This episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast features a conversation Ugo Balestrazzi, founder of Corbulo Star Media. We discuss how to maximize customer lifetime value with effective email & SMS marketing.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- How to maximize your customer lifetime with email marketing
- What is deliverability and why is it important for email marketing
- The steps a merchant needs to take before sending out campaigns
- What is list cleaning and how you should proceed with that
- The biggest mistakes merchants make when it comes to sending out campaigns
Links & Resources
About Our Podcast Guest: Ugo Balestrazzi
Meet Ugo, the founder of Corbulo Star Media, a leading email and SMS marketing agency. With expertise in helping 6 and 7-figure eCommerce brands scale, Ugo's a Klaviyo expert, and his agency operates entirely remotely. With a degree in Business Administration, specializing in Digital Marketing and International Hospitality, Ugo has lived across the EU and the US, gaining valuable global experience.
Listen & Subscribe on your Favorite Podcast App:
Please support the show if you liked today's episode:
- If you love the podcast, please get someone else to listen, too!
- If you enjoyed this episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break podcast, please head over to Apple Podcasts, leave a rating, write a review, and subscribe.
- Share the podcast with your family, friends, and co-workers.
- Tag the podcast on Instagram @clauslauter and let me know what you like about it.
- If you like the content and would like to support the podcast, you can buy me a coffee here.
- Become a guest on the show or sponsor an episode.
Claus Lauter: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the E-Commerce Coffee Break podcast. Today we wanna go back to email marketing. I wanted to dive a little bit more into the technical sector to make sure that you can maximize your customer lifetime once you have an email address of a customer. So with that, I have Ugo Balestrazzi on the show.
He's the founder of corbulostarmedia. An agency specialize in email and sms marketing. His expertise lies in helping six and seven figure e-commerce brands scale the business with effective email and sms marketing strategies as a Klaviyo expert Ugo is well-versed in email deliverability best practices and that's what we going to talk about today.
So let's welcome Ugo to the show. Hi, how are you today?
Ugo Balestrazzi: Thank you very much. Everything good? Thanks.
Claus Lauter: I think we can agree that email marketing is one of the most important marketing strategies that is out there. , a lot of times email marketing was pronounced to be dead, but I don't think it is.
But a lot of people struggle with email marketing because they do not understand the basics that they need to get right before they really can start with email marketing. So keyword there is deliverability. Maybe let's start there. Give a bit of a background. Why deliverability for email marketing is so important.
Ugo Balestrazzi: Email marketing and s m s marketing, they belong to the retention marketing overall. So marketing is divided in acquisition marketing, the retention marketing, so email, s m s, direct mail, even WhatsApp marketing. They are all retentional marketing channels to retain customers.
Especially with email, it's very important to optimize the sending infrastructure, which is the deliverability. for e-commerce brands, cloud use one of the best, email service providers to use, especially for the deliverability, the piece. They're very good and it's very important to.
Optimize the deliverability to optimize, the domains, the sending infrastructure, because if this is not done properly, what happens is that many emails might land first into the promo tab multiple times, even if they are just text based. And then after a bit of time they might. Landing into the spa folder.
When this happens, of course the operates will go down, the clickthrough rates will go down, and then of course also the cells will go down. So it's very important to set up the sending infrastructure correctly.
Claus Lauter: Yeah. So there are two parts of it. As I said, setting up the infrastructure and then warming up.
Give an example, what are the steps that immersion needs to do before they really can start sending out their campaigns, their emails?
Ugo Balestrazzi: Absolutely. So the first thing I always recommend is to set up a dedicated domain. In some cases, it's not necessary to set up right away. You can set up after 30, 45 days, but , if you're confident enough, it's better to set up since day one.
So this is a very important thing to do because when, for example, you use cl clavia sends you assured domain. What you're actually doing is you are not building your domain reputation, but you're building the shared domain reputation. And this of course happens with all the other email service providers.
So once you set up a dedicated domain, you have full control of your domain reputation, so you build the reputation of your domain. So it's much. Easier to then control the deliverability. Now, in terms of warmup, there are many strategies that we can discuss where a couple of things that needs to be done If you're just starting out, you need between two to four weeks of warming up.
And this you do by sending a limited amount of emails to specific segments. Now, specific segments are usually the most engaged subscribers. Why? Because you want to keep an average operator of a list. 25, 30% for a long period of time for example, Google Hoo Outlook, they understand that you are not a spammer.
So they send a reputation score and you will start landing more in the inbox or worst case scenario, the problem, which is not super bad, especially to get started. Now, another thing to do is, especially if you have a bigger list, le let's suppose that you have a list of 50,000 subscriber.
You don't have any, Tracking data because probably you migrated from another email service provider or because you're just imported the list. So in this case, what I recommend is to, split this list of, for example, 50,000 subscribers in mini lists. For example 1000 subscribers.
2000 subscribers. 4,000 subscribers. 8,000 subscribers, and gone. So then what you do is you send one email to the first bunch, like 1000 subscriber. After two days, you double, so you email the list of 2000 subscribers two days after U double again for thousand subscribers. Once you emailed all of them.
You create, uh, unengaged segment. You go in the segment, where you select all the people who opened these emails, and then because you know that these people are more responsive, and then you can start. Emailed assignment. Usually by doing this, the upper range, they stay up, and you have to do this thing for at least three weeks to warm everything up and to see the results.
And then you can start sending image to other list or segments. ,
Claus Lauter: Rule number one, don't take your list and do a full blast to everyone that's on your list, specifically if you import. Now, a lot of people who come Tola View and your CLA view partners, is definitely the best system if you're working with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms cause it's built for e-commerce.
Now, a lot of people coming from other systems that might be mail, AWeber or there's so many others out there. List cleaning is probably a thing that you should do. , give me an idea what list cleaning is and how you should proceed with
Ugo Balestrazzi: that. So this cleaning is very important and it is definitely something to do, preferably like you do before you even move to another platform like Clavio.
Like you can start seeing the situation. And it's very important because, some people, for example, they already subscribed, or they are bouncing, especially the ones that are bouncing. I know many email service. Provider, the pro, they show exactly the people who are bouncing is very important to delete, those subscribers, especially if there are bouncers.
Because if you keep sending emails and the emails is bounced back, what happens is this is a very bad sign for the deliverability. There is a very high chance that those email might start landing into this spa folder. Here is one thing when Many people talk about the promo tab we are landing in the promo tab.
It's a problem. In the end, if you look at the results, it is not such a big issue as many people think. The real issue is when you land in a spam fold because reports said that. Most of the people, they check the promo folder at least, once every one or two days, at least once they check it.
So they might open your email. However, how many times people check this phone folder is probably once every two to three weeks, that's much harder over If you land in a promo folder, for example, you might have an average operator of 30%. If you go to the inbox 40%, but if you go to the spam, probably it's gonna be 10%.
So the gap is much bigger. So back to the list clinic, it's very important to clean the list to see, to remove down subscribers, to remove the people who bounced. And then once everything is cleaned, it's ready to go that you can move to the a new email service provider. email is
Claus Lauter: just one part.
Atla view supports. The other part is s m s text messages. How does it work on that site? Is there also deliverability issues or importing issues? How do you get started with that
Ugo Balestrazzi: site? Yes, of course SMS is much more complicated in some things because of course there is also the compliance part, so you really have to pay attentional with the deliverability, also with the sms.
Every email service provider like CLA Postscript, there are rules, they give plenty of suggestions about that. One thing, to take into account with, s m s is the frequency. That's very important because with emails, I always recommend for e-commerce brands to send, three, four emails.
So this is usually the, it's not a very good idea to send every day unless you have a lot of products However, with s m s, it's like the frequency has to be much shorter. So I recommend to send no more than one text a week. , maximum two if there is something important, because if you send more, then you might start having problems with the deliverability as well.
Claus Lauter: You as an expert when it comes to scaling businesses with email and s m s marketing and you helping six and seven figure business in e-commerce space there, what kind of revenue, overall revenue can they create? Only coming from email marketing.
Ugo Balestrazzi: If, we are talking about, CPG brands primarily.
So if everything is done correctly, they can aim at the revenue from c between 25 to 40, even 45%. Now, usually when it's above that, there is not enough balance than we do acquisition marketing, so this is never a good way to over relying on just email marketing. So that's very important to say.
I will say that the common data, like everyone says, is 30% of revenue coming from clavia, from email. Usually if you also at s m s, it's very good because you can get an extra couple of point extra. They usually say between five to 10% extra. But yes, so as you can understand, it's a pretty important part of the business because it's all the retention marketing part.
30, 40% of revenue coming from email and s m s marketing is, a pretty big chunk of the business. On top of that, it's also very important to say that when it comes to single products, like for example mattresses or specific products, this Different because of course it's not realistic to aim at 30% of revenue coming from emails.
However, you can collect a lot of data with emails and s m s, you can collect a lot of data, do a lot of market research, and then understand the behavior of your subscribers as well,
Claus Lauter: Obviously 25 per up to 40% is a huge chunk, and I think all the listeners and viewers who are below that, they should listen now or will listen now very carefully.
, how it works. Now, we already gave a couple of tips. If somebody, works with you or if you get on board within new client, what kind of process do you follow to get these numbers up to 30, 40%.
Ugo Balestrazzi: The first thing to do is always to do a CLA account report. That's the very first step along with market research because you really want to understand what's working, what's not working, what needs to be optimized immediately after that.
Let's suppose that they already have some flows, in place. So it's very important to understand the structure of the flow if everything is. Going Well, if there are some emails that needs to be optimized, then the frequency as well as the type of message and positioning, like how you want to position the brand.
So this is something very important this is the first thing to do is to optimize the most important al flows, and also very, very important is the post-purchase flow. The post-purchase flow is very important for a couple of reasons.
First of, because it's an amazing opportunity to build the relationship with the new buyer or with the repeat buyer. Second, because you can collect zero party data such as the birthday data, that to create more personalization. And then eventually set up a birthday floor to when is a date? Third, to promote a, cross-channel marketing strategy.
And fourth, also to. Either collect feedback or testimonials as well as building, for example, a community more than building, actually promoting a community, a private community through Facebook groups or Discord or any other channel. So this is very important. And another extra tip that I would like to give is that Most of the time, of course there are exceptions. Many brands that as soon as someone buys say a thank you very much for the order, here is another 10% off that you can use in the future. I suggest not to do this right away because what you want to do right away is to thank the new buyer for buying for you.
Then keep them updated about the shipping, and third to. If possible to send some emails where, , these email are more educational based emails on how to use the product or give ideas for the product. Let's suppose they bought, a dress shirt. So you can say, here is how to, wear this dress shirt in five different occasions.
Same thing with the watch. Same thing for many other products, so the post purchases flow is extremely important to increase the customer lifetime value, as well as then bring, encourage the buyers to come back from you again because of the memorable experience that you provided.
Claus Lauter: I think it's a really good chip to not be hardcore salesy and try to just upsell, upsell, upsell, but just being helpful and give good information about the product that they just bought. That definitely builds up a good relationship with your customer. Now, obviously there's two sides on view. There is the flows, the automatic part of it, and then there's the campaigns.
Gimme a bit of an idea of what are the biggest mistakes merchants do when it comes to sending out campaigns?
Ugo Balestrazzi: So I would say that there are a couple of mistakes that multi commerce brands, make. the first one is to be, very promotional driven, like to say, every time 10% of 20% of 40% of This can work over the short term, but one, you can burn the list very quickly.
Two, people get tired, especially if they're already bought, especially if you didn't have a proper segmentation. When I say proper segmentation, I don't mean like to, make hyper segmentation or to create very advanced segments, but like just some basic segments, for example, exclude the people who bought over the last 20 days, you don't send the emails that they bought a product after two days, they receive another 20% off for the same product. So that's one thing. Not to send, promotional driven emails all the time, but also some different types of emails. Again, either to collect some zero party data or to provide any type of value or, To give some news, any type of value.
Either it is educational entertainment or even testimon, but the idea is don't be , too promo driven. The second thing, which most of the time is not a good strategy, is theand. So many people they want to resend the emails to the people who didn't open the first email.
For example, they sent an email and they operates was 40%. When they resend email, probably the operates are 15, 17%. Now, Maybe you can make for some sales is for sure. However, the problem then is with the deliverability.
So we go back to the deliverability because if very few people open, it's not a good sign, for Google, for Yahoo. Don't send too many recents just with from time to time. The third one is . to focus too much on the design.
design is very important. , I come from the info product world, my background is in copywriting, so, at the beginning I was saying the copy is just the only thing that matters. To be honest, I had to change my faults because I say copy is very important and design as well.
However, if you focus too much on the design, it's not good for the deliverability again, because when there are too many images, then they tend to go to, the promo tab, if not the, also try to find a mix between the design and the copy is very important.
The fourth thing is more about nurturing the relationship. Because many people, they don't buy right away. That's the truth. Like they don't buy immediately after they join the list. So what you want to do is to email these people and nurture the relationship with them. There is not a specific strategy in place is very hard to do that, many of them, they will either stop opening your emails or they will just unsubscribe if they just see promotional emails and they don't see that.
You are providing value or they think all your brand is cool, , with some different type of content. So these are the biggest mistakes, e-commerce brands make right now. There
Claus Lauter: are a lot of gold nuggets in there, what you just mentioned. So it shows basically that email marketing is not as easy, but if you can see, or if you hear the numbers on what you can achieve through email marketing, you also understand how important it's, now you're working with six and seven figure brands.
If somebody wants to work with you how does that work? , what's the pricing structure? how would I go and around it to get started with it?
Ugo Balestrazzi: So the first thing they can do is to reach out to me on link, again, u or they can just send me an email, to ugo k star media.com.
Immediately after that, then the first thing to do is to run a Clavia account report to see how I can help them, if I can help them. And in terms of the pricing structure is pretty straightforward. So, I either work as one time project fee, and usually this is good for e-commerce brands who are just starting out or they don't have, big marketing budget.
So what I do, I set up their full backend. So all the flows, the nurturing campaigns for, two to three months. The deliverability, the segmentation, set up the calendar. So I create everything. Or if they're already in a good stage where they're growing and they are either bit six or seven figure brands, I then help the optimize what they already have through.
redesigning some of the flows, improving the ary strategy, create a new email capture system, and this I go, I can either go with a one-time project fee or as a monthly retailer, depends on how the client would like to proceed.
Claus Lauter: Sounds actually very good. , now the client has the chance to get started with you if they have a small budget and as they grow you can be basically the partner on the site and grow with them.
I like that approach. , I will put the links in the show notes, then you just one click away and then people can approach you directly. Ugo. Thanks so much, for this deep dive into deliverability and email and s m s. Marketing, I think's still a very, very important, strategy for any e-commerce merchant out there.
And thanks so much for your time.
Ugo Balestrazzi: Thank you very much. K Claus Urostomy.
Get notifications when new episodes are released. Unsubscribe anytime.
Join 3,000+ Ecommerce Marketers and Merchants getting our free Marketing Optimization Ideas to scale a growth-focused business on Shopify.
DISCLAIMER: The content in this podcast episode is provided for general informational purposes only. By listening to our episode, you understand that no information contained in this episode should be construed as advice from Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd, or the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for research on any subject matter. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. The views expressed by the Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd, do not represent the views of their employers or the entity they represent. Claus Lauter, idube Pte Ltd, expressly disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or other damages arising out of any individual’s use of, reference to, or inability to use this podcast or the information we presented in this podcast. We feature sponsored interviews with guests who paid an appearance fee that supports the maintenance of the blog or podcast. Affiliate links – if you click on my affiliate links and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission. Although we may receive a commission from the affiliate, the cost of the product for you will always be the same or often discounted. All affiliate products are vetted by me and my team, and we support and recommend these products because we find they are worth it.