Yahoo Store Marketing with Email
Item# 2009.07

Product Description

View more from Rob Snell.

Rob: My name is Rob Snell. I am from Starkville, Mississippi. We have been doing Yahoo stores since 1997.

There is my baby brother Steve back in the back.

Today I want to talk about success we have had on our sites. We have multiple stores. I am going to be talking about Yahoo stores that I can't talk about, so I am going to use a dog metaphor.

We sell dog stuff, but I am actually going to be talking about one of my revenue share retailers who said, "Keep it on the down low. Things are good. We don't want any competition."

Here are five things I have learned from email marketing.

It is all about the offer.

I have been doing this for about nine or ten years, and in the past year I have learned more about email marketing by having awesome offers that were sent in to our customers.

And by offer, I don't mean discounts. I am a retailer, OK? I mean I have done some development, but I am a retailer. Discounting is the worst thing that you could do. If that is the only way you can compete on costs, I feel sorry for you because somebody is going to be less than you.

When I say offer, I mean'Next week, or tomorrow rather, the new iPhone is coming out. That is the offer. You send an email saying, "Hey, the new iPhone is coming out." So when I say offer I don't mean discount. I mean what you are sending in the email.

When you want to get customers to come back to your store, the offer needs to be relevant. That means it is about me, what I am interested in. I am talking the subject line needs to be relevant, the offer itself, the HTML email, the landing page, the product. It has got to be about the customer. But also, I want it to be compelling. It could be exactly what I am looking for but the offer could just be crap. You know, no discount, no free gift, or no free shipping. So you want both. You want relevant and compelling. People like both kinds of offers where I come from. And there is a sweet spot in the middle and it kind of looks like that.


This is a site, NOT, but this a real Yahoo store. I have got access to about 300 stores and this one of those. I am going to run you through this.

This is three years ago and I thought I knew what I was doing. We were doing PPC. We were doing some SEO. We are driving some revenue and triple digit growth. My retailer is excited, excited, excited.

Then Ron comes along and says, "You don't know what you think you do Mr. Snell. Why aren't you doing'?" And it was that flow chart because I was doing one thing on there. Now I am doing three things.

I was like, "Nah, I get it. I get email. Here we go. I get it. I get it. Each one of those little spikes on there is an email." I was like, "I have got email." I am going to my client and saying, "Come on. Give me some more offers. They like the offers. The better the offer, the more the clicks and the more the sales."

My retailer said, "OK. How about this? Let's just do something awesome." And he did. Each of those is emails. We did more in one email that I knocked out in 45 minutes than we did the whole first year that our company was in business back in the good old days.

That is close up.


I like that. Isn't that pretty?

OK. The second thing is

More relevant offers convert better.

Ron told you all about that.

Some offers apply to everybody. Let's just take dog shampoo, just using the metaphor for the dog store. We sell (and offer) dog shampoo. I would be willing to bet that every single customer we ever had had a dirty dog at some point. But sometimes you have got an offer that only applies to a smaller segment.

If you send this $600 Garmin Astro 220 super awesome dog tracking unit and you sent an email to this guy'.


You are wasting his time, you are wasting your time, and you are wasting your money.

So what you need to do is you need to bucket'He says segment. I just like saying bucket. Do we sell buckets?

Bucket your customers as best you can.

And Ron gave you a whole bunch of info about that. Let's take the first bucket. It is a big ole bucket, customers with dogs. I bet every single one of our customers has a dog. Well that is not a bucket. That is a barrel. I am in that bucket. That is me and my little puppy Georgia there. Let's bucket a little bit tighter; customers with hunting dogs. Lots of our dogs are pets and lots of them are hunting dogs.

When I think of our customers with hunting dogs, I think of three different dogs where the owners buy three different kinds of stuff. Let's go even further than that.

There is Steve with Roxy out in the field creating content, for anybody who was in the last session. Let's go customers with hunting retrievers. OK. Now I have a bucket to where it is like these guys identify with that label. They are retriever owners. They are duck hunters. There are all kinds of products that indicate that they are that type of person.

I don't even have to ask. I know if they buy duck [xx] it is that guy. I know if they buy a certain type of collar it is that guy. Customers with hunting retrievers; that is a good bucket, but how thin can you slice it?

Customers with hunting retrievers that have more than 12 dogs, drive a Ford F-350, and wear Carhartts 24/7. That is my brother Steve right there. That is a one man bucket. That is too thin.


So you have all kinds of different buckets. For me, 5,000 people is the magic bucket size, just based on my averages. I need to look at your numbers [Ron] because maybe I am not doing as good as I should be. I will get 10 orders if I sent that to my magic bucket. And if the offer is more relevant, then we will probably have higher conversion rate.

When something is easy to do, it gets done.

I can knock out an email. Once I have the offer and once I write a subject line, and I will spend four or five hours agonizing over both of those, I can make an HTML email in five minutes.

I think that is why y'all don't do emails is because it takes so long to put an HTML email together. I get Steve to write his "Howdy" message. I paste that in there. I build this inside the Yahoo Store. It is in custom RTML.

Any developer worth his stock can knock this out in an hour. He will tell you four hours, but just go ahead and pay it. It is easy. I throw the ID for the offer in one field. It pulls the picture from the product page. It pulls the text from the abstract. And then I go get five more ID's from related products, and boom, I have got an HTML email.

And sign your dang emails. You are not a marketing team or a company. People buy from people. They don't buy from companies. Sign your emails. Be personal.

Always keep score.

Finally, you want to look at the numbers. This is how I look at the numbers. Ron I don't know if that is good enough for your MBA. I do know what a spreadsheet is and I will break one out'

Ron: [inaudible]

Rob: So let's take a look at some numbers. Total emails sent-one of your favorite metrics. Let's just take 50,000 emails sent. This is my average for this year so far on this one project.

From that I will get 24% of those people for whom the subject line was good enough to open the email. That gets me 12,000 people, roughly, who are opening and reading my offer.

I have got a 7.17% average click through rate. Those are people who get the email and open it and they decide, "Hey I am going to click on it." That drives 3,500 people to my landing page.

I have got a conversion rate, on average with these offers, of about 3%. And this is percentage of the folks who actually make it to the page. That gets me 100 orders.

So you want to look at the numbers. Then I take the revenue per email, and I look at each individual bucket and separate offers. But these are the five things that I have learned. It is all about the offer. I said relevance converts. Bucket as best you can, make it easy and it gets done, and look at your numbers.

All right. Here is my email list. If you want to be on my email list it is You will get an auto responder that is probably seven years old with some old links in it, but you will be on my mailing list. I hit my list probably about three or four times a year.

And that is me. Thank y'all very much.