for trying to get that sale for building that bond and whatnot.
Matt Helbig: Moving on to their welcome email, I really liked this one. If you know, I like the use of big, broad text. In the beginning, it does feel a bit more welcoming, thanking you for signing up. It's always great to thank your customers. And yeah, this one felt a little bit more clear to me.
I kind of felt like this highlighted more of the offer side and let you get to know the brand a little bit more and kind of set the stage for what emails you might get next.
Chase Dimond: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I liked, as you mentioned, the text kind of overlay over the images.
I like the fact that they both have a product shot as well as kind of more of a fun, lifestyle shot, let's call it. They delivered the code that they promised. I think they could maybe bold the code within the email to make it stand out a little bit more. Maybe even change the font size slightly up.
But I liked the fact that it feels fun. It feels inviting. It feels warm. To me, this email feels one step further than the last one we looked at from OUAI.
Matt Helbig: Jumping into some of their product release emails, this is the collaboration email they did. I think this one does a pretty good job on building hype.
Some of this white space feels like a little bit too much to me. It kind of feels like it's a little bit spacey. But I think a good callout is thinking that most of their audience is on mobile and that's maybe why they're designing it. This one needs a little design help to really make it pop off.
I feel like this could definitely be a GIF showing these two images. So I think there are some small things that would make this one just slightly better.
Chase Dimond: I agree. I don't have a whole lot to add on the design side. By the way, I should clarify. I don't work with these brands. I have no biases towards these brands. I really liked this collaboration and collaborations in general.
I think these types of brand partnerships, collaboration, or what I'm calling giveaways 2.0, it's traditionally a giveaway for these two brands that would be, Hey, you know, enter to win our products, wait a week or a month to find out. You end up with a lot of fluffy kind of people on your list, people that just want the free thing. And they don't really care about actually buying. So I think when you do something like this, and it's more of a cross-promotion and a partnership, this is a lot more conversion and sales-oriented.
So I like this a lot more than the, Hey, we'll just do a giveaway. That’s more the point I want to comment on, ‘cause I definitely agree with your design comments.
Matt Helbig: It's cool to see the overlap between these different brands and maybe them borrowing other parts of their audience. I think these partnership emails are really cool to see, and we try to add some more to Really Good Emails whenever we see them just because I think they are kind of a newer thing, and doing them right, maybe not making them feel like you just sold your list to someone else and they're sort of doing an ad placement within your list. So I think these collaboration ones are a cool way to do that.
This is the abandoned cart email for maxbone, and I kind of liked this one too.
I liked the language pulling in that dynamic image with the price, adding some don't miss out, urgency around that. I think this one is pretty good. Any comments on this one?
Chase Dimond: Yeah, I like this too. I think in some of the times, a lot of people try to over-engineer some of these emails, I think sometimes like this, this is really simple and this is really planned, but I think it's effective.
It keeps people focused on returning to the cart. It clearly shows people what they've left behind, and it has a little bit of urgency, to what you meant. So I think a lot of people might look at this and think it's kind of boring, but I think that's actually why it's really good. ‘Cause it's just basic and simple, and it should get the job done.
Matt Helbig: Yeah. I liked the little call out here to talk to someone on the support team. That's nice. They could also potentially try to show some related items if they want to make that purchase a little bit larger, if you're not interested in this specific product, but this one is a pretty cool one that gets people back into the site, especially if they missed that purchase.
And then this last one, I thought it was a cool creative one. It's actually one of my favorites out of all the emails that we looked at. I thought this one looked really polished and I thought I would include it. It's more of a promotional one, but they're kind of grouping these items into these sets.
And I think that's kind of a clever way to sell products.
Chase Dimond: Yeah. I like how they've grouped it. And I also think the call to action is really clean. It's so simple. Just like with the underline, I don't see a lot of that happening. Most people are just using a button or using pretty plain text that looks blue.
I think the call to action is actually kind of unique and clever with how it is, and it fits kind of perfectly. I like how the format repeats.
Matt Helbig: They have limited stock here, which is cool to see adding some urgency there. And I think with some of these emails, there's an opportunity for customer testimonials in these products.
I'm sure they have some other emails that are going with that. I liked this one. I thought it was pretty clean and the design and palette overall was pretty nice to look at.
Chase Dimond: Yeah, this is awesome.
Matt Helbig: So, do you have any other tips for e-commerce emails when we're wrapping this up?
Chase Dimond: I think really the last thing I'll leave people with is, from a design standpoint, really designing with intention I think is the buzzword. And the thing that we talk a lot about at our agency is just because an email is beautiful doesn't necessarily mean it's going to convert.
So, at the end of the day, the goal is to build awareness. The goal is to build engagement in the bond, but it's also to generate revenue, right? So I think a lot of brands over-index on revenue. I think a lot of brands over-index on design. I think making sure that your hero communicates a purpose, that there is some kind of narrative that the calls to action are effective.
Those are some of the things that we talk a lot about that I think are probably the last things I'd leave with here.
Matt Helbig: Yeah. We get a lot of feedback on Really Good Emails. You know, why is this really good? Is it high-converting or does it look nice? And I think we try to find a balance between that, but you'll never know until you go and test them with your list and test all these different things.
And I think across this episode, there is so much stuff to optimize with. It's email, and there's always an opportunity to try something new and learn something.
Where can people find you online?
Chase Dimond: Twitter will be fantastic. My handle's @ecomchasedimond and there's no A in dimond. Really appreciate you having me.
Matt Helbig: Well, have a great rest of your week.
Chase Dimond: You too. Cheers.
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