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Optimizing Customer Experience in the iOS15 and Post-Cookies Era With Ryan Smith, Head of Partnership at Emotive

Joshua Chin 5:12

Right? Interesting. So it sounds like a motive, this optimizing for human first customer experience, just optimizing for good customer experience. And that’s just a path that that you chose to take. And it’s proven to be really, really effective.

Ryan Smith 5:30

Exactly. And then what we really specialize in is more like that top of funnel relationship with brands and their consumers. It’s more about like learning as much about them as possible in a short period of time, what interests do they have, what sizes do they have, so you can use all that relevant data in future messaging. But we’ve also found great ways and a lot of our customers have found amazing ways to leverage our product also, carry that conversation, post purchase, or an abandoned checkout situation where bringing that human element into play can help you get more views, get more, you know, repeat visitors and also try to like recover a lot of those abandoned carts as well, when that humans reaching out and saying, Hey, I noticed you left something in your cart. Right? Instead of asking right away, or what your traditional approach might be is a, you know, you left something your card, here’s a 15% off code to come back. Maybe there’s something wrong, you know, did you miss something?

Joshua Chin 6:23

On that coupon code? Yep. Yeah. It’s it’s, it’s interesting, you say that, because part of the shift that I’m seeing in the, in the retention and own marketing ecommerce space is that zero party and first party data is going to be king, post kind of the open rates, mess that we see if iOS 15, not being able to open rates anymore. And post cookies and in the near near future, zero party data of stuff that people actually give you like information that people give you. And first party data is going to be incredibly important. But my question is, if it’s such, like a top funnel thing, how do you gain trust quickly, to a point where people are giving you information that you need? In that way? This doesn’t make sense.

Ryan Smith 7:19

Yeah, if I understand your question, question correctly, I mean, when it when it comes to, at least, initially, given the phone number, we can kind of start at the very top there. Yeah, it does kind of come down to how you’re going to treat that channel specifically, like because consumers that go to a website, when a pop up triggers and says, Hey, get 10% off, give us your email address, or pretty welcome to do that. And the open rates kind of show for themselves, if you’re doing great with email, you get 30, maybe 35%, open rate. A lot of people just don’t even check their inboxes. And now with the way that Gmail kind of operates, you can kind of suss out, you know, personal emails versus spam versus, you know, promotional emails. So you just don’t really get that open rate initially. But when you’re trying to target someone on such a personal channel, where I text my parents, I text my, you know, Beyonce, I text all these significant people in my life. But do I very often text brands not so much, because I want the same experience, I would get through email, get a personal, like SMS. So it’s all about really separating. These are VIP customers, these are people that are engaged, truly interested. So there’s already a higher chance they’re gonna buy from you if they’re willing to get that type of information out. So when it comes to capturing email, and phone number, you want to make sure that you treat that SMS list as a VIP list, they’re going to get exclusive offers exclusive updates when they join that. But from there, once they give us that information, again, we already know that they’re highly engaged. This is a very high qualified prospect that might be buying a product from us, you’re already kind of gotten the open door to ask them some more relevant questions. And in promotive example, we may actually ask questions like, Hey, thanks for you know, coming to this haircare brand, we have a question for you, what type of you know hair? Did you a brunette or you blonde, etc. You sort of ask those layering questions just like you would do in a sales conversation. And slowly you can peel back all those layers and understand this customer a lot better. And as you mentioned before getting that zero party data. Yeah. So to be able to recommend those right products and continue that relationship moving forward. So hopefully that kind of answers your question.

Joshua Chin 9:28

Yeah, it does. It does. So it’s kind of getting that entry point. Getting that phone number and then treating that person like a human being and having a human conversation. What do you do after that about like when you have information like size hair type, skin condition, all these really really critical you know, opportunities for segmentation. What do you do next? What happens on the back end?

Ryan Smith 9:58

Yeah, in the in the car. contacts have a Emotive, it usually leads to a very personalized product recommendation right out of the gate. So if we know their skin type or their hair type and any other qualifying questions, we can probably recommend them very specific product at least, or at the very least drive them to a collection page. And again, we’re just trying to facilitate that journey. Because you know, any new website, it can be a little overwhelming, a lot of brands do a great job of laying out their website is a very user friendly experience. But if you have hundreds of skews, 1000s of skews, sometimes it is beneficial, just drive someone directly to that collection page, it’s going to help their journey a little bit more instead of bouncing off the website too quickly. But beyond that, once we have that information about the customer, and we’re helping drive that initial conversion, now they’re in that bucket where we can truly target them in a more personalized way. Especially like this time of year yet, flash sales that are going to be going on with Black Friday or Cyber Monday, people are rolling out new product launches. If we have some that information that’s relevant about this new, you know, haircare product that we have coming out, we can now segment our audience and send them a very personalized message. Even if they didn’t purchase that first time, it shows that we actually know who they are, we know what they’re interested in. They give us that second at bat to actually convert that customer for the first time. So really lenders you know that data can be getting that first conversion, or even that second conversion, but again, delighting them beyond that, throughout their entire journey with this specific brand.

Joshua Chin 11:28

What are some examples, or case studies that you could share of brands that have done it right, that have used the capabilities that emotive brings to the table to a new height now as we speak Black Friday is just around the corner. So what are some ideas that you can share with friends?

Ryan Smith 11:51

Yeah, so just hit on your first question there. The first part of this around like successful case studies I get, I don’t want to name any specific brands that we work with. But what I will say is some of the verticals, we work very well with like cosmetics, have seen great applications of our SMS platform. More specifically around that top of funnel experience where someone first opts in to receive SMS notifications, they may be getting a specific coupon code like a 10%, just to get their foot in the door, or right away, they’re starting off a conversation with that consumer to say, hey, you know, thanks for signing up for our VIP list, here’s your coupon code. But we have a question for you what type of you know skin do you have? Do you have wrinkly and dry skin and right out of the gates are starting to learn more about that customer. And what they’re seeing is, you know, they can easily lead this customer down a pathway to recommend a very specific product out of their SKU that’s going to help with their specific problem they’re focusing on so give them a great experience out of the gates, that this brand actually is looking to learn more about them, help them drive them to the right product, and make that buying decision much easier. But what they’re seeing that as a 15 to 20% conversion rate, versus more of those traditional one way blasts that a lot of people do with SMS might get a five to 10% conversion rate, that 15 to 20% conversion rate off of a conversation is really helping these brands grow very quickly. So that as far as like a case study or use case that we’ll see, yeah, there’s plenty others that we can dive into, if that makes sense. But as far as Black Friday Cyber Monday goes, a couple of things. One, if you’re listening to this now, this information is a little bit more for next year, you start your list, as soon as possible, both SMS and email, you should be focusing on that in September. That’s like that. If pain as many, you know, running your ads driving as much traffic to the website, growing that list now, because that’s free people you can start to reach out to right when Black Friday, Cyber Monday comes to hit. Josh, I know you’re like very familiar with this being on the agency side with the services. But when it comes to paid media, it’s so expensive now. Yeah, around this time a year, your you know, row as on ads is going to be going down into the basement really quickly. Right. Growing that list early, and converting as many people to an own channel first is the number one step to having a successful Black Friday Cyber Monday in my opinion. As far as like some of the tips and strategies when it comes to Black Friday, Cyber Monday specifically. So we’re coming up to the week of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, we want to have a good sale period, we’re expecting you know, 30% of our annual revenue coming in through this weekend alone or whatever it might be for these brands. What you need to do is again, treat SMS and email very differently. Yeah, email me for more those generic promotions leading up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday you’ll be sending out those promotions about 25% off site wide or whatever those specific deals are that buy one get one free offer. But when that Black Friday actually hits, that’s that time that you can really leverage SMS to boost those sales numbers. Because the open rate with SMS is going to be, you know, roughly 99%, all those consumers are pretty much going to see that message. And that’s really going to hit them with that extra promotion, hey, we have this flash sale for VIP list only, you get 30% off and send 20% off. Say why. And really just showing them that, hey, because you join this channel, you’re getting these exclusive offers, this is part of the perk of it. And this is why you want to continue to work with us and try to buy with us. But it’s also kind of like that Hail Mary, you can throw at the end of the season. Yeah. A little bit, a little bit on your numbers, you want to boost that up. We’ve seen customers that send out those last minute, SMS promotions for one day sale. Yeah, really about their numbers at the end of the day.

Joshua Chin 15:47

Make sense. And on the human touch aspect, like post purchase, I think the so I, I’ve been a I’ve been a Whoop member for about a about a year now. Like, it’s, it’s kind of it’s basically a fitness tracker for for health, sleep.

Ryan Smith 16:11

That’s next on my list

Joshua Chin 16:12

and all that stuff. It’s it’s great. I love it. I’ve been a member for a year and counting now. And I recently had an issue with kind of traveling across time zones, I tried to travel from LA to Singapore, and my kind of data got screwed up. Because obviously, I’m moving forward in time. So my sleep has been tracked for the day prior every single day for a period of time. And I never bought it to kind of go to support because I know how tedious it’s going to be emailing someone and having all the conversation it sucks, right. But what ended up happening is I realized that there is a little bit a little icon in the app itself that allowed me to initiate a conversation that starts off with kind of a filtering process of what’s your issue? What are you trying to fix? What’s the problem, you’re facing kind of really generic and kind of narrowing down to the right department. And then I got instantly connected to a person, I can tell that it’s a it’s a person kind of typing things up, because it’s of the way that they structured their sentences and, you know, a little bit of grammatical inconsistencies here and there, which was was great, because that was real. And one of the things that was mentioned, it was kind of like a, like a text conversation. But in app, one of the things that was mentioned was, thank you that the Customer Support Specialist mentioned was thank you for being a Whoop member since October 2020. Like, oh, that’s, that’s cool that you know that and it’s cool that you brought that up is it little touches like that, that makes me feel like, Oh, this is uh, you know, I feel like I’m a valued member of the community versus just, oh, this is just a transaction and an interaction and just a ticket. So I think that, that plays a huge part in kind of building that, that trust. And I think just because of that conversation, my retention, as a customer has gone up, just in the back of my mind, I think I just feel a little bit more strongly about the brand and build a relationship with, with Whoop. So I think that there’s a huge opportunity for brands to, to take advantage of that post purchase experience. And level that up with the information that you can get, you know, like Ryan, you spoke about the sizing the hair condition, the skin type, and issues that people are facing and the solutions they are looking for. And that upsell process to, hey, I remember you mentioned that you had a problem with A, we just launched B, why don’t you check this out? By the way, I hooked you up with a 10% off code in your checkout page. So just click through and you get a discount. Just by doing that. I it’s I think it’s going to be a game changer. Is that possible? With with Emotive? I think it is.

Ryan Smith 19:08

And so to some degree, yes, there is a lot of capabilities that we have with the human component to really continue conversations beyond basic back and forth. Conversations. I wouldn’t Emotive as a support specific platform. And that’s why we encourage a lot of great partners out there like Gorgeous, for example to like integrate and be able to like continue those support related conversations within there. But I love that you brought that that that aspect of support really bringing that element how it can really change your experience with the brand overall. We want to do the exact same thing here from a top of funnel perspective. But to your point I actually had a very similar experience last year when I was buying from this brand called Tuxie It’s It’s like zip up like hoodies and and sweat pants. It’s like a onesie for guys. Okay, so the funny concept in the world, but I had ordered one for my brother’s birthday, and it was too small. And it actually had a little rip in the pocket. And he got on their website and just started chatting back and forth a live representative. And he was like, Oh, I’m so sorry about that, that this can happen from time to time, totally understand, you can keep that one, we’re gonna send you a new one in the new size you need and like that. That actually led me to buy one for myself after the fact is I was like, alright, well, I know they’re gonna stand behind their product, there’s a real thing in this activity, right? So it’s an amazing way to truly do that, at least from a support side, right? That’s why I love that human component. But like, beyond the the side of like, some support aspects, what I think is similar, that we do over here at Emotive is from like a review standpoint, or what was someone’s overall impression of our brand when they first bought so post purchase, you might automate a conversation, where we text them up and say, Hey, what was your experience with XYZ product we saw you just ordered that hope it was great. And you can leave a pretty generic decision tree available in Emotive that says a positive response, a negative response, or no response. Regardless of how that consumer writes back to us, the human on our team will actually identify, Okay, no matter what, we know, this is a positive response. And this is a negative response. Because not everyone can say, yes, great or no terrible, they’ll write back a whole paragraph being like, this is awesome, I want to recommend everyone to it, we can digest that and send them down the right pathway to say, We’re so glad you had a great experience, here’s a code to buy that next product or leave us a review or refer a friend something along those lines, it’s still breathe it element in to keep that relationship very strong.

Joshua Chin 21:49

Make sense? And I this is a great point to kind of bring up AI find typically find it really difficult to detect sarcasm, and context. So I could say, Yeah, that’s great. You know, in tax, but the context is that. Yeah, it’s been a shitty situation. And I don’t think many AI softwares can really affect the didn’t want Susan in conversations like that. So having human in place. And looping back to our first question is, is a good thing?

Ryan Smith 22:24

Absolutely. And that’s, that’s what we like to say. It’s like, it’s human assisted AI as amazing, like, companies are doing great things with it right now. But it’s not perfect. And that would be like really keyword driven as a brand as a company over here to really help separate us versus people that are using those generic bot type responses.

Joshua Chin 22:43

Right? Make sense? It’s basically best of both worlds, both worlds. What, what’s your advice for, for econ brands that are kind of picking up speed and scaling and seeing the next kind of frontier of your growth? When it relates to SMS marketing? Oh, and marketing? What do you think more people should do? Yeah, I mean,

Ryan Smith 23:09

I think own marketing is the number one thing that everyone should focus on that too many newer brands are just so focus on, again, buying all their visitors to their website, and they don’t truly understand how powerful these own channels like email, SMS, and there’s going to be more own channels are going to come out in the near future as well. But one good thing to always think about is, you know, if you got kicked off of Facebook, tomorrow, where would you go to, to continue to grow your business. And that’s when people really need to stop and think, Oh, I really should be focused on right out of the gates building up my email and my SMS list, bringing in more people own channels that are truly mine, that I can mark them however I want, whenever I want, and not worry about a third party that suppresses me or blocks me or completely shuts down my following. So that’s the biggest mistake that brands make. And that would be my my top advice for anybody out there. So definitely focus on building up those own channels. The the only other part of that would be again, as I mentioned before, in this episode, treating, you know those different channels differently. You should not go and subscribe to email and SMS and expect the exact same messages. Otherwise, there’s a point I’m gonna give you my phone number, if I can just check my inbox for the same messages, right? Yeah, yeah, they’re really focused on personalizing those different channels, so that you can show customers and truly drive more engagement that way. Because if you have someone that’s on your SMS list that opens every email or every SMS, every text message clicks on every link, you know, how much more valuable that person is that opens every month? You know?

Joshua Chin 24:43

Yeah, exactly. And what I understand of Emotive is that now you can take all that information, feed that back into your other channels on email on Facebook and you can retarget and create look alike audiences around. People are who are engaged on SMS, correct me if I’m wrong.

Ryan Smith 25:03

So that’s essentially where this whole industry is heading. I think in the very near future, we will live in a space where all of your data can be aggregated in one place. And you can say, hey, if this person opens this email, or doesn’t open this email, then send them this text message and really be able to build every single channel off of each other. We’re very close to that right now, where you can definitely figure out, hey, what’s my open rate on email? What’s my open rate on SMS? You know, who’s not opening email? Should I try just SMS with this customer? We’re already at that point where we can strategize and take some of our different channels, combine them together and figure out what’s the best strategy to get the most out of every customer we have. But I think we’re still a little bit of ways out before we can truly have a fully integrated experience across every single own channel.

Joshua Chin 25:49

Hmm, gotcha. You mentioned Tuxie or Tuxie. Yeah. What? What are some of some other brands that you’re a fan of that you feel are doing, doing it? Right, this SMS and owner? Yeah, so I

Ryan Smith 26:04

think my favorite one that I recommend everyone just check out is Native Deodorant. They do an amazing job. They’re killer brands. I only use their deodorant, their body wash at this point. So they definitely have me fully hooked in. So they’ve done a great job. But I actually follow both their I’m on their email list and their SMS list. So get all their notifications on both sides. And they just do an amazing job with their content. It’s always relevant, they keep things new, they keep things very personalized. And I love every step of that way. And what they do great about SMS is they don’t hammer me with it, I don’t get an SMS message every month, or every week. But I do probably get at least one a month. And there’s probably a special promotion I get through SMS as well, that usually leads me to buy. Yeah, and you know, despite with COVID, I don’t use deodorant as much as I used to when I was in office setting. I still reup all the time, I have about six cans of deodorant sitting in my bedroom right now. Because so well. So they’re an awesome brand that you should definitely, if you’re an ecommerce brand, or if you’re an agency, whoever you are out there, you’re trying to learn more about marketing, especially from an own channel, they’re a great one to subscribe to. The other one that I really like is Chubbies, which I think a lot of people are familiar with, like the bathing suits are kind of like, I don’t know, I don’t want to misquote their mission, but more of like that bro type of apparel. And what I just love about them is they’re unique, they’re funny, and everything out there on social media and on their like email list. It always catches my attention. And always it’s worth a read. So I think just doing certain things like that know your niche, and tailor content that’s going to actually make them want to read it beyond just buying. If I want to read it, there’s a good chance I’m gonna go to the website and maybe make a buy anyways, the that’s, those are some of the brands I really, really like. And I think some people should definitely check out if they’re looking to get a little bit of who’s doing it right.

Joshua Chin 28:00

Absolutely. I’m definitely a big fan of both of them as well. Ryan, thank you so much for your time. What’s the best way to connect with you?

Ryan Smith 28:08

Yeah, the best way to connect with me is just right on LinkedIn. I’m super responsive from there. Anyone can reach out to me that’s how you met me, Josh. But yeah, you can just find me on LinkedIn. I work at Emotive. I’m the Head of Partnerships there. Pretty easy to search me up pretty quickly. And I’m always open to connect with people my social media channels. I’m going to keep email pretty private though so

Joshua Chin 28:31

perfect LinkedIn and it’s Emotive.io guys. It’s Emotive.io. Right. Thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

Ryan Smith 28:42

Yeah. Thanks for having me on. Josh. This is great.

Outro 28:47

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