A few weeks go I went to Craft + Commerce. It was put on the people behind Convert Kit to help bloggers make money. And I loved it. There were 200+ attendees. Mostly professional bloggers and people who want to sell things on their website. The only thing they have in common is that they value email lists.
Last week I wrote about my experience running an online summit. I talked about marketing tactics, money, and even the hours I put in. One thing I didn't touch on was how educational Lift Off Summit was.
I've been in eCommerce for over 5 years and I'd like to think I know a lot but when it comes to marketing I'm still learning. A lot in fact.
There were three things I learned while recording the interviews for Lift Off Summit which were so powerful I immediately implemented them. And I want to share them with you.
1️⃣ Maximize Your Welcome Email
I absolutely loved my chat with Paul Jarvis. He talked about lots of great stuff like how the best skill you need as a marketer is empathy. <- That kinda blew my mind.
Before this interview my welcome email was super basic. It basically just said hello. Immediately after Paul's interview I set about making the welcome email more useful. I mentioned the All-Access Pass for the summit. Not a hard sell but a mention so it's on people's minds. And actually 28 people clicked on it.
And I also wanted to inject my personality in the event. I want people to know me. They're not just signing up for some corporate event. There's a real life person running this event. So I worked with Bob to create a bit of personality to the email.
And we actually got compliments on that gif! People were laughing. What a great way to start a new relationship. 🙂
— Tonya Mork (@hellofromTonya) June 14, 2017
By adding a bit of personality and mentioning my product I made my welcome email so much more effective.
2️⃣Tell People Why They Did Something
I have to admit I wasn't sure how the Building Trust session would go. I know Chris Lema is an amazing speaker. But maybe it would just be a boring topic and even a great speaker couldn't make it interesting.
But I was totally wrong. Chris did an amazing job with that topic. He talked about his experience selling software to large companies. And one of the really interesting things he talked about was how people buy things.
People buy things with emotion. Almost every decision we make in life is an emotional decision. And then after making the decision we justify it with logic. That's why Chris suggests giving people those logical reasons after they purchase.
So after someone buys a product tell them the 5 benefits they'll get out of it. And they'll internalize it.
I did something similar with my Thank You For Subscribing page. It used to just say “Thanks!” and that's about it. But after talking with Chris I put logical reasons in there.
You're just helping people understand why they made a decision. This way they feel better when someone asks why they attended. You gave them a logical reason and they'll use that when talking with other people.
Just like with the welcome email this was an area of the eCommerce process which I was basically ignoring. And I wouldn't have thought about it unless I talked to Chris.
I loved talking with Nathan Barry about how you can keep customers around. I assumed he had a million different newsletter campaigns setup. But he actually just has one main campaign at any one point and he personalizes it based on what products you've bought.
I always assumed you should send entire emails to different segments but that's so much more work. When you can write one email and add an extra paragraph for a certain type of user that's so much easier.
I immediately started doing that. And it's not that hard with MailChimp. Here's one of the emails I sent out in the middle of the summit:
Notice how anyone who isn't a VIP (someone who hasn't purchased) get's a message to purchase. Someone who has already purchased doesn't need to see that and I don't want to drown them in messaging that's not useful for them.
Even as someone who thinks they know quite a bit about eCommerce I learned a lot. Three of the lessons I learned were immediately useful. They took less than two hours to implement and they helped out a lot.
So even if you think you know everything (cough like me) make sure you're constantly learning. eCommerce is a huge and complex field. There's countless areas to optimize and make better and you need to be constantly learning to take advantage of it.
It's easy to get carried away with automation. One of the best ways to connect with your audience is to create & send personal video messages.
When people talk about automation in the marketing world I sometimes get a bad taste in my mouth. Because it seems like they want to automate everything. And that's not something I believe in.
I want to be empathetic and I want to help people. And for me that means talking with people and not at them. Automation is powerful but you need to know when to use it. I believe you should automate systems not relationships.
So when I was talking with Nathan Barry at Lift Off Summit and he mentioned a service called Bonjoro that lets him send personal video messages I had to explore. I signed up for the service and within a few minutes was able to send a video welcome my friend joe to the summit.
Pretty awesome right?
It's your own personal way to say hello. To tell people about yourself. To be an individual and to be you. And I love that.
That was my first video welcome. I later refined my welcome and gave people personal recommendations.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Now in an ideal world there'd be a positive connection between the personal welcome videos and someone purchasing a product. And I was curious if this would help. So I actually ran a little experiment.
I sent 1/2 of the people a personal welcome video + welcome email. And the other half just got the welcome email.
And from the data here's what I found:
- Lift Off Summit had 448 viewers (at the time of this writing)
- I sent 209 personal video welcomes.
- 159 videos were opened
- 84 videos were watched
- And 54% of the sales came from people who had a Bonjoro sent to them
But with the number of sales I had. That number is not enough to be statistically significant. So take the above with a grain of salt.
In terms of what it cost me. Bonjoro is free (with some nice features under their premium plan). The real cost was the amount of time. My typical welcome video was 2.5 minutes.
And sending 209 welcome videos at ~2.5 minutes a piece that's 8.7 hours!
So based on the ROI this wasn't a good investment. In fact if you're just looking to make money off of people online do not do this. It's not a good use of your time.
Luckily – that's not the best thing about Bonjoro. At least that's not where I found value.
Deep Customer Learning
Bonjoro is great at building authentic connections. People don't respond to welcome emails. Those are automated and companies rarely respond. If someone takes time to send you a personal welcome message you might actually respond to them.
I sent 209 videos. And I received 21 email responses to the Bonjoro welcome alone.
I learned so much about my viewers. I learned about their businesses, the products they're selling, how they found me & what they wanted out of my live event.
Ellen sells fragrances:
Thanks for checking it out! Everything is still in its incipient stages, so a lot of it is word-of-mouth based right now. Marketing and self-promotion have always been some of my biggest challenges, so I'm looking forward to the Summit and hoping I can learn a lot!
Carla sells furniture:
I’ve been doing my own websites for years, but this e-commerce stuff is fairly new. Even with some professional help, I’m amazed at how much extra time this takes! I just wanna get on to the fun stuff – making videos, blogging and connecting with people – so any shortcuts, or tips for managing inventory, customers & reporting would be helpful.
Looking forward to the summit – I’ll let you know when I come up with any more questions.
And Cara runs a small agency that wants to build more eCommerce sites:
I own a small web agency with one small WooCommerce e-commerce client. I noticed that Rebecca Gil and Chris Lema will be speaking at Summit and the schedule has such valuable content — just could not afford not to take part! So much to gain and to give back to my client base. Plus, I would like to take on more e-commerce sites and this will jump start my process.
This is just a paragraph or two from 3 of the 21 responses I got. I found this information extremely valuable.
Different Than an Email Auto Responder
I made jokes with people. When I accidentally pronounced their name wrong I asked them how to properly say it. And I shared a little bit about myself.
In some videos I was walking around down town and I talked about that, in some I was walking through the art district and I talked about that, for some I was on the patio outside my favorite coffee shop, and for others I was at my parents house in DC and was getting rained on.
Automation doesn't impress us. People taking time out of their day to make our lives better impresses us.
And I think there's another reason. When you give people personalized advice you're actually providing value.
Every time I prepared to send a personal video message I looked at the persons email address and if they had their own domain I would check it out. I found a pastry shop, and author, and all sorts of physical good stores. And based on what I found in their site recommended specific sessions at my summit.
So if you're looking to increase revenue don't sent personal welcome videos. If you're looking to be authentic, to connect with your audience, and to help people then use these videos. They're a great way connect.
Note: if you want me to send you a personal welcome email sign up for Lift Off Summit and I'll send you one. 🙂
PS: If you want to know how Lift Off Summit went I'll do a full write up next week.
My link to Bonjoro is a discount link. I get a discount on my plan if you upgrade to the premium plan. As you can see from this post I clearly enjoy the service and would recommend it even if there wasn't a discount available.