Podcast: Customers Who Click

Podcast: Retention Strategies for increasing share of wallet in E-Commerce Recently, our founder, Phill Manson, joined the Customers Who Click podcast to discuss retention strategies focused on increasing share of wallet. If you can put your data to work and use it to put the right...

Phill Manson - PAASE email marketing agency

Podcast: Retention Strategies for increasing share of wallet in E-Commerce

Recently, our founder, Phill Manson, joined the Customers Who Click podcast to discuss retention strategies focused on increasing share of wallet.

If you can put your data to work and use it to put the right message, in front of the right person, at the right time. Your chance of improving customer retention and LTV goes through the roof.

We talked about…

  • The importance of understanding your customers
  • Using data to identify common behaviours in your customer base
  • Why the customer experience is crucial

    And of course, a lot more…

Episode synopsis 

Welcome back. It’s time for customers who click. We all know that acquisition is getting more and more expensive and tougher. There’s so much competition out there, and it’s so easy for anyone to open an ad account and throw some cash into the mix.


So how could you gain that important advantage?


Use your data. Take that data from your existing customers. Use it across the whole marketing ecosystem to grow.


But what does this mean?


How can you do it?


Phill Manson, founder and MD of PAASE, is here to explain.


Hi, Phill. Thanks for joining me today.


Would you mind just giving us a bit of an introduction to yourself, your background and how you got to where you are today?


Yes, certainly. My name’s Phill. I am the founder and managing director of a digital agency called PAASE Digital. We are one of the leading marketing automation agencies in the UK, really focusing on driving revenue from customer data through email s MS and predominantly through the VA platform at the moment.


Ok, cool.


What do you do?


Pretty much just email SMS. 


Do you touch on like, direct mail?


We don’t in terms of deployment. But what we do is around the data side of segmentation retargeting.


So again, working with brands to identify which cohorts or segments should be pushed up through which channel.


So, yeah, we’re definitely a kind of an overarching view of it, but we won’t deploy through the direct mail channels. There’s other specialists out there that can do that. But we’re working with that kind of.


The ad is the right customer, right?


Message, right channel, right?


So I and we’re just deploying that data through to the to the relevant people.


Yeah, OK, cool.


So how do you guys get customers clicking?


Yeah, interestingly, I was chatting to somebody else about this the other week, But our view, it’s not design. It’s data. So it’s identifying segmenting the data, identifying what that customer or segment of customers are interested in, so that you can supply them with relevant content. So it’s less about an email looking pretty.

It’s much more around the science behind the data selections that go on through so you can take that in a different way.

You could as a as an organisation, build out five oh 6789 10 different emails or in our way or our view is how do we use dynamic content within creative to really deploy the right content at the right time?

So using merge fields using product feeds that are really deploying relevant messaging. So customer, I think on average it’s about 11 seconds they’ll view an email for. So I realise there’s no point creating a really long email. You want to get that content in up front, a very clear call to action to click through and get them onto the website. In my view, email is the vehicle.

The website does that selling, so you’ve got to be thinking about where you drive and that track it through to. So it’s less about a pretty picture and a call to action.

Are you deep link into that particular product?

Are you putting into the home page?

Are you putting them through to a bespoke landing page?

It’s that piece. Use email as a vehicle and then let the website do the selling.

Yeah, I suppose it’s a bit like Facebook ads, isn’t it?

It’s just you get that hook in front of someone and make them go Oh, that looks interesting. Click through and then the website should do the job of actually persuading them about the product and converting them. And it can be a different segment can deploy if we’ve got somebody that’s a brand advocate, that they know what they want. They buy the same product, link them straight through to that page.

If it’s somebody that’s new to the brand, you might link them through to a blog page that then links them onto the product.


So again, it’s just understanding those cohorts of customers.


So, as I say, I think it’s more about the segmentation of the data than the actual look and feel Brands seem to go either way. It’s either it’s just the product or it’s an email full of all the content that’s ever on the website page that you’re sending people through to. So actually they go, Well, I don’t need to click through because you’ve just told me everything about it.


You need to create that in. You can get people clicking in.


Yeah, well, I think, Yeah, a lot of brands, I guess, relate to the 11 2nd thing. You get some really good emails Where Yeah, someone opens. The email goes, Yeah, OK, really quickly. That looks interesting. I’ll I’ll check it out. They click through and then on the other end, you’ve got those emails where you open it up and you go.


It’s just a generic email with a load of products in probably a blog post. Probably connect with us on Facebook as well. A dozen different call to actions used to be very generic, and I suppose the reason probably people probably spend no more than 11 seconds in it is because they look at this email and go, It’s just crap. It’s nothing in there for me. I’m just gonna delete it.


And you also have to really define what your success metrics are for that particular campaign and email.


Is it a conversion I e sale?


Or is it that you just want to provide some information?


And I think if you get hung up on one of those metrics are we want to improve our click through rate or you can do that and you can artificially inflate those senses. But we’re looking at yeah, the unique number of opens, the unique number of clicks, the sales, the orders. It’s really trying to look at it not in isolation, but the whole picture.

Uh, yes. So I work with a brand who sent a daily email a little while and a few of those in the play. It’s just It’s too much. And so Well, the thing is, they also went down the route of segmentation. So they were sending a daily email to their however many segments they had, which meant each email was being built for a segment of less than 1000 people.


And I was like, Look too honest, You’re a small brand. You’re wasting so much time and resource putting out a daily email for these different segments, you could be doing well, focus on the flows for starter, but then just do like a weekly. Just do one weekly email and, yeah, like do some have some dynamic content in there, which actually speaks to those different segments.


But all you’ve got to do is build one email, I think brands so especially smaller brands that are doing it internally. Don’t consider the opportunity cost of actually building those emails, so I think it’s different when you’re employing an agency because you can see the cost, but when you’ve got someone internally, you don’t. They don’t notice that, and they don’t realise what’s going on. And it’s.


There’s an opportunity cost for everything that you do. And if you’re let’s say you worked on a 100 and £50 an hour hourly rate. If you were using a third party and you’re building an email and it’s such a small cohort of segment that realistically, when you’re selling a t-shirt at £60 you make you sell three t-shirts.


Well, you’re not making your money back from spending that hour developing that campaign, so brands need to think about that piece as well. It’s the cost of sale doesn’t really come into it sometimes, and I think that’s the important bit. The other interesting one is. Quite often, brands get into that daily email routine or twice a day or three times is because they’re seeing their competitors do it now.


What they don’t realise or they see the bigger the sports directs doing it or whatever. They don’t realise the size of the databases. Those databases can almost afford to churn a certain amount of data to unsubscribes when you have smaller brands. You can’t you need. Everyone’s important in that database. But it does come back to the edges of quality in quality out.


So we don’t want a vanity metric of a large volume of sign ups. Large volume of emails sent. We want quality. You’re better off send it to 100 people that are gonna buy versus 10,000 people that have no idea who you are.


Yeah, yeah. So you mentioned, like segmentation and customer data before.


So how?


How can brands leverage that data better?


I think that what we’re seeing in the market with the tech ecosystem as well, when you look at platforms such as bloom, reach where it’s the CD p. The customer data platform is brands need to think about putting the customer at the heart of everything. So at the moment, a lot of brands will be siloed into. We’ve got an email marketing manager. We’ve got someone running p PC.


We’ve got someone running S e. O. And those individuals have got their own individual targets, but they’re not aligned around the customer.


So for me, brands can leverage customer data more if they put the customer at the heart of their strategy.


So if they’re starting to think about what does this customer need at these points?

How does that then affect the marketing that goes out versus just trying to sell product?


You will sell more product if you think about the customer and what they’re expecting versus I’ve got a product manager that’s got a new product we need to sell. So it’s thinking much more about customer first marketing rather than just brand marketing and pushing sales.


Yeah, I think definitely. When I was in house, it it was all about sales. Like it was always how much revenue we were making targets we want.


We want to see this amount of improvement in revenue and some of the business businesses I was at with startups, right?


So I get there. There was that feeling of We’ve got to keep going, Otherwise we have a problem. But also there were problems with the with the website with the app and stuff. So it wasn’t just a case of where we could market more and we could grow because we knew that we weren’t converting as well as we should do. But we couldn’t fix it because we were the local marketing team.


Our job was just to acquire customers. So that then does lead to the only kind of tool in our toolkit is send more emails, some promotional emails and just try to drive those.


I mean, it’s a really tough because I am.


You know what?


I would class as a commercial market. I’m not a I. I’ll alienate some people by saying I’m not into the brand side. I think much more around driving relevancy. And we’re looking for a conversion. Be that through a softer brand message versus an explicit. This is on sale by it now. But there is a A.


You know, you look at some people coming into an organisation that are high volume senders and they’ll come and go.


Well, if we’re sending a million emails a month, we’re making a million pounds. Let’s send two million people. What makes it The law of Dimi returns means you’re not gonna make that, and actually, then you need to stop balancing things like unsubscribed rates and complaint rates and that sort of thing.


So I think it is a case of well, turning it on his head and going Well, look, we’ve got let’s say we’ve got a product that has a typical life span of 30 days.


Well, I’m not gonna use twice as much if you send me more emails, but how can I use that to influence somebody else within the family or friend to to join that product and start to use it?


How do I start to add value with up sales?


Cross sales versus Just buy this product again and again?


Yeah, well, funny enough, I was talking to someone who sells bike parts yet yesterday, and he said they they sent about five email campaigns a year because partly because they’re doing well enough, they don’t really have the resource for it anyway.

But also, if you don‘t need a bike part being sent, an email is not going to make you go.


Oh, yeah, I’ll buy myself a new back chain like that. It it’s really interesting to to counteract that. Though I spent in the previous life, I spent many years working tech side but running email programmes for a car rental. A budget. Now it’s a it’s not a considered purchase. You either need car rental or you don’t but actually moving them to a cadence of two emails a month plus a non open.


The resend kind of in between. Those actually increased sales dramatically. I think we took their revenue. It was five x in three years. So it was being front and centre as that reminder of Oh, yeah, I need a car. I had an email, you know, three days ago from Budget or Avis or whatever it was. It’s a really interesting one.


And again, I think it comes back to testing.


You’re saying, actually, what works for our client base?


Your bike Example. I’d have properly said.


OK, five emails. A year is great, but that’s a big spike in product sales to try and deploy and manage and and get out the door.


How do we almost flat line that demand across months?


So actually, it’s easy to get out of the warehouse efficiently.


I mean, may maybe they should go down the Michelin route right and say, if mi sell sell tyres. So they put Michelin guides out to get people to drive more, so they would then buy more tyres. They maybe they go down the same route and say, Well, if you don’t need new gears for your bike, you’re not gonna buy them. But if we can make you need more gears for your bike.


So I mean, so I had a similar thing, right?


As you I work for a a car club a bit like and yeah, we found our original thinking was kind of If you don’t need a car, you’re not gonna book one.


So what can we do about that?


And we started to put together little kind of adventure guides and say, Well, why don’t you book a car and go visit this place in the UK?


Yeah, so we started to Do we?


We almost create them almost like a little weekend package deal. Sort of things where we say you can go take a car three days, uh, x amount of miles on the package and 100 and 50 quid or whatever. And that worked really well at boosting up our bookings.


But also, it moved. It really increased the the length of bookings because most people book a car for a couple of hours just to do a quick trip.


Go pick something up or whatever and we were trying to move that to what?


We want people booking for a couple of days because that’s where we’re profitable. On the car. We’ve got a book in the hours because also some books from nine till 12. It’s We can’t really have a booking that starts at 12.


No, we’re gonna be doing the 12. 30 at most, which means we lose half an hour. More likely, you’re gonna lose a bit longer than that. So if we can get someone to book out the entire day, we’ve we’ve paid for all those hours instead.


Yeah, No, definitely. You you reduce your admin costs, et cetera, et cetera, because you’re processing multiple orders of cleaning between no cars. I wasn’t there during COVID, but, you know, they had to clean the cars properly during covid. So they had to block out a certain time and had to pay someone to go and actually clean the car properly in between bookings. So get getting people to book for longer.


Was much, much better for them.


Yeah, in those days, how do you know when customers aren’t ready to buy?

I said if you are going down that kind of commercial route over. We want to make money from these emails, obviously. Right Message, Right time for people that help.


How do you know when someone’s ready to buy it?


Oh, I wish there was an easy answer for this one. It’s the Million dollar question. If you knew exactly when someone was ready, you would just, uh I think you can look at various trends.


So how deep are they going to the website?


What they’re looking at in terms of pages, How many times are they coming back?

So this is where some of your re softer metrics around your rear see, like your browser ban, and it adds a cart and basket band won’t work really well because you’re automating that process. It really comes down to trying to understand some of the data, in my view.


So if you can understand who is a good customer for a particular brand, you can start to identify the traits that they, those good customers did. You can start to recognise that in the prospects, for example, to say Ah OK, a good customer for Brand X is that they come in and they visit these three pages. They add this to their basket and then about them.


Well, that person who’s done that trait, we can then tag those and do something differently with them. So it comes down to data. It comes down to analysis. Really interesting. A few years ago, in the gaming sector, they used to go mad. They would if they hadn’t got someone who’d signed up depositing and then betting at least twice. I think it was in six weeks they were lost. So they were intensive.


It was an email an hour or it was s MS because they knew they needed to get them in that in that process. So the data will tell you, and it also should then tell you how you can find more or those people that fit that criteria.


So how can you look alike audience and find the people with those characteristics?

So it it comes back to thinking about data first rather than channel. So if you’re just sending emails, sending s MS, doing Facebook campaigns and not thinking about what’s it driving and you’re just thinking about that acquisition at the end, you can’t then go back up the phone and go find more people like this.


Yeah, Yeah, I worked in the gaming space, so I’m very well aware of that. There was a lot of machine learning in place, a lot of predicted lifetime value stuff. We knew if someone signed up, deposited and played on the same day, they’re gonna be a more valuable player.


Obviously, if they made a second deposit on that day, it was highly likely they were gonna be VIP and their value would be really high. Whereas if someone signed up and didn’t deposit, we know even if we can convert them later, which I think we worked out about two thirds of our conversions. Conversion to play happened up to about six weeks after registration.


So that’s when the fun our email flows, it wasn’t too intense, you know, it wasn’t like hourly daily, kind of finish signing up, get your welcome offer and all that.

But it was, and it was very much offer based, but it works for that industry, right?

When it’s just, here’s a welcome of it.


Look, you’re basically saying Here’s free cash to use on our website. It’s there’s no way to get someone in, isn’t it, it’s Yeah.


I mean, there’s no real need to go down the content brand value route when people just people want to gamble. If they want to gamble, just offer them, offer them some free cash and you get them over the line.


Yeah, sounds really bad.


It’s that sector, though, isn’t it?


I think it’s not gonna change people. It’s one of the oldest industries in the world.

Really, Isn’t it gambling?


It’s It will just go through a different way, I suppose, without going into it too much. It’s the ease that people can gamble now could be seen as a bit of a challenge.

Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve not been involved for about 3, 3.5 years now, so I don’t really know how things have changed. Apart from there’s been a lot of consolidation in the industry. Gambling tax went up a bit, and I think that so my, the company I worked for merged with a partner and went public. And then I think they either got bought or merged. Different people use different term technology.


They merged with another company and then I think they might have done another one a little bit after that. So I think, Yeah, I think all the big brands are all grouping together, and we’re gonna see a handful of kind of mega groups, a bit like f MC G. Right. You’ve got Unilever and brands like that who own, like, 90% of the brands in those spaces. Yeah.


I mean, like, I think it will be a lot of consolidation across the e-commerce space as well in the next 24 months. I think there’s already lots of US agencies coming trying to come into the UK market. They’re looking to buy other existing agencies. So I think there’s gonna be more consolidation as we go through as people look to scale but cost effectively.


So, yeah, sometimes it’s cheaper just to buy something. Yeah. How did browns get well, I suppose, Yeah. This quite well to that point, actually, had brands get more share of wallet. I think for me, it comes back to this. You have to think about retention. So a lot of I think marketeers brands think about the acquisitions acquisitions really important. We need to get more people in top of the funnel.


You see, p PC budgets go through the roof, but they’re not then thinking about how do we retain those customers through retention strategies?

How do we think about We’ve paid to get somebody to the website through a P PC campaign they haven’t purchased.


How do we then identify them so that we can retarget them through more cost effective channels?


So it all plays into this brands keeping the share wallet. We need to keep them engaged with that brand so that they don’t go off and look for a competitor, so that could be a discount. It could just be the value add that the brand gives. It could be the IC p of that brand and how it plays with it well within the environmental space. And it’s a unique product and positioning.


It’s about saying to people, Well, they’re not spending £100 a year because they’re spending £100 with somebody else.


How do we get a proportion of that £100 a month or whatever it may be?

So we’re seeing it across the space. We’re having to work harder to get people’s money. It’s probably easier for say something like a dog food where It’s a necessity purchase. You might cut down the brand in terms of the quality to save costs, but you need to feed your dog if you’re selling. I don’t know, a very expensive handbag. It’s an aspirational purchase. It’s you.


Someone have to work very hard to buy that. So unless you’re in that sort of, I suppose, mega wealthy collection category where really the cost isn’t the issue, it’s for us mere mortals. Where we go, Well, I’ve got £100. I can spend it there or there.

How do we start to work that through?


Yeah, aside from the product itself?


Because I think that’s incredibly important.

How much can you actually influence retention?


Because when I’m I was thinking about some of the examples you mentioned dog food, for example.




We buy the same dog food all the time. We buy massive bags of it. And the reason is the dog eats it right. We we had previous dog. He got fussy about certain foods. We kept changing. We eventually found what he ate, and we stuck with it.

Yeah, right. So nothing another brand does is gonna make us move because the dog eats that food. But interestingly on on that, you could almost argue about the share of wallet.


In that case being Are they buying direct from us as the brand?


Or are they going through an aggregated party where, you know, on Amazon, where there’s additional costs?


Well, actually, you’re starting potentially. You may be brand loyal, but you may not be channel loyal, so you might go where the best discount is. It might be in the shop for pets home one week. It might be on Amazon the the week after, but it might be directly the brand’s website on the third week you’re still buying that product.


But actually, I think what the brands are looking to do is have that direct sale versus is through the aggregator.


Yeah, so OK, so not necessarily trying to steal a customer from someone else because they’re gonna be loyal.


Yeah, like thinking of other examples, right?


Even this t-shirt, right?


I found the t-shirt. I like. It’s it’s true. Classic. I don’t know if you know of them.

Yeah, they it’s a really nice T-shirt fits really well. It’s comfortable.


I’m going to go back and buy these t-shirts from them, right?


Nothing anyone else does is gonna convince me to buy a t-shirt from them. Because I know these fit me. They’re nice. I’m sorted. And I have the same thing with various other products. I’ve got a product I like, so I’m always gonna buy it from them. That’s a typical man thing, though. I found a pair of trousers that fit me nicely. I’m gonna buy the same trousers in three different colours.


Yeah, probably.


Yeah, I actually, I I do that. So I I I spoke. They fit. They’re comfortable. I’m just gonna buy it from them. I can’t be bothered trying out stuff in different places.

It’s too much hassle, but yeah, to your point, it’s How can they get a more profitable purchase?


Yeah, I suppose so.


If they’re buying from a channel which costs them 30% then how can we get someone to buy it direct?


And we know it’s very rare. Unfortunately for a brand to make profit on the first order, especially if it’s come through from a an acquisition channel, your profit for the customer is in the lifetime value of that 2nd, 3rd, maybe 4th, 5th purchase so the more the brands can retain those subsequent purchases direct, the more profitable that customer comes over its lifetime.


Yeah, and this kind of leads me into the next question about how you can kind of retain people. I probably get that those more profitable purchases by bringing people on site Everyone’s favourite retention methods subscribe and save points based loyalty programmes. I suppose maybe a bit of personalization, but that’s a little different.


What are your thoughts on?


Yes, sub subscribe and save and Loyalty Point programmes. They all have their place. I think there is a challenge within the industry, though, and in that SAS companies selling a product, a silver bullet that we’re gonna come and put this app in, we’re gonna put a loyalty programme. No one’s thought about what the metrics are, what the mechanisms are for that loyalty programme, so they’re not picking a loyalty per se.


But it’s a generic process and it’s not a silver bullet. It’s like I t come in and just tick the box. So we need a loyalty programme tick. Nobody’s thought about what it means for the customer. Do we need points or actually do we just want to be able to softly recognise that a customer is a valued customer. Put them through a a custom panel.

When we’re asking about future launches of products, are we just going to surprise and delight them?


If that that kind of generic Oh, yeah, we’ve got a loyalty programme. We’re gonna plant a tree.


Yeah, What does it mean to the customer?


What value is it giving it?


And quite often brands will incentivize that first order or first subscription order. And then suddenly they’re back into full price. And you see it because people who recognise that trait will just go through to receive their first subscription order, cancel it and go back and start the whole process again. They’re using it to game the system. It’s not adding value as a subscription. It’s just offering more eroding attempts at a margin.


Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ve done. Plenty of times. I’m sure loads of people do it. You you sign up for subscribe and save your products.


I mean, it might not even be delivered.


Yes, Sometimes I’ll wait for a shipping confirmation, and then that’s my reminder to go in and cancel the subscription Yeah, and then, I mean, when I’m ready for it, I will buy it again.


I mean, I’ve been a subscriber for dog food again. Two large dogs.


It’s, but it’s easy to do. It’s great it’s delivered. I like the flexibility of that where I’ve always said, and I’d love a brand to really test it. It is. You can subscribe for the convenience on a a 30 day rolling, and it’s just the convenience. But it’s full price or you commit and prepay for a longer period, and you then get the safe element.

Yeah, so yeah, that would be a really interesting one. I do think there’s some work to be done within those subscription platforms around the benefits of. And what I mean by that is how to report back to an organisation that that this service has allowed you to increase lifetime value from X to y. At the moment, it’s looking at active subscribers. I e. Those people that have currently got an active subscription.

It’s not really giving us the value.


And then when you look at oh yeah, I think it’s too easy to gain that data because the people who subscribe cancel, subscribe, cancel the platform might say, Well, yeah, your subscribers have a better lifetime value than your nonsubscribers, But actually, these guys are still one off purchases, right?


They’re just They’re loyal to the brand. They like the product. They’re just willing to subscribe in order to get a discount. So the actual subscription is Yeah, like, say, like having a subscription actually doesn’t offer anything. It’s literally just people taking advantage of that discount, the the other one that comes up with this quite a lot.

And you you may have seen this in your customers Data around you put a subscription process in place, actually, because it’s taking your cream of your best email customers who are buying regularly from an email reminder. Your email sales look to drop off. Your direct sales are going up because obviously the first sale is counted under whatever channel it came through.


After that, it’s direct sales, and you’re sitting there going, you have to change your email strategy.


If you’re putting in a subscri yeah, service to really?


Then start to say, Well, this is what we’re doing with these people to drive those traits for us. A really loyal subscriber.


Yeah, I Yeah, I can see that.


Like, why is our why is email performance dropping off?


Why are we generating as much revenue from email?


It’s like, Well, because is doing its job. In this case, it’s a different.

Yeah, it’s a it’s an interesting I I mean, the other one that I would love to be able to test, and it’s a really tough one is quite often brands will now with a subscription service, default to the subscribe and save versus the one off purchase Amazon. Do it. If you go in and try and buy toilet rolls, it’s subscribe and save.


Yeah, how many people you know inadvertently subscribe and then cancel because they don’t realise that customer experience is quite poor.


And it’s, you know, how do you start getting people through that process?


So there I there’s definitely benefits to it. I also see some negatives with some brands.

Go Oh, there’s more value in us as being a subscription business.


How do we turn our one off product into a subscription service that isn’t really a subscription service?


So it’s those sort of things You’ve also got to start and the challenge being around households versus individuals. So I know I subscribe to coffee, for example. But all five of us in the house drink coffee. I’m gonna go through it more efficiently than say yourself. You. It’s only you that drinks coffee. So how do you start then playing around with the frequency of reminders to restock, etcetera.


There’s a great product out there called, which I’m sure you’re aware of that allows you to start looking at that algorithm and starting to push that through. But it’s not a one size fits all, and it’s it that that’s where I think that the machine learning can really come in and help really improve that customer experience. I’ll give you another example of that, though.


Years ago, he did some work with Maxi Mussel and sat there in their head office watching the orders come through, and you had people there that were clearly just buying on that offer so you’d have an order of two products coming through. One was for muscle gade, and one was for weight loss.


Now you could read between the lines ago, but it was myself buying for my wife and I, and it was two different people using that product, but it’s very difficult on a line item coming through to go.


Where do we put this custom?


He’s brought muscle gain and weight loss in the same order. W what segment in cohort. So there is an element you still need that human logic to cut it and over the machine because you would define and change how that journey post sale worked.

Yeah, and I think a I s can be interesting at the moment. I think it’s OK. I think it it does an OK job with certain things.


But, for example, the podcast I I use it to transcribe the podcast. It writes me summary description, blog posts and stuff. I don’t use a lot of that, but yeah, every now and again it in the summary or description it will name the podcast. It’s the time for customers who click podcast, and it’s picked that up because that’s how I introduce the show.


At the start of every episode, I say it’s time for customers to click I. So it’s misunderstood that, and it’s decided the name of the podcast is time for customers who click not just customers who click. And that’s where yeah, I think in that matching muscle example it’s gonna be It’s just gonna misunderstand the data. It doesn’t know that there is a possibility that one person is buying for two different people.


Yeah, but I think it it will get better.


I mean, I’ve been in this industry, what, 13 odd years, and I can remember very early on people, and we were the E. S. P at the time finding out who the E. S. P of the brand was ringing them up going.

How do you know that?


I’ve left something in my basket.

Why are you sending me this email?


And it transitions over the years to be. You sent me this email, but it’s no use because you haven’t put in the email what was in my basket, and it kind of evolves and expectations change. And it’s really interesting that the privacy piece comes up regular regularly, but actually people want the convenience of knowing a certain amount.


You know, the fact that the website recognises it’s you and it is your preferences, etcetera, etcetera.


But you have to give up a little bit of data to be able to do that, and it’s a really, I think it’s boiling the frog, isn’t it?


Little bit?


Adding on versus a big break overnight is a different change. We had a lot of GDPR discussion last night, which is a great topic for a summer party I’m I’m on the side of. I think it’s just getting in the way it doesn’t it doesn’t really do anything to actually deter the bad players in, in in the space. They’re going to keep spamming.


All it does is cause issues for the brands who are trying to just doing things properly and just want to get on with selling and being a brand and the main. The main thing that came up was this guy was saying, I think he said 13 out of 15 of his competitors were technically breached GDPR because they were auto opting people into their newsletter checker.


Ah, see, that’s interesting because actually that is legal because it falls under peer privacy and electronic communication regulation. So if you’re processing the data under legitimate interest is perfectly fine.


I was gonna sorry to interrupt, but I was gonna add to that a couple of brands recently, I I’ll sort of say, Do we even need to ask them?


So we just put it in our privacy policy?


Yes, well, I think there’s I’m fine with collecting data, and I think Abandoned car is one that you can get away with because that is that legitimate interest. Adding to adding people to your newsletter, though I think that’s one that should be Well, I don’t really care if it’s opted or not, but that’s the one that should be like.

Do you know, do people actually want to get this email?


We should just and then it comes back.


I mean, we can have a whole conversation with this. The interesting one. I had a a bit of a, well, a frank conversation with a consultant last year around. Or you can’t pre tick a box where you can obviously pre ticks. I’d like to receive emails from brand A their way round. It was to say that you had to tick the box to to opt out.


So oh, it was an un tick box saying, Click this box. If you don’t want to hear from us and I go, that’s the same thing but it’s not clear to the customer.


So for me, much more efficient and still legal to have a pre tick box saying Sign up to our newsletter that the customer can your version is actually clearer. Sorry it if your version is clearer and actually better for the customer, they understand it. Whereas the double negatives the double negative, you don’t want to receive it. It’s like the number of times.


In fact, recently there’s been a couple of times when I have just ticked that box.

I’ve no, I’ve left it untied because I’ve gone when I don’t want to opt in so I’ll leave it untied. And then I’ve just just almost like out the corner of my eye I’ve seen Do not yeah, in that text. And then I’ve read it and I’ve gone Oh, actually, I have to click it to not get the emails, See, Whereas I think you know a very simple pre tick box.

Yes, I’d like to receive emails from you. It’s very clear to the customer you can do it for email. What you can’t do is pre tick the S MS or the poster or third party options. They have to be an explicit tick the box. But as long as they’re consistent, I know the third part one.


But why s MS?


Surely that’s the same as email. In terms of like the data is, I don’t know, it is the honest answer, and I I’m trying to think back to the pecker documentation, But s MS is that grey area, and I think it it might be a UK thing where we see S MS as a little bit more intrusive than email. I don’t know, but yeah, email certainly can be a pre tick box.


I have more of an issue when it’s a pre ticked but tick tick to opt out, because that, to me, is just confusing to the customer. It’s the double negative, and it confusing it is. It’s designed to get people to do the opposite of what they want to do.

But you’ve got to have a piece of paper out, and you’re writing down the double negatives to try and work out whether you’re in or out.


So but, yeah, I my view and is that you have to have the statement there. The tick box. I’m more frustrated when it’s you’re not asked and it’s hidden in the TT s around and also from a browse objective.


Legally, you can’t then take that data until they’ve submitted an order. Whereas actually using the tick box, you can take it. They They’ve gone past that statement. They’ve added more information in Great. You could legally take that as an opt in if you eat the t s and CS they you can’t take that date until they’ve submitted their order.


And we know a lot of people don’t get to the checkout and then abandoned. So from a brand perspective, in my view, it’s better to have it up front, very visible. And off we go.


Yeah, so the one that must be illegal they must be in breach is having to opt in order to confirm. So I think it’s more on the B to B side when it tells you it gives you an error and says, Oh, no, you must opt in to email in order to proceed to, like, download this thing and send a quote.


And I’m like, Why?


Why you?


I mean B to B is a different fish on the B to C anyway.


But yeah, it’s again. I think it just leaves a negative connotation in the and I. I think unless you’re getting a download where it’s gonna be emailed to you, you’re likely just to put in a random Add the address anyway. But the data quality is not there if you’re forced.


But actually who was it?


Craft in London?


I think because I was looking at their website yesterday in their checkout, the opt in box for the email stated to receive, like shipping important shipping updates or something which I thought was really weird to have, because people don’t have to opt in for that, right?


That’s a transactional thing. You’re allowed to send those emails.

So I was like, Well, hey, are they?


Does that mean they’re not sending those emails?


If you don’t opt in, which is a bad experience, or is it actually a sneaky way of getting people to opt into their database?


Yeah, I’d have to have a look at that particular one. I’ve seen a few where Let’s take the Shopify Ecosystem brands have updated their email statement to include WhatsApp messaging. So they go give us your email address to opt in to email us and WhatsApp and you and it’s one parameter. It’s your email address.


It’s one, um, permission against email. It’s not against WhatsApp for me. It’s really hard to manage. Shopify have improved that. Now you’ve got your text Text me with order updates, but also then you’ve got the new drop down for I’d like to receive marketing via S MS again. I think I think it’s under hand.


I think you have to be as clear and as explicit as possible and also think Yes, you can maybe potentially configure Shopify wording and customise it to how you want the data in Shopify. If you take a platform like cloud with their integration, it’s not going to do what you want with the data at the back end. So keep it simple.


Keep just email as the in in the email field with the email.


Yeah, well, I think I mean, it comes down to something I read a week or so ago.

Is this an experience you’d be happy for your month to go through?


If the answer is no, it means you are trying to be manipulative. You’re trying to sneak something through.


So yeah, I think that’s a really good way, but I think it comes back to that. Target it back to the customer.


If it’s gonna piss the customer off, all you’re doing is causing you spent all that money to help the fun, to get people to the site, to then ruin it, would it?


It can be as simple as with this pissing you off. If you were buying something on a website and this would annoy you, then don’t do it. It’s amazing how many brands ignore that piece, and we do something that they know. It’s not great. It’s probably going to annoy them.


But they’ll happily do it what we’re talking up to on the other gap that see it quite often with the probably the magento side of the industry around the guest check out and not asking people at that point if they want to opt into email. So you’ve got you know, certainly for your one time users, you’re unlikely to sign up for an account.

You’re gonna go through the guest checkout, but you’ll lose because then they’re not asking for the marketing permission at any point during that guest checkout. They lose so much data.


Yeah, We had a customer that had a a couple of years ago, had huge growth through lockdown, but because they hadn’t got the checkout, they’d gained 100,000 people in the database that they couldn’t mail because 85% had gone through guest check out, and they were hadn’t been asked for the marketing permission. So it makes your year two numbers.




You’ve got all those people you pay to acquire, but you can’t talk to them. Yeah.

No, you gotta be. You gotta be quite creative.


Yes, how you get those people back, which is where stuff like direct mail comes in.

You know, I’ve done a lot of that in the past.


In fact, with GDPR hit and I was in gambling, we use direct mail a lot. We I don’t want to go into this too much because we’re almost out of time. But basically, we the situation was that pre GDPR the opt ins had been for the brand plus third parties that one in which was no longer a valid opt in.


So for those brands we started, like leading up to GDPR, we were I’m gonna say I don’t wanna say hammering. It’s really bad, especially in gambling. But we were contacting these people a lot.


Email s MS direct mail saying you need to sort your basically come back to a website, decide what you want to opt into, and then we use some points like members who opt in to these channels benefit from 250% more promotions than people who don’t.

Yeah, which was true. Everyone got access to those promotions because you’re not allowed to selectively send them so much. But obviously, the people who we can communicate to are the people who get them because they know about it.






Uh, just before we finish, then anyone in the e-commerce world you’d like to sit down for lunch with It’s not so much e-commerce, but certainly from a brand perspective. And it’d either be Porsche or Rolex because I think they’ve created this kind of unobtainium of their product.


So if you wanted to buy one of the sports series of Porsche, the G T threes, you can’t just go off the street and buy them. You’re gonna pay a huge premium. Same with Rolex. you can’t God knows how Rolex affords. Keep all their shots and there’s no stock in them. It’s it amazes me.


But I think they’ve managed to create this halo effect within those brands of this is the best thing since sliced bread. And I’m sure if I went and drove a the Porsche Sports Series car, I would have no idea how to drive it properly and get the best out of it. But it’s that kind of up there in the sky of something that you want.


And I’d love to sit down and work out how they’ve got to that point, both of them, because I think, yeah, you can go in off the street and buy Casio and or whatever there and then they’re there in the shop.


Yeah, and it does exactly the same thing as the role. But this kind of keeping production low just creates this aura around the product. So I think it’s a really interesting piece of it versus low production, high margin versus high production, low margin type ethos.


Yeah, well, I think I to keep an eye on them. I think it’s called Batch London, or it might just be batch. They do basic limited runs of suits. So they do really nice suits. I I don’t know how many they produce, but they’re the the a big idea behind it is they don’t want to overproduce and have wastage, but it’s they they’ve got quite a sustainable focus on it.


So they say we only want to create enough for the demand.


But also, by doing that, they can create the demand by having that scarcity.

Do you know a brand called Loki?




Um I know.


Yeah, I do know the brand name. I can’t remember what they do.

Uh, trainers. So not so much a batch production, but low low production runs. So there’s not excess stock, so it’s almost just in time. It’s a batches. It comes over, it’s sold, they get get the next batch. So really interesting around the sustainability side of it. Similar to the batch of London. Yeah.


OK, cool. And finally, if you’ve got one more one final piece of advice for France. Two things ignore channels and think about the customer. So think about the right customer.




Channel, right?

Message. And don’t over test.


Yeah, certainly. When you’re in the early days and you’ve got small volumes, actually, just getting a message out with some dynamic content versus you’re not gonna get statistically significant results from running a an A B test on 500 people. You’re not gonna know if one or two people clicking you’re gonna the results. So don’t over test you think about just the customer.


Yeah, I think that’s a really important thing when actually just testing down the funnel as well testing on your eighth sunset flow email, which goes out to 30 people a month. Maybe you’re just wasting time You’re not. Yeah. And the other thing when we’re thinking about that, we work with brands across multiple countries and we’re going to do a brand refresh. We need everything perfect and 100% right before it’s launched.


Well, actually, that email in that flow is up three weeks time. Let’s not worry about that for another couple of weeks. We can launch now, cos you think about the timing through, so it’s like we can stagger this approach. We don’t have to have 1000 emails updated all in one go.



We can actually batch and roll this out and that to your point, it could be this three people a year going through that email.

Do we even need it?


Yeah, Yeah, exactly. Cool.


If anyone wants to reach out there and find out more, what’s the best way of doing that?


Through the website?


W w dot dot co dot UK. So pass is P AA s e or find me on LinkedIn. Awesome. All right. Thanks so much, Phill. No problem at all. There’s so much you can do to enhance the customer experience and grow your business. If you exploit the data you already have, you don’t have to just keep throwing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars at advertising as your only source of growth.


But if you want to, you can do it even better by using your data, learning from your customers and really understanding them opens up so many opportunities across both your acquisition and retention marketing, allowing you to put the right message in front of the right person at the right time. If you’d like to learn more from Phil, you can find them on LinkedIn.

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