038 Email: The Latest List Growth Tips with Gabe Macaluso from Omnisend

by April Buencamino-dy

Gabe is the Director of Customer Success at Omnisend, and prior to that he was on the Bronto team at Netsuite – so Gabe’s got some serious eCommerce email pedigree!

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From Teacher to Email Marketing Expert

Gabe was a middle school Science teacher for 7 years before he got into email marketing.

He lived near Bronto’s office, which at the time, was one of the tech start-up companies everyone wanted to work for.

He made his case by telling Bronto that his skill set included customer research and customer success because he dealt with eight graders who didn’t want what you offered, but still convinced them that they did.

Recent Development in List Growth

Companies are stepping back and looking at the process of acquisition through email sign-ups as more of an in-person experience.

At Omnisend, Gabe says they are playing around with page scrolls, number of page clicks, various messaging, and different acquisition pop-ups based on how long someone has been on the site.

The Pop-up Strategy

Pop-ups are great for introducing your brand voice. Messaging in pop-ups can establish what your brand is about and also tells your customer why you want them on your email list. 

Gabe’s advice is to avoid offering discounts in pop-ups because you don’t want the discount to drive the sign up. The point of having people sign up for your email list or even your SMS list is for retention, which is why getting quality contacts should be the focus and not just quantity.

Email, SMS, or both?

Test by using email only for 50% of your customers, and SMS only for the other half. Find out which one gives you a higher submission rate. 

Keep in mind though that while list growth is important, the real target is revenue.

Playing the Wheel of Fortune

Being able to gamify something such as email acquisition works because people love games and are likely to participate. The only drawback is that this usually involves giving a discount. It also doesn’t guarantee quality contacts who will engage with your brand significantly.

Additionally, since the email collection point is the brand’s first interaction with the customer, it sets the tone for the brand. Getting email sign ups by providing discounts through this strategy will only work for certain brands and will not be a fit for some.

Using Quizzes

Quizzes work because it tells your customer that you really want to customize their experience and identify the products they need.

Essentially, quizzes are about building a personalized relationship and this is what makes them effective.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with Email Marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Gabe says not to be afraid of creating content and over-mailing your customers. 

He also gives a 4-week rotating content program that’s quite easy to implement:

  1. Big discount
  2. New releases
  3. Founder’s picks
  4. Content piece (care tip or blog)

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve email marketing performance?

For Gabe, it’s automations that can give the biggest ROI. 

If you want to test things before you roll them out in a big way, do so with automations.

If someone listening wants to learn more about email marketing is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

He gives us 4 resources to learn more about email marketing:

  1. Pinterest – Where you can find a multitude of boards containing different email designs and content
  2. milled.com – Where you can search different brands and all their campaigns
  3. reallygoodemails
  4. reallygoodpopups – Where you can find real-life examples of good content

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in email marketing?

The seamless integration of email and SMS marketing will be key.

Also, even with the rise of AI and chatbots, people still want to talk to people. So for Gabe, email coming back and providing people the opportunity to connect with someone on the other side is what we will see in the coming months.

Interview Links

Gabe on Social media:

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