Putting the You in UX

Ep. 21 Takeaways from Coding Quizzes

Powered by RedCircle

Let’s dive into the strategies and methods used in the Sinch April Fool’s Day email, featured in Episode 20.

Ideas you don’t want to miss

(02:26) Takeaway 1: Block the big things into your content calendar

(02:09) Takeaway #1.1: Feeling pressured by certain email norms? Strip it down to the why and reformat accordingly

(02:48) Takeaway #2: Don’t stop until you hit the dead end of the customer experience

(05:08) Takeaway #3: Build brand loyalty when you use (real) exclusivity

(05:28) Takeaway #4: Find good mentors. Or… maybe be a good mentor.

(06:18) Takeaway #5: Don’t stress if your creative process fluctuates with time

Links from this episode

Take a look at the emails we featured in Ep. 20

Plan more effective emails with my Ecomm Playbooks or SaaS Success Pack

Follow Nikki on LinkedIn

Get Nikki’s email musings at ⁠nikkielbaz.com/subscribe ⁠

Let me know what you thought about the episode by emailing podcast@nikkielbaz.com

Subscribe to Email Swipes and never miss another episode

Apple Podcasts


Google Podcasts

Or find on your favorite podcast player


Nikki Elbaz: A client once put together a data collection email for subscribers birthdays.
It started out fun. There was a light tone, a bit of humor. But once you clicked out of the
email and into the survey, it was daunting. It was what Megan identified. It was data
collection. It wasn’t fun. It was friction. It was making customers work. Welcome to email
swipes, where we peek behind the scenes at the emails that catch your attention and
earn their place in your swipe file. Every other week, we’ll talk to an email expert about
an experiment they ran, and in the following episode, we’ll dive into the strategies and
methods used in the email so you can inform and inspire your own email work. I’m Nikki
Elvas, 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? Let’s go.
Take our quiz to find out what your job is like
First, a quick recap of the email we discussed last week that we’ll be digging into today.
Tell us something about yourself and we’ll give you something to be excited about. Pro
tip if your inbox isn’t doing this email justice, view it in your browser start quiz what’s
your job like? Product focused, development focused, or clicking product focused? How
does email fit into your product? Transactional emails? Marketing emails? Both. We’ll
click both. People think your job is mostly meetings. So many meetings. Spreadsheets
on, spreadsheets. Data diving. Let’s click meetings. When is your product getting
released? Next quarter for sure. This year if I’m lucky. Does a bug fix count? Let’s do
bug fix. Last question. What’s your goal for 2024? Speak at attend emailcamp create an
email design system. Higher engagement rates. Let’s hit higher engagement rates.
We’ve learned so much about you, it’s almost like we cracked the code. Get it?
Cinch team’s April fools email was successful because it was fun
Anyway, let’s get to the good news. The wait is over. I am, not going to pretend that I
know how to code emails, but it was so fun to get a peek into the other side of the coin.
And there’s still so much stuff that I do feel confident digging into here because it all ties
back to the strategy. Like I said, it’s the other side of the coin. I love the way the cinch
team thinks about April fools. Sometimes it can be such a stress to come up with
something funny that’s not punny or overdone or inane. Their idea of doing something
big that we don’t usually have time for leans into the fun of April fools, but without the
pressure. Plus, it’s so smart to block these big things into your content calendar
because otherwise they just never happened. So takeaway number one, block the big
things into your calendar. And if you’re not a funny brand, can you still lean into the
funny times in our calendar or the funny situations and scenarios with something light
but not funny? I love, love, loved how Megan thought through all the way to the very
dead end of, the customer experience. I mean, clearly, with all the variations that she
had to make for all the different email clients, she was putting herself in her subscribers
shoes, but she didn’t stop there. People love taking quizzes, but they hate giving data.
Even, by the way, if they like the results of giving data, like, a customized experience or
personalized content, it’s just another instance of the psychological, say, do gap
principle. But anyway, like I mentioned in the main episode, this email was so
successful because it was fun. Yes, it was data collection so that they can understand
their audience, but it just didn’t feel like it. It felt like a Buzzfeed quiz. A client once put
together a data collection email for subscribers birthdays. It started out fun. There was
a light tone, a bit of humor. But once you clicked out of the email and into the survey, it
was daunting. It was what Megan identified. It was data collection. It wasn’t fun. It was
friction. It was making customers work. And yes, a lot of brands thread fun into the
survey, too. So it does feel less like work. But I, come on, how awesome is it when it’s
actually in the email itself? By the way, if you didn’t actually read the email yourself, if
you just listened to me read it to you and you didn’t check out the link in the show notes
and click through and do it yourself. Go do it now. It’s really fun. So takeaway number
two, think through all the way to the customer experience. If you start fun, don’t drop the
fun. Once you get to the piece where you need to collect something or ask for
something or introduce friction, follow it through all the way to the end of the
experience. And this applies when things are not fun, but whatever it is that you’re doing
and creating for your customer, follow through, keep things consistent all the way to the
Nikki Yalbus’ ecommerce playbooks are incredibly helpful
How great was it that they added the call for speakers for their email event? Yes, the
content pieces that the quiz led to was the real value piece. The quote unquote reward
for giving their data engaging with the email. But it’s so special that they threw in this
extra bonus, something exclusive to subscribers, exclusive to those who engage with
the email. If you love email swipes, you will love my playbooks. They are chock
full of inspiration with dozens of examples, color coded breakdowns and all the whys
and hows and wheres and whats of all the different ecom flows. Even better. Theyre
affordable, one anonymous copywriter said. In a world full of $1,000 and $2,000
copywriting courses, being able to learn a sequence for $52 is amazing, by the way. You
can learn them for even less if you get the whole bundle another piece of feedback that
I loved. I purchased the welcome sequence playback and loved it. It’s an easy flowing
read and following it is a breeze. I love how it’s so actionable. It takes you step by step
through the process, but you don’t end up with a templated sequence that sounds the
same. I also love how you brought in relevant examples to prove the point you were
making. I pull it up before every welcome sequence I write. That’s a big point of these
playbooks, that you don’t end up with the same thing every single time that you
understand the strategy. Just like copywriter Paul Melrose says, since using Nikki’s
playbook, starting work on an ecommerce email sequence without the playbooks would
feel like jumping out of plane without a parachute. And these are not copy and paste
solutions either. They work because Nikki gets you to understand the essential
concepts at play so you can solve your own or your clients email problems. Big love and
appreciation for what she’s given us. Thanks Nikki, but don’t think it’s all theory.
Hollywilliams says. Had a quick turnaround deadline on an email sequence I hadn’t
written in a while. But I didn’t even sweat it. I pulled up one of Nikki’s playbooks and
voila. I had a winning sequence in record time. Nikki’s playbooks give you the perfect
roadmap for using the data. You have to craft email sequences that perform well every
single time. Thanks Nikki. I love your playbooks. And one last one. This one from a
founder I put into action FAQ email and the twelve hour warning email you suggested
along with two other emails and two texts. And I got over $105,000 in revenue in the
weekend from the promo. Pretty neat. Never made so many sales via email. Your book
helped me save time to get this done. So whether you want to save time, understand
things better, or just get some amazing inspiration. Go grab a playbook or two or
twelve@nikkiyalbus.com. email playbooks and yes, that link is in the show notes. Wish
you were an ecom just so that you could grab my playbooks. But you’re in sass. Don’t
worry, I got your back with the sass success pack. Say that five times fast. Okay? Don’t
just head to the show notes, you’ll find the link and grab it there.
Even if you don’t have an official exclusive loyalty program, you can
still build loyalty by sending emails
Okay, back to our show. Often we will see subject lines like exclusive offer and then
what do you know? The so called exclusive offer is right there on the hero of the
homepage and in the banner and preloaded into your cart even without signing it. But
real exclusivity is such a great selling point. You could build an entire loyalty program on
exclusivity. So takeaway number three, where can you find exclusivity and thread it into
your emails? Even if you don’t have an official exclusive loyalty program, you can still
build loyalty by sending one off. Exclusive bonuses. How cool is it that Megan has
mentors that she can really lean on? I first found Megan in the email Geek Slack group,
which is a super helpful, positive community. Megan being one of the foremost voices
answering people’s questions and sharing great perspectives. So it’s no surprise that all
her generosity engenders reciprocity and she’s reaping the benefits with solid mentors
who help her in a pinch.
Tip number four is lean into how you’re working at the moment
I’m not sure if takeaway number four is find great mentors or be a great mentor yourself
so that you find great mentors, maybe both. I am a big believer in subscribing to lots of
emails. Lots of types of emails, good emails, bad emails. But I do also hear Megan’s
perspective of taking inspiration from good emails only. Like I mentioned in the main
episode, for the devs out there, culling inspiration takes a different route. And I’m also
starting to appreciate that even for us copywriters or strategists, our attention is divided,
our time is limited, and sometimes it does make sense to focus on what’s actively
inspiring you, not just pull inspiration from anywhere and anything. So takeaway number
five, lean into how you’re working at the moment. Sometimes you need inspiration from
everywhere and you should subscribe to a bunch of emails, read a bunch of things, do
a bunch of things, hang out with a bunch of different types of people. Sometimes you
need to hone in on something very specific and limit things and give yourself more
boundaries and tighter fences the cool thing is that it doesn’t have to be one or the
other, and that’s your strategy for the rest of your life. Things are fluid, things are
flexible, and sometimes different things work. This also means that you don’t have to
panic if suddenly your go to method for inspiration and creativity isn’t working anymore.
You’ll find something else that does work, and maybe you’ll get back to it later in life.
Maybe not. Maybe yes. But basically your creative experience, your creative method,
your creative process will change, can change, should change, and that’s just the way
life is. 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 miss another episode. Sign
up@nikkilbus.com subscribe and yes, that link is in the show notes.

Listen on your favorite player:

Never miss a “Swipe”

Subscribe to my emails to get notified about each new episode.
Plus get my other email musings, straight to your inbox.