A look at ecommerce, email marketing, and how Sendlane differs from options like Mailchimp

Person sending an email

Image: Unsplash

The past year has taught us that companies must be ready to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape. Many had to close for a period of time while others had to focus on online solutions.

Obviously, ecommerce companies found it a little easier to adapt, but many of them had their own hurdles to overcome. Shipping problems, customer service, an influx of customers – all of these things had to be addressed in order to continue working as normal as possible.

Connecting with your customers has always been one of the most important things that help separate ecommerce businesses from one another. Not only attracting new customers, but also retaining previous customers is critical to success.

Email and SMS marketing is one of the most important opportunities, and today I had the chance to interview Jimmy Kim, CEO of Sendlane, a company that helps ecommerce businesses and marketers create the right customers and to get in touch with them.

You can read the full interview below.

Would you like to introduce yourself and your role at Sendlane? What is your background

As a first generation immigrant, I was raised by a father who was a small business owner and instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in me from a young age. I started my journey washing cars at a local dealer at the age of 16 and eventually became General Manager of Saturn Franchises at the age of 25.

After burning out more than 80 hours a week, I found my next passions in email marketing and content creation, and in 2011 I started my first company focused on training young entrepreneurs. At the same time, I had invested in a streetwear brand for men, KNYEW in Las Vegas, Nevada, and had become a managing partner.

I needed an email marketing solution that would meet the needs of both my content and ecommerce businesses, and as a result Sendlane was created.

What inspired the founding of the company?

The initial creation of the platform was simply for our own use as digital / ecommerce marketer in our own businesses. We wanted to create an email marketing platform that was simple enough for everyone, but still had robust automation capabilities to generate revenue.

As the owner of a digital marketer and e-commerce business, I struggled to find a product that was specifically designed for our daily use and needs. I found that older ESPs either didn’t have the features, intuitive user interface, and support I needed, or they came with a high price point and long-term contract.

After strong demand, we decided to open the platform to the public as a side business in 2015, and in August 2017 I decided that our “side business” had become so much more.

I went all-in, sold my other stores, jumped feet first to Sendlane, and never looked back.

What is Sendlane in just a few sentences?

Sendlane helps ecommerce brands / digital retailers generate more revenue, increase customer loyalty, and automate personalized experiences by automating email and SMS marketing.

It does this using our data-driven, behavioral platform, which enables the marketer to identify, target and communicate the right message to the right customer at the right time.

How important is email marketing compared to paid ads on social media?

Email marketing offers the highest ROI. For paid media, your goal is to convert $ 1 to $ 1 or more. With email marketing, your goal is to convert $ 1 into $ 41 or more. We are the “primary conversion driver”. Because of this, as an ecommerce brand, your email marketing should generate 30-40% of sales. It’s an integral part of your martech stack and the leading driver of sales.

Furthermore, unlike paid social networks where the platforms are constantly changing, your email subscribers are yours. That means you have your own data and can use a platform like Sendlane to communicate with these subscribers. Although they have their place, channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, paid search, etc. – you have no control over who sees your content and when.

Email allows you to send targeted, relevant campaigns to those who want to hear about your brand, who bought or subscribed to one of your newsletters.

They call themselves “deliverability experts,” what does that mean?

We have our own delivery infrastructure and are therefore a real ESP. This means that our in-house experts personally manage the deliverability of our customers and help them maintain a good reputation as a sender. The majority of our competitors use third-party providers such as Sendgrid or white label services due to a lack of specialist knowledge.

We also have two industry leading deliverability specialists on our team: Damon Sauer and Evelyn Poon. Both are part of the MAWG and Damon was a member of the original CAN-SPAM council. Our decisions are not just black and white, we understand that every company has different requirements.

What are the easiest ways to get results with Sendlane?

Search abandonment: Create an automation flow for canceling searches to automatically notify known customers and leads while browsing your website.

Deep data ecommerce integrations: By simply plugging in your shopping cart, you get a range of triggers and dates that allow you to get truly personalized responses based on accurate product purchases and item numbers.

Powerful segmentation: This brings your web, social ads, shopping cart, and communications under one roof to create a “perfect audience” using Sendlane’s multivariate segmentation engine.

People obviously know options like Mailchimp for their ease of use. Does Sendlane offer a similar drag-and-drop builder?

We took the traditional drag and drop email builder a step further by adding features like dynamic abandoned cart blocks, product selection and more.

Obviously, people using such services want to see results and data in order to understand those results. Is this something you are providing?

Sendlane’s deep data integrations collect over 100 key customer data points to help users optimize every customer experience. We sort the who, what, when, where and how much and convert it into an easy-to-understand format.

Our in-depth analytics provide basic metrics such as open, click, and deliverability rates for actual performance and ROI of each email sent and which products are selling best. We give you a bird’s eye view of everything you need to track and evaluate your email marketing performance.

Who is Sendlane for? Small business or are you more focused on business solutions?

Sendlane is ideal for growing small and medium-sized digital retailers using Shopify, WooCommerce, Miva or Clickbank, and wants to use data and behavior to drive targeted communication.

Generally, our customers are upgrading from an entry-level platform (Mailchimp or Constant Contact) and looking for a more robust e-commerce solution.

Would you like to add anything else?

We publish our NPS score on our website because we are so proud of it. Find out how much our users love our product and service. Customer success is one of Sendlane’s highlights. We support our customers with a white glove approach and offer beginners to experts unique ways of support.

From migrating your current ESP to Sendlane or creating a strategy for an automation process, we’re here to support you. And when you’re not talking to your dedicated CSM, we also have 24/7 live support, mostly from San Diego, California – we respond in less than 20 seconds … even for our FREE trial users (yes, even at 10pm!) .

I want to thank Jimmy for taking the time to answer some of my questions.

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