In this episode, we discuss the impact of email marketing and community empowerment on ecommerce revenue. Guest on the show is Nathan Abbott, founder of growtrio.com.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- Why e-mail marketing is such an important marketing channel for merchants
- How to explore the broader aspect of e-mail marketing
- How to strategically ask relevant questions at key touchpoints along the customer journey
- How to leverage surveys, feedback forms, and post-purchase follow-ups to gather insights
- How to maintain professionalism and brand consistency while conveying your brand’s unique personality
- The frequency of sending messages to customers
- How to develop a tailored onboarding strategy, to maximize email marketing success
Links & Resources
About Our Podcast Guest: Nathan Abbott
Nathan Abbott is the founder of growtrio.com, a six-figure marketing agency working with businesses globally. With a decade of experience in strategy, psychology, copywriting, and design, he specializes in scaling e-commerce brands through enhanced lifecycle marketing, leveraging email and SMS. As a founding member of NGX, he played a vital role in scaling the company's valuation from $1M to $15M. His expertise led to the rapid growth of his own agency, helping businesses achieve exceptional results in just three months.
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 touch on email marketing. We have spoken about email marketing in the past, but we want to look at it from a like slightly different angle and see how merchants can get more out of it. With me on the show today, I have Nathan Abbottt.
He is the founder of growtrio.com. That's a six figure marketing agency that works with businesses in the uk, US, and Asia. He has more than 10 years experience in strategy, consumer psychology, copywriting and design, and he specialized in scaling e-commerce brands through enhanced lifestyle marketing, leveraging the power of EMA, email and SMS marketing.
Before Gross Trio, he was a founding marketing member of N G X A. World's first genetically personalized nutrition business and e-commerce store. With his strategic marketing skills, he played a vital role in scaling the company's evaluation from 1 million to more than 15 billion US dollars. So let's welcome Nathan to the show.
Hey Nathan, how are you today?
Nathan Abbott: I'm very well. It was good to meet you. Close. I'm just glad to be on the podcast.
Claus Lauter: You're welcome Nathan. We are both big fans of email marketing and there is reasons for that. Tell me why you think email marketing is such an important marketing channel for merchants.
Nathan Abbott: Yes, it's a great question. Email marketing remains one of the highest return on investment marketing channels of all of the marketing channels. I think the statistic is around like for every dollar that you invest, you get around 36 to $40 back. And the thing is that many brands tend to focus their priority on pay advertising, where actually the cost of acquisition on those ads are now increasing.
Whereas the email element of things that still changes. Email is still email the conversion still seems to perform very well there. The cost of email marketing is not going up. Very
Claus Lauter: good point there. Now, email marketing, and you mentioned that before we started the call today.
A lot of merchants use it in the wrong way. They just think about a one-way street. Just get the word out and hopefully people buy, but there is a much broader aspect to it. Talk me through it.
Nathan Abbott: Yeah, sure. So obviously a lot of brands will have their campaigns that go out for their promotional calendar, and they'll be getting customers that come on board through their ad spend and through email marketing.
But the thing is, we spend an or merchant spend a lot of time guessing. What customers or their consumers want. And what I've found through working with hundreds of e-commerce brands is actually when you change that into a two-way street, when you actually start asking your customers what they want or how they can improve or even asking Your list on the welcome flow, for example, if they haven't bought yet, you can frame questions on why.
You can start to gather really valuable data that can inform your decision making process moving forward so that not only do you benefit your email marketing efforts, but you can still pull those insights into other marketing areas like your pay ads, like your website, to really refine that omnichannel experience of what you're sending to the customer.
Claus Lauter: I have the feeling a lot of merchants are just too shy to ask their customers and I'm not sure what to ask and when to ask. So what would be a strategy to really, from the first point of contact, to ask people the questions that matter?
Nathan Abbott: Sure. It's a great question. I think we have to keep email in mind as a very personal form of communication.
I think a lot of merchants forget. and they really cold sell a lot of things to their customers, and I think we can look it in two ways. The first one is like collecting information on customers that have not bought. Now you can. Make sure that you send this information or like a way to capture their data.
For example, like a Typeform Typeform integrates with Klaviyo, MailChimp, and not the core email systems. And you can frame it in a way that's personalized to, for example, send that email in the welcome flow only to people that are engaging with the welcome flow that haven't bought. So you're not just sending it to everyone coming down the funnel, but it's more of a personal approach where it's like, Hey Nathan I realize you haven't bought yet, but you are engaging with the website, you're engaging with what we're offering you.
Is there something that's like not really taking you over the edge of purchasing and in that frame of delivery, Instead of having that copy, you can have a type form being like, your voice matters, or we're listening to you, and you can easily create automations off the back of this That can provide them, it might be price sensitivity, it might be information, and then you can set up triggers to then cause a much leaner process to improve those conversions.
That's the sort of initial step for people that haven't converted. And then the real powerful one is when you can get your audience that. Again, keeping it specific and segmented, looking at the people that provide you the highest customer lifetime value, and also engage with your emails. If I was to create a segment, I'd select like the top 50 to our 75% percentile customer lifetime value.
And people that engage with emails, for example, like in your 30 to 60 day engagement, and you send them the email out saying, Hey, We realize you are one of my most valuable members in the community. Your voice matters in how we move the brand forward. we'd like to take, five minutes of your time to answer some questions about how we can improve the product and the service.
And in return we know you love this product so one person that gives this can have it for free just to say thank you. and here then have this cyclical process of learning from the people that aren't buying and the people that are buying. I've done this on brands that.
Now we'll make up to like a hundred thousand dollars extra just from the community specific campaigns a month on top of all the information they're getting to drive, other marketing efforts from a
Claus Lauter: brand's perspective, what kind of language do you use to address the customer?
Is this more on a personal level or is it on a brand's level, or does it depend?
Nathan Abbott: I think it depends on the third party data you capture. ways that. You would want to capture the data earlier on in the customer life cycle so you can then personalize it moving forward. A lot of the ways you can do this, because to your point, if you only capture, for example, email at the start of things, you can only refer to someone as a group.
In the welcome flow because you don't have that post-purchase data, so that's as good as you're gonna get, right? You are only gonna be like, Hey, community, not like, Hey Nathan. Obviously if you're using an in commercial like Shopify, you are gonna be able to capture their first name, from the purchase point.
So from then, if you have the data, Use it to your advantage , as a way to improve any Shopify listeners store out there. You can always add a second two step popup on your website. So it's like, Hey, have your email step one. So if they enter their email at exit, they've left, but you haven't killed your conversion.
But then you can use a secondary step where it's like, we also love to know you by name kind of thing. Make it a bit more personal. We'd rather you know, what's your name? If they don't wanna enter their name, they don't enter their name. But if they do, you can then start using their name.
In your email communications in the whole welcome flow or whatever campaign you're using before they convert. So yeah, it really depends on the data you have available to you.
Claus Lauter: Okay. most. Software is eCommerce software like Lavos, they have the differences between a flow automation and a campaign.
Yes. I found out that a lot of merchants do not mail out often enough. What's your take on the frequency of sending messages to customers?
Nathan Abbott: That's a really good question. So obviously you've got your automations and depending on the industry you are in, you can create a pretty watertight lifecycle marketing automation where you are getting people in the right stages.
But the thing is campaigns that obviously send at a specific time to a specific segment that you want them to go to and I believe. The cadence of how many emails you send greatly depends on the industry you are in. From my experience, if you are like a retailer, like a sort of, let's say you sell clothes I find that's more impulse.
So you are going on, put that available. You want to be on the top of mindset top of awareness of a brand in the inbox with clothes over like another brand's clothes. A lot more. However, if you are sending a high ticket item, I work with a lot of high ticket brands and I would compare the two, I would send maybe 20, 25 campaigns, sometimes like on heavier month if I'm a clothing store.
Cause people open it and check. Whereas high ticket items, they need to think so that there almost needs to be a respect between. I'm usually a much more valid, like a valuable email to educate you. There's a lot more education on the product because it's more expensive. It's not an impulse buy.
Like if I tell you, Hey, buy a Ferrari or buy a Porsche, you are gonna be like what's the difference? What am I getting outta this? What am I getting out of that with a t-shirt? It's like, I like the look of the T-shirt. That's why I bought it. So there's, that's another big, big reason why brands. You need to step away from that cookie cutter approach of being like, oh, we send eight campaigns cuz we send eight campaigns.
I would completely agree actually, that sending less campaigns, it's not perfect. I would usually say if you are selling a higher ticket item, you can probably sell less and educate more. And for a brand that's a lower ticket item. You can sell more because most of the time I'm selling high ticket items and we get a lot of revenue through email because of it, is that most of the time people do loads of paid advertising on high ticket items.
People don't wanna make an impulse decision on a high ticket item from watching like a retargeting ad. However, you can collect someone's email. And you can really like intricately take care of them through that decision making process of a high ticket item and your conversions and your return investment goes to the.
Claus Lauter: No, I love that. I love that. A hundred percent agree with you. If it's a low ticket item, decision making process is much quicker, basically instant. And you need to educate if you have higher ticket items. A hundred percent agree. Now the question is a lot of brands guess what their clients want not knowing.
And what kind of strategies can you use beside of having just a questionnaire to get more out of your customers to get. The right information to really understand what they want.
Nathan Abbott: Yeah, great question I would say this is where, it starts to get very confusing for merchants and why I think it's very worth it to hire someone that knows what they're doing, cuz it's very time consuming.
If you don't know is to start to create things like you'll probably hear, I'll elaborate, but something like Octane AI or, some integrations essentially for the listeners that you can put. Or integrate with your email service provider that says Klaviyo, MailChimp, whatever. And it enables you to capture more data on your store upfront.
So, for example, instead of going through like a, your usual. And you can still do it this way. There's you have multiple ways for leads to enter their information. But a leads can go through like a quiz and that quiz can be like, let's say we are selling makeup, for example. I just really picking something out here.
Makeup depends on your skin color, on how you want to express yourself. There's like lots of ways that might determine why you pick a certain makeup and you can capture those data points. Before they even hit the welcome flow so that when they go into the welcome flow , Stephanie might like, , eyeshadow or whatever, or lipstick and therefore she gets some flow that's more tailored towards those elements of like the makeup like stall.
Whereas, Tiffany might want foundation for her skin or. Has a certain skin problems, her needs, like on, she can only wear like makeup that is specifically made for like sensitive skin. So you're not ever educating or selling a lead on something they don't want to know. , the more you can close the gap on the unknowns on your customer or on the customer that you don't know
because you know they're faceless, right? When they give you their email without that quiz, you don't know who they are. Whereas obviously when you can get third party data, you can almost create a picture of who they are and therefore you can tighten everything so much that your copy can be become pain point and solution orientated to that person, which is different to the other person.
That's really where you go from being like sending it a single welcome flow that's like everyone's getting the same welcome email to a whole different experience.
Claus Lauter: I just read a case study of someone who did a quiz and they collected 650,000 emails in a year, and these were not shoppers at that point, so this was called traffic.
So that shows you how valuable email marketing done the right way is now was gross trial. You are obviously helping people getting there. So what's the onboarding process when people approach you or brands approach you, , what's the first thing you do?
Nathan Abbott: Yeah, so I try and keep things super simple.
I actually on purpose limit how many clients I work with because we're a micro agency. We extend ourselves into the brand. We're not someone that like passes It's sort a separate team, like it's usually working directly with me. And the way that happens is they'll initially book a call, because they've identified that why not?
Like there's no risk involved. Let's have a call and see if I get value from this, then why not it's free value. So on that call, we go through essentially how they're currently writing their email marketing. So it's like audit of sorts. What they're doing, what they're not doing, quick wins.
And then after that call, we create a 90 day plan of essentially what's in like a Trello board. So we work from Trello, we give access to all our clients to Trello so that they can visually see the execution work that we're doing, and they feel very much. Like, as part of the process, rather than a lot of agencies where it's like, I have no clue what's going on, following them up all the time because I came from an agency, so I wanted to build an agency that was a service but didn't feel like that traditional agency.
so after that, yeah, the proposal was sent out. We didn't have a call on that proposal, Is that everything we expect, we align, like what we're going for, just to confirm things and then yeah, we sign a contract for the 90 days and then they get crazy results.
Claus Lauter: Okay, that sounds great. Now, tell me a little bit, we touched a little bit on it, what kind of tech stack do you support?
Obviously Shopify, k Clavia, what else do you support? Yeah,
Nathan Abbott: It is one of those things of what do I support versus what I prefer. Because for me, obviously I'm every brand that is on Shopify. I having being email and really knowing like different email service providers, Klaviyo is probably gonna be long term, the best email service for Shopify because to all the listeners out there, they might not know, Shopify invested.
Into Klaviyo. And so there's quite literally a preferential like partnership between the two brands, and we already see that in the ability to form integrations, the way the data flows into Klaviyo is so seamless and so data led that I ideally, work with all MailChimp, Omni Send from name one and I've worked on them.
However, I'm invested in brands growth for the long term, and I want brands to have the best foundations. The more you build a company, the harder it is to then migrate later. And having built a startup from like nothing to a very successful company, I. I also now know the value of really trusting that advice because if I didn't build things from that initial foundation, moving data, moving tech can be very tedious and difficult and complicated.
I tend to migrate brown to Klaviyo. For them, like that's a part of the service. Like I do the migration and then I build them and I also do the whatever tech they're using in their other system. I'll migrate them over. But yeah obviously stuff like Optane. I also work very closely with reviews.io.
I really amazing software that enables you to, unlike Trustpilot, where you have to visit Trustpilot as a customer to look at the reviews they can. Pull in the reviews in the perfect time. So it's like if you've abandoned a high ticket product, for example, or even low ticket, you can get like a review for that specific product, like the stars and the comment and the image, or like even if it's usually C in the abandoned cart.
So it's like, you sure you wanna ban this cart? Look at all these amazing reviews for this specific product, and you never get experiences like that. Unless someone abandoned the cart, then decided to go into Trustpilot. So I try and marry the tech that works best for the conversions and driving
Claus Lauter: revenue.
Okay. No, that's a golden nugget that you just gave away. That's an amazing feature. Nathan, before we come to the end of the coffee shop today, of the coffee break today, where can people find out and what's the pricing? So how do you charge.
Nathan Abbott: Yeah. Yeah. So it depends on client size. So people can go to the grocery or website and then you book a call, and then on that call, based on the audit and the work required, we then base a fee on this because it depends on what team is involved, like are our design team involved, et cetera, the process, right?
We usually take a fee and then we either the, we either increase the fee, Based on whether or not we take a percentage of the email performance. I understand Being a business owner, like I'm happy to increase my risk. And by doing that I basically take a more of a percentage because I'm really like putting my risk on the line.
And then if people don't want. Paid the, basically the performance doing amazing. I can just also take a retainer fee. , but usually the retainer is no more. It's between seven and a half and 10,000 dollars a month. And for that they usually get like full stack. As I said, like we've built loyalty programs reviews, automations, campaigns, design team like you, you basically can.
Hand you over and then for just get given the results and just check in. That's the plan we basically integrate into your company, for a whole team. If you look at return on it, it's a very good decision.
Claus Lauter: I like the approach that's not the usual agency approach where, as you said before, you give someone the work and then you never heard, hear and see anything.
, so you basically get a complete new department in your own. I will put the link to growth three.com in the show notes as always, and I see that you have a gross strategy session, therefore free. So people should be able to reach you easy and straightforward. Jason, thanks so much for today. There was a lot of really, really good content in there.
People have probably to listen twice to the episode to get the most out of it, and hope to talk to you soon. Thanks so much.
Get notifications when new episodes are released. Unsubscribe anytime.
In your inbox for free. Every Thursday. Consumed in 3 minutes or less. Join 3,500+ Ecommerce Merchants, Founders, and Marketers.