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Nathan:

One. Hey, what’s going on? It’s Nathan Resnick with Sourcify. Welcome back to another episode of Product Sourcing Stories. Today we have my good friend Danavir on, and thanks so much for joining us. I’d love, before we really dive in, just to learn a bit about you and your background.

Danavir:

Yeah, for sure, man. So me, I guess the shortest way to say it is, I’ve been a direct-response marketer, online marketer, digital marketer for the past 10 years, doing everything from information products, so all the guru hypey stuff, all the way to e-commerce, which is what I do today. Everything again, from copywriting to ads to email to almost the whole thing, been throughout the whole thing. And today I mostly just do direct consumer analysis as well as services that go on top of that like email marketing and ad creative and stuff like that.

Nathan:

Got it. That’s awesome. That’s amazing. I mean, I think right now the intersection of copy and commerce is so important. People, I think, oftentimes overlooked the copy that goes into their emails and landing pages and all of that, and so I kind of want to start on the subject of email. A lot of people that are listening that are getting started in e-commerce, they want to know number one, what are the best tools to utilize when it comes to setting up all of your email? And then, maybe if you can walk us through just a brief overview of what emails you think are essential to converting customers in the e-commerce world, would it be like abandoned cart emails, what are certain tidbits that people should have set up?

Danavir:

Cool. Well, when it comes to tools, the only thing you have to worry about, as long as you have a Shopify store, is to use Klaviyo. Klaviyo, there is no other alternative. Don’t worry about MailChimp. Don’t worry about ConvertKit. Don’t worry about all these other things. Just use Klaviyo from the beginning, trust me. It’s worth it. That’s the only tool you really have to worry about. And then from there, when it comes to the actual emails, the way I see it is that I separated between three parts of the funnel. One is a new subscriber, right? They haven’t bought anything yet, but they’re just learning about your brand or about what you sell and stuff, and then there’s the middle of the funnel part, which is the cart abandonment sequence, and then after that is the backend, right? That’s where they already bought one, so now you’re trying to get them to buy a lot of stuff. That’s the way how I see it.

Danavir:

And I guess the most basic way to think about it is in that first section phase one, what you’re trying to do is teach them about the brand, but when I say brand, if you would just talk about random stuff, when I say brand, I’m actually talking about what differentiates your business over everyone else’. And that’s essentially the entire welcome sequence is for, as well as your campaign. Just teach them, look, this is the reason why you should pay attention to us, this is the reason why you should buy from us. USP, any features and benefits, you’re basically educating them. If you have proof elements that needs to be some supplement brand, their founder was a former doctor or something, tell that story because that’s credibility, that’s a differentiator of the brand. So, that’s what phase one is about. And it’s just putting out campaigns throughout just reminding people, “Hey, this is why you should buy from us.”

Nathan:

Phase one, sounds like it’s more about the story of the brand rather than the product. I mean, I think that is so important right now in e-commerce where you aren’t selling products, you’re selling the benefits, you’re selling the story, right?

Danavir:

Exactly. But not so much. Some people would take it too far, I guess. It’s still, at the end of the day, people only want to solve their problems, so yes, tell the brand’s story, but it has to be within context of how that actually relates to solving their problem. You know what I mean? So again, say you’re selling supplements. I mean, you can tell the brand story of how you found that and stuff like that, and which is good, maybe one email could you have bought that, but in terms of the entire phase, you really want to focus on the problem, how you had that specific problem or how other people had that specific problem or how you were the doctor or you consult with doctors to figure out what worked and stuff like that. So, that’s the kind of storytelling you want to focus on.

Nathan:

Got it, got it. That makes a lot of sense. And when it comes to email, I mean, walk us through some certain case studies or examples that you might have that you tweaked copy in an email or tweaked a welcome flow or a abandoned cart sequence. I mean, do you have any kind of examples you can share where you made a few tweaks or edits and it really had a significant impact on conversions?

Danavir:

Sure. I would say the fastest way to just increase your sales, it would be through the cart abandonment sequence. I just call the ROI sequence, which are means to remind. So the reminder email, the O is the Objection and an I is the Incentive, the ROI sequence. The R part Reminder, it’s the one you see all the time. There’s a cart abandonment, so always say, “Hey, did you leave this in your cart?” Type-of-thing, boom. And that’s usually, everyone kind of does that, and then the next step was where it starts changing a little bit, is the objection email. And that is actually a proof email, and that’s where I love to go hardcore into proof. So basically I split the emails in two parts.

Danavir:

The first part, the top half, is where you are, again, you’re reminding them, “Hey, go buy the thing.” You try to give them some discount usually, it doesn’t have to be, but usually it’s some discount. And in the second half of the email is just proof. If you have five star testimonials, you put them all in there and you say, if you have a product picture, you want that product picture to also have, “As seen on blah, blah, blah.” You know what I mean? So that second email is all about proof. And then the third email is the incentive email, which is that’s when you say, “Hey, look, you only have a couple hours left to buy. You need to get this right now. Remember it’s 20% off.” And depending on how hardcore you want to go, you can actually add an extra incentive on top of that, like a bigger discount or a bonus or something like that. Usually I don’t do that, but most of the time it’s just a hardcore, “Hey, this is the incentive, go buy right now.”

Nathan:

Right, right. Got it. That makes a lot of sense. And I’ve got kind of more of a general thesis question too, around a lot of people say you need to have multiple touch points with a potential customer before they convert. Do you believe that to be true? Or do you think if your copy and product market fit are strong enough, someone can convert off of a first interaction with your brand?

Danavir:

In theory, they need multiple touch points, but in practice you need that first sale as soon as humanly possible, especially on the ad side. If it’s email, you can worry about the whole funnel, right? But if it’s ads, you need to get that sale at the very first time. That’s literally the entire direct-response industry is about, making that sale on the first time. And I guess the best ads that do this, man, I’m talking about hardcore is those anchor videos, like the Squatty Potty video, Dr. Squatch, FiberFix, all those type of videos, they make the sale on that first try without full direct-response thing. But even without that, even those UGC videos and stuff like that, people make sales on the first visit all the time. So when it comes to practice, go for that first sale, but also understand that not everyone’s going to make that first sale, and so you try to recoup as much of the stragglers as possible.

Nathan:

Right. When you think about the copywriting that you see in Squatty Potty or Dr. Squatch, what sticks out to you? I mean, is it the advertisement itself? Is it the copy? I mean, what sticks out to you that makes you think about those two examples?

Danavir:

So what I love about those anchor videos the most is that they’re essentially just old-school infomercials, but those infomercials that are actually exciting to, or at least fun or entertaining to watch. And so that’s what they do. They are three to four minutes of just a complete sales pitch from problem to solution to offer. The entire thing in one video, and then they just make it kind of fun to see it. But if you really look at it and compare it to an old-school infomercial, they’re almost the exact same thing. The old school informational like Purple mattress, they’ll have one of them, I love them, it’s a Sasquatch ad where the spokesperson is a Sasquatch family.

Danavir:

But you really think about it, that Sasquatch family is just Billy Mays, but in a different uniform, essentially. That’s all it is. And the whole problem-solution offer thing, that’s every direct-response ad ever. That’s probably the thing I like about it the most because then it only takes that three to four minutes to make the entire pitch, make them entertained so that they watch as much of it as possible and then convert on the actual landing page.

Nathan:

Right. Right. You mentioned kind of a framework that I think is really important. The product solution offer. Can you touch on that more in regards to how anyone might be able to apply their product? I mean, let’s say I’m trying to sell a line of, let’s say, treadmill desks. I’ve been shopping, I’m thinking about getting a treadmill to put under my desk to make it, so I walk while I work. What kind of product-solution offer angle comes to mind? I mean.

Danavir:

Okay. Yeah. Those are simple, anything that’s very problem-solution oriented, simple. It’s actually not products, it’s problem-solution offer. So basically if it’s a treadmill desk, it’s going to be the same old, literary think like an old-school infomercial and all you have to say is “Struggling to lose weight? Here’s a treadmill that has this, this and that. Go buy it now.” That’s literally the entire thing. So the way I like to think about it, and some e-commerce people don’t think about it this way, but in my opinion, the more you sound like an infomercial, the better your pitch actually is. And a lot people, they try to do all this branding stuff, and I just don’t think, I love brand and I think I’m a branding guy, but I think a lot of people in e-commerce misunderstand what brand is actually about. And so even within the branding framework, you still need to go the direct-response route. And again, if you sound like an infomercial, it’s probably right. Basically.

Nathan:

Got it. Got it. Yeah, it’s super interesting to see how people tie in the aspects of branding and infomercials and just the whole funnel. I mean, I’m curious, when you think about online digital marketing right now, what are big opportunities that come to mind? I mean, I think you have a lot of people that are trying to diversify off of Facebook and Google. I mean, are there other opportunities that you see? Obviously TikTok comes to mind, but I mean, what do you see as the next frontier when it comes to digital marketing?

Danavir:

Yeah. Well, I don’t think too much about what’s next. I just like to optimize whatever’s happening now. And I like to separate it between organic and paid. If you’re doing paid, I actually do not think you should move away from Facebook and Instagram. That should be your pillar, number one on the paid side of things. Right? And then on the organic route, that’s pretty much just going to come down to where’s the next, newest social media thing or the newest social media feature that you can exploit. So for now, it’s TikTok. Hopefully Trump doesn’t do anything to screw that up. But yeah, stick with Facebook. Do TikTok and YouTube, I would say, are the only two things you would really want to really focus on, because YouTube, once you make something, it stays there for the longest and the people who are on YouTube, the businesses and influencers are also, I don’t have any data on this, but just from my observations, the people who are on YouTube are the ones that make the most revenue from their same influence versus other social media accounts.

Nathan:

That’s a good point. I want to touch on that because I was analyzing YouTube last week and realized that the engagement rates per subscriber on YouTube see much higher than on Instagram or Facebook. Is that kind of what you’re pointing at?

Danavir:

Yeah. That’s definitely one way to think about it. I think TikTok, the micro-video stuff, I think it’s great for engagement, but what you really want is a true fan, then YouTube is where it’s at, because again, it’s long form. Whenever you have a chance to get someone to consume long form content in any medium, they’re going to like you a lot more, a lot faster. So that’s the way I think about it.

Nathan:

Got it, got it. That makes a lot of sense. Well, I also kind of want to ask you because a lot of people listening in, they’re just starting their brands, getting the ball rolling, if you were just starting a brand today, what would be your main focal point? I mean, what’s the first thing you would focus on?

Danavir:

Well, it’s funny you ask me this because I started my own brand and it failed and I’m actually planning on starting a new one. The first one was premium sportswear, which actually you and I, we try to work on that a little bit. And then the next I’m thinking about is either going to be something in personal care, like super premium men’s soaps or something like that. And the one thing that I learned from the sportswear, failing at the sportswear stuff, was unit economics. E-commerce, especially if paid is your main way to get customers, it’s you have to make sure that you have the margins to do the things that you need to do. So that’s my number one. Do not start a single business unless the numbers work. If the numbers don’t work, nothing else’s going to work. And that’s why personal care is one category I’m really looking into because it’s one of those categories where you could charge a lot for cheaper stuff and lower volumes and stuff like that. So get that margin, 60, 70%.

Nathan:

I think that’s so key because if we look at the high growth e-commerce brands that we work with, the majority of them have 80% plus gross margins where they’re selling a hundred dollar product, they’re not spending more than $20 to produce it.

Danavir:

Exactly. Yeah, it’s the same thing. I think Dan Kennedy’s old direct-response guy said, “If the math doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter how much marketing you put behind it, it’s literally just not going to happen.” So yeah.

Nathan:

Right, right. Exactly. That makes a lot of sense. So if people want to dive in and ask you more questions, where can they find you?

Danavir:

Yeah, for now, just go to danavirsarria.com and there just, if you want to hire us for services or just want to talk to me or whatever, just go to the contact button and hit me up.

Nathan:

Awesome, Danavir, well, thanks so much for coming on Product Sourcing School. This was a great deep dive on email, content and conversions. Really appreciate you taking the time to join us.

Danavir:

Thanks for having me.

 

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