The Product Biz Podcast by Monica Little Coaching

How to increase your sales with email marketing with Jessica Totillo Coster

June 28, 2023 Monica Little Episode 58
How to increase your sales with email marketing with Jessica Totillo Coster
The Product Biz Podcast by Monica Little Coaching
More Info
The Product Biz Podcast by Monica Little Coaching
How to increase your sales with email marketing with Jessica Totillo Coster
Jun 28, 2023 Episode 58
Monica Little

If you aren't sending out weekly or monthly emails within your small business, or if you ARE sending them out but aren't sure what to say for them to lead to actual results, then this episode is for you.

Special guest Jessica Totillo Coster shares with us her top email marketing strategies to help you create a relationship with your email subscribers so they are reminded of you and are ready to buy! Email marketing is one of the most important parts of a small business and something that you can start to implement today, especially after listening to this episode and hearing Jessica's top tips and tactics to get started.

Jessica is an eCommerce & Email Marketing Strategist for boutique owners & product-based businesses. She supports scrappy [female] entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow the traffic, sales, and profit in their online stores.

After 20+ years in retail, owning her own multi 6-figure brick & mortar boutique, and 3 years as the ONLY employee of a 7-figure eCommerce store – now she’s sharing everything she learned the hard way so you don't have to. Jessica works 1:1 with eCommerce clients, hosts the eCommerce Badassery Podcast, and is the Founder of the Lounge, an educational membership for eCommerce Business owners.


  • The top mistakes small business owners make with their email marketing - and how to avoid them
  • The MUST-have automations every eCommerce business should have in place to maximize exposure, customer loyalty, sales and more
  • What specific data to look at with your email campaigns to make smart decisions on how to adjust them for increased performance and results
  • Top tips and tricks for coming up with email ideas on a monthly basis and what exactly to share in those emails


Follow Jessica on Instagram @ecommercebadassery

Grab your copy of Jessica's mystery freebie HERE!



Instagram: @monicalittlecoaching

Order your small business daily planner & mindset journal:

Show Notes Transcript

If you aren't sending out weekly or monthly emails within your small business, or if you ARE sending them out but aren't sure what to say for them to lead to actual results, then this episode is for you.

Special guest Jessica Totillo Coster shares with us her top email marketing strategies to help you create a relationship with your email subscribers so they are reminded of you and are ready to buy! Email marketing is one of the most important parts of a small business and something that you can start to implement today, especially after listening to this episode and hearing Jessica's top tips and tactics to get started.

Jessica is an eCommerce & Email Marketing Strategist for boutique owners & product-based businesses. She supports scrappy [female] entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow the traffic, sales, and profit in their online stores.

After 20+ years in retail, owning her own multi 6-figure brick & mortar boutique, and 3 years as the ONLY employee of a 7-figure eCommerce store – now she’s sharing everything she learned the hard way so you don't have to. Jessica works 1:1 with eCommerce clients, hosts the eCommerce Badassery Podcast, and is the Founder of the Lounge, an educational membership for eCommerce Business owners.


  • The top mistakes small business owners make with their email marketing - and how to avoid them
  • The MUST-have automations every eCommerce business should have in place to maximize exposure, customer loyalty, sales and more
  • What specific data to look at with your email campaigns to make smart decisions on how to adjust them for increased performance and results
  • Top tips and tricks for coming up with email ideas on a monthly basis and what exactly to share in those emails


Follow Jessica on Instagram @ecommercebadassery

Grab your copy of Jessica's mystery freebie HERE!



Instagram: @monicalittlecoaching

Order your small business daily planner & mindset journal:

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to episode 58 of the Product Biz Podcast. My name is Monica Little and I'm your host. And today we are talking about email marketing and how to use email marketing to get more sales and grow your business. And we have a very special guest with us today. Jessica Tot Coster is here with us talking about email marketing because she is an absolute expert on this topic.

So you may be in one of two situations right now. Maybe you aren't sending out weekly or monthly emails with your small business. Maybe it's been on your to-do list, but you're not doing it. You've heard why it's important and maybe you just know how to get started or what to actually do. Or you may be in the second boat, which is you are sending out weekly or monthly emails, but you're not sure what to say, what to talk about, how to get them to actually lead to results.

So if you are in either of those buckets or potentially a third one where you just wanna know how to optimize your email, what else you can do, what other tips and tricks, what other automations you should have, while [00:01:00] any one of those three scenarios that you may be. Is going to be talked about in today's episode.

Our special guest, Jessica, will share with you her top email marketing strategies to help you create a relationship with your email subscribers so they are reminded of you and are ready to buy. Email marketing is hands down, one of the most important parts of a small business and something that you can start to implement today, and it's gonna carry forward into the long run, especially after you listen to this episode and hear some of Jessica's top tips and tactics on how you can get started.

We're gonna talk about the top mistakes small business owners make with their email marketing. The must have automations that every e-commerce business should have to maximize exposure, customer loyalty, sales, what specific data, what results to look at with your email campaigns so you can make smart decisions on how to adjust them for increased performance and results and.

Top tips and tricks for coming up with email ideas on a monthly basis and what to share in those emails. [00:02:00] Jessica's gonna break it down and make it so simple for you to know how to create content specifically for your email list. Now, before we dive in a little bit about Jessica. She is an e-commerce and email marketing strategist for boutique owners and product-based businesses.

She supports scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps and strategies to grow the traffic, sales, and profit in their online stores. After 20 plus years in retail, owning her own multi-six figure brick and mortar boutique, and three years as the only employee of a seven figure e-commerce store.

Now she's sharing everything she learned the hard way, so you don't have to, she works one-on-one with e-commerce clients. Host the E-Commerce Bad Ass Free podcast, and is the founder of the Lounge and Educational membership for e-commerce business owners. Without further ado, let's bring on Jessica and hear from her amazing experience, her expertise, and all that she has to share with you about email marketing in today's episode on the Product Biz Podcast.

Are you ready to go behind the scenes and learn [00:03:00] what it really takes to create consistent sales each and every month with your handmade small business? Join me, Monica, little Self-taught multiple six figure small business owner and your product business coach. As I give you the insight and inspiration on how to better run your business and increase your sales in ways that you may not have even been aware of, so that your business can truly become what you knew it could be back when you first start.

Learn how to let go of perfection, overcome the fear of failure that is holding you back, and finally start taking action so that you walk away feeling like you've cracked the code on how to run a successful small business. You are listening to the Product Biz Podcast. Well, hello Jessica. Welcome to the product based podcast.

I'm super excited to have you on today. Hey, Monica. I'm excited to be here. Oh my gosh, this is gonna be such a fun conversation. We were just chatting yesterday all [00:04:00] about Etsy on your podcast, and now here we are chatting about email mark. Marketing for product-based e-commerce businesses, which I'm so excited to have you on to talk about that.

So before we dive into some of the specifics, I would love for you to just introduce yourself and give us a little bit of background on why you're here sharing about email marketing with the people who are listening. Yeah, for sure. So the short story is I am an e-commerce and email marketing strategist for scrappy entrepreneurs.

That's my. Little elevator pitch. Um, but I've been in the retail game for 20 plus years and in e-comm, I don't even know how long it all kind of blends together, but I fell in love with email marketing at my last job because the company I worked for, the product that we sold, we couldn't do. Social media ads, um, we rarely got a ton of reach on social.

You know, they say shadow banning isn't a thing, but I kind of don't [00:05:00] believe that. So for us, email was a huge revenue driver in such an important part of the business. And in that position I got to really spend a lot of time diving into different strategies and testing different things. And then, Back when MailChimp and Shopify broke up, if you remember that, and I was in all these entrepreneurial spaces and all of these poor, like small business e-commerce CEOs were like, I don't know what to do.

And so I just started talking to them about the platform that I had already been using for the last couple of years. And then they started reaching out to me for help. And that's how e-commerce badassery got started completely by accident. But I quickly realized there wasn't enough education about email in this space and people were not utilizing it.

And I was like, guys, you are leaving so much money on the table. Let me be the one to show you the way. So that's kind of how I [00:06:00] got where I'm at now, and um, it's literally the best job I've ever had. Oh my gosh. I love it. I love it. And I'm so glad you're here talking about email marketing, cuz I know like some of the basics on email marketing, but having you here to talk about some of the automation, some of the specifics and how to really use it to generate more sales, I think is gonna be such an awesome conversation.

So I wanna kind of dive into that and really talk and ask you this question right off the bat in terms of what are some of the biggest mistakes that you see E-commerce entrepreneurs, product based, small business owners. Make with their email marketing. So are they not even sending emails? Are they sending the wrong emails?

That's, yes. That's always the answer. They're just not sending enough. What I find is they are afraid to be salesy or they don't know what to say. Those are kind of the two things that really hold them back. But the other thing that I see come up sometimes is, And this happens a lot from those who [00:07:00] maybe came from some sort of corporate background and it kind of bleeds into their content as well.

And I see that it's actually the, one of the reasons why they struggle is because they, I don't know, it's like they sit down at the computer and all of a sudden all of this like corporate speak comes out cuz they feel like they have to be proper. And that's really not the case at all. So it's really kind of those three things.

And the main thing that I can say is people who are on your email list raised their hand and said, I want to hear from you. And if you don't show up in their inbox, your competitor is right. Mm-hmm. And so, The goal of email and the way I like to frame this for people, because I find that it helps release some of the anxiety around it, is email [00:08:00] is not about always getting the sale.

Yes, it will generate a lot of revenue. Latest statistics, somewhere from 40 to $44 for every dollar you put in. But really email is there to serve as a reminder that you exist to your audience so that when they're ready to buy a product like yours, you're the first person that they think of. So I think if we just remove like that expectation and we can just have fun with it and have a conversation with our customers, it's just a human on the other side of that email address.

It makes it a lot easier to create content, stay connected, and then ultimately lead into sales. Yeah, I love that. Cuz really when it comes down to even like showing up on social media, sending out emails, all of these places where we're putting our words, our content out there, people tend to freeze. And I love how you broke it down and make it more simple.

Like just think of the one person who's there. Take off the pressure of like needing to get a sale from this email and just communicate [00:09:00] with them. Remind them that you're there and that's gonna do so much of the work for you. Just for them to remember, hey, oh yeah, there's this. Business that I bought from or that I signed up for that I love.

And here they are in my inbox again. Yeah. Lemme see what's new. Lemme see what's going on. Yeah. Um, I love what you said too. I actually heard this cuz Do you, and let me ask you this first, do you find that people are nervous to send emails or to send a lot of emails because they're nervous of getting unsubscribers people who actually leave their email list?

Does that come up a lot? Yes, 100%. And it's so funny cuz years ago, There was this email person that kind of worked with the business that I was working for, and I remember she made this statement of every time you send an email is an opportunity for that person to unsubscribe. And that stuck with me for a long time, and there's probably at least once or twice since e-commerce badassery has existed that I have said that, and [00:10:00] I've completely changed my position on that.

If we operate from a place of fear, we don't take any action at, at the end of the day, if someone is unsubscribing because they think you're being annoying or they don't want to hear what you have to say, or you're sending too many emails, they're probably not your customer anyway. So like who cares? And if they do, unsubscribes are a gift, right?

Because it lowers how much it costs you to have that email marketing platform cuz you're typically paying per subscriber. It also increases all of your other engagement metrics, your open rate, your click rate. It's good for your deliverability. So the moral of that story is don't be afraid of unsubscribes and.

You, you're, you can't make everybody happy. Like what's, says you're not tacos or you're not pizza or you're not tequila. Like you can't make everybody happy. So [00:11:00] don't bother trying show up for the people who care. Oh my gosh. I love that you're not tequila. I absolutely love it. There's actually, um, I had one of my mentors from a few years ago, what she said is basically people on your email list are gonna do one of two things.

They're gonna eventually buy from you or they may unsubscribe. So one of those things are gonna happen. And it's not about necessarily like trying to avoid the person unsubscribing, trying to water yourself down. Maybe that's exactly what's happening with what you said about he. People turn into this like corporate, uh, content in their emails.

Maybe they're trying to be super, you know, PC or whatever it is, not to get people to unsubscribe, but when you really think of it like it's natural, it's normal. Every single business out there gets people who unsubscribe. I'm sure you and I and the person listening can be like, yeah, I actually unsubscribe.

I actually like this brand, but I just. Didn't need their emails right now and it doesn't necessarily mean anything. So Right. Love what you said about shifting away from fear and not focusing on the unsubscribes cuz they're gonna [00:12:00] happen, but instead focusing on the people that are actually there that you can serve, that you can still keep in touch with.

Love that perspective shift. I think it's absolutely amazing. Yeah. A it took me years to get there, so it's okay if you listeners take a minute too. Yeah. All of this stuff. I mean, it's all learning lessons that That take time. Cool. Well, I wanna talk to you a little bit more now that we've understand some of the mistakes that people make and how to really shift some perspectives just about email marketing in general and making sure people are putting themselves out there.

What are some of those automations that e-commerce businesses should have in place? So what are your top ones that you need to have this email automation going out to your customers? So there are six automations every e-commerce business wants to have. We have the obvious ones like your welcome series, and we can dive in a little bit deeper of what should be in these if you want.

But we've got our welcome series. You also need your abandonment emails. Typically that's browse abandonment and checkout abandonment. [00:13:00] So browse abandonment is someone looked at a product and then checkout if someone actually hit the started checkout button. You can also have an add to cart in there. I wouldn't necessarily do a browse and an abandoned cart.

You can do the browse in lieu of the abandoned cart, cuz it's gonna cover both. So you've got those. Then you have your post-purchase emails. These are the ones that I think most people forget about or don't put that much effort into. This is your opportunity to create a really great first impression and experience for your customer.

So I put a lot of time, energy, and effort into those, and I'll usually split it over a post-purchase. Thank you, and some sort of educational flow, and that's gonna completely depend on the product, what you sell, your business, et cetera. And then we also have a lapsed purchaser, also known as a [00:14:00] winback. And then another one that I never really see anyone implement unless I recommend that they do.

So. And it's not a huge moneymaker. It's kind of this like last ditch effort to get someone to make a purchase, but it's the never purchase. So if someone signs up for your list and 30, 60, 90 days, depending upon how often it usually takes your customer to make a buying decision, still hasn't purchased, then I will create a flow just for them.

With the ultimate goal of getting them to make their first purchase. Cuz I do find, and it totally depends on your business, but if you have more of a low ticket, impulse buy kind of product, if they haven't bought by that point, they're probably not gonna, unless you give them. A little nudge. Yeah, so those are the absolute must haves, and then there's of course, so many other cool, fun things you can do depending upon what you've got going on in your business.

[00:15:00] Yeah, I love these. I think this is such a good starting point and so many awesome. Some potential opportunities that can happen from these. So for example, the welcome series, like getting people to know about your business, right? And getting invested in your business and I, and the abandonment. So if people are browsing but aren't buying, cool, let's remind them, send 'em an auto email and it does the work for you.

So I wanna talk a little bit more about the post-purchase one, but before we dive into like what that really looks like and and what you recommend to be inside of that. Um, is this all automated? Through Shopify or through some sort of email platform. What do you recommend or what do you, you, you personally use for these email automations?

Yeah, so Klaviyo is pretty much my all around favorite e-commerce platform, uh, eCom e-commerce email platform. It has such a super deep integration with Shopify. It can hold so much data about your people. It's really amazing. I love it. There are some things that annoy me about it. But overall, and [00:16:00] especially if you have a really wide product assortment cuz it handles products and recommendations and things like that really well Shopify, they recently updated their internal email platform.

It's not bad. I've been toying around with it. If you're just getting started with email, it's a great place to start. Cause I think it gives you like 10,000 emails a month for free. Like, you're not gonna be able to do everything you can do in Klaviyo, but it's not too shabby. Um, I also like Drip and Omnis send, they all kind of serve different businesses.

The one. You cannot use as an e-commerce business and it's the one everyone wants to use because it's so pretty. Oh, I'm nervous about this. Pretty is flow desks. Uh, okay. Okay. And the reason being, it doesn't give you any data. The only thing it [00:17:00] sinks into Shopify or from Shopify is the email address. It doesn't tell you if somebody bought what you were promoting.

You have no insight into any of that. So I get that it's pretty, but you can make pretty in every email platform and at the end of the day, pretty doesn't equal profit anyway. So if you're using flow desks, like I'd rather see you use Shopify email. Yeah. Yeah. And I love it because essentially this is about using the data that Shopify gives you an order to send these automations depending on where that particular person is at.

Right? Right, right. So if you're using something like flow desks, um, that you, just, like you said, all you have is an email address. You don't have these opportunities to send someone an abandonment email. When they browsed for a product but didn't buy it, and that email can be one that actually generates sales.

So if you're not, yeah, actually targeting that customer, cool. You're potentially missing out on that reminder that they needed to actually finish the checkout process and buy it. So I think key here is find a system that collects your data [00:18:00] and integrates with your email if it's Shopify or Klaviyo.

Beautiful. Love those two options right there. So now when we talk about like the post-purchase one, I wanna dive into that a little bit. Cause I think this is super unique. I think most people. No, I mean, I'm sure there's some great tips on like a welcome series, an abandonment series, but this post-purchase one is one that I actually haven't implemented or don't talk to my own clients about.

So I'd love to pick your brain on this, cause I think it's so unique. So obviously you said like the thank you email after they've purchased, right? Yeah. So this is even different than the confirmation transaction email. Is this a separate one or do you bundle those together? Nope. Completely separate. So, The, you have your confirmation email, your shipping emails, your delivery emails, right?

Those are all automated by your platform, and if you don't have the delivery email turned on, please turn those on. That's my favorite email to get. I'm like, yeah, there's something in my mailbox. Let me go get it. It's not annoying, it's exciting. It gives the [00:19:00] user, you know, that customer a little dopamine hit.

So the post-purchase, thank you. I typically send one day after they place their order. I don't wanna bombard them. They get their order confirmation and then the next day I send this, thank you. And I will typically only send it two times for their first order and their second order. And I make this fully text-based.

The goal is I want them to think that you sat down at your desk and wrote them an individual email. So we don't want it to be overly fancy, right? We just want it to be text. A sincere thank you supporting my small business. I'm so excited to have you here. Typical signature that you would put in a regular email and then.

On their second purchase. It's funny because when I do set up emails for clients, I end up with the same first line in pretty [00:20:00] much everyone's email. But I'll always say, don't worry, I'm not going to email every time you place an order. Right. Because that would get annoying. But I just wanted to say thank you so much for placing your second order with us.

And what's so cool about this, the only goal of this email is to make that customer feel special. Like they're more than just a customer and a dollar signed to you and this little thing that takes you maybe 15 minutes to set up and just goes on autopilot is going to go so far. In creating that relationship.

So there was a client I was working with. We made this live and we made it because she didn't have anything else. We just made it live while we were still working on other stuff. Somebody. Went on Instagram and dmd her to say Thank you so much for that email. And at first she had no idea what they were talking about because she like forgot that this was even happening.

But [00:21:00] that email was so impactful that that customer took the time to log into Instagram to find her profile and to send her a DM to say thank you. So you cannot underestimate the personal touch that something like that creates. Yeah, and then we have the post-purchase education. Now, the cadence that you send, this is gonna completely depend on your business.

I have some people who send it every single time. I have some people who we split it out based on what they bought. I have some people who just like max it out at 3 cents. So many variables. But the idea of this flow, Is to make sure that the customer has a good experience with your product. And the reason why I started implementing this was at my previous day job, there was a new product that came into the industry.

It was new technology. Bloggers were [00:22:00] raving about it. It was selling like hotcakes, and we had stores and online and it was like we couldn't keep the thing in stock. And online we kept having all of these return requests. People didn't like it. And we were like, what are you talking about? Like, this thing is amazing.

And after some conversation with them, we would often find out that it was user error because we didn't do a good enough job of helping them. Get the outcome that they were looking for from this product, right? If they buy it in store, there's a tester there. You have a sales associate there that's walking them through it, so they take it home and they already know.

But online, we didn't have any of that. So I implemented a post-purchase education sequence for that product, and the return request stopped. So my thought process here is always what does the customer need to know and understand so they have a good experience with your product so [00:23:00] that they come back and leave a positive review and start there.

Mm. What that looks like completely depends. Um, I have some other examples I can share with you, but that alone, Here's the thing, a lot of people will say, oh, well I already put like an insert inside the shipment, or the directions are on the box or whatever. You cannot repeat these things too many times cause your customers don't read stuff.

They're not paying attention. Every one of absorbs content differently. So like just. Put it in all the places, please. Yes. I love it. That is such a good idea. And in this email, so if someone purchases something and you're sending them this amazing personal thank you email, which I love, and I'm gonna side tangent on this for a little bit, because literally as product based small business owners, like people, one of the main reasons they're buying is because they have that connection to the owner, to the mission, to the products in a different way than, for example, like Lululemon, when [00:24:00] maybe you like the products, but you don't necessarily like, You know, If the CEO sends you an email, you know, it's, you know, not necessarily really come from the ceo, right?

Yeah. So the small touches when it comes from a small business, I think that is such a smart play because that's one of the reasons that people buy for small businesses is to actually connect with the owner and the person who makes it. So, love that so much, and question that I have for you on the educational.

Low. So as you're educating people on this product, do you do anything in this flow in terms of like upsells and saying like, Hey, if you love this, here's another option. Or is this purely like no sales, just educate, just create a good experience? How do you, how do you manage that? Yeah, it completely depends on the product.

Typically, I would do any sort of cross-sell in a separate flow. I like to separate everything out as much as possible just because one, it's easier to edit and tweak things if you don't have this big, long, like 12 email series thing. But also so you can see the [00:25:00] data, right? Like if you've got the cross-sell and the education all tied up together, it's gonna skew your data a little bit.

But you can absolutely do that, especially if what you are cross-selling gives you a better result with the product. Mm-hmm. But it completely depends. But yes, that's a whole other flow you can have is just cross selling things for sure. Yeah, I love it. Opt options and opportunities truly are endless with this, which makes it so fun.

So one thing that you just mentioned too is the data side of email. So I would love to hear from you as we talk even about this post-purchase. What are the metrics specifically for this one that you're looking for? Because obviously it depends on the goal of the email, right? If the goal is simply to thank them, then it's probably opens.

And people like seeing it, right? Yeah. Um, if it is a cross-sell email, well then the data that you want is to see how many people actually go and purchase. Right. But I would love to hear from you, what are some of the main [00:26:00] data points that you look at with your email campaigns to know, is this doing the job that I want it to do?

Should I tweak this? What are some of those key metrics that you look for? Yeah, great question. And it completely depends on the email. So the examples you gave were great on the post-purchase education. I. One of the things is I never put everything in the email. The point of the email is to get people to click, go to your website.

That's really, its only job. Your website's job is to make the sale, by the way. Mm-hmm. So don't try and sell the product inside the email. You just want them to click. So for a post-purchase education, it's gonna be all about that click. And are they going to look at the content that I shared with them?

For your typical campaigns, whether that's one a week, two a week, it's gonna depend a little bit on the content. Maybe you're sharing a blog post, so it's definitely gonna be clicks. If you're talking about product, you're obviously looking for revenue, but one [00:27:00] of the things that I always pay really close attention to, let's say I'm featuring a product, maybe it's a new line that I have or a new product I have.

Sure that email generated revenue, but did they buy the thing that I featured or was it just a reminder that I exist and then they went and bought other stuff? Because that sends two very different messages. Now, revenue was revenue, and I'll take it. All right? But if they didn't buy the product that I featured, well, Why not?

Did I not do a good enough job of enticing them? Does my product page suck? Did I maybe even link them to the wrong place? Right. It could be something completely innocuous. I had nothing to do with the product. What mistake did I make in my email? Cuz those things happen too. Um, so I always like to go just a little bit deeper, but one of the ways that you can.

[00:28:00] Analyze this is you have to look at each step individually. So open rates, which are not super reliable anymore. Thank you. iOS 15. Essentially, your open rates are gonna be inflated. So while I used to say shoot for 20% open rate, now you probably want 25 to 30 ish is probably a, there's really no magic number unfortunately, but the open rate.

What is that related to your subject line? And I don't harp on subject lines the way a lot of email marketers do. Cause I think we all overthink them and ultimately people are gonna open their email if they have a relationship with you and they care about what you say. Like the subject line is not always gonna make or break it.

Not everyone would agree with me. Uh, so you have the subject line, but you also have the time of day and the day of the week that you send them. And I think those are even more [00:29:00] powerful. An example, uh, this is one of those things I screwed up at my previous day job, so I think we had a promo happening or something, and.

Sunday nights around 6:00 PM were always a high revenue generating time for us to send an email. And I knew I could send it and it would be successful. And I got to come in Monday morning and be like all excited about how much money my email made. So one day I come in, it's a Monday and I'm going over all my numbers for the last week, getting prepared for our meeting, and my email had.

It was like a single digit open rate and $0 in sales. And I was like, what is happening? So I'm sitting in my office and I hear people talking in the hallway. I. And they were all talking about the series finale of Game of [00:30:00] Thrones, which, oh, I think I'm one of like five people that didn't watch that show.

I'm the second of five. Well, that's why nobody opened my email because they were all busy watching that show. The same thing happened Super Bowl Sunday. So. Time of day and day of week matters for your customer. So think about where they are, what are they doing right? Are they working all day? Sure, you may get a lot of opens in the afternoon, probably because they're looking for something to distract them from the work they have to do.

But you'll probably get more revenue if you send it in the evening, cuz now they're sitting on the couch scrolling their phone and they can actually pull out their credit card. Maybe they've got young kids that they're carting around, right? So those are the kinds of things why I think we don't put enough emphasis on that and really showing up at a good time for the customer.

So that's the first step. [00:31:00] And then you've got the click. Like I said, the goal of the email is to get the click. So if they are not clicking your email, then it's something inside the content. And then if they don't convert, then it's somewhere that you sent them, right? With the landing page. Maybe you sent them to the homepage and then they had to, you know, figure things out on their own.

Maybe your product pages kind of suck, I don't know. But the goal is you wanna look at each step individually so that you can pinpoint where you're missing it. Beautiful. I love it. Such good insight on not just to send an email, just to send it, but to actually look at the data and be like, okay, what is this telling me?

Where do I have room to improve? Where am I losing people? Where, where am I actually getting them to do what I want them to do? So is this something that you would recommend to look at on a weekly basis? Like, all right, for the campaign that sent last week, let's see how it's doing. Or how often do you go back and review these automations that we were talking about [00:32:00] too?

Was that like on a monthly basis you just. See where they're at. What's your schedule in terms of actually looking at the data and making changes based on that data? Great question. For the automation, it's not about timing. It's about how many people have gone through them, right? Because you need at least.

A minimum of a hundred people to have gone through an email before you can really make any judgment on it. So if you are a high volume, high traffic store, that might be every three months that you go look at them. Maybe it's every month. Also depends on how much bandwidth you have. Uh, if you are a smaller story, you're just getting started, it might be six months.

So definitely make sure that what you're looking at is statistically relevant. You can obviously take a peek and if you really see no engagement, then there's probably something amiss. But I don't want you to be [00:33:00] like chasing those metrics every week or month cuz you'll just drive yourself insane, um, for your campaigns because those are one-off.

That's something that you can kind of look as you go. Um, I want you to be aware of what's going on, but not necessarily making huge changes or decisions based on one email's data. Mm-hmm. I know it's like a half answer, but that's the truth. No, that's perfect. Yeah, that's perfect. It's similar with Etsy when people are changing their titles and their Tads and they're like, how soon should I check this?

And it's like, well, let it marinate. Let it like, You know, let's get some actual concrete data behind it versus making these changes. A week goes by and then they're making changes again, and it's like we didn't even have time to see if that first change actually worked. So I love what you said about the automations.

It depends on the number of people that are going through, and once you get that volume, cool, then check to see what the data really tells you, what [00:34:00] tweaks you can make, and continue to evolve as it goes. Love it. Perfect. So now what I wanna ask you is we kind of switch to another topic, is do you have any tips and tricks for coming up with email ideas and staying consistent?

So what are your best practices on that front? Yes, I do. And let's talk about the word consistency really quick. Consistency is more important than quantity, and dare I say, more important than quality. Ooh, I like it. So a couple of things like we already talked about earlier. I want you to release like the expectation that every email you send is gonna generate a bunch of revenue, because it's not.

It's just not how it works. You're gonna get better at this over time. You're gonna learn what works, you're gonna do more of what works, but ultimately, just get comfortable [00:35:00] sending emails. People want to hear from you, but I do have a little framework that I created that just kind of helps you come up with content ideas and create a marketing calendar, and I.

I created this actually at my last day job because I was the only employee of this e-commerce business and I was still doing stuff for our retail division. I had been at the company so long that I was just involved in so many things cuz I knew so many things, right? Like when you're good at something, they just make you do it all the time.

Uh, very overwhelming. So email, while it was like, My number one report card, I had very little time to work on it, but we had, you know, 20 different stores we had online. We had hundreds of SKUs, 300,000 email subscribers. And so how do I stay consistent but make sure everyone's getting the message they need to get when they need to get it?[00:36:00] 

So I had to create a system, otherwise I was gonna go bonkers. So this is how I did it and then I turned it into the star method cuz it makes it easier. Who doesn't love a good acronym? Acronym? Is that what it is? Yeah. Yes it is. All right. So let's, I want you to picture that you are looking at a 30 day calendar, a monthly calendar.

And what we're gonna do is we're gonna go through this system to plot out. Are email marketing topics, and really the first step is to figure out how many emails you wanna send. At a minimum, try and send one to one a week. The more subscribers you have, the wider your product assortment, the more emails you can send.

Um, there are e-commerce businesses that email every single day. Try not to do less than one a month. Otherwise people are gonna, uh, one a week. Otherwise, people are gonna forget [00:37:00] that you exist. So let's frame it all there. So you're looking at this calendar and the first thing you're gonna do is set the foundation with all of your important dates.

So this can be product launches, holidays, that you wanna talk about, um, your own business, birthdays. Any events you might be having, if you're doing in-person things, or maybe you're doing a live shopping event, just put all the dates down and what you're gonna do is you're gonna start to build your calendar around those dates.

So anytime you have an event or a promotion, you wanna send a minimum of three emails, a launch, a reminder, and a last chance. The longer the event, the more emails you're gonna send. Just kind of depends. Um, and anytime you have a product launch, you [00:38:00] also wanna give yourself a leeway of at least a week, maybe two, depending upon how big the launch is, so that you can send multiple emails about it.

So I just want you to like start picturing that the T in the STAR method stands for tell a Story and Connect. People love stories and so many PE marketers, right? They talk about like, oh, use storytelling and marketing. And the people are like, cool, but I don't, I don't know how to do that. What does that mean?

So here's a really easy way to think about it. Think of something that happened in your life. It can be completely innocuous. Doesn't have to do anything with what you sell. It's just something that happened that made you feel a certain way, taught you a lesson, made you think about something you hadn't thought about before, [00:39:00] and then tell the story and what the outcome of that story was.

So I do this in my business all the time. Um, and I just, I didn't really realize I was doing it until I heard someone else mention it and I'm like, oh, yeah, that's what I do. Right? So for example, on my podcast, I did an episode of Five Things I Learned About Business from buying my first home. Right. And I talked about all the people that are involved.

Like you've got a specialist pretty much for everything and there's literally no way you could possibly do this on your own. Right? And I was really talking to that entrepreneur. So there, there are things that you go through in your life that transfer over to whatever it is that you are. Customer is dealing with or can be related to your product.

Another example of this is I have a client, she sells candles and every single one of her candles has some sort of [00:40:00] emotion tied to it. So whether it's calm or new day and it's related to the scent. And so what she did, I think one of them is rest. And so she told the story of something she experienced.

How it reminded her how important rest is. And then she showed them the rest candle. And guess what they did? They bought the rest candle. So this works in every single business. The A is for add value. Your customer is buying your product because they are looking for some sort of outcome. It's either to solve a problem, it's to give them confidence.

It's for status. That's why we buy luxury goods, right? There's some reason that they're buying this and there are other things that they're interested in, related to what you [00:41:00] sell. If you sell makeup, that person probably cares about skincare. If you sell active wear, they probably care about nutrition and fitness, right?

So what else can you teach them or talk to them about that is ultimately related to your product, but is it necessarily, hey, Buy my stuff and then the R stands for resend repeat. And repurpose. This is where I think so many people get tripped up with all types of content creation. So the resend is something I touched on earlier.

You need to remind people. Not everyone's gonna see the email that you send, so resend it. I always resend it to the people who didn't open it the first time. Well, maybe now I do it based on clicks because open rates are unreliable. But use that promotion as an example. If I send out an email, Hey, I have this [00:42:00] promotion going on and I've got this whole group of people that, for whatever reason, didn't open it or click it, well, I'm gonna resend it to them so that they'll see it the next time.

Um, and. I also, if I have something evergreen that worked really well in the past, just resend it to new people who've never seen it before. And you can do that on social too. Sometimes I repost posts exactly as they were, like literally same graphics, same caption, same everything. But I have a whole new audience who's never seen it.

Then we have the repeat. Nobody is paying as close attention to you as you are and people need to hear things. I think the old statistic was like seven to 10 times. It's probably more than that now. I think it's like 25 times now. Yeah, it probably is, right? Like people need to hear and see things multiple [00:43:00] times before they're gonna take action.

So I know you as the content creator of your business. You feel like I've already told that story. I've already said this thing. I've already promoted this product. I've already talked about this, and you have, and you've probably said it a thousand times, but your audience has not seen it or heard it that many times.

And I, this I am forever reminded of this. By the way, guys, like any time I talk about something, don't think I have it all together, or that I don't struggle with the same things. Like I need these lessons just as much as anybody else does. But I told this story on social media when I used to sleep in my new shoes as a little girl.

True story. It was really no surprise how I ended up, like in the fashion and apparel space. It was just kind of always my jam. And I've shared that story multiple times on Instagram. And one day I shared it and someone [00:44:00] commented and said, oh my God, I used to do that too. I thought I was the only one. But here's the thing, she's been following me for like two years at that point, but it's either the first time she saw it or the first time it clicked for her.

So, And anyone who is like, oh, she's sharing this story again. Like, she, they're not your customer, so it's fine. Like, who cares? Let them unsubscribe. Let them unfollow you. It doesn't matter. Um, so we just need to like get out of our own way and then repurpose. We spend so much time, energy, and effort creating all of this amazing content that then just sits on a shelf collecting dust.

So repurpose it from different channels. Take your blog post and break it out into like 10 different social posts. Talk about social media in email, and vice versa, and point everyone in all the different directions. I like to kind of think of it as [00:45:00] like a pinball machine. Like we wanna just be hitting them from all the angles.

Um, This, we are overthinking this. I am overthinking this for my business too. I'm an email marketer with really crappy email marketing, by the way. Uh, cause it's way easier to do for others than it is to do for yourself. But when you're picturing, when you go back to that calendar and you have all of those initial dates, right, where you're gonna be talking about stuff that you've got going on, Then you just fill in the holes with those storytelling and value added emails, and before you know it, like your calendar's gonna be full.

I feel like I just talked for a really long time. Oh my gosh, it was so good. I didn't wanna interrupt you so much. Good details. So, one question I do have though, I love how you talked about storytelling and then adding value with like complimentary topics. So essentially when you talk about that and then going back to your [00:46:00] calendar, looking at events, product launches, holidays, things that are coming up.

You would have a couple emails that are about different stories and then maybe a couple more that are about adding value complimentary topics. They wouldn't be in the same email, is that correct? Those are like different, different emails, different topics? Yeah, they can be, they absolutely can be like the telling a story and adding value can kind of be weaved into everything that you do.

But what I find is that, We always approach it with like, here's what's going on, here's what I need to talk about, and then I have all these blank holes, so like what do I put in those holes? And so those are really great to fill that in, but you can absolutely use them within your event promotion, sale, new collection, and weave that all into it should really just be weaved into all of your content all the time.

I love it. I think for me, biggest takeaway, I mean so many [00:47:00] in that star method, but I love how you talked about telling a story because I think a lot of times with email marketing, what people do is like, okay, this is for me to make more money because a lot of people pitch email as which sure it is a great revenue generator, but then I think so many small business owners are only thinking about that, okay, I gotta send this email to generate some revenue.

So I love how you re really brought it back to tell a story. Connect with people and I love that rest example that you gave with the candle cuz it's such a genuine story and then it just naturally fits with one of the products. So people are getting to know you, getting to like and trust you too, which is what we try to do on Instagram all day.

Now you're doing an email by telling these stories and here's a link for them to purchase if they're interested. I think that is so good and just. Brings back a little bit more of that human touch to emails versus like, I'm a robot, or I'm corporate and buy my products, here's what I have to offer. Right.

So I think that was so awesome and absolutely loved hearing that. Awesome. Love it. Yeah. There's, [00:48:00] I think ultimately if you can just approach it from the customer's perspective, right? Like what do they need to hear from me right now? And I, gosh, I. It's mid 2023. I don't wanna be talking about this still, but when the pandemic happened, right, like.

I was still at my previous day job and we were like, whoa, we've gotta like revamp the conversation that we're having with our customers because we're very, you know, like witty. And people just like weren't ready for that. Like they didn't wanna hear that, right? And so we always come at it from what is gonna serve the customer right now and what's.

Gonna make them feel good or happy or better or whatever. Um, but I think as long as you can do it from the customer perspective and just like, [00:49:00] stop trying to be the c e o all the time, right? Like, put your c e o hat on when you're thinking about big picture things, or creating systems or hiring or whatever.

But when it comes to marketing, put your customer hat on and it's gonna make it so much easier. Love it. That is just gold. Shifting the hat, shifting the position that you're in. So beautiful. Well, thank you so much, Jessica. I really appreciate it. This was such an awesome episode. So many good pieces of information about email marketing and how to set up automations, how to create ideas for your monthly campaigns.

So much good info. I would love to just end with having you share where people can find you about your podcast, about your programs, anything that you wanna share with the person listening right now. Yeah, absolutely. So you can find me in all of the places as e-commerce badassery, I am forever terrible at being consistent on Instagram, so it's [00:50:00] definitely, it's one of those I to hate when my mom said this, but do as I say, not as I.

Do, right? Yeah. Ugh. So painful. Um, but you can also, I have a little gift for you. If you go to e-commerce, I'm not gonna tell you what it is cause I'm a marketer and I have to leave a little bit of mystery to get you to go take the action. But there's a special gift there for you.

You'll get to see my crappy emails, um, but it'll be worth it, I promise. Oh my gosh. Love it. I'm gonna link that in the bio, in the show notes so people can find it too. Well, thank you so much, Jessica. Really appreciate it. Thank you for being a guest on the product, this podcast, and thank you for tuning in and listening.

Thanks for having me.