All Things Marketing and Personalization - Drip | EP. #57

November 02, 2022 | Author: Andrew Maff





On this 57th episode of The E-Comm Show, our host and BlueTuskr CEO Andrew Maff is with Emil Kristensen, CMO of Drip and co-founder of Sleeknote, which Drip recently acquired. He is also the co-host of the biggest Scandinavian marketing podcast, Marketing Brief, and an international speaker with loads of insights into marketing.


Dive into this episode with Andrew and Emil as they talk about how to find your best customers, build and segment your email marketing list, and how to automate, delight, convert, and attract more customers through campaigns and email marketing.

If you enjoyed the show, please be sure to rate, review, and of course, SUBSCRIBE! 

Have an e-commerce marketing question you'd like Andrew to cover in an upcoming episode? Email:



All Things Marketing and Personalization - Drip





Andrew Maff and Emil Kristensen

CONNECT WITH OUR HOST:  |  Twitter: @AndrewMaff | LinkedIn: @AndrewMaff







































































Emil Kristensen


Emil Kristensen is the CMO of Drip and co-founder of Sleeknote, which Drip recently acquired. He is also the co-host of the biggest Scandinavian marketing podcast, Marketing Brief, and an international speaker with loads of insights into all things marketing and personalization.



You don't just give them a discount code when they enter your stall like that's maybe a little bit further into the conversation when you realize, oh, they're really up to it, but they just need that last little bit of a tweak to get there. Then you might offer a discount code.



Hey Everyone this is Nezar Akeel of Max Pro. Hi, I'm Linda and I'm Paul and we're Love and Pebble.



Hi, this is Lopa Van Der Mersch from RASA you're listening, and you're listening, and you are listening to The E-Comm Show. Welcome to The E-Comm Show, presented by BlueTuskr, the number one place to hear the inside scoop from other ecommerce experts. They share their secrets on how they scaled their business and are now living the dream. Now, here's your host, Andrew Maff. Hello,



everyone, welcome to another episode of The E-Comm Show. I'm your host, Andrew Maff. And today I am joined by the amazing Emil Kristensen, who is the CMO of DRIP and also the original founder of sleeknote meal. How're you doing? Right for a good show?



Yeah, I'm so ready. Thank you for having me, Andrew.



Yeah, not a problem. Super excited to have you on the show. love chatting with you know, some of the bigger vendors in the space. It's always very interesting to kind of hear what things look like from your perspective. But let's do the normal thing and pretend that no one knows anything about you, or drip or sleep note or anything like that. And why don't you tell us a little bit about your background and go from there?



Yeah, sure. This could I could talk about this for 20 minutes, but I'll do it in 30 seconds. Because this is usually where I sewed out myself and podcast. So I'll make it quick. Like I'm the founder of sweeteners, which is a pub and sliding tool, I found a dad eight or nine years ago and recently got acquired six, or nine months ago by drip a marketing automation platform. And I'm now the CMO of drip. So no more of a founder, but 100% acquired by drip. And now and CMO there. And drip for those who don't know is a marketing automation platform, primarily for EECOM. I think that's the very short version. There's much more to it. There's an agency background as well, a consultant, and so on. But I don't want to bore everyone to death. Let's get into the meeting.



Nice. So let's start with sleep notes. And so that's kind of where this where you're at today started. What made you start sleep note and what was the hole in the market that, you know, seemed to be necessary to fill?



Yeah, I've told this story so many times. So I think for me, it's fairly simple. And we started as E-commerce marketers ourselves. And I was running an econ business and my other co-founders were running one as well. And nine, eight years ago now, I would almost say 10 years ago, when we found that this there, we're not really pop-up and sliding tools around there OptinMonster and similar tools, but they were all that I would call intrusive. And the goal was to get as many email subscribers as possible. And our goal as marketers at the time was to get as much revenue as possible, not necessarily as many emails captures as possible. So we wanted to make sure that our E commerce sites were keeping the conversion rates. And again, this is the early days. So you are testing like black and white and yellow buttons at the time. But we wanted to make sure that we didn't lose the conversion rates and didn't see a drop in the conversion rate by adding a pop-up or slide into the site because it's very intrusive. So we changed the mindset of pop-up and slide and made a tool there ourselves, we hard coded in the beginning. That was it less intrusive. Teaser in the bottom, we invented that we're the first one to get down with a teaser in the bottom, so you can click on that teaser, and would pop up afterward it would slide in now everyone has that and that's fine, you know, that makes the least that kind of rebrand, we're trying we were trying to rebrand or still are trying to rebrand pop up and slide into being something that you're going to make them relevant for visitors and stop making those freaking excellent and with a 10% discount code when they're about to leave with their being on the site for 20 minutes and then when they're about to leave you to offer them something like make them more personalized and make them non-intrusive. That was the goal that started behind state note and that's what drip bought into and is also in the E-commerce space. And you know, there is also a long history there. But I'm not the one that should talk about the drip histories and I'm also fairly new, like six months in but I would say they've been back and forward with their vision as well first for b2b now for EECOM 100% and focusing on all the features and everything around EECOM because that's base that we truly believe in. And all leadership members today, to some extent, had some kind of touch with EECOM at some point in their careers. Yeah.



So it definitely makes sense why drip, obviously would have acquired you. So, from a drip standpoint, the one thing I know, I wanted to ask, especially, you know, in this market, there's a ton of other platforms out there that are all e-marketing, email marketing platforms for E-commerce sellers. I don't even I couldn't even count them off. I went off on him right now. What would you say is kind of the big differentiator for drip versus you know, everyone else?



Well, that's a good question. Because two years ago, three years ago, it would have been enough to say we were for EECOM, only. Today, there are probably 20 3050, if not 100 of those for EECOM. That's what marketing automation with different layers to them, and complexity. And some of them moving upmarket, some are moving to BSPs as some BS, whatever not like there are so many of them, I even made a competitor metric, it's one of the first things want to join. And it's like, I can't see a logo here. That's the problem. Because there are so many logos, and I can't see your own because there are so many of them. So do we decide to play a different game? Do we go up to the godown, we give rights as being right as more EECOM or left, which is more, you know, mail Tim for everyone, and just have to click off of the marketing automation with being for everyone. And having, you know, multiple solutions that might not be 100%. But there's something there that can replace multiple apps. Where we're going though, is we want to move a little bit away from the ESP game, and more into what we would call direct to people. We truly believe that you know, all good marketing starts with understanding your best customers. And I don't think most ecommerce brands have an understanding of who their best customers are. So having a tool that can help you analyze who are your best customers. And over time, instead of starting with, most folks can see this because it's the podcast that I'm trying to show you here is the classic funnel, where you add folks at the top of the funnel, which most marketing automation system helps you do add folks to the top of the funnel, focus on transactions instead of relationships, or we want to turn that around. So start with your best customers, build relationships, and take that inside out. We need to help our companies that use this rep in their bowling relationships with their customers. That of course is a game that other competitors are playing as well with data. Cleaver is an example. They're like they're probably the leader from a data perspective. And I think omniscient is another one which is going probably a little bit more downmarket, vsps and a freemium model and so on. And yeah, whereas yourself is moving closer to the right two-people platform and putting the customer in the center and relationship first. So ecommerce businesses that really do truly believe that CAC is increasing, which it is, and I don't want to focus on the next transaction, but I want to focus on relationships. So what are the next transactions? That's what we're gonna develop features for? That's, that's the name of the game for us. And other platforms are focusing on the next transaction, which is fine. That's where we are different. And of course, the sole focus on E-commerce Well, as I would say, that's just property at this point. It's not necessarily a differentiator. Yeah.



How are you deciphering the best customers? I mean, I know the obvious being, you know, how much they spent, maybe how many orders they've placed all that kind of fun stuff. But are you able to also kind of paint a picture around anything tied to maybe demographics, or how often they visit the site or anything along those lines? Like, what does that actually start to look like?



Ideally, when you log into the drip, and this is what we're building right now, and like going for 100%. As you should be able to have pre-built segments that are much more than just your VIPs being those that bought from you more than twice, it's like oh, that that really isn't VIPs it's just someone that bought from you twice like you don't even know if that's your VIP. So for me, it stopped much more than that you should be able to take reviews, you'd be able to take what I would call real-world data as well also take data from surveys, maps, or ties back to sleep notes here with this pop-up. The first pop-up I made was a pop-up on a receipt page saying how do You find us? Why did you buy from us tighter data back to your best customers, your customers? And then you suddenly have something nobody else has. Everyone else has revenue attribution data and data, you could argue all day long about that attribution data because it's not correct. Is fear most of it? Because you know, you know, attribution model today, even with the best attribution systems I've seen out there, even in b2b. Did you end up asking the customer on a call? I've just listened to enough phone calls to notice it's like, oh, yeah, I heard about you in this podcast and was like, oh, oh, this is like, this is a Google attribution. Well, no, it's not. It's the podcast. That's like, that's what Yeah, I just clicked on your ad, because I was searching for whatever, MailChimp alternative, and it's like, oh, yeah, I remember you. And now it's like there is. Okay. Well, then is the last click. But yeah, so for me, and replies to your questions along during the Dara. But it starts with having more than just repeat verbs, like, repeat purchase customers, because that's not your VIPs, your VIPs you should know why they're your VIPs and how they become your VIPs. And that's taking maybe kind of a topic out of her popular playbook right now. And in b2b SELF-attributed revenue and those kinds of plays. I think we can put those into a b2c e comm context as well to help folks survey their best customers and put that data back into what we would almost call a CRM for E-commerce.



Yeah. So once you've identified these best customers, and you know, you now you know exactly who you want to continue to engage with, you want to obviously, we focused on retaining what kind of there's a lot of like basic flows that come in a lot of different platforms, like, you have a basic like best customer flow like once they're considered the best customer, you send them a thank you for being there. And maybe you do a little bit more after that and give them some offer or something like that. But how do you what kind of automation you kind of is showing is like best practices for making sure those best customers stay the best customers?



I think there are so many tours, but the top of my mind for me is some of the automation. And in general, I would love to take the automation conversation. But I think the bigger conversation for most econ brands, if we look at our data, like 62% of our customers, that fits into our ICP doesn't even have automation activated. So I gotta mention the conversation. Yeah, that's, that's scary, right?



The easy part.



That's the very easy part. But for most folks, for most companies, it just starts with stopping sending those blast campaigns. It's just, that's how most companies that are reading emails these days, it's like, oh, it's Friday, you know, let our intern send us an email that goes out. And let's see what happens. And we're just gonna send it out to the entire list. And let's see what happens. So it's not because I don't want to reply to your question, but I do think that we've got to get back to the basics. It's like, okay, how would you write a good email, like, write an email and segment your class, not just segment your customers, but segment your list? Okay, just start simple. If you don't have any segments today, just start with everyone that bought from you and everyone that hasn't bought from you. Okay, that's the start. That's phase one, okay? write an email to those and blast it out to those two segments. But email is very different. If I had a physical store, which is like an example, I usually use a dress, like if I had a physical store, and someone walked into the store, and I know the guy because he's been there 10 times this week, and he's purchased from me multiple times, I would talk to him completely different, versus someone that I've never seen before he walked into my store, I would talk completely different, I would maybe wait a little bit would be, you know, that would be more passive. Maybe wait a little bit and ask if they need that help and so on. But if it's some of them already knew and had the data on aka the whole history of him buying these three things, I remember some of them, well, I would probably stop and my language would be completely different. And I would start the conversation at different at a different levels. So I think I would treat automation the same way and that's what we in most cases say to ecommerce businesses is like, because this is the question that we get often is like, which automation Should I start with? Well, first of all, you should start with treating email differently starting with just simple segmentation like being aware most marketing automation will do to pre-segmented list for you but stop there. Okay, stop there, right? Definitely most of those, put them into a framework but the mentor is a dead simplest framework and the wall marketing framework that we kind of adopted as well. I like the light, conversation, attract. Put them into that, but see it as a bullseye with delight. And in the middle, those are your customers. Those are your best customers. Get more of those. Just start with those two symbols, right? Definitely emails. And when you talk about automation, it's like, sure all the classic ones stopped, but a welcome stopped butter, repeat purchase stop butter. You looked at a product but you didn't buy it stop butter, carbon, one carbon, and V calm is the simplest one to get revenue tomorrow. But again, it's transactions or relationships. So where do you want to start? In my opinion, the humble opinion? Sure, you should start with having a welcome flow if you don't have that today without basic levels now start there. Yes. Someone's time's up. Start with a welcome flow. Okay. Number two, do your segments if you don't have any customers, non-customers if you have those? Okay, dive deeper. Which are the biggest? Which? Which customers? Is it? What did they buy? What didn't they buy? The device? never from you last year? Is it time again? Is it six months ago? Do you want to send them something that maybe is tied together with it? Someone is selling a table? Do you want to sell them something that's related to it? And so on. So automation I get the talk about automation, but I just see most folks just misunderstanding automation as being their first thing. I think when you covered the basics of automation, which most companies haven't. From there, that's how you're writing your email campaigns and then automating more advanced automation. Afterward, we can dive that way we could dive into more advanced automation, I want to but I do think we will lose 95% of everyone that's listening to and does no offense, but it's like, I just don't see it on most accounts.



Yeah, well, that's a very good point, I tend to be even when we first get into an account, most of the time we see the basics are set up, they use the basic template that came with the email. And it's more of a checking a box than it is actually creating something that might actually you know, resonate with the audience, which is, to me. Email marketing has been claimed as one of the best strategies for specifically for E-commerce. But in the digital marketing period for years, everyone thought it was going to die. Everyone thinks it's always going to die never dies, it's the one thing that everyone has to have, mainly because every platform you even need just to sign into a platform. So not having a strong focus on email is always just mind-blowing to me that it's not one of the first things that you know, some of these ecommerce sellers don't at least put some kind of effort behind it. But you had mentioned before to around, you know, obvious segmentation and just basic automation What about from a traditional like campaign newsletter standpoint, I'm going to assume that you're going to say the same thing, which is to stop doing one email to your entire list Yes, segmented out, change the copy, what's your theories around that and then AV testing some of those things as well.



Okay, so the first thing for my email, in general, is that it's a one-to-one media. That's why it's it's a medium that we invented. So I can write your email Andrews like, you reply to it. Most marketers treat it as is a revenue machine for me, here are my products go buy from me, it's like that's tried, and treat it as that one-to-one medium instead. So we in most cases, treat like the customers that we get to work closely with, it's like, almost, you want to reply to this email. And you would change the entire mindset. Because you don't just send an email with all of your products that's now on. I don't know, all for this week. And next week, it's the same fucking offer. Sorry for my language here. But then it's not alone. There's another one and another one, like treat it as a campaign. So write one email and don't expect your email list to see that email, like write another email that's similar to it, but with a different language to it. That's in a sequence. But without having to interrupt the flows. It's kind of like the TV shows, like, you can watch NCIS or watch whatever is out there, but you can kind of watch one episode and then watch the next episode without having to watch episode number five, you can watch episode number seven. I cannot see email as the same there needs to be some kind of line in the language. And you shouldn't be afraid of using the words that you usually do as you write to a colleague almost. Because that's how email was invented. And even ourselves. We changed our emails write yourself completely as being this classic HTML was like, here's our blog post obsolete to know here's the story. Here's a personal story. I've sent emails with pictures. And this is over the limit for some folks on them or of that, I've sent emails with a picture of my son holding up a book that we wrote and said, like, here's really the binder because there wasn't a lot of papers in it. But I think this book is for you, to a marketer, this is to b2b enterprise-ish companies, they're getting it and the response was, wow, much smaller than just a picture of the book. And, you know, some don't like it, sure. But 95% love that. And it's the same whatever marketing thing that you do is like, if there's not 5%, that doesn't like what you do, maybe you're not taking a big enough bet. That's what would be my opinion. And number two, when you look at these emails, it's like, make the main campaign. So there's one thing that you want to talk about, you want to sell, okay? Don't, again, go back to the physical stores, like, you don't go home, go and I give them a 10% discount code, when they walk into the store, right? You start talking about the product, you start talking about the different natures and the different features of the product and why you should have the product, and so on. You don't just give them a discount code when they enter your stall like that. That's maybe a little bit further into the conversation, when you realize, oh, they're really hooked to it, but they just need that last little bit of a tweak to get there. Well, then you might offer a discount code. Yeah.



So we do too, your point of, you know, you wrote this email where you're holding up this picture book, and you and you wrote the story? Do you feel the same way about ecommerce where if you were to kind of ecommerce sellers should consider pivoting away from the more like I kind of considered like E-commerce, like traditional looking like heavily designed HTML, like all, you know, they basically designed team made the whole thing like are you kind of, basically is the opinion to kind of get away from that and make it more conversational, make it even look like just a more traditional email, if you were to just send one to a friend,



I'm gonna expose the best sales strike, I hope none of our competitors listen to this, but I'm gonna expose the best sales trick that we have. Because this is completely related to it. If someone signs up and it's a bigger opportunity for us, we would go in, take a current email, remove the logos, change the colors to a natural color, and do the same thing with their competitors. Which one is your email that just showed out to CMO? They would have no freaking idea which one is their email? And that's the problem with email for most is like they don't they you if you can't see it, how would your target audience be able to see the difference? Why would they buy from you when the same sneakers are on offer somewhere else or showcase and 10 other competitors that we've talked about marketing automation being read see right now but go into any e comm niche right now? And it's the same for anyone. And there's so much competition out there. There are brands that really see a lot of growth right now. And that's also a popular thing. At least I see it way too often almost like influencers that open up brands. And there are so many examples of this, but influencers that open up what I would call b2c brands, just have a personal touch to it. Like if I remove the logo on the collars, say no, it's them. So you as an agency, e-commerce agency, as well as like the tenancies there's like I think four agencies is like pay help them take that voice, they probably have that somewhere else. That's what we try to do as well as your ad just take that conversation with your agency that you're already using. Like maybe they have a strong social, let's say that, okay, how do you take that social language and transfer that into your emails? The best examples we've seen are dos that are very good at tic tac toe. That sounds silly. But those regular tic tock tic, the same, almost the same language as you use there. And that's, I know that that might be a low point for some, but stop there, and then move up. But change your language. I'm not saying you should show pick yourself, your child-like children, whatever, and your emails all of you. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying, Take if you can, if you can do the same thing, removing your colors and logos. You can't see the difference. You can show that your colleagues are working with it every day. They can see the difference. Then you have a problem like changing that until someone can see you too.



That's a very good point. I like that. I like that a lot. Sorry, it kind of left me thinking about it. The last question I got for you is on the sensibility side of things. So there's a lot of, you know, everyone talks about setting up the automation. And the basic campaigns and all those, you know, ad testing subject lines, blah, blah. But if it doesn't reach the email, it doesn't reach your inbox. That's a problem. And there's a lot of different weird, like hacks that people seem to kind of, you know, a claim can work. There's a lot on the DNS side about getting like DK, I'm all set up and everything is there. There are now platforms where you can like, warm up an inbox. So, you know, they'll integrate, they'll send you emails and reply to stuff and all that things just to kind of keep the email going. So it looks legit, to you know, whichever provider they're using, what is your stance on? All of that is? Do you find it unnecessary? Or do you think that you know, it's all just BS?



No, I don't think it's BS. I do. I do think that there's something there, especially if you look at the more modern spam pedalers in general, and especially to promote and tap like, we're not talking enough about the promotion tab in Gmail, we see such a huge percentage of our customers. Yeah. And their end list is just ending in the promotion tab. Like, I think that's the biggest that is the big talking point right here from me. Sure, you can do what you want mob social is there are tools out there for that. And, in general, if you're your marketing automation system, make sure that there's a deliverability team, they know what they're doing. And I think that's the first thing as well, for us, it's like, that's the most important team almost is like making sure emails ending in the inbox. So we don't just take any customers like theirs, we say no to a ton of customers, that come to us, and there are clear deliverability issues, we say no to them and have to stop collaborating with them. And, you know, some platforms don't do that. And that that is what it is. But warming up your list, you can do that. Not sure you can get more replies. So that's the strongest signals that you can send to most specialists today and reply. If you get a reply, you can also avoid the promotion tab. That is the strongest signal you can send. So again, going back to like kind of wrapping all of this, like, did you do personal emails, folks will reply to it more. Because you can even ask for replies. Or everything you get more replies your deliverability will be better, you'll avoid the promotion tap, and there's more like there's a bigger likelihood to avoid the promotion tab for some. But in general, I don't think deliverability should be the biggest problem if you choose the right platform. And if you remember to clean your list, that's also a problem. And we could honestly spend 30 minutes talking about that with the new IRS update and whatever not and how you clean your list. But generally, that's also becoming more and more difficult with the iCloud changes and so on. But the default opens and whether or not that's there. But generally, if you make your platform has a good deliverability team and has a focus on it, you focus on writing emails that people actually want to open and interact with, the better the strongest signal you can get as replies, see, if you can get out you can warm up the email list. Sure. But that's not going to save you if you have an old email list of 100k that you just upload to a marketing automation platform and, and send out a mass email to everyone that's not gonna save you. You're gonna warm up for months, that doesn't matter.



mean that was awesome. I appreciate having the show. I don't want to take up too much of your time. I know we're already kind of pushing a little bit. I would love to give you the opportunity here to let everyone know where they can find out obviously more about you and more about drip.



Sure, I hope someone here just wants to I don't know chime in here and hopefully support the same POV as us and drip if you want to. You can always just reach out to me even directly on LinkedIn if you have questions about a drip or you can just go to and you can check it out. I think that would be the best approach because out like we are different than the other ones out there and there's a system for everyone. And I don't say that we are the best for everyone. I think we're best for a niche like anyone else and go check it out yourself. I think that's the best approach.



Meal thank you so much for being on the show. Obviously, everyone that tuned in thank you as well please make sure you rate review and subscribe on whatever channel you prefer, or just head over to You can check everything out there and all past episodes, but for us Well, thanks again for joining. We will see you all next time.



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