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Unprepared Ep 32 - How to Improve Your Communication with Customers with Stephen Carl

Timestamps

  • [00:00] - Intro
  • [00:40] - Using email and SMS
  • [04:00] - Working on your copy
  • [05:00] - The low hanging fruit of email
  • [06:11] - Investing in a good software
  • [08:18] - Tips for product launches
  • [09:34] - Where to find Stephen
  • [10:00] - Sponsor: Rewind

Resources:

Key Points:

  • Everyone is thinking of using email and SMS since it’s almost the holiday season and it’s going to be the first virtual Black Friday.
  • The first important thing is list growth. Think about how to grow that email list or how to double the number of signups that you get.
  • People who visit your website don't buy, but they are interested. That's why they came to your website.
  • Emails are often on autopilot and it was sent a few months ago. Keeping a weekly KPI and assigning someone to grow your list and monitor the number of people added can help your business grow.
  • Ensure that your email is worth signing up for by making your customers feel like they are a part of the community.
  • With your website running 24/7 and getting weekly signups up, you can have a hundred to a thousand people on your list. The best signups are people coming from your site.
  • You can split-test your emails. Simply alter your offers to see what resonates better with your customers.
  • Email subscribers are typically excellent when they're new. They are excited about your brand and are more likely to make a purchase.
  • Make the copy interesting and personal for pop-ups and email. The copy can go a long way as it impacts your conversion rates.
  • The low-hanging fruit of email is obviously top automations.
  • The big three that you need to set up are: Welcome series, post-purchase campaigns, and abandon cart.
  • Even if you have the three all set up already, you can still tinker and play around it to make a difference in your revenue.
  • The problem with automation is that there is a "set it and forget it" mentality. So check it at least on a monthly basis.
  • The beauty of Klaviyo or any email marketing software is the little optimizations that make it better.
  • Split test the emails in your welcome series, post-purchase series, and abandon cart series.
  • Investing in a good software like Klaviyo or any email marketing services of yourmay cost a hundred of dollars, but you can get thousands of dollars from it. 
  • Don’t compare software on a price point basis. There is so much you can do with the right tools like segmenting, split-testing, or even sending your campaign at the right time.
  • When launching a new product, tease your subscribers before the product is out by doing a series of product drops.
  • For example, you can send an email to your VIPs and say that you are going to give them a discount if they write a review about it. 
  • Building up the excitement will help you have a successful product launch.
  • It’s good on both sides because you will know if there’s less demand for the product if you send multiple emails in the steps towards the product launch.

Transcript:

Chase Clymer  

All right, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Unprepared. Today we welcome to the show, Stephen Carl. Stephen, welcome to the show. You have the best background of any guest we've ever had.

Stephen Carl  

I appreciate that, Chase. It's great to be on.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. So where are you, by the way, so everyone can be jealous.

Stephen Carl  

I am in Silverthorne, Colorado in Summit County. I'm actually regularly from Brooklyn, New York. But this was a little bit nicer than my studio apartment. So when...took a little drive cross country and fortunately, was able to be here for a little bit.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. So on that drive across the country, you know, it probably gives you a good time to talk about, a good time to think about today's topics, which is communication with your customers, through email, through SMS, and all that jazz. 

So since we only got about 10 minutes here, lay it on let you have it and we can kind of get into it.

Stephen Carl  

Alright, let's start it. I think we hear about conversation commerce. And holy already thinking about the holiday season, because it's gonna be the one of the first virtual black Friday's so that's why you got to get your...everyone's got email getting that going. And also thinking about SMS. So I think we could just go through like a checklist of stuff. 

I'm sure people have heard a couple of them. But that there are some nuggets between just the things that can make your...that easy money that can come through email a little bit better.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. So while we're on this. So earlier today, I recorded another episode of the podcast, and there was something that came up there, and actually made a note about it. 

So we were talking about doing store credit. And I think that so many people don't have an automation set up past the first time store credit is issued to nudge people that hey, this exists. So they're right, there is an easy one to...

Stephen Carl  

Right? You send like a reminder email and say, Hey, you got $15 a store credit. Use it.

Like it just yeah, people don't think about it. So it's definitely just like having a discount.

Chase Clymer  

Yep. 

Stephen Carl  

Yeah, I think, you know, the first thing with it is list growth. Because I think lists growth is how do you grow that email list? How do you double the amount of signups that you get? 

Because the people that are coming to your website, a lot of them don't buy, but they're interested, that's why they came to your website. So, you know, I think a lot of times, what happens is, it's on autopilot, and you put a $10 discount or a sign up a few months ago. 

But I think just keeping a weekly KPI and assigning someone and saying grow our list. We have to grow this list and we're gonna look at the numbers every week. That's half the battle. 

And then just, I think it's not as much as like, just putting annoying pop-ups. We know that that can turn off people. But a lot of times, just make that list something worthwhile to sign up on. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah.

Stephen Carl  

You know, like, we talked about brands like Chubbies or shyness D...it's not just, you know, this robotic $10 off. But it's like you're part of the club, you know. You're part of this community. And that's so just, you know, if you can double what you have now, your website's running 24/7, just getting that weekly signups up, you can add hundreds of thousands to your list.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. All right, so let's quickly...there one of my favorite platforms out there is Klaviyo. Obviously, I talked about it all the time. Klaviyo launched recently, you can split test your offer on your pop-up and like you're saying just assigning someone to it. 

Split testing is easy. Just come up with another offer. Half the time it can be the same exact offer. You can position it in a different way. And one might resonate more with your customers and others. 

Stephen Carl  

Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

That right there is an easy process to instill in your business.

Stephen Carl  

Yeah, definitely. Yeah, the A/B testing. You can test the rules, you can test the content. 

But yeah, just getting a little bit more from the best possible signups or the people coming from your site. And they're also your email subscribers are typically great when they're the newest ones. They're excited about your brand so they're more likely to purchase. 

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. 

Stephen Carl  

People that have been on your list for years

Chase Clymer  

I don't know if it's because I'm so down the Ecommerce rabbit hole as an agency owner and you know, I guess an expert. 

I sign up for email lists all the time now and I read the entire thing and I'm obviously, I'm reverse engineering what people are doing and like getting inspired by their copy. But

Stephen Carl  

Yeah

Chase Clymer  

I love welcome series. I love all that stuff.

Stephen Carl  

Yeah, and you make it...yeah, it doesn't have to be robotic. 

You make it, you can make that. Even that email pop up can be interesting and personal. You should definitely have a copywriter. If you have one, work on that because those lines of copy can go a long way.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. Someone asked that. We had a meet up last week and one of the questions was how important is copywriting. I was like the most important.

Stephen Carl  

Yeah, it's just humbling. I'm an English major who got into Ecommerce and I assign copywriters too because it's just...there's a big difference between good, really good, and great. And how it impacts your conversion rates.

Chase Clymer  

Yep, absolutely. 

Stephen Carl  

So let's go on. So you know, just low hanging fruit of email. I mean, the other thing is obviously top automations. 

You know, so I'll just name the big three that if you don't have it, you really should have it. So you talked about welcome series. You know, there is post-purchase campaigns. And then also, a welcome series post-purchase campaigns and abandoned cart.

Chase Clymer  

There we go.

Stephen Carl  

For different reasons. But those are like, even if you have them set up already, those are worthwhile to tinker with. Because, you know, you can do A/B testing on it, you can play around with it. But if enough people are coming in, it will make a difference in your revenue.

Chase Clymer  

Oh, absolutely.

Stephen Carl  

So those are the ones without question that if you don't have them, set them up. If you do have them just look...the other problem with automations is there is a set it and forget it mentality where it's like, you know, God, we have so much to do. So I sympathize. 

But you want to look at it at least on at least a monthly basis. 

Chase Clymer  

Yep. 

Stephen Carl  

And make sure that just, that's the beauty of Klaviyo and email marketing. It's those little optimizations that make it better.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, and you can actually split test the emails in your welcome series, you can split test the emails in your post-purchase series. 

Stephen Carl  

Yep. 

Chase Clymer  

And in your abandoned cart series. There's something that I see all the time is the mentality of stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime, and they don't want to invest in a software like Klaviyo. 

There are a few others in the market. I always talk about Klaviyo. It's my favorite, Whatever. But if it does the thing for you, that's fine. I'm not trying to tell you one's better than the other. I just like one more. And I think it works better anyway. 

Stephen Carl  

Yeah, it's just yeah. And I'm a homer for Klaviyo also just because of the results. Because you get...

Chase Clymer  

Yes.

Stephen Carl  

You know, it's like the ROI that you're gonna get in it. Because people will say, oh, it costs a few hundred dollars. But you're coming out of that with thousands of dollars.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. And so I think that people oftentimes are looking at these solutions out there in the marketplace, these different platforms. And they're comparing on a price basis alone. 

Stephen Carl  

Yeah.

Chase Clymer  

And that is the worst way to look at it. Talking about stepping over dollars to pick up a dime. I have people tell me all the time like I don't need an abandoned cart sequencer. I've got Shopify comes with it for free. What Shopify gives you for free, 

Stephen Carl  

That's crazy talk, but I know, you get a...And I think we've had this experience too. I had an excuse a couple of years ago, where someone was showing me their campaigns. And they're like, oh, we're already doing all this stuff. 

And then, you know, after we were working on it, we tripled the revenue from it. And that's not because we're geniuses, it's just because there's so much more you can do with it with the right tools.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, the segmenting, the split testing, you know, hell, sometimes it's just sending it at the right time. One of my favorite features of Klaviyo is when I get my newsletter done in a timely manner, I can send it and it'll hit their inbox at 9 am their timezone. 

And that actually impacts my open rate so much more. And obviously, sometimes I can't get it out at 9 am your timezone if you're watching this, you probably are subscribed to it. And you're like, he's emailed me like four in the afternoon before. Sometimes I just got to get the email out.

Stephen Carl  

Yeah, right, it's...just focusing on those big three. If you know, definitely focus on that. There's a couple more that are kind of go into a little more or not talked about as much. 

I went through the whole Klaviyo master's program. And we're just a course where they go through it. And there was a really interesting one that came up which is product launches. 

And what's awesome about when you're launching new products, you're doing product drops, you can do it in a series. So if you have a hot new product that you're really excited about, send, tease that product. Get people excited about it. 

Before it launches, you can even send an email to your VIPs and say, we love that you're an okay customer so we're going to give you a 20% off on this product. Just write a review for us and that's how we're giving you exclusive access. 

But just to stagger the launch, and build up the excitement. So that on that day one, you're not hearing crickets about that product launch. It's even good on both sides. Because you can know if there's less demand for a product to have. You send multiple emails in the steps towards a product launch.

And also the full price. With new products, you typically can get a higher margin from them as well.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. Hey, Stephen, if people are enjoying what you're saying, how did they get ahold of you? How can they learn more about you?

Stephen Carl  

So you can reach me at stephen@needlemovement.com. And as in move the needle and I look at every email. 

And there's also a needle movement podcast. You can also, you can see chase make an appearance as well. And, you know, we talk about Ecommerce growth as well there. 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. I'll make sure to link to that in the show notes. Thank you so much. 

Stephen Carl  

Thank you, Chase. 

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