3 Tips to Optimize Your Email Marketing From Ecommerce Experts

We spoke with three ecommerce experts to find out three email marketing takeaways, so you can build better campaigns and flows.

Tina Donati
April 13, 2021

If you work with a brand in any capacity nowadays, it’s guaranteed you’ll have email marketing on your brain. And, you likely spend tons of time figuring out how to implement strategies that reach your customers better.

We spoke with Jacob Sappington, Zach Niemiec and Jessica Grossman, all experienced marketing experts, to discuss the do’s and don’ts of email marketing, and I’m here to share those tips.

I’ll introduce these tips, along with Jacob’s wise saying of “When in doubt, don’t send it out.” 

Seriously, words to live by.

Now, let’s dive into our three email marketing takeaways, so you can build better campaigns and flows.

Screenshot of an email from Doe Lashes that invites customers to take their Lash Quiz

Source: Doe Lashes case study


1. Make use of the tools at hand: utilize quizzes and surveys to market personally, accurately and effectively

When starting out, a general email sign-up sans segmentation is fine. As Jessica said, “Let’s get the customers in, and then make sure we’re curating an experience so they want to keep opening the emails.” 

Segmenting your customers into groups so you’re sending each person the right message at the right time is important, but it doesn’t have to be the first step. 

Once you have a solid customer base, then it’s a good idea to use quizzes and surveys to parse out customer preferences and interests. Our software here at Octane AI includes a Shop Quiz, which collects detailed buyer data to use for personalized email marketing. 

Both Zach and Jacob have used our Shop Quiz to learn about their customers’ likes, dislikes, needs and interests. This information is then automatically synced to their Klaviyo accounts where they can do deeper segmentation and personalized flows to those groups. 


“When you get into personalization, the more data points you have to carve out what you want to send to your customers, the better.”

– Zach Niemiec 


Screenshots showing Bariatric Fusion's quiz

Source: Bariatric Fusion Case Study


How essential does Jacob believe quizzes are? When we asked him about recent marketing trends brands should be paying attention to, he said: “Quizzes, that’s all.”

And if you’re trying to increase your email campaign’s click-through rate, Jacob said, “Make sure your segmentation is in line… As long as what you send someone makes sense with what they think they need or want, it will create higher click-through rates.”

Looking to reach a little further? Another tool widely used for email optimization is Klaviyo, a software platform helping to market brands over email as well as within other integrated platforms, which Octane AI’s quiz seamlessly integrates with. 

Jessica mentioned Klaviyo has a smooth integration with Facebook and a stellar data compilation.


Did you know Zach of Bariatric Fusion increased email opt-in by 16X using Octane AI’s Shop Quiz? Check out how they did it by reading their case study


Screenshot of Bariatric Fusion's quiz that asks for the customer's email to give them 10% off their order

Source: Bariatric Fusion Case Study


2. Take note of customer behavior to curate well-informed brand and product experiences 

Paying attention to customer habits and behavior is another valuable way to collect data, allowing you to market to them more accurately.

Whether they’re visiting an item on your site but not purchasing it or purchasing an item repeatedly, this information can be used to understand what customers are interested in and where you can direct their attention in the future.


“It’s vital to curate an experience for the customer specifically related to the products they’ve been interested in or could be interested in.” 

Jessica Grossman


One example of how to engage with customers based on their interactions with the brand is how Jacob created an email flow for Doe Lashes’ visitors that have visited the site and left without taking the quiz. 


Screenshot of the Klaviyo dashboard showing how Doe Lashes sets up their email flow to drive people to take their quiz

Source: Doe Lashes case study


In this campaign, Doe Lashes triggers an email to site visitors who haven’t taken the quiz, by filtering for a “Quiz result” that has no data value. This email encourages a site visitor to come back to the site with a compelling top of funnel call to action. It will also help Doe Lashes collect data for deeper segmentation. 

Customer behavior should also be noted when it comes to email engagement.

If a customer hasn’t made a purchase in a while but they used to make purchases frequently, or they’ve been clicking on the emails but not buying anything, that’s important information to know.

For instance, Zach began to use email as a way to grow other channels for Bariatric Fusion, using it to gently nudge customers to engage across all platforms.

Jessica recommends streamlined branding and messaging across all channels, too. Not to be misconstrued as a suggestion to regurgitate the same content, but rather to create complimentary content.

“The biggest thing we’ve done in the past with email is to consider it a piece of the full customer journey… We develop consistent branding and messaging so our target customers might see it in all three places—organic, ad and email—and it gets them to a sale, which is the ultimate goal,” Jessica said.

In fact, Jacob does this at Doe Lashes as well. Similar to the email flow, they have retargeting ads set up to drive new customers to take the quiz as well, where they can start to collect detailed buyer data to use in their other email flows. 


Screenshot of a Facebook ad by Doe Lashes that shows a women applying glue to a fake eyelash

Source: Doe Lashes case study


Related Read: How Doe Lashes Drives Revenue with a Shop Quiz & Advanced Email Personalization

3. Test email content to improve customer engagement

To know if you’ve run a successful email marketing campaign, it’s necessary to identify the objective or goal of the email. 


“We’re always testing...and there’s no right or wrong answer to what necessarily works better, it’s just important you’re using the option the data says works best for whichever brand you’re using it on.” 

– Jessica Grossman


For example, if the objective was simply to provide information rather than to drive a sale, then the campaign would be a success if there were a solid percentage of open rates, regardless of click-throughs.

However, if the objective was to launch a new product, then an effective campaign would be represented by a high percentage of click-through rates rather than just open rates.

As you test emails, remember not to change too many things at the same time. “If you test too many factors at once, you might not know which change caused what. You might get a great open rate but skew your click-through or objective. Try not to tweak more than one or two things in an email at a time,” Zach suggested.


How to get the most out of your email marketing

So many technologies and tools are available now, and we’re all just a quick Google search away from learning about the newest email integration for DTC brands. 

While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the immensity of options, we can draw out a few main tips to keep top-of-mind:

  • Personalization is essential: utilize quizzes and surveys to get to know your customers
  • Curate a unique experience for your customers based on their behavior
  • Always test your email content to improve customer engagement with it


If you’d like to learn more about the power of an ecommerce quiz for creating personalized customer journey flows, you can chat with our team about the benefits for your brand by booking a time.

Chat With Our Team


About the show

Hosted by Katie Krische and Tina Donati, this email-marketing-focused show was an event on Commerce Club, a club founded by Matt Schlicht and Ben Parr, also co-founders of Octane AI. 

Commerce Club is one of the fastest-growing clubs in ecommerce on Clubhouse, hosting a myriad of conversations daily with founders, investors and experts on DTC, retail and commerce. This show featured email marketing experts Jacob Sappington, Zach Niemiec and Jessica Grossman. 

Check out Commerce Club to sign up for the newsletter and access show notes, articles and show schedules.

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