Feedback Friday: Retention Rocket talks Retention Marketing
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On January 25th, 2019 our own Andrew Maff sat down with Laris Orman, Strategic Partnerships Manager of Retention Rocket, to talk about how Retention Rocket can help send the right message to the right people at the right time!
Laris Orman: It originally started because our co-founder, Dylan Whitman, not sure if you've heard of him. He previously owned BVAccel, at that time the largest Shopify agency. So, he was able to, and I'll kind of paint a story around it, he was able to work without riding merchants from all sorts of verticals and industries in the world of eCommerce, and a consistent problem kept coming up. He kept seeing a pattern that retention marketing just took way too many systems to execute, so too many resources and it's just too complicated to execute eventually, right?
So he partnered with Bryan, who, Brian Levine who was at that time in Twilio, literally a technical genius, man. And James Brenan, another eCommerce veteran, came up with the brand Suja, rights sold out to Coca-Cola. And they set out to build this platform that would simplify retention marketing, so you can accomplish more with less resources, as we all want.
Andrew Maff: Okay. Is that how you would say Retention Rocket has pretty much come about? Like how did he really walk through the steps of, oh this is how we should kind of build this out.
Laris Orman: Yeah. So essentially we're not just designing a kind of single tool that you throw into your marketing stack and then off you go and kind of hope you, you know, pray to God that it works. What we're building is ultimately going to change the way marketers ultimately talk with their customers, right. So it's gonna work for marketers.
Most tools out there presently, you need a whole team, right. And you need to learn new technology, it's often very complicated. And it's demotivating for everybody and then it kind of just sits there. Our platform is designed to be used literally out of the box. It's simple and allows really complex and complicated marketing campaigns to become like elementary school level, easy and simple to execute.
So the thing about us that makes us different, it's that we're designing a product that just works, and it's simple.
Andrew Maff: So, retention platforms like ... When I hear like, retention software, retention this, retention that, to me it always sounds like it's a little on the fluffier side. And it's kind of like, okay yeah it's another retention platform, great, blah, blah, blah. Obviously I'm very familiar with Dylan Whitman's work, I'm very familiar with BVAccel's work. Of course, Twilio is an amazing platform as well. So when I saw you guy get together I thought, “Okay good. Maybe someone will make one that's not awful.”
So, what is it really that kind of differentiates you from all the other like noise out there of this kind of category.
Laris Orman: Yeah, man that's a great question. So for anybody listening, I kind of like to keep it really simple. It's three things that I think ... there's three reasons why people buy anything really, right. It's either; how's this going to make me money, how's this going to save you money, and how's it going to keep me out of jail, right, which is compliance.
So, I think three reasons why, like what's our competitive advantage in the market place is that, you get immediate RY out of us. There's no like wait till three months, two months, it's literally install it, 24 hours later you're making money.
Andrew Maff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Laris Orman: The ease of use. You don't need to hire a virtual team, or you don't need to hire a big time success management team to run this for you. You can do it as a merchant owner, 'cause it's integrated in your current technology stack. And it's simple. We're taking this really complex technology that Brian and his team built, and making it and then delivering out of a box for you.
When it comes to our team, what kind of makes us different and why I think we'll win in the market place that's getting very competitive every day, is that we're nimble. Our product updates come as a result of listening to you guys, the store owners, the merchants. You guys tell us what you need, and then we build. Verses, hey we think this needs to be done so we'll build it based on our opinions.
Andrew Maff: Yeah.
Laris Orman: We're super approachable, man. I love the stuff like this. And we're eCommerce experts. I mean, Dylan, as you know, built numerous brands. He's led BVA. And then obviously James and Brian are the tech and then brand experts.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Alright, so we know what it does. So it's a customer retention software. How exactly does it do it? Like what are the actually services, the actually components that Retention Rocket has that's different from everybody else?
Laris Orman: Yeah. I mean. I could go into like a 20 minute spiel how it's done, right. But essentially we're building ... We have an omni-channel, a multi-channel platform that delivers the message at the right time, through the right channel, with the right products. So you go in, you're checking out your favorite shoes, for whatever reason you abandon the cart. There's a little bit of a snippet code that's installed on your checkout, takes literally like 10 minutes. And then you as a merchant are able to send out a predictive message. Whether it's ten minutes or three hours later, with a custom message saying, "Hey, Andrea, if you come back here's the code to checkout."
It brings you back, you're able to measure attribution per each conversion because it's all white labeled. It's really designed to execute outbound SMS campaigns and make retention marketing very simple for you.
Andrew Maff: So that's where Twilio came in, with the SMS push-notifications. That's awesome.
Laris Orman: Exactly.
Andrew Maff: Okay. It's interesting, we were actually just talking about this the other day about how chat bots are taking over and why they're doing so well now and how they probably won't stay that way. And the text messaging, you know the whole SMS thing, it's very interesting because I'm curious to see ... If anything is really cool and it's working great, leave it up to us marketers to ruin it after a little while.
So I am kind of curious, like two, three years from now when people finally catch on to oh, SMS is awesome, or chat bots are great. Like, how many times is my phone just gonna be going off with notifications of stuff that I've signed up for. If you compare your e-mail ... It's kind of like e-mail with how may e-mails you get. So I'm interested like, I hope I don't get as many text messages as I get e-mails. But I'm curious to see how that's going to sustain over the years.
But, if they're perfectly timed obviously, which I know Twilio does great, that's obviously something that will help with that.
Laris Orman: Yeah, absolutely. I mean even just like our plans for the future and just kind of trends we're seeing in like a year, even five years down the line, is ... Well our plan for the future obviously is to focus and relentlessly serve our customers, but we believe that with just the growth of AI and marketing technology is predictive, right. You're not supposed to be getting an SMS or Facebook Message if you are really annoyed by those, right.
Andrew Maff: Yeah.
Laris Orman: I don't want something against the wall and hoping it sticks. So we wanna be kind of pioneers of running AI and productivity behind and marketing.
If we're gonna talk about trends, we're wanting to see technology platforms that actually work together. So API economy is constantly growing, and consequences of that is that the technology working alongside each other. So switching between apps has never been easier. I mean five years ago that was a huge fixed cost right behind that.
So right now we're just focusing on marketing tools that should empower marketers, like you mentioned. And technology should not bog you down to do what you really want to do is serve customers and make more money.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Nice.
I was always been a fan of BVAccel's work, so I very much know who Dylan is, and if there's one thing I always knew about BVAccel is that they put out great work, obviously. I know MVMT is one of the big ones that they worked with and a lot of people know that awesome watch company, the way that website looks is amazing.
But it also is very clear that not everyone can work with BVAccel. They are one of the top tier Shopify agencies. So how do you see ... Is Retention Rocket gonna be kind of similar to that, where ... What is your ideal client I guess is kind of what I'm getting at.
Laris Orman: Yeah, no. That's an awesome question.
So right now we wanted ... When we came out with a product, we wanted to build out a proof of concept, so we kind of heavily focused on the Shopify clients, specifically Shopify plus. That's not to say we don't work with regular Shopify clients, we actually have quite a few. But kind of our ideal customer profile, if you will, it's anyone that's one million plus in sales, in annual revenue. And it's gotta make about 300 orders plus a month. Kind of we saw that as a sweet spot, where [inaudible 00:09:56] are really, really, high.
Andrew Maff: Alright. Yeah. I mean that's not bad because you gotta think, retention software doesn't work if you don't have customers to retain.
Laris Orman: Exactly.
Andrew Maff: So you have to have the proof of concept before you can do anything. That makes sense, that's a little bit easier.
Laris Orman: For anybody listening, we're actually coming out. We're gonna be platforming [inaudible 00:10:16], I don't know if anybody's had a chance to come check out the website. But we're pushing out our ... Like I said, our platform's consistently getting updated. Signification's gonna be a big thing, push-notifications, which is gonna be really, really, huge.
And yeah, the plan is to be platform [inaudible 00:10:33]. So like, Magento, Blue Commerce, on and on and on.
Andrew Maff: Nice.
Laris Orman: Yeah.
Andrew Maff: So what are, obviously I know you guys are a newer platform, so I know a lot of stuff is brand new. But what are the 2019 release look like, what's coming down the pipeline that people can go, oh I should sign in now before they jack up their prices when they release that, kind of thing.
Laris Orman: Oh my god. Yeah man. Like I just kind of touched on, right. So like push-notifications, being able to segment customers right into different buckets. Literally that's coming in the next week and a half, you're going to be able to really kind of take advantage of that predictive technology. So being able to send the right message at the right time to a customer. Which as we know, like 97 percent of SMS messages in the eCom retail space are opened within three minutes. So we're kind of being the pioneers behind that.
So, yeah man. Lot of new features. Brian and his team are working diligently behind the scenes to get going. But yeah, segmentation and push-notifications are kind of the two things that we're rolling out. You know, Facebook, Live Chat, Facebook Messenger as well. So we're kind of giving you a full suite, you don't have to use various different tools to do one thing, which is retention marketing.
We kind of wanna be the full suite of things and kind of use us for everything retention marketing.
Andrew Maff: Nice.
Lately I've just been diving into chat bots a little bit more, just 'cause I can. And I was curious, as you were mentioning, so you can automate sending the SMS messages and all that stuff. Do you know, is it possible to set up an SMS message just like a chat bot, where if someone texts you and you're like, hey you have a notification do you wanna use this. Be like, yeah I do. Like instead of having to go into the software. Can you set up SMS messing just like chat bots?
Laris Orman: Yeah, yeah. So it's literally ingrained in our platform. You can set up-
Andrew Maff: That's awesome.
Laris Orman: Yeah. And it kind of triggers it off. I'm not as Instagram savvy man, I would show you how it would look like. But, yeah-
Andrew Maff: It's alright.
Laris Orman: -you can set that. And then down the line we'll have Instagram and other channels. You know, Snapchat down the line. So all kind of fun things coming down.
Andrew Maff: Nice.
You know beginning of the year I always get the same themed questions going, so I apologize this one's a little repetitive. But I am curious as to your guy's thoughts. What do you think is going to change in the market over the next, at least the next year?
Laris Orman: Yeah, no. I mean you're gonna start seeing, like I said, you're gonna start seeing marketing technology really kind of evolving. And AI's gonna be a big part, right, predictive. Marketers, sorry, customers are going to want to ... I'm gonna have to be targeted properly, right. There's not gonna be anymore like, okay, I'm gonna send out an e-mail and hoping it converts. Because there's just various different challenges right now with SMS and Facebook and e-mail. So you're gonna want predictive technology right now.
As far as for marketing, it's just gonna be a stack that needs to be working together alongside each other. And technology needs to be able to be used properly, easy. Out of the box, not a large team to execute. So those are kind of some of the trends we're seeing.
Yeah, so AI's gonna be a big part.
Andrew Maff: Nice.
Look, I love to keep these short and sweet and fun, and not eat up too much of your Friday. So, we can call it a day. But I really appreciate you doing this with us. And plus, I don't wanna give everyone too much fun. They gotta go to the site and check it out.
But, really appreciate it. Thank you so much for doing this with us. Everyone who watches this, feel free to message us any questions you may have, either of us. This will go up on our YouTube and on our blog too so you guys can have access to it then. We'll link over to Retention in case you guys want to find them as well.
Laris Orman: Absolutely.
Andrew Maff: But, I would love to have some closing remarks just to let everyone know how they can find Retention Rocket.
Laris Orman: Yeah, absolutely.
First of all, thank you and thanks to the Seller's Choice to host us today. I had a really good time kind of chatting and chopping it up with you. If you'd like to learn more, please go to RetentionRocket.com. We're actually having a pilot program that you can join for 10 days, or two weeks if you want, for free. Somebody could give you their product tour, or a free trail that you'd like to kind of take advantage of and start making money instantly.
But otherwise, yeah. Look out for more content and just kind of seeing us for the ride.
Andrew Maff: Nice. Appreciate it buddy. Thank you so much. I will talk to you soon and enjoy your Friday.
Laris Orman: Thanks so much again. Take care, have a good weekend.
Andrew Maff: I'll be going.
Laris Orman: Bye.