Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 370 55 mins

How to Use this Recession as a Growth Opportunity

About the guests

Reinis Krumins

Kunle Campbell

Reinis Krumins, the co-founder of agencyJR, an eCom email marketing agency working with your favorite 7 & 8 figure brands. His team has generated over $30,000,000 in email sales in the past 3 years.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Reinis Krumins, Co-Founder of AgencyJR, an SMS and email marketing agency that helps eCommerce create a product launch strategy framework.

Young as he was, Reinis, at the age of 13, knew what he wanted–to make money. As a kid raised by his grandmother and mother, he wanted to have things that, with limitations to resources and finances, he was not able to have. His mind and life started to change when he met his stepfather, a self-made man who was able to build and grow his own company. Along with his innate determination and the inspiration he got from his stepfather, he worked on jobs until around the age of 18, he created his agency.

AgencyJR creates diverse strategies in creating email and SMS campaigns for their clients helping them thrive during a global economic crisis. They have started building landing pages, too, for their top clients, as well as a Q4 launch strategy. Reinis emphasizes that providing value leads to ideas.

It’s an insightful and inspiring episode as you’d hear Kunle and Reinis talk about perspectives and strategies in launching products as well as bite-sized tips and methodologies that can help to start and existing eCommerce brands market their product during a time of economic difficulties.

Here is a summary of some of the most important points made:

  • Brands could die if they rely too much on media-buying arbitrage and stay on one marketing channel.
  • Building a community is one of the fundamentals in launching a product as well as customer retention and gaining referrals.
  • Small brands have a higher rate of survival based on financials, especially if they’re smart and able to diversify. They can make decisions quicker than big brands and can learn new marketing channels faster.
  • Providing value plants ideas on people, indirectly selling the product.

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview, Kunle and Reinis discuss:

  • Reinis’ Curveball
  • About AgencyJR
  • Structuring Courses
  • 2022 Commerce Projections
  • Market Correction
  • Understanding Value-Based Emails
  • Value Email Campaign Pre-purchase and Postpurchase Strategy
  • AgencyR’s Q4 2022 Product Launch Strategy
  • Driving Value and Approach to Messaging


  • 06:27 – Reinis’ Curveball
    • Reinis never worked for a job. It was always being a sole proprietor or working for himself.
    • At the age of 13, he started to make money to buy things he wanted for himself by mowing lawns in the neighborhood, graphic designing, and becoming a mini-fitness influencer.
    • At around age 17 or 18, after gaining followers from being a mini-influencer, he started his agency specializing in SMM.
  • 12:50 – About AgencyJR
    • AgencyJR are from the initials of business partners, Reinis and Jacob.
    • They are focused on emails and SMS.
    • By Q4 2022, they also became landing page builders.
  • 13:45 – Structuring Courses
    • The process of structuring courses for influencers includes recording a course, writing copy for the VSL, landing page, and ads, and sending them off to the editor as well as creating a slideshow and graphic ads.
  • 14:49 – 2022 Commerce Projections
    • “Theoretically, we are in a recession.”
    • “It’s all about skill acquisition, being able to pivot quickly, being able to diversify your acquisition retention channels, and doing it in a smart way.”
  • 18:52 – Market Correction
    • “Small brands have better chances of survival than bigger brands.”
    • “ You might have a lot more of these micro brands, eight-figure brands, instead of maybe this one massive nine-figure brand but there is no profitability.”
  • 26:56 – Understanding Value-Based Emails
    • Email and SMS focus on customer acquisition, and repeat buyer and profit generator.
    • Customer acquisition “focuses on taking people who haven’t placed an order yet and getting them to convert.”
    • “When it comes to retention and customer lifetime value, a lot of times, email marketing is giving people ideas.”
    • Value emails are things that are sent out from time to time where they sell indirectly.
  • 37:16 – Value Email Campaign Pre-purchase and Postpurchase Strategy
    • “ You give them a reason for why they should buy it.”
    • If it makes sense and works well, AgencyJR can put a product plugin postpurchase as well as in pre-purchase.
    • AgencyJR does around twelve campaigns a month with 1 to 4 value emails included.
    • Depending on the brands, you can either do it more often or less often.
    • “These value emails might not drive the most sales right away but there’s something that gives people ideas and has the shareability factor, which is useful to them.”
  • 39:31 – AgencyJR’s Q4 2022 Product Launch Strategy
    • AgencyJR has a Q4 marketing plan, the core of the product launch formula, and how it works, that can be used for any brand launch.
    • Phase 1 is hyping up. Phase 2 is pre-sale/commitment. Phase 3 is a big-sale launch. Phase 4 is follow-up.
    • Phase 0 is for Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays.
    • In preparation for the phases, email recipients are asked to respond to the email so succeeding emails from the different phases will go to the primary folder.
  • 44:30 – Driving Value and Approach to Messaging
    • “It’s about making your product better. A lot of this is the fundamentals, which can’t be built overnight.”
    • Building a community is also one of the fundamentals that can get people to talk about your product for free or give referrals. It can also work when promoting or launching a new product.
    • Paid ads, with a recession, cost lower.
    • Big brands start to work less.
    • Paid ads, with a recession, cost lower.
    • Big brands start to work less.


  • Brands that may trigger death during a recession are those that rely on media-buying arbitrage and not focusing on their channels.
  • The reason why most people are using Facebook is that there was this untapped opportunity. As we keep on using Facebook, that opportunity is going to go away eventually. We’ll need to shift to other marketing tactics.
  • Building a community is where one can get people to buy again without spending money on advertising.
  • “You don’t look at email marketing as, ‘I need to write an email.’ You look at email marketing as, ‘How can I provide value? How can I not convince our customers but how can I give our customers ideas on why they need to buy?’”

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On this episode, you’re going to learn how to use this recession as a growth opportunity, at least some brands are going to do that. It’s a great episode you don’t want to miss it.

This episode is an interview I had with Reinis Krumins, he is the Co-founder of an agency called AgencyJR. In this episode, he speaks about a lot of things. Let’s talk about what AgencyJR do, they do email and SMS marketing. Reinis helps several eCommerce businesses with their email marketing using a product launch strategy framework, which we discuss further later on. The one big idea from this conversation was your ability to diversify and not necessarily have a scarcity mindset in these troubled times to experiment and try and maintain through some maintaining through.

He goes through how to use this recession as a growth opportunity. We then get into the nitty-gritty of email marketing, performance, and their own unique methodology they use for their clients. That’s the long and short. This is a great episode you should read if you want to find out more about the growth opportunity that lays within this economic downturn as well as to get some Q4 email marketing strategy tips from Reinis. Enjoy.

Reinis, welcome to the 2X eCommerce Podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you on.

Happy to be here.

We had some interesting conversations. We almost crossed paths in person. You’re coming to the Commerce Accel Conference. It’s exciting. I’m pleased to have you on this episode.

100%. I’m super excited to dive into it. It’s a pleasure to speak here.

Reinis, I want to know more about who you are. What was your childhood like and how did that loop into your first job?

I have a bit of a curveball. I’ve never worked a job in my entire life. I’ve always done things for myself. I’ve always either been a sole proprietor or worked for myself. It’s an interesting story. Ever since I was a kid, my primary focus was making money. I came from a family where I was raised by my grandma and my mother. We didn’t have unlimited funds in life. I wasn’t living a bad childhood by no means but it wasn’t where you could buy whatever you want. We had a lot of constraints and it helped me as a person later down the line.

Fast forward to 1st grade and 2nd grade, my mom started meeting my stepdad and this gave me a new perception. It opened my eyes to what you could do as a person. Previously as a kid, I knew I wanted to make money, I knew I wanted to figure out a way to increase my income personally, and I thought it would be through the financial vehicle, which is law. I saw lawyers going to the big skyscrapers and US films and I thought I’d do the same.

What changed my life and what changed my perception was understanding that my stepfather owned a company. At first, I thought he was an executive, like, “He works for a company.” Mom said, “No. He built it.” It was like a mind-blown explosion where I can build stuff on my own. I don’t need to work for someone. I was a bit of a rebellious kid. I like to do things on my own and not follow the status quo.

Fast forward to 11, I saw a couple of people outside the lake and they were fishing. We had this compost where we had worms. What I would do as a kid is I would go to the compost and I would pick worms and put them in boxes and sell these off to the fishermen. Without even knowing what it s, I would do direct mail. I would create letters and I would throw them into people’s mailboxes trying to sell them on a subscription for these forms. It wasn’t anything crazy. It was $0.11 a box. To an 11-year-old kid, that was massive.

When I was 13, I was getting upset that I couldn’t get a job. Legally, you can get a job from 15 or 16 if I’m not mistaken. At 13, I decided I wanted to make money. At that time, the iPhone 6 came out and I begged my parents to get it for me but they wouldn’t. I said, “I’m going to get it on my own.” I started mowing lawns for my neighbors. My parents helped me out a ton. They introduced me to some of their friends for whom I would mow my lawns. I would make pretty decent money. I would make $10 or sometimes even $20 an hour, which for a 13-year-old kid, it’s pretty good.

At night, I would do graphic design. I would be designing banners for Call of Duty sniping clans. A lot of the work there was for free. I didn’t get paid that much. It was a skill I was passionate about. I thought I might do maybe game design later. I wanted to make my video game. It was something I saw as a skill that I could later use in life.

At 15, I pivot into becoming a mini fitness influencer. I was documenting my journey in the fitness space and making YouTube videos because YouTube was always my passion. When I was 17, I grew it to around 14,000 followers. With some other people in the fitness space, I decided I can take the skills I have and go into the social media marketing space. That’s where I started my first agency.

As you might expect a 16, 17, or 18-year-old kid going into a huge office, he doesn’t have many chances to be hired by a company even though he has more followers than the company at a time. Still, this got me on the path where I was looking more outside of my own country into the US and other markets. Eventually, it took some time but I got some traction. It wasn’t what I originally started, it was with an email marketing agency.

We started to work with a brand called the Bankr Brand, which later we did a great job for. They referred us to Jaan Bhatia. Shout out to you, Jaan. He was running this brand called Motivated.fit. It was a course with a celebrity trainer who trained Jennifer Lopez, The Game, Prince Royce, and a bunch of celebrities. We created a course with them.

Most people here probably have seen their ads. The most memorable one if you might remember is there was him jumping on this U-Hauler, which looked insane on video as an ad. That was where things started getting traction. With Jaan and another guy, Conor, we had phantom equity in a business. We’re already creating courses with influencers. We started scaling that. We did some Legion offers that were doing well. We ended up pivoting.

Me and my business partner, Jacob, own equity, which is email marketing. That’s what we’ve been doing for over three years. We’ve been crushing that not from my words but from people around us. From our perspective, there’s still a lot of opportunity to grow and a lot more new things to learn. I’m excited about where we are right now with the brands we work with, the events we’ve been to, and the people we’ve met along the way. It’s been an exciting journey.

To build a brand that’s profitable, you need to be able to adapt quickly. Click to Tweet

With AgencyJR, the JR is your initials with J being Jacob and R being Reinis.

That’s right.

The question is, are you exclusively an email agency at AgencyJR? Do you also work with email and SMS or exclusively email?

Yes, email and SMS. For Q4, we became landing page builders too. It’s not at a massive scale, it’s for our top clients. We have the Q4 launch strategy. We’re creating specific bundle pages. We’re creating opt-in pages people can run ads to. On a day-to-day basis, it’s email and SMS.

When you were organizing the courses for the fitness industry and the influencers, was it an email course or was it something else?

It has completely nothing to do with what we do right now. Let’s say you find a painter. One of the most successful courses was a painting course. We would talk with influencers. I would help them structure the course, record a course with them, write copy for the VSL, write copy for the landing page, write copy for the ads, record the ads, send them off to the editor, create different slideshows, and great graphic ads. All of that was put into the course. It had nothing to do with email marketing. We were doing email marketing as well for the courses but it was primarily focused on the paid advertising acquisition side. You can imagine a regular eCommerce business but instead of selling physical products, we would sell a product on how to paint.

We’re in 2022. There’s a lot going on. The world has changed. The world is changing rapidly. What’s your take on the state of commerce at the moment? What are your projections off the back of this state in which we’re in?

A lot of people are talking about the potential recession. Theoretically, we are in a recession. With money printing, it’s not going to be looking good. In the short term, it’s going to be a lot more challenging for brands to do media buying arbitrage like what they’ve been doing quite often and quite frequently. You’ll need to get smarter as a brand. You’ll need to evolve. There are going to be a lot of brands dying, to be 100% honest, from what’s going on right now in the space.

What brands do you think will be dying? What do you think they’re doing wrong or have done wrong to trigger their death?

Number one, they’re only relying on media buying arbitrage. They’re not focusing on other channels. It doesn’t even have to be email and SMS. It’s not being only on Facebook and TikTok but being on multiple media buying channels and retention channels. For example, you have Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, and you might even have Google. You have diversified acquisition.

You can even have a division for influencer marketing. This is something we talked about before hopping on a call that was going to be important with iOS 14.5. To build a brand that’s profitable, you need to be able to adapt quickly. The reason why most people are using Facebook is that there was this untapped opportunity. As we keep on using Facebook, that opportunity is going to away eventually. We’ll need to shift on other marketing tactics.

On top of that, this is also on retention and working on building a community. I was talking with the CMO of Triple Whale, Rabah. He said that the brands they work with who are crushing it the most have their own communities. That’s where you can get people to buy again without spending any money on advertising.

That also taps into email marketing and SMS marketing having a community. You have your direct fans, you have this hub of your fan base where you can interact with them and see what products they want to get launched. The brand [00:13:47] crushes it with that. They’re able to launch new products and generate $150,000 a day and have women wait at midnight for the new product drop and pay right as it comes out. That’s powerful.

This leads to a lot of dropshipping brands dying. I don’t think most of them will. There are people who do some Grey Hat and Black Hat thing. You’ll be able to survive because there are always ways to go through it if you’re deep enough. People who are doing regular eCommerce casually are going to be struggling a lot, who might be doing it as a side hustle. It’s not a side hustle. It needs to be something that you can put a lot of time and effort into.

Right now, it’s all about skill acquisition, being able to pivot quickly, being able to diversify your acquisition retention channels, and doing it in a smart way. It’s difficult when you’re starting out. Once you already have some traction, you need to do it. It’s easy to do it too quickly to where you might mess up and you might over diversify. Doing it too Late also isn’t too good because you might as well die overnight because of some issues.

That is correct. Even at the higher end of the market, there are still a lot of challenges. There’s a chap, Luke Weston, who shared on LinkedIn his predictions. Over two and a half years ago, he was like, “The DTC markets are overvalued.” Allbirds, Casper, Birchbox, Stitch, and all those brands. Do you remember Peloton over the pandemic? It was valued at $47 billion and now it’s down to $4 billion. That’s less than a 10th of its valuation.

There seems to be a massive correction at the moment. What about the sameness? Phone cases, for instance. There are only a few distinctive phone case brands. There are lots of MeToo DTC phone case brands. This is random. Do you think there’s this consolidation going on whereby the markets proliferated? That’s why Facebook is rowdy as a channel because there’s this DTC gold rush. Do you see any consolidation further down the line may be through acquisitions falling off the sideway and letting much bigger companies? Do you think there’ll be stronger companies that come off the back of this recession on the other side?

In the end, you pivoted my answer a bit because you touched upon a different part. I will give chance for this. Number one, a lot of brands will die out because a lot of brands are relying on media buying arbitrage. I buy a customer for $20 and they spend $60. The extra was great, I can scale. With a lot of these phone cases, that’s how they’ve been living and surviving.

They’re not something like Peel or RhinoShield. You have brands that people come back to. They would go into retail locations and buy products from them. They’re relying on, “I have a cool design. Some might need to buy a phone case right now.” They buy it. That’s what a lot of people are lying to. Those brands are going to be struggling.

To answer your question more specifically about the correction side, smaller brands have better chances of survival than bigger brands. That’s primarily based on financials. As a big brand, you’re going to be making decisions slower. As a small brand, if you’re smart and if you’re able to diversify, you can make decisions quickly and you can swoop in while others are making the decision on which direction to move in.

Even learning a new marketing channel. The small brands were on TikTok quite quickly. Whereas the big brands, I have friends who have TikTok marketing agencies and they get nine-figure brands coming to them trying to understand and learn TikTok. They already have their main marketing channels and they understand that. Only rarely you have massive brands that do everything in-house that come to relatively small agencies that are not like Ogilvy for marketing campaigns, media buying, and whatnot.

Being able to move quickly is going to be a huge advantage. A lot of these huge brands, I’m not a fan of them. I don’t think they’ll survive like Casper, Allbirds, Manscaped, and so forth. They all lose money. They want to be SaaS businesses that will never achieve a SaaS business status because the issue is you raised a bunch of capital with the idea of you becoming a unicorn and being profitable in the future but it’s not going to be the case. They’re still doing the media buying arbitrage. If your financials are not right from the get-go, you’re not going to get there.

If you build a brand slower to where you can raise capital but you build it profitably, that’s a whole different scenario. A great example of this is Thrasio. They’re the fastest company in history to get to a billion-dollar valuation profitably. They’re valued at $10 billion. What they do is acquire Amazon FBA brands. They acquired these brands as cashflow businesses.

You might have a brand that’s saying, “On Amazon, you can’t scale. You can’t get the economics of scale.” You have someone like Thrasio who can come in and who can scale up your brand. That’s where they can add value. That’s where I see value. You might have a lot more of these micro brands, eight-figure brands, instead of maybe this one massive nine-figure brand but there is no profitability.

It’s back to the basics. There are boring cashflow businesses. These are value investments. They’re not necessarily speculative growth companies. They have tried and tested. Their bit there is rock solid. They have multiples. Thrasio purchases them. They exploit the economies of scale with all of those brands in their portfolio both from a staffing standpoint down to the sourcing standpoint, sourcing talent revenue and then position.

Thrasio is top five in terms of Amazon merchants. In Amazon US, Thrasio is one of the top five, which is incredible in itself outside of Amazon. Amazon has the biggest market share. Speaking of email marketing, specifically an SMS, what do you think is the relationship between email and SMS? How are best-in-class companies making both not overlap or cannibalize but rather making them work in sync to maximize customer lifetime value?

It's difficult when you're starting out. Once you already have some traction, you need to do it. Click to Tweet

I would take a step back at this instead of talking about cannibalization and customer lifetime value. Email and SMS are focused on two things. Number one is new customer acquisition. Number two is the repeat buyer and profit generator. Number one is where you focus on taking people who haven’t placed an order yet and getting them to convert.

A lot of times, you can be a lot more aggressive here, getting the customer required. There is going to be some cannibalization here, 100%, that’s because attribution will never be perfect and you cannot make it perfect. They might see an email, they might not click but they still buy. It might be a result of an email they saw.

I wouldn’t be overly obsessed with attribution on the front-end side. A lot of times, it’s thinking about and figuring out. In general, you might be looking at your MER or your profit for a new user acquired. Those are the metrics that worked together with email marketing but you can’t separate them and isolate them 100%. Theoretically, you can. Frankly, I wouldn’t look at it as that. I’d look at it as something that plugs into your marketing system and scale up higher.

On this side, email marketing uses ROAS booster. For people that go to the site but they haven’t made a decision, we can capture an email with a pop-up. That way, we can have more touchpoints with them over email. We can handle their concerns over email. For people that go to the site but don’t look at the nice queues and leave, we have a site abandonment sequence.

For people that look at the product and leave, we have a browse button in sequence. For people at the Tap to Add to Cart button but don’t, abandon cart sequence. For people that go to the checkout but don’t buy, abandon checkout sequence. We can have these multiple touchpoints based on what people are doing behaviorally on the site, which can help boost ROAS.

A lot of times with these emails, it’s talking with your customer support team and understanding what are people’s concerns and why they might not be buying. Email marketing goes back to the fundamentals of copy in any marketing. It’s understanding who your customers are, why they buy, and why they don’t buy. Let’s say I was buying a specific product. I was buying a tripod and iPhone stand. My question before buying it was like, “Is this going to attach to my tripod?” I might abandon checkout because I don’t know.

If you know that might be your customers’ concern, you can handle those within emails. That way, they might click on the email and buy right away or they might keep that in mind and you hit them with a retargeting ad. You have a concern being handled. Let’s say you handle a different concern with the ad. Through multiple touchpoints, you’re able to convert them for the first time.

On the flip side, you have the repeat buyer and profit generator. That is where you would send out thank you emails once people have placed an order, win back emails, bounce back emails, and also email campaigns. What’s important is once someone has placed an order, you set the right expectations for when the order is going to arrive. This is not something that is going to be correlated directly with you making money. This is going to be correlated indirectly.

You’re going to see this back in your MER. If you send the expectations for when a product is going to arrive, people are going to have more certainty. If you combat people’s natural tendency to have buyer’s remorse, you’re going to have less refunds. If you make them feel good about their purchase and you personalize the thank you emails based on whether they place the order for the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time, they’re going to feel better. This also allows you to make sure they have a wonderful customer experience so you can start asking for UGC, video reviews, and text reviews. You can start upselling them with email campaigns.

When it comes to retention and customer lifetime value, a lot of times, email marketing is giving people ideas. Let’s say we have a campaign that is sent out to people who sell, these are not blue light-blocking glasses. Kunle, you’re wearing blue light-blocking glasses as well. Let’s say we’re advertising does. Within an email marketing list, we might have a non-buyer segment of people who haven’t placed any orders yet, and then we could write them a valid email promoting three Netflix shows.

At the bottom of the email, we could tell them, “If you’re going to be watching these Netflix shows, you might as well protect your eyes and look you through blue light-blocking glasses.” That way we can hook them in with some value and then we lead that into the idea of, “If you’re going to be watching these shows, protect your eyes with blue light-blocking glasses.”

This is what you would consider a value email. These are things we send out from time to time where we don’t sell directly but sell indirectly. Let’s say you’re selling a mop. You could send them an email showing or teaching them how they can clean their house 30 minutes faster. For example, if you’re selling them Dyson’s cordless vacuum, you could use the same angle there and talk about it more in a salesy vibe, “With a cordless vacuum, you can do things quicker.” You have maybe specific mops you can create a bundle for the effortless quick housecleaning solution as an example. It’s giving people ideas and telling them things they don’t yet know. That’s going to increase retention.

Another example is a brand we were having a conversation with who were selling skiing equipment, skiing jackets, and pants. As their business is seasonal, we had an email campaign because they launched their new collection of swimming shorts. They wanted us to push the swimming shorts throughout the summer and then throughout the winter. They wanted us to focus on their main catalog, which is the winter jackets and pants.

What we can do once people have placed an order is we can upsell them to the swimming shorts. If you’re not a customer, you know they’re probably going to go to a skiing resort. What do skiing resorts have? A pool. They might want to go relax in the spa, go to the pool, and go to the jacuzzi. We can give them this idea, “If you’re going to a skiing resort, get our shorts as well or add our shorts to the order.” You can increase the average order value or customers’ lifetime value as well. It’s about creating creative ideas and giving your customers ideas that make sense to them, make their life easier, and make their life better.

I like the idea of value-based emails the most because you are trying to enhance their lives with suggestions like, “You could do this.” This aligns with their interests. If you’re speaking to like fitness enthusiasts, the value you’re giving them is related to improving their fitness life. You’re motivating them to be better athletes or healthier people. You have that product plug. Is this a flow or would this be a campaign? This is a lifecycle so there’s probably post-purchase.

You can even send us a pre-purchase. We do this a lot of times with campaigns. If something works well, we can put it in the flow. If you’re selling supplements, you can send people emails giving them recipe ideas. Even if it’s pre-purchase, it still makes sense. You give them a reason for why they should buy it. Let’s say someone’s trying to lose weight and they were looking at your protein powder. You can show them how they can retain muscle and help them lose weight with fewer calories.

You can compare a regular pancake recipe versus a protein pancake recipe, you can compare the calories and then upsell them to your no-sugar syrup. You can create a pancake bundle. Let’s say someone is trying to lose weight, they’re thinking about, “I take my milk. I take my protein powder. It tastes like crap but I still drink it.” If you can show them, “You can do this,” they might not even realize it. A lot of times, people don’t realize stuff that’s obvious to you but you got to tell it to them.

How often would you send these value emails? Was it part of the usual strategy where every time they expect to hear from you, you drop a bit of value? It’s almost like a newsletter. Newsletters do this. They’re very content driven without much call-to-actions.

We don’t do it every time. Let’s say we’re sending twelve campaigns a month, we might have 1 to 4 of them be value. Also, it depends on the brand itself. For some brands, it might be the other way around where 8 to 9 campaigns are value. If you’re selling clothes, your conflict is in the value email. You can send emails showing them different value fits.

That would be considered value email like your outfit for the winter, your outfit for the end of school coming up, your outfit for prom, or your daughter’s prom. You can have value go out that way. If I’m a customer, how can my life be easier? That will be considered a value email. For some brands, you can do it more often. For other brands, you can do with less often. 10% to 30%, in other cases where the solutions are more specific or let’s say you’re in the fitness space, you can send that a lot more often.

The other thing about it is it also seems to cement your thought leadership in a way. It gives you more credibility if you truly deliver value from that perspective and people trust you.

If you look at [00:32:35], one of his most famous ads was selling a laundry detergent. It was an ad teaching people how they can eliminate different stains like wine stains, oil stains, or whatever. You would use it as a cheat sheet. A housewife would take it and rip it out of the newspaper and use it as a cheat sheet. It always had value itself. They’re the same mentality there. These value emails might not drive the most sales right away but there’s something that gives people ideas and has the shareability factor, which is useful to them.

It’s a big seed in the brain. I was reading in our notes your product launch strategy. Do you want to speak to that and how it could be applied to Quarter 4 from an email perspective?

Email marketing goes back to the fundamentals of copy in any marketing. It’s understanding who your customers are. Click to Tweet

That is exciting because I’m doing calls all day with our clients who are going through our Q4 email marketing plan. The core of the product launch formula and how that works is it can be used for brand launches for anything. In this case, it’s the Q4 sales launch, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales launch. In this case, it’ll be five phases but it’s four phases. I’ll talk about Phase 0 later but I’ll talk about phase 1 to 4.

Phase 1 is the hype-up. Phase 2 is the pre-sale/commitment. Phase 3 is the big sell launch. Phase 4 is a follow-up. Phase 0 is something we have for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and that’s driving the traffic. The way our strategy works is we’re creating specific landing pages and we’re creating specific bundles that are email exclusive. They’re not going to be exclusive to anyone else.

We create landing pages. Landing page one is where we drive traffic from our existing email list from paid ads from SMS that pop up on the site to an early bird list who can get early access to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. With the existing email list, we try to reengage old subscribers and have email campaigns but we try to engage existing subscribers.

A great example of this is we send an email and we ask people to reply to the email. The reason why is that once they have replied, our email is saved in their contacts so our messages are going to go into the primary folder. If we do that before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’re able to get more emails in the primary folder from people who might buy Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers.

This is the preparation and then we enter Phase 1, hype-up. Hype-up is we get people excited for this. We can run ads to the landing page, getting people to opt-in. We would create emails and keep teasing the offers and teasing the product launches if there are any and keeping people updated on the Q4 launch. We would also do re-engagement during this time, re-engaging with all our customers of the email, getting them back in the engage segments, and so on and so forth.

This leads us to November. This all will be done in October starting in November. From midweek, we do the early sale launch where people who’ve signed up to get access early get access to the Black Friday deals a week before. This is important because, during the hype-up phase, we make sure people think about your offers as offers they’re going to buy. They think about sending money for your offers and something else.

When we give these offers early for people who have signed up, they have money. They might have $5,000 set aside to spend on products, hypothetically speaking. You can get the highest pay of ease because you launched your Black Friday sale early. You’re not the last and they are thinking over. They spend $4,000 and they only have $1,000 left. They might spend only $100 instead of $500, which they might have spent if they come to you first.

Throughout Black Friday week, we have Phase 3, which is the big sale launch. Starting Monday to Sunday, we’d be sending daily emails. We send emails twice a day. The big sale launch and the follow-up are merged together. The reason why we sent two emails a day is there are going to be a lot of brands sending emails and we want to stand out. In normal months, the frequency is too much. On Black Friday, that’s the way you can stand out from the competition.

Afterward, we roll this into the December sales where we give people gift ideas. A lot of these campaigns will be giving people gift ideas. Let’s say you’re selling sunglasses. I need to figure out a way how this could be the perfect gift. You might have USP, which is your unique packaging. Your packaging experience might be amazing. You can talk about that.

Give them a package and experience they will remember. That can be the main hook, the headline. That’s how you can come up with these ideas. Give your customers ideas and give them reasons for why they should buy your product. You don’t look at email marketing as, “I need to write an email.” You look at email marketing as, “How can I provide value? How can I not convince our customers but how can I give our customers ideas on why they need to buy?”

It’s an interesting perspective. This value-driven approach to communicating and selling is fundamental. It’s quite interesting. There are a lot of steps are involved. I do agree that starting early is super important. The starting early bit is important. There are inflation rates. In the UK, at least there’s 18% inflation by December 2022. That’s official in real-time. We’ve definitely hit that. There’s either strength inflation in terms of the reduction of content in products, particularly in grocery stores and there’s inflation in terms of prices of everything that has gone up. It means that the discretionary income of average shoppers who are your customers has shrunk.

Going back to the value perspective, how can merchants or eCommerce operators drive that message? “We know you have less to spend but when it comes to making purchase decisions, we should be part of that mix. We should be considered in the way you spend.” This is like, who’s going to win the race? People who lose this race are going to go out of business. Consumers have less to spend, that’s the reality.

How do you persuasively, at the same time, ethically convince shoppers? Not all shoppers but 20% of shoppers may not react. How can brands get through? Does this loop back to that value piece you’re talking about? Particularly in Q4, how should we approach that messaging to get in and be first in mind?

To be fair, I don’t know if I can answer this on a podcast because I’ll have nine-figure businesses going after me. It’s difficult. I’m messing with you. A lot of people here would expect some tactics or strategy. There is no tactic or strategy. It’s the fundamentals. If people don’t want to buy a product, it’s not valuable enough. The only tactic I can think of, the only tactic that could work is launching new products for Q4. The reason why is because people like something new. During Q4, launching a product has always been successful. That’s the only tactic we have there.

Going back to what you asked specifically, from a tactical perspective, giving people ideas and showing how your product is valuable and building desire for it. It’s about making your product better. A lot of this is the fundamentals, which can’t be built overnight, is having a real fan base for your product. Building a community where people are going to be raging fans and where people would be ready to take out loans to buy your products.

At that point, them taking out loans to buy a product, that’s a bit of a different ethical question. Ultimately, you get the results where you thrive during Q4. It’s more about the fundamentals of your business, which is the community, which is building a cult-like following, which comes from the community. It’s giving people ideas on how they can better use your products to show how valuable this is.

Also, launching your products. If you’re launching a product and your competitors haven’t, let’s say you’re deciding in the fitness space between buying a product from Gymshark or Alphalete. If one of the brands is launching a product and the others don’t, there’s going to be more promotion around. There’s going to be more buzz in the fitness community around the brand that launched a new product. If that’s you and you have a community, even better, more power to you. You can get people to talk about you for free and give referrals out for free because you have something unique coming around the time when people are ready to buy a lot of stuff. That’s what I would say.

It’s that novelty of the newness of a product. You’d still need to build that brand equity and trust so people get excited about the new stuff and that’s down to community at the end of the day. It’s interesting. In all fairness, the success of most eCommerce brands this Q4 would be dependent strongly on the communities they’ve built up until now, up until that point in time because it’s tough.

You also have paid ads and everything. You can crush with that. Paid ads can go either 1 or 2 ways. With a recession, option A is paid ads costs lower but with that, it lowers the people who would buy. The ROAS lowers. You need to lower your budget slowly but surely. That’s option A. Option B would be better. The big brands start to work less. For brands who are under nine figures a year, we have more wiggle room to possibly even become a bit more profitable.

At the end day, what people need to think about during this Q4, you need to think about, “How can I spend the same amount of money I spent last year?” It doesn’t have to be Facebook. It doesn’t have to be the same channels. This could be you figuring out how to do micro-influencer marketing or figuring out influencer marketing. You’re trying to keep up the marketing budget as high as possible with a similar MER.

The Marketing Efficiency Ratio.

That’s your total revenue divided by your total ad spend across all platforms. That would be what you might need to focus on. A lot of people might get the scarcity mindset, they might start to be afraid, they might start to experiment less, and they might start to spend less money. You need to be the opposite. You need to take market share. You need to be more aggressive. That might come with more risk but you need to do calculated risk and think it through more so you can take market share and the buzz is around you rather than your competition.

Yes, there’s a time you start to experiment on these new channels. We could go on and on but I’m being cognizant of the time. Reinis, for those people who want to find out more about what you guys do with AgencyJR, it’s AgencyJR.com. Are you active on any social media channels if people want to follow your work? If yes, what social media channels are you active on?

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram, @EmialReinis. Twitter is a great platform, I’m pretty active on there. Instagram is more about friends and family stuff. That’s where we connect with a lot of our friends as well and meet up with a lot of friends. Twitter is more valuable and LinkedIn is as well, @ReinisKrumins. You can find me on those platforms. I’m pretty active everywhere. You can catch me there. You can talk with me on AgencyJR.com. Book a call if you want to chat or talk about life.

Thank you so much, Reinis. It’s a pleasure having you on the 2X eCommerce podcast.

Thank you for taking me on. I hope everyone enjoyed. Take care


About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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