Interview With Kasey Luck on Successful Email Marketing
In episode #175 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share my interview with Kasey Luck, founder and CEO of Luck & Co, an agency that helps 7- and 8-figure e-commerce brands maximize their email and SMS revenue. Kasey and her team frequently double the email and SMS revenue of brands they work with. What’s their secret? A combination of a customer-centric approach, being good with numbers, and having fun with content. Kasey’s writing on email marketing has been published in the Huffington Post and Growth Hackers.
In this episode, Kasey and I chat about:
– The role of email marketing in a comprehensive digital marketing strategy
– How often jewelry brands should be sending emails
– The top tips for growing an email list, including whether or not giveaways work
– Tips for email automation
– How SMS can complement email marketing
– And more!
Make sure to check out the transcript below!
Laryssa Wirstiuk 0:08
Welcome to the Joy Joya podcast, where jewelry is joy and everyone is encouraged to add more polish and sparkle to the world. With topics ranging from marketing tips to business development, best practices and beyond, this is the go-to podcast for ambitious jewelry industry dreamers like you.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 0:31
Hi, I’m your host Laryssa Wirstiuk, through this podcast I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and professionals so they can thrive while adding more beauty to the world. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands and I’m excited to share my passion with you. As we all know jewelry is a joy, so I’ll gladly seize any opportunity to talk about it. This is episode 175 and today I’m going to share my interview with Kasey Luck founder and CEO of Luck & Co, an agency that helps seven and eight-figure e-commerce brands maximize their email and SMS revenue.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:13
Kasey Luck and her team frequently double the email and SMS revenue of the brands they work with. What’s their secret? A combination of a customer-centric approach, being good with numbers and having fun with the content. Kasey’s writing on email marketing has been published in the Huffington Post and GrowthHackers. In this episode, Kasey and I chat about the role of email marketing in a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. How often jewelry brands should be sending emails. The top tips for growing an email list include whether or not giveaways work. Tips for email automation, how SMS can complement email marketing and more. But before we get to the solid gold of this episode, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this podcast has both an audio and a video component. So you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform, or watch on YouTube by searching Joy Joya.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 2:15
I love creating this content as my act of service to you, my awesome listeners. And you can support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe but also to leave a rating and review on iTunes, which helps other jewelry dreamers find it too. I will be taking off next week for the Memorial Day holiday, so there won’t be a new episode. But don’t worry, I will be back the following week with some brand new content. In this segment of the podcast, I give out my Sparkle Award for the week. During this segment, I highlight a jewelry brand that’s impressing me with their marketing. This Sparkle Award is also interactive so you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days. I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 2:43
This week’s Sparkle Award goes to Graff. I read in the Robb Report that the jewelry brand will be releasing their new high jewelry collection called Graffabulous and it features the highest jewelry pieces the brand has ever introduced at one time. The marketing aspect I love about this new collection is that all the pieces are inspired by women of ancient mythology. One example is a piece called Goddess of the Sun. It’s a necklace featuring more than 73 carats of pear-shaped yellow diamonds, and 74.52 carats of pear-shaped white diamonds with a more than 22-carat pear-shaped yellow diamond drop. So Graff has hired three models: American-born Grace Elizabeth, a French-born Aya Jones and Qun Ye who hails from China and portrayed them as legendary women in ancient mythology. I love the empowering story behind these exquisite jewels. In a statement provided to the Robb Report, the brand says “The campaign will unfold as a six-part Odyssey. The ‘Legend of Mermaids’ is our first chapter. These are storytelling jewels, each chapter draws inspiration from powerful women of ancient mythology, retold by our three contemporary Graff Goddesses.
As I mentioned, you can visit sparkleaward.com to nominate a jewelry brand that’s inspiring you these days, and I might feature your submission on a future podcast episode.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 4:39
Let’s discuss some recent news related to jewelry or marketing. Each week I share my thoughts about three relevant articles, and you can get those links by visiting joyjoya.com/signup. Once you’re on the VIP list, you’ll receive our weekly digest filled with new episode announcements.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 4:57
The first article is from JCK, and it’s all about Pinterest’s top wedding trends for 2022. If you haven’t heard, this year is the year for weddings as we’re expected to see a boom in wedding ceremonies and celebrations. So what are Pinterest’s top wedding trends for 22? And maybe there’s a way you can perhaps incorporate these trends into your own marketing. And you definitely want to listen to the last episode 174 for tips on incorporating trends.
Definitely, these trends are straying away from more traditional themes, and they include things like incorporating black. So some popular Pinterest searches were black dress wedding party, goth wedding decorations, black glam nails, black wedding ideas, and the search for black wedding cakes went up by 94%. Another top trend for weddings this year is definitely pearls. So some searches on Pinterest were pearl wedding, pearl wedding veil, pearl wedding dress, and apart from black, we’re seeing other wedding color themes like red and black wedding theme, black boho wedding dress, sage-green and black wedding. So perhaps that might give you some ideas to merchandise your jewelry for the busy wedding season ahead.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 6:24
The next article comes from culturehub.com, and it’s called A Jacob & Co Metaverse exists? The beautiful world of crypto and jewelry. Jacob & Co has tapped into the metaverse by launching their Astronomia Metaverso collection. It includes 8 limited edition designs, inspired by Earth’s solar system, 5 physical watch designs and 3 digital-only designs. Jacob and company crafted the first luxury watch NFT Metaverse project of its kind. The Crypto-inspired watches are expected to be released in 2023. I was mostly interested in this article because when I chatted with Benjamin Smithy at the end of last year, check out that episode of the podcast, we chatted a little bit about NFTs and the potential that they have in the jewelry industry. So it’s kind of cool to see that brands are doing something with them.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 7:22
And then finally my last article are actually two articles that I’m mashing up together, one from Women’s Wear Daily about the pastel hue trend and another one from fashion united.uk about fall winter 2022 jewelry trends. Let’s talk about what those are. So Women’s Wear Daily says that pastel hues are having a moment on the runway and several designers during Fall Winter 2022 Runway Season, accessorize their looks with Crystal Diamante and Luce Jewelry, including jewelry made from acrylic resin. For example, some designers include Miu Miu sheer dresses with sequins and crystals accessorized with leather and crystal chokers and cuffs, leg warmers and ballet slippers. Carolina Herrera had looks accessorized with a golden crystal necklace with matching earrings. And then Burberry featured three looks with Diamante face framing jewelry and had a look embellished with Diamante brooches. So it’s really cool to see how these jewelry trends are showing up on the runway. And will they be influencing consumer preferences later this year and into 2023?
As I mentioned, if you want to get the links to the articles I share in this segment of the podcast, you can become a Joy Joya VIP by visiting joyjoya.com/signup.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 8:52
Without further delay, let’s get to my interview with Kasey Luck. Hey Kasey, thanks so much for coming on the podcast today. I’m so excited to have you as a guest and to have you share all your knowledge about email marketing with the listeners and viewers.
Kasey Luck 9:10
Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 9:14
So tell our listeners a little bit about your journey in marketing. How did you first enter the world of email marketing, and how did you get where you are today in your career?
Kasey Luck 9:26
Sure. So I’ve been doing email marketing my whole professional career. It was an accident that I landed in email specifically, my first job was at a venture fund and startup accelerator in Silicon Valley. I was hired to do operations for events. And then pretty soon it became clear that I could do a lot of creative stuff too. So I started helping with marketing, and essentially my job became to sell tickets to events and email marketing. And our email list was by far the best channel to sell those tickets, so that’s how I started emailing. I had some background in graphic design, and I had some background in writing too because I started journalism and wrote a lot in college, and so it all kind of came together. And then I also did a business major in college as well. And I honestly think that marketing is the perfect field for somebody who studied both journalism and mass communications and business and has an interest in both. And I kind of carried on with email as I went on to other jobs. And then eventually, I started just doing independent consulting. I would work with all types of companies, mostly b2b, mostly tech companies, and offer all kinds of marketing services, but it always kind of came back to email just because they loved it. It’s the channel that gives you the best return on investment, and it’s a channel that you can quantify so well and track things so well, and I love that. I love concrete things.
So social media is amazing, but I could never find myself in it, because a lot of it is just kind of like you talk into this big audience, and then 2 people out of 2000 see it. And you were like well, what can I do? And they’re like well you have to pay to reach more of your audience. So I stuck to email, and throughout my journey, I was kind of working with lots of different companies. I was looking for that niche that would allow me to focus even more, and start growing my team so that we could scale a little bit, and that’s how I landed with e-commerce. And right before the pandemic at the beginning of 2020, I started this agency Luck & Co Agency, and at that time it was just me. And I thought I’m just going to do email marketing, like nothing else, no conversion optimization, no event marketing, like nothing. I’m going to say no to everything else, and I’m only going to work with e-commerce brands. And the way I define e-commerce brands is independent shops, mostly on Shopify, but on their own shopping platform with their own website.
So I don’t really work normally with brands that are in marketplaces because doing email there is harder because you don’t own your customers’ data. So I said just e-commerce, just email marketing, let’s see how it goes, and it went really well. I also got lucky because it was a pandemic. And as a lot of the businesses struggled, e-commerce was actually that one industry that really grew during the pandemic. And all of the Shopify store owners had their best year in 2020 and 2021, so that was really great for me. Then I started growing my team, and at the end of the first year, I think we were about five or six people, now we’re about nine people. And just keep going at it. We added SMS marketing to our mix, but we still just do email and SMS for e-commerce and we like it a lot.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 13:08
That’s amazing. So really the right place, right time for you it sounds like.
Kasey Luck 13:12
Yeah, I definitely got lucky.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 13:15
Within e-commerce, are you just working with product-based businesses, is it service-based or a mix of both?
Kasey Luck 13:23
It’s definitely all product-based businesses; physical products sold online.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 13:30
So for our listeners, can you put email marketing, quote, unquote, “In its place?” Why does email matter? And what role can it play in a greater digital marketing strategy?
Kasey Luck 13:42
Yeah, that’s actually a great question. I feel like they are two polar opposite views or voices online in the marketing field. And one is like email is dead, it’s not worth it. Who opens emails? Who reads emails anymore? And then there’s another camp that says email is your best performing channel, you have to do email, it is everything, focus on email, like that’s the thing. And most store owners feel disoriented and lost between those two kinds of camps of thought. And the truth is, email is definitely not dead. It’s true that open rates have gone down and it is harder to get people’s attention as is on all of the other channels. But people are opening emails, they do click on emails and they still buy through emails. I know because like our team sends, God knows, how many emails every day, reaching probably millions of recipients every day.
At the same time, if you’re like a super small brand, just starting out, you put together your store, and then you think what should I focus on next, what should be my first kind of marketing strategy? Email marketing should definitely come in early, but it’s not the first thing that you should focus on because the first thing that’s going to make or break your business is traffic, you need people in your store. In fact, you can’t even build your email list if you don’t have traffic. And solving the traffic challenge nowadays is not that easy, so I would recommend all new store owners to focus on that first. And as soon as you solve that, then start thinking about email marketing, and start thinking about how I can convert those visitors not only to customers but also into subscribers on my list. And then continue engaging with them on my list.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 15:51
Is there a magic number? So say the scenario you just described, and a person’s like okay, so I’m not gonna focus on email marketing first, I’m gonna focus on traffic, on building my list. Is there a magic number for a list that someone should be shooting for in order to start that momentum with email marketing? What do you think about that?
Kasey Luck 16:13
It’s not really the size of your list. I would say that when you’re in the place, when you get consistent traffic, and you know how you’re doing that. For example, you get 5000 views on your website, per month, and you know exactly where those views are coming from. You know how you engineer that, that’s how you’ll continue having 5000 views every single month, or you’ll grow it because you have ideas for how to grow it. So you feel comfortable that traffic is not going to disappear tomorrow, and that’s a very good place to start focusing on email automation, email campaigns, and stuff like that.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 16:59
So what are your top 10 tips for growing an email list? Like say someone is starting to get that traffic. Now one of the biggest questions I get from clients, people I talk to in the industry is like okay, people are coming to my website, but how do I actually get them to sign up for my emails?
Kasey Luck 17:15
Yeah, the best way to grow your email list is to have a pop-up or an email form on your website. And it’s a very trite answer, of course, you need to have an opt-in form on your site, but the truth is that is the most effective way to grow your email list. Because at the end of the day, you don’t just want to grow your email list with any type of people, you want to grow it with people who will eventually buy your product. And for that you need a targeted audience, audience who is potentially interested in what you have to sell. When you were driving traffic to your site, you already did that work of preventing those people or targeting those people, and I’m assuming you did your best job. I tried to get the best people, like the most qualified people, if you will, to your site. So now, after all of that work is done, it’s the easy part to get them to sign up to your email list. And the way you do that is you create an opt-in form, I recommend a pop-up, and ask for the person’s email address and make sure that you offer something in return.
When I talk about pop-ups, the most common concern or reply as well “Aren’t pop-ups annoying? And I understand that sentiment and pop-ups could definitely be annoying, but if they are timed well, and if they offer value, if you show them to the right people, and we just talked about having the right people on your site, then they’re not annoying. Because if the person came to your site, they’re already interested in your products. Like they’ve seen them in ads or on your social media, and now you tell them hey, if you sign up and be part of our community, we give you 10% off or 15% off your first order. That is very valuable because they were already thinking about paying full price. And now they’re saving 15%, that’s really valuable to them. Then make sure that you show it at the right time, so don’t bombard them with the pop-up as soon as they land on your site. Time that well. We find that about a five-second delay upon page load tends to perform the best and then if it’s a desktop pop-up, exit intent is also really good. That means that your browser or your pop-up platform recognizes when a person is about to exit the page, and that’s when the pop-up shows up.
So do that, and follow that up with a good welcome email that actually delivers your discount code, talks about your products, and presents your best seller. If you have bundles, I really recommend putting bundles into your welcome email, that tends to increase the revenue and average order value from that email by 2x or 3x. I would just focus on that. And to give listeners some benchmarks, an industry average pop-up conversion rate or pop-up submit rate is about 3%, so strive towards 3%. I would say it’s very possible to do much better than 3%, so if your product is converting at 5% 6% 8%, that’s really good, but make sure that you’re at least at 3%. That should be your first goal, and then from there, you can optimize your pop-up. Or you can think about other ways to grow your email list, which we can also talk about, but the pop-up into an opt-in form on your site should be the primary thing.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 20:48
Those are great tips. And I think sharing the benchmark is an eye-opener for a lot of people because 3% is such a small number. But to know that that’s kind of the average is, I think, reassuring to independent brands who maybe think, “Is my pop-up too annoying, why aren’t people signing up?” Well the truth is it’s gonna be a very small percentage, and you kind of want it to be that way because you only want the most qualified people to be signing up for that list. So it’s almost a little bit like a gatekeeper if you will.
Kasey Luck 21:21
For sure, that too, definitely.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 21:26
So you mentioned briefly in what you just said, the welcome email and including product bundles in there, I think that’s a good segue to talk about automation, since the welcome email is an automated triggered email. So how should the listeners and jewelry brands be thinking about email automation, and why does it matter?
Kasey Luck 21:49
Well email automation matters because by default and by definition, it’s automated, which means it’s triggered by events that are happening on your website. For example, if a person filled out that opt-in form, and signed up for your list, that triggers the welcome message or the welcome flow. Or they started a checkout on your website, that’s an event that triggers an abandoned checkout flow. Because those flow series emails are triggered and automated, they are much more timely, and they tend to be, because of their nature, a lot more personalized, and a lot more valuable to their recipient. And of course, because of all of those factors, those emails convert really well. The way I like to think about automated emails versus newsletter-type emails or campaign emails, the way we call them, is when you send an email campaign or a newsletter, you decide when to send it and who to send it to. So it’s kind of like you telling your subscribers what they should hear, and when they should hear about it. With an automated email, it’s your subscriber, your shopper telling you I need this information at this time. So because they request that information, and they indicate the time when they want to receive that, of course it’s going to be super effective.
So I recommend setting up at the beginning, at least three automations (your welcome flow, your abandoned checkout flow, and your thank you/post-purchase flow), let’s just call it a post-purchase flow. And have at least one email in each, so if it feels overwhelming, just one email in each flow is much better than nothing. But if you have more resources and more time, maybe up to three emails in each flow. And the way you should think about it is to think about your shopper, and where they are in their shopping journey when they’re triggering this flow. What are they thinking about? And what kind of information do they need at this stage? So if it’s a welcome flow, they just signed up, they kind of know about your brand, but they are not really sure why they should buy from you. So talk about your products, talk about why they’re great, show other people’s reviews and satisfaction and like their reaction to your products. Whether that’s screenshots from Instagram, like Instagram comments, or reviews on different platforms or anything like that. Talk about yourself and your brand and why you came to build it. If it’s a valuable and inspiring story, that’s great too.
With abandoned checkout flow, the person is probably much more familiar with the brand right now. They’re considering a very specific product, and at this stage, they usually have very few specific hesitations. One hesitation is the price worth this product? So talk about the product in specifics and try to convince the person that yes, this is worth this price because X, Y and Z. People in the abandoned checkout stage usually have questions about the refund policy, discounts, and shipping which is a very big one, like how much is it, how long does it take, stuff like that. Also, if I have a question, how do I reach out to you, will I be supported? So make sure that you address all of those things in your abandoned checkout emails. But also, at the same time, don’t try to cram everything into one email, that’s why you have three, so address one or two points per email, and then spread them out.
Then on the post-purchase flow, your goal is to make sure that your new customer has the best experience possible with your product because that’s going to ensure that they come back and repurchase from you or tell their friends about you. So yeah, they have their product now, but keep telling them about how it’s great. In the case of jewelry, you could give them inspiration for how to wear it, how to pair it with different outfits, with other jewelry, and things like that. We call that customer activation, so what can we do to make sure that they have the best experience possible. And then if it’s applicable to your brand, and if you have more products, show them other products that they might like and make it easy for them to come back and purchase from you again.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 26:39
Those are such great tips. I think for me as a marketer, and also as a consumer, it’s so hard for me to shop online because I have personal pet peeves about all of these email marketing points that you made. And if there’s a brand that I’m interested in, and I’m not getting this type of follow-up with the automation, I’m like what the heck, why aren’t you engaging with me?
Kasey Luck 27:04
Yeah, I call this a professional deformation. As an email marketer, of course I view and consume emails in a very different way from a normal person. Like my husband is a filmmaker, and it’s impossible to watch movies with him because he’s like “This graphic is shit, this sound design is horrible. I’m gonna tell you what’s going to happen next because this script is like the ABC of script-writing. So yeah, that’s just kind of what professionals have to live within their field.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 27:40
It’s so funny, especially with that welcome series, or that welcome email, I find it kind of shady at this point if I don’t get a welcome email from a brand because I’m almost like where did my email address just go? I feel like I entered it into a black hole, and now what are they going to do with my email address?
Laryssa Wirstiuk 28:04
So let’s talk about email frequency. In addition to the point you made about the pop-ups, and the objection to pop-ups being that they can be annoying, another objection I get in email marketing is oh, if I send too often, I’m going to be annoying and people are going to unsubscribe. So I would love to hear you talk about that.
Kasey Luck 28:28
So when we talk about email frequency, I think it’s also important to recognize the difference between email flows or automated emails and email campaigns, or newsletter-type emails, like one-off manual emails, if you will. And with flows, because they’re triggered, and when you send them or when you plan to send them, the person is actively engaging with your brand, I have more tolerance with sending more often. So for example, with the welcome flow, welcome one goes out immediately, welcome two goes one day later and then welcome three goes two days after welcome two. So you kind of increase the spacing between emails as you go down the flow, and the same with other flows. But I would say for a regular flow like a high engagement stage flow, such as welcome flow, abandoned checkout and post-purchase, one to three days between emails is great. When we’re talking about campaigns. with campaigns it’s completely up to you when you send those emails. And maybe you have the resources to only send one email campaign per week, or maybe you can send three email campaigns per week.
Our go-to frequency is two email campaigns per week. However, when we do that, we segment the audience quite a bit. And this might get a little too technical, but essentially, the philosophy, or the premise is that your most engaged subscribers should hear from you more often, and less engaged subscribers should hear from you less. So we have segments that are based on engagement, and the engagement is defined in opening and clicking emails, going into your website, starting checkout, and that’s it. And yes we produce and send two emails per week, but it doesn’t mean that everybody on your list receives two emails per week. Your most engaged people will receive two emails per week, but your less engaged people will only receive maybe two emails per month, and that’s it.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 30:48
So how do you decide who gets what?
Kasey Luck 30:54
Usually, if it’s a sale, you’re less engaged subscriber will want to hear about the sale. So when we plan the calendar for the whole month, we look to see if we have any promotion emails, like the emails where we include a discount or a sale. If so, those will go out to a wider audience, which includes both engaged and unengaged people. And then emails that are more focused on features or benefits or highlighting our community, or things like those emails will only go to the most engaged people because they care about that. And they want to hear about that. And people who only open an email from you once every three months, they won’t care about that, so we exclude them from emails like that. It’s really on a case-by-case basis, and once you start segmenting, and once you start doing it consistently, you will develop this gut feeling about which emails should go to which people. And as always, in marketing, whenever you’re unsure, just put yourself in the shoes of your shopper, your subscriber or a person in your audience, and think about what would you want to hear about if you were in the audience of your own brand. That really helps too.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 32:18
That makes sense. I think you might have answered this, but I was curious, how does a brand decide the number that qualifies someone as less engaged versus more engaged? Or is it just relative to what that brand is doing, sending, and what their numbers are?
Kasey Luck 32:40
Well, it’s definitely going to be relative to what they’re doing, but a good rule of thumb is to have three or four segments that are defined in the following way. Let’s start with the names, so the names of the segments would be engaged 30 days, engaged 90 days, engaged 180 days, and engaged 365 days. And they’re defined in the same way, except that the timeframe will differ. So engaged 30 days means they opened email at least once in 30 days, or they click an email at least once in 30 days, or they viewed a product or were active on-site at least once in the 30 days. Or this is a little debatable, but we added or started a checkout in the last 30 days. Then engaged 180 days will be the same except it will be once in 180 days. And you’re engaged 30 days is more engaged than engaged 90 days, and engaged 90 days is more engaged than engaged 180 days and so on. So engaged 365 days is the least engaged segment of the four that we just described.
There’s one important note that I want to mention that I think a lot of people would have questions about is that the first part of the definition “opened email at least once in 30 days or X days,” this is a debatable part of the definition right now. Because after the iOS 15 updates, opens are not as reliable anymore. It’s essentially up to 50% of your opens are fake or not real opens or you don’t know whether they’re real opens or not because Apple obscures the open rate of their users. So whoever is on an Apple device and is using iOS 15 or a later OS, all of the emails you send to them will appear as opened in your email platform. And some of those people actually opened your email and some didn’t, but Apple still shows it as if they opened the email, so just be aware of that. We still keep it as part of our segments for now, and depending on the email platform you use, you might be able to differentiate between Apple opens versus non-Apple opens. However, this is still not exactly helpful because within Apple opens, there are still a lot of real opens, but the problem is you don’t know which ones are real and which ones are not, so just be aware of that. For simplicity, if you don’t want to deal with all of this mess, just define the segments the way I described. If you want to go more in-depth, then research this and see if you can optimize the definition of those segments.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 35:43
It’s a really good point that you made, and I’m glad you brought it up. It might be a little bit too advanced for some listeners, but I think it’s worth being aware of this and knowing about it for sure. There was one thing that you mentioned that I’m a little worried that some listeners might be like “What is she talking about?” So within the automated series, you kept saying the term flow. I know what it is, but can you just define that in layman’s terms?
Kasey Luck 36:10
Yeah, sorry, I tried to be really careful about all of the marketing lingo.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 36:16
I do it too, I have to correct myself all the time.
Kasey Luck 36:20
So when I say a flow, I mean an automated series of emails. So if it’s automated, it’s already a flow, even if it has one email. But usually a flow would have multiple emails, like in the stream, as a series that are all triggered by an event at the beginning. And then you have time delays, you have emails and stuff like that, so that’s a flow.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 36:44
Sure, so almost for a welcome, like a part one or part two, or a part three, something like that, and they get sent at different times.
Kasey Luck 36:52
Laryssa Wirstiuk 36:53
Great. So back to the strategies for growing the email list, in addition to pop-ups, one thing that a lot of brands try to grow their email list is by doing giveaways, and I’m curious to know your thoughts about that? Do you find them to be effective, do you recommend them etc?
Kasey Luck 37:12
We’ve tested this approach at length with multiple brands multiple times, and specifically, the type of giveaway that we’ve tested is a partner giveaway. So a few different brands come together, each usually contributes their product as part of the price. So the total price becomes like packs of products from these five different brands. And then the total dollar value of that price is some big impressive number. And then each partner within this giveaway markets that giveaway to their specific audience, which usually includes sending an email to their email list. People who respond to that go to a landing page for the giveaway, they submit their email address to participate in the giveaway, and then all of the partners share the result in the email list. And that’s how you grow your list through this approach. And then of course, you actually select the winners, and you award the prize to the winner.
I will tell you that it is a very effective way to grow your list, you will add a lot of people to your list this way, however, they will barely, if at all convert, and they will unsubscribe in droves from your list. So what this is doing is when your unsubscribe rate is high, that’s a bad signal for your sender score and your deliverability. So if it becomes really bad, it may hurt the deliverability of all of your emails. So when you send emails to your previous subscribers, the subscribers who have subscribed on your website, they might go to spam. Because so many people who subscribed through this giveaway, unsubscribe and send a bad signal for your sender score, so that’s one. So you’re actually putting yourself at risk. And maybe this would have been justified if you actually made revenue and turn those new subscribers into customers. But in our experience, we’ve done this many times, like 10 or 15 across a few different brands, and none of those people convert to give you an example or a case study.
A welcome email one for a regular welcome flow. When you get people through your pop-up and then they receive the welcome email, that email usually converts at about 5 to 10 to 15%. So 5 to 15% of people who are receiving a welcome email one convert into a customer. The same email will be optimized a little bit to have knowledge of where people are coming from and that they’re coming from the giveaway. But the welcome email for people coming from a giveaway will convert at 0.1%, so 15% versus 0.1. And we just decided that it’s not worth the effort, it actually might hurt us more than help us. So specifically for growing your list, I definitely do not recommend this approach. It might be different for social media because some giveaways just focus on social media and brands kind of exchange their followship, on Instagram for example. Maybe that’s a good way, I’m not as familiar, and maybe the way to do it would be to focus on social media. And then once you gain those new followers, try to engage them through stories, through posts, and drive them to your email list. And those subscribers will be really valuable, and they will convert. But if you just add all of the giveaway people who subscribe just to get the free stuff, they don’t want to pay.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 41:13
Those are great insights. And I’m glad that you shared the case study so that the numbers can really illustrate what you’re talking about here.
Kasey Luck 41:21
Oh yeah, and when we saw those numbers, it’s so tempting because you’ll add like 5000 people to your list for one giveaway, if it’s like a larger giveaway, but at this point, we just know that they won’t convert, and we’ll get a high unsubscribe rate. And it’s a lot of effort to participate in the giveaway, and coordinate all that stuff. And then import people and edit your welcome flow to make sense for these people who are coming from the giveaway, and then analyze stuff. So you’re also paying for that, whether that’s your time or your team’s time or your team salary. So it’s just a big expense at the end of the day.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 42:03
Definitely. So I want to talk a little bit also about SMS marketing, since your agency offers that alongside email. So how does SMS relate to email? How do they work together? And why should a brand consider adding it to the mix?
Kasey Luck 42:19
SMS marketing is a somewhat newer sidekick to email. In my opinion, I think email and SMS marketing really do work well together. And the way I see SMS marketing, or the way we position it as a channel within the brands that we work with is SMS is an even more personal channel than email. It’s a two-way street. It’s personal, it’s one-to-one, as opposed to social media, when it’s like one too many, and everybody’s together. And this is very personal, this is one-to-one. And you can easily reply to the brand and be on short terms with the brand and with the founders, if you address your SMS messages from the founders. And then the positioning is also when you’re on the SMS list, you get first access or early access to all of the cool stuff. So if we have a new product launch, you’re the ones who hear about it first, when you’re on the SMS list. If we have a sale, you will get it one day earlier or two days earlier or you will get a bigger discount. Or you will get discounts at SMS exclusive and email subscribers don’t get them or social media followers don’t get them. So that’s the positioning.
And then the way you should think about it is that it is a channel for your superfans, it’s a great way to engage with them. Some people actually prefer to hear about marketing stuff through SMS versus email. So when you feel like you have the space and the resources to focus on it and add that, I recommend doing it. I don’t think you should necessarily start with SMS marketing, start with email, your email list will always be bigger than your SMS list. Because by definition your super fans are more interested in the SMS list, the people who are more interested in your brand want to be on your SMS list. And then in terms of content, just follow up on that promise and do send early access stuff. And then once in a while send cute engagement things. Like you could send an SMS message and say, “Hey, you look great today,” or a gift with a puppy or something like that. And that’s a really nice way to stand out and to build a really personal relationship with the brand and to make your subscribers remember your brand and tell their friends about it.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 44:58
Yeah, those are really great points, and this has been such an informative conversation. I learned a lot too about the benchmarks that you shared, and I love all the insights that you have. Is there anything else you would like to share or tell our listeners and viewers?
Kasey Luck 45:13
Start growing your list, start building your list as soon as possible. It’s the easy thing, just have a pop-up, have that opt-in form on your site. Or if you don’t have your own site, and you sell through marketplaces, have an easy way to subscribe in your Instagram bio or something like that. So even if you’re not sending emails yet, just start building the list. And then once you feel comfortable, start adding short little automations welcome email, abandoned checkout email, post-purchase, and then start sending campaigns. Again, as with everything, the minimum is better than nothing. So if you feel overwhelmed, if you feel like you can’t commit to sending two emails per week, send one email per month, just start with that. And then do two emails per month. And you’ll already be doing so much more than a lot of the smaller brands do.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 46:19
Absolutely. Well, thank you Kasey. I appreciate your time and expertise. I know my listeners and viewers will enjoy this, so thanks so much for coming on the podcast.
Kasey Luck 46:28
Thank you so much for having me Laryssa, this was super fun.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 46:34
The best way to connect with Kasey, if you’re interested, is to send her a LinkedIn message, to schedule a call on the agency’s website that’s luck&Co.agency or subscribe to her YouTube channe,l where she shares in-depth tutorials and guides for e-commerce store owners. To find that channel search for Kasey Luck on YouTube. You can also always email me, Laryssa, at joyjoya.com. If you love this podcast, please share it with a friend who’d appreciate it. And don’t forget to subscribe as well as leave a review on iTunes. To purchase a signed copy of my book, Jewelry Marketing Joy visit joyjoya.com/book for more information.
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