Feedback Friday: Sendlane Talks Automation for E-Commerce Sellers
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On December 21st, 2018, our own Andrew Maff sat down with Kristen Dahlberg, Content Marketing Manager of Sendlane, to talk about what Sendlane does and how it can help automate your emails.
Kristen D.: So right now we're technically an email marketing platform. We just made an announcement pretty recently, and we're going to be transitioning over to not just email marketing, it's going to be a multi communication, cross channel marketing automation platform. So we're going to be including a bunch of new communication channels, we're going to be adding SMS first, and then we're going to be adding Chatbot and a few other things in the upcoming months. We're heavy into integrations with different shopping carts, different E-commerce platforms, a bunch of different marketing tools in general, to try to make sure that anyone that's using our platform can do as much as humanly possible with their marketing, and getting in touch with customers and leads, and just keep things rolling and be as profitable as possible.
Andrew M.: That's awesome. I know that SMS is definitely starting to get to be a much bigger thing. I've noticed that obviously marketers when areas get crowded, we get tired of dealing with it so email, all of a sudden everyone's back on, doing emails again. So we're like, "Okay, where else can we go?" And the Chatbot thing and that's a mass that's starting to really take over. Even now I'm starting to get text messages from people all the time. I'm like, "Oh, here it comes." I feel like marketers may ruin that one day-
Kristen D.: I hope not.
Andrew M.: ... where everyone's phone is just going to be going off all the time, but we'll see what happens. That's awesome that you guys are doing that. So now you're more of must a marketing automation platform.
Kristen D.: Yes, absolutely.
Andrew M.: Why the transition? Just growing? Innovating?
Kristen D.: Yeah, absolutely. We've been working on this for about a year now. It was the vision going into 2018 to just try to be more innovative, to offer more, to enable our customers and empower our customers to be able to do as much as they can. So, yeah, it's a growth path that we have. It's a plan that Jimmy and Zach, who are our co founders, thought up and just realized that there's a hole in the market right now in terms of a platform that can do pretty much everything that any marketer needs. So that's what we're moving towards right now.
We started off with email, and we're always going to have that email facet, but yeah, we saw a hole in the market and wanted to jump into it and fill it and make sure that we could offer our customers and any out there the best that they could get.
Andrew M.: Nice. So obviously that will take some tweaking over time so I imagine email marketing is still your bread and butter, correct?
Kristen D.: Yes, absolutely.
Andrew M.: And it's primarily on the automation side of email marketing, correct?
Kristen D.: Yeah. We have a bunch of different features, but we pride ourselves on having some pretty robust automation tools.
Andrew M.: Nice.
Andrew M.: What are some of the suggested triggers or automation that you guys suggest to set up? Let's say, brand new seller, just setting something up, and then also I would love to hear an idea of some crazy triggers that someone set up that are just impressive.
Kristen D.: We have a lot of different triggers within the system. I can give you a rundown of what we offer if you'd like to hear that. We have just the basics where you're just welcoming a new subscriber and that's triggered by an opt-in, or we can do a bunch of different things where we're adding tags based on different activities. It's all very behavioral based, so each person, we kind of track their journey through the email process from opening, clicking, even site tracking. We have integrations where we can actually track website visitors and ping back and forth between the email side and their activity on a website.
Shopping Cart, we have a pretty deep integration with Shopify, so we can do abandoned cart emails and things like that as well. There's a variety of different triggers and options within the platform.
Andrew M.: Nice. So email marketing is obviously, as you mentioned, you guys are scaling into a lot of other different facets now, but email marketing is definitely, when it comes to software, I find it to be a very crowded market. There's a lot of email companies out there, some that are fantastic for certain markets, some that are fantastic for others.
What is it that you guys have that is kind of your differentiator from everybody else?
Kristen D: I would say right now our automation is really strong. I think that's probably our standout capability in the overall grand scheme of things so that's where we stand out. We also have honestly phenomenal customer service. We have 24/7 support available via chat, so if anyone ever has any trouble, we have about a two minute response time now. It varies depending upon the time of day and how many tickets we're getting, but yeah, it's generally under two minutes, 24/7. We're pretty proud of that to be honest.
Andrew M.: Wow, that is impressive. What did you guys see in 2018 that was a standout thing for you guys?
Kristen D.: For us it's just been all the growth that we've been having, and really focusing on the upcoming changes because we just announced the cross channel, multi communication ... The transition, excuse me. So we've been really heavily focused on that and preparing for it. Our Development Team has been working on all of the different changes. We're doing a complete UI/UX overall, and we've been really focused on moving towards that and making sure that we're prepared for the announcement, making sure that everything is moving in that direction, and getting aligned internally. We've had a lot of growth over the last year, but I think the direction that we've headed in has been what's fueled us and been our main focus.
Andrew M.: Now the SMS, the rest of the automation side, when is that expected to be released?
Kristen D.: Right now we're planning on having the first iteration of the new platform debuting on February 1st, so pretty soon. And then the various other levels of that will come out over the upcoming months.
Andrew M.: Oh wow. Obviously you as a business have a very large 2019 coming up. What is it in the market that you guys think is going to also come into effect throughout next year?
Kristen D.: I think that we're going to see a lot of different shifts. I think, like you said, a lot of companies probably are feeling the heat because it's such a crowded market in some regards, and they need to figure out where they're going to stand out, and I think you're going to see a lot of different companies trying to do that. So I think it's going to be an interesting year in a sense of we know where we're headed, and we know what we want to become, and I think we're going to be a big player in that. But we also need to keep an eye on what's going on in the marketplace and make sure that we are staying competitive with all the changes that I'm sure other companies are going to be making too.
Andrew M.: Nice. When you're first starting to use your platform, or even if you've been using it for awhile, what do you guys see as some of best practices, certain metrics that you should be tracking? How do you guys help define a successful email marketing campaign?
Kristen D.: It depends on the individual goals of the marketer using the platform. We obviously want to make sure that anyone that's using Sendlane is enabled to have the best performance possible. So we have a Compliance Team that makes sure that the senders meet certain standards so that way they're not misusing the platform, no one's consistently sending out spam. That's at least one facet of it, but in general, it depends on the individual marketer what their goals are.
Obviously there's going to be open rate, click rate, things like that, but then there are also ways to track ROI if that's something that the individual is super focused on. It depends because content marketers are going to be more focused on getting eyes on their content in general so leading someone on the path from the email, maybe back to their blog, and then the journey continues from there. Whereas E-commerce owners are going to be really focused on conversions and tracking that. So it really just depends on the individual goals, but we have tons of different ways that any marketer could utilize this service to actually make sure that they are performing well. Yeah.
Andrew M.: Okay. So you, yourself, are the Content Manager, correct?
Kristen D.: Yes. Yep, that's correct.
Andrew M.: Nice. So how do you see Sendlane's content growing in 2019? What have you guys been up to?
Kristen D.: In terms of content we're ramping up quite a bit. Right now we're posting usually four days a week, we're going to be doing five, and then adding a variety of different content types. We're going to hopefully be adding in some training videos and things like that to keep things fresh. Then obviously we're going to need to start adding in content on our new communication channel so that's going to be a pretty big deal as well.
Andrew M.: Nice. Love to make these super quick so I'm not eating up your Friday any more than I need to. Really appreciate you doing this with me. We always put these up on YouTube and our blog and all that fun stuff. So if you wouldn't mind, would you just let everyone know where they can get more information on Sendlane?
Kristen D.: Absolutely. If you guys want to more about Sendlane, you can visit our regular website Sendlane.com and if you're super interested in the new launch and what we have in store for everyone coming up in February, you can visit LP.Sendlane.com/comingsoon.
Andrew M.: Perfect. Kristen, really appreciate it.
Kristen D.: Absolutely.
Andrew M.: Thank you so much.
Kristen D.: Thank you so much.
Andrew M.: Enjoy the rest of your Friday. Happy New Year. Happy Holidays-
Kristen D.: Thanks. You too.
Andrew M.:... and I will talk to you again soon. Have a good one.
Kristen D.: All right. Sounds good. Thank you. Bye.
Andrew M.: Bye.