A look at some email marketing - iOgrapher

My review of a recent marketing campaign.

Since a lot of our customers are small business owners and entrepreneurs, I felt that it might be a good idea to share what other people are doing to market their products, because we all can learn a lot from other successful people.

One of the things I like to do is listen to business podcasts. My favorite podcast is the Unofficial Shopify Podcast, hosted by Kurt Elster. If your business runs on Shopify, there's no one better to learn from than Kurt. Even if you don't do Shopify and run any old ecommerce site, Kurt's podcast is indispensable.

Last month, he interviewed Dave Basulto, who went from acting, to producing, to teaching, to being an entrepreneur. He is now owner of iOgrapher, a company that sells kits and accessories to turn your phone into a movie making powerhouse.

We have dabbled in videos, and plan to produce more for 2020, so I treated myself to an iOgrapher starter kit on Black Friday. I wanted to share my thoughts on the "New Customer Series" of emails that came my way.

After I placed the order, I got not one, but two order confirmation emails. There were small differences between the two: the first one had pictures of what I ordered, and the second one had the items list, no pictures, but there was a coupon code at the bottom. I feel iOgrapher would be better off combining the best features of the two emails: list of items with pictures, plus coupon code.

First confirmation came immediately after I placed the order.

This one with the coupon code came on the heels of the former.

I got a follow up email shortly after with subject: "Did you order the correct case?" The case I ordered specifically said that it was good for any number of smartphones, but I double checked the product listing because maybe I was supposed to check a box. 

But I was correct, so I replied back to the email that I was sure I got the right one. I received an email shortly after that confirmed I made the right purchase.

In my opinion, this particular email needs to be updated. Since the phone case fits ANY smart phone, there shouldn't too much confusion on picking the right one. I noticed that on the menu page on the home screen, there are several choices for cases on any number of phones, but they all seem to take you to the same product listing. The phone case is a one-size-fits-all, as far as I can tell.

However, the tablet cases are all different. There seems to be a different case for each brand and size of tablet / iPad. So for sure, you want to make sure that the customer is getting the right case, especially since the customer may not know the exact make and model of tablet they own.

So if I were to rewrite the "did you order the right product" email, I'd have at least two versions. One that goes out if you bought a phone case: "hey, you bought a phone case, this will fit any smart phone, but it WON'T fit a tablet or iPad. If you meant to get an iPad case, reply back in 60 minutes." 

Then if the customer bought an iPad case, the email could be like, "you bought a case for the iPad mini. That case is made ONLY for the iPad mini. We make several versions of that case, so make sure you got the right one. If you're not sure, or if you made the wrong choice, reply back in 60 minutes." Best practice would be to send out a specific email for each tablet case, to better fine tune the process, but that goes up in the air if the customer buys more than one case.

A short time later, I got a shipping confirmation email. It looked a lot like the first order confirmation email, but with a USPS tracking number.

The next email was a personal thank you from the owner, Dave Basulto. Here is where the company makes the best personal touch. You not only get to meet the inventor of the iOgrapher, but you see the product being demonstrated in front of your very eyes. You get a sense of who Dave is: gregarious, affable, avuncular, and someone who really wants you to stay in touch. He wants you to love his products and learn how to use them. This inspired me to make my own welcome videos. What I didn't see in the first reading was an invitation to "join the community" (i.e., the Facebook page) and a link to a giant stash of How To videos. I missed those two links because I watched the video and never went back to finish the end of the message.

A standard shipping confirmation with tracking.

This was the first "thank you" email. The logo looks different.

No matter, because a few hours later I got a text only message that emphasized the tutorials. I watched the unboxing video of the case I bought. It definitely prepped me for what was about to come. I saw he used some poseable tripod legs that didn't come with the case I bought, but I thought to myself that I might have to get those if I liked the case.

I appreciated both emails, but if I were to fine tune them, I'd have the second email's subject say, "in case you missed it, here are our tutorials." Both emails had "Thank You" in the subject line (along with other copy), and had I not been looking out for them, I may have deleted one or the other due to a perception of redundancy.

I'd also fine tune the delivery of the videos so that the most pertinent ones get top billing. The tutorials link took me to ALL the videos and it was a bit overwhelming, so I'm glad my eyes scanned to the unboxing video or I would have missed it. As a new buyer of the case, I should definitely see that one first, and the tutorials on green screening could take a back seat. Obviously had I bought the green screen kit, then I'd want to see some tutorials on green screening first. Lots of opportunities for sending out specific tutorial emails. Thankfully, email marketing service Klaviyo can handle it all, if you're willing to put in the time.

I bought the case on Friday, and on Monday afternoon it arrived. I was so impressed with the product, I turned around and bought an anamorphic lens, the bendable tripod pieces I saw in the unboxing video, and a couple of LED lights that go on the tripod pieces. 

Thankfully it was cyber Monday and I still saved big. The largest savings was 10% off the anamorphic lens. What sold me on that lens were the multiple tutorial videos of how the lens compares to just raw iPhone footage.

However.…within hours of placing the order, I got a new marketing email: 20 PERCENT off lenses. I replied right back and asked that they offer the same discount since I missed the better deal by a few hours. Lesson learned is that if you have a new sale on a particular item, you should leave recent purchasers off that sale's marketing so they don't unnecessarily get upset. I'm hopeful iOgrapher will refund the additional savings, especially since I made a repeat order so quickly.

And lastly: in addition to the second round of new order confirmation emails, I got a text only email from Dave thanking me for the repeat business.

Overall, iOgrapher definitely reaches out to their customers, and their marketing message is clear enough to grasp the most important data points. It's quite obvious that they're here to make you a customer for life, and they want you to get better with their products. I'm looking forward to learning how to make the most out of my new purchases.

Todd Steinberg
Plush in a Rush
America's Plush Headquarters™

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