Hiring an eCommerce Email
Marketing Agency

Why retention marketing channels matter for eCommerce brands?
eCommerce brand growth is primarily driven by a few top-level factors:

  • Customer acquisition costs
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer volume

The fastest growing brands are able to optimize well across all three of these levers.

As an eCommerce retention marketing agency, our primary focus is on the retention side of the acquisition/retention equation. A well-performing retention marketing program is a critical part of the growth equation because it directly and indirectly accelerates all 3 of the growth levers.

Customer Lifetime Value: There's a direct impact on this. In fact, the north star metric we use in all of our retention marketing efforts is a version of this combined with customer volume below: Subscriber List Lifetime Value. We regularly see 25%-50%+ of revenue coming through retention marketing channels such as email and SMS.

Customer Volume: Good retention marketing will generate attributable revenue not only from existing customers, but also through converting non-customer leads into first-time buyers. Thus, there's a direct contribution towards improving volume of new customers acquired.

Customer Acquisition Costs: Your LTV-to-CAC ratio improves quite a lot when you can categorically drive up that LTV number. Proper, high-revenue generating retention marketing efforts accelerate the velocity of your growth enabling you to spend more to acquire each customer, increase your acquisition budget to maximize sales volume, and open up previously inaccessible channels or funnels by tilting the ratio in the right direction.
Who you work with matters
Principal Involvement
When you work with bigger agencies, they rarely have enough of a pool of talented strategic minds to devote equal attention to all clients. Ultimately, the experience and results you'll get working with a retention marketing agency depends on the primary people you work with daily.

Unlike many other agencies, we don't just delegate strategy to a junior marketing intern.

Our senior-level Principals are directly involved on our clients' accounts. While we do work with the team to source ideas and discuss, we believe your brand's retention marketing strategy is too important to completely delegate downwards.

We cap our number of long-term, strategic-engagement clients so we can devote sufficient strategic resources to each account because, for us, your account is not an afterthought.
  • Heath Weaver
    Managing Director, Principal
    Heath Weaver has almost two decades of eCommerce digital marketing experience. He has run multiple agencies, headed up Search Engine Marketing for the consumer electronics division of Sony, and served as a Vice President at Trilogy Software. He enjoys working day-to-day with clients to level up their retention marketing game.
  • Xiaohui "X" Wang
    Founder, Principal
    Xiaohui "X" Wang is a veteran of the email marketing industry. In the last decade, he has led the strategic and tactic retention marketing efforts for over 300 ecommerce brands ranging from small mom & pops to IR500 retailers. He's passionate about all things eCommerce, email, and SMS.
Decade of eCommerce retention marketing experience in the trenches
When choosing which retention marketing agency to work with, you want to look for deep expertise.

We've worked on over 300 eCommerce brands in our decade in business and have stayed laser-focused on retention marketing channels like email and SMS. Over that time, we've put in 1000's of hours in email marketing platforms such as Klaviyo, Omnisend, Oracle Bronto, Salesforce Marketing Cloud (ExactTarget), Oracle Responsys, Intuit Mailchimp, and many others.

We've published industry thought-leadership content such as our quarterly State of Email reports, as well as countless articles and podcast appearances.

The takeaway here is you are tapping into a deep well of expertise, specifically geared around eCommerce retention marketing. No jack-of-all trades found here!
Not one-size-fits all
eCommerce best practices should not be one-size-fits-all. eCommerce is a broad field that covers a variety of industries. Based on your audience and products, the starting strategy can be quite different. The differences are even more pronounced with DTC vs. B2B customers.

A B2B eCommerce brand selling industrial reusables to manufacturing clients should have an entirely different strategic approach compared to a DTC eCommerce brand selling subscription skincare products to new mothers.

Or brands that are highly seasonal, which require establishing a seasonality index and then mapping marketing campaign volumes, content, and timings around peak seasons.
A few of our client success stories...
Oransi generates $624,000 in under three months with email
9,245% revenue increase with Klaviyo & email strategy
From zero to $40K in SMS revenue
– in under a month
How BariatricPal drives sales with an omnichannel approach
How we grew email revenue 138x for a home improvement brand with a custom-tailored sending strategy
Strategy is an iterative cycle, not a one-time undertaking
We like to take a disciplined approach to strategy, rather than chasing shiny tactics willy-nilly. This way, we give your retention marketing program the best chance of succeeding due to focusing on the right set of initiatives to implement at any given time.

This approach can be summarized as the Retention Strategy Cycle.
Ideate: We don't just have an idea and immediately commit to implementing it because many times it's not the highest priority idea, and won't have the biggest impact. Therefore, to start, we first pool all the initiative ideas from several sources:

  • Historic Data
  • Find & Fix Checklist
  • Collaborative Brainstorming
  • Proprietary Insights

Prioritize: This is a key step to run before committing the idea to the Strategic Roadmap. We use the IPE framework, which is a weighted decision calculus taking into account the factors of Impact, Probability, and Effort. The top-scoring IPE ideas that also aligns with the Retention Marketing Hierarchy will then become candidates to commit to the roadmap.

Commit: After evaluating the strategic initiative ideas, we filter out the subset of highest priority ones and place them onto the Strategic Roadmap. This then becomes the operating guide to which specific retention marketing initiatives to tackle in a given quarter.

Implement: The implementation phase takes up the bulk of the work during the quarter. This involves our team working to execute properly on all of the committed initiatives from the Strategic Roadmap.

Evaluate: We look at the feedback via metrics data monthly and at the end of each quarter to decide on the success of the initiatives. From there, we can choose to maintain, optimize, or eliminate different initiatives are parts of the retention marketing program. This process of evaluation of data and results also feeds directly back into the next cycle of Ideation.

We typically run a full strategic cycle every quarter.
Ideate: Capturing great ideas from all sources
Historic Data

A great source to draw ideas from is your historic data.

Our extensive monthly metrics reports as well as specific initiative reporting gives us a great base to draw on for generating data-driven ideas.
Find & Fix Audit

We normally start engagements with our 800+ point Find & Fix checklist in order to quickly shore up any blindspots in your retention marketing program and ensure it rests on solid foundations before moving to more advanced strategy. This process usually surfaces quite a few potential elements to fix.
Collaborative Brainstorming

As a leader of your brand, you have unique insights into your customer's behavior, product specifications, and market/industry developments.

That's why we want to work with you to get any ideas you had onto the ideas map as well.
Proprietary Insights

Since we work with many different clients, we have visibility into specific tactics and strategies that have succeed for other clients. We also have a vast pool of aggregate data to draw from.

This allows us to source ideas from successful learnings across all the accounts.
Prioritize: Identifying the best ideas
The IPE framework helps us drill down the the ideas that have the most potential for success relative to each idea's Impact, Probability, and Effort levels.
The IPE scores are assigned with reference to hard data (comparable metrics from your account or across our aggregate client metrics) as well as the Retention Marketing Hierarchy:

Where appropriate, we also use predictive scenario planning to back out likely ranges of results for each initiative. This means we are crunching the numbers based on comparable and historic data, as well as reasonable numbers assumptions to generate a predicted result.

This then informs the Impact score part of the IPE calculus.

Taken all together, we are able to generate a prioritized list of initiatives, which then get short-listed in the next phase.
Commit: Creating the Strategic Roadmap

The Ideation and Prioritization phases culminates into committing the short-list of important quarterly initiatives to the Strategic Roadmap.

This roadmap forms the operating basis by which we'll implement the decided-upon items.

We review the overall program metrics monthly, and at the end of the quarter, we perform a bigger review on the set of Strategic Roadmap initiatives to further understand the wins as well as the elements that need improvement.
Implement: Organizing the day-to-day execution
Campaign & Flow Calendar Planning
We have marketing calendar planners who work with your content team to map out your email & SMS campaign + flow/automation calendars.

We typically shoot for getting all the full calendar and creative briefs in place a month ahead of time.

This level of in-advance planning means there are far fewer last minute changes and stressful urgent approvals needed.

At the same time, planning well in advance also affords more flexibility to modify or insert campaign opportunities that may arise in the course of the month.

Other Initiatives Execution
Following the roadmap plan, we also work rigorously to implement the set of committed initiatives.

We run the communications primarily through our project management tool of choice, Asana, in order to keep tight tabs on the movements of each task.
Brand matters...a lot!
The eCommerce landscape is constantly becoming more and more competitive. That's why it's critical to establish a strong brand in order to win the attention of your customers.

We understand the importance of consistent and powerful brand identity, and thus partner with best-in-breed email design agency The Better Creative to power all of the email content design.

Quality Assurance
Every single email and SMS message goes through a rigorous quality assurance process to minimize mistakes and show your brand in the best light.

We create a custom set of quality assurance checklists for each client that our QA team uses to inspect every outgoing message.

These checklists are also evolving, so each time you give content feedback or edits, they get logged within the guidelines.

This way you don't have to go through the frustration of having to repeat similar feedback each time, and over time the required edits on first drafts will become fewer and fewer, so we can all spend more time on strategy and analytics instead of chasing down edit back-and-forths on specific messages.
Evaluate: Analyze the data feedback for insights
In order to uncover the deep insights that drive your retention marketing channel growth, we need to go beyond the surface level metrics of revenue, open, and click rates.

Our metrics reports are extensive, and look at many of the granular metrics as well as useful ratios such as revenue per recipient and subscriber churn rate (and by extension projected lifetime duration).

We also drill into performance by theme, engagement segments, and customer cohorts. When used correctly, the story the metrics data tell can be very powerful in indicate which next strategic initiatives make sense to tackle.

At the end of the day, the metrics we want to influence are the direct levers that pushes up the Subscriber List Lifetime Value, which is the top-level retention marketing metric we want to optimize against.

We also look at the success of each initiative relative to the original scenario targets to crystalize the wins and to inform the next round of the Retention Strategy Cycle.
Want to explore working with us?
If you are ready to explore working together, just find a time at your convenience on our scheduler or email us directly at [email protected]. We look forward to connecting with you!