Post Status Draft – Omnisend’s Greg Zakowicz Discusses E-commerce Trends in Email Marketing, SMS, and Push NotificationsPost Status Draft


In this podcast episode, Cory Miller welcomes Greg Zakowicz from Omnisen to discuss the effectiveness of various marketing channels such as email, SMS, and web push messages. They explore the increasing impact of SMS marketing, especially during peak shopping periods, and the growing trend of automation in marketing communications. Greg shares insights from Omnisen annual report, emphasizing the success of behavior-based automated messages in driving sales. They also discuss the simplicity of starting with SMS marketing and the potential of web push notifications. The episode concludes with an offer for Post Status listeners to try Omnisen and a reminder of the accessibility and support provided by the Omnisen team.

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Top Takeaways:

  • SMS Marketing Growth: SMS marketing is experiencing significant growth, with a 396% increase in 2021 over 2020. Greg emphasizes the importance of leveraging SMS as a valuable marketing channel.
  • Web Push Notifications: Web push notifications have shown a 27% year-over-year lift, and the growth of using push messages has been consistent. Automation plays a key role in the effectiveness of push notifications, with 21% of all automated push message orders coming from 3% of the sends.
  • Automation Impact: Automated messages, whether through email, SMS, or push notifications, are highly impactful. For instance, 41% of all email orders come from automated emails, despite comprising only 2% of sends. Greg suggests focusing on high-intent messages, such as welcome, cart abandonment, and browse abandonment.

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Corey Miller (00:00:02) – Hey, everybody, welcome back to Post Status Draft. Um, I’ve got a great interview today with Greg Zakowicz from Omnisen. Ah, one of our newest, uh, business members at Post Status. And as I’ve talked to members of your team there, Greg, uh, I’ve been excited for this conversation. And I know we’re going to have others with members of the, um, the Omnisen team. And, uh, but I’m excited about having this conversation because it’s one it’s one of my favorite topics, email marketing. So, uh, Greg, could you introduce yourself, tell us your role at Omnisen. And thanks.

Greg Zakowicz (00:00:40) – Yeah, thanks for thanks for having me, Corey. I’m definitely not the coolest person at the company, but we do have some awesome people in the company. So, uh, thanks for that. So my name is Greg  Zakowicz. I’m an e-commerce expert, whatever that means at Omnisen. So pretty much I’m digging into our customer’s data, right. What they’re doing, I’m following trends in the industry and trying to figure out.

Greg Zakowicz (00:01:00) – And show companies how they can take those trends, how they can use those opt-in channels like email, SMS, push messages and the like to maximize their sales on there. So that’s pretty much what I’m doing every day. I do a lot of this stuff, right? Podcasts and YouTube and uh, and the like. So we’re all over the place here. But, uh, Omnisen is a fantastic company. They they don’t pay me to say that, but they do pay me so.

Corey Miller (00:01:26) – Well, I know before we started the call, I got to get a little bit about your background and the data and analytics that I’m really eager to. You mentioned you all have an Omnisen, uh, annual report where you, uh, surface great data and insights, something you championed. I know, and I’m really eager to dive into that. Our, uh, audience here and members that Post Status are skews a little bit more technical than me. Um, but I like data and analytics specifically about this.

Corey Miller (00:01:56) – So I was talking to somebody at a company that does a ton of this work and sees a lot of this data is really intriguing. So can you share a couple of insights from your annual report that you all do. Uh, that just came out, is that right?

Greg Zakowicz (00:02:10) – Yeah. So, um, it is coming out either tomorrow, two days from now. We’re on the last kind of question we’re trying to debate amongst ourselves, but it’s pretty much finished and we’re ready to roll with it. So we get.

Corey Miller (00:02:24) – To break it. We get to tease.

Greg Zakowicz (00:02:26) – You got to break it, you get the break. And here’s the beauty of it. We don’t gate them right. So you can just go to the website and check the data. You don’t have to give us email addresses and all that cool stuff either. So.

Corey Miller (00:02:35) – Rock on.

Greg Zakowicz (00:02:36) – Yeah. So these reports we do I do a couple of them each year. We do the year end report, which is what we’re doing is we’re taking all the data from our 100,000 plus customers.

Greg Zakowicz (00:02:47) – That sent email, SMS, and web push messages out of the Omnisen platform. And I aggregate this stuff on a lot of spreadsheets, and I have some fun trying to find those trends in there. So we do a year end report, we do a half year check and report, and then we do it Black Friday, Cyber Monday kind of quick report in early December. So you can go back and look at the last four years worth of data if you want. Just kind of see how things are going. So this year’s report. A couple of really cool things that kind of jumped out, right? I’ve been talking about SMS for eight years and it was a slow go of the first few years figure. Now the cost is a little more expensive and that’s really come down the last couple of years. So. Like a year and a half ago. I was saying that if you’re not using SMS, by this time next year, you’re going to be behind your competitors. We’ve crossed that threshold, right? Last year, I think we went up 30 some percent.

Greg Zakowicz (00:03:37) – But the number of SMS is we set. You know, the numbers are going, the orders are coming in from it. They’re still effective. If you look at how brands are using these right, you kind of look at your overall trends and then you look at your key days, right. Cyber Monday, Black Friday, these key shopping days where companies need to suck in revenue. What are the trends with sending emails those days? How are they using SMS? Do they trust it or is it kind of like oh that’s nice to have. That’s cute. But you sit over there type channel SMS blew it out of the water. Right. So you know Black Friday, Cyber Monday those sends went up astronomically proportional to the same day of the year before and compared to the days around it as well. So brands are trusting that brands are leaning into it. Uh, we continue to see automation trends with email, SMS and push messages, but automation and this will be a separate topic. We should dig into this a little bit today.

Greg Zakowicz (00:04:30) – But. The automation of these messages. Is disproportionate to the number of orders it sends versus the number of messages sent or orders generated from messages sent. I mean, disproportionate, right? Kind of gives you an inkling about what you should be doing with your program to kind of get the most bang for the buck, for the least amount of effort and least amount of work there. So those are the two things I would point to. The third, go with web push messages and we’ll talk about sexy marketing and stuff like that today. But web push messages, this thing’s been growing year over year. Uh, you know, this year was kind of a tipping point for it. And it was I think it’s still a somewhat experimental channel. I say that kind of loosely, but companies I mean, we saw this last year, um, 2023 into like 2022 and the 2023, we saw companies kind of figuring out how they wanted to use it. First. It was like send a bunch of them and then the sense kind of came down, but the effectiveness went up and you start to see more in the automation side and things.

Greg Zakowicz (00:05:32) – And I think brands are starting to figure it out and starting to realize that there’s some real money here to be made, and a lot of our competitors aren’t doing it right. So it’s kind of the opportunity. But we sent more push messages last year than we did SMS after even I’m telling you how much SMS went up. So I think that’s an interesting thing to watch over the next 12-18 months is what’s going on with web push messages, and is it right for your brand or right for your, you know, if you’re running an agency, is it right for the brands to recommend those or test out those things and see if it can increase some of that revenue. Uh, exponentially.

Corey Miller (00:06:07) – Well, you know, with some of the economic and business things we’ve seen, particularly in WordPress. But globally, I think, um, it’s imperative that we find the ways to connect with their customers and clients, engage them, um, to come back to buy when they’re ready. And, uh, I see a more and more emphasis of finding these, uh, I guess you could say blue oceans of opportunity to go, okay, here’s another channel to do, to work on and, and and try and, um, this base subject, email marketing, um, is near and dear to my heart because it’s how I grew a company iThemes over ten years.

Corey Miller (00:06:46) – When I left, we had about 500,000 email, uh, emails on our various lists, and we really took care of those lists because it was direct marketing. And I’ve, I’ve said for, for years, if I could show you I’ve had the charts of revenue over ten years, you’d see all these little bumps, all along the way. And I go, well, that was the day we sent an email. So that is a base. But now you’re telling, you know, I’ve seen this to the SMS, and I just haven’t had the opportunity to use SMS as well. My wife does with her marketing agency. But when you add the power of email that I’ve seen firsthand. And then you take a new potential channel that right now is not as developed as some of the other channels we might talk about. Um, I go, wow, that’s opportunity to connect with your customers, your community, to get them to come back. And I see more and more people leveraging it. So it seems such a huge opportunity.

Corey Miller (00:07:46) – Then you add one to my plate, the web pushes and those notifications, and I just go, it’s just like in 2008, somebody told me, hey, you got 1000 people following you on Twitter. And I was like, well, time to engage Twitter. Um, and I think the same way with SMS and push notifications. Now my question, because you see all this data, you know, your customers, you know, when we talk about SMS, my mind just goes to if you have a physical good potentially a software two but a physical good to sell, it’s prime prime time right there. But I got to believe there’s other opportunities B2B, different companies that sell maybe services to leverage these tools to connect back with their customers. What are what are your thoughts and what do you see? Uh, there.

Greg Zakowicz (00:08:31) – So I think you’re spot on, right? If you’re selling a product, it’s a no brainer, right? Even if it’s transactional. Right. So shipping I mean, I got one right before we hop down today, but hey, your package is arriving in about an hour.

Greg Zakowicz (00:08:44) – You know, be on the lookout for it. So I think small things like that. But that’s again, that’s product focused. If you are a say you’re an agency, right. And you’ve got different consulting services, maybe you’ve got an email wing, you’ve got an SEO wing, you’ve got something or uh, you know, you’re a tech company that. You know you have a new customer for. Think about how you can use SMS there, even from an automated fashion to say okay, new customer, they sign up for us, right? Let’s send them a text message at 15 days to see how everything’s going. Give them a. It’s almost like taking your email strategy and applying it to SMS. At that point you could do those check points. You know, everything going all right, or you can have some queues in there and say, hey, we’re not we don’t say sign on for this, but they’re not utilizing these two features, which 95% of our customers do to make them successful.

Greg Zakowicz (00:09:33) – Let’s send them a reminder, see if they need some help so you can send these things off to people and have links to resources or account manager information or whatever. So I think there’s a lot of opportunity there. And this is kind of where it comes in with automation, right? So if you have say a lot of companies will have onboarding email automation set up like hey, you should do this day three you should do this kind of get you up. Use the platform a little more sticky. You know, SMS, web, push notifications. These things work inside of automations as well, so they don’t have to be manually scheduled sends. You can put them in the automation. You can put them in the same automation as the emails as well. So yeah, you could do it from sign up for an email and I’ll sign up for an SMS list. And we’ve got those all in one place. All right. So if you’re using Omnisen, you have all this data one contact. You know what they’re getting.

Greg Zakowicz (00:10:19) – You know what they’re opted into and opted out of or not opted into. You can set that up say okay, we know they’re in SMS. Let’s send them an SMS message here. One hour. We’ll send them an email, you know, 12 hours later or whatever. And you make these things work together. But tons of opportunity like you don’t SMS does not have to be a product specific thing. It can be a business function. It’s just a communication channel. So all it is, right? It’s another communication channel. And I always tell people, right, this was the push back five years ago. I was like, well, I don’t want to annoy my customers. This was the same thing with like browser abandonment emails, right? You check out something, you don’t cart a product, but then you leave like we all do, and you get the emails like, hey, we noticed you checking out, blah blah blah. But those messages messages are huge. But people used to say, oh, I don’t want to know my customers.

Greg Zakowicz (00:11:03) – I don’t want to send that to them. And I’d always say, what, are you going to send them a message anyway? So like, well, of course we are like, you segment every single one of your messages and I’m like, no. So would you rather send them a non segmented, possibly generic irrelevant email? Or would you rather send them a message that is completely relevant to what they were just doing. They’re like, well, I guess it’s a good point that SMS is the same way, right? No one doesn’t text. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t text. Right? So my mother gets SMS marketing messages. She’s a boomer. She is not tech savvy by any stretch of the imagination, but she gets them right. So it’s not a demographic cohort conversation anymore. Like we’ve jumped that shark, um, cross that bridge. It just fits people. And I think you just got to look at how do we messages our company, whatever we’re messaging.

Greg Zakowicz (00:11:53) – And that’s a it’s a channel. You just need to truncate your messaging a little bit. Right. You’re limited to characters which sometimes makes it easier or just simplify your messaging.

Corey Miller (00:12:02) – Well there. There’s so much there I want to comment on. But one one thing I’ve observed within the WordPress industry, particularly in software, uh, side of it, but I’d extend it out to agencies working with their clients too, is, you know, the transactional. Got it. They’ll send that, you know, and there’s numerous companies. I’m thinking about who my friends own and lead and I go, oh my God, you’ve left so much money on the table because you there’s this I think you get this. There’s this tendency to think marketing is evil. You know, that I’ve seen particularly in WordPress, uh, in, in our Post Status memberships, my friends over the years and even on my own team at iThemes, um, hesitancy about doing marketing. I go, hey, if we believe in the product we’re doing, I believe we have a responsibility to ourselves and our people.

Corey Miller (00:12:58) – It could help to send that. And that’s marketing to me. You can, you can get way off the rails with it. But to just utilize people, it’s remarkable. People want to hear from you. You’re a brand that that does something in their lives. And so it’s not just it’s that transition, um, transition from transition. Wait, what’s the word? Trends transactional to transformational. And you can do that with these tools. With these platforms you’re talking about. Like it. I see the web pushes all the time. I want to see that in a second. And I’m like, nope, block, block, block. But there that doesn’t mean there’s other people to go, yes, yes, yes yes, yes. And the fact that SMS is the one, I thought we’d spend more of our time talking about today. And I go, well, now we got web pushes and I need to think about that because the value of getting a person on your site. Engaging them where they don’t just leave and jump off into an email, uh, list that has great, you know, uh, probably a combination automated and then putting good content out to them that makes their lives better.

Corey Miller (00:14:07) – And then utilizing these two, seeing how you could utilize the word push and SMS, I think is vital for it’s just table stakes. Now, um, with social being, you know, the social platforms have grown. I saw all these kind of grow up and dominate and I go, those are great. Those need to be there. We need to be there too. But I go, there’s nothing that, uh, can. Bridged the gap of just having a connection to your customer. We call them customer community. So hey, we’re going to help them. We want to stay in contact with them. We’re not just blasting them with spam and other things, but to kind of wade into that. I just want to say that that’s a personal like, um, uh, preaching box thing of like, how much is weight? How much opportunity is wasted because of this kind of little belief of like, oh, we can’t we can’t do that it’s spammy.

Greg Zakowicz (00:14:56) – Well, I think it’s an awesome, like approach to have. Right. So, you know, you think about different marketing channels and they’re all great. Right? I’m not gonna not gonna put down social media marketing because I discover products on social media. I buy products and social media. But no one goes to social media because like, oh, can’t wait to see what ad I got today, right? I want to see what my friends are posting on Instagram, or I want to see what the cool. You know, the funny thing on TikTok is, whatever it might be, I think the one thing where you talk about like, hey, people view marketing is, is evil, or they’re scared to promote themselves or their product. Like the thing to think about with any sort of opt in channel. So email, SMS push is just that. It’s an opt in channel. Consumer has given you not only permission, but they have raised their hand to say, yes, I want you to market to me. I was I was jokingly say, just give them what they want, right? Give them the market, they want the marketing messages.

Greg Zakowicz (00:15:53) – But in some fashion it’s true. It’s they’re expecting the messages to come. That is their indication to you that that’s the channel they like and that’s you know, we saw it with stats with the Black Friday, Cyber Monday right across the board. Last year, open rates for email went up. Um, which normally you don’t always see, especially as you get more messages sent, sometimes more messages sent. You see a natural decline here. We saw an increase last year across the board, 23 billion marketing emails. By the way, this is not a small sample size. But the value there and what that tells us, and especially during the holiday, we saw it creep up even more around kind of that November into December period is it might not be the sexiest channel, right? It’s been around for 20 years because I’ve been doing it for 20 years. So it’s kind of lost that like that new shine. But it’s effective and it’s a place that people turn to it. They know they’re going to get offers there.

Greg Zakowicz (00:16:49) – They know that they can discover new products or see what’s back in stock or whatever it is. And that is something that holds a lot of power to it. Uh, to your other point, you said like, yeah, web push messages, you get them all time, you hit no no no no, no, but someone’s out there hitting yes. I mean, we sent, I think, the number off the top of my head, 266 million web push messages last year. Um, like, that’s a lot of messages. I would look at it this way. A lot of people will sign up for email. Email might be their jam, might just be a place they’re signing up to get a discount because they want to purchase from you. That’s all fine, right? Money’s money. They’re going to continue checking it some more frequently than others. People signing up for SMS. You probably have fewer people signing up for SMS than email because emails you can kind of it’s not as intrusive, you know, quote unquote intrusive because you can not check your promotions folder or just kind of open it when you want a text.

Greg Zakowicz (00:17:42) – No one’s leaving a text on read, right, because they don’t want that bubble there. So they’re going to look at it, you know. So you probably have fewer but those fewer people are going to be more engaged with you. I would say with the same thing with web push, kind of that trickle down effect, right? Web push might not be great for you for particular brands, but that one time you say, yes, that’s a brand you love. You have an affinity for. Now you’re committing to it that can drive sales. So you can look at those and say, okay, we’ve got people here that are subscribed to Web Push. These are people that are probably really engaged with our brand. What can we do? Maybe you discount less. Maybe you discount, give them a little bonus. Maybe you drop off and send them fewer emails. But you supplement that with web push messages because you know they’re on your site or you know you can get them back to your site easier.

Greg Zakowicz (00:18:25) – So there’s a lot of opportunity to do with that. But it’s a different way to think about it. Rather than just saying, yep, they opted in. Let’s send a message. Well, who is that person you’re sending a message to? That’s probably a really engaged person. Can we you know, maybe that’s where you want to prompt people to write reviews for your products or your services or your company because, you know, they’re probably more likely to leave you a review, which is obviously good for everyone involved. So there are a lot of opportunity there. But I want to want to say that because there is kind of a trickle down with like how the channel and then how engaged that person is via that channel with your brand.

Corey Miller (00:19:00) – That keyword you’ve said multiple times is engaged. And that just lit up for me. I go, yes. And just because we have a bias that we don’t like, I particularly don’t ever say yes to the push push notifications doesn’t mean others do don’t too. And not letting that bias hold us back from potential growth, because there is a segment that wants to stay engaged with what you’re doing and to just kind of own up to that and try not to let the bias affect it.

Greg Zakowicz (00:19:37) – Well, I’ll give you a good story on that. And it’s quick, and you’re probably hate me for it because I go on tangents and I tell I give long answers, but I love it here, so bear with me here. So this is going to be an SMS story. But this is exactly the point you just mentioned. So SMS adoption for a few years is always somewhat difficult because people would believe the generational core thing. Oh, we don’t have a young audience. They don’t want a texting is only for young people. And then you realize that everyone texts and it’s like, okay, so there was a company this. That I was talking to the owner and he was having massive success. And I go, so talk to me about like the evolution of this thing. And he’s like, well. We didn’t think. I thought it was a perfect brand. They sell like like, nice wigs and stuff like that. So, um, younger demographic, they have middle aged demographic, right? It’s kind of this whole, you know, aesthetic type, uh, thing to it.

Greg Zakowicz (00:20:30) – So to me, I look at it and go, that’s a perfect brand for like sweet spot. He was completely skeptical of it. He was like, I don’t think I got the audience. I don’t think it’s right for us. We do really well with email. I don’t need to do this. We do a lot of paid social and they figure, what the hell, what do I have to lose by adding a mobile number field to my pop up along with the email? Right. And I always tell brands, this is what if you ask them and they don’t opt in and you get no one, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re not out anything. But it’s a pretty good sign. Maybe that’s not right for your audience, whatever it is. But if you ask it. So eight months. Uh, I think he had 80,000 SMS subscribers in eight months, 120,000 in SMS revenue that did not come from this was on top of in addition to it’s not cannibalize his email did not cannibalize, but he was able to remarket via SMS and email, which is a lot cheaper than paid ads and brought the ad cost down.

Greg Zakowicz (00:21:29) – Right. So he doesn’t have to spend, you know, $75 to a buck 50 per lead on Instagram if they abandon their cart or whatever to retarget them and come back, because now we just sends this other message for $0.02 or $0.03, uh, or free if it’s email. Right. And you just got the paid thing there and it gets them back. So you cut down on those other costs as well. So. Sometimes there’s simplicity. Just saying. If you just ask them, you know, they’ll tell you what they want.

Corey Miller (00:21:56) – Well, it’s a little hurdle for an experiment to see. Could I bolt on more revenue and serve our customers better by doing these very simple things and just trying them and being okay with pulling it back. Okay, so your SMS story loved it. Totally want to dig into that for a minute. Then I want to get to web pitches. Um, okay. So. SMS I think about. I’m just curious what the report and things that stood out. Specifically.

Corey Miller (00:22:24) – You shared a couple of things with us, like it was up 30%. Um, all of the messages that, um, got sent with SMS. What stands out to you? What are you seeing from customers? How you know best practices, things that have gone well for people where you just shared one of them. Anything that comes out of the data you’ve been working on, um, around SMS or even a practical approach to starting SMS, all of that, I think is, um, such a you’ve shown there’s an opportunity here that our members and for their clients and customers need to explore. And I want to kind of push in on SMS first and to get to web push. Web push.

Greg Zakowicz (00:23:00) – Awesome. Yeah. So I just navigated over to the report, which just kind of stood in front of me. So I said 30%. It’s 57, 58% year over year growth. Uh, and this comes off of last year, which was up 62% from the year before, which the year before was up 75%.

Greg Zakowicz (00:23:14) – So you can just kind of see. Exponential figures. So here’s the thing. The growth is huge. That’s the one thing I look at. Um, the other thing I look at is. So the use of automation, right for SMS purposes. So I can give you the same kind of story with automated email, which I think we should definitely talk about just for a second at some point today, because it’s even larger than this. But automated messages across the board perform better than your scheduled campaigns do. Right there. Just we talked gave you the story before. I was like, well, are you going to send an irrelevant email to some people? Right. Automated messages are all behavior based. So sign up for an email or sign up for a program. I abandon a shopping cart. I visit your site and bounce. I make a purchase, right? We can automate messages based on that individual experience to the individual. It stands to reason they perform better than they do. An SMS is really no exception here.

Greg Zakowicz (00:24:08) – So there’s two things I look at and I’ll give you a. Kind of a. Perspective of what this looks like. Right? So the conversion rate on a. Scheduled SMS messages 0.13. And how we figure that out as we just do orders divided by messages sent. So we’re not looking at look click activity there. It’s different metrics. So 0.13 for campaigns 0.28 for automations more than double right. It just goes to show you that obviously there’s fewer messages sent but it’s still in the millions. Uh, overall total number of orders, all SMS messages combined 26% of all orders came on automated messages accounted for 13% of the sentence. Right. So we have more orders with fewer sends. So if I’m a agency that has clients that are doing email marketing, even if you’re just doing, you know, marketing yourself, and I want to encourage you to do SMS, I go, okay, if you want a place to start, start with automations. Just only send automated SMS, right? Put them in your automated workflows and figure out if the personalized messages which you’re not sending every time.

Greg Zakowicz (00:25:17) – You’re just setting it up once and let it go. Do they work for you? That’s one indication that, you know, we can maybe expand this out, send some individual just schedule kind of like batch and blast messages. You can still segment out SMS by the way. So um, so that’s a place I would start. Use the automations, use the data your tool and say okay, let me put it in here. Figure out a place to use it, test it, let it run. Let’s see how it works for us. Um, as far as getting started, it’s simple. If you’ve got an email collection, ask for an SMS, make it optional. Don’t make them put their mobile number in completely optional on there, but just ask for it. And if they sign up, it’s an indication. Now I’m going to show Omnisen here for a second because there’s a couple of different ways you can do this. We obviously have pop up forms in all sorts of forms exit intent and everything inside the platform itself.

Greg Zakowicz (00:26:04) – But we also have you can AB test so you can have X percentage of your visitors, get one with a mobile number, X percent without. And you set that percentage whatever you want. And you can see if it impacts your overall email collection rate. If you’re doing that, uh, you can also do micro step forms. So email address first page they submit it. It goes to the second form which is completely optional. Again asking for mobile. So if you want to ask everyone but you don’t want to detract from the email, you could do it that way. And of course you can test that one as well. So uh, simple way to start ask for it. You know, and it’s easy. If you’re looking for a place to start your automation. Welcome. Right. Hey, thanks for signing up for our program. Because, you know, you’re getting it then and you can automate that. Welcome out there and kind of drive people over. So that’s what I would say for starting right. Make it simple. Don’t overdo it and just let it go.

Corey Miller (00:26:57) – So your suggestion just so. And by the way, this is a bookmark to follow up with you and on the Omnisen team and say, I want to come back and do a webinar for people just on this subject because we could take the rest of the time just trying to do that. But, uh, I think we presented a compelling case for why to do these things, try these things. Second question is going to be, how do I do it? It feels so overwhelming. But I think you’ve given us given us some simple steps to get started, to at least try. I know we could do a whole webinar, probably just on automated, uh, sends and emails, SMS, etc.. Um. Okay, so that’s some SMS. And I think the data is pretty compelling to me, is like there’s not a lot of risk involved or even cost, I would say, because just like if someone uses word a couple times earlier, engaged, if someone is engaged enough to put their phone number, like I’m kind of guarded with my phone number, but if they’re engaged and interested enough, that’s valuable.

Corey Miller (00:28:01) – That’s worth the pennies. It might, you know, cost to or how much it cost to send a campaign. Because I go, I’m going to get data from this and, and likely some great cells and explore new territory. So okay. Anything else on SMS?

Greg Zakowicz (00:28:17) – I don’t just do it. I would say for starting, like I can literally create a pop up form and create an automation in Omnisen in less than five minutes. And here’s why. We templated stuff for you too. So if you don’t want to get started, you can go to the workflows and say, okay, welcome workflow. You check a button, it boils it down, and you can say, do I want email, SMS or only? And then they’re all customizable, but there’s one for email and SMS, and you click on it and the workflow is created. Then you just plug your message in, right? But you can customize it. So literally less than five minutes you can get this stuff going. So the the barrier is really low on doing this stuff.

Greg Zakowicz (00:28:52) – So you can just explore.

Corey Miller (00:28:54) – Well in attitude. You said like just adding a field, an optional field if you want, um, or a two step form. So that’s something that just like clicked in my mind is like, oh, that was easy. I can see, I can test today, I can run a 30 day experiment and just kind of see, it’s something we need to consider for Post Status itself, by the way, uh, we’ve got a really healthy, uh, newsletter list. It’s one of our big features. Very well read, great open rates and all that. Um, but I’m like, maybe what would it cost us to just see if there’s people that want some updates with SMS, at least try it.

Greg Zakowicz (00:29:33) – Hey, I know a guy.

Corey Miller (00:29:35) – I know a guy, I know a team, I know a company, and I want to talk about Omnisen as a company in just a second, but okay, so thank you for the SMS. Now I want to dive into, um, web pushes.

Greg Zakowicz: Yeah.

Corey Miller (00:29:48) – Yeah. And now if there’s things in the email specific category you want to share, let’s not not forget to go through that. But these two really stick out to me. Um, is I’m curious about it. I think there’s a huge opportunity here that a lot of our members should explore for their clients in themselves. So web pushes.

Greg Zakowicz (00:30:08) – So web pushes.

Corey Miller (00:30:09) – With some data. And trends that you’ve seen that stood out to you.

Greg Zakowicz (00:30:12) – Yeah. So we said, okay, I’ll give you the sand lift. Sand lift doesn’t sound this cool, but let me give you kind of some background. 27% year over year lift and sentence. What that equates to is 60 million more cents last year than a year before. We sent 266 million web push messages last year, uh, to show you the growth of that in 2021 over 2020. The growth was 396%. Following years of 2022, it was 290% so. And then last year, 27%. So really what you look at that you don’t need to know those numbers, but it just shows a 2021 brand started playing with it a little bit.

Greg Zakowicz (00:30:52) – You know, if I imagine this before we saw what the stats at conversion rates and click rates kind of went down that second year, but then kind of leveled off a little bit, uh, because they were figuring out how to use it a little bit more. Right. So the growth is like this, right? It’s up into the right. And I think that’s important to know, because you can’t grow unless people opt into it and you can’t grow unless companies are adopting it. And those are the two things there. So the growth tells me that, yeah, this is a channel that consumers want and it’s going to be right for everyone. The answer is no, right. You you said a lot of times I click no on this stuff. It’s like SMS though I think it’s a matter of time. We’re kind of where SMS was like five years ago, in my opinion, on these things, and I think this is a legit, um, opt-in marketing channel for people. Um, other things I would say here.

Greg Zakowicz (00:31:35) – Right. So we saw open rates. So review rates, some people will look at them. They more than doubled last year to the year before, which we also saw a decline last year because again people were it went from like 27% to 16% last year and now it’s 34%. So, uh, again, brands were getting smarter with how to use them more strategic with that. It makes it more engaging people, you know, they’re not getting hit over the head with it. So they’re engaging with it more. Um, and then conversion rates are holding pretty steady year over year. So again, normally when you get this influx and sends a lot of times your other metrics come down, we didn’t necessarily see that here. Let’s go the automation real quick. I gave you that 26- 13% number with SMS marketing, right. Driving those things. So 21% of all automated push or all push message orders came from automation and the total number of cents was 3%. So 21% of all orders on push came from 3% of the cents.

Greg Zakowicz (00:32:36) – Right. So again this is we’re using the the behavior based automation comes in for you. And then you know conversion rates right. You go from a campaign a just a scheduled one. So .04 percent conversion rate for those automations is almost 0.4%. So you know, ten times more. So it just gives you an idea of again, use automation to your advantage. More orders, fewer messages, less work, more engagement. Right. And it’s working in the background. You’re not doing that stuff. And that’s really where to take advantage of it. In my opinion. It’s not going to be right for every message. It’s not going to be right for every brand. But I think again, you want to play with it. You want to find those areas. I think Carter Barnum is a perfect example, right? If you are a product or you have customers who sell products like Carter Barnum is a perfect example, might be able to do it for just reengaging to again, if you’re an agency or developer or something and they visit a certain page on your site, right, like, hey, could we know if they’re on this page, they’ve got a higher intent than the rest, right? You can track those things.

Greg Zakowicz (00:33:41) – We just get them to come back, send them a push message the next day or 12 hours later or 3 hours later, whatever it is. So, um, you know, again, kind of bringing it back, a lot of message sends, but that’s continuing up into the right every year. Brands are and consumers are adopting it. And automation. That’s your moneymaker right there. Right. So play around with how to use it. I don’t think it’s going to be right for every single message, every automated message. But again, figure out your brand and like, okay, how was a user or a someone considering purchasing from me. Where would I find value in it? Right. And that’s where you want to put it. You want to put it where you’re going to deliver value to people.

Corey Miller (00:34:19) – Absolutely. And I was actually looking on the, uh, uh. The push notifications feature on your site. And, uh, because what instantly comes this is one we got to do the webinar, Greg, is um, oh gosh, what do I send an automated.

Corey Miller (00:34:36) – It’s a big question. And then now I’ve got three different things emails. And I saw just a little screenshot of okay, this message could be for email SMS push notification if you want. And so I want to follow up with you on that is like the details, the practical. What would I put in the automated messages. Because I totally, 100%, 1,000% agree with you. And I think everybody does. When something can be automated that produces results and can be reviewed, analyzed for even tweaking the knobs on that to make it better, that’s key. I think one thing are people will probably, uh, mention is, okay, now tell me what. And that’s why you you engage a great marketing firm potentially too. But, uh, the follow up for that, I think would be key because, you know, these these two new areas, new-ish areas for me at least SMS, some push notifications I think are really compelling. And and you’ve stated great case for that. Anything else about the report. Anything else we love table. And I want to ask about Omnisend Omnisend itself.

Greg Zakowicz (00:35:41) – Yeah. So I’ll give you some. Let’s put SMS and push messages together real quick. So as I’m going through the data I’m like, oh, this is interesting. So what about brands who are not using SMS or push messages? Either. They’re just using email and I go, how many orders are they leaving on the table in 2023? Our customers, it’s almost 500 million. So half a billion orders almost would have been up for grabs. Now you could have capture that via email retargeting still, and you could have captured it via social retargeting, still paid search. Whatever you’re spending money on to capture them might cost you $.02 or $0.03 to send an SMS message. Pretty good. Return there to get that order back, right? Maybe the same thing for a push message. So half a billion orders left on the table if you’re just doing email that. You would have either had to pay to recapture or organically recapture, or they go to your competitor.

Greg Zakowicz (00:36:38) – Right. So to me, it’s a compelling number that’s going to go up next year. Right. But that’s one of those things, I think for email. All right. We can do that webinar. We’ll talk about, you know, types of messages. I’ll give you two stats on email here. So we talked about open rates and stuff going up. So email is still a place people go for product discovery. Let’s talk about automation. Those numbers real quick. 41% of all email orders last year came from automated emails. Guess how many? What percentage of sends?

Corey Miller (00:37:10) – Well, I’m probably biased because you let me know. It’s probably not as high as the automated. So I’m gonna say I’m gonna use the bias and I’m gonna say 30%.

Greg Zakowicz (00:37:20) – 2% of sends, 41% of orders on 2% of sons. That is huge, right? So when I was years ago, when I was consulting companies, um, my goal was always to utilize the automation as best we can. And I would try to get you from 20% to 40% of your email revenue, that brand’s marketing revenue coming from automation.

Greg Zakowicz (00:37:43) – I think if you fit in that 20% to 40% range, which is a big range, but I think you’re you have a successful and healthy program there. Um, so this number that 41 on two very comparable year over year, but that’s a big one, uh, for you. So that’s what I will look at. Now, if you’re looking for a place to start, here’s your hack. Right. Again. We templatize every workflow you can imagine to get you started. Make it easy on you. You can customize any single one of those. Three. Automated messages make up 88% of all those automated orders. Right. So those are going to be your welcome messages, which is a no brainer, right? They sign up a lot of times they sign up for a discount. But that’s a point, uh where they’re engaged cart abandonment, which again, you could probably guess they’re very close. They’ve identified. So it makes tons of sense there. And then browse abandonment slash product abandonment.

Greg Zakowicz (00:38:33) – Right. So they’re on your website. They check a specific product or category products. They leave like most people do without carting a product. We can target those people with, like, hey, we saw you checking out or, you know, come back and check this out. Those three messages, 88% of all automated orders. So if you’re looking for a place to start low hanging fruit, pick one of those. Right. And I would probably go welcome because it’s easy you know. Their there card abandonment. Next could swap those two things though really because there’s close to cash right there right there to close the deal. It’s a good place to start with web push messages to write if you’re okay giving them a discount on an email, cut the discount in half and give it to them while they’re in the car and be like, hey, next ten minutes, check out here you go, right and see if it helps. Conversion rates just generally go up and see if that 5% eats ya. browsing product.

Greg Zakowicz (00:39:22) – The thing these things have in common. This is what I encourage people to do regardless of the channel, regardless of the products or services you sell. Where is the intent of the shopper at that particular stage? These three messages are high intent right there. Signing up for a program for a reason. They’re on your website for a reason. The browsing products on your site for a reason, they carted a product for it. These are high intent. So if you follow intent anywhere on your site, any type of message, you’re going to have more success there than with other messages in other areas. So that’s a place to start where I would go like hack a welcome cart, browse, boom.

Corey Miller (00:39:58) – I love that. Close to cash, close to intent. Those are pretty profound. You’ve given us three paths to start on. Look at. Well, thank you, Greg, for all of that. It’s fantastic. I think I’m going to say this just to people listening now and in the future.

Corey Miller (00:40:15) – I hope this is shared enough for you. Just dig in and say, what would it look like? Take some initial first steps to explore email, SMS or pushes all three of these and, uh, potentially find another great revenue stream that supports your business and engages and helps your customers. So that’s my PSA for all of Post Status as all of WordPress actually two. It kills me when I see wasted opportunity that’s really, really easy and at our fingertips. Um, okay. So Greg, real quick, I just want to ask about what you’re excited. Well, first I want to ask about Omnisend. One of the reasons I was really excited I’ve talked to several of your team members, uh, about Omnisend is it’s a jewel to me to find an independent team, big team, but an independent team based in Lithuania, obviously with team members around the globe. You’re in Durham, North Carolina. You told me. 

Greg Zakowicz: Yeah. 

Corey Miller: Um, and I love that, you know, MailChimp was the kind of big monster in WordPress for the longest time and loved it.

Corey Miller (00:41:18) – Entrepreneurial founder team, even if it was huge, got bought by Intuit. I lose a little luster from that because I see where this goes. And I know Klaviyo, for instance, I think is either IPO or just gone public. 

Greg Zakowicz: Gone public. Yeah, yeah. 

Corey Miller: And so every time that happens, what I see it over and over is you go up market and you leave people behind because they’re trying to squeeze out every penny. And that’s why I like to root for those independent founder led teams like Omnisend. So tell me a little bit about Omnisend for a second. How long it’s been around team all that kind of stuff give us jazz about that.

Greg Zakowicz (00:41:52) – Yeah. So I’ve been in this space through acquisitions as well. And exactly what you said right up market revenue streams, every possible place and people get left behind. And it’s unfortunate, but it’s kind of a reality here. So I Omnisend said we are what, 13 years in business now? I’ve been with a company for four years. It’s been four awesome years.

Greg Zakowicz (00:42:11) – I’ll be in Lithuania next week, take my annual trip out there. So it’s a beautiful place, I love it. It’ll be a third time out there now. Um, we have about 200 employees. We have 24/7 live customer support. It’s free. Anyone can use it. Even if you’re on Omnisend’s free plan, you have access to 24/7 support, um, response time in under four minutes. And we win awards for our support as well. So shameless plug there. But it’s legit, right? It’s. You need help. We got you covered. Um, the company is night and day from four years ago to today, two years ago to today, and we move with speed. We are customer focused, we have no outside investments. So we say our customers are our bosses, right? If we don’t provide a good product, we don’t provide good support. They’re leaving us for someone else. And. You know they love us. So we’ve got over 100,000 customers globally, and we have plug and play integrations with all your major e-commerce platforms, you know, WordPress, uh, customers.

Greg Zakowicz (00:43:11) – We find a lot of WooCommerce, uh, customers who use us. So, uh, plug and play integration with them. And we’re continuing to build those things out, you know, from, uh, from all over the board. So great company. We make it easy on you, too. I’m not going to make this a huge sales pitch because you can just go to, check out products you can check out there. Uh, we have a free tier, which is free. You know, if you need a paid plan and have a paid plan, but you can have a free plan. We don’t require a credit card to sign up. So if you want to go play with automations and templates and forms and pre-built segments and all that stuff, you have access to that in the free plan as well. We don’t gate that stuff for you. So, uh, you can go check it out. You don’t need a credit card. It’s not gonna, you know, bill you have for 30 days on a free trial.

Greg Zakowicz (00:43:57) – It’s just free for you. If you love Omnisend, we hope you do. Um, and you decide you want a free plan, or you want to bring some of your clients on to a, I’m sorry, a paid plan. Uh, we’ll give you 15% off for three months on your paid plan. Use the code Post Status. Um, and if you want a direct, we’ll. I’m sure put this in the show notes, but a direct link. It’s, so you can find that there. I’ll get that to Corey afterward, but Post Status for 15% off your first three months. Um, there as well. And shameless plug. I’m all over uh, a bunch of our colleagues are we have a YouTube channel where we break a lot of this marketing stuff down, show you examples, and kind of talk through the strategy of the messages there. Pretty short videos, but you can get all sorts of stuff on, like getting started with SMS use. I’ve got one specifically on those three workflows.

Greg Zakowicz (00:44:47) – Uh, we’ve got more coming all the time. So check out our YouTube page. You know, we love it over there.

Corey Miller (00:44:52) – Well, that’s a surprise. Thank you for the discount. That’s awesome. We we in WordPress always love a good discount.

Greg Zakowicz:  Everyone does right?

Corey Miller: Um, and to get started on this, uh, just coming through, I need to go sign that for a free plan. But just going through the sales page and stuff I got, you all have everything. Um, I would want built in, and, uh. Now you’re giving us good reason to go try it out. Greg, thank you so much.

Greg Zakowicz (00:45:18) – It’s an awesome platform. It really is. And I’m not just saying that have been this space for almost 20 years. It’s an awesome platform. They’ve done a great job building, and they get better every single day. Literally.

Corey Miller (00:45:30) – Well that’s fantastic. Um, and thank you for sharing the coupon. We’ll get those in the show notes, too. And thank you and your Omnisend team for becoming members at Post Status.

Corey Miller (00:45:40) – I love that you all are thinking about WordPress value and WordPress and want to step into it and know we’ll be seeing more and more of you all in the community. And frankly, we need it. Um, I, I love our corporate owned business members too, but I really value our entrepreneurial led, uh, founder team that are in the space, too. And, um, for me, it comes back to like, I just like to do business with people I know that I can trust. And, uh, I haven’t talked to you in a couple of team members at Omnisend. I like that connection. I don’t have that at MailChimp and at different places. So, um, that’s great, and thank you for sharing all this about the annual report. I know we are getting to break this. I don’t know if the podcast will come out before the report does, but you’re given this stuff ahead of time and I appreciate you sharing that. And we’ll put the link in the show notes as well.

Greg Zakowicz (00:46:30) – Very good. Corey. Thanks for having me. And, uh, just tell everyone out there we are super friendly at Omnisend, so if anyone is going through things, it has a question. We’re all on social, find us. Contact us, we’ll get you an answer. So, uh, we take pride in being personable.

Corey Miller (00:46:44) – That’s rockin. That’s my jam. Thanks, Greg. And thanks, everybody for listening to this episode of, uh, Post Post Draft. We’ll see you next time.

This article, Post Status Draft – Omnisend’s Greg Zakowicz Discusses E-commerce Trends in Email Marketing, SMS, and Push NotificationsPost Status Draft, was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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