How one advanced marketer is winning with email marketing automation
Today's guest has had tremendous adventures in ecommerce – from managing Jack Threads' 16-million person list to earning $38mm in 10 weeks selling hover boards – and today he's going to share it all with us.
The first twenty minutes of this episode are possibly the most value-packed show we've ever recorded.
Josh writes, "My career has taken an interesting path over the past 16 years, from accounting to digital marketing, I have seen it all. After 7 years into my career, I finally realized I was not enjoying my day to day life as a public accountant and was given an opportunity to become the Controller to one of the clients. This was my first introduction to e-commerce and marketing. After 6 months into my Controller position, I was able to skim the surface into marketing and quickly became hooked! From this point, I began my transition out of accounting and solely into digital marketing. I was given opportunities from a variety of well-known streetwear brands such as Jack Threads and Black Pyramid and multiple freelance projects, which really allowed me to hone my craft and accelerate each brands revenue. I am currently the Digital Marketing Director at Amerex Group."
Kurt Elster: Hello and welcome back to the unofficial Shopify Podcast. I'm your host Kurt Elster, recording from Ethercycle HQ in Skokie, Illinois. And joining me today is a gentleman who once sold way more money than you ever have. All right, I say that but it's a safe bet because listen to this, in 2015, in 10 weeks, he sold nearly $40 million worth of hoverboards. Remember hoverboards? Like 38 million in 10 weeks, unreal.
Kurt Elster: And that's not his only success. He has a whole list of similar successes under his belt. So after talking to him on the phone several times, I knew I had to get Mr. Josh Behr on the Podcast because his experience in digital marketing is tremendous.
Kurt Elster: And interestingly, he didn't start here. He's not some marketing wonder kid. He is living proof that if you say, "Man, I want to do this. I want to change my job," you can. Because for over 10 years, he was a CPA, and now he finds himself in digital marketing with tremendous success.
Kurt Elster: And not just with flash in the pan trend stuff, like hoverboards. Also, with some really big brands, like JackThreads , which at one point had millions of people on their email list that he managed. So we're going to unpack that, we're going to hear what lessons learned, we're going to hear stories from the trenches.
Kurt Elster: Josh, thank you for joining us. How are you doing?
Josh Behr: I'm doing well, Kurt. Thank you for having me on.
Kurt Elster: My pleasure. All right. Let's get an assessment of where you're at now. What do you do and for who? What's going on with Josh today?
Josh Behr: So currently working for a company called Amerex Group, which is a large company that sells bathing suits coats. I came here to help grow their e-com business. So far I've been here for about nine months, and we've already hit an eight X from their last year revenue to this year, and we're about nine months in.
Kurt Elster: Whoa. In broad strokes, what's the number one thing that helped drive that scale?
Josh Behr: The number one thing that we implemented was the Klaviyo exit-intent popups based upon abandoned carts.
Kurt Elster: I want to hear some of these great war stories, but clearly we've got to start with that. We'll open with the actionable advice. I tweeted this, and people loved it, your high-level version of this. Talk me through this Klaviyo exit-intent thing that you're doing.
Josh Behr: We're using Privy as exit-intent popup, and obviously as a regular popup on our site today. As people are coming to our site, and they're adding items to their cart, as they're growing their cart size, and they're not sure if they're ready to purchase, a lot of people like to add things to cart, when they're about to leave the website, based upon the amount of value that they have in their cart, we're hitting them with an exit-intent discount code.
Josh Behr: And once they give us their email address, we're allowing that discount code to be alive for what we tell the customer to be one hour. So it gives them that great incentive to go purchase as soon as possible. Then, if they do not purchase where we are getting a lot of purchases, we're sending them an email two hours after they have not purchased saying that we have reactivated their one-hour "expired code".
Josh Behr: And then from there, we sequence them over the course of three days, just sending them, "Hey, reminders. Your code is about to expire." We actually do let the code expire after three days. And then believe it or not, the most surprising thing is on day four and five, when people's codes have actually expired, you're going to get a litany of people, if they haven't already purchased, that are crying that their code has expired. What can they do? Can we help them? And obviously, you're going to want to go out of your way to help these people, and we're allowing them to buy.
Kurt Elster: So I fire an exit-intent popup, and is it just like, "Hey, enter your email to get a coupon code?" Or we do a micro-commitment where we go, "Do you want to save on your order, yes, no?" What do you recommend?
Josh Behr: We're putting based upon cart size. For instance, on one of the sites I'm working on, if their order's over $300, we have a little margin in some of our products. So we're offering a 25% discount. We say, "Hey, do you want to save 25%?" Who doesn't want to save 25% off an order over 300 bucks?
Josh Behr: So they're giving us their email, we give them the code right away, we fire an email to them right away with their code. So they have it in both places. And we're getting great success on this.
Kurt Elster: I like Privy a lot. They are, and I'm unbiased. I know Ben, the founder, and for me these personal relationships are a big part of the app. I have to know and trust the person behind it. And it fits the mantra of the show, which has always been, people buy for people, not brands.
Kurt Elster: And the same is true of apps and SaaS businesses. Within Privy, are there any other clever things you're doing? Stuff you like, stuff that you love about it, that if someone's on Privy right now, you should be like, "Hey, go implement this thing."
Josh Behr: That's definitely one of the things. Another item that I'm doing is, if they sign up for the welcome discount for the first time, if they've viewed more than three or four pages, we know that there is some intent, they're searching. We're just firing that exit-intent popup that, "Hey, don't forget that you do have this code."
Josh Behr: And we do our welcome series to expire after seven days. So we're just firing that code like, "Hey, please make sure you use your coupon. It will expire on you." And we're seeing great success with that as well.
Kurt Elster: Excellent. And then in Klaviyo, if you had to pick one flow, the apocalypse happens, or you got the Sophie's Choice of flows, however you want to phrase this. What's other than the browse abandonment, give me your favorite flow. [crosstalk 00:05:50] management rather sorry.
Josh Behr: Yeah. My favorite flow and I'm going to go even beyond the welcome series because who doesn't love a great welcome series is, Klaviyo. I want to say maybe seven, eight, nine months ago, and I forget the exact timeframe they launched this repeat purchase nurture series.
Josh Behr: So people who have bought from you, Klaviyo came out with this thing where they're having a predictive analytics done. And to guess when they feel the next time someone's going to purchase from your website. And I said, "I'll try it. What's the hurt in it?" And let me tell you, it is increasing the LTV of our customer or the life-time value of our customer tremendously.
Josh Behr: They are coming back and they're buying from it. And it works. You got to try these new things and their predictive analytics works great.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Increasingly, they're adding machine learning, data science to these flows. And what you're talking about is in the past, well, what it does now is it literally will tell you like, "Here's the lifetime value of a customer. Here's the predicted value of this customer based on everything we know and here's the date we think they're going to buy next based on their past behavior and the behavior of your other customers." Right?
Josh Behr: Yeah. Exactly. And we're seeing such tremendous lift and since it's a flow, you don't even have to think about it just automatically happening.
Kurt Elster: That's so cool. Yeah, I love flows. Like truthfully flows are amazing and they're basically free money because you set it, you don't worry about it and it engages customers. They're great for customer service.
Kurt Elster: But really I think the campaigns are where a majority of the revenue is still made. As an advanced marketer, give me some of your thoughts, best practices or a successful campaign you've run, what's like your go to thing?
Josh Behr: Correct. I'm actually going to probably surprise you for one second. So I would say in the companies that I'm working on, we're probably driving anywhere about 35 to 40% of our revenue through email. I would say almost 25 to 35% of it is done through flows.
Kurt Elster: Whoa. Whoa. What am I doing wrong? That's wild.
Josh Behr: I'm telling you from the abandoned cart, browse abandonment, the sunset engage subscriber series, which you know as weird of a flow that should not work well, works well for us. And believe it or not, once you set up this exit intended abandoned cart flow, that's where you're going to see the real driver in revenue for your flows.
Josh Behr: This 25% off or 20% off or free shipping that you could offer based upon their abandoned cart is what's really driving the revenue behind it.
Kurt Elster: All right. You touched on the sunset, the sunset unengaged subscribers. I love this flow. I sunset the unengaged people in my own email series and my open rates are 40 to 40% as a result. But a bit of that as a numbers game of course.
Kurt Elster: Merchants are really scared of sunsetting their subscribers. Walk me through it because clearly it's working for you.
Josh Behr: This is based upon a non purchaser. People that have previously purchased, I treat a little differently. But people that are just signing up and not engaging with your emails after six months, for me I'm pushing them out the door.
Josh Behr: And what I'm seeing is by just using basic subject lines and Klaviyo even gives you a lot of it if you want to use theirs. We miss you offering them little incentive to come back and we're seeing, as you said, anywhere from 35 to 50% open rates, and we're getting a lot of people to reengage and buy on the sunset flow and series.
Josh Behr: It's just an amazing tool. Now people that have previously purchased, I treat with a lot more care. I may give them up to 18 months before I really fully kick them off, but I just don't email them that much in campaigns. I try to do it based upon either new arrivals or a sale and try to use them that way.
Kurt Elster: And for people who don't know, explain what a sunset sequences, is, what the intent is there. Sunsets a nice phrase. I used to call it by or get off my list. I've sit shortened that to buy-or-die, a phrase I learned from Juce Inaki. For people who don't know, define it. What is a sunset flow?
Josh Behr: A sunset flow are people that have not either opened or clicked an email within a certain timeframe or based upon a certain amount of emails that you have sent the customer. So I personally base it upon 180 days. If they haven't opened or clicked an email in the last 180 days, just for healthy list cleaning management, which is a war story we'll get into later about why I treat it so carefully.
Josh Behr: It's they're not engaged and generally sending them some subject lines of either, "We miss you. A deal too good to pass up." And, "We hate saying goodbye." Are some of the subject lines that we're using, are seeing anywhere from 35 to 50% open rates. Obviously depending on the email. Our best one is, "A deal to do good to pass up." Is the best subject line that we're using and people are just opening and buying off of it.
Kurt Elster: Whoa, so you've given away the magic. The best subject line typically is literally, what is it, it's the best deal we offer?
Josh Behr: A deal too good to pass up.
Kurt Elster: Sorry. I deal too good. I'm putting that in the notes right now. All right. A quick follow up there. Do you send those in HTML or plain text?
Josh Behr: Plain text.
Kurt Elster: One of the things I heard over and over at the Klaviyo conference a little bit ago was, "Hey, we're using, I'd say a HTML or plain text?" And so many people said plain text, plain text, plain text, which is really amazing because I feel like it's a thing merchants often push back on.
Kurt Elster: This is even like a discussion I've had with my wife where I'm like, "Send plain text." And she's like, "Well, I like the HTML." Make the case for plain text.
Josh Behr: I really don't have the greatest argument because I still even today is still a big HTML person and in a lot of the emails, because a lot of the stuff that we do send is visual. It's just an important thing that you do need to add into your emails from time to time as much as people dislike it.
Josh Behr: It just indexes in my opinion, no proof behind it, that indexes better in Gmail and into Google's 'algorithm' and allows it to inbox better sometimes even hitting their actual inbox and not actually hitting the promotions tab.
Kurt Elster: Okay. And if you use that to fault sunset flow in Klaviyo, I know it goes, it uses exclusively plain text. The theme I heard at Klaviyo was like use it for high touch stuff, sensitive stuff like the sun-setting and customer service stuff seem to be, so that way like would you see plain text, especially when you do a mix of HTML and plain text, the plain will get a higher reply rate. It makes it feel like it's from a real person.
Josh Behr: Exactly.
Kurt Elster: And you touched it, you said, "We'll talk about my list cleaning experience later and the importance of it." I think that's where I want to go. I want to hear, and you told me, you mentioned it in the preinterview, I want to hear this crazy giant list intervention situation you had that involved the craziest like most extreme list cleaning ever, list hygiene we'll say.
Josh Behr: So a few years back I was working for a company and we purchased JackThreads after it had gone through, I guess it's three previous owners, although never closed down. So JackThreads closed down, we purchased it and one of the selling points was that it had a 16 million person email list.
Josh Behr: They were like, "Wow, this is amazing, we never had a email list this big and let's go for it." So JackThreads previously came from a life of emailing every single day a sale of some kind, whether it's their tee shirts, jeans, whatever it was it was an email every day. So what did we do? We picked back up the bowl couple of months later when the site was ready to go, when we were emailing every single day.
Josh Behr: And after about three months, Google had enough of us and all of a sudden we started looking at our open rates and they were at 1%, 2%, and we're like, "What is going on here?" And through the help of working with the team at Klaviyo, we came to the realization that we had fallen into the black box of Google where every single email that we were sending to Gmail was going directly to spam.
Josh Behr: And what we had to do, working hand in hand with the team at Klaviyo, we really had to go to a seven day opener, seven day click on an email. They had to perform both actions and we had to rebuild the list from there. So we went from 16 million to about 60,000 email subscribers. And then from there we had to regrow the list step by step. So we went from seven day open and click to 14 day open and click to 21 day to 30 day. And it took a lot of time to rebuild the list.
Josh Behr: But strangely enough by doing the list cleaning, obviously in inboxing we were able to grow revenue in our email by not sending every single day, being able to inbox, keeping the list very healthy and very clean. We saw better results by doing it that way as opposed to just blasting everybody on the email list with emails.
Kurt Elster: Based on that experience, what do you think are some of the the key points, maybe like two, three, four ensuring I land in the inbox?
Josh Behr: Making sure that you're sending to engage subscribers. Making sure that the email that you're sending actually makes sense. You don't want to send emails to people that have just purchased maybe in the last two weeks or 30 days depending on the product that you're selling online.
Josh Behr: You want to make sure you're doing it the right way and building your emails list and cleaning it the right way. You just don't want to just send it to every single person at every single moment. Every time you had an idea in your head like, "Oh no, I'll just send this out as an email."
Josh Behr: Obviously making sure that you are doing some emails in plain text. And the biggest thing is storytelling in the email. Not every email that you send needs to sell a product. You need to sell your brand in the email. So five reasons.
Josh Behr: One of the lines I work on is a swimsuit line. So hey, we have a suit for every fit, great, let's explain our sizing and our fit guide and all these other wonderful things about why our brand is so great. And then you just sell without selling.
Kurt Elster: I love that line, sell without selling. And again, like that is a common theme among people who are really successful with email marketing. And I think that's why the really successful email marketers have such a focus on the welcome series because that's your time to really introduce people to the brand and build that relationship and that's what it is.
Kurt Elster: It is a customer relationship between two people is how you should look at it. Basic question, how often should I be sending emails?
Josh Behr: We send emails anywhere from three to four times a week. Obviously depending on time of year and the seasonality of the product sometimes. But we're sending emails anywhere from three to four times a week.
Kurt Elster: Okay. How do I know when I'm sending too many emails?
Josh Behr: I would say if you're not seeing good open rates. And I would say if your open rates start hovering closer to 20%, you may want to quickly start looking at what you're sending, who you're sending it to and how often you're sending your emails and what you're putting in those emails.
Josh Behr: I would look for anywhere from around 30% open rates, I'd say you're sending good emails. That's how I look at it.
Kurt Elster: I got to say, we've been talking for 20 minutes. The first 20 minutes of this episode may possibly be the most value packed episode of this show ever. There's just so much wisdom and a hard one experience that you have shared with people.
Kurt Elster: It's possible that you will dramatically change a few people's businesses just with this episode. Truly.
Josh Behr: What's funny Kurt, is I'm becoming more and more friendly with people that are in the industry. Obviously through your Facebook group and there's other groups and Twitter and things of that nature and nobody cares about email marketing.
Josh Behr: They'll spend so much money in Facebook and they're retargeting and they're remarketing, but they have this wonderful tool that they don't want to use and they don't want to build out. And that's what is in my mind.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, well I think it's shiny-toy syndrome. Email's been around forever. Everybody gets, the average person gets like 150 emails a day. It's not fun or sexy, but it is practical, it is tactical and I could tell you if we went and looked through, did revenue attribution for my top 10 clients, I guarantee 100% of them, number one channel would be email. I mean it's just, to overlook or sleep on email, you're shooting yourself in the foot
Josh Behr: 1000% and I think people would be surprised if they just put probably maybe two to three days into getting all their flows set up and things of that nature. I think they would be so happy with how they see their Facebook results because they're going to see the attribution in there as well and there'll be wanting to grow their business. I think it would really help people grow their businesses successfully.
Kurt Elster: And you mentioned in terms of apps or tools, you are clearly you're using Shopify, Privy, Klaviyo. Do you have any other favorites?
Josh Behr: Those would probably my three favorites. I use Nosto on a few sites, which I like for the product recommendations. So I'm seeing some success there. But those are like my three core apps that I use.
Josh Behr: And by the way, you actually saved me. So I actually owe you a thank you. I installed Rewind a couple months ago because of listening to you and I needed it and thankfully I had it.
Kurt Elster: I don't know if this would surprise people, but I'm fairly risk averse. Like I'm Mr. Safety really. And so I love backups, I love having a safety net. And I think it's because at my core I'm a bit of an anxious person and having those things brings me some peace of mind.
Kurt Elster: And we've certainly had situations where a client goes, "Hey, I accidentally deleted this collection." And it's like, something where it's like there were 20 filters and rules to power the thing or "We accidentally deleted a whole bunch of products because we screwed up our spreadsheet upload."
Kurt Elster: So like at this point when people go, "Oh, what are the must have apps?" I'm like, "Okay, there's really only one must have and it's Rewind because it starts at free and it's going to save you some headache down the road."
Kurt Elster: If you never use it, fantastic. It means you never screwed up. But as soon as you have that moment you're like, "Oh thank God I installed that thing like three years ago or whatever it was." And yeah, I like all the, it's totally genuine. They're not sponsoring this episode. I mean it has saved me several times so I'm grateful for it.
Josh Behr: I can test to that.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Okay. You've dropped a ton of value there. Any other bits of wisdom, tactic, strategy, anything else you want to share, set the record straight on, whatever it is before we jump into this hoverboard story?
Josh Behr: The last thing is just another tactic as you're using these Privy popups, whether it's welcome flow or it's the abandoned cart series. If your audience size is big enough, you can obviously as they're not purchasing, sink your Klaviyo audience back into Facebook and retarget them with the right messaging saying, "Hey, just so you know, your coupon is about to expire."
Josh Behr: And you can use it and remarketing your Facebook and just targeting them with the right messaging based upon what this campaign could have, not have and push them that way.
Kurt Elster: So to break it down for people who haven't played with this feature, because this is another one of those like really overlooked Klaviyo features. I feel is you could set up your listed segments in Klaviyo and you can then sync those to Facebook as custom audiences and then it's not like a onetime thing, it'll update automatically over time.
Kurt Elster: So you could create a segment for people who are in my cart abondoner flow and then I could sync that as a custom audience to Facebook called cart abandoners. And then that way the offers that I'm giving in my email are going to match up to the offers they're seeing on Facebook. And then of course your remarketing on Facebook is significantly cheaper than dealing with cold traffic.
Kurt Elster: And you want to increase the total number of touch points will always, always have a positive effect on conversions. So if you're not doing this, it's such an easy win and they make it so easy to set up.
Josh Behr: They do. And I believe the audiences are actually updating every day, which makes it that better.
Kurt Elster: Yeah I know. I wasn't sure how often it updates, but it updates automatically. Daily sounds good to me. Okay. Tell me about the time you sold a whole bunch of hoverboards.
Josh Behr: So back in 2015 came, we were working in a apparel company and someone came to the owner of the company and said, and at this time by the way, I was a controller. So I was the accountant of the company. And someone came to him and said, "Hey, I got this really hot product." And we were starting to hear about it. And we said, "Hmm, we should look into doing this."
Josh Behr: So we started looking around and we realized that we could do it. We had a really good competitive advantage where we were probably, I think we were only one of two companies that could air the hoverboard in from China, two day air to your door.
Kurt Elster: Quite the competitive advantage.
Josh Behr: Quite the competitive advantage. So we're not worrying about putting it on a boat, taking speculation upfront. So we started testing this in October. I think we launched October 5th or October 7th of 2015 because you remember these things when you go through such great wars.
Josh Behr: And we slowly started seeing sales increase. And at this time the only thing we were running was Google AdWords. We didn't know anything about Facebook or anything to that extent. We didn't understand email the way we do today.
Josh Behr: So we had one Ad in Google AdWords that at the time was just winning the day, day after day. And as we were growing we were like, "What do we do? Do we buy more, do we not buy more?" And we sat around a table with few people and we said, "We got to go for it."
Josh Behr: And we started growing. And on black Friday, we dropped the price from 399 to 368, don't ask me how we came up with 368 but that was the price that we used. And on black Friday we did 1.1 million and then we said, "Wow, this is a lot of fun. This is great. How do we continue?"
Josh Behr: On Cyber Monday, we ended up doing $5.5 million in hoverboards and I believe at the time it was the largest store day ever in Shopify history.
Kurt Elster: That's crazy.
Josh Behr: Crazy. All based upon having one Ad working inside of Google AdWords. And we ended up being SEO one, which obviously helps as well. And the business just continued to take off until December 11th when the government said, "No more. Nobody can sell hoverboards anymore. We're not allowing it." And they shut down the whole business on us on December 11th.
Kurt Elster: And that was kind of like they were exploding in like airplane luggage, right?
Josh Behr: They were exploding in people's houses, house fires. People were falling and getting hurt, breaking wrists. I think I almost broke my wrist going on a hoverboard my first time. So they stopped the sales and they stopped our business.
Kurt Elster: Oh geez. That was to hurt where it's like you've got this tiger by the tail, you've had this really overnight success with it. And if it's all based off a single Ad, you've only scratched the surface. And of course like it's a flash in the pan thing. It's a trendy thing. Flash in the pan was the wrong phrase for a thing that exploded.
Josh Behr: Exactly.
Kurt Elster: Unintentional I apologize. And from there, like what was that like? Were you crestfallen or did you just say, "Okay, we saw the potential, we got to go on it, we got to move to the next thing. We've got to fight this." What happened?
Josh Behr: So we saw the great opportunity that e-commerce was. It was like our first real foray into e-com. And we said, "Okay, we now need to see what else we could do." So we started looking through the market, and we started seeing these kids wearing LED light-up sneakers and we're like, "All right, let's give it a try. What do we have to lose?"
Josh Behr: And next thing you know, I think in the first month I think we did almost a million dollars in the first month of selling LED light-up sneakers. And that was our next foray into e-com selling light-up sneakers on a company called Harbor Kicks. And I think we turned into one of the biggest LED light-up sneaker people in the country, maybe the world.
Kurt Elster: So I think to have like, I've had a few viral websites, but for every one viral success we had, there were at least a dozen just complete flops. You managed to capture lightning in a bottle twice in a row.
Josh Behr: In a row.
Kurt Elster: What's the secret there?
Josh Behr: The secret there was following Google trends to see what's hot, what people are looking for.
Kurt Elster: Clever. Okay.
Josh Behr: And then based upon our relationship with China, you start getting an idea of just talking to people, what's working, what's selling, what people start starting to make a lot of. And that's how we started capturing lightning in a bottle. But we also failed a few times as well where we thought we could just do anything after catching lightening in a bottle twice. It doesn't always work that way, but our wins that definitely succeeded our losses.
Kurt Elster: What do you think is the biggest disappointment? Not necessarily like the biggest loser but the one where you thought you just were so convinced it would be bigger than it was.
Josh Behr: So we started a company called Rye Genesis, and it was electric skateboards, electric bikes, electric scooters and new hoverboards that had the proper certification. And we were really starting to grow that business. But unfortunately we just could not work out the kinks in our, the electric skateboard.
Josh Behr: And we were very early on the scooter because now within the last year, the electric scooter turned into such a big proponent everywhere. If we just would've gotten it right, we would probably have a huge, tremendous business. And I almost think that we would have caught up and beat Boosted.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Because like when I think electric skateboard, my mind goes immediately to Boosted board. And yeah, I could barely ride my kids along board. And yet I would still know if they weren't four figures, I would totally risk it and try and figure out a Boosted board. It looks like such tremendously dangerous fun.
Josh Behr: So we figured out how to do the Boosted board for under a thousand dollars a month. Yeah, but we figured it out until we couldn't work out the kinks and having a 40% return rate doesn't work out well in electronics.
Kurt Elster: Geez. Yeah.
Josh Behr: So that business was just doomed for failure. Yeah.
Kurt Elster: You've pulled back the curtain and given us these amazing tips and tricks for mastering email marketing. You've told us your favorite apps, you've given us these tremendous war stories of your wins and successes and even a big L with the electric skateboards. What else, is there anything I'm missing?
Josh Behr: Geez. I think this is the biggest thing is that marketers need to do is just story tell more. I think that's the biggest thing that brands can do, is just tell more stories and I think there'll be surprised it doesn't happen overnight, but it will grow their business significantly. The more they storytell then sell.
Kurt Elster: I 100% agree with that. What are some of the resources you would recommend? Like it's easy to say, "Hey, you got to tell more stories." But until you have that experience with it, until you get some ideas behind it, like this is hero's journey, that kind of stuff. What would you recommend? Where, where should people start or where do you go to stay on top of this stuff?
Josh Behr: We're telling story behind the brand, the design, the person designing the brand, where he came from, his journey through either 10, 15, 20 years depending on the designer. Telling why it's so important. The love, the care that they put into it.
Josh Behr: People love this stuff. People buy into the story of the brand, which is why they buy it. There's so many competitors and there's so many people doing it, they need to feel attached to it. So anything that you could do to tell it, showing right real users in the user generated content.
Josh Behr: My biggest win in Facebook, where we are sometimes we spend 10, $15,000 on photo shoots and my biggest win is a real person in the bathing suit. That's what sells.
Kurt Elster: Well, how long have you been doing this? So like you had that big success, you said 2015 you were a CPA, so you've only been in digital marketing for a few years?
Josh Behr: That's it.
Kurt Elster: How did you get up to speed?
Josh Behr: A lot on my own. I would take a bus in and out of the city so sit there reading articles, YouTube, really have never paid for course ever. It was just all about just diving in, trying to understand what everything in Google analytics meant, these roadmaps, attribution and I still learn to this day. I'm not perfect, I'm not the best, I just outwork everybody. That's my key to success. Just put in the work and you will succeed. And just be willing to try and lose and continue to move on.
Kurt Elster: I love your mindset and your approach. Like clearly you've got abundance mentality where you're, a lot of people will be like, "You can't share the secrets. It's going to help our competitors." Who cares, right? And you're saying, "Hey, I don't have to be the best, but I just have to work hard. I got to put in the work and outlast everybody." And that's it. It's true.
Josh Behr: It's true. And believe it or not, if you ask people for help or you don't understand something, so many people are out there willing to help you. Not everybody. There are some people that do have that mentality where like, "You can't let it out this secret."
Josh Behr: There are no secrets. If you want to find the answer, it's out there. You just have to put in the work to find it and maybe 50 people say, "No." Maybe you'll find that one person that will say, "Yes." And can help you with things.
Kurt Elster: As they teach a journalism school, if you don't ask, you don't get.
Josh Behr: That's 100% accurate.
Kurt Elster: Let's say you had to go back to 2015 and you can give yourself a single piece of advice, the time vortex opens, you have maybe 15 seconds to give yourself some advice. What's the one thing you'd tell yourself?
Josh Behr: Email marketing on the hoverboard, we would have tripled the business.
Kurt Elster: It's really like the theme here is even though we know email marketing is successful, you think you're doing it, invest more in it.
Josh Behr: Invest more time, energy, and effort into it, it will grow your overall business. It's not an accident.
Kurt Elster: Fantastic. Josh, where could people go to learn more about you?
Josh Behr: They could find me on Twitter @Jbehr919. They can find me on Instagram at the same handle. I'm in your Facebook group and as people have questions more than happy to help where I can, I'm a free resource for people to use.
Kurt Elster: Cool. So yeah, when this post is live in our Facebook group, Unofficial Shopify Podcast Insiders on Facebook, just comment on it and we'll make sure Josh is tagged. So if you've got questions, comments, or just want to say, "Hey, thank you for sharing." Please do. I know we both appreciate it and Josh will be there to answer your questions.
Kurt Elster: Josh, this has been tremendous. Thank you so much.
Josh Behr: Thank you.