EP #13 Why Ecommerce flourished during COVID, and how can online stores take this advantage to grow bigger?
Ecommerce has boomed during the time of COVID, with many online stores seeing an average of 40% higher sales volume as more people are working from home. Since most people have accepted this as a lifestyle, brick and mortar stores have the opportunity to start online and capitalize on this opportunity.
In this week’s Podcast, we host Scott Cohen, who is the Senior Marketing Manager at Purple. He has been actively involved in the email marketing aspects of the company since the lockdown and seen enormous growth in their B2C efforts, which is comparably higher than their wholesale revenues.
- How eCommerce has picked up since the COVID
- Why the lockdown is still an excellent opportunity for brands to deliver more value to the customers via different media and communication platforms
- Ideas that brands in a non-recurring product business can implement to retain customers for the longer term
- How to improve customer engagement on email, and what has worked for a mattress company like Purple
[00:00:00]Dennis Dayman: Hello everyone. And welcome to another brand new episode of, ForTheLoveOfEmail podcast by Netcore solutions. As I’m Dennis Dayman, your host of this podcast, and once again, the Netcore team has been hard at work these past few weeks. And again, even this week to bring you some great stories and advice and people, who are all experts around the world.
[00:00:18] And again, this week is no different, right? Yeah. This week, we are bringing you a really, a noted email marketing veteran who I’ve probably known for at least, Oh my gosh. 10, maybe 15 years, Scott Cohen, for a chat about how you reopen the playbook for eCommerce marketing and the times that we live in. Hey Scott, welcome to the podcast.
[00:00:38] Scott Cohen: Thanks for having me, Dennis.
[00:00:40] Dennis Dayman: It’s great to have you here. Right? We’ve all been kind of sitting around. I haven’t heard or even seen from you too much. I mean, we’ve been on some other calls here and there, but it’s been such a weird time during the coronavirus pandemic. You know, not just for us personally, but it’s had a wide-ranging effect and ramifications on the industries around the globe.
[00:00:58]And, Scott and the rest of the folks that are listening to this, right? If you guys have been sort of following us since March, we have talked quite a bit about coronavirus and the impacts of the marketing industry. And obviously with this increased social distancing measures that, that, that are here, and that continued to be here.
[00:01:15]We know that we’re, we’re going to be seeing a considerable increase in online shopping for essential items and other sorts of goods right now in such a way that people feel safe enough to sort of step out, out of their skin, if you will, but they kind of continue to live their lives without having to go into like a retail store.
[00:01:32]And Scott, I know you’ve been around this for a long time, but e-commerce, as an industry has had a lot of great possibilities for, businesses. And I remember just, when you and I even met, I mean, e-commerce was still around, or we’re sort of coming up even further, but.
[00:01:45]it wasn’t like it was today, but you still had to go off and find a lot of the things that you wanted to buy, going off into stores. And, again, this industry seems to be on the outboard curve to bouncing back big in this post-pandemic time with online revenue soaring. And in fact, even this week here in the United States and many of the places we see some of the companies talking about that they made even more money during this time, which was not shocking, to be honest. So, as an email marketer in this email commerce space, right, we have to be very creative with our messaging now to grab those customers and to have them buy something.
[00:02:17]And, again, marketers also then have to use tactical strategies to pick up on those revenues in this post-pandemic situation. So, what we’re gonna be talking about here, folks is, how does an email marketer in e-commerce rewrite the marketing playbook in this post locked lockdown period.
[00:02:33] And what are the challenges that are awaiting eCommerce brands and, and how they should be navigating this. And again, and, Scott, you’ve been in this business for a while. but you may want to take a moment out here, but. You know, you’ve been on the eCommerce side and you are currently right now, but why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about sort of where you came from and what makes you this expert?
[00:02:50] Scott Cohen: Yeah, I mean, I started life as a copywriter, so, I was writing ads for local car dealers back in 2005, Truck Tober fest and all these, whatever the daily offer of the month was for these, for these little car dealers. And then really my introduction to, I guess you could call it e-commerce was the non-traditional route. I went and worked in online higher education at western governors university and was their copywriter for four and a half years and like everybody else, I think no, I fell into it as a necessity of a small team and nobody else was doing email. And my boss came to me one day and said, Hey, you’re writing the emails, why don’t you do it? Okay, sure. No problem. That was what that was 11 years ago. I think they’re about 11 and a half years old and have never looked back. And it’s an interesting world that how much e-commerce has grown and how much email has driven that growth, in going from writing it to doing it.
[00:03:58] I was the agency side for a while. I was. Yeah, I’ve been brand side from my past to my current job and my previous job. And. Gosh, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been like you said, we’ve known each other for over 10 years and it’s kind of hard to believe. I’d like to say, I joined email when Twitter was usable, but it was the fail whale era of Twitter, but there is a lot of conversation going on. Right.
[00:04:23] You can just jump in. And that was one of these rare brand side voices at the time, that was like, Hey, let’s talk, email.
[00:04:29] Dennis Dayman: Let’s talk email
[00:04:31] Scott Cohen: lot. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. So like I said, the industry is great. It’d be hard to leave. But yeah, e-commerce now we’re one of the companies I work at Purple Mattress now, and we’re one of the companies that’s in that boat of our businesses since COVID happened.
[00:04:47]You know, we were at B2C first. But half of our revenue comes from wholesale and wholesale just shut down basically in March. I mean, everything closed. So how we switched messaging to, and, and everything to be about I mean, we’re fortunate, it’s a comfort category. People at home realized
[00:05:11] Dennis Dayman: No pun intended.
[00:05:13] Scott Cohen: Yeah. Yeah. People at home realize that, Oh my gosh, they need to, I need a better mattress or I’m sitting on a folding chair working at home. My back is killing me. We sell seat cushions and all of a sudden our seat cushion category took off because we started, I like to say that we had this email. I think it’s the first email we’ve ever done.
[00:05:33] At least that I’m aware of that we featured seat cushions. And I feel like it was the email that launched the category. Like people went, Oh my gosh, you sell seat cushions. And they started selling them. We started doing promotion and, digital display advertising around it. And, and people were saying, yeah, we need that stuff at home.
[00:05:51] And. Ever, even though things are opening up again, it hasn’t slowed down. It’s been okay.
[00:05:58] Dennis Dayman: Well, that’s interesting because even in the last couple of podcasts we talked about retention is that best acquisition. And you guys then have taken your loyal customers who are laying on their back to then, helping them sit up straight.
[00:06:09] If you will, right in this pre-crisis time right now. And you guys are growing because of the crisis.
[00:06:15] Scott Cohen: Yeah, exactly. I mean, and we were thinking when it first hit, like, Oh my God, people can’t go lay on these mattresses. Are we going to still sell mattresses? And we can’t make enough. I mean it’s a good place to be, but it’s also helpful that, and I know I’m a little biased, but I’d like to think that we have the best mattresses on the planet. So, it helps, it helps to have a really good product to back up what you’re selling.
[00:06:42] Dennis Dayman: Right. Exactly. No, exactly. Well, if you’re, As we’re sort of talking about this.
[00:06:48] Right. You know, in terms of how you’re engaging your customers, obviously our listeners kind of want to sort of understand that a little bit. Right. But, seeing that mattresses are not something that you buy every single day. Right. I, I think, just the other day, my wife and I were flipping or turning our mattress and I, and as I was doing, and I was looking at the kind of going, Oh, how long will we have this one?
[00:07:04] Cause it was one every eight, 10 years, supposedly that you’re supposed to get a new one. And I looked at it, I was like, Oh, okay. We’re about halfway through its life and whatnot. But, outside of that chair stuff, I mean, If I’m just a mattress buyer, right? How are you guys retaining that relationship than with the clients?
[00:07:20] Are you using email in a way that keeps them engaged, that when it’s time, it’s time for them to buy another mattress or make a change in their household like we’ve all changed over the last 10 or 15 years and stuff, kids, and maybe some, some in-laws living with us occasionally, but how have you guys been using email to then keep those customers that are already customers retained?
[00:07:38] If they’re not buying chairs and stuff like that, or seats for chairs?
[00:07:42] Scott Cohen: Well, for example, just recently we ran some data and we sell pillows, and, I asked my analytics team, if they buy this pillow, what are the three most popular products in a next purchase for that I’m looking for, like, what’s the gateway drug product, for, for lack of a better word.
[00:08:05] And it’s amazing that the people that bought that pillow in their second purchase, the most popular product. Another pillow of the same kind. Yeah. And so there’s a little, there’s definitely, and I even see it in my house. I’ve got two kids and they’re mad that I haven’t bought them Purple mattresses yet.
[00:08:21] And I haven’t bought them Purple pillows yet. And a lot of our brands in the, in the earlier days and were kind of growing up as a company now, was really that we call it “pester power”. You know, kids will see the YouTube videos and tell their parents, Oh, we want a Purple mattress and stuff like that.
[00:08:41]and also just making the higher-end products that are appealing to the people that are looking at, the sleep numbers of the world and go, well, actually that’s a better mattress. But I’m, I’m building what I like to call a share of the bedroom where it’s like, okay, if they have a mattress, what’s next for them.
[00:08:56] What’s that next logical product that makes sense for, I mean, ideally we’d have someone who has their entire bedding suite is Purple. They have a mattress, they have sheets, they have pillows, they have a protector, everything like that ideally would be Purple. So how do we get that? How do we get our customers to that point?
[00:09:14] And we’re starting our emails aren’t there yet. I would say it’s a very young program in terms of email, but we’re going to get to that point where we start going “do you have a protector on your mattress? Do you have this? You should have this”. This is why you should have a protector, or if you’ve bought a pillow, but you haven’t bought the mattress. It’s like, well, you love this pillow and this is why here’s the thing in real-time. Here’s the big daddy mattress. So it’s really. It’s like baby steps into iteration and testing of getting that next purchase. And of course, we have promotions and everything else that we have to put out there.
[00:09:53] You have your big five sale times every year that map people have their wallets open at certain times a year. Cause they expect when mattresses go on sale. So you have to match up with that as well.
[00:10:03] Dennis Dayman: I was sitting and thinking about this, we, for the longest time I’ve had one of those mattress protectors down because we had an older dog that used to sleep with us and you never know what would happen.
[00:10:12] Right. So I always want to protect that expensive mattress that we bought, but I’m even now thinking, wow. Okay. Bedrooms. You’re talking about sheets, pillows. Ah, dog beds, like things like that. Like I can see Lynch Snyder, right? Who, who has Zoe? Right. And he’s all about the dog, right? I mean, they can tie a Purple dog bed for the dog because that dog sleeps better than most people do.
[00:10:29] I think these days,
[00:10:31] Scott Cohen: There’s a guy I work with. I swear to God, one of his kids sleeps on the large pet bed. Because it’s, it’s really big. It’s super comfortable. And he’s like, Oh yeah, like one of my kid sleeps.
[00:10:43]Dennis Dayman: So if you were to walk into like an eCommerce brand right now, right. Cause the Netcore team was talking about this. They had. They were looking at your LinkedIn profile. Right. And it’s it, it said to someone there that Scott could walk into any situation today and have an immediate, positive impact.
[00:10:57] But if you were to walk into an eCommerce brand right now, right. Which is having issues, getting that engagement, and keeping their customers, what are some of the key things that you would do to have an immediate sort of impact and engagement on that ROI that you have? They should be looking at
[00:11:12] Scott Cohen: Every company I’ve walked into, I’ve done an audit.
[00:11:15] And we just looked at it holistically, not just with the email as well. Like what does that, how do customers purchase from you? That’s, that’s a really important piece of that customer experience that, You have to account for in your emails and every other touch, what does that life cycle look like?
[00:11:35] So, yeah, there are some, like, for example, when I worked at the university, our email metrics were driven to get people to do the application form and then to send in transcripts and things like that. But once they were in, as a student, we stopped and it’s sort of like a one time purchase.
[00:11:55] And in some cases it is a one-time purchase. Now, a mattress could be a really big purchase and it is a really big purchase, but there are other things like typically, what happens is you buy a mattress and go a week later oh yeah, maybe I should get sheets, maybe I should get the mattress protector.
[00:12:09] I should get the one that I know will fit my mattress, stuff like that. But then once you’re looking at that life cycle, it’s where are the holes? Where are the customer drop off points where it’s like, they raised their hands. Or is their first interaction with you that they’ve already done the research and now they’ve purchased.
[00:12:26] And there’s alike, you look at all those touchpoints and go, all right, how are we messaging at each of these? Where’s the low hanging fruit? Is it an abandoned cart? That’s hanging fruit, of course, is your, are your welcome emails set up correctly? And do you have correct iterations based on their source of entry?
[00:12:44] You know, how people raise their hand, it’s going to make a difference and really lack of engagement could be that. You know, it could be irrelevant content. And are you mailing things that people care about? It could be that you have built your list poorly too. Like where, where are your sources of entry for all these people?
[00:13:04] Are you, you better not be buying lists? Are they showing them through, things like that? I mean, there’s, there’s really, it’s really about infrastructure. That’s, that’s what I’m building now. I mean, I’ve been at Purple for six months and it’s like, the program is so young still, I’m just putting infrastructure in place to make sure that when things are set up, I know they’re going to run. Then of course it could be deliverability as well. And that’s, that goes back to list building and relevancy of your content and those pieces.
[00:13:31] Dennis Dayman: Well, okay. So if you’ve been there for six months now, and you start to think about sort of where you began and all this, and I, of course, I’m thinking deliverability and privacy issues because that’s what I’ve always done for 26, 27 years, but we are always here.
[00:13:44] In all of the events that you and I are a part of and that we hear, people teaching on, is that the automated welcome message. Right. You know, that’s the most important part of this, right? That’s where you will get the most click-worthy sort of, subscribers attention and whatnot.
[00:13:59] Would you agree with that still today? You know, I mean outside of, I mean, of course, you, obviously, even after the buy, we always hear about, keep the relevancy sort of going, but what are the key things that you think that. You know, from a welcome message, even after only being there for six months.
[00:14:12] I know you’re probably still seeing this and kind of fine-tuning this now, but what are some of the key things and a welcome message that will get those clicks?
[00:14:19] Scott Cohen: Well, I mean, you, the welcome message is going to get the best engagement. If any email you send ever, just except for maybe order confirmation or shipping confirmation, was like, Oh cool.
[00:14:30] My stuff is shipped. But most of the time, where people fail is that. They don’t deliver what they’ve promised for the opt-in. You know, if you say, go here, we’ll send you a white paper. That welcome email. Better damn well have a link to that white paper, or if you’re going to get 10% off your first order, you better damn well have that in the email.
[00:14:52] And yeah. And if you don’t, then people are going to go what the heck and walk away. So there’s like that really low hanging fruit that you can easily get a click for. Oh, good. Let me click here. Get my white paper. I’d be really surprised if you click to open rate when you have that isn’t pretty close to a hundred percent.
[00:15:09] Cause they’re expecting that they’re expecting to have that touchpoint. and then, you’re, you’re building a foundation and you’re setting expectations of, yeah, I signed up. Here’s what you’re going to get. Here are the types of things we’re going to send you and you set those expectations and honestly, you’ll drive better future engagement if you follow up on that and deliver on those expectations, and if you have a welcome series, the first email could be here’s all the cool things that you’ll expect. We’ll send you another email in a couple of days talking about X, Y, and Z. They’re going to look for it. Then you can just sort of set that.
[00:15:42] There’s always that, what are you driving them toward? What’s the objective of each email? Yeah. And make it obvious. So, and take advantage of the fact that. I mean, there are so many brands that even forget to have that simple, Hey, thanks for signing up. You know, this is what we’re going to send you, and then you just sort of disappear off into the ether
[00:16:06] Dennis Dayman: And that’s it. They’re sending me stuff again.
[00:16:11] Scott Cohen: Yeah, I get it. I signed up 10 years ago. Here’s what you’re doing for COVID, you don’t want to be in that situation.
[00:16:18] Dennis Dayman: So you were getting the same emails that I was in March, where all of a sudden, like we’re talking about before the podcast, before where it was like, wow, I forgot about Garmin.
[00:16:26] I haven’t owned a Garmin GPS in years. Hey, by the way, delete my data because I don’t need an account anymore. It was so weird. It’s getting these sorts of things.
[00:16:34] Scott Cohen: Well, and that’s, that goes in, I mean, this is a, we looked at doing something like that and backed off. Cause we went, are we sending it for us or are we sending it for them?
[00:16:45] And we decided to just go, no, this is more self-serving than anything else. Let’s just stick with finding ways to lean into what we’re good at. And wow. Yeah. That’s how it’s hard to tell.
[00:16:58] Dennis Dayman: It’s hard to tell people, if you got COVID, you stay home, relax on a Purple mattress, right. It doesn’t seem appropriate.
[00:17:03] Right. I mean, that’s not that you would do that, but it would be very weird, right? It’s not very relevant. I thought one time when people are more concerned about toilet paper and hand sanitizer, right at the beginning of all this, but now that. We’ve come too accustomed to it. We are over here living at home more.
[00:17:18] So the comforts of the home need to be brought up now and people are now willing to go off and spend a little more money. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve been watching just do things in their homes, whether it’s buying furniture or contractors coming in to make it more livable, because we’re going to be here for a little bit longer.
[00:17:31] Scott Cohen: Yeah. I mean, and going back to that seat cushion email, I talked about it started as a March Madness promo. Okay. And then COVID hat, like, Hey, get your butt, literally get your butt ready for the tournament. And we backed off of that and we thought, well, we can still send an email, but this is about like, literally we acknowledge this may not be ideal, but let’s make the best of it and make sure that your home office is upgraded.
[00:17:56] And it did well because it’s like, well, yeah, I’m going to be home for a while. And I’m uncomfortable. And yes, we’re solving a problem.
[00:18:03] Dennis Dayman: Yeah. Well, I mean, almost every company that was out there, but I think, I think I had heard that Twilio had given their employees like 15 to $1,700 to go buy whatever you want.
[00:18:12] And I know some of my friends that work there actually bought new office equipment and redid their offices and other starts we’re doing the same sort of thing. So yeah, it was a really good opportunity around the middle portion of this thing too, for you guys we’ll start pushing that sort of thing.
[00:18:26] Yeah. You’ve been around this for a while, but are there any sort of examples that I don’t know that that caught your attention over the last 10 plus years in terms of, really innovative campaigns, whether it’s yours, I’m sure that you’re always proud of your stuff, but is there anything that you’ve seen post lockdown period, that, that, that you found interesting that you thought, wow, I need to maybe try doing that and maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t, but
[00:18:52] Scott Cohen: Mostly I think my head we’ve been so busy that my head’s been down for the past four years.
[00:18:59] Yeah. I mean, I felt like there, there was a time where we were, managing by the hour because there was so much, especially in the early, I mean, not that it’s that much better now, but there was so much uncertainty in you in the early days of COVID that we, it was what. How do we shift? How do we do promos?
[00:19:18] Which promos do we do? What products do we feature? And it was a lot of bouncing back and forth. I think the brand it’s not so innovative in terms of technological innovation, but I’ve seen the brands do best when they’re able to lean in. To what they’re good at, I mean, I think about like the black lives matter stuff, where the brands that led the way to the Facebook boycott or the brands you would expect, like, Patagonia, REI, they’re, they’re brands that have a viewpoint and they leaned into what they’re good at.
[00:19:52] And they stuck with it. I think a lot of brands have been exposed to the whole virtue signaling and everything else. And I’m glad that we. I think for the most part avoided that. and I honestly, I broke this down just a note before this, that it’s like innovation in terms of companies becoming honest with their role in this trimmed down world.
[00:20:15] Like, I don’t, I know car dealers are getting hammered. But who’s going to buy a car right now. And I, you see those ads where it’s like, Oh, we’re doing this and this is so great, “by the way buy our car”, you know? And it’s, and it’s, it’s a tough place to be. But yeah, like, cause I think my head’s been down, so I don’t have anything to point to.
[00:20:37] Dennis Dayman: Yeah. I mean, all, yeah, all the industries, cars are really good ones because we were talking about this at the day. I keep my eyes or keep surfing because of all the deals that are popping up right now. And I can’t decide like, well, I mean, if I buy one, great. Yes, it’s just going to sit around and I’ll pay it off as soon as I can, but it’s a good deal.
[00:20:52] But like my other car, I have an 11-year-old, Like collector car that I’ve kept for a little bit. And it has maybe less than a hundred thousand miles on it, but I’ve never really driven it that often for anyways. We drive her car most of the time. And that something has also happened in airlines.
[00:21:05] Right. We already know. And you and I were on the road a lot or had been on the road a lot, but. You know, the days of business travel are almost over, at least for another, I would say probably three, maybe four more years before they even see any resemblance of a return. Right. It’s just the world that we’re living in and, and you’re right.
[00:21:22] Companies are now having to realize that, Hey, this is the world we’re living in and if we haven’t changed or hadn’t thought about this, then yeah, we’re going to either die on the vine because we’re too slow to do this sort of stuff. And. And, or if we can do it, then maybe we can do this because, in April and may, right.
[00:21:39] You know, online stores and whatnot, right. You know, all the online orders we saw an increase of upwards of 40%, right. Conversion rates were high up into the, 12 to 15% sort of range. You know, you’re kind of lucky because I see, like you just said, right. A lot of companies are now. They’re fighting to go from, Oh, we’re a brick and mortar.
[00:22:00] Now we have to go online and we happen to this very, very fast and, Oh my gosh, we got to spend more money. It costs us more money. And in fact, I was just reading even just today, dumb, dumb example, to some extent, not retail, but like Dunkin donuts is closing 800 stores or the retail stores that are in those gas stations, places and whatnot.
[00:22:17] But they’re having a hard time keeping up because they don’t do online, but you guys are a little bit different. You guys were online and then you partnered with some places, I believe where you are selling your mattresses as well, but you guys were already set to do this.
[00:22:32] Scott Cohen: Yeah. Started as a Kickstarter and, and into, in the B2C side.
[00:22:37] And then, we were mattress firms all around the country. Macy’s Bloomingdale’s and even then you can, you can buy at least, I don’t think you can buy those online too. Like if you prefer to go through a mattress firm for some reason. But like I said, when. When wholesale went down, it was like, okay guys, on the B2C side and my world and the acquisitions team as a whole, it’s like, it’s on you.
[00:23:02] You know, we gotta pick up the Slack. We got to raise, we got to, we’re not going to cover the full 50% or whatever, but we got to close the gap as much as possible. And we were frankly, pleasantly surprised at first that it just picked up and people went, well, I guess I’ll buy it online now.
[00:23:18] Dennis Dayman: Right? It’s just easier because you guys are also doing money-back guarantees free shipping. Whereas I think even when I had bought, I think the mattress actually that we currently have come from a mattress firm and there was, yes, you can return it, but we’re going to charge your return fee plus the ship or the pickup fee ongoing.
[00:23:32] Yeah. I am not bringing this thing back as long as I love it, but, for as long as I have it, so yeah. yeah, so, yeah, no, but you guys are in a good spot for that. I know our listeners are going to be interested then in terms of sort of the eCommerce direction, like how are you looking at using things like smart segmentation or AI, like, Netcore talks quite a bit about AI and technologies and, and, and to be able to know more about your customer, whatnot, based on the interest.
[00:23:58] And, from my days even working at Eloquent, the marketing automation space, right we also then brought in web website activity and transaction history into that. But. What are some of the strategies that, for you, have worked well to understand the set up of smart segmentation, whether it’s related to mattresses or otherwise, but what are some of the things that maybe our listeners can learn from you on that?
[00:24:18] Scott Cohen: I go back to basics on it and at a minimum know what your customers have done. I mean, it’s, it’s a lot easier to say than it is to pull off. I mean, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of data gathering and aggregation that goes in, one of the challenges we have is that if somebody buys from a mattress firm, we don’t know about it.
[00:24:38] We don’t know who they are, so there’s. Yeah. so they buy directly from us or from, we have five retail stores ourselves to Newton, three or four in California. And there may be more, but we’re. I think our opening strategy got slowed down just a little bit, these past few months. So we know those of course.
[00:24:57]But at a minimum, as I said, we, we’re, we’re starting to do emails were, okay. Like we’ve launched a new line of sheets back in June. And we started with simple segmentation. I call it simple, but okay. They’ve bought a mattress and they’ve bought sheets or original sheets before.
[00:25:16] Let’s message and let’s do a version for people who just bought. Then let’s do a version for people who just bought a mattress, but they haven’t bought sheets. And then let’s message everybody else who hasn’t bought those things. And it’s a lot of tests and learning is really what it is. And you test into that and go, okay.
[00:25:34] The two groups that had bought sheets before really wanted new sheets. Now you go through sheets and, they get old and dirty and you’ve got to replace them anyway. But those did well. I wouldn’t say we’re doing it as well as I’d like to, that’s really where we’re starting.
[00:25:50] Okay. Know who’s bought from you, know who hasn’t bought from you, know what they’ve bought and what that next logical product would look like. And use your, and if you have an analytics team lean on them, make them do the work for you, and pull that data to go. They bought sheets. What are they likely to buy next?
[00:26:08] Dennis Dayman: Or like for me, right. As some people already know, like the boys are going off to their sophomore year in college and they’re moving into their place, which is kind of nice, but I mean, I didn’t realize you guys, weren’t taking those sorts of segmentation metrics from say, mattress firm, and you’re doing it online, but you guys could almost basically say, Hey, do you have any, if you do how old are they?
[00:26:28] Right. Because, Hey, your kids are about to turn 18. Are they headed to college? By the way, we’re doing a deal, university Purple mattress fits the dorm, frame just perfect or whatnot, or again for these two, right. They’re going off into a condo. So it’s like, Yeah, we have to go off and do something for them in the next two or three weeks because it’s now the responsibility furniture wise.
[00:26:47] But I mean, those are some of the things that people can be looking at. I would think as to, it’s okay to get personal, don’t ask for social security numbers, but it’s okay to ask a little bit about their demographics, right?
[00:26:58] Scott Cohen: Yeah. I mean, obviously, with every additional question, you asked on a form, fewer people fill it out.
[00:27:04] So, people don’t want to do anything. Your superfans will give you anything you want, but the people are like, I’m just buying a mattress, leave me alone. I mean, there’s, there’s a balancing act there.
[00:27:17] Dennis Dayman: What’s he gonna ask you? What is that balance? Is it five questions? 10? I mean, what have you learned over the years in doing that?
[00:27:24] Scott Cohen: It depends. It depends on the two-word answer that any email marketer will tell you for anything of course. But when I worked at the university, we had an inquiry form that was two pages long, but we wanted to qualify those people before we even talked to them. Do you know? And then I’ve been on the opposite side where companies are just ad agency days where we’re just asking for an email address and then you ask for more information later.
[00:27:53] And cause you just want to get the lead in and just start messaging them. So there’s a balancing act and we have that too, where we have, we have the ability to just sign up for email and it’s just the email address. And then we start messaging about, why we’re awesome, the Purple grid, all that stuff.
[00:28:10] That’s that makes our mattresses so great. And then, of course, we have the people who, if they make a purchase, of course, we know where they live, what their phone number is, etc, etc. because FedEx won’t deliver it to you if they don’t have an address. There is a balancing act there, we’re starting to add things like a birthday.
[00:28:28] Or, you could do simple things, simple touchpoints of anniversary programs. Like you bought a mattress from us a year ago, how’s it going? Here’s 10% off to go buy something else. You could do little things like that, but that’s just something you have to learn for what you’re selling, what you’re trying to get in, and what your metrics are.
[00:28:46] Cause some, some CEOs go, just get everybody on the list and you’re like, fine. Just give us an email address and we’ll figure it out later. And then your core, you can qualify further and further.
[00:28:58] Dennis Dayman: Well, and even you guys are different. Cause I remember like even when we were dealing with marketing automation, our job as a platform was to help the marketer do the marketing funnel, marketing, qualified leads, qualified leads, you know get the sale done if you will, I should say, then dump that over to a salesperson. For them who then needs to sell. And they’re at sales guys, always asking, right. This person that’s always asking for those leads, but for you, you don’t even have to worry about that sort of stuff when it comes to eCommerce.
[00:29:22] Right. It is instantaneous. You already know. I mean, I, I talk about this from the privacy perspective, but yeah. More data on these individuals because they are already out there researching and stuff day in and day out. And if you’re working with, these, content systems and data systems and whatnot, you probably almost even know who they are to some extent already, but they’ve come and visited you guys.
[00:29:42] And yet you saw them somewhere else. Right. And they’ve been shopping. So they’re hyper-educated, right? Hyper-aware right. So there’s almost nothing for you guys not to say nothing, but there’s not a whole lot more that you have to do other than just to continue to keep their interests going with discounts and other things.
[00:29:57] Scott Cohen: Exactly.
[00:29:58] Dennis Dayman: Yeah. Well, you know how, from their perspective, like from an eCommerce perspective, like I know we keep bringing this backup, right. Again, we bought the mattress, I had the mattress and whatnot. you’re talking about using this data right. To, to keep customers from leaving and whatnot, but obviously you guys have a different mentality, like.
[00:30:18] I always talk about TVs, right? TVs are lasting. I don’t know how many years. Right. But, I felt like that round changes so quickly, like it used to be back in the 90s, I don’t, I don’t know about you, but you always bought Sony because Sony was the place to buy a TV. Now there’s like 50 different brands.
[00:30:33] And I know that there’ll be another 50 more brands and another five more years and whatnot, like, how do you guys reduce that, that churn then from those clients? Right. You know, do you guys feel like the Purple mattress, like you just said will become like the Apple right. iPhone. Right.
[00:30:48] You hear those names and you immediately know success and immediately know Apple is the product and it’s, it’s, it’s the expensive thing. But mean how you guys would reduce that, that, that churn at all. Are you able to do that or do you care or, you still have that same mentality, which is like, it’s fine that they leave you.
[00:31:04] Right. It’s okay. You know, maybe they’ll come back and hopefully, they will, but if they want to leave, they can leave. It’s quality over quantity. Right? How do you,
[00:31:10] Scott Cohen: Yeah, that’s a really interesting question because if you look at our original Purple mattress, it is the traditional bed in the box type mattress, right.
[00:31:24] I mean, it’s the lower, I mean, they’re all rolled up, but it’s, it’s more of in that category of, the Caspers and Lisa’s and all that, they’re nice mattresses, but they’re not like we’re more expensive than they are for the most part, especially as you get into our higher-end models.
[00:31:46] Dennis Dayman: So it’s, lasting product too.
[00:31:49] Scott Cohen: Exactly. And so it’s really interesting and we’re, we’re doing a lot of learning, I would say in terms of who our customer base is, what they’ve bought and they’re. We’ve been largely an acquisition focused company, I would say. Which is, which is fine. I mean, I would say most mattress companies are because most people just assume they buy a mattress and then 10 years later it’s going to be completely different.
[00:32:16] And it’s almost like reacquisition. Like you’re not going to necessarily get people to buy four mattresses at a time. I would love it, but it won’t, it won’t happen very often.
[00:32:27] Dennis Dayman: Yeah. I mean buying a new house, we might as well change everything out. Right.
[00:32:31] Scott Cohen: Well, and that’s honestly, one of our best markets is, is movers.
[00:32:35] So it’s identifying those places and, I mean, still our number one marketing channels, word of mouth. We still, we have that cool factor, I would say. Right. But that the space as a whole, it’s really hard to stand out unless you’re in those stores. So people are still, I think what COVID has done is it’s made it more okay to buy a mattress without laying on it. And because
[00:33:00] Dennis Dayman: It’s so weird to me,
[00:33:01] Scott Cohen: Which is weird, right. I mean, heck even I have a Purple mattress, but I went into our store and laid on them. Like, I, it would be weird even for me and I work for the company. It would be weird for me to buy it directly from B2C, but it’s made it okay.
[00:33:15] You know, overall. So, and then it’s if retention is kind of an interesting thing because if you sell products, Is it retention or is it just repetition, like, there’s a, it’s like, how do you define what retention means? Is it purchased within two years? Is it one year? Is it, they’ve had, we’re not old enough yet to have had somebody have a mattress for 10 years.
[00:33:41]You know, what, what does that look like? So I think our view of retention is going to change based on how we grow and as a company.
[00:33:50] Dennis Dayman: Right. What’s gonna make it hard for you. I hadn’t thought about that. Right. Cause your product does last longer, right? It doesn’t, I don’t think it does, but it doesn’t, get that, what do you call that?
[00:34:00] The soup in the middle, right? I mean, yeah.
[00:34:02] Scott Cohen: I call it the football field.
[00:34:05] Dennis Dayman: Come off the football field on a King. Yeah. Yeah. It’s what’s which is hard. Cause I know I can, I don’t know, another five more years, whatever it’s going to be. We’ll have to replace and maybe go to this sort of mattress system because we just have to and that’s a tough game for you guys. Cause I could keep this thing for 15 years. That’s not a whole lot of revenue again, why it’s much more expensive. It’s a quality item. Right. But you kind of have to then go off and look at these other ways to retain customers into buying more stuff.
[00:34:32] Right. And again, it could be pajamas next who knows, right. Anything sleep-related, you know?
[00:34:37] Scott Cohen: Well, and that’s the other thing is, retention becomes more advocacy and referrals and getting, and getting people to maybe they don’t buy a mattress again, but they get somebody else to buy a mattress. And that’s really where I see that as part of our retention program is getting word of mouth built up and incentivizing that.
[00:34:58] And, we’ll be building a loyalty program at some point here in the next year or so. And what that looks like. I don’t even know, but
[00:35:07] Dennis Dayman: Then a friend of mine mattress and we’ll throw in two pillows, right. Or, Hey, get two mattresses and Hey, we’ll give you, I don’t know. That’s a certain percent off the next big mattress pilot you need to make for your house, by the way, is there anybody else in your house that needs something like this? Because kids can use these things, right.
[00:35:21] Scott Cohen: Exactly.
[00:35:23]Dennis Dayman: Well, most of what the last couple of minutes we have here, kind of want to give you a moment here to sort of, talk a little about sort of the industry trends in e-commerce that you are now seeing develop maybe in the next couple of years.
[00:35:34] Is there anything that’s kind of exciting for you, that folks here should kind of hear about, and maybe you should kind of keep an eye on,
[00:35:41] Scott Cohen: I think email is going to have another moment in the sun in all honesty because of emails based on first-party data. And first-party data is going to be key. I mean the third party cookie, as we know, it’s going to die here very soon.
[00:35:56] And so CRM. In the data capacity, not necessarily the software capacity, but the data capacity is going to be King again, we’re, an email is tied into that. I like to say email is kind of like the best friend and romantic comedies they’ve been there the whole time. They did all the right things.
[00:36:16] And at some point the first is going to try and be like, I have loved you all this time. Yeah. It’s going to be that way. I honestly think so. In the time, how many times has email died in the 11 years I’ve been in? Yeah.
[00:36:33] Dennis Dayman: Spam is going to kill it. And social media was going to kill it. Yeah. And then, yeah,
[00:36:38] Scott Cohen: A best friend in a romantic comedy. Maybe it’s a zombie romantic comedy, but we never go away. And I think it’s the circle’s going to come back because, I think the display is going to struggle a bit, once the cookies go, retargeting and prospecting, it’s going to be a lot based on you know what CRM drives through CDPs, whatever acronym we want to say. It’s data is going to be true.
[00:37:06] However many, three-letter acronyms become four-letter words, but whatever, but yeah, I that’s. That’s probably the biggest trend I see. I ‘d be interested to see it. how AMP for Gmail works and gets supported by, I’m not a believer yet, but I think there’s potential. it does depend on support.
[00:37:28]I’d be really, I’d be a focus group of one. I would be very hesitant to plead a purchase inside an email. I would prefer to have the security that comes with going to a website and stuff like that. But. I’m also an email marketer and we test and improve and wrong all the time. So, I think that’s an interesting thing to watch.
[00:37:47]And, whether a video will ever come to email in and true capacity. We’ll see. I mean, that’s what eight years old now
[00:37:58] Dennis Dayman: on the Slack channel. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this is coming back up again. Yeah.
[00:38:02] Scott Cohen: Yeah, like what’s the best ESP to use, that sort of thing. Although I am on this one, Netcore so,
[00:38:10] Dennis Dayman: you know what you could try out in Netcore, they’re doing some free stuff right now, which is a good ending for us actually on this. But listen, Scott, I want to thank you for being a part of this. with us, this is great too, to see you.
[00:38:21] People don’t realize that you and I are seeing each other, even though they listen to us, but it’s great that we’re able to reconnect on this, but I appreciate you being a part of this with us and telling us a little bit about this and your experiences
[00:38:31] Scott Cohen: with this. Yeah. Thanks for having me. It’s been fun.
[00:38:34] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:38:35] Dennis Dayman: Well, listen, folks, listen, we hope this has helped you guys understand how. how you can perform e-commerce marketing this time that we’re in right now, again. Yes. We all understand it’s very difficult. and we’re just about to turn into August. Well, by the time you guys here, this will be in August.
[00:38:51]but if you guys haven’t been looking at sort of what your eCommerce programs are doing and, and moving online in terms of your sales opportunities, You guys are a little bit behind. so hopefully what you’re hearing today, give you some ideas and give you some thought processes for this.
[00:39:04] But, as, as Scott just said, right, if you need help, right. Come out and check out Netcore, right? Again, you guys, no, that Netcore is a global email engagement leader and they’re using their AI-powered email, deliverability, and campaign solutions to drive ROI. And again, they’ve been doing this for about two decades now for all their customers globally right now. But if you want to try this out and Scott, this offer goes to you guys as well. Right. But right now, there is a COVID email relief program and it’s still going on until September of this year. And again, it allows you to use all the technologies that are there to send unlimited emails at zero cost.
[00:39:39] And again, to use an AI-powered technology that Netcore is offering everybody. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this Netcore weekly podcast. You can subscribe either on Spotify. iTunes, Google Play Stitcher, or you can visit Netcore.co where you can listen to it there, but you can also listen to all the past podcasts that we’ve had as well.
[00:40:00] And again, these podcasts drop every single Thursday. So be around next Thursday to listen for this next podcast. And outside of that, I want to, again, thank you again, Scott, for being a part of this. And I want to remind everyone to stay safe and healthy and listeners, we’ll be back again next week with another podcast.
[00:40:16] Thanks very much. Take care. And we’ll talk to you soon.
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