I'm Sari Kimbell and I've done just about everything in the food industry. I have helped hundreds of packaged food business entrepreneurs and now I want to help you make your delicious dream a reality. Whether you want to be successful at farmer's markets, online, or wholesale on the store shelves, Food Business Success is your secret ingredient. I will show you how to avoid an expensive hobby, and instead run a profitable food business. Now let's jump.
Hey there, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. Very excited to talk with my guest. Today we are talking all things email marketing, and so much more. My guest today is Sarah shuda of Lynn Design CO and she helps food entrepreneurs sell more goods with cohesive brand visuals and e commerce design. She began her professional design career specializing in email marketing for a multi channel internet retailer, and finds email marketing to be one of the most effective methods to turn new customers into repeat buyers. And so if you are a early stage food brand, or wherever you are as a food brand, this is definitely a conversation that you want to tune into emails are so important. And we're going to get into that conversation in just a minute. So welcome, Sarah, thanks so much for being here with me today.
Sarah Shuda 1:33
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to talk about email. Most people don't get too excited about email. Most people want less email, but I love emails. I'm very excited to talk to your audience today about email.
Oh, perfect. Well, I think if people don't know how important email is, after this conversation, they will. And that's our goal is to help people really know the importance of that and how to really make the most of, of email. But I know we all get so many emails in our inbox, we're like, no, let's not talk about email. But let's just start there. So why is email so important? Like, I think that a lot of people I talk with don't focus on an email strategy. And they focus more on a social media strategy around followers and likes and comments, so so tell us a little bit about In your opinion, why email is so important.
Sarah Shuda 2:35
I think it's, it's almost like having somebody's phone number and, and being able to call them up and talk to them in person or, you know, meet them in person. You know, it's the only the strongest one to one marketing channel that we have available to us. So you know, when you're posting something on social media, you know, a lot of your followers might not even see it. And that's, of course, the same thing with email. Some people might not open your email, but a lot of times they've already opted in to receive your email. So they're already saying, Yes, I want I want your marketing. I want to hear from you. I already love your brand and have purchased from me once before, and I really want to see what you've got going on. It's just one more way to get in front of your audience. And, yeah, it can be a really effective one if it's done well.
Absolutely. And I think you know, I always tell people, like you own your emails, and you don't own your your, your customer necessarily really on Instagram or on Facebook. I mean, they might like your post or, but they're not actually doing anything beyond that until they but an email, like you said, they've, they've made a connection, they've opted in. So one, I always say like, people actually do want to hear from you. If you provide value. And you're not as sale sale sell, right?
Unknown Speaker 4:01
Yeah, and it's a great way to I know, I don't want to jump too far ahead. But it's a great way to just get in front of your customer. So even if you think you know, oh, I you know, I've just sent an email last week. I don't want to bother that I don't want to bug them. I think just having that your your brand name just in their inbox. Even if they don't open it. It's one more reminder. Oh, hey, I might need to order that, that last pack of coffee, I'm running out. Even if they don't open it, they might still see your name and think about you. I think that's just a big part of it, too, is just staying top of mind. Also.
Yeah, great, great point. And I had to get over that myself where I was like, I don't want to bug people. I don't want to over email them. And I'm like, No, they want to hear from me. They signed up and I'm gonna provide value and if they don't like it, then they'll opt out. It's not a problem.
Sarah Shuda 4:54
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
I love that. Yeah. Stay in front of people. So So Let's just start there. So I'm a brand new brand, just launched my, oh, just pick from any of them my coffee or salsa or jam or hot sauce. So I just launched my new product, and somebody tells me I need to have an email list, or start building my email list. I always tell people, you know, they're at the farmers market, they really need to have an email collection strategy, like a giveaway, you know, a monthly giveaway or something like that. I don't know, actually maybe even starting, like early on, if you have other ideas of like, how do people even like, Great, yeah, I know, I should have an email list but where do I, don't have any emails other than like, my friends and family?
Sarah Shuda 5:50
I think a welcome offers a great way to go about it or a giveaway, or some sort of incentive for them to hear about you. I think if you're at a farmers market, I mean, that's a great way to capture emails, or even if you just have you know, you can go really basic with a clipboard and a piece of paper and have people write their emails on it. I think welcome offers are great if you can swing it, or even just a small, maybe coupon something to go along with that. I think I think that's honestly the best way to start building a list for new for new ... Edit this out.
Yeah. I'll edit it out.
Sarah Shuda 6:34
Yeah, I think I think I do think a welcome me offers the best way to go about building a list until you start making a few sales.
Okay, so what does that what does that mean, like practically? Is that on my website? Is that on social media? Like, obviously, I don't have an email to set, I don't have an email list to send them a welcome offers.
Sarah Shuda 6:59
First, I think getting getting people to give you their emails through whether you're at a farmers market booth, or even on your website, you could have an email signup form, on the footer of your website, you could do a pop up, which I don't try not to recommend those just because there's so intrusive, or like a slide up little mechanism in the corner, bottom right corner of your site, to encourage people to sign up to your email list. So once you start adding people to your email list, using like MailChimp or Klaviyo, there's a number of different email service providers you can start capturing these emails with, or even Shopify that's all kind of built in too. When someone gives you your email address, then you can start building that list. And I think offering some sort of a welcome offer, once they do give you your email is a great way to get that in the first place. So sign up for my email list, learn more about my products, I'll give you a discount so you can try them or sign up for my email list I'll give you, I'll send you a sample. Or if you're in person to that's even easier to do like a little sample pack or some sort of small, small offer versus like a full product.
Perfect. Yeah, I love that. Because Yeah, first we got to build the list. And so you know, you need to be careful about you don't want to give too much away, but I love the idea of maybe yeah, sample product or, like you said a small discount that entices them to, to, to buy something, that'd be great. Okay, so that. So that's kind of an automatic response. And you can set that up in any of those mail systems. So they opt in, and then we automatically send them a thanks for joining, here's a discount or buy, you know, purchase something and we'll send you something else. So that's that's kind of the first welcome, the first piece and then there's a lot more though, right? More emails, we need to think through.
Sarah Shuda 9:08
I think I'm just for most Shopify users or e commerce, you know, if you have a small ecommerce site already, usually when somebody makes a purchase, they automatically are, they can you can check a box and they're automatically added to your list. I know Shopify does that by default for brands, which is really great. That way you have them on a list and then you can start also emailing them from that point too. So that's another great way just simply by having an online store presence and capturing emails that way.
Yeah, and and like I said, a lot of them are built into a lot of the e commerce sites but do you recommend and I know you tell me we should back up what what sites we're not going to get super into like the details of each You know, ecommerce site, but your specialties are with what, what kind of platforms?
Sarah Shuda 10:06
I've worked up a number of different platforms. And sometimes it just depends on what my clients working with like, Okay, I got they're all very similar. Yeah, they're all very similar but yeah, but mostly, yeah, they're all pretty much the same when it comes to the tech stuff. But yeah, Active Campaign, MailChimp, Shopify has its own default mail system now. They haven't had that for very long. And, and Klaviyo is another one. And that one's pretty, that's a little bit more advanced. But you can do a lot with it. So I think a lot of startup companies are usually using MailChimp, or they'll just go through the Shopify's basic mail setup which is really handy.
Yeah, that's what I typically find too. And I just talked to a client Alli with Sweet Logic a couple weeks ago, and they just switched to Klaviyo. And she loves it. Okay. But yeah, I do think it's a little bit after you have a bigger list, adds has a lot of different features.
Unknown Speaker 11:09
Yeah. Because the cost can really add up the bigger your list is. Yeah, yeah.
So so all these platforms you get on, your you choose your ecommerce platform. They all have kind of automated templates, but do you recommend like going in and and, you know, looking through those and making changes?
Unknown Speaker 11:30
Yes, yes, definitely. Um, with MailChimp, it's super easy to, you know, at least upload your logo, change your colors, both on your signup form, and then on your just your email templates themselves. You can create your own template in there. And just make sure your fonts and your colors and your logo match. At least the basics are there so that when customers are getting your emails, they're like, yep, I recognize this company. Yep, this is who they say they are.
Sarah Shuda 12:03
So that's pretty much the basic level of getting going.
It just adds legitimacy that people just spend money with you. And they're like, they get something that's like, enter logo here. Or something like that. Yes. So go on and check all of those things. Great, great tip. And then you also said like in your in your like email conference confirmation or things that you're, you may be addressing questions that they can expect as well.
Sarah Shuda 12:32
Yes, so there's a whole nother realm of email marketing, that's transactional emails. So those are emails like order confirmations, when an order ships out, order arrives, somebody leaves something in their cart and they don't purchase, they call it an abandoned cart email. All these types of emails are kind of more automated. And they usually are set up within whatever e commerce platform you might be using. And those are really really, I think those are so important to customize. And so easy to customize usually. Shopify makes it super easy, in particular. But I think things like shipping, especially, especially in the refrigerated category, I know with COVID happening, a lot of brands are starting to try to sell their products online where they hadn't before. And a lot of customers are having questions about like, Oh, I'm in Texas, is it going to melt before it gets to me? How do you ship it? Do I want to spend my money? What if it what if it sits on my porch for five hours? Is it still going to be okay, or fresh as fresh as if I would have ordered it from you in the store? So all those kinds of questions, I think are great to answer and some of those transactional emails so and even beforehand to add, of course, but I think you're kind of reassuring your customer. Yep, they made the right decision. And you're kind of putting them at ease throughout the whole process.
Yeah, I hadn't really thought about sending that like, additional email, but I like that a lot. Especially yeah, if it's like, it's a par bake bread is what comes to mind, right? Like, what to expect, where you should store it, how to how to cook it, how to thought whatever those things are that I would say that those are the kind of emails that actually get open more than than the other ones.
Unknown Speaker 14:31
Oh, yeah. Or like, I don't know, you know, I I ordered a sweatshirt or something the other day and you know, I'm sitting and working out my computer and you know, you get an email it says, Oh, your, your order has been delivered. And you're like, Yay, you know, and it has a little box that like kind of animates and like opens up and like confetti pops out like just well, small little touches like that or you know, it gets you excited to get an email from that company and makes you think of them in a different way. A little bit more of a personal way. I think any little touch he can had to an email or receipt, you know, it makes the experience that much better.
Nice. And I yeah, I love that adding some personality. And people, I think a lot of people don't set up an abandoned cart email or even a sequence. And that's super important, I think as well. People maybe don't even realize that that's an option. But if somebody, you know, put something in their cart, and then it'll email them six hours later, or however much you want to set it up. And that's a great, definitely one that gets overlooked as well. So
Very important and so easy to set up to Shopify, it's honestly like, I think a click. Like one checkbox? Yeah.
Yeah. But then you can also tailor it and like you said, add a little personality to it as well. I mean, if you have kind of a sassy brand, or something, you know, use the language that you would use in your brand as much as possible.
Sarah Shuda 16:05
Yep. I mean, just changing the sentence or two of text to be on brand can make make such a big difference. So I think that's one thing too, is people tend to not think messaging is as important as it really is. And just taking the time to go through and edit, edit all of those emails a little bit, even if it's just changing a couple lines of text make.
Yeah. Because we all get the standard template email usually so it can stand out. Now, customer has made a purchase from me. What, what next? Now? How do I do I email them afterwards? How frequently? What are some of the emails I should be sending?
Sarah Shuda 16:47
So my favorite is reviews, asking for reviews. So one. With that, though, I think timing is really important, especially in the food category. So I, you know, you want to give people a chance to try it and enjoy it first before you're asking what did you think? But yeah, I think sending a review email is really key to help build social proof, yes, just to build that up on your website, but then also, being able to use that content on your social media channels and elsewhere, just to show how much people really love your products.
Sarah Shuda 17:27
And it shows you sure, and you really do want to hear what they think. I think that's important too.
absolutely. People's Yeah, people spend money with you. And, you know, I know sometimes I get those requests for reviews from Amazon, I'm like, oh, but you know, when I go out of my way to purchase somebody's coffee or something, it's a little bit more personal. And food is very personal, too. So
Sarah Shuda 17:53
Yes, it is. I think I think people are much more likely yet to leave a review about a food product than they are other categories for sure.
Yeah, I would agree with that. Totally. So you recommend in Shopify, stamp.io is that that's the
Sarah Shuda 18:11
Yeah, so I've really been, that's a really great one. If you're just starting out and your Shopify user. They offer a little bit of customization for the free level, which is really great. And then the next steps up really aren't too pricey. And they really just do a nice job of making everything look really clean and easy to integrate. And they send out automatic requests for email reviews, via email, which is really nice. And so you really don't have to think too hard about it. And it pulls in the products that they purchased. And they can go in and submit a review and then it automatically queues it up for you. Yep, you can automatically post, you know, five, four and five star reviews. Which is really handy too so less work for everybody.
Save some time. Yeah, yeah. We are so lucky. We have all of this great technology.
Sarah Shuda 19:11
I know what do people do before all this right?
Oh my gosh, we were like building websites on WordPress and oh, terrible, but we're so I mean, I recommend Shopify and I know you like using that as well. But it's easy. Alright. So that's, that's so they purchased and now what kind of like ongoing? You know, should I be sending my audience like a monthly email or what are some other emails? I could send them after after they're on my list?
Sarah Shuda 19:43
Yeah, I think a big one for food is ways to enjoy, ways to use their products. So sending them recipes, maybe partnering with a complementary brand. So if you're selling a mustard, maybe you you're partnering with with some sort of a gluten free bread company or cracker company or something that would go along with what you're, what you're selling. That's a really great way to to build your email list also is to do a collaboration with another brand, get in front of a new audience. And then they can do the same with your audience. Even if you have don't have a huge list to begin with, I've seen, you know, startup brands do that with brands that are more established and kind of gives them both
Sarah Shuda 20:32
Yep. Some more play, and
Yeah, then everybody's sharing the emails that come in on that. And you can also put the giveaway on social media as well to increase your reach. But you're all like, you're definitely increasing your reach power, when you're collaborating with partners.
Unknown Speaker 20:53
Yeah, some other great ideas. Let's see, I think just kind of talking about what you're working on. And if you're introducing any new flavors, any new products, and maybe describing how you come up with the ideas? How your product was sourced made, where some of the ingredients were grown? Maybe you have some new, you're hiring a new team member, you could introduce them. I think people just like to connect with people. So try not to focus on always just maybe sending out a discount all the time. Or just talking about how you're, you know, you want to push your products left and right, I think just trying to be human a little bit and just tell them what you would tell them if you were talking to them in person, I think is a great way to go about it. I've seen some brands be really successful with that model. Just trying to be personable.
Yeah, I think more than ever, I mean, certainly before COVID, but especially during COVID, we saw I saw so much more engagement with brands, especially the ones that were just being really personable and just kind of like, not we're all in this together and yeah, know what was going on and have conversations. So yeah, just being human.
Sarah Shuda 22:19
I don't know, this year has been great for that. I think a lot of brands, great in the sense that a lot of brands that were maybe a little hesitant to be online and putting themselves out there are less, you know, less afraid to do that because everybody's kind of in the same boat. So if they're, you know, their images don't look perfect, or their videos that they're recording look a little bit you know homespun like it's okay, like it's It's the year of coping. I think that's really a good thing. People are just getting real, and people are okay with not having all that polish, you know, and everything.
I totally agree. I mean, you know, especially in the early days, when we were all sheltering in place, it's like, we're all just in our home kitchens wearing yoga pants. This is real life, like nobody's going out and getting a beautiful branded photo, right, of their products with people. So that's just not happening. And it did kind of level the playing field in a way. And I think gave people permission, like, Well, why not? Let's just see what happens so, if you can bring that, you know, I know you can do that a lot in social media, but I bring that same comfort to your emails, and people want to know, and that's what I mean, when I talk about like bringing value to your emails. It's not just recipes or giveaways or something like that. But it's also like, tell me what, what practices you do differently? Or like, what makes your product stand out? Are you giving back to an organization or just, you know, where do your ingredients come from? Like some of those pieces people, people just love stories and they like brands with stories.
Sarah Shuda 24:08
Anything to distract them from the life right? Like you sit down to eat some food and you really love food, and it's an experience. You know, you want to know where it comes from, you want to know, you know, the flavors and flavor profile. Anything that you can help describe, you know, the experience to somebody who's buying online, you know, the better yeah
Kind of engage their senses right? I mean we're already talking about food anyway here. Well, that's great. Yeah, I love the idea of doing collaboration, seeking out partners. I'm doing a couple of those with clients right now as we're gearing up for the holidays. And, you know, I would kind of go back even just kinda reiterate about when we first started. It's like, I see a lot of people giveaway, just giveaways, collaborations, where they're only focused on, you know, increasing their likes. So their followers are tagged people. But I would argue that if you're going to spend the resources on boosting posts, and you know, the hassle of photos and finding partners and all of that, that it should really be a landing page that people are sent to, and they have to opt in with their email. To me, that's the only justification for spending money.
Sarah Shuda 25:33
Yeah, cuz then you own, you know, you own that.
Sarah Shuda 25:37
I mean, that that emails so valuable.
Yeah. So Well, speaking of that, so we are heading into the holidays. And we know that this is going to be a unique holiday this year.
Sarah Shuda 25:54
A lot of unknowns. But, you know, taking into account we know that e commerce is is going is still shifting even in more favor for food brands. So what what are some of your holiday tips? Like I don't think ecommerce is going anywhere for our brands at all.
Sarah Shuda 26:16
No. And shopping has started already. People are already thinking about, you know, holiday shopping. I think it's because you know, they haven't maybe spent as much money this year. And they're just really looking forward to having some joy in their life coming up.
Interesting. So if do you follow some of those trends and stay up to date?
Unknown Speaker 26:38
Yeah, Shopify has been sharing some stats. And then Pinterest actually does quite a bit of research on e commerce stats because they have the buyable pins now. So I've been seeing a lot of research coming from them and their traffic for shopping is like way up this time of year compared to last year. So it's very interesting. That's so yeah, really great. Great news for everybody.
Great news. Yeah, if you have a package brand. Yeah. Um, but I know, I get those, you know, I get those flood of emails where I haven't heard from these people in months, and then they send me their obligatory, you know, Black Friday
Sarah Shuda 27:25
Black Friday yeah
email and I'm like, okay, no, thank you delete. So, yeah, one of the things we need to think about and how can we have a little warmer audience shall we say going into the holidays.
Sarah Shuda 27:38
Well, that's it. Yeah, I think making sure you're emailing your, your, your list regularly is definitely important. But also, I think around the holidays, just shipping times is really important, especially for food brands, if you're trying to get your order to somebody before Thanksgiving or before Christmas, just including what those shipping times are and being cognisent of your special offers when you're sending out offers around the holidays. So maybe include like oh to receive your shipment by x day or by Christmas, you need to order by x day. I think that's really key.
Yeah, cuz that would nothing would be worse than having a really upset customer that you haveto deal with that you didn't communicate those those deadlines.
Sarah Shuda 28:32
I think this time of year, gift boxes and bundles are really key. During the early months of staying at home quarantine quarantine life, I saw a lot of brands doing quarantine packages. And those are those did crazy, crazy good. So I think this year, especially if you can package your, if you have more than one product doing bundles, or samplers or gift boxes, and maybe finessing your gift boxes a little bit. So if you're doing maybe gift messaging, offering like a nice little postcard or you know, trying to take it up a little bit, a step up above what you might have done last year, just because I think do you think a lot of people are going to be ordering more of those, those items this year especially if they're not going to be seeing their families in person.
Yeah, just those little touches that you know you're not a lot of people are not necessarily going to be shipping it to themselves and then wrapping it and putting all those finishing touches on there. So a lot of people are probably just going to be ordering and having it shipped directly to them. So definitely, you know whether it's a note that people could put in there or something like that, you know that you could really uplevel your your holiday packaging and I feel like people are willing to pay I mean, you don't like they're willing to pay more like, when you put together gift boxes, and they're really beautiful, you know, nice. You shouldn't be spending tons of money, but go in and make them nice. Put the ribbons on there and some extra touches, and then go ahead and charge accordingly.
Sarah Shuda 30:20
Yeah, if you can save a customer time, I'm all about that.
Yeah, like save me time and money or series time anyway, make me look good, when that shows up, and they'll be happy.
Sarah Shuda 30:37
I think with the with the bundles, too, is another great way to collaborate too, if you have a complimentary product that you want to bundle together. And maybe both of you would sell that on your sites or sell it in your retails shops, or stores, wherever you're selling. I think that's a great way to reach new audience too as well.
Yeah, I was thinking about that. I'm like, Oh, I wonder if people are going together, you know, there was a jam and bread or something like that that would be a great idea to to to work with some partners and co list. I mean, you have a little bit more shipping logistics. But again, for the holidays, not everybody just wants like three jams. But it makes makes the offer more enticing if it's mixed with some other things.
Sarah Shuda 31:27
One of my new clients, I've started working with them, they, they partner with local companies, so companies that maybe aren't selling on e commerce. So they would sell on their behalf. So they would handle the shipping and the packaging and everything. And then that if that client or their partner was maybe only selling at retail stores, only one of them has to worry about that. So that's a great way if you don't have an e commerce site yet to get in front of somebody else too. I'm going a little off topic but that's okay.
No, that's fine. I mean, there are marketplaces as well. I mean, you don't have I mean, if you're not quite at the stage where you're ready to build out a full e commerce website, I mean, even marketplaces like I've had people go on Etsy, or some smaller food marketplaces as well.
Sarah Shuda 32:17
Yeah, I think that's a great idea.
And I'm sure more and more of these marketplaces are going to be popping up.
Sarah Shuda 32:24
Yeah, I think so too.
Yeah. So can be a nice way to get more exposure, because they're doing marketing for you, as well.
Sarah Shuda 32:34
Yeah, I think also at the holiday tips, I think, focusing on if you have any sort of gift cards, or e electronic gift cards, making sure those are present in your emails, too, so that people know that they miss the shipping deadlines, they can still send an E gift card.
Right, so they can just get something right to their inbox and then wrap that. Yeah, send that on or just forward it in an email.
Sarah Shuda 33:03
We all know how that is, we get super busy, but well, and it's so interesting with food, because I mean, I think things get like, we also have the pre Thanksgiving sales where people are buying it for their own use. And having guests or you know, want to do a special meal. And then we also have the holiday gifting. It'll be interesting to see how like, I feel like corporations are trying to do some really interesting things too, as far as sending their employees gifts, you know, gift packs, like like said, like, quarantine packages and things like that.
Sarah Shuda 33:44
I think that's a going to be big this year as well.
Well, great. Any other ideas for the holidays? I think just not sending it to become warm and cold audiences, right? But like, you haven't emailed in months, and then you just drop the usual like, here's your discount, buy your stuff, like?
Sarah Shuda 34:05
Yeah, always Yeah, staying in touch as often as you can. And then also just, you know, trying to show some appreciation for your your best customers, too. I see so many companies always giving discounts to new customers, but then the people that are buying, you know, over and over and over again, what are they doing for them? So I think trying to focus on giving your best customers that royal treatment, somehow in those emails, versus the new ones to this kind of a nice, nice touch and let them know that too, let them know that it's an exclusive offer and it's not just for, you know, the masses.
I love that I hadn't really thought about that. I mean, I do love it when people will write like a hand you know, a handwritten note maybe and put it in the shipping. Especially for their best customers, but
Sarah Shuda 34:58
That's a really nice touch.
Yeah, I mean, you get a handwritten card, you're like, Wow, that's pretty special. But I hadn't thought about Yeah, like how we still need to nurture our best customers and not forget about them.
Unknown Speaker 35:14
I think, too another really good tip, if you're, you're, you maybe have a list going already, and you're trying to get a little bit more detailed with what you're sending. I'm just trying to segment a little bit. So say, for example, this is, say a customer ordered one of your products, and then you wanted to send out a promotion email to your whole list, that also included that product, just maybe not sending them that email based on the fact that they just purchased it. I'm just trying to be cognizant of who your customers are, what they're buying, and sending them things that are more relevant to them. So you'd maybe that person would get a different product, email instead of the one that you're sending everybody else. I'm just just trying to Yeah, do you have the resources to do things like that, I think I think you'll get a lot better results by trying to personalize and tailor your messages to specific customers.
Yeah, this is next level, leveling up your email, but I don't think people even realize how much you know, all of these mail services can do from segments to adding tags. So that you can really, you know, send higher quality more tailored, tailored emails. Super important.
Unknown Speaker 36:39
Yeah, it can get, it can get really complex. Like you can target can target people that are coming from specific channels. So like, maybe you have a an email signup on your Facebook page, it's just another way to capture emails. You can target those that Facebook audience with an email, if you tag it correctly. So there's, there's a lot of fancy things you can do. But I think just at a basic level, just kind of trying to stay in touch at least once or twice a month at a minimum and go from there. Yeah. Y
Yeah, yeah. So so you would recommend once or twice a month, probably not more than that. I mean, I know during the holidays, we maybe get a few more, but
Sarah Shuda 37:27
I think it depends on what you're selling too. So if somebody's using your say if it's coffee, you know, if you're using a bag or a bag of coffee every two weeks, I don't know how much coffee you drink. Maybe every week/
I'm probably a once a week type of gal.
Unknown Speaker 37:43
So maybe I wouldn't hurt because I know every week, I know a lot of brands that do sell at least or send at least once a week, sometimes more than that. And if you're getting into sending up very often, it's really good to have a gift, like an email preference page setup so that somebody could maybe choose to say, Oh, I really only want to hear from you once a month instead of every week. So doing things like that, if you're worried about them being bothered, I think that's a really great way to avoid having them unsubscribe from being bothered too much.
That's true. Yeah, I hadn't thought about that. I get those sometimes when I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I can I get one more email from you. And it is nice to be able to adjust my preferences..
Sarah Shuda 38:30
And you see that and your're like Okay, I'll adjust it.
Right? Slows you down a little bit.
Sarah Shuda 38:35
Yeah, it's really helpful. Yeah.
Um, do you recommend people going in and signing up for other brands? Or do you like to get their emails for
Sarah Shuda 38:46
Yeah, that's a great way to do I mean, that's why I get so many emails, I think because I just love seeing what other people are doing. And I think it's a great way to, you know, see what your competitors are up to, but also just to get inspiration. Yeah.
Yeah. kind of follow some of the new trends. See what people are doing. Are there any brands that you that kind of stand out to you that are like, everybody should follow these guys.
Sarah Shuda 39:16
I'm a big fan of Siete. I don't know if you
Okay, I haven't I will sign up.
Sarah Shuda 39:23
They've been doing some really cool email. They've been doing a lot with music, music events. So they've been doing some like live streaming. This is probably a next level if your if you're just getting started. But yeah, they do a really great job of pulling their their heritage and their culture into everything that they do. Even in the music that they're showcasing in some of their events that they've been doing. They've included recipes, talking about their family and just talking about their products and different ways to use them. Yeah, they've done a really great job.
Great. Yeah, I will definitely go and check them out. I mean, if you have a food brand, and you're not signed up on at least I would say, at least a dozen email lists of your competitors, but then also brands that, you know, just really speak to you, that are maybe similar customer, customer types, you know, go and find those brands and sign up, give them your email, you can have it go to a specific folder in your inbox and go take a look at those, you know, periodically, but, and you can get a lot of inspiration and ideas and and yeah, just break out of your usual like, here's a coupon code.
Sarah Shuda 40:43
Yes, yeah. I think people are afraid to send just regular emails that don't have a discount. I think it I mean, they always are gonna, I would say most emails do better if you have some sort of an offer, but I think it, you know it. It says a lot about your brand too as far as like the quality and the level that you're selling at, if you're always doing offers, people are going to always expect it. So when you if you're not doing offers all the time, and then you do offer something special, I think it, you know, it means a lot more that way.
Yeah, that's a tough thing. Because I know I have somebody like I don't want to offer one every time. And so yes, you can make it special. You have a client who just does the sale four times a year. But if but you still want to be sending emails, so you got to be sure that there's value in there, not just sending an email to send an email. So if you're gonna not put a offer, but then you don't want to be just like super salesy and just have it be an offer every time?
Sarah Shuda 41:49
Right? No, yeah.
Finding a good balance. Um, one of the ones I always I like, Wild Zora a lot, that's one of the ones that I definitely recommend people go sign up for. But you know, I'm sure Siete and Wild Zora, I know, they have, you know, marketing people in house to run run their, with these together or their outside services. I highly recommend going and I mentioned her at the beginning. But Sweet Logic has a great funnel. So if people don't know what a funnel is, it's an when you opt in, and they have three emails that get sent to you automatically. And they tell you, you know, they kind of warm you up, they tell you about who they are and why they did this, and, and then they do the welcome offer on the last email. But I think they do a great job. And she you know, she just does it herself. So I think it's a good example of somebody, you know, what you can do from your home when you're a small brand.
Sarah Shuda 42:54
Yeah, I think that's a great idea of having setting up some funnels, and sending out some automated emails. I think that can really alleviate some of the work too. If you don't have the time or resources to do a lot with email from the, you know, from the start.
I love that you specialize in this. I mean, sometimes we need people like myself who go broad. And then we also need people like yourself who go deep. So who are the people who come to work with you? Where are they at in their stage of business?
Sarah Shuda 43:25
I kind of work with a wide range of customers, you know, from people who have no idea what MailChimp is, to people who have, you know, a list of, you know, hundred thousand people or more and need help doing, you know, more advanced personalization and doing more automated and highly targeted email campaigns. I would say most of who I work with is people who do know a little bit, but they do need help setting up and designing custom email templates, testing out campaigns to make sure they're looking good and all the different inboxes, you know, from mobile to, you know, Gmail, and Hotmail, and Outlook out all the things in between. And also just, you know, helping them figure out what to, you know, include in those emails. So helping them set up a strategy, analyzing emails that they've sent out before to see what's working, what's not working, helping them write subject line, which can be really challenging.
Oh my gosh, you're not kidding. subject lines are way harder than people realize. I mean, it's that thing that's got to hook people in and get them to actually open the email. And I know I've heard that you should write 10 subject lines before you ever send that email and really play with it to try to get that best hook.
Sarah Shuda 44:56
Yeah, it's really one of the most important components to an email, just to get them to open it in the first place.
Check it on your mobile phone versus your your computer. Do some of those pieces that you know, nothings worse.
Sarah Shuda 45:12
there's a great service called, there's two different ones I recommend, but Email on Acid is a testing service, that if you're looking to get a little bit more fancy, and make sure it looks good across all the different types of inboxes, and devices. And that's a really cool tool, you can run your emails through that and see how it looks to make sure before you send it out to, you know, thousands of people. So I think, yeah, yeah, that's something I do for my clients as well.
Check all of that. Yeah. And then also going back and looking at your open rates, and I think we just send these emails and we just keep moving ahead. But like, oh, was there one that really, you know, got a much higher open rate? Or is there one that really got very little? I mean, sometimes we don't know all the outside reasons. But go back and look at that email and say, what did I do here that that seemed to really work? Or, let's not replicate the one that didn't work at all?
Sarah Shuda 46:14
Exactly. That's one question I get a lot too is like, when what time do I send it? When, what day of the week? And like, you know, there's so many articles out there about they have all different, you know, every day of the week and every time during the day.
Tuesday at 8am.
Unknown Speaker 46:30
It's a matter of analyzing your list. And yes, seeing what it's working well for your audience. Because everybody's audience is different.
That is very true. Well, where can people find you if they want to learn more about your services and get that help? Because you know, that's not something that I I help a little bit I can get you set up on a few things, but some of your more advanced pieces and, and you also work a lot inside Shopify, and we didn't even talk yet go into depth about e commerce. We really, this was really a targeted conversation on email. But yeah, where can people go and find you and learn more about what you do?
Unknown Speaker 47:10
Sure, they can check out my website, it's LynnDesignCO.com. L Y N N design co.com. And I have a services page on there that kind of lists out all the different services I offer. One of the things I like to mention is I do offer a strategy session for $95. And that's an hour long session. So if you have, you know, some Shopify questions, you have some email marketing questions, just trying to set up maybe a little bit of a mini strategy around some of these things. That's a really great way to do that. I also offer like a website audit, too, if that's something you're interested in as a part of that.
I love that. I think people really need to take advantage of those kind of mini sessions, where you get a lot of value. You're going to walk away with your next steps and at least understanding a big picture, but I mean, yeah, $100-$95? Worth every penny of that too keep going.
Sarah Shuda 48:12
Keep doing what you're doing.
Sarah Shuda 48:15
Or even for tech questions, too. I you know, I'm happy to answer tech questions. If you're looking to switch providers, or if you're not sure which one to pick, you're not sure what's one one integrates with the system you have? Happy to help with questions like that, as well.
Wow. So cool that you have such a wide knowledge base, and all those different platforms, and then the email integration. For my, all my folks who are just starting out what is one piece of advice, when when there's someone who's just starting, that you would give?
Sarah Shuda 48:52
I would say, don't try to do too much out of the gate. I think the less you tackle at once, the better it's going to go. So kind of put all your apples in one basket to start with and do what you can and otherwise it can get overwhelming you know, you got emails you got social media, you got your brand packaging, in person, online. I mean, there's just there's so many things to think about. Shipping logistics, I can go on and on and on and all day.
Oh my gosh, I know.
Sarah Shuda 49:27
Yeah, just be be happy with just starting out and own that and yeah, don't be afraid to just be where you're at I guess.
Yeah, just do what you can and try to do it as well as you can. But I think that comparing can really lead to inaction. So just know you got to start somewhere.
Sarah Shuda 49:52
One of my clients in the past, you know, just a go getter. But she she took on she had so many different products to start with. And I think that kind of hurt her a little bit or just kind of took away from, you know, those prime reasons people were buying from her in the first place. She was kind of spreading yourself too thin and running herself to the ground because she was just doing too much. And I think that kind of takes the fun out of it, too. You know, you got into this because you love food and you love you know, making people happy with food. I think for the most part, most people have that feeling in this industry. Yeah, I think. Yeah, just take it easy.
I love that. I love that. That's great. Well, thank you so much for being a guest today. I love this conversation around email. People need to embrace email, it is not dead. It is not going anywhere.
Sarah Shuda 50:51
No! Not at all.
And it's so important to your business. I think people will come away with some great next steps and strategies from this. And I will put all of your links in the show notes as well so people can find you. So thank you so much again for being on the podcast today.
Sarah Shuda 51:11
Thank you so much for having me. It was great talking about email.
Awesome. Well, thank you everyone for listening and I will see you soon.
Are you ready to start that delicious idea that you make in your home kitchen, or grow your existing packaged food business and take it to the next level? The most successful food business entrepreneurs have support, guidance, focus and accountability to help them make it happen quickly without wasting time or money. Plus, I think starting your packaged food business should actually be fun. Food Business Success is your secret ingredient to creating your food business dream. Please don't go this alone. Check out the private free Food Business Success Facebook group to connect with other foodprenuers, get your questions answered quickly, share your wins and receive special training and tools I only share inside the private community. Just search for Food Business Success on Facebook, or get the link in the show notes. Curious about how food business success can help you? Head over to FoodBizSuccess.com and fill out the application to see if you're a great fit for the program. Together let's make your food business dream a reality.
You can find more information about Sarah's design services at https://lynndesignco.com/services/ There she offer's a strategy session for $95 which is a great way to receive an audit of your existing website and brand graphics or ask her any questions you’d like some direction with whether that be email marketing guidance or Shopify related questions. Come away from the session with some answers and ideas you can implement yourself or hire Sarah to help you get it done.
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