Make Them Open an Email: 7 eCommerce Experts Talk about Email Marketing

14 October 2017 3188

Each startup is conceived to be successful. However, the path they need to go through is often thorny enough and few stores can pass it to reach the goal. But the ones who have survived and succeeded can share some priceless experience.


In this article, we’ll ask seven successful entrepreneurs about their approach to email marketing, pitfalls, and best practices. 

Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal

GreenPal is best described as Uber for Lawn Care. As Bryan says: “The biggest mistake we were making with our emails was using company logic as opposed to customer logic.”

“The goal of the email is to get a click. Do not try to make or close the sale in the email.”

“You really need to put yourself in the mind of your customer when crafting your emails. Run your email copy by friends, and strangers. Get feedback because it's so challenging to get out of your own skin and split your email up into micro conversions.”


Insisting on that feedback and email marketing play a crucial role in promoting the business, Bryan considers this the best structure of the letter:

Sophorn Chhay, Inboundo Marketing Specialist

Sophorn Chhay works with automated marketing at Inboundo.


“We like to setup automated email triggers for the bottom of the funnel for our e-commerce clients. One of our most successful campaigns targets customers who abandoned their shopping cart.”


“After 2 hours, the email automation software sends out a reminder to complete their checkout with a link to their shopping cart. If it doesn't convert, then 3 days later it sends out another personalized email with a discount code that expires in 7 days.”


Also, they use other methods of reaching the clients:


“To help with conversion, we also setup a Facebook remarketing campaign to remind them that the coupon they received from us is expiring soon. We love these type of campaigns because it allows us to capture quick wins for our clients.”

Dimira Teneva, Content Manager at Metrilo

Working closely with email marketing at Metrilo, Dimira provided us with essential tips to build proper email marketing campaign:



  • Don't use [email marketing] for acquisition unless it's nurturing leads and warming them up with content.
  • Never buy email lists or send emails without opt-in.



  • Learn from customer's behavior what they like and send them more of it via email: articles, coupons, new products, games, feedback forms, etc.
  • Set up milestone events when to send emails – anniversaries, a certain number of orders, etc.
  • Cross- and upsell only closely relevant products.
  • Set proper exit events if you automate email marketing. For example, even Amazon fails to stop sending reminder emails for products you've viewed even after you've ordered one of them.
  • Time your emails around the mark of the average time between orders to catch customers in buying mood.

Simon Slade, CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, Affilorama, and Doubledot Media

Simon Slade is a three-time entrepreneur, who was one of the founders of SaleHoo, an online wholesale directory of over 8,000 pre-screened suppliers; Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal with 300,000 members and over 100 free video lessons; and their parent company Doubledot Media Limited, which provides seven different training and software applications to over 1 million customers worldwide.

“Subject lines are the key to effective email marketing.”

That is the main point in Simon’s strategy of attracting customers. Here are his tips to make the campaign effective:


“At Doubledot Media, our most successful subject lines include a number, such as ‘6 tips’ or ‘5 essentials. Customers like to know exactly what they’re going to find when they open an email. Finally, asking a question in the subject line also draws in readers. When you offer an intriguing question, consumers open the email to learn the answer.”

Colin Thomson from Sight Reading Academy

Colin works in the field of educating musicians at Sight Reading Academy and claims his tip number one for email marketing is to try Facebook Messenger. Here is how he argues such a statement:

“Messages sent via Facebook have been shown to achieve 80% open rates and 13% click-through rates.”

“Compare that with something like 30% open and 2.1% click through rates on emails these days, and you see the opportunity here.”


In order to use Facebook messenger, Colin proposes to set up a chatbot (something like Chatfuel) and create a very simple interaction with the clients.


“In order to be able to communicate with them in the future through Messenger, they must respond. But, using ‘quick responses,’ it is as easy as clicking a button.”


Now, here is how to create your block in Chatfuel:


As with the normal process for creating a lead magnet, create something that your prospective sales want. Solve a problem, pain point, etc. For example:


  • Hi! Glad you’re interested in (your thing)!
  • Click get started below!
  • Get started (button)
  • OK, here you go! (Link to promised lead magnet)


The button was a ‘quick response’ that, when they clicked, served the same function as if they had sent a message saying ‘Get started,’ which not only triggered your next message but served as a response from them, allowing you to continue to follow up at far higher open rates and click through rates than you would see via email.

Jacob Paulsen, the Founder of ConcealedCarry

Everyone knows that the marketing strategy is very dependent on the interests of the target audience and may differ depending on the company’s area of operation. Jacob S. Paulsen is a head of the ConcealedCarry which conducts training for gun owners in America. To answer our question, he highlights such points:


  1. Indoctrination Series. When someone joins your list you need to begin by building a relationship with the consumer before you start pushing more product down their inbox. They have just finished extending a little trust. It's time to build value before you ask for more trust.
  2. Segment. Consumers enter your email system via different entry points. They buy different products, sign up for different giveaways, request different assets, etc. Don't treat them all the same. Build follow up sequences specific to that entry point/type.
  3. Focus on creating value throughout. Consumers hate salespeople. Yes, they know you have an online store and they are open to a certain amount of offers and sales... but ultimately if you want a relationship you have to become valuable as a utility in their life. That value may come from content, tools, or other things you provide beyond the product.
  4. Have personality & purpose. You have to be memorable and unique. Remember WHY you are in business and make that the first thing and most important thing that comes out of every customer interaction.

Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation

MyCorporation leverages trade shows and partnerships to help grow the email list. Its CEO, Deborah Sweeney, shared some experience with us about marketing campaigns.

“Offering to do or give something for free in exchange for an email address can be a successful strategy.”

“When we attend trade shows or work with partners to help service their clients. We add clients to our marketing lists to continue communicating, sharing content and information, etc.with entrepreneurs and business owners. We’ve found that trade shows can be an especially great way because even if you do not meet with a particular individual at the show, they are traditionally able to opt-in to communications from trade show exhibitors. Trade shows often drive many attendees who are interested in services within your field and building marketing communications through this outlet can be hugely successful.”


In addition to trade shows, there are more successful ways to promote your company:


“Offering to do or give something for free in exchange for an email address can be a successful strategy. We offer a free corporate name check – we’ll check the client’s business name at the state for free to ensure availability. In exchange, the clients provide us with their contact information, so it’s a great way to keep in touch as they look to incorporate, form an LLC or obtain a trademark.”


Not everyone can build a successful business and effectively promote it but these people definitely got it. Listen to their advice or seek your own way – you decide. It's up to you to make a decision of what your beginnings will be.


We really hope that this information will be effective for you as we have collected only the most useful advice from experts in the field of business promotion.

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