3 min read

#2. Getting Started With Ecommerce Email Marketing

Written by Vira and Alissa
3 min read

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It may be tempting to just start sending your campaigns. But before jumping in head first, it’s worth taking some time to think about what you really want to achieve with email marketing. 

Your goals will define how many campaigns per week you’ll be sending, what flows you’ll have first, how you will segment your list, what content you will be sending, and a lot more. 

In this episode of Email Einstein, your hosts Alissa and Vira are sharing practical advice on where to start with email marketing, even if you’re a total beginner. 

You’ll learn

  • How to perform an email marketing audit and set your goals
  • Which email marketing platform is best for your eCommerce business and why
  • Essential flows you must set up to make your email marketing work for your business


Andriy: Hi. Thank you for listening to Email Einstein. This is Andriy, the founder of Flowium. I have a quick announcement to make. We've got great news for you. Now listening to our podcast comes not only with practical advice from our hosts and valuable insights from our guests, but also prizes. If you enjoy our podcast, take a moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcast and we'll send you a pair of cool Flowium socks. Since we know you may be busy later, pause this episode now, go to Apple Podcast, and share your review with our community. After you do, go to flowium.com/socks to request the prize.

Alissa: 217% higher open rate, over 500% higher click rate, and 90% higher revenue per recipient than your average email campaign.

Vira: We are email marketing nerds. So that's why we're good at what we do.

Alissa: Welcome to Email Einstein, a podcast by Flowium. It's time to start honing your inner marketing Einstein. Tune in for the data driven tips that'll make you a marketing genius. Here you'll find email marketing formulas and tips straight from the brilliant mad scientists at Flowium. It's time for your emails to start earning more money. It's time to unleash your Einstein.

Alissa: Hi everyone, and welcome to Email Einstein. This is Alissa and Vira here. We are email marketers at an email marketing agency called Flowium. We are so passionate about email marketing and because we love what we do, we want to share our insights with you. On today's episode we are going to get into the juicy stuff. You're ready, you're excited, and you just want to dive head first into email marketing, and that's awesome and we're so excited for you. But you need to slow your roll there bucco, because there are a lot of things to consider before you do get started. Today we're going to give you the absolute basics, the bare minimum must haves to get a solid email marketing plan and strategy in place so you can do the most for your e-commerce store. We have tons and tons and tons of information to share, so throughout our future episodes we'll cover a lot of what's mentioned today in a lot more detail. But if there's something that you're really itching to know more about and you just got to know, please feel free to reach out to us. But before we get started, as promised we have our pro tip of the week today.

Alissa: So our pro tip for today is, as you are starting your email marketing journey, we strongly recommend getting in touch and engaging with other like minded individuals who are also starting their email marketing journey. So whether that's joining a Facebook group, we actually have a Facebook community called Klaviyo community which is open to the public, you can get involved. There are tons of people in there writing comments, asking questions, everyone's engaged and interacting with each other. It's a really solid place for you to just get more insight, and also be engaging with other people who are going through the same thing as you.

Vira: Yeah, and another big one. Right away hi everyone, Vira's here. We really love this resource called the Really Good Emails. It's not like an ad or anything, it's just they're a really, really helpful resource especially at the beginning of your journey. They have an awesome email newsletter that you can subscribe to to get inspired every week. And of course Pinterest. Pinterest is your go to resource when you are starting your email marketing journey, and also our podcast. So subscribe and stay tuned, because we will be sharing a lot of good stuff here.

Alissa: Love it. I think we've split everything up to day into about four steps, so we'll take you through each step. Vira's going to kick us off, and we'll expand and go from there.

Vira: Basically here comes our four steps of getting started with e-commerce email marketing. I've been through this process so many times, and every time our clients come to us and start working with us, they are like, "Let's start sending campaigns right away, let's send one today. No, better send it yesterday." And we're like always yes, it can be so tempting to simply sign up for an email marketing platform like Klaviyo and start sending your campaigns. But before jumping in head first, it's worth taking a little bit of time to think about what you really want to achieve with your email marketing, and what are your big goals. This will define your entire email marketing journey. It will define how many campaigns per week you will be sending, what flows you will have first, how you will segment your list, what content you will be sending, et cetera, et cetera. So email marketing is marketing. That's why it's very important to have these clear goals or clear objectives.

Vira: To establish good email marketing goals, you need to basically align your email marketing strategy with your other marketing strategy, with your KPI. So before you jump into email marketing, ask yourself a question. What would be your ideal scenario? Do you want to engage your customers through emails? Do you want to nurture your leads? What is your focus? Maybe your one and only goal is to convert those people. Here's a good example. We have a customer who's selling these expensive designer watches, and his biggest goal was to shorten the sales cycle. So yes, it can be one of the objectives as well. We have built a bunch of flows for him that would help him to shorten the cycle. We have built a bunch of flows that would answer popular customers' questions and concerns. So for example, customers were usually asking about the materials or the warranty or stuff like that. So we addressed all of those questions before customers even had them, and plus, we incentivized their purchase with discount to give that little extra push to shorten the sale cycle.

Vira: But your scenario can be completely different if say, you are a subscription service. We have another client who's selling this gum subscription, and the main objective for them was to convert those one time buyers into loyal fans and subscribers. So of course, the strategy for them was completely different. In that strategy, we focused more on staying at the front of their customers' minds, and rewarding repeat customers with incentives based on sales, and we were trying to push that subscription program. But of course, if you're an organization like UNICEF or something, the global charity organization that provides the [inaudible 00:06:52] help, your email marketing strategy will be completely, completely different because success to your digital marketing team, it's in donations, right? So they use email marketing to reach out to their donors base to educate them and stuff like that. So understanding where are you standing right now and understanding where are you going, it's super, super important in email marketing. Yes, email marketing is a powerful tool, but you should know what you want to do with it too, before jumping into that world of email marketing. Would you agree, Alissa?

Alissa: Yeah, totally. I think that's huge, and that's something that a lot of clients forget. They think that now that they've signed up with us or now that they've signed onto a platform, it's like just send emails and go and blast it. And more often than not, they forget that email marketing is just another branch of their entire marketing strategy. So it's a huge thing, and a lot of people oversee that. It's definitely a good thing to encourage people to really focus on and make sure that you're aware of your goals and what you need to achieve as a brand before you just dive head first into again, another branch of marketing and then start making these crazy decisions based on zero data at all, or based on the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve for your company. So I love that, a very good point.

Vira: It can be really hard for a small business owner to step out and look at your business from outside, but I think it's crucial.

Alissa: No, I couldn't agree more. Following up on that with step number two, now we get to the picking your email marketing platform. So in our last episode, we really hammered hard how important it is to implement email marketing for your e-commerce store. We don't want to beat a dead horse because you all know how important it is. So you get it, you're an email marketer, you believe in email marketing and it works, so what's next? Your next step is to consider a few things before you decide which email marketing platform you want to use for your brand. Aside from what Vira had talked about in the first step, which is really understanding what your marketing goals are and how you're going to achieve that through the email marketing strategy that you're going to create, there are three things that we strongly recommend that you decide for your brand and your store. The first thing is integration, that's the big focus. As a business, your CRM or whatever backend platforms that you use are your best friends. You don't have time to manually update lists, update your subscribers, figure out their behaviors, put in your own custom integrated APIs every other day, figure out what their actions are, or any other extremely valuable customer data that applies to how you're going to act and how you're going to really execute your email marketing strategy.

Alissa: You have to pick a platform that will seamlessly integrate with your current CRM or back end platform, and that's crucial. Because if you don't do that, and you don't base your decision on the integration and how seamless it's going to be, you're going to create a whole host of issues for yourself before you even get started. For example, we have a client who uses Magento as their e-commerce platform, and they use Klaviyo. Luckily Magento integrates with Klaviyo fairly easily, but there are a few hiccups and a few things that don't necessarily integrate as seamlessly, for example creating discount codes. You have to create the discount codes on the back end of Magento and then apply them to Klaviyo, whereas if you're using Shopify for example with Klaviyo, you can create those discount codes in Klaviyo and they automatically update in Shopify. So there are little things that you really want to consider when it comes to the integration because again, if you choose a platform that's not going to integrate easily with what you currently have, oh my gosh, you are going to hate email marketing before you even get started, it's a total mess. We've experienced that before with clients who don't really understand what the integration process is like, and they just assume that everything factors into all platforms and everything molds together smoothly, but it doesn't. So that's a huge thing to consider.

Alissa: The next thing you want to consider is reading and viewing the options. According to stats that are provided by Emailmonday, 26% to 78% of email opens will happen on mobile. That's nuts. Most of you are actually probably listening to this podcast on your phone, so it's very clear that in this day and age we can't do anything without our phones, and that includes opening most of our emails. So it's really no surprise that in today's world fewer people are opening emails on a traditional computer, which means that the platform that you choose needs to be optimized as best as possible for providing mobile functionality. If you deliver an email and it's not set for a mobile display your email will bounce, and your efforts to reach that subscriber will go down the drain, and really your email, there's just no point to it. So mobile functionality is huge, it's so, so huge. Other issues that are coming up now in today's email marketing world is how people are making adjustments with dark mode. So many mobile users are starting to use dark mode on their smartphones, and a lot of emails are not created design wise for users who use dark mode.

Alissa: So you're getting these emails sent out, and people can't even read them because it's on a light background with dark text, and if you're in dark mode all you see is the dark text, but you can't actually read it because your background is dark. So the mobile situation is huge, and if you're working with a platform that is not going to make the mobile functionality easy for you, again you're going to lose most of your subscribers because everyone's opening their emails on their phones. So that's the second thing. Third and final thing is the dynamic content that's available to you when you use your email marketing platform. Because we're focusing on sending relevant emails and again, that word relevant is coming up constantly when we do these podcasts, we're not only looking for solid open rates, click through rates and ROI, but we want our subscribers to actually engage with us. In order to get this kind of response, you want the ability to send emails that are not only automated, but personalized to each subscriber. You want to make them think and feel like your brand is personally reaching out to them and interested in their wants and needs, even though the email is automated and you're not doing anything personally to send that email.

Alissa: This is huge, and again this stems back to the relevance. If you are sending personalized customized emails to your customers and subscribers, the engagement levels are going to be through the roof because they feel like you're targeting them specifically. It feels like Bob in Kentucky is receiving that email specifically from the brand versus just receiving a generic hey, thanks for coming to the brand, thanks for buying with us, see you later kind of thing. You want to get personal. Now that we've reviewed those three things that are so crucial to making a decision about what email platform you're going to use, the next thing you have to decide is okay, I've considered integration, I've considered the reading and viewing options, and I've considered the dynamic content that's available. I know that all three of these things are important to me, so which platform do I go through? We have three platforms here that we're going to discuss. All of them have their pros, all of them have their cons. There's one that we specifically work with a little more, but we do want to lay them out there for you just so that you can get a good idea of what's available.

Alissa: The first one is MailChimp. MailChimp is one of the most accessible email marketing platforms in the world today with around seven million users worldwide, which is nuts. The other thing to note is MailChimp does have a feature where you can use their platform and send a certain amount of emails to a very limited amount of subscribers monthly for free. To get started on MailChimp, if you have a very tiny subscriber list you don't even have to pay for it, which if you are just getting started in the email marketing industry, or in the email marketing journey of your brand, MailChimp might be a good one to just start off with so that you can dabble and play a little bit with it. But as you get more advanced, you'll probably want to move into the next thing. MailChimp is great for small to medium size businesses who manage weekly or monthly newsletters alongside regular campaigns with a strong social media focus. It's a great tool, it really is.

Alissa: However, your ability to create automations is extremely limited. The interface is very difficult to use, your designs will be limited, your content blocks are limited, and your ability to actually customize each automation is super limited. Again, if you're just getting started and you really don't know what you're doing, MailChimp is a good place to start to play around with. But as you get more advanced, it's definitely something that you want to graduate out of. The next platform that we'll discuss is Active Campaign. Active Campaign is phenomenal for bloggers, informational businesses, that kind of thing. So UNICEF for example, like the example that Vira gave, UNICEF would be great for using Active Campaign, but it's not ideal for e-commerce businesses. The Active Campaign drag and drop interface is really great. It makes building the content of your email extremely easy, very speedy, and very accurate. The platform boasts a range of sophisticated market and sales automation features, as well as a huge library of free stock images. Image hosting and real time analytics are also available so you can monitor your campaign performances as they're happening, which is awesome. Another one of the main selling points for larger, more active businesses is that Active Campaign does offer the A/B testing tool, which is huge.

Alissa: The functionality is really easy to set up, and again it has those real time analytics which can be very effective for optimization of campaigns, and it'll just help you maximize your ROI. Again, Active Campaign is phenomenal for bloggers, informational businesses, that kind of thing, but we don't typically recommend it for e-commerce. The analytics, the metrics, the triggers, they make the e-commerce integration a little more difficult. So again, great platform, not ideal for e-commerce. The final-

Vira: It works actually the other way around as well. The other platform that you will be talking about, Klaviyo, is great for physical businesses and for e-commerce businesses, but it's not good for people selling online courses or bloggers or influencers, or stuff like that. So it's just interesting to know this little benefits of each, and other platforms.

Alissa: No, for sure. I know for us at Flowium when it comes to our marketing for potential clients, when it comes to providing freebies and information and it's more for outreach purposes, we actually do use Active Campaign because it's just so much easier for us to get information out to potential clients, because we're not actually selling a physical product. We're just sending freebies, information, and so Active Campaign is one that we use regularly. But the third platform that we use commonly for our clients because they have e-commerce stores, is Klaviyo. Again as Vira pointed out and this is a great point, is Klaviyo is phenomenal for e-commerce stores, but definitely not what you want to use if you have an informational oriented business. If you are a blogger, if you're UNICEF, you're definitely not going to be using Klaviyo so again, it's a nuance but it's something that you definitely want to consider. With Klaviyo, it has so many perks and benefits it's the platform that we are the most familiar with for our clients, and we really do love it.

Alissa: A few quick things about why we love it so much. Because segmentation plays such a pivotal role in any email marketing campaign, Klaviyo helps marketers target their promotions more precisely using transactional as well as behavioral data. Klaviyo tracks all of that, which enables you to create these segments that result in sending more relevant marketing campaigns. And the segments actually update in real time as you're using the platform, which is extremely powerful. It also enables marketers like us to specify multiple different criteria for our segments, which is awesome. A great example of this is marketers can target female customers who bought a purse during the holiday season. That's huge, and there aren't many platforms out there that offer that precise of segmentation. It's amazing, and the segmentation again plays a huge role when it comes to relevance. We're going to drive that word home until it's stuck in your brain, relevance, relevance, relevance is so key with your email marketing.

Alissa: The other cool thing is there's a custom web tracking system that uses browsing behavior and helps target people who meet specific criteria for example, male customers who looked at T-shirts five times during the week. Which is really cool because you virtually have unlimited targeting opportunities which again, is huge and it just goes right back to that point of being able to send relevant emails. The other thing is the software is extremely easily integrated with so many other popular softwares like Magento, Shopify, SalesForce, Zoho, Zendesk, which is awesome. There's also an open API which is a big plus for users who want custom integration. So if you have the whole development team and you're really into that kind of thing, there is open API available for you to do your own custom integration, which I actually have a client personally who we're working on creating a custom integration with Klaviyo. A few other benefits that Klaviyo has is Facebook advertising, ROI based reporting, realtime tracking, website tracking, built in auto responders, I mean dynamic data blocks-

Vira: Yeah, that's huge.

Alissa: ... beyond every variety that you can think of. I mean you can literally include any kind of information that you want that's dynamic and specific to the subscriber who's receiving the email, tons of custom activity fields, triggered emails. You can create email newsletters, there are automated list imports, signup forms and popups are available, A/B testing, I mean out the wazoo it's nuts. There are so many cool features that are included with Klaviyo, and Klaviyo is constantly adding new stuff. So it's a really great platform, again specifically for e-commerce brands. As an email marketer, it's so important for you to understand what is absolutely essential for your e-commerce store or your business before you decide which platform to go with. The platform you choose can make or break your email marketing plan, so [crosstalk 00:21:49] yeah. Vira, I know you have experience in this, too. This is something that we just really want to drive home that you pay attention to, before you make such a huge decision.

Vira: I agree with you, Alissa. We might be biased because we work so much with e-commerce businesses, and most of them are using Klaviyo because it integrates so well with Shopify and other stores. We might be a bit biased but oh my God, I love what can be done here, and it's so customizable and you get so much data from there. Literally two days ago we were talking with our clients about popup forms, about A/B testing of popup forms. And he was like, "That would be cool to have this feature in Klaviyo." I was like, "Yeah, but they don't have it yet." They literally released it on the day when we were talking about it. So you can now A/B test not only the flows and the subject lines and stuff like that, but you can also A/B test different offers in your exit-intent popups, which is huge because it can give you so much data to analyze.

Vira: So we basically covered objectives, that's a huge one, step one, to have good objectives, to have good email marketing goals. Step two, to pick the right platform, basically to pick the right tool you will be working with. And step three is setting up essential flows. Alissa, you can take it from here.

Alissa: These flows that we're going to go over again are like the bare minimum, what we recommend people start off with as they're starting to create their flows or automations for their brand. Over the course of time and over the course of the next episodes that we start to launch, we will be discussing each of these flows in a lot more detail, and also going through a variety of different flows that are available to you. These again, just the bare minimum. We're going to give some brief information on each one, but these are definitely ones to focus on as you're starting your email marketing strategy. The first is the welcome flow, or what we like to call here at Flowium the pre-purchase a/k/a welcome flow. A welcome series is a sequence of emails that are sent directly after someone signs up to hear from your brand. This is a critical, critical, critical moment in the customer life cycle because it's your opportunity to introduce new interested prospects, so these are people who have not bought yet to your business and product offering.

Alissa: With a welcome series, it's so important that you get it while it's hot because people are excited and there's momentum that's going for them, and you want to capitalize on this display of interest. A welcome series is crucial to email automation because this is largely where your new customers come from. The welcome flows we create for our clients are anywhere between six to 12 emails long, but seriously this depends on your brand. All the information that we give here is based on our experience and what we would typically recommend for clients, but again this goes back to that step one that Vira was talking about. You really need to look at your brand as a whole, what your marketing goals are, and then find a way to scope that into what your email marketing goals are. The guidelines that we give again, just a recommendation. We usually create welcome flows that are between six to 12 emails long. If you have tons of content, tons of freebies and a ton of extras that will help engage your new potential customer even more, this welcome flow is the perfect time to use it.

Alissa: We typically use the last email of this flow to also engage the customer even further, and get their feedback if they still haven't purchased. The reason why we do this it just helps you to understand where you're missing the mark with your subscribers, and how to provide them with the resources they need to become a customer. It's usually in the form of a survey. We ask something along the lines of hey, we gave you all this information, we gave you all this content, you were so excited about us, so why didn't you buy? What was missing for you to make a purchase? Obviously not in those words, the survey is written in a little more of a strategic way, but that's a cool element to incorporate into that welcome flow so then you get a little more insight as the business owner or as the brand as a whole to know what are we missing, and what do we need to give our subscribers in order for them to become customers.

Vira: We'll go into depth of this welcome flow in our next podcast, and we'll be talking separately about abandoned cart, welcome flow. This is to give you an idea of what flows we consider essential, and welcome flow is definitely important flow because this is your chance to welcome your customer to the brand, to introduce them to the brand, and to start building those relationships between the business and the customer. Another crucial flow I think, is the abandoned cart one. I know we've been talking a lot about it and believe us, we will be talking even more about it because we believe that not having abandoned cart flow is just like leaving the money on the table. According to some researches, as many as 80% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Can you imagine, 80% of the carts are abandoned. The good news is you can actually recover most of them. You can recover something like 73% of that using abandoned cart automation. To maximize the effectiveness of that flow, we recommend sending not one email, but we recommend taking it one step further and building a sequence.

Vira: The simplest that you can do is to be sending email every 24 hours, but again it depends on your business cycle, it depends on the product. But within the 24 hours, send the first email. Then in second email you can be reminding them about their cart, and this email can be sent in 48 hours. Then in 72 hours you can even push it harder and give them some kind of incentive. So over time you can adjust the sequence and delays, but the bottom line is if people keep buying from you from those emails in your abandoned cart sequence, you should keep sending them. You can do as little as three emails to as long as like six, seven, nine, and just keep sending relevant information or something that a customer would benefit from. We strongly recommend having abandoned cart flows, and actually this is one of the high performing flow because it's very relevant to the customer, it's basically triggered by the action. They place something into the cart and it triggers the flow. So that's why the open rates for this flow are very, very high. That's why we recommend starting with those high performing flows which is welcome series, abandoned cart, and the next flow that Alissa will cover.

Alissa: I have to admit, I'm a total sucker for an abandoned cart flow. As a consumer, it gets me literally every single time. For whatever reason I put something in my cart, I put in my email, I'm either about to buy it or I get distracted or I'm like oh, I really shouldn't spend the money, whatever it is, and then a few hours later I get that email and I always bite on that. I know that it's coming, it's not even something that takes me by surprise. I know it's coming, but it gets me every time because it just narrows your focus back. And because you're so close to purchasing, it's literally just the step of putting in your cart information and hitting submit. It just simplifies it because the information that was in the cart, the products that were in your cart originally are still there waiting for you magically, through the magic of Klaviyo. So it kills me because it gets me every single time. That's my favorite, I think that's one of my favorite flows.

Alissa: The next flow is the post purchase flow. A post purchase flow is in existence essentially to show appreciation for customers, and let them know about related products that they might be interested in. The post purchase is after, and you can create so many different variations of this. Usually what we do is we create a post purchase for first time customers only, but again depends on the brand, depends on what the strategy requires. Once you make your first purchase, you get triggered into this flow as the customer. Sending post purchase emails are essential for growing your brand obviously, because they turn your shopper into a loyal and potentially a repeat customer. According to some research that Klaviyo actually did, post purchase messaging sees a 217% higher open rate which is bonkers, over 500% higher click rate, and 90% higher revenue per recipient than your average email campaign. These numbers literally blow my mind. When I read that was like okay, I think I added a zero at the end and I added some extra numbers. But it's not, these are the numbers. 217% higher open rate, over 500% higher click rate, and 90% higher revenue per recipient than your average email campaign. With numbers like that, honestly you can't go wrong. I mean it's impossible. A post purchase flow is so, so important.

Alissa: The one that we usually set up for our clients at Flowium is we typically incorporate a variety of emails from thanking the customer, providing a method to engage and interact with the brand to additional content that will eventually lead to cross selling opportunities, which will allow you to turn your one time customers into second time customers, thus creating brand loyalty, which is what every brand wants. It's really all from the work of a few emails. Again, there are so many different things that you can add into a post purchase flow, so more often than not we'll create a post purchase survey where we ask customers about their shopping experience or their first time shopping experience with the brand. We'll also create opportunities for subscribers to send in a video testimonial, and they'll get some kind of freebie or a gift card or something like that. We love the post purchase flow because you can get so creative with it along with the pre-purchase flow. It's definitely an exciting one to incorporate, and this is definitely one that we'll be talking about in the future because there are other flows that you can create that spiral out of the post purchase like a bounce back flow, which is a really cool way of solidifying that second time purchase.

Alissa: It's very obvious that we are total nerds when it comes to email automations, and they really are incredible because they do so much work for you automatically, without you having to do anything. You just turn it in on live and it just goes. Obviously, you have to optimize every now and again, but they are incredible because they do so much work for you without you actually having to do any work. Although there are tons and tons and tons of flows that you can choose from when you're creating your email marketing strategy, the ones that we just mentioned, these four, the welcome series, the abandonment cart, the post purchase-

Vira: It's actually three.

Alissa: ... Yeah. Three flows, I'm getting ahead of myself here. We definitely recommend that beginners start off with just these three, and then as you become more advanced you can expand your marketing strategy even more. Again, we'll be going through these in a lot greater detail over coming episodes. So we love our automations.

Vira: Yeah, there's actually a gazillion. gazillion different flows that can be introduced, and believe us we can be talking about them for hours and hours and hours. We are email marketing nerds, so that's why we're good at what we do. Well, we covered three first steps, and the next one is to send your first campaign. I feel like people often don't understand that email marketing is not just email campaigns, that it's the flows that generate the majority of your sales. When you first begin with email marketing it's very tempting to start sending those campaigns right away because they are shiny, they are exciting, and you just want to start sending them right away. However, it's very important to actually send your first campaign correctly. In a way it's your chance to convince Google, Yahoo and all the other inbox providers that you are a reputable sender, that you are not a spammer, you are an actual business and this is your make or break moment. So that's why we recommend starting with flows first, and only after that you can start sending campaigns. I'll explain why.

Vira: Flows, also known as automations, they are a great way to hit the inbox when you first start doing email marketing. It is important for you to activate them first because they have this really, really good open rates, click through rates, and conversions. The flows emails are triggered by customer behavior. Say they have placed something in the cart and left. They will get this email that is highly relevant to them, they will get this abandoned cart email. Or say they subscribed through your opt in form on your homepage to get something from you. What are the chances that they will open that email that they requested from you? The chances are super high. That's why open rates for the flows are much, much higher than for the campaigns. That's why we recommend starting with high converting flows, and only after that going into the sending campaigns. You can actually hurt your reputation a lot of you do it the other way around.

Vira: We had this one client who have never done email marketing before, but she was very eager to start sending something right away, because they were releasing a new website launch and she wanted to send this list, this campaign inviting them to go to the new website. What we've done to avoid this being placed into the spam, we actually divided this 7,000 people list into I think, something like 200 segments or something, like 200 little emails. We were sending every, every hour so it does not raise any red flags. This is the science in a way, but the easiest thing that you can do is to start sending the flows first, and only after that start sending campaigns. Believe me, it will help you with your open rates, with your unsubscribe rates and click through rates tremendously. That's a little pro tip for you as well.

Alissa: Love it. I love it. And oh my gosh, I couldn't agree more. Honestly, we have some clients who show up Vira like you had mentioned, and they're like, "Hi, I want to send a campaign, my first campaign as of yesterday," and it's like, "Okay, hold on a second. Have you given any thought to what's going on, do you understand the work that goes into it? We need to think about what about getting these flows going before we actually get our first campaign out." So it's definitely something that people really need to consider before they just again, dive in head first with their email marketing. I'm with you on that. Again just to recap, those four steps are what we strongly advise you do as you're getting started with your e-commerce email marketing. Making sure that you're auditing and establishing your email marketing goals, picking the best email marketing platform for you and your brand, setting up those bare minimum essential flows before you get going, and then working on sending your first campaign and making sure that it's a relevant campaign as well, is always something so important.

Alissa: Before we officially sign off, we do have a question from our community. We actually got this question from May, and the question is, what is the best conversion rate for opt-in forms. I love this question so much because it's definitely something that we have clients ask us about. People are always curious. Okay, we have opt in forms and we think they're working, but how do we know? What's the benchmark? Just for context for those who don't understand quite what an opt-in form is, it's a method in which you as the brand or store can collect subscriber emails. These are typically found in the footer of your website, on a home page popup that you may have set up, or any kind of pop up really that appears during a customer's journey on your website, or it can even be on a landing page. Typically, what this opt in form does is it offers some kind of exchange or freebie for the subscriber's email. So you're either providing a subscriber an exclusive access to insider information or a discount once they submit their email, and it's something that we'll definitely talk about later on down the line especially now, because Klaviyo is providing the opportunity to do A/B testing with these opt forms.

Alissa: But some benchmarks to consider when you're determining the success of the opt-in forms that you have in place, 6.5% and up for conversion is excellent. This is a really, really, really great percentage that you're hitting. Anything between 4.7% and 6.5% for your conversion rate is really good. Anything between 1.8% and 4.7% is pretty average, and anything under 1.8%, we would say you definitely have some room for improvement. Whether that's trying a new design, trying some different copy, trying a different offer, even trying different placement of that opt-in form, that's some stuff that you can definitely look at testing if you're looking at the conversion rate being anything under 1.8%. This is a great, great question. Thank you May, for bringing this up. And again, this is something that we'll definitely focus on in future episodes.

Alissa: Just as a note, if you have a question that you'd like us to address on future episodes, the best way to get in touch and send your questions is to send myself or Vira an email. My email is alissa@flowium.com, and Vira's is vira@flowium.com. The other thing that you can do which we mentioned during our pro tip, is you can join our Facebook community. It's called the Klaviyo community. It's very active, very engaging. People are constantly questioning and answering for other people, so feel free to pop your questions in there, and you might even get an answer before we get a chance to answer it on our podcast.

Vira: Yeah, a hundred percent. Thank you for tuning in, you guys. This is just the beginning, and we do have a lot of cool stuff coming your way. So go ahead, start with email marketing, it's not as scary as it might seem at the beginning. But believe me, the results are incredible. Not utilizing the power of email marketing is basically leaving the money on the table.

Alissa: For sure. Okay. Thank you guys so much, and we'll see you next time.

Vira: Thank you so much. We'll see you next time, bye.

Alissa: Thanks for listening to Email Einstein. Can you feel that? Your marketing brain just got a little bit bigger. We ask that you please use it wisely. You've got all the theory you need to get out there and start boosting your sales, because great emails equals revenue squared.

Andriy: You just listened to an episode of Email Einstein. If you enjoyed it and want to continue getting valuable insights from our hosts, let us know. Go to Apple Podcast, find our podcast by searching email marketing, leave us a review and I'll send you a pair of Flowium socks. We know you may be busy later, so take a few minutes to pause this episode now. Go to Apple Podcast and share how you're enjoying this podcast with our community. After you do, go to flowium.com/socks to request the prize. Thanks, and come back for more e-commerce email marketing knowledge next Tuesday.

Meet your hosts

Vira Sadlak​

Vira Sadlak​

Podcast host, marketer, traveller and a life lover from Vancouver, Canada

When she’s not at her computer, conquering the world of e-commerce email-marketing, you can find her climbing one of the Pacific Northwest Ranges.

Alternatively, try her email at vira@flowium.com, and she’ll probably shoot you back a list of her favorite cat videos.

Alissa Horta

Alissa Taggart

Alissa is an email marketer that is passionate about relevance!

Her main goal with all clients is to create a strategy and campaigns that are unique to the customer-base. Her favorite part of her role as an account manager with Flowium is to meet with her clients as she loves people. She lives with her husband and growing family in Boca Raton, FL.

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