S2 E23: Adam Sharon-Zipser & Nick Kennedy (Elephant Room & Giftnote): Marketing to both the gift giver and gift receiver


On this episode of Retention Chronicles, we’re joined by Adam Sharon-Zipser, Director at Elephant Room & Giftnote, and Nick Kennedy, Head of Client Success & Partnerships at Elephant Room and leading Growth at Giftnote. Elephant Room is an integrated digital agency focusing on building and growing online presences for Australian businesses while Giftnote is helping online brands unlock their giftable revenue. The group chats about;

  • trends from BFCM 2022,
  • performance marketing,
  • big results for startups,
  • the Shopify ecosystem,
  • benchmarks to look at,
  • giftable revenue,
  • marketing to both gift givers and gift receivers,
  • and what converts gifts receivers to first time buyers.

Be sure to subscribe to our pod to stay up-to-date and checkout Malomo, the leading order tracking platform for Shopify brands.

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This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.


gift, nick, brand, shopify, agency, people, retention, bit, customer, clients, platform, crm, big, elephant, media, magento, excited, years, email, ecosystem


Nick Kennedy, Noah Rahimzadeh, Mariah Parsons, Adam Sharon-Zipser

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:05

Hey retention pros. I'm Notre Dame's today and I lead partnerships here at Malomo. I'm super pumped to continue to chat with ecosystem experts alongside Mariah you all already know and love, say hi, Mariah,

Mariah Parsons 00:16

Hey everyone, as you probably no retention Chronicles likes to bring in some of the best retention focus brands in the Shopify ecosystem.

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:24

But we don't just feature grants. We also feature some great thought leaders in the Shopify ecosystem that served us brands.

Mariah Parsons 00:31

And because we always want these conversations to be fun, you'll hear us talk to our guests about what they're excited about, and let's help them get to where they are today.

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:39

We hope you'll stick around to learn and laugh.

Mariah Parsons 00:42

Retention Chronicles is sponsored by Malomo a shipment in order tracking platform improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our episodes at Bo malomo.com.

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:59

Welcome back, everybody to another ecosystem episode of retention Chronicles. Super excited for today's chat. Another really unique one. We're joined by Nick and Adam from Elephant room. Not only his elephant room and E commerce agency focused on the Shopify ecosystem, like many of our past guests have been, but one they're based in Australia, which is awesome. And two, they're launching a Shopify app out of the agency, which is really cool. And I'd love to talk a little bit about some similarities that I'm already seeing between the Malomo founding story and gift note. But we might get into that in a second. But as we do, Nick and Adam, would you like to say hello and introduce yourselves and your roles a little bit?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 01:49

Amazing. Thanks for the intro. So I'm Adam. I'm one of the directors here at elephant er. We started the agency almost nine years ago in February. And we basically grown quite significantly focusing on three main practices, web development, Shopify, plus web development, performance marketing, and Google meta snapper, tick tock and all the other performance platforms and CRM focusing pretty exclusively on clay VO, although Ozzy say Klaviyo but because your audience is probably not to Australia, and I'm going to say clay vo but I'm sure someone's going to rip my head off for that a bit later. But over the years, we've been basically focusing and targeting on working with emerging Ozzy DTC brands, in particular supporting them in their international growth expansion. There's a lot of really cool Australian brands making the wave into America and Europe. And internationalization is a very big topic and focus for us. And yeah, I guess that's sort of been our founding journey. And then I guess the, with the support of Nikhil introduce himself in a sec. We essentially developed Giffnock internally, which we'll talk about a bit more later, which is a sort of a COVID brainchild for a lot of shared experiences that I had Nick had Matt, the other director had his they had their baby boys during COVID. And yeah, it's it's been it's been a hell of a ride, but we couldn't be happier to be honest. I'll give it to Nick as well.

Nick Kennedy 03:20

Nice intro, Adam. I I've been elephant room for coming up to five years, I actually went to uni or college, as you would say, over there with with him. Adam, and Matt, the other director would often not show up to any of the lectures, I would be there and then they they would scramble at the last minute to submit any assignments. But yeah, I came on board five years ago. And I started off as a a web project manager. And I've had many different roles and many hats from going over to marketing and also CRM with CLEVEO, as well. But now I kind of help manage the client relationships from a client success point of view, across all of those offerings that we have, as well as tech partner success, so or partnerships, rather, so chatting with the likes of, of Noah and you guys over at Malomo CLEVEO, where we recently got awarded klavier Elite Partner status. So that was exciting news, I think one of only three or four and AIPAC and then all of the other partners from reviews platforms like it can though, loyalty platforms, subscription platforms, basically the whole Shopify ecosystem which is quite tight knit, especially here done on there, everyone knows each other. So it's a very small world. And you're very excited to to be venturing onto the upside with with gift note as well.

Noah Rahimzadeh 04:57

Awesome. Yeah, fantastic. Over Do fellas appreciate that? I'm already like loving the Australian verse American nomenclature. That'll Flavio clay VO. But you have to say clay vo now because you're an Elite Partner.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 05:14

That's exactly right

Noah Rahimzadeh 05:18

university uni we were talking before we started recording about the fact that it's like becoming the depths of winter here. And it's the hottest part of summer in Australia. But all of that said, you know, we're all operating in the same ecosystem. And I think especially for for you and I Nick thinking about a lot of the same things from a partnership standpoint, every day and are working. So it's not all it's not all dissimilar, I should say. So, really, really excited to dive into elephant room more and now gift note, but before we do that, we always like to start with a couple of things that you guys are excited about in your personal lives. So if you could I know it's summer there, there's probably a lot of goodness and fun stuff planned. What's going on? What are you excited about?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 06:13

I'm very excited for the tennis season starting here coming up. So the Australian Open Grand Slam. Got to make my way down to Melbourne to see it on the big tennis break. So excited for that. And I think they're also filming. I think Netflix is filming, like similar to that. Similar to the Formula One one that had like a like a tennis one happen. Oh, really? Yeah. And so Nick Kiryas is kind of like the iconic tennis player. Like is yeah is infamous, but for all the best and worst reasons, but I love him. We love him. So were lucky to see him on the court. He's like, he's definitely changing a lot of the attitudes on like, like a gentlemen's game, even though like to make it a bit more loud, or rowdy or more aggressive, and do not wear we're very, very, very excited for that.

Noah Rahimzadeh 07:11

What would you say the general sentiment is across the country? Is it the neck? Yeah,

Adam Sharon-Zipser 07:18

I think supported like he is in the end. Like we'd like Australia has a very large sporting culture and we sort of there's heaps of sports that we specialize in Nick's like very big on rugby, for example. But you know, we it's we don't often have, like really prolific. Like big sports comes slot players come through every five years there's a large one and the tennis run out curios, and he's gonna be he'll be here for the next like three to five years and I think that's exciting for everyone.

Noah Rahimzadeh 07:50

Yeah, absolutely. I'm a huge Well, I should say I follow all the Grand Slams very closely. I don't really watch tennis outside of that, but I love it. It's a it's a vastly underrated sport to watch I think it's always like super exciting especially in the Grand Slams show Have you been to the Australian Open before this would be

Adam Sharon-Zipser 08:14

this would be my first time I've never been I've never had the opportunity to go but I think now there's like traveling is now the more open the flat it's a bit more reasonable and I think there's a lot of people that are just genuinely keen to to get out and about Yeah, that's awesome.

Nick Kennedy 08:29

Adams obsessed with tennis i I've used times after work and I yeah, he beats me I just try to wear him down and

Adam Sharon-Zipser 08:39

eventually wears me down. He talks Yeah, a lot of a lot of smack a lot of smack is said on the classic copy repeated.

Noah Rahimzadeh 08:53

Amazing. Yeah, one of our one of our account executives played college tennis and I played with his brother growing up. So yeah, we're we are fans as well. Nick, how about you? What are you excited about man?

Nick Kennedy 09:09

Well, Adam mentioned one of the ideas around that which we can get to was started from when my mother found that we separately we had our firstborn children and Sebastian my son is one today so happy birthday. Shout out Happy Birthday. So

Noah Rahimzadeh 09:31

back to this

Mariah Parsons 09:36

our youngest listener Yeah.

Nick Kennedy 09:38

Yeah. We're having a birthday first birthday for him on Saturday. It's the dinosaur theme. So I've got a bit of a T Rex costume that I'll be wearing. So very excited. Once again. Yeah, we've had a few run throughs practices so that scare off Little kids, but we'll see how we go.

Noah Rahimzadeh 10:02

Amazing. Exciting.

Mariah Parsons 10:04

You have to keep us updated with that. Yeah, like, see a video.

Noah Rahimzadeh 10:11

A headshot. I think the headshot for Nick for the podcast should definitely be in the dinosaur costume.

Mariah Parsons 10:17

Right. So I agree.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 10:18

But both Nick and Matt beautifully had their children right before the wife firstborns before Black Friday, Cyber Monday, year ago. And it was chaos to me. I mean, like, but, but obviously, there's a big team. And there's a lot of support around the place when Nick and Matt helped me on more broader thinking and more strategic stuff for the agency. And yeah, it was, it was chaotic. I was like, you guys definitely time this against me. It all worked out beautifully. In the end.

Mariah Parsons 10:50

Do you think this year will be less chaotic then compared to last

Adam Sharon-Zipser 10:55

year, every year we grow clients grow, there's always a new, you know, 11th hour, something that pops up. I think that's just the reality of it. Even I think what I've learned is like, you could be the most diligent the most organized in the room, but they're just, they're just external variables that just come at you. And you just sort of need to the ability isn't being organized as being able to sort of adapt and sort of modify your mentality quickly. But also do it in a really polite and professional way. So you're not necessarily annoying anyone, but you're also doing what's right for the customer. But it's a sensitive time, you know, like it's a sensitive time in general for everyone's but overall I think I think we'll be fine.

Noah Rahimzadeh 11:37

Yeah, it'll be interesting. This is this is my first ever Black Friday Cyber Monday in E commerce. I spent a lot Oh, wow. Yeah, I spent a lot of time on like the enterprise Mar tech side, which I you know, was crazy in its own right. But I think ecommerce is

Adam Sharon-Zipser 11:57

a different it's a different it's an entirely different league. I could imagine the pace and the velocity is an entirely nother level. It's a different a different primer.

Noah Rahimzadeh 12:05

Yeah, I would, I would argue that like that is true across the board between enterprise and ecommerce, not just for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Like enterprise versus e commerce is like some sort of like super tight, tight knit society on the top end that like everybody plays by the rules, and like there's all this red tape, whereas ecommerce is like the wild wild west. Definitely.

Nick Kennedy 12:36

When I'm sharing my apartment to work from home with my, my partner, she works in enterprise and fintech and I walk past listening to the conversations on the calls, I have no idea what they're talking about. It's it's very confusing. Like,

Noah Rahimzadeh 12:53

there's some sort of rule or law what is

Adam Sharon-Zipser 12:59

exactly. It's funny because both of our wives and partners are like, between Nick and Matt and myself. They're all in cold prep. And we're just like, so I could imagine sometimes, like our horror stories is their horror stories, like entirely different beasts. And it's just like, wow, I mean, we thought we had a bad but you got to them all other shit going on even want to know that I didn't want to know about.

Noah Rahimzadeh 13:23

Yeah, can you talk to your work friends about this? Because I'm

Adam Sharon-Zipser 13:27

not healthy. This is not not healthy bedtime chat.

Noah Rahimzadeh 13:35

Okay, so I know you in your intro, you kind of gave an overview of elephant room. But we'd love to hear like going back to the beginning. Like the founding story of it, what you were focused on then and how it's evolved to the offering the agency offering today. And then maybe sort of let's start to get into how gift now spun out of that. But that's a lot. So let's start. Let's start at the beginning and work our way up.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 14:04

Yeah, so I think when we first started, my parent, my parents have been in the rag trade or retail for 40 years. And it's a very typical immigrant success story. For here in Australia, and also in America, like a lot of people just sort of answered retail, because that's what they knew. And so they could do. But at the time already, you know, 1011 years ago, I would put their business on Magento when I was just finishing starting university, both Nick and myself and that we all did similar like engineering degrees. So we all come from like an IT background. So some of the technical concepts went to alien for us. So back in a day, I mean, you know, freelancing Magento WordPress work, a lot of the time for my parents on Magento learned a lot about essentially an Enterprise E commerce platform and how great it was, but also how bad it was. But at the time, Shopify was really in its infancy. And you'd never, you didn't know what, like a SaaS based e commerce platform could really do. I know, like Bigcommerce that had a different name back then. But they were running around their eyes. But there was too little to really link up.

Noah Rahimzadeh 15:20

Here was this,

Adam Sharon-Zipser 15:22

Adam, this was already so I was this is already this is nine and a half years ago, roughly, almost 10 years ago. And it was, you know, Magento was ready and what version 1.2 or 1.3, it was like it was it was very early days. And then over the course of the period, like we focused on small to medium businesses, and we would essentially, as with everyone, every agency owner, any business owner to be first you just say yes to everyone, which is good advice and bad advice. So the our catchphrase at the time was big results for small businesses and kind of playing on the term like an elephant in the room, as well. So we grew and grew. And we always had like a small book of ecommerce clients, we had a large book of WordPress and service based businesses. And then it got to a point where we were opening up additional services for the business like paid media, SEO CRM, and some of these e commerce businesses were just growing at a crazy rate compared to the service based businesses just imagine a law firm compared to an online retailer setting bedsheets and you're looking at your performance as an agency. And then like you will want to service these law firms, but also you realize that you need to do what's right for you. And then over the course of a three year journey, we started transitioning into exclusively ecommerce. And then that was Magento need to be commerce, Shopify WooCommerce. And then over the course of an additional two years, we started specializing double down in on Shopify was a nominated platform of choice. And then over that period, or the status, the partner ecosystem started blowing up. So you can imagine the App Store what it is today was five years ago, there's an entirely different, you know, environment. And then Shopify Plus badge came through that exposed an inner circle of like, partners and broader ecosystem of tech vendors. And then the narrative for the agency basically changed exclusively to an E commerce performance agency. And that's essentially the the journey into sort of today and probably foreseeable future. Very cool.

Noah Rahimzadeh 17:39

Very cool. I love getting the founding story, and you're certainly not the first guest. I feel like that, like started out by just helping his parents get online, whatever that meant to them.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 17:52

Well, I mean, Gary, Gary Vee wrote the book as much as people love him or hate him, like he literally put his parents wants the online and then he that kind of style was his platform, right? To get going. And I think there's a lot you can learn from, like, how your parents run a business. I mean, how my dad did a stocktake back in the day was just go up and then across and then multiplied, and I just stopped and I was like, Okay, I mean, that's how we're gonna do it. That's how we're gonna do it. 100 versus

Nick Kennedy 18:20

a story about Adams dad is he still does appear in our office from time to time with technical questions or like returned orders. They'll just be wandering through the back the Adams background, tapping you on the back saying wild father

Adam Sharon-Zipser 18:40

appears Yeah, he randomly appears on announced, you know, it doesn't really care that we're in a meeting and I mean, yeah, he's, he's got a way of doing business, but we keep him busy.

Noah Rahimzadeh 18:55

So there's, so their business is still going it sounds like

Adam Sharon-Zipser 18:58

I Yeah, we they're obviously getting a bit older now. But we've liked downsize into like a hybrid drop shipping business. And, you know, they support me here and there. And they, we I support them. And it's a it's relatively chilled. But you know, nothing what it used to be, they used to have like a three story warehouse. It's now now they're, you know, retiring and trying to enjoy the life a little more out of the outside of a warehouse.

Noah Rahimzadeh 19:25

Right. Right. Makes sense. So this is something you alluded to earlier, about, like the sort of the Shopify or E commerce ecosystem being super tight knit and Australia, whereas I think here it's maybe a little bit more robust or mature, competitive, however you want to say it. I'm curious with that in mind, like what do you think, makes elephant room stick out? And, you know, to me a couple of things that you said we're really focused on getting like the highest Your partner level at the bigger platforms like the Shopify, some KBOs, the international expansion? Those were a couple of things I heard, would you agree that those are the things that make you stick out? Would you add anything?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 20:15

Yeah, so you know, the, the, ultimately that badges and at the end of the day, the badges are a reflection of the value and the commitment and the energy and effort that we've put into sort of building the relationship and a relationship is divided into people in tech. Now, what were we where we're different is that there are a lot of Shopify development agencies that focus really heavily on the technology. And a lot of them are, you know, exploring headless and doing really cool stuff in that space. And that's a that's part of us. But we also have hedged or split our offering our practices into the performance side, because we do you see the value of exchange being bigger than just building widgets. We feel that brands, especially the DTC emerging brands, I don't know there's a lot of like stigma around like one stop shop, we're not saying we're a one stop shop, but there's definitely an experience where we're looking at Shopify as a whole. We're looking at the business as a whole from the warehouse level to the customer experience level on the PDP and saying, How can we how can we yield our relationships on know how our combined knowledge to create better value, and it sort of goes against what goes into the whole theory of you know, the sum of the parts are greater than the whole. And that's really what we want to be offering for our clients is that if we can compound and and you know, cross pollinate the CRM side, that first party data collection side, the paid media side, and the web development side, in a slick, full service offering, then the value stands out quite a bit more for our clients. And that sort of becomes our competitive edge. And look, we've we've eaten a lot of shit for, you know, nine years to get to build out a performance media arm that's managing $80 million a year in paid media, which is significant and it's not a it's not a small number. And it's at least for Australia standards, and it's something that we have put the investment in from Day Zero alongside that kind of creates a value exchange.

Noah Rahimzadeh 22:20

Yeah, makes sense. I'm curious and Mariah, you might have thoughts on this too. But we we rarely talk about performance marketing on this podcast, because we're typically so much more focused on the pension side, but I've seen so much lately about like the shift in ad spend from Facebook to Tik Tok or Facebook to Instagram or Now Instagram to Tik Tok, like, how have you adjusted your strategies? What are you living off of and leaning into today's environment?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 22:51

Yeah, like it's a it's it looked at, we battled that question every single day. And we're actually battling a lot more now working into Black Friday, Cyber Monday. The reality is that we can't rely on like platform reported return. So that's one thing because it's blended and overlaps. And some platforms have seven day plus seven day view, one day, click whatever it is, or 3030 plus one. So we we basically establishing an ner, like a marketing efficiency ratio, or a cost of sale ratio, the aggregate to then dictate how the media as an aggregate is working in the brand for the business itself. Then what we're trying to work with, we drill that down by saying what was branded what was not branded. So we can at least allocate the percentage of revenue and spend. So we know what was really high intent direct, and what was a bit more on the merchandise side. And then we'll be doing subdivide that by new customer, this repeat customer entries as well. So trying to understand what is actually growing the business. And while it's actually again, on the retention side of the media, because media does actually account for a lot of retention based customers that simply typing in a brand name that kind of get lost in the performance media arm. So what we try to do is we split it out into those three or four major pillars than the narrative is quite straightforward to say, hey, like by doing this way, we can see this. It's never clear cut. And then what we try to do is we try to dismantle the battle hardened is more of this like incremental philosophy. So instead of doing Snapchat, and Tiktok in parallel, because it gets blurred, and you never really know what's going to work, we try I have a very strict pacing policy where we only really want to be doing one new media channel at a time, and then look back at our benchmark numbers to say, Hey, this is what's impacting this is what our efficiency is, this is what what's actually going on after we did this. And that's how it's sort of approaching it and tackling it now and that opens so many more doors once you have a conversation in that frame as well.

Mariah Parsons 24:59

Were you For the benchmarks that you're saying, because you can't trust the platform itself, are you looking at Google Analytics? Or is that something you're putting in house or like another software?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 25:11

So Google Analytics is like a last click scenario. So it's good, it is good, because it gives you the snapshot of the last click environment for people that have opted in for cookies that aren't don't have ad blockers and you know, aren't working in incognito or some other niche Firefox browser. So we primarily use some of that. But what we also do is we Shopify makes it quite easy to export some of the data out of what we then do is we ingest that in a very large warehouse. We have like our ETL tools set up that are basically bringing in everything by the day by platform impressions, clicks, spend, and revenue. And then what we do is we have some blending formulas to actually figure out what the pace is for the day. And that's how we sort of report it back in Data Studio or look a studio now or Google Sheets, depending on the client requirements. This is like that's, that's been a very big investment for us as well. And that's sort of where we're trying to sort of get to a bit more on the performance side. Yeah.

Noah Rahimzadeh 26:15

Yeah, that seems like a huge undertaking. I have so many questions about that. I think I'll just ask one, and then we're gonna get into gift note. I'm curious, when you think about ad spend, is there? Are you excited to see that driving retention, aka like repeat purchasers? Or, or as part of you like, we should really be setting up things that keep them, you know, sort of like in the ecosystem not needing to come through ads for the XE, like, program, or, you know, a community based approach?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 26:48

I think every brand, like literally every single brand that I've spoken to my air pods have Dinah, but I've said, or they would have come anyway, like, they would have, they would have purchased with us regardless, right? So then what you need to say is like, well, it's kind of like that, it's kind of like you're in an insurance policy. Like, that's why and then the conversation with media on retention gets very precarious, because you're like, Well, I don't know, if I had an offer on where they come with or not calm is a competitive of the other people branding bidding on your brand. The reality is that no one wants to spend the money that they didn't need to spend like, and that's that's kind of it. And the user experience on an ad product is nowhere near as good as like a CRM retention based product. That's the first part it's baked into your website. So you also need to understand the consumer, like clicking a little Google Shopping ad compared to a fully fledged return management page, or, you know, a very loyalty product and something is entirely different. So we do want to push more people on site and not be so reliant on media as well. And the reality is, is that it's getting more expensive, like buying a house, anywhere in the world, and more today than it was two years ago. It's a commodity that's very contentious. And there are a lot of bidders. And it just gets more costly. And the clients, product inflation isn't aligned with inflation and media. So we need to offset it with other places and channels. Absolutely.

Noah Rahimzadeh 28:17

Awesome. Yeah. That's fascinating. Not something that I know a ton about. But that was a that was a great overview. All right, let's, let's get in. And I think that could segue well into retention, but I don't want to I don't want to go to retention before gift notes. So tell us how sort of like gift note was thought up? Have you said COVID brainchild. So what was like the impetus for for the idea and the problem that it solves?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 28:47

So the genesis of GIF node came about, sort of like serendipitously at the same time as Nick and Matt and myself so as my dad's 70th Birthday both Nick and Matt have their firstborn and there was also a few other clients experiencing this issue and everyone has experienced this issue so you've someone has either bought a gift on behalf of someone else's sent it to them and also you or you have received a gift yourself. But what we've discovered them all we identified was that the gift message so the really sentimental messaging Hey Nick, congrats. First one can't wait to meet him. And that actual getting the physical product were disconnected. So that experience happened to me from my so I like I had my birthday my dad seven years like we bought my dad a whole bunch of clothing and he was like, Who's this from? I received a bottle of whiskey from like three friends and I was and then I had to go to the WhatsApp group and saying, Hey guys, bottle of whiskey. I don't really I don't really know what's wrong, but thank you anyway and then like you're doing this and then Nick and Matt are getting you know, baby Gifts, baby shower gifts. And you kind of have this like WTF moment of like, oh, this is so nice. But I have no idea who this is. And I think everybody, everyone's smiling or like on the call, because I think everyone literally has experienced it on on either either side of the spectrum. So what we, what we went down the sort of rabbit hole was like, What can we do from a technical perspective to try to mitigate this. And what we essentially developed was gift note, which is a an ability for a gift giver, to capture the recipient information and a point of checkout. So I'm buying Nick, a pair of socks, Happy Birthday buddy, and I record and type in a message, then when the merchant fulfills that order, provide a tracking number within listening to the tracking number, monitoring it the whole way through until it gets marked as delivered, and then we send out if no payload at the point of delivery. So within five to 10 minutes of receiving it, he can receive an SMS and or an email that says, hey, what I wrote at the point of checkout, and essentially we hold the payload and then deliver it at a time when the time is right. Interesting. So the brand

Nick Kennedy 31:16

is able to design a beautifully branded email or different message that we will then put in the gift message from the customer. And for many, it might be the first kind of interaction with the brand. So you know, me receiving a package with a onesie for my baby with no gift card versus a nicely branded email from the brand introducing me to them with the gift message as well as maybe some some real estate to say this is how to care for the product, or sign up to our mailing list for more information or a discount on your first purchase. So yeah, it just gives the brand a bit more real estate and the opportunity to make a good first impact as well.

Noah Rahimzadeh 32:03

100% Yeah, that is awesome. Incredible. Like, How is this not a thing yet? Is my first? How to Shopify added Shopify Miss building something like this. I'm curious, do you? So do you have like integrations with the messaging platforms? Or are you sending the email SMS, from from gift note itself?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 32:26

Yeah, so we add on default on install, we handle the transit ourselves. But optionally, the user can then integrate CLEVEO. And then in the future, there'll be PostScript and a few others, attentive as well, from SMS side, what will happen at that point is you can integrate it, they will then create an event trigger inside the platform, they'll get access to do more customized email and more conditional stuff, more transactional stuff better, they can look at the metric analytics on usage as well. So yeah, that's essentially the beginning of the integration journey. And then it also gets a bit more interesting as you think about it more where, for example, if you are a review or UGC platform, it doesn't really make sense for that platform to send a review request to give up and go to the rest. So what we what we're sort of framing this is is like, unlock unlock your gifting potential look, or be able to sort of cohort very conveniently, your gift recipients away from your actual core customers, and then understand what your giftable revenue is. And that's sort of like the the higher level umbrella that was sort of double clicking on. Yeah,

Noah Rahimzadeh 33:47

I feel like we need to have like a segmented tracking page for gifts. Now. We do that. That is, that is awesome. You're gonna say something, though, right?

Mariah Parsons 34:00

Well, Nick, I'll let you expand because I have a I have another thought. But I'm curious to see what you're gonna say.

Nick Kennedy 34:09

Yeah, so touching on on that point of Adam in identifying gift recipients, which you can't currently do from Shopify out of the box. Let's just say an example. I'm sending Noah a bottle of whiskey and I don't know if you're a drinker or not. But let's just say that I'm not a drinker. Let's say I send him the bottle of whiskey and the brand that I'm purchasing from is going to think that I'm the customer and that I'm a whiskey drinker. Right. And so, in the future, I'm gonna get hit up with ads on Facebook on Tik Tok. Now, get all the emails, all their CRM emails, whereas you're the person perhaps that they should be actually seeing that too. So Giffnock can help with that in converting you into a database, a customer and an opt in customer within their database. So Yeah, that was not the question you were gonna ask.

Mariah Parsons 35:02

Okay. It's almost like we planned it. It's yeah, it's very similar along that line. So like, the notion that you can you like, especially around this time of year, right, like heading into the holidays, we're recording in the beginning of the beginning of November. So Black Friday, Cyber Monday is like two weeks away. So the idea of the merchant not having like the the customer, versus the consumer, and like how they're different and gift giving. So that's exactly what I was going to talk about was like, there's also a huge perk for merchants to grow their, like branding and their experience with the person who's actually consuming their product and to ask for, you know, that UGC, or those reviews or, to know, like, even if so, the, like, say, Nick and the whiskey example, you're buying a new mark, like, Oh, this is for know, his birthday, or something along those lines. Now, the merchant knows that, oh, you bought a bottle of whiskey for your friend's birthday around this time, or like, even segmenting for like different holidays, because now they have more information on like you and why you purchase from them. And then also have more information about Noah and his consuming, like patterns so that he's been introduced to the brand. So

Nick Kennedy 36:29

imagine, like, one year after I buy a whiskey bottle for Noah, as the same brand hits me, I mean, I mean, their segment of gift senders, and they hit me up. So there's no need another bottle?

Mariah Parsons 36:42

Yes, he does.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 36:46

And that's, that's sort of a part of like the reconversion on the retention side. But it's a it's a very, it's kind of like one of these very hard metrics to compute, if you didn't have the party tech is what percentage of my gift recipients converted to first time buyers, that is like, and then just to sort of frame that bet off 45%, on average of all Black Friday, Cyber Monday purchases are gifts. So in that bucket, there's like a lot of people that are eventually. So in this building next door. A lot of people that eventually reconvert that we can then borrow, we can track the entire way through, which is quite exciting.

Noah Rahimzadeh 37:28

Yeah, it's like, we talked about this a lot, like turning retention into an acquisition channel. And this is sort of doing that very clearly where like, you've already acquired one customer, now you're turning that single customer into, you know, you're you're retaining them on one side, because you're providing a better customer experience that, you know, they might get hit up from their friend and say, not only did I love the whiskey, but the message I got from the brand was, you know, beautiful and like, I'm really interested in checking them out. Now you've you've made the purchase or happy that the customer but also the consumer, really, really great experience from the get go. And part of our

Adam Sharon-Zipser 38:06

part of our narrative is like you're actually servicing to customers, not one in a given context. And a lot of people don't, a lot of brands aren't really appreciating that as well. Right?

Noah Rahimzadeh 38:17

Yeah. And, and also, like, what's fascinating to me, Mariah, I'm sure that you're thinking about this, too, is like the similarities between the Malomo story and gift note, like sure, Malomo was founded. Like, there's so much overlap, it's crazy. Malomo was founded out of an agency to solve like a single problem, which was, people don't come back after one bad shipping experience, like literally 84% of customers will not come back after one poor shipping experience. So our founders were running an agency, they noticed this problem, they solved it ad hoc a couple times for a couple of their merchants, and then they were like, oh my god, this is like a huge opportunity. So then they solved the problem of like, better order tracking, retain more customers. And then they're like, okay, but like, what if we turn this cost center of order tracking and shipment to a revenue channel? Like, what if we started supplying like products or complementary products on the tracking page? What if we started driving subscription and including Oh, kendo reviews? And like, the fact that you guys thought about it as like, I'm sure very similarly, like, we all want. We all want to know where our gifts come from. But now it's expanded already into all right, but like, what does that mean for the actual bottom line of a business? Both on the retention and acquisition side so it's, it's really fascinating.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 39:39

Yeah, and it helps it helps businesses really put more capital into the marketing top funnel for how they are gifting brand rather than just like merge, merge merge. It's more hey, we've got a gift guide with this is great for the gift giver. There's like actually a very different way to skin it for them. And that's important because everything He's getting more competitive, like it's in the end like he does, you need to diversify the audience that you're targeting. My mother might not be your primary target or your core range, but she might be interested in buying it as a gift because she knows her daughter or son, or entertaining or using our products, and that all those analytics and insights gives the justification to sort of pursue it further. And that's really the area that, again, we want to own and really like Target.

Noah Rahimzadeh 40:28

Absolutely. So maybe you can't say too much about this yet, which is totally fine. But like, I'm curious that first email is the goal of the brand, obviously, outside of providing like a great gift giving experience. And the consumer being thrilled with the gift that they got both with the gift itself, and the message they receive is the ultimate goal and that first touch point with that new consumer to capture their contact information, it's got

Adam Sharon-Zipser 40:58

an opt in. Yeah, so we know that an opt in is cherished, and you have to do it, right. Like you can't just assume the opportunity to spam a gift recipient, if they didn't actually opt in, but the payload because it's essentially a transactional email that we're sending through as a gift known as a transactional email. So it's important to remember that that's the real estate that Nick was talking about to say, hey, here, you can get your aftercare information, you can potentially get your, you can't really put too much of an upsell or promo code in a transactional email. So there's a line that you need to work on there. But there's definitely opportunities in getting them on boarded with a firmer opt in, you can give them potentially an incentive to give receive an incentive. cashback, you can actually have a bit of fun when you stop sort of working, quite intelligent mode.

Noah Rahimzadeh 41:56

Yeah, we we have a very similar situation like all of our order tracking emails are transactional, as well, of course, there is some real estate toward the bottom, as you guys probably know, to include some more marketing type content. And you know, the brands who actually leverage that see tremendous results, like if you look at the brands who are doing some marketing, tactful marketing, I should say at the bottom of their transactional messages, compared to those who aren't like the results that they're actually seeing from those emails are really, really impressive.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 42:34

Yeah, like, I think a long term vision for us is building more of a robust gifting API for this. So smart or creative development agency or vendor could look at this experience and ecosystem and have some fun with it. So you know, I might say, hey, know, you've got a gift, click this link to view the gift. And maybe I potentially, I wouldn't maybe recommend this, but you could gate the gift to force the opt in, or force to sign up to view it or to validate it, you can have, you can do things and certain ways to cut it and craft as fun as you want. And ultimately, we'll be adding rich media and gifts as well. So potentially things like video and audio messages, maybe I think there are other there are other elements that you can use to enrich it. Because you only have so much Canvas inside of an email and SMS you can work with. So if you start thinking about taking into the browser, or an app, you have, there's a whole new world of rich media that opens up. Think about animations, think about audio, think about all the other senses and sensations that you could potentially bake in. And that actually makes the whole thing quite interesting. scanning a QR code when a gift is delivered to then actually do it take into a browser there's a whole new world of like gifting experiences that we haven't even really unlocked on that we are developing in the background.

Noah Rahimzadeh 43:58

Sure, sure. Yeah, that's that is awesome. So is this is this available is it GA now are people

Adam Sharon-Zipser 44:08

using it were fully fully GA is a team of four powering it right now all incubated from within elephant room which is really exciting. They've been really fortunate enough to sort of like you know, justify the time and effort to these these people to sort of support it and Nick is a big is a big lead on it right now. It's available in the App Store as well as typing gift note or gift note.com. We've got flawless reviews right now. So if you want to battle tested, do you want to demo chatter Nikhil cue up happy to entertain any time zone as well. Famous last words, right? Yeah, we were ready to go. We've got over 50 to 60 installs happening in production right now. We've got we're listening to customer reviews every single day. And it's been Yeah, it's been it's been really good. While Kyra will know, as well as compared to other apps, we don't take a percentage of the order. So we're not clipping the transaction. installing apps every single day on the elephant room side, we know some of the contention that that comes with. We've we've adopted more of like a quota usage based approach, rather than just taking a percentage of auto. And it's a commercial model actually works out considerably cheaper than any sort of competitive or relatively similar product as well. So we are we do know, what gripes agencies and brands have on sudden app pricing. And we've really worked hard to bake that into our model. So it works, everyone.

Noah Rahimzadeh 45:42

So when you say that it's not on a per order basis overall, but it's more consumption. I'm always curious about just like business models, overall, App Store and the Shopify.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 45:55

Yeah, like I could listen to this podcast again in a year time and be like, What the hell you stand because it doesn't matter anymore. And maybe that's a good thing to have. But right now, in the current iteration, it's, um, you're basically purchasing lots of 25 gift notes, which is your monthly quota. And then every gift node has an overage of a couple cents. So obviously, November is bigger for some brands compared to January, and you have the option to sort of lump up your coil or your credits to go to sort of go as the brand grows and needs to as well. Got so and it look, it essentially comes down to 50 or 60 cents a gift. No, realistically, and in that in that 50 to 60 cents, we're doing a lot like you have your whole integration with CLEVEO or your branding, basic analytics, we have like all the Where have we look, we're indexing and tracking over 600 carriers globally, as well. So just to think about the value that's coming out of that single 50 cent is is quite a tremendous.

Noah Rahimzadeh 46:59

Yeah, that's really fascinating. We should talk offline about some of the back end stuff and explore like an actual part, technology partnership on top of the agency thing that we got going on. Because I'm I've got a few ideas that I think I'll save save for that yeah, that is fascinating, guys, congrats on launching that. That's huge. Sounds like you're off to an incredible start as well, and couldn't be a better time. Really, right. Right around the gift giving season.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 47:34

Definitely. Like a big shout out to Colin man and Nick as well who have been driving and pushing quite a bit. Everyone sort of got their own, like piece of the party. And yeah, it's it's great, because we're surrounded by awesome tech partners as well, that established that we're learning from and sharing with, and that's what's making it exciting. We're yet to do an American event that might happen next year, if we got permission. We will that's something that we will like that's a big, big milestone for us next year to do to a bit of like a launch and somewhere in America next year. So hopefully we can bring you guys along.

Noah Rahimzadeh 48:12

Yes, please. Yeah, I'd rather I'd rather come there. But you're sure? No, Nick, you're gonna say something.

Nick Kennedy 48:22

I was just gonna ask a question for the Malomo founders, because obviously, we're still working full time on elephant room, as well as if not on the side. How do you balance your time? At the, to the best of your ability? And how, how are they planning their weeks, you know, around this is obviously when they were first still in agency. That's probably the challenge at the moment, when you're building something out of an agency is making sure that you're like fully servicing your clients and partners on the elephant room side, but also, you know, helping to grow gift note at the same time, and taking care of a one year old baby at the same time as Barney, it's all interesting challenge.

Noah Rahimzadeh 49:07

I was gonna ask you how you're balancing all these things. And I've, I've known Yeah, and Anthony, the founders of I actually hired them to build me an app when they were running their agency. So I've known them, you know, before, well before Malomo was even ideated and talked to them before they had a name for it while they were in ideation and through the the shutting down of the agency, and I can't speak for them, but I can definitely say that they did everything that they could from like a manual perspective and sort of delayed, like, full focus on building out a platform as long as they could until they felt like they had signif significant you know, validation that they had a that they were really on to something it sounds like he has might have already crossed that bridge. Frankly And then I think once they I think the answer that they would give, and I could be wrong about this, I'll have to check with the hour if he has something different. But I think it was like, once they realized they couldn't give the clients the time that they that they used to be able to the time that they were like, that they deserved and that they needed from the agency, they were like, Okay, we have enough here we have the we have the validation, we need it. Plus, like we know that we just we can't do, we can't run two full time businesses at once. And they just straight up, you know, shut down the shut down the agency. So

Adam Sharon-Zipser 50:37

any elephant room clients listening to this agency. Getting any creepy ideas I already know that might be listening, and I know how then your article like me, so it's not going anywhere. All good. It's all good. It's all good in the hood,

Mariah Parsons 50:55

you guys have another founder too, you know, that's comforting to babies. And

Nick Kennedy 51:03

Adam just saved himself about 30 phone calls.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 51:08

This 35 Beautifully talented people inside the elephant room team that are also grinding very hard to make clients get value. But no, it's an interesting point. And a lot of people talk about balancing the grind. And obviously, Nick, Nick's got a third third requirement, which is baby boy, and it's it I couldn't look it's it's challenging for everyone. And you know, everyone's now working from home or they're working longer hours. It's like, it's, it's interesting. And it's you know, no one like, we're putting a big, big priority on mental health. And we don't want to be burning out as well. So there's there is a there's a balance, though. But what that looks like, is yet to be yet to be determined. But I think where the biggest thing for me is like, Nick, you know, he's allocated a lot majority of the week towards gifts. No. And as we get more engineering more talent, and the commercials would give no, because we don't have any we haven't done any funding. We're incubating it ourselves. So we're trying to we're doing it in a moderate way that actually is sustainable. And actually we can grow from it as well.

Noah Rahimzadeh 52:15

Yeah, yeah, it's a it's a very interesting balance. But I would definitely argue a great problem to have.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 52:24

And we're very fortunate, and we've like, you know, where we know, and appreciate how sort of lucky we are that things have landed as they have. But having said that, we work hard as well. We give it we give it 120% Without without any doubt,

Noah Rahimzadeh 52:40

no substitute for hard work. Which leads me to my last question. And we might have just gotten Adams answer. Given where you guys have, you know, gotten to in your careers, obviously extremely impressive. And with with the gift, no launch, another sort of like notch, but I know you're just getting started, what do you what do you do and as individuals attribute, you know, the success to this point to and what sort of guide you in your pursuit of that on a day to day basis.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 53:15

There's a lot of cliche answers to this. To be honest, we want to hear your reasons. So the first thing as well as like the team, like obviously, you know, having a co founder or a solid team, you will literally drive yourself in juice like a psychotic coma. If you're just doing everything alone, like I didn't think I don't think any one human being is resilient enough to handle so many compounding pressures do you need, you need people that are in the room that challenge you that listen to you and accept you as well. And I'll add in all sorts of parallel moments. I think it's not Don't be afraid, as like leaders, or managers or founders to hire people that are better senior or experienced. And yeah, it's not a bad thing. I started the agency when I was 23. I didn't know shit, to be honest. And I thought I knew a lot. And as we grew, and we matured, and we had exposure to more sophisticated clients and more sophisticated talent, you understand your value is not necessarily being the smartest guy in the room. It's also about motivating and driving and empowering people to do their best work. So that's a really big thing. Don't hire blended roles. If people are very clear responsibilities. If they people will wear multiple hats, you can't avoid that. But also make sure that the role is defined and it's streamlined. And if someone's doing paid media, they don't need to be doing CRM, get a CRM person as an example. If it's a web developer, there should be doing design, get a designer for that. And I think one reading that I was recommended, and I'm pretty sure a lot of the people in the community would know is that the wife confounded Paul Graham. He's Got a, like a monologue or a blog, I guess on do things that don't scale. That's everyone I know everyone comments on that. And everyone says no guy, right? And I everyone mentioned that, but it's literally, it's so true. You just need to do things that make no sense and kill your hands so dirty to the point where you're like, Okay, I've gotten in the coal mine, I understand exactly, all the moving parts to sort of get this raw commodity out and make it and convert it into energy. What do I how do I how can I put people systems processes technology, to sell to help, like, supplement that, but you can't do that without deeply understanding the actual problem. And I think there's a, that's it's a very good read, and it's given me a lot of perspective. I think a lot of people just come in expecting shit just to work like a miracle. And it's just gonna it's just gonna work like I've got this CRM I'm gonna install HubSpot is just gonna work for me, it's like not and there's no way it's gonna work. Like, you need to really deeply understand the nuances, your pipe, your stages, all the contention that objections, yada, yada, yada.

Noah Rahimzadeh 56:10

Yeah, that's what I was sort of saying earlier about the Malema founding was, you know, they did everything that they possibly could to delay the actual software bill before they knew, you know, to your point, like they did everything that didn't scale for as long as they could. And until they validated the problem that they were solving, and that it that it actually mattered.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 56:31

Like every new gift, install their first gift node. between the four of us we have a Slack channel been manually watching the tracking number. Yeah, no, if they if we missed the gift delivery on the first gift note, we've botched the experience. So every single first gift, no order were met one month, we're manually monitoring. Like, it's not instant. It's not beautiful engineering code or AI that's doing it's literally acid, you know, for the morning looking at a niche carrier based out of South America to see if it's going to deliver on on an argument it's going to send

Noah Rahimzadeh 57:03

that's exactly that was exactly our founding story. Like they would track the orders at every stage throughout the process and literally manually hit send on on an email. Yeah, that out?

Adam Sharon-Zipser 57:17

thinks it's a bot doing it. Yeah, high five. We gotta get some engineers to figure out how we can how this will work if we tripled our size.

Noah Rahimzadeh 57:27

Exactly. That's awesome. Nick, how about you, man?

Nick Kennedy 57:32

I kind of just personally on how I kind of help connect with clients and new customers is more on empathy, putting myself in their shoes. And there was one kind of mantra that one of my first bosses told me was surprise and delight. So you know, a nice little surprise that going above and beyond to help onboard a customer where they've had a good experience is generally going to lead to a healthy relationship, but a good review. And then also on that same note is under promise and over deliver. So that you're always having that customer service or at the forefront. So yeah, I think that's how most of our all of our elephant room team have kind of cottoned on to that those mantras, and also what we're trying to grow gift note in that same same sense. Yeah, I

Noah Rahimzadeh 58:29

would say with those two pieces of advice gift note is the natural, natural result, thinking that way. But great stuff, fellas, thank you so much for joining us. Your morning, our evening. But it was a blast from across the world. And hopefully we can get together in person in 2023. That would be awesome.

Adam Sharon-Zipser 58:51

That'd be amazing. Thanks for having us was awesome. Really good job.

Nick Kennedy 58:55

Awesome. Thank you Noah. Thanks, Mariah.

Mariah Parsons 58:57

Thank you