Brand Balance

Ep. 19 Takeaways from Absurdist Adieu

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Let’s dive into the strategies and methods used in the Tailwind onboarding email, featured in Episode 18.

Ideas you don’t want to miss

(06:11) Takeaway #1: Build your brand’s human side with safety nets

(06:16) Takeaway #1.1: Test your sender names

(07:43) Takeaway #2: Keep the customer front and center when using humor

(10:24) Takeaway #3: Weave branding into your email strategy

(11:32) Takeaway #4: Find mini-niches to spotlight and engage with

Links from this episode

Take a look at the emails we featured in Ep. 18

Plan more effective campaigns with my Promo and Launches Playbook or with my Campaign Ideation Masterclass

Thinking of starting a podcast? I highly recommend Chana Greenstein’s podcast bootcamp (nope, not an affiliate!)

Missed the Rev episode with Nick Guadio, Reputation REVamped? Listen here

Sign up for excellent ecomm insights from Eli Weiss on his weekly All Things CX & Retention (I don’t use the term excellent for many newsletters – this one’s uniquely insightful)

Missed the Bitly episode with Devin O’Toole, Love and Links? Listen here

Have fun with Jared’s website here

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Nikki Elbaz: Sometimes we’re so focused on the data, on the hard segments, that we
forget about the psychographics that live within those segments. See, segmentation
can be so complicated, often it’s not even worth segmenting. Yes, everyone says
segment, segment, segment. And you should usually welcome to email.
Nikki Elbaz: Swipes, where we peek behind the scenes at the emails that catch your
attention and earn their place in your swipe file.
Nikki Elbaz: Every other week, we’ll talk to an.
Nikki Elbaz: Email expert about an experiment they ran, and in the following episode,
we’ll dive into the strategies and methods used in.
Nikki Elbaz: The email so you can inform and.
Nikki Elbaz: Inspire your own email work. I’m Nikki Elbas, the copywriter behind winning
emails for eight and nine figure SaaS and ecommerce brands like Shopify Four,
Sigmatic, and Sprout Social. And I know that hearing the background stories to these
emails will help you turn pie in the sky insights into plug and play actions. Ready to
make inspiration tactical.
Nikki Elbaz: Let’s go.
The drizzly blog is closing down after twelve years of service
Nikki Elbaz: First, a quick recap of the email we discussed last week that we’ll be
digging into today.
Nikki Elbaz: A farewell rant. Yep, we’re still closing down, and that.
Nikki Elbaz: Means it’s time for the gloves to come. Um. Off.
Nikki Elbaz: Inhales deeply we’ve written you hundreds, if not thousands, of emails over
the last five years, and not, uh, one of them has properly expressed how much we truly
appreciate your loyalty, business, and, dare we say, friendship. Oh, we went there. You
have been an outstanding, nay, incredible, part of the drizzly journey. And we wouldn’t
trade it for all of King Midas’s gold. In your face, King Midas. Stick to tires. The
memories we made together will echo throughout eternity and hopefully make for at
least a full page in the yearbook. That is your life. Too brutal. Too offensive. Well, send
your complaints to drizz. Uh, biz rant over. We love you. A
farewell apology. Hey, Nikki. Now that we’ve had some time to think, we realized that
our last email, a, uh, farewell rant check your inbox. Might have featured a bit too radical
candor. So we’re now writing for the final, final time to apologize and reiterate how
much we truly will miss you. Seriously, this has been the most fulfilling email based
friendship we’ve ever had. Top ten, at least. Just think of all the memories we had. Are
you thinking about them? Because we are. Remember that time you ordered drinks for
that thing and everyone loved it? Classic you.
Nikki Elbaz: Anyways, goodbye.
Nikki Elbaz: It’s been real. A farewell haiku. Two weeks till we close. Get your orders in
now. Friends Haikus are hard to and shop now. Cheers. Thanks for twelve years of love,
support and drinks. Mostly the drinks, but those other things too.
Nikki Elbaz: Cheers, friends.
Record your takeaways episodes right after you record each guest
I mentioned in the bonus episode last season that I did Hannah Greenstein’s podcast
bootcamp before launching email swipes. And one thing she told me that I didn’t listen
to was record your takeaways episodes right after you record each guest session you’re
already set up for recording. All the ideas are fresh. Just do it then and it’ll be fun. I
really like the idea. Mostly the fact that I won’t procrastinate the takeaways episodes
until last minute. But here’s the thing. I need time to process the takeaways. I want to
listen again, read the transcripts, think about the ideas, let them gel. So I record my
takeaways after Gly edits the main episode, I take notes as I check the edits, and only
then do I record my takeaways. Why am I telling you all this?
Nikki Elbaz: Well, because I finished this session with.
Nikki Elbaz: Jared and was like, whoa, I have a million things to say about all this. And
now sitting down to record the takeaways, I feel like I’m missing so much. I’m not sure I
actually am. I just feel like that episode had so much gold that one takeaways episode
just won’t do it justice. We’ll do the best we can. Ready?
The first thing we talked about last week was humanizing the brand
The first thing we talked about last week was humanizing the brand by bringing the
people behind the brand to the fore. Like I mentioned in the episode, this is a balance. I
can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a brand build up their employees social
presence, building them into thought leaders with big followings. And then the
employees leave the company to go off and sell courses on building a social following.
Okay, I’m being a little cynical. Not all of them made courses, although honestly, a
number really did. Either way, I can list people off the top of my head who benefited
from the resources their brand invested in making them the face of the brand only for
them to leave a year or two later. Obviously, employees shouldn’t feel chained to their
jobs. Obviously, brands have to work to maintain their employees. But this is the reality.
Your employees might leave. I had a client once who built fake Personas, full LinkedIn
profiles with headshots and university educations and everything. And those fake
employees were the sender names on the emails. It was the slightest bit appalling, but I
understood where they were coming from. What can we do about it? It’s safest if the
CEO is the brand, not the VP of marketing or the PMM. But the good news with email is
that you can work around this more easily than you can with social because social puts
the person very front and center. There are two brands I’m
thinking about that the sender name is the brand name, but they’re written like they’re
front people with sign offs and everything. Theyre written like theyre from a person.
Theyre building that people behind the brand idea. But if the person leaves its not that
apparent. If the brand has a good style guide and a good replacement, the new person
will take over. The name will change but the feeling wont. And in fact this is what
Drizzley did. Not for all the emails like Jared mentioned, but for a good face of them. He
was signing off the emails. Also when he took over they did a little handoff. The
previous email person wrote a goodbye email. Jared wrote a hello email. It built up the
team behind Drizly, but it didn’t build them into the drizly brand. Now I know this goes
against the whole sender name should be people names.
Nikki Elbaz: Best practice.
Nikki Elbaz: But uh, first of all it’s not a best practice always. Especially with
ecommerce, the brand name should most often be the sender name, not the people
short. You’ll want to pattern interrupt from time to time. You’ll want to send text based
one to one style emails from a person every so often, but usually you want them from
the brand. Even outside of ecommerce. This is one of those things that needs to be
tested for each brand. I’ve had a lot of clients who got more opens with brand names
than they did with team member names. So takeaway number one, build up the human
side of your brand, but do it smart. And takeaway 1.1 test your sender names. Don’t just
trust that send from a team member.
ConvertKit is the only marketing platform built for creators by creators
Best practice another thing we mentioned when talking about building up the brand’s
human side is the balance of making it about the customer versus showcasing the
brand. Theres another absurdist brand that gets a lot of press time that I actually really
dont like. I always thought it was that they were trying too hard, that they werent
actually funny. But now after talking to Jared on this ive put my finger on what I dont like.
Nikki Elbaz: Were about to take an ad break, but im not just going to give you an ad that
wants to sell you something. Im going to give you an ad that yes will hopefully sell you
something but will also educate you on something email related so dont go anywhere. If
you want to start your own email list, I have an offer for you. Sign up to convertkit using
the affiliate link youll find in the show notes and ill give you a 30 minutes consult. Free
now free consults are nice and all, but theyre not exactly a reason to tie yourself to an
email platform youre not in love with. So let me tell you why I think you should use
Convertkit to build your email list. ConvertKit calls themselves the only marketing
platform built for creators by creators, and its not just a cute slogan, they actually live up
to this. There are countless examples of how they serve our particular niche better than
anyone else and it makes all the difference. Let me just give you one Google just
announced some new anti spam sending requirements that threw the email world into a
tizzy and one of the recommendations to keep our emails out of spam was to verify
your email sending domain. Sounds techy. Yeah, it was. It was another techie admin
task that was really annoying to deal with. Most email platforms slapped up some help
docs and called it a day. Convertkit partnered with the software that did the job in the
convertkit dashboard in a few clicks. It was so helpful and it was so proactive. They
know we don’t have it teams. They know we have too many tasks on our plate. They
know that tech can feel really overwhelming for a solopreneur, so they figured out a
solution. That’s just one tiny example I could go on, but we’ve got to get back to our
If you’re using humor in your emails, make sure it’s relevant
Meanwhile, if you’re interested, head down to the show notes, check out the affiliate link
and earn yourself a free consult.
Nikki Elbaz: Their funny is all about the brand. It’s just not about the customer. That’s
what makes it feel like they’re trying too hard. It’s not funny if it isn’t ringing true to the
customers lives, if it’s all brand centered. And you’ll see this a lot, to varying degrees.
When you read a piece of copy and think it’s funny versus feel it’s funny and actually
laugh, it’s usually because, well, yeah, they’re trying too hard. But why does it feel like
they’re trying too hard? Because it’s not resonating. There’s too much limelight on them
trying to be funny. Even if theyre using customer pain points or talking to the customer,
it feels like theyre not really listening. Like youre having a conversation with someone
whos just thinking what to respond while youre talking instead of actually listening to
you when Jared said he hired someone with a humor background, not a copy
background, that he could teach copy skills, but that humor skills are harder to teach,
that rang really true. Theres way more to humor in general and even more so humor in
marketing than just making a good joke. There are so many subtleties, so many
methods. It’s not for the faint of heart and I have so much respect for the copywriters
that do it well. So takeaway number two, if you’re using humor, make sure you’re
keeping the customer at the fore. Not only will it generally convert better, it will land
better too. And check out the rev episode with Nick audio if you want to unpack some
humor principles. One principle that may or may not be a real humor principle, but is
now in my book thanks to these drizzly emails. Unpack the obvious. I loved how in one
of the emails Jared wrote, just think of all the memories we had and followed it with are
you thinking about them? I laughed out loud at that one. We say so many inane things
that we don’t really mean. He pushed it to be a reality in the reader’s mind, and that’s so
Nikki Elbaz: that it’s funny. Next. I love how Jared used the branding excuse whenever
he wanted to push the fences. It’s a great way to get around pesky things like low
conversions. But he’s right. Elie Weiss wrote something really interesting in his all
things CX and retention newsletter recently. I’ll quote it for you here. Ever wondered
how some brands end up bombarding, um, your inbox like there’s no tomorrow? Take
Wayfair as a case study. Sign up for their emails and brace yourself. It’s like opening a
floodgate. An onslaught of daily emails, each one louder and more desperate than the
last. It’s relentless, whether you engage or not. So what’s the deal? Why the spam
festival? It’s all about KPI’s. Somewhere along the way, the team’s handling lifecycle
marketing got fixated on a simple equation. More emails equals more money. Under the
relentless pressure of hitting those monthly targets, they keep hammering away. But
here’s the kicker. As the frequency cranks up, so does the rate of unsubscribes and
email fatigue. Engagement plummets. But the emails don’t stop. They can’t. The
machine has been set to maximum, and dialing it back feels like a direct hit to revenue.
Could a more targeted, less frequent approach work better? Maybe. But who’s brave
enough to try when every drop in frequency hits the bottom line? This is the email
marketers paradox. Once you crank up the frequency, it’s almost impossible to scale
back without top level intervention. And often it’s those at the top who were cheering for
the increase in the first place. Here’s the takeaway. It’s a trap, an easy one to fall into,
hard to escape. Before ramping up your email cadence, consider the long game. Is the
temporary spike in revenue worth the potential long term damage to customer
relationships? Because once you’ve turned the dial up, turning it down is a battle that
few are brave enough to fight. Pretty sobering, eh? Um, by the way, I found it really
interesting that Jared moved from Wayfair to drizly, where he had a lot more freedom to
work with the customer relationship, not just the conversions. So branding emails are
important. Clearly we can’t build our strategy around branding, but they’re not just fun
for us to create and write, they’re important for the brand and the customer experience
too. Hey, it reminds me of the bit ly episode with Devinotool Love and links. Go listen to
it if you haven’t yet.
Sometimes your conversion focused emails will develop your brand
just fine
Anyway, takeaway number three, don’t forget to keep developing your brand. Often your
conversion focused emails will develop your brand just fine. In fact, they should be
doing this just fine. And if they’re not, you’re doing something wrong. But sometimes
you get an opportunity to send something that is purely brand oriented, like in the bitly
episode. And that’s a golden opportunity. I was blown away by the mini niche hack that
Jared shared right as we were wrapping up. What a gemdez. Sometimes we’re so
focused on the data on the hard segments that we forget about the psychographics that
live within those segments. See, segmentation can be so complicated, often it’s not
even worth segmenting. Yes, everyone says segment, segment, segment. And you
should usually. But sometimes the segments have enough overlap that it’s not worth the
resources of segmenting. It’s just not. But this kind of thing, you’re not alienating
anyone. I read that Friday email. The Brodie Lee reference flew over my head. I just
thought it was a regular subject line. M no harm done. But the Brodie Lee fans, it spoke
straight to them. Like Jared said, they’re fans for life now. They might even be more sad
that drizzly shut down than us email swipers. So all in all, really smart strategy that I
can’t wait to implement.
Use Jared’s mini niche segmentation hack to help you identify niche
And that brings us to takeaway number four. And that is to use Jared’s mini niche
segmentation hack. It’s so genius and simple to execute okay, the very last thing is
super actionable. Ready for it?
Nikki Elbaz: Check out Jared’s website.
Nikki Elbaz: Yep, that’s your homework. Go to yes, that link is in
the show notes. This episode is over, so you can give it your full attention. You’ll thank
me when you’re done. It’s nothing short of an experience.
Nikki Elbaz: Thanks for geeking out with me about that email story. If you enjoyed either
of these episodes, you’ll probably enjoy getting my emails. Plus, you’ll never m miss
another episode. Sign subscribe and yes, that link is in the show

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