Ecommerce Lifestyle
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Safety Nets

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In this episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast, Anton shares how to set up multiple touch points at every stage of your funnel so that you’re never reliant on one platform or traffic source.

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Hello, everybody. Anton Kraly here from eCommerceLifestyle.com. Welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. First of all, I hope this one comes through okay. I hope the audio is listenable. I'm recording this one on a Friday night, it's almost 9:00 pm, which is super late for me. I'm recording it on my balcony, and I know it's not an ideal podcast studio, being I live in downtown Austin, Texas, still as of now. Actually going to close on a house next week, but moving in about a month. I wanted to hop on here quick and get an episode recorded just to share something that I hope will be useful to anybody that's already running a store or anybody that's planning on launching one any time soon.

What got me thinking about this is an e-mail I just received. I'll talk about that in a minute, but I just also want to say, I know it's been a minute. This month I've definitely been slow on the podcasts. That's because I don't even have a car any more. Well, I do, but it's been shipped to where I'm moving. My car is gone, I don't have the car to record in, and just kind of been packing up and getting everything in order to close our office here and get ready for our new office in North Carolina where I'm moving to.

Let's talk about that e-mail I just received, okay? It was from the e-mail service provider that we use to deliver e-mails to our e-mail list, so people that are either prospects, people that request different things to get sent to them, people that are in different e-mail funnels that we have created. The e-mail I just received said, hey, just want to give you a heads-up, and it was an automated e-mail to everybody that uses this service. It said, hey, just want to give you a heads-up that you might have noticed for the past week or so, e-mails have been throttled, meaning they're being delivered slow. And it said, the reason this is happening is because, who is it ... I think it was Yahoo and Hotmail had been noticing a lot of spam complaints from our servers.

Now, the e-mail company that I mail with, we use shared servers. Basically what that means is, maybe I'm on a server with 500 other companies. What happens with the 500 other companies kind of gets averaged into what happens with us and spam complaints become an average of those 500 companies and the e-mails they send. So, just got this e-mail and what it said, again, is that e-mails had been throttled because there's been multiple spam complaints and too many of them from this company's servers. I'm assuming they're not from, because of anything we do, because we do keep a close eye on that because we want our e-mails to go to the inbox. But basically what this means and what it says is that they are no longer going to even try to send any e-mails that we had going to Yahoo and Hotmail. Instead, they're just going to basically cancel everything that's pending and that's been pending, not just for us, but for everybody that uses this e-mail deliverability service.

So what does that mean? Well, first of all, it means for the past week or so, that all of the e-mails that we've been sending to anybody that uses one of those registrars has not been going out, and if it has been going out, it's been ridiculously delayed. Some of them haven't sent at all. Now, that has an effect on revenue, right? Obviously. And the thing is, we haven't seen big changes in our revenue. Like, sales, definitely we've noticed a little bit slower, but nothing outside of the ordinary. I did a podcast episode maybe a month ago, maybe like five or six weeks ago. It was called Do This Every Two Weeks, and it was about auditing ad accounts and auditing, really, everything in your business to see when things break. Because sometimes things like this happen and honestly, we didn't know there was a problem until I just got that e-mail.

Another thing that the e-mail said was, what we're going to do, from their side, is they're going to stop all the e-mails that were pending for those two different e-mail addresses for @Yahoo and @Hotmail, and they're not even going to try to send them any more. And then it said what you should do is try to send them again over the weekend. And it's like, okay, great, thanks. First of all, we're not going to be able to do that because we don't know what people were in what automation. We're probably talking about tens of thousands of people that, again, have either not received the e-mails they were supposed to receive over the past week, or that maybe received them two, three, four, five days out of sync from when we want that message to get to the customer.

So, first thing, am I upset about this? You know, short answer, in one word, yes. Longer answer is, I understand that this is going to happen. I've been doing business long enough and I've been working with enough different software companies and different platforms and e-mail companies to know that sometimes things break, and it's really not something to freak out about. That might sound like crazy, because I'm talking about potentially a lot of lost revenue, but on the other hand, I'm grateful that we can even have the opportunity to e-mail tens of thousands of people every week and be able to have these automations running.

But the more important thing, and the thing that I wanted to express and to share in this message is that when things like this happen, it could be enough to really, really hurt you if you just rely on one thing. Because whether it's e-mails that you're relying on, or whether it's Facebook ads, or whether it's Google ads or whatever, no matter what, at some point in time there's going to be an issue with one of those platforms or one of those services. It's just going to happen, no matter how big they are. Maybe there'll be a bug on Facebook, or maybe, like I talked about this before, our campaigns have got shut off when we haven't shut them off and there's been no answer as to why. Maybe you'll have things with Google where, again, there's a glitch and your ads just totally decrease and you get 50% less impressions in a week. Again, these things will happen.

Where the real problem is, is if you only rely on one of them. What I mean by that is, again, let's just say all we did was have organic traffic come to our site and the goal was to have people opt in for our e-mail list and all of our money was made by remarketing via e-mail. Well, then guess what? Sales this week wouldn't have just been okay, sales this week would have been non-existent, or non-existent to the portion of our e-mail list that uses Yahoo or Hotmail e-mail addresses.

So how do you counteract that? How do you make sure that even when things break, which again, it's a fact that they will. I've accepted that a long time ago. So, how do you make sure that when things break, you're still okay, your business is still protected, and you still make money? It's by having multiple channels at each touchpoint to basically serve your customers and get them to do what you want them to do. So, for this example, the reason that our sales didn't totally dry up from ... I'd have to look at percentages, but I'd assume probably 30% of our e-mail list is using a @Yahoo or @Hotmail address, and the reason, again, those 30%, our sales didn't drop 30% is because when people are at different stages of the sales cycle, we're not only e-mailing them. We're e-mailing them, but we're also showing them targeted ads on Facebook based on where they're at, again, in the buying cycle. We're also showing them targeted ads on Google ads. We're using YouTube through Google to show them targeted ads.

So we have these safety nets that we build in so we have multiple touchpoints, so in case one thing goes down, the people, our people are still seeing us. They're still hearing from us, they're still able to get our message. Now, ideally in a perfect world, we can be re-targeting people on Google and on Facebook and via e-mail all at the same time, and they're all working, and things are as great as they can be. But again, things will break, and when they do it's your responsibility as a business owner, just like it is my responsibility, to have these safety nets in place so that we can still catch these people and so they don't slip through the cracks and our sales don't drop 30%, or even worse. Let's just say instead of being Yahoo and Hotmail, let's say it was Gmail, which makes up a lot more e-mails. Let's say there was an issue with them, then it could be 70%. And again, the way we save that is by not only focusing on one of these channels.

For safety nets, basically what I would tell you to do as a friend, as someone that is looking for advice to grow their business, to get consistent sales, and to not be dependent on anyone, it's make sure you have multiple touchpoints at every stage of the sales cycle. Whether it's when somebody opts in for your e-mail list or when somebody adds something to their cart, or when somebody is just looking at your Facebook page, have all of these different re-targeting options in place so that they'll still hear from you and a week of downtime from one provider won't kill your business.

I was trying to think of what I could relate this to for everyone that's just getting started. One way that I could compare this would be if, let's just say you had a retail store. You had an actual store and you sold high-end blinds for windows. Let's say you opened your store, you hired one sales person, and they were a killer, they were the best. Everybody that walked through the door, this was your sales person. They came in, this person talked to them, they closed deals like crazy, and that was it. They were the money maker and you relied on them. Well, okay, one day let's say that person quit or that person got hit by a bus. Then what happens? Next day, you have nothing. You're left with nothing and you have to try to rebuild. But what if instead of having just that one killer sales person, you also had two other people in the store that were either working under them or that were supporting them or that were shadowing them, and they were there so when that person quit or when that person got hit by a bus, your business didn't just disappear.

It's the same thing. This is how remarketing works, this is how having different touchpoints works in business. Again, that's one of the reasons why, maybe back in the day I used to get mad when we would experience these down times or these outages with either softwares or platforms or ad channels, but at this point, again, I'm not happy about it, but I'm okay with it, because we have these back-ups in place and we have, again, multiple ways to reach people. And they're all happening automatically, all the time, behind the scenes. So when I get an e-mail like the one I just received, I think, "Wow, I wonder how much more money we could have made this week," instead of thinking, "Oh my God, I didn't make any money this week and now I have to catch up." Instead of having that mindset and just totally freaking out, I can think, "Okay, I'm happy I have these other things in place and I'm happy that e-mail is going to work again as of tomorrow."

So just something that, again, was top of mind because I literally, before I opened my recorder to get this message to you, I was reading that e-mail. So if you're not doing those things yet, definitely implement them. It's going to benefit you in a big way even if everything works perfect for the next year with all of the platforms and ad channels you use, there will be a time when you experience some difficulties with one of them and the others will be there to support your business, to make sure you keep getting paid, to make sure you keep making [inaudible 00:11:58]. That's it, guys. Just wanted to share that with you. I'm hoping to get back to podcasting more regularly. Like I said, I'm going to be across the country next week, but I'll have my phone, so if anything else pops up like this, I'll be sure to shoot you a quick message.

And as always, guys, if you got value and you have any questions, you want to connect about this episode or any of the other ones I've done, hop on over to eCommerceLifestyle.com, click on episodes. You can find all of the previous episodes, plus all of the transcripts, plus all of the relevant links. Leave a comment over there, let me know what you think about this and what you want to hear more about. Have a good night, everybody, and I'll talk to you all soon. See you.

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