Email for eCommerce
Christopher Byrne, Dave Ewing and Vinny O Brien from Sensorpro
Christopher Byrne 0:00
Good morning, and welcome to Inbox Expo. My name is Chris Byrne, and I’m the co founder of Sensorpro. And joining me today, we have video, Brian, who is our e commerce expert. And Dave Ewing, who is our deliverability man and in Sensorpro, when Andrew contacted me a couple of months ago and asked us to join his his Inbox Expo conference. And I didn’t hesitate, I was delighted to support Andrew and Andrew, thank you for having us here today. It’s a fantastic initiative. I know it’s been a long road for you to get this done. And we’re delighted to support you. And I know we are supposed to be in London right now delivering this personally. But times have changed. And that’s kind of kind of what we’re going to be talking about a little bit in terms of email and change. And I want to do an industry call for do not track. I’m going to get into that in a moment. Then he’s going to talk to us about why ecommerce loves email. And Dave’s gonna talk a little bit about deliverability one on one and why the basics matter. In terms of what we’re talking about today. I think we’ve all seen this slide from Sheryl 10 years ago where she said that email is probably going away. Now she was talking in the context of this conference so long ago. But email is changing. And as we know, email didn’t go away. And in fact, you know, around the same time, a friend of mine called me up and told me, you know, Chris, you’re going to have to get out of the email business. Now. This man was someone you would respect. And I said, Tell me about why, why should I get out of the email business and he said, Chris, Google Wave is coming. And everyone’s going to use Google Wave. Well, as we know, Google Wave didn’t happen. So what we need to understand here is that predicting things is hard. And we have to forgive Cheryl, in this case, that making predictions is a difficult thing to do. And now we know, as Jeremiah says, here, that email is back on trend, and email is back on trend. for lots of reasons, it’s, it’s because you have that direct connection with the consumer. But email is changing since since this time, and let’s talk about that change right now. It’s more than the platforms that are changing smaller than the tools and techniques. It’s the actual relationship that subscribers have with email. And that’s how we as an industry need to change. And that is what I want to talk about. With regards to do not track, we have to change in terms of how we deal with privacy. And if we look at what Jordan is saying here, he tweeted this the other week, email length doesn’t matter. lots of pictures don’t matter, the situation your customer is in matters. And that that’s really true this week, with COVID-19. All of our customers are in a unique situation, we are all in a unique situation with COVID-19. What we write on our email matters how when we send them and how we are what we are sending in the email matters more more than ever now. And words really matter and talking to your customers really matter. So when we looked at what was happening this week, Dave and I sat down and we said what can we do to help our customers and one of the things we came up with was, you know, let’s give them a sample COVID message to our hotel base that they can send and we made this available for free, and we made it available on our website. And so looking at ways that we can help our customers right now is what we’re doing, and to help them and us through this difficult time. So let’s talk about privacy right now. Privacy 2020 this is, you know, we think of course, we think the regulated industry is better with GDPR and ccpa. We think it has improved things. And there are a lot of lessons to be learned from GDPR. I think we all know what happened in the last year know we had customers being advised by various people to delete their entire customer list, for example, which caused considerable problems and it actually got so bad that as you can see here, the EU Commission had to issue bullet number three, seven for reminding people, you know that there are actually six six basis of communicating with your customer, not just consent. So looking at ccpa, you know, this is another change that came down the track this year, first of January, it’s now the law in California. Other states are looking like they will be implementing a similar thing.
This is the Data Broker registry that the district attorney has with California. So if you sell data, and you have to register with them, and if you go on to this website, you’ll see a very interesting List of companies that are selling data. So the companies that are involved in selling data, have a have a new paradigm to deal with today, because how do you handle GDPR, Article 17, my right to be forgotten, or GDPR 19 prove to me that you carried out my right to be forgotten. So all of these things are things we as an industry need to be looking at. And what we’re saying what the the industry call for do not track is let’s get ahead of privacy now. And lead by example, we think actually, this will improve trust and growth. And we think deliverability matters more than opens and outcomes, Trump opens every single time and then our subscribers matter more. A lot of you know, a lot of us have been talking about why open rates don’t matter. And here is, you know, here’s proof that they don’t really matter. And in terms of delivering on do not track. So for example, here is an example of our subscriber design a forum within Sensorpro, of how you will be able to implement a do not track option. And the way it’s going to work is that if I sign up, and I ticked this box, then you will not know if I open the email. And, you know, we actually thinks it’s going to improve subscriber growth, because it’s going to improve. It’s going to improve trust. And the way it’ll work is that this will be part of an anonymous cohort. So, you know, we won’t know if this particular individual email opened the email or not, but we will know, you know, the overall metrics won’t be it won’t be affected. So and in fact, in from, from a data point of view, that cohort of subscribers who have said do not track or interesting enough themselves. So we think this is a good thing for the industry. And we like, hopefully, you will get behind us on us, too. So thank you. And now we’re going to go to Video, Brian, who is going to talk to us about e commerce for email. Thank you, Vinny.
Vinny O Brien 7:28
Thanks, Chris. And I just like to echo the comments at the outset that I’d like to say congratulations to Andrew and apologies that we’re not all there today. And mitigating circumstances and everything aside. But we’ve we’ve talked a few times and to build up to the conference. And I think it’s a true testament to Andrew and his drive to get this done that we’re delivering this in the way that we are but nobody hesitated in helping us when things had to change at such short notice. So congratulations on that front end. Question. Chris has just kind of moved from the Do Not track side of things. I’m going to talk a little bit more about some of the basic things that we do. And how we view e commerce in general, you might think that I do not track the link is something for me to be afraid of. But I’ve been poacher and gamekeeper on this. And I’ve worked with Chris as a client and have worked now as a partner over the last number of months. And we we really understand what are those things that people need to be doing. So as an email practitioner, most of these things on the list that you see here, welcome newsletter, customer, email, receipts, repeat customer. Most of us don’t do these things all the time. And when I say do them, to make life really easy, we should be automating a lot of this. So setting up a trigger to make these things happen are some of the basics that we’ve forgotten. And as we’ve evolved the email marketing capability within our businesses, we sometimes forget and neglect some of the detail. So what we’re seeing here are some of those emotive topics that are really key to us. So as the hooks that we need to drive a conversion metric to get a message out there to seem like, we want people to be interested in what we’re doing. It’s personalised where we got to advocate scarcity, curiosity, utility, urgency, proof and exclusivity. And they’re not independent of each other. So when we think about a customer, and how they interact with us over time, there are going to be elements of this that that appeal to what it is they need at that time. And that message that Jordan tweeted at the outset is so important to us. And as an e commerce manager, and as an e commerce owner, I want a really direct and proper relationship with the customers that I have. When when we look at what best practices, we could take the COVID-19 story right now which we have seen emails going out. But let’s think creatively, a little bit data that’s out there and there are data sources that are available to us. When I worked at EA There was a, there was a guy who worked with us on the Isle of Wight selling carpets. Now it wasn’t this particular customer that was showing, but it kind of presented the story to me. And what this guy noticed anecdotally was that on days that it rained, he got about a 20% sales uplift. He wasn’t measuring this and didn’t have any automation in place. But when he studied the pattern, he realised that held to be true. So what he actually did was create an API call into the Met Office, weather field. And what he looked at was the percentage chance of precipitation on any given day. Once that went above 70%, he determined that it was worth his while giving 10% of wiper blades, he tested this for 12 months, and over the course of those 12 months. So 25 to 30%, uplift in sales volume. And that was a really, really smart way to use something topical, that’s out there, and it’s freely available and nondiscriminatory type data that we can use to to help shape the form of the campaigns that we want to get out there. And I just love that story. It was one of those really good nuggets that we learned in eBay. And when you evolve that and go through, what are those other key things that we should be doing right now. The message that we’re taking from today in the last few weeks, and the number of months and where we’re going to be going forward are going to be really critical for e commerce. Over the last year or so we spent a lot of time looking at RFM scoring, without realising that RFM has actually been around since the 1930s in crystal and a lot of research. So old catalogue sellers and retailers, back in the day, really had this sense that they knew how much money people were getting in the door. They knew how frequently they were buying the new the last time they purchased because they had a very different relationship with those customers. It was very much a one to one style relationship when we think of recency. This is the freshness of last purchase that someone has made frequency, it’s the number of purchases that they’ve made, and then the monetary value, how much are they spending with me, if we take them in isolation, it means that each of those scoring metrics that we want to get in place are going to be different depending on the category that you exist in. So let’s take fast fashion for the last number of years has been a really high growth category. The two things that were kind of key there were recency and frequency, without necessarily worrying too much about the monetary value, because you had that repeat purchase, you knew the money was coming in, if you got the right campaign out there, people will buy from you, the sports companies in the UK gymshark do this so well. forks director really well also, but you’ll see to do little things and to increment that monetary value and increase the basket size. These are the sorts of things that we should be looking at the monetary value might really matter to you if you are a very if you’re a company with a very high average sales, basket size. So what you want to try and do is maybe improve that frequency bearing respect to the recency. So if it’s something that’s an occasional purchase, or a one off purchase, what are those upsell things that you can get in there, from your products to start chasing, and seeing how can I get you buying from me more frequently, and but maybe at less value? What all of this does is helps inform more about your customer. But it also allows you to start thinking in terms of holistic marketing, which we’ve kind of said at the outset is really, really important to us. So knowing the customer that you have understanding what’s important to them, when it’s important, and what’s within their realms of affordability are all the kind of key things that we see being the the activity that really smart e commerce managers are getting into. So when we put that in place, we start to build these triggers out and create datasets to help people understand this is the action I want to take now. And that’s really important in a in a modern context where we are time for and as he or as managers and clients and people we talked to there, there’s a myriad of activity going on out there. But everything comes back to email. If we look at the evolution of Amazon since 1997, when they went to IPO, Amazon haven’t really changed that much they’ve been really good at the site looks pretty much the same. It’s functional overstyled. They really do this chasing very well. They send a very bespoke set of emails to me all of the time. Because I buy quite a lot there. I buy many other sites, not just Amazon, but Amazon team to do this really well. They have this really devoted focus on the things that work for them. So as a barometer of success and the things to do really well. Amazon is a really great benchmark of how you should be considering to manage your e commerce business. So as we start talking to our clients over the next number of months, talking through these RFM metrics relevant to what’s going on over the last number of months is going to be a really critical understanding that we tried to get out there and we can do that through proactive messaging, and really careful analysis of what’s already happened beforehand. So we’re really confident that RFM is a real key differentiator. For us as a platform over most of the most of the other platform options that are available in the market right now.
Christopher Byrne 15:09
Yeah, thanks, Vinny, you know, I was I was talking to one of our e commerce clients a couple of weeks ago. And they said it to me, every time we send an email, we get business. And I think that’s, that’s the power. I mean, they they they use email to drive their ecommerce platform. And it’s, you know, anybody uses it properly knows this. And Vinny at the end of this at the end of this talk, there’s a link where you can talk directly to Vinny, and book a session with him where he’ll take a look at what you’re doing today. And see if he can spot any improvements.
Vinny O Brien 15:50
If you’re doing something from a retargeting perspective, where you have campaigns running on other platforms, and other ad platforms, it’s really critical that you deliver that message consistently across the platform itself. So I think when we we start sitting down and having those discussions, some of the things that I’d ask people to start considering when they think about email, not as an isolated tool, but as a core part of the marketing suite. And I would say that I’ve never worked in a business as an e commerce manager where the person we’ve hired to manage email has not paid for themselves in multiples, over a 12 month period. So getting a direct hire in is a really advantageous place to get to and the idea of having deep domain expertise in one particular field is a really critical skill set is going to be even more important in the next 12 or 18 months, where every penny is gonna count for us and we need to think in those terms. Every penny will count.
Christopher Byrne 16:48
That’s great, Vinny. Thank you. So speaking of deliverability now we’re going to be talking with Dave Ewing, you know, when we look at things like do not track and when we talk about what matters in terms of you know what your subscriber matters, deliverability matters. Reaching the inbox matters. Dave’s gonna talk us through the very basic things that you need to have in place and why Dave,
Dave Ewing 17:16
having all the email streams infini mentioned, set up as a bit redundant if you don’t have the mechanism set up in place to get those emails landing in your inbox. To that end, there are three mechanisms that your email service provider can use to authenticate your email as being a genuine email from your domain. The first one is SPF. It’s a DNS setting that’s added or updated in your DNS settings to include your email service provider as an authorised sender. The second one is DK aim. dk aim is a public key that’s added to the DNS settings of your website. And that’s paired with a private key, it’s included in the email header of emails that are sent from your email service provider. And finally, the third one is a demark record. So a demark record takes the SPF record and the DKM record and extends them and adds a reporting layer to that. We have a tool you can see on the screen here we have a tool to help test your demands configuration. As you can see on the screen here, we have a tool set up to domains configuration, and a guide on how to set up all three mechanisms. You can use Google’s postmaster tools to test the email health of your domain. You can see validation here from Google, that this really matters. If you search for Google postmaster tools, you can get the process started on this. Whether you are starting email marketing, or you’re moving to another provider, setting this up is critical for success.
Vinny O Brien 18:56
The things I’ve noticed as we talk through the slides for the three of us is that we’re all talking about one of the same basic tenants of how we should be marketing, not just today, but tomorrow. And from from this day forward, we should always be doing it anyway. But it’s the efficiency of the process that we undertake. So whether that’s getting our inbox deliverability as perfect as it can be, then we have to look at the message that we’re getting out there to the customer. And that can only be relevant if they’ve told us how they want us to handle their privacy going forward. That’s something that we’re going to see a lot more of, we’re going to see consumers taking a more proactive approach to how they want their privacy handled. And we’ve already decided that we’re going to, we’re going to support that. So as a marketer, and as an e commerce manager, I think it’s really important that you’re making the most efficient use of your time and of your spend because as I said earlier, not only does every penny count in terms of the revenue that we spend on this, but or sorry, the revenue that we gain, but the revenue that we spend, and that’s a really important point for us all to remember as we go forward, the efficiency Our spend is going to determine the success of our profitability or not.
Christopher Byrne 20:08
Thanks, Vinny, and thanks Dave for the piece on deliverability. So just to sum up, guys, we’re looking for you to join our call for do not track the details are on that landing page there. And as I mentioned, if you would like to book a session with Vinny to talk more about e commerce, you can book a session directly with him there. And same with day we’ll run a free health check with you to make sure you have the basics in place. There’s a link on that link there where you can run and check the health of your sending reputation. Right from right from the website. Andrew, thanks for having us. today. We really enjoyed speaking with you. I’d like to open the floor now to any questions that you have for us. Thank you