Email Marketing’s Biggest Restraint: Time

Jamie

June 15, 2024

Depending on which part of the world you are in, Q3 often means drinks, barbecue and (hopefully) controlled explosions. It’s also a perfect time to optimise your email to get the most out of your marketing. 

It’s an odd fact of life in the world of ecom that serious practitioners spend most of the summer thinking ahead to the fall and winter holiday season. Namely: Black Friday Cyber Monday.

The 4th of July and Labor Day are the 2 critical holidays in Q3. Smart marketers use this time to test ahead of Black Friday. It’s also a great time to experiment with different elements of your marketing. 

This month, we spoke to some incredible ecom brands that are on the front lines of email marketing to discuss their businesses and to discover some of the lessons they are learning.

Small is Beautiful, Content is King

This month, most of the founders and brands we talked to handled their email marketing themselves or had a very small team running it. Despite the challenge of running a business while also staying ahead of the curve on the email marketing front, these teams all had strengths they were proud of.

The team at Bubbly is proud of their ability to connect with the customer. They remarked, “I like to think that I’ve built trust and a personality with my regular customers. So when I review a product they listen to me. [We develop] consistency with that 1 email a week.”

Tomo Delaney at Noshi sells organic edible food-grade paint for kids. He remarked: “I think we create original interesting nature-based content. I think our imagery is very good. I think we are good at reacting quickly to our customers via messaging or email for a personal experience. I think our analysis skills are good.”

Laura Shafferman at Legally Addictive Foods makes and sells amazing cookie bars. She echoed Tomo’s confidence in her team’s ability to craft excellent, brand content: “[We excel at] creating on-brand content that is relevant for our subscriber base.”

Smaller, nimble teams may sometimes struggle to find the bandwidth to invest as much time and energy as they’d like into their email marketing. However, smaller size affords some advantages as well. These teams tend to be closer to the customer and better able to craft content that really resonated with their base. Chris Unger at Hattingley Valley, a wonderful British winery with a wicked marketing team, concurs: “…I think our content is relevant and engaging.”

Enter the Deep End: Segmentation and CTA Testing

Kelly Carter at Reuseful noted skills she was eager for her team to develop: “Best practices in email marketing, utilizing flows and segments more efficiently and effectively, understanding what metrics matter, fitting email marketing strategically within the overall marketing context to connect with our audience and maximize impact.”

Segmentation was also an issue. Chris Unger at Hattingley Valley told us “we could probably do better audience segmentation, testing and stronger CTA to drive more revenue”. Jake Tannenbaum at Craftmix sells instant craft cocktail packets. He remarked “Time to properly segment my market and send targeted emails weekly”.

Tiffany Mattson at OMG Tea commented on the fact that her team was focused on improving their “online marketing, growth hacking, SEO optimization, content creation, etc.”

Tomo Delaney at Noshi summed up the issue succinctly: “We are not experts with klaviyo and are learning as we are going along. There is probably a lot more capability to the program than we are utilising. We need to do some training and spend more dedicated research time on email marketing.”

Knowledge is Power and the Cost is Time

While small teams can take advantage of natural adaptability and speed, there is a cost to this size as well. That cost is simply time. Without a team dedicated to email marketing, many businesses knew the areas they wanted to improve but simply lacked the resources to traverse the learning curve or implement the necessary processes.

The team at Bubbly told us they were happy with their email marketing, but also had many areas they wished they had more resources to focus on. “[We] could improve deliverability. It’s something we have been investigating. It’s difficult because it requires technical resources. It’s not always simple to understand what needs to be done…There are other areas: we want to cross-sell more with our emails. If you buy monthly, do you want to add accessories? Those are the kinds of things would like to see improved…”

Tiffany Mattson at OMGTea told us “[we] should have a dedicated person in my team who can produce content and set up campaigns.”

Todd Alexander Tunnel Vision Hoops LLC makes and sells greenhouses and greenhouse accessories. He told us his biggest challenge was “…time! We’re a very small team that wears many different hats. Email marketing is just one of the many things that I do every day.”

Kelly Carter at Reuseful echoed this sentiment. “[It’s] time. The time to complete Klaviyo academy courses and to then set up flows/segments with the knowledge I gain from them.”

Ellen Watson Lewis at Crazy for Ewe makes and sells stylish hand-knit apparel. She and Jake at Craftmix also lamented the fact that there just wasn’t enough time in the day to run a successful business and stay on top of the nuances of email marketing on a powerful tool like Klaviyo.

Beyond Revenue: Customer Connection

The obvious north star for every brand is increasing revenue. Savvy marketers know that revenue gains are built on a solid foundation of real engagement and customer connection.

Saf Sadiq at Cure brand, a company that offers CBD infusions, remarked that his team is focused on improving “…customer engagement, [and] reflecting less unsubscribes and more revenue.” 

Amanda Reiman runs Personal Plants, where she focuses on empowering people to cultivate and grow their own entheogenic plants at home. Her focus is on “more revenue, more subscription based orders, more traffic and engagement to site.” 

Pablo Gomez runs David Rossas, where he sells watches, jewelry and accessories. His team is on the hunt for more revenue, “…but also accurate revenue. I’ve noticed that for the performance on revenue, the total revenue is actually way off, but maybe I’m just not sure how to get the campaigns to report more accurately. Just because something was added to the cart, doesn’t mean it was bought.”

Kelly Carter at Reuseful explained: “More revenue is always great of course, but I’d really love to build a system of automated email flows that work. I’d love to have the confidence in them so that as a homeschooling mum, I can spend time with my children knowing that that system is picking up those sales for me.”

Working with UE

The founders and marketing experts we spoke to all faced a similar problem set.

This included:

  • Getting beyond revenue to customer connection and engagement 
  • Having enough time to develop expertise in Klaviyo and email marketing
  • Optimizing foundational metrics like click-through, open rate, and sending volume
  • Taking advantage of more advanced features like segmentation CTA-testing

As we head into the holiday season, the ability to systematically test and adapt is critical.

At Underground Ecom, we maintain a singular obsession with email marketing and Klaviyo. We specialize in leveraging a systematic process to develop strategies that work for your brand and your email marketing.

Our goal is twofold: to find and implement what works and to free up your time and bandwidth so you can focus on your business. Yes, we help our clients grow revenue above everything else, but one of the biggest returns our clients see is time. 

Of course, working with a partner to outsource one of the most powerful customer touch points can be intimidating. That’s why we have assembled a crack team of dedicated strategists, copywriters and designers who work closely with each brand to ensure we are speaking with one voice.

Want to explore ways we can work together? Get in touch. We’d love to learn more about your business.

A Big Thanks!

Every month we hand-select brands who we think are doing amazing work in the ecom space.

We wanted to thank all the brands that took part in our interview to make this article possible.

Please visit our contributors below and help support and promote their amazing businesses:

Iguana Sell

Cure brand

Personal Plants

Studio Penny Lane

Free Rain

Legally Addictive Foods

Bedstraw + Madder

Noshi

Maria do mar

O2 Living

Invi

OMGTea

Hattingley Valley Wines

Mama Bamboo

SKHOOP

Tunnel Vision Hoops 

Pupford

PARKIT Co.

VeloVixen

Pernoire

Brill Coffee

Sticker Mountain

David Rossas

TATEJONES

Vesper247

Jumply

Crazy for Ewe

Craftmix

Wean Green

The Scouted Studio

Ovaterra (Fertility Nutraceuticals)

Reuseful

Bubbly Contact

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