Enhance Your Email Marketing Strategy for 2023

Feb 16, 2023 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Email marketing is an indispensable tool for revenue and business growth. But some organizations either don’t use this strategy or neglect to optimize emails that engage their target audience. So how can you create effective email campaigns to improve the customer journey?

Since email marketing is a crucial component of the customer journey, acquiring and retaining your audience is essential for successful campaigns. Begin by developing fundamental email flows to engage customers and build brand loyalty. These should include welcome, pre and post-purchase, and exit intent flows. Once you’ve implemented these initial flows, you can create customized ones based on their purchases or preferences. Yet customers don’t appreciate being spammed with emails, so you must apply filters that move them to the subsequent flow to streamline their experience.

In this virtual event, Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson welcomes Amara Ricord and Lexie Hetu of Flowium to discuss email marketing strategies for customer engagement. Together, they talk about the top revenue-driving email flows, how to manage multiple email campaigns, and systems for generating website traffic and developing an email list.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Foundational email marketing campaigns to enhance the customer journey
  • What are tech, engagement, and brand-specific email flows?
  • Top revenue-driving email automations
  • Best engagement practices for one-time-purchase products
  • How to manage multiple email flows
  • Strategies for generating website traffic and building an email list
  • Top email marketing mistakes
  • Four pivotal KPIs to optimize email marketing
  • The optimal software for email design and how to implement a preference page center
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Event Partners


Flowium, a full-service email marketing agency, was founded in 2017 by Andriy Boychuk, and has since become an Elite Master Partner with Klaviyo featuring a global team of talent within the email marketing industry. They are known for their premium services offered to eCommerce brands, their YouTube channel, and their top rated podcast Email Einstein, which features multiple email marketing strategies, trade secrets, & guest speakers.

Connect with Flowium

Guest Speakers

Amara Ricord LinkedIn

Chief Operating Officer at Flowium

Amara Ricord is the Chief Operating Officer at Flowium, an eCommerce marketing agency focusing specifically on email and SMS marketing. In her role, Amara works internally with a team of dedicated individuals to map out and implement solutions to drive results. She has over 15 years of experience in direct sales, leadership, email and SMS marketing, and operations. 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Lexie Hetu LinkedIn

Partner Relations Specialist at Flowium

Lexie Hetu is the Partner Relations Specialist at Flowium. In her role, she manages communications and relationships with all of Flowium’s partnerships. Lexie also develops effective co-marketing strategies to increase brand awareness for the agency’s clients and partners. Before Flowium, she was the Public Relations Specialist at Myrtle Beach Safari.

Event Moderator

Amara Ricord LinkedIn

Chief Operating Officer at Flowium

Amara Ricord is the Chief Operating Officer at Flowium, an eCommerce marketing agency focusing specifically on email and SMS marketing. In her role, Amara works internally with a team of dedicated individuals to map out and implement solutions to drive results. She has over 15 years of experience in direct sales, leadership, email and SMS marketing, and operations. 

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Lexie Hetu LinkedIn

Partner Relations Specialist at Flowium

Lexie Hetu is the Partner Relations Specialist at Flowium. In her role, she manages communications and relationships with all of Flowium’s partnerships. Lexie also develops effective co-marketing strategies to increase brand awareness for the agency’s clients and partners. Before Flowium, she was the Public Relations Specialist at Myrtle Beach Safari.

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Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Senior Digital Strategist Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

Schedule a free consultation call

Discussion Transcription

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 0:18

Happy Thursday everyone I am Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson, a digital strategist for BWG Connect, and we are a network and knowledge sharing group. So we stay on top of the latest trends challenges, whatever is going on in the digital landscape, we want to know and talk about it, we will do at least 500 of these virtual events this year due to the increase in demand to better understand everything in the digital space. And we'll also be doing at least 100 in person small format dinners. So if you happen to be in a tier one city, feel free to shoot us an email, we'd love to send you an invite, the dinners are typically 15 to 20 people having a specific discussion around a digital topic, and it's always a fantastic time. We spend the majority of our time here talking to different brands, but I would love to have a conversation with you. Feel free to send me an email at Tiffany@bwgconnect.com. And we can get some time on the calendar. It's from these conversations we generate the topic ideas we know people want to know about. And it's also where we gain our resident experts such as Flowium, who's with us today. And the way that we asked to teach the collective team has come highly recommended from multiple brands within the network. So if you ever need any recommendations within the digital space, do not hesitate to reach out we have a shortlist of the best of the best. And we'd love to put that contact information into your hands. Also note that we have a talent agency BWG Talent that we'd love to put you in contact with as well. So feel free to reach out and we can get that information to you as well. You have to keep an eye nose we started about five minutes after the hour. So well rest assured we'll probably in about five, seven minutes before the end of the hour. We'll have this be fun, educational, conversational. So feel free to put any questions comments you have into the chat. Feel free to email me at Tiffany@bwgconnect.com. And we'll be sure to get to them. So with that, let's dive right in and talk about how to enhance your email marketing strategy for 2023. The team at Flowium have been awesome friends of the network. So I'm going to pass it to you Lexie and Amara, if you can give an introduction on yourself. That'd be fantastic. And we will dive right in. Thank you.

Amara Ricord 2:23

So hi, I'm Amara I am and the Chief Operating Officer of Flowium. And so I oversee a lot of our departments and make sure that our processes and our clients are happy. So I have been with Flowium now for three years specialize in brand management and operations. And of course, email marketing. So Flowium itself, just as a quick introduction was started in 2017. We are now one of the leading experts. We have an excellent YouTube channel, our podcast, Email Einstein. And then of course, we're here to just really help those enhance their email marketing strategies. So we call ourselves nerds or geeks depending on who you're talking to. Because we really do feel very passionate about the industry, and everything that I can do for brands.

Lexie Hetu 3:11

And I'm Lexie, I'm the partner relations specialists here at Flowium, my main job is to help develop and connect different partners and technology apps with our current clients. Just really focusing on building those relationships, enhancing our clients tech stacks and having a fun time doing it.

Amara Ricord 3:33

Awesome. We're just getting some prep going. This is called neuro, by the way for anybody who doesn't know what it looks like. So sometimes it's really fun when you share your screen because you have to find where you're at. But it's a great program. So if anybody doesn't use this, I recommend it for your teams, because it's such a great brainstorming app to know that's what you get to kind of see us play with. But yeah,

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 3:58

excellent. Let's dive right in. Okay,

Amara Ricord 4:03

so I think everybody here is here to kind of learn about what to do with their email marketing, because it's such a broad spectrum when you say email marketing, and really what we focus on first and foremost, is that customer journey. So in other words, where do people discover your brand, all the way to how they experience the brand, and how they engage with the brand after they know about the brand. And so we always talk about these 10 initial questions with the customer journey with email marketing, because we want to know when how they discovered your brand, because that's going to introduce them into who you are. And we want to know the beginning stages, right? So we want to share about your brand. We want to talk about the homepage on your site. We want to share key elements about why you got started, why you are here what your purpose is. And this is actually really important for brand building and connecting which is why we use email marketing for so many other reasons on Top of just revenue building flows. And so, revenue building is how you initially get your email marketing revenue in the door. But when you actually can build a connection, this is how you get your two time buyers, your repeat purchasers. And this is how you actually build brand loyalty for longevity. So getting the customer there is always your first challenge, and then keeping and retaining them is that second. And so email marketing overall is such a massive part of your customer journey. And so you always have have to ask yourself with your current, and we're going to call them two things. So you're gonna hear us talk about automations, we call them flows. And you're also going to hear us talk about campaigns, that's broadcasts. So whether you call them broadcast or weekly emails, we call them campaigns. And then it normally what people call drips, or automations, we call those flows. So that'll help you just to kind of understand the language. But with your initial flow setup, and your flow strategy, we use what we call the foundation. And what the foundation is, is it means that every single brand should have what we call foundational strategy in general. And this foundational strategy, we'll talk about how your customers connect with your brand prior to discovering how they connect with you after they place their first order. How do they make a repeat purchase? What engagement opportunities do you offer to your subscribers, how you reengage laps, subscribers who haven't connected with your brand in a while, how you connect with your VIPs, build brand loyalty and cross selling. So all of those are pretty important. So we break up what we call the foundational strategy on its own into nine standard flows 11 If you have subscriptions, so we break them down into three sections. So we're going to talk just a little bit about each section. And what I would tell you to do is ask yourself which ones of these you have for your own email marketing. The first ones are pre purchase. So we break it down into three because you have pre purchase, you have post purchase, and you have reengagement. And so pre purchase post purchase reengagement this is what we call a foundational approach, every single brand that we work with, we ensure that they have this foundation, I always think of it like a boat, you have to build a boat first, then you launch it. And then you can build on to the boat, or a foundation with a house, you have to build a foundation and you build everything on top. But typically, when people skip these foundational flows and this foundational structure, they end up missing things later on in their journey, they're missing a key point because they didn't think about this customer journey in the very beginning. And of course, the first thing that you need to pay attention to are the triggers, that's these little blue boxes that you guys will see. And this is how people opt in to learn about your brand. They haven't purchased yet. So they're discovering who you are. And typically this will come from a footer or general pop up. And we have what we call an exit intent pop up very different behavior. And yet, this is one of our top revenue building flows. And then we also have the checkout started. So most people are familiar with this one when you have started your checkout, but you don't complete it. So you abandon your cart. And then browse abandonment. So when you have your subscribers information, and they're back on your website, browsing certain pages, you start connecting with them as well. All of these come prior to the purchase. And the welcome flow itself is typically that introduction into who you are sharing your brand message and really, really opening up the opportunity to connect with them through multiple emails, a lot of people will start out with the the initial like get 10% off, and that first email is 10% off. But if people are just exploring your brand, say on the About Us page, or the homepage, or just kind of looking into who you are, they might not be ready for that step, which is why we have what we call the exit intent. The exit intent is also a welcome. But typically this is set with the behavior of if you're on a desktop and you move your mouse up to the top corner of the screen towards the X, the exit intent would probably pop up or if they're on a purchasing like a product page. And they have scrolled a certain amount. So they have scrolled 60%, then this exit intent would pop up because now we know that they're interested in the product itself. So we want to speak to these ones differently. That's where the welcome and the exit intent are two different popups with different behavior to connect with your brand, the abandoned cart, one of the top building flows always. And what's great is you can even add to this if you're in a Shopify store by doing an added to cart flow, which is totally different than the abandoned cart. So if you use Shopify, look into that one as well because it's also a A great addition to your strategy, then you also have browse abandonment, like I said, catching those subscribers who are back on your site browsing those products. The next set of foundational flows is called the post purchase. So now that they purchased with you, what do you do? So, the first thing is, first, you want to send a thank you. And if you're thinking, Well, what about order confirmation or shipping confirmation, those are actually called transactional. And those should be a part of your strategy to these are those basic automations that you want to be sure to include. And we want to speak differently to people who are new, versus people who are repeat buyers two times, and three times and more. So then you also have a bounce back offer. So when people first purchase from you, and the bounce back offer, it comes almost immediately after the purchase, offering an additional product, this is a great chance to upsell, and it turns them into two time buyers right from the get go. This is really successful for a lot of brands. After they purchase, of course, then we have what we call reengagement in your foundation. So anytime that somebody does engage with your brand, and they sign up in those pre purchase was that we talked about, you now have what you would call an engaged group, or an engaged segment or list. And that engaged group, you're continually sending regular weekly campaigns. So remember, these are the automations, then you have the campaigns. On the campaign side, that means that especially after the purchase or joining your list, they're hearing from you recommended, at least on a weekly basis to really connect and build that brand loyalty. But for the people who don't engage as much or don't repurchase, we have what we call the RE engagement plus, which is the next section. And these are very standard one is called the wind back, this means that they have not placed a purchase another purchase in the last 60 days. Typically, the trigger for this flow is the place to order. But they haven't placed another one, since in a certain timeframe. And this should change for every brand. An example here is that if you sell mattresses, I don't expect my customers to buy a new mattress every 60 days. So you want to think about that trigger in that time delay. But the Winback basically means they haven't come back to purchase from you. So we want to connect with them, even if they have engaged in another way, like open to receive emails. The sunset, however, is different. The sunset flow should be in every strategy, because this is list cleaning and list maintenance. These subscribers here means that they have not engaged in any way shape or form. This one shows a 90 day delay, once again, different for each brand. No engagement means they haven't clicked an email, they have opened an email, they have done nothing, nothing whatsoever. They're not active on your site, no one has come to purchase from you. And so these emails are often what people would call like, if you heard people say like, oh, I have a spam email, but I use that when it would be one or if it's an illegitimate email at all, you want to make sure you're cleaning those very regularly to keep your sender reputation and deliverability high. So that's what the sense that flow helps with is just keeping that on an automated system with your flow structure. So this is just what we call the foundational flow setup. And then afterwards, what I will tell you is that if we were to scroll out all over this, you see this initial setup right here of flows. Within a typical year after starting your email marketing, you should have close to 20 or more flows. So having a foundational approach, it really is just the basics. Then you have what we call tech flows, engagement flows and brand specific. So I'll cover those just really quickly for you. So you kind of can see the difference. For the tech flows themselves. This would be the loyalty programs that you might have the referral programs back in stock, SMS flows that you might incorporate. We love doing that with email marketing as well. We work specifically in clay vo that does both on the same platform. Love it. And then engagement apps surveys, countdown timers, your transactional like shipping and logistics, your CRM platforms, all of those are additional tech stack flows that we work to build on to our customers journey as well. And let's see, let's scroll down to the next one and then scroll in just a little bit. Wondering, we are happy to share this board with you afterwards. So all right. The next here is engagement flows. So engaging our opportunity flows that you have to build a relationship with your customers. This includes birthdays, anniversaries, VIP flows, replenishment flows, predictive Winback, cross sales price drops, holiday specials, all of those things that you can put into automations, but also include your current subscribers to reengage. And that last section is brand specific. So every brand is so unique, and every brand has a different target market audience. So this could include different segments that you have gathered, like sometimes people will do opt ins, and they can select if they are male, or female, or if they are a parent or a child, for example, you can do product specific flows, that this is great for categories, people who would purchase from an X category should receive this flow after X amount of days to talk about other benefits and uses and frequently asked questions. So brand specific flows are also something that you should typically add into your strategy as well. So we definitely wanted to cover that initial foundational approach for all of your email marketing, if you are missing one of these chances are, you're going to miss the opportunity, when you start adding additional flows, something isn't going to match right, or the trigger is going to be missing in that customer journey. So by having a foundational approach, you're making sure to engage with customers who are interested in your brand to purchase with your brand, to engaging with your brand. So

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 16:22

that I can see why you use a miracle, because this definitely helps lay it out very concisely, because it's a lot of information. But it looks very simplistic when you put it this way. I'm looking at it from the non negotiables. What are like three, that like every ecommerce brand should have? If they have so those three,

Amara Ricord 16:48

my very generic answer to everybody should be the foundational approach. That's I know that that is a very broad answer. And spectrum when I'm like these nine flows should be your foundation. But the very first that I would say is a non negotiable is you're welcome your exit intent or abandoned cart, and your post purchase to at least subscribe with your customer. So having like some initial foundational, I mean, if you had to start somewhere, I would make sure that you're connecting with your pre purchasers, your abandoned carts and your post purchasers. Because that's gonna keep your brand going.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 17:27

And can you just have foundational flows.

Amara Ricord 17:31

So you can but it's like never building on to your structure. So when we set up a foundational approach, we start seeing email revenue, let's say we started from zero, we set up foundational flows, we start seeing that build to 15% and higher just on the automation side. But when we start adding in brand specific flows, this is where we really start seeing additional revenue pop in because it's so specific to who you are as a brand speaking to your audience. So you can have your foundation set up. And you can think of that as the very, very general basics. But if you want to excel past your competition, you need to add more.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 18:12

In those more the top revenue drivers, you know, what, what are those flows that do drive up revenue?

Amara Ricord 18:19

Yeah, so for top revenue is going to be your abandoned cart added to cart if you're in Shopify, add that one into there in there as well. Browse abandonment is massive. And then for us the exit intent, that one is such a huge one too, because they're already interested in your product. They've already showed that interest on your site. So in those pre purchase flows, that excellent abandoned cart and browse abandonment or huge revenue building flows.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 18:44

Habit. Fantastic. We do have a question in the audience. So their products are one time purchase products, can you touch on the best practices for those types?

Amara Ricord 18:57

Sure. So there's two different sides to this. So one time purchase products, what I think a lot of brands forget to do is you still need to engage with them on the pre purchase side, right? So you still need to connect with them in multiple flow structures on what they're interested in. And if they purchase it once from you, and that's it, you should still engage with them because this person becomes your word of mouth, this person becomes your referee, and they will bring in referrals to you. So post purchase becomes more about a thank you how they can use your product information FAQ, leading back to your blog, starting a referral program, talking about the benefits and uses and if you have anything to crossbow, you want to include that too. But if you only have that one product, it's important that you include your brand loyalists, because they will be your word of mouth effort. When you do it, right.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 19:54

Yeah, and questions coming in. So definitely keep sending them the chat or the q&a. Oh, Once we have one here, could you talk a bit on how to keep all these flows from overlapping? So you're not your subscriber too many emails? Great question.

Amara Ricord 20:12

Yes. So nobody wants to receive too many emails and nobody wants to receive multiple emails in multiple categories. On our team, we have what we call it clay vo pros. So in other words, it's an email technician that ensures that none of these flows overlap, the first thing that you need to do is understand the trigger to your flows. So in other words, what makes your flow start, and then once the flow starts, we add filters. And those filters are going to pull people out, either at the beginning of the flow, or if a certain behavior happens from the subscriber during the flow. And this is where email marketing, it becomes very technical, because you do want to make sure that it matches with your customer journey. So pay attention to your triggers, pay attention to your filter, for an example, if somebody is in your welcome flow, but now they've purchased make sure that you are pulling them out of that welcome flow, and putting them into a post purchase flow. And we do that with those filters of I mean, in clay Vo is a little different. But in clay VO as you know, if this person has never purchased before, so the second they purchased, they're pulled out because they no longer match this condition for who that flow is meant for. And then time delays are huge. So we even have some flows that kind of pull from one and put them in another. But now they do a different behavior that would pull from this one and put them in another. And that's where that technical setup that technical expertise is going to be your best friend, really understanding what you're doing. Excellent.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 21:43

Excellent. Another question here. So for brands that do not offer discounts, would you suggest Winback emails?

Amara Ricord 21:51

Absolutely. But they come in a different form. So we have a lot of brands that are no discount brands that sometimes that whether it's the brands on initiatives, or because of the product, it isn't even available to offer a discount. So instead, we do a lot of there's two sides that we can do alternative offers, for example, free shipping for a limited time, or you can do a buy this gift and get an extra gift free. And that gift could even be a PDF on how to use the product. So there are alternatives, suggestions without knowing your product. I can't say exactly what that is. On the other hand, we have brands who don't want to offer anything, this is the product, this is what we have. This is what our audience purchases. And so instead, we focus on different strategies such as urgency, for example. So we focus on the urgency of getting this product in a certain timeframe, or inventory. Or we focus on really just focusing on the benefits and connecting and building referrals. And we can do giveaways. I mean, there's so many different ways to connect based off of what your product is. But not having a discount should not stop you from doing any of these flows.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 23:07

Excellent. Another question here. So if you're a startup, what is the best way to build your traffic to the site and develop your email list?

Amara Ricord 23:17

Yeah, so the very first thing that I would do is a lot of people will focus on traffic first, which I am totally for, except if you don't have anything there at all, you won't be gathering people who come to your site, you're only be gathering people who place an order. So email marketing becomes that foundation for having something there. When people do come to your site. Maybe it doesn't need to be a full strategy, but at least have an opt in with a welcome and start being able to connect. At the same time, your job is to drive traffic there that can be done through Google Ads through Facebook ads through a lot of different initiatives on the prior end, SEO is a part of that, as well as like your click rate optimization on your site. So there are a lot of key pieces that come prior to where what Flowium does is we always say you work on traffic, let us take care of when they get to your site. Let us talk to them once they subscribe. And that's where our team kind of shines and excels so that you can focus on traffic, and other initiatives for your marketing.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 24:24

Excellent. We do have another one in queue here is a lot of questions. I've loved this on a Thursday. They're great questions. So we have here low and high end brands. Some times one customer could even be six months in the flow. What do you recommend in strategy to the subscribers and how to save them after purchase? Because they're not interested in appliances anymore? So this is an appliance specific? I guess it goes back to the mattress example.

Amara Ricord 24:54

The mattress example. Yep. So here's a huge difference in and if you sell mattresses versus stocks, right so The first part is really understanding that customer journey that we talked about in the beginning, that will help you put out time delays for how long people stay in a flow. And even in what we do we know and I think anybody here who works with leads could know that they're working with a lead, who might take six months to sign, the automations are set up more on a shorter timeframe. And they start in a shorter timeframe. So when a flow starts to ends, maybe it's 15 days. And those automations are on the left hand side of your strategy. But on the right hand side, you have campaigns, it's your regular connection with these customers. And so if somebody wants to sign up for your brand, learn about who they are, but wait six months to place the purchase. That means that they've probably gone through your welcome flow, and been receiving your campaigns routinely and strategically through segmentation in the interim. And that's what I would recommend there. The engagement flows will also be important. So birthdays, anniversaries, things that you can set up to connect with them throughout the year that are more time stamped. But other words, campaigns is how you want to connect with them, too. And I think it'll help you to know too. So Lexie is going to share with this next with you about some of those top mistakes that we see. Because I think this might help answer some of your questions on the strategies and startups and everything else that's there, as well.

Lexie Hetu 26:21

Like, yeah, do you want to take that one? Scrolling, nice and big screen? Yeah, yeah, I'm working on it. Working on a trackpad here, I'm so sorry. So these are a lot of strategic issues that, you know, we have seen that other email marketing experts have seen, first and foremost not having email marketing in place at all, this is a huge avenue for revenue and for growth. And it's always evolving, you can always add to it. So it's, it's very essential to have somebody who is on top of this, whether it's an agency or in house, obviously, as an agency, we are a team of experts in this industry. This is our niche thing, we know it inside and out. And the purpose for getting an agency is to give back to your team, you know, having somebody who can kind of take care of that so you can give back your time to other areas of your marketing can be super essential to your business. We also offer that ESP expertise, where in clay vo other people are on other platforms as well. Just having somebody who knows the ins and outs of that can make such a difference in your email marketing strategy. The high priority flows that Amara just touched on, it can really help you if you're focused on your customer journey, as well as focusing on those people who aren't as frequent purchasers. So people who aren't coming back as a repeat. Also focusing on your loyalists, your referrals, your subscribers, people who are coming back, and who are super invested in your brand and know each time you're dropping something lacking of segmentation. So there's a bunch of different recommended segments that you can use, that will help steer away from low deliverability rates and reputation with providers. So this can go anywhere from purchase or browser histories, you can segment by demographics, VIP and ao V, and your lap subscribers just to name a few. Setting up your flows without campaigns or consistent sending this can result in low Deville deliverability. I'm so sorry. And an IP for lack of a technology stack. As a partnership specialists. You know, we focus on a lot of different tech apps who are experts in what they do as well. integrating that into a client's already proven strategy can only help grow it and give them better metrics. Little to no optimization and testing. You never know without segmenting, what's going to who and what's really going to hit you want every email that you send to hit the mark with that certain segment. So if you're sending a mass campaign to every single person on your list, not only is deliverability going to be bad, but you could be sending the wrong messaging to somebody who's not necessarily interested in that campaign, or not really getting a full understanding of your target market. Lack of marketing design and copy again, this is where having experts is super essential. You can result in clipped emails, blocked emails, low conversion rates, and I'll even touch on some design flaws from some emails that my team and I were subscribed to and kind of show you a little bit better of an understanding on that later as well. Lack of email marketing specialists you have to know what you're doing to have good deliverability here, if you're missing industry specific updates and changes and best practices. This relates to the Gmail spam rates, where you know, now that you're required to have a dedicated sending domain and how the iOS is completely shifting. So you know, click through rates are much more needed than just open rates. No opt ins are lacked a lack of an opt in strategy, Amara touched on this and all of our flows that we just went over. So you could be missing segmentation and lacking conversion opportunities. Having no strategy or using a winged approach, every brand is completely different. So it's really important to have a custom tailored email marketing strategy for your brand. Specifically, if you don't, and you're just using a very generic system, this results in loss revenue. deliverability is bad, your account health is really bad. And you're impacting your customers journey, lacking segmentation, missing the mark on seven times and not having a full campaign strategy for you specifically. And lastly is lack of service and, or sorry, lack of surveys and audience awareness. So not having this is also, you know, you're just these are things that people are always missing out on. And you can always be improving on by having something custom made for you. Looking at your KPIs, and your account health is super important. Over here, I have a bunch of industry standard benchmarks for flows. It's a comparison of where you are versus where you could be, you can find this. On every ESP, we use clay VO for it. So it's a really good way to kind of gauge where you're at. Email marketing, like I said, is super important. It drives between 30 to 70% of your business's entire revenue, which is huge. But this could always be better. We've seen some accounts where you know, they're doing really good, but there's always room for them to do better. So when you're looking at your accounts, you really want to focus on these four main things. There's revenue review, you have a percentage of revenue that's coming from your flows, or automations. And a percent of revenue coming from your campaigns or broadcasts, you want these numbers to be as even as possible as you can to make sure that you're getting really good numbers from both your flows and your campaigns. Also, with your flows, that's a really good opportunity to integrate new tech apps to help out your tech stack and just have something new in there. To help personalize or better engage your customers. You have signup forms with opt in rates and different SMS options, are they into more of a one way SMS, a two way SMS or a conversational approach. And then your campaigns really really focusing on the copy and design of your campaigns as well as your preference page, you can completely customize a buyers experience with that preference page versus losing them altogether. You have that bland unsubscribe button instead of you know, customizing it. So it's like would you only like to receive emails from us once a month or twice a month or only when there's something new dropping, you're you're opening a new opportunity for more segmentation instead of losing the customer altogether. So I'd love to go into some of these design elements of some emails that our team has seen this first one kind of ironic, it's Fenty, if anybody watched the Super Bowl Rihanna performance. So right here, we like to call this a design triangle. So at the top, you want to have either some text, you could have the logo of the company, the center of it, it's really great because there's a huge graphic that kind of draws your eye. And then at the very bottom, the tip of it, you want to have a call to action. So there's a button right here. If you scroll down just a little bit more, you can see there's also another coupon, you can see that the triangles have kind of duplicated here. So having multiple calls to action can really confuse your subscriber and it's like okay, do I click the 25% coupon do I click the 50% coupon. I know which one I'm clicking, but it just offers a lot of room for confusion for your subscribers. Scrolling down here, then you get to the bottom where there is a ton of text. So this just lengthens the email. It's really difficult on your eye. It's not a great design element where you could just simply add a Asterix with sales term apply and then link to a sales term page. And then on this one, there's no managed preference page. So just the basic unsubscribe button if somebody came on here and decided they didn't like this email campaign, there automatically unsubscribing you need to have some room to you know, get them back. Have them take an extra step and add to your segmentation there instead of just allowing them to leave.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 34:59

Well, we have to get Rihanna’s number. I wish she's a little busy these days, but still a great example.

Lexie Hetu 35:14

This next one, not not as exciting as Rihanna, but still, again, you got the logo right at the top, it starts to get a little messy in the middle here, because you now have four calls to action aside from your main button right here. So you know, this is drawing your eyes saying duck is here and to shop. But you're also being directed over towards seafood and chicken, and Ragu and beef. So it's really confusing, where you have this button, but your customers, I could also wander and want to click on any one of these links, which is okay, but where are you getting them to go? Down here again, you see another triangle with another call to action. So it's just getting confusing when there's not one and they don't really know where to click. And then this part is super interesting. So down here, you have start with Turkey, and then it goes to chicken, and then beef. So it's kind of straying away from the main call to action, what What are you What is this promoting? Are you looking for one specific thing, or just trying to showcase all of the different options.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 36:23

are essentially the exact one.

Lexie Hetu 36:29

And then at the bottom, again, this is super, super common, but there's no manage preference page option. So these people are just unsubscribing, you're missing out on segmentation. Again, it's a huge missed market right there. And then for this last one, you start with a discount code up here, this is a static discount code. So it's not stopping anyone from going in and putting that somewhere online to say, Hey, I know this place has a code, anything like honey, or different applications like that, where you can just type in a code and anybody can use it. It's much better for each individual person that gets the email to receive a dynamic code so that it's a one time use just for them. And you can also keep track of you know, which customers are using that link. There's a lot going on here, when it comes to text size, color and images. They're inconsistent. And it's just a super busy email overall. There's more calls to action and buttons all over here that's adding to confusion. And lastly, clipped emails. So if an email is really big, it'll be clipped. So you'll get this little message that says View entire message here where it'll reopen up the email. But this is, this is a huge issue, because you know, you're not in compliance with the can spam act, there's no unsubscribe button, your footer is clicked where the address of your company is, there's just a lot you're missing out on because your email is so large that it becomes clipped. These are just a few examples. It's actually since stepping into this email marketing world, it's very fun to go into my emails now that of brands that I'm subscribed to, and do this on my own. I'll just, you know, look and dissect their emails and, you know, figure out what they're doing good what they're doing wrong. But as you can see, there's there's always something to fix in this world, and something that you can improve on here.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 38:29

It’s so fascinating. Yeah, I myself, but I'm gonna look at my emails much differently. It's a very cool, we have a couple of questions. Are you ready for it? Ready? So What software do you use to design emails? Do you export it with images or code word?

Lexie Hetu 38:45


Amara Ricord 38:48

So in clay VO We have and for those who aren't unclaimed, so I would tell you to go and look them up independently as a brand, they are incredible. But they have an email builder that makes it really easy to import images, you're flowing, but we actually use Photoshop and figma. And then we export and import into clay vo really easily. And then they have a great way to kind of pull in category blocks and columns. And then of course, you want to test it for size as well. So whenever you design anything, the challenge with not having the expertise, like if I was to going to go in and design something, I guarantee it would not pan out. Because I would put the image in and it's going to wait too much. And then when you go to test it, so we use third party testing, and we use the one that's called email on acid. We really like it, it'll show us if an email is too heavy. In other words, this is not going to be delivered into most of these inboxes because there's too much design or too much coding on the back end to really understanding how you can kind of condense all of those, but really making the design deliverable so that it'll actually be received is is important to read. As we use figma and Photoshop and then the clay vo email builder,

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 40:05

is there a best practice for the amount of content blocks in one email.

Amara Ricord 40:10

So it really depends on what you are doing. Our big focus is, if you want to share all of your products, that's called a newsletter, and it should be put in the newsletter format. But campaign should have a very specific goal, right, you should have a very specific like, target or extending a certain email, this one is going to share about a holiday. The next email the next week, we want to share about this specific category. And so depending on those categories is totally okay to use product box, it's totally okay to do those things. The first part of design element is the top focus, that's that design triangle. And that's because on mobile is the first thing they see on their screen, that's that little screen area. And then on desktop, it's that first initial part that's going to tell them to scroll further to learn more, or to delete the email out of their inbox. They're not interested. So that initial approach that initial introduction into what you're doing is why design is so important. Making an email pretty, that's great, but making an email that's going to convert is that technical expert side.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 41:17

Excellent preference centers. So how do you recommend managing a preference center when current strategy has many fold databases, emails, deploying during high traffic timeframes to drive revenue, does that capitalize on that possibility?

Amara Ricord 41:40

So the preference page is helpful for people who are receiving too many emails, that's usually the number one reason that they'll go to unsubscribe, or if they don't know who you are. So this is where consistent spending comes into play, if they signed up months ago, and then they hear from you six months later, they're gonna be like, I get this brand. I don't remember signing up, I'm, I'm exiting without the preference page center, we like to keep ours very personalized per brand, but it could be entering in their birthday, anything from just frequency. So do you want to receive once a month, once a week, then that means to correlate into your strategy. So whether you do it by frequency, or category topics, or certain options, like I only want to hear about sales or promotions, right, so that's an option too. Once you have that preference page, it should add a profile property to that subscriber or you can manually add it. But when you do, it allows you to segment them in or out of campaigns that are relevant for them. And anytime that you segment and make it relevant to the consumer, it is 100 times more successful than mass sending, even if you feel like you just need to include everybody, you want to pay attention to what they're saying. It will always work out better with segmentation.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 42:59

And implement a preference center to a current database.

Amara Ricord 43:03

If you currently don't have this is coding, this is coding that I wait this is why we love our clay vo texts. So we do use it in figma, I will tell you, we design it in figma. Then we put the coding of it into once again we use clay VO So we put the coding of it into clay VO. And then we also added a profile property where anybody who fills that a preference page, it automatically puts them into a list that it will match. This is that expertise that I wish I could tell you how to code and how to like put in HTML and ABCDEs and all those other numbers but and letters but I just this is one of those why you want an expert, for sure.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 43:45

And just for clarification, when you were talking about the system telling you I had too much code or images was that a clay vo tool.

Amara Ricord 43:53

So email on acid is a third party app Klaviyo has some great features now where it'll show you like how heavy it's getting. It has like a little adventure bar that's like hey, this is getting really heavy guys think twice. But an email on acid is a third party tool. So it's something that you would subscribe to you send your emails there. It'll tell you if it's going into the Gmail promotion inbox where it's going, it will tell you how heavy the email is. And it will tell you a deliverability percentage. So Above 80% is actually considered amazing. 90% Even better, but it measures that across all platforms. So it measures on Apple, Yahoo IML Gmail, but it also measures that on an iPad, and iPhone, Samsung. So it does a variety of testing for those platforms and devices I guess.

Lexie Hetu 44:43

Excellent. We are we're caught up on the questions.

Amara Ricord 44:57

Perfect. So what we always recommend doing when you have an email strat Ajay is one take a look at your foundation to avoid common mistakes. And the third is do your own type of audit. At Flowium. We offer free audits. For any ESP, if you're in clay VO, we'd like it even more, because we have more expertise than there. But we always offer this because it is something that you want an expert email marketing advice on. Anybody who has like an in house team should know this too. So whether you use in house or use some type of agency, but you should have an email marketing copywriter, a designer, a strategist and a technician, minimum. And so when you have all four of those roles, they will be able to audit your entire email marketing strategy, and should be able to pinpoint what you're missing internally and on your team too.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 45:48

How long does it take to do an audit.

Lexie Hetu 45:55

So it can take probably between 24 to 48 hours will ask for, you know, just access an NDA for security, and then we'll deliver it right back to you within 24 to 48 hours.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 46:08

And the benefits for you. Yeah, go ahead Amara.

Amara Ricord 46:13

Well, I was just gonna say So like, if you were to call our team today, and give us access, we'll do the audit tomorrow and deliver it to you the next day. That's like, how fast it takes.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 46:21

And the benefit of that is what?

Lexie Hetu 46:26

It's really just seeing how good your account is and how much better it can be. We recommend that every brand does this at least once quarterly just to check your stats and where you are. And then getting a good idea of what you can improve on, you know, we've seen people who are doing great. And then there's some who are missing some foundational flows. So you know, we'll give them those custom recommendations of what to do to make sure you can add those in there and really be optimizing your entire account.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 46:56

And just reiterate, it's free, under percent complimentary. Complimentary. Very cool. You had mentioned the in house versus the agency. How is it different? Look at it in house team versus working with an agency?

Lexie Hetu 47:18

Yeah, yeah, when you're working with an agency, you are getting a dedicated team of experts here are Flowium, we really like to call ourselves an extension of our clients teams. Because we become so invested and just we get to know them very well. Versus in house, you're taking people who are very qualified to do the same thing. But it really comes down to giving time back to your team to focus on other areas of marketing. Email marketing is a huge one. But it's really just up to you, if you have the opportunity to lend it out to a team of experts who can help bring it to the next level for you.

Amara Ricord 47:57

And I think another huge point on that, too, is one of the mistakes that we see too with in house marketing teams is they have someone who's great at strategy, but they don't know design or copy. Or they have somebody who's great at design, maybe even copy, but they don't know the strategic compliance or the technical aspect. And so that's why on our team, we assign six different experts with different qualifications for that. And on a team of say, I mean like it, if you think about the cost of hiring a designer, a copywriter, a strategist and a technician, that cost right there becomes pretty expensive, especially if your brand is growing, that's hiring four to six different individuals for your email marketing, which we need to also mention you should every single person should have a team for this because it really will drive 30 to 70% of your revenue. So if you have 30 to 70% of your revenue in one channel, you should have a dedicated team for that. And that's if it's in house, or if you choose to use an agency, the top side with an agency too. We don't like the word agency, which is why we don't use it. But with the top side with a team is that we it's our job to stay up on the industry trends that when Apple iOS updates came out, we were the first one down there figuring out the strategy, figuring out how to solve the issues and how to move forward with those changes. Same thing with Gmail spam, right issues, we are the first ones on that market working with clay vo making sure that this will not impact our clients in any negative form.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 49:27

And can you recap the industry updates that took place in the last year that brands should be aware of?

Amara Ricord 49:37

Yeah, so the two big ones that I would tell you so one started actually the end of 2021 and really went into effect at the beginning of 2022. That was Apple iOS. And what that means is anybody who owns an apple for privacy reasons, we can no longer tell if they have really opened a message. It actually shows on our site an email that ever When open some methods, so therefore open rates become pointless. It's no longer, don't get me wrong, your open rate should be above 35%. Keep that in mind. But what I am saying is, it's not the metric to watch anymore. The metric now to watch is if you are getting a click through rate of over 2%, that's actually telling you more about your subscribers. In addition to that, you should be running a test to see what providers are opening. And if you have 15% or more on Apple, it might be worth it to actually send the same campaign but in a different segmentation, so that you can measure the success of your apple customers versus the rest of the subscribers from Gmail, Yahoo, et cetera. And then the second big change that took impact was Gmail spam, their Gmail took into account how many people were sending from like a shared, dedicated sending domain. So a shared domain, not a shared IP, shared IPs are still great unless you're sending millions of emails, but the dedicated sending domain should be for every single brand. And you'll notice this in an email for clay vo if I went to BWG Connect, and it would say BWG Connect dot clay veoh.com. That's not a dedicated sending domain. That's a shared one. But if I went and it just says BWGconnect.com, I know that they have a dedicated sending domain. And Gmail is like, Hey, this is most likely a pretty trusted provider, and they're being accountable for their reputation. Because they have their own domain, I'm gonna let them into the inbox.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 51:40

Just saying super helpful. We had a couple of minutes here, we did have a request to repeat the positions needed for an email. We go through that real quick.

Amara Ricord 51:56

Yes, so for every email marketing team, you should have, and I'll use our terminology and kind of explain so you should have an email marketing specialist. This one is like a project manager. Don't get me wrong, that's one of their jobs. But they should also specialize in the customer journey, and segmentation, and deliverability and sender reputation, quality assurance, and in the initial strategy overall, and implementation. So your email marketing specialists, your project manager and strategist, that's one person, you should have an email marketing designer, somebody who is excellent at creating design, but also understanding the code so that they can wait it to be delivered into inboxes. And then also be able to put the code. So you should always have all text attached to it as well for compliance to someone who understands the compliance and conversion of the design. So email marketing designer, you should also have an email marketing copywriter. This is also a big difference. Copy is such a massive approach, huge on conversion, but it should be one that is done for email. Because copywriters could write books, this needs to be a conversion message in three to four lines. And sometimes the newsletters you want to write more, there's no one who's flexible, but understands conversion copy. You also want an email technician, that is the technician who's going to manage your preference page and put in all the coding and profile properties and automate everything that goes into segmentation and list building. And then you also want to make sure that this person is very well adept with your customer journey, understanding the

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 53:33

trigger the triggers for your flows

Amara Ricord 53:36

The filters for your flows, and the time delays, making sure nothing overlaps or messes with each other. They're kind of like the engineer of your email marketing. Excellent. And then we also say an assistant, but that's a personal option. But I totally recommend them because they're going to create the guidelines that they're going to help with all that little detail.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 53:55

So yeah, they get into it. Absolutely. But also Well, that's a wrap. Thank you, Lexie, and Amara for the content, the fantastic information greatly appreciated. Thank you all for joining today. And huge thanks to Flowium. We definitely encourage follow up conversations with the Flowium team. We'd love to have a conversation with you. That's how we get the topics for our future events. So feel free to email me Tiffany@BWGconnect.com And we can get some time on the calendar. Thank you both so much. Have a great weekend. Take care, take care y'all stay safe and hope to see you on another event. Thank you guys.

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BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
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