S4 E19: Building retention marketing with more than just email & SMS with Nikki Tooman (Founder & CEO, Sticky Digital)


Nikki Tooman, Founder & CEO of Sticky Digital joins Retention Chronicles and if hearing Noah and Nikki discuss Shoptalk 2022 isn’t enough incentive to listen in, then hearing Nikki’s perspective of the Shopify brand and partner ecosystem sure is! Nikki has been in the Shopify ecosystem since Shopify has been in the game, and learned the core of the ecosystem at one of the biggest agencies at the time.

For all our Shopify brands out there, do you know exactly what technology you should be using for your specific storefront? Nikki knows it all and shares it all so you’ll have to listen to hear all of her shoutouts, but we’ll break it down for you real quick- Loop, Recharge, Yotpo, Klaviyo, Okendo/Junip, Gorgias are table stakes for Nikki and her team.

Retention marketing (email, SMS) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) is her jam - she and her team at Sticky Digital excel working with Shopify brands.

What do you think the goal of partnerships is? Generating revenue, getting better discounts, relationship building? You’ll have to listen to hear what Nikki says about the industry and how to truly map a good partnership.

BFCM (Black Friday/Cyber Monday) is in full-swing for the ecommerce community and Nikki shares her BFCM tips for Shopify brands: 1) Start your efforts early, 2.) We need to figure out retention stuff set up today & 3.) Post-purchase survey for first time purchasers.

4:48 - Product launches, holiday plans, and personal interests
7:52 - Shopify ecosystem, agency experience, and retention marketing
12:33 - Career transition from marketing to partnerships
18:55 - Partnerships and personal connections in the ecosystem
23:45 - Partnerships, apps, and tools used in e-commerce
30:41 - E-commerce tools and strategies for increasing revenue
34:33 - Retention marketing and integrating tools for maximum effectiveness
39:04 - Client onboarding and skincare product marketing
44:10 - Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies for e-commerce brands

Did you know that 20% of your website traffic hits the order tracking experience? Turn all of that customer engagement into customer loyalty. Malomo helps you get ahead of shipping issues, brand your order tracking experience, and reconvert shoppers while they wait for their package to arrive.

To see what your custom mockup of branded order tracking and transactional email/SMS would look like, fill out this form & we’ll send your custom design right to your inbox!

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

Subscribe to Retention Chronicles on Apple Podcasts


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


partnerships, shopify, agency, brands, work, retention, tools, year, purchase, client, met, people, great, built, customers, marketing, piece, sticky, awesome, merchant


Noah Rahimzadeh, Nikki Tooman

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:00

Ah, cool. Nikki, welcome. But a long time coming. I think you rescheduled, I might have rescheduled to finally be talking though. Absolutely. Good to see you. Again. We've got Nikki chairman, founder and CEO, sticky digital with us today. Super excited for this one, Nikki and her team have been an amazing partner to Malomo. We share some awesome clients who are very happy with the work that the sticky digital team has done for them. And so it's always kind of an honor to get to share some of these war stories publicly.

Nikki Tooman 00:38

Yeah, that's Sure. Thank you for having me. Yes,

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:42

of course. I think we did. We was at shop talk this year when we met.

Nikki Tooman 00:49

In person. So we met at shop talk at one. It was your event that you guys were throwing, right? Yes, yeah. And it was like really dark in there. And I remember you being like, Mickey, and I'm like, I didn't because I didn't put two and two together. But yeah, that's where we met the first night of shoptalk.

Noah Rahimzadeh 01:07

That was, I can say, unequivocally, the craziest, the craziest work event I've ever been to. I don't know, if you went to the show after, did you go to the show? No,

Nikki Tooman 01:19

I was like, 10pm. And I'm like, I have kids. Bedtime normal.

Noah Rahimzadeh 01:23

There was 10pm. And it was like the night before the conference. And yeah, it's like, Oh, my God just set the stage for how crazy that week was. Yeah. Shop

Nikki Tooman 01:33

Talk is a grind for moms. I'm just gonna say moms that are usually in bed by like, eight or nine normally, like being forced to stay awake until midnight. Like it was a struggle for me. I was still getting like eight hours of sleep. But it was going to sleep that late was midnight. It's a joke, but it's like midnight. Like it's

Noah Rahimzadeh 01:53

it's also like, it's funny for parents, I think because you hear like, it's so exhausting. But also they're so relieved

Nikki Tooman 02:00

normally, but it's also a vacation. Right? Exactly.

Noah Rahimzadeh 02:03

A night alone is the sacred thing. I think for most Yeah. We definitely need to meet up again soon, because it's always a blast. But for now, the podcast is bringing us back together. I'm thankful for that.

Nikki Tooman 02:18

And I'm happy about it. Yes. Okay. So

Noah Rahimzadeh 02:20

before we get into the business side of things, we like to start the podcast with one or two things that you're excited about in your personal life.

Nikki Tooman 02:30

Um, I'm thinking a lot about this. And I think the thing that I'm the most excited excited about in my personal life is Christmas, this year, my son is going to be almost three. So it's the first year that he's like, understanding that concept of sort of like Christmas and Santa Claus. And it's not even September yet. And he's already watching Christmas and Halloween stuff on TV. So he's already like ramping up for the holidays. So I'm the most excited about that having him and then last year, I had a newborn and so she's going to be one and yeah, it's just really exciting to think about spending time together as a family and he makes me laugh every single day as it is already so really get to like, enjoy the first Christmas of him like knowing and understanding what's happening.

Noah Rahimzadeh 03:20

That's awesome. That's funny, already talking about it. Like he's

Nikki Tooman 03:24

already talking about it. Like already talking about Christmas already talking about Halloween. And it's like, you know what, in my household anything flies. I'm that person that November 1, Christmas tree goes up. So

Noah Rahimzadeh 03:39

do you have like, do you do Halloween decorations too?

Nikki Tooman 03:42

We do and they're already up. already. But I've always been that way my husband loves Halloween. And so we've always like decorated in September coming leading up to Halloween and this year because my son like everything, he just likes to watch everything spooky as he called it, but it's like Mickey Mouse shows. Okay, it's not sticky at all. Um, and so he had been asked about pumpkins and so I was just like, well, let's pull out our, our Halloween decorations and throw them up. So we did that two weeks ago.

Noah Rahimzadeh 04:12

Awesome. My mom was always the same way. We always had the stuff not only up early, but she also like what leave it up for Yeah, same weird, if not months afterward. As

Nikki Tooman 04:24

a kid it just like makes for like a really memorable moment in your life. And I think like these are the little things that I look forward to as a parent and just really getting to see the joy because I think as adults it's kind of lost on us because we're so busy with like work and everything else. So getting to like experience a little bit of joy and innocence through kids. Something that's really cool. So if he wants to celebrate Christmas and Halloween all year, I'll do it.

Noah Rahimzadeh 04:48

twist my arm right. Are you telling me I will do it? Last question really quick. Does your son know what he's going to be for Halloween? Yeah, that was always a great decision for me when You're three, what are the three year olds doing this year?

Nikki Tooman 05:02

Well, because it's mother's had the Type A personality. He doesn't realize at three years old that he gets to pick for him. Dictatorship not

Noah Rahimzadeh 05:13

a democracy. Yeah, exactly.

Nikki Tooman 05:15

That's how it runs Mattoon household. So he is going to be Peter Pan. He's he has brown hair. So he's gonna be Peter Pan and his sister has very, very blonde hair. So she's gonna be Tinkerbell. So we're going to do Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. They're going to run the neighborhood. Amazing. Yeah. Next year, I'll let him pick probably so before and who really understand that like that, you actually get to do that. But as my last year of like, getting to determine it for him. I was like, because would it be a cute little pair costume? How could I? How could I miss that opportunity? Yeah,

Noah Rahimzadeh 05:45

you can pass that up. Yeah. Awesome. Well, good luck with that. Always a great time of year, especially with the little ones.

Nikki Tooman 05:55

Yeah. Wait, what are you most excited about personally? Oh, wow.

Noah Rahimzadeh 05:58

Turn it back on me. I have any bad. Okay, this week has been the last couple of weeks have been insane. We've got a huge product launch going out next week. It will already be out when this airs. We should talk more about that. But I

Nikki Tooman 06:16

set up a meeting with you on Tuesday, because perfect went Oh,

Noah Rahimzadeh 06:20

did you see that in my newsletter? Okay,

Nikki Tooman 06:24

I did. That's the time when I booked time with you for next week. Yes,

Noah Rahimzadeh 06:27

the whole goal. It's like we need to I need to have more regular touch points with PLA. So I'm happy that worked. I'm happy about this long weekend. I need it. I'm excited for the Monday. And then yeah, I'm a I'm a huge fan of like the holiday time of year as well. I love Thanksgiving, I think it's my favorite holiday mainly because I just like I'm just a glutton around the holidays and, and Thanksgiving food is just so awesome. So that's good, good. Very excited about that. I think I'll do a trip to Denver to see a good friend of mine sometime next month, which is always I do at least once a year, and always a good time. But I've also just gotten back from a ton of travel. So I'm like tired and a little sick as you normally are. I got it. weeks in a row. So excited for a nice long weekend with my family.

Nikki Tooman 07:26

That'll be so nice. Yeah, yeah.

Noah Rahimzadeh 07:30

Thanks for asking. Like I said, never gotten that.

Nikki Tooman 07:34

Sorry, I threw you for a loop on your

Noah Rahimzadeh 07:36

big. Okay, let's get to the business side letter. Like your your background leading up to sticky digital, and then the Sticky, sticky story today. Yeah,

Nikki Tooman 07:52

so my background personally, I've been in the Shopify ecosystem was doing the math this morning. I've been in the Shopify ecosystem since the beginning of Shopify, so I was at one of the largest Shopify agencies. As it started out, there was only seven core Shopify agencies at that moment, and very few apps and technologies in the space. So I actually started at Magette, a Magento. Agency first and then was recruited by this agency when I didn't really know what Shopify was because they were up and coming. And I worked at that agency for almost three years, and really learned the core of what I know about Shopify, and agency. I was doing marketing for the agency and then pivoted into partnerships, which is sort of how I learned a lot about the technology side of things. While I was there, I managed over 120 tech partners, by myself, but it was like the most incredible experience ever, because I was the only person at the agency that really knew intimately how all of these apps and technologies work together. So as we were building these Shopify stores, like I was sort of like that center of truth and that knowledge, which is one of the things that we offer at sticky digital, is this like technology CRO piece. And so it really was one of the best experiences I've ever had working at that agency. I met my husband there. Oh, wow. I did not achieve. Yeah, my two co founders, obviously I met at that agency, and, um, some of my best friends I've met while working there. And so it's like that moment where we were building Shopify stores and being one of seven agencies like we were constantly together all of the time. And so you would go out with these people you'd go to have happy hour and I'm like, you would go to these people's like birthday parties and things like that. And you just built a really good core group, and foundation of people. Meaning like Two of my best friends and co founders segue into sticky digital. So we were there up until about 150 people the three of us were I was employee nine, my other co founder was employee eight. So we were really there from the from the start of it. And we ended up getting up. We ended up getting poached by another Shopify brand incubator. So it wasn't an agency per se, but it was like a brand new incubator where they were building Shopify stores. They actually poached about seven BB, seven BVA employees. And myself, my two co founders were three of the seven that they poached, to come build Shopify stores for themselves. So interesting. Yeah, we did everything from like, supply chain to like, really coming up with the development of the product all the way through, like the marketing piece that we did. We had people that were doing paid ads, we had people that were running like the retention marketing piece. Blake Imperial, who

Noah Rahimzadeh 10:59

he was on here, we recorded with him yesterday. I'm not even kidding.

Nikki Tooman 11:04

We hired like, no way. Okay. Yeah. So like, that's how we first met Blake, oh, my god starting in the ecosystem. And we sort of like all we're learning retention together at the same time. Incredible, very smart. Guy can't say enough great things about him. But so we met him there too. And so we were building these like Shopify brands. And after doing it for a little bit, we just kind of like looked at each other. And we were like, there's a big hole in the ecosystem, this like retention piece that we're focusing so much for on these brands, like nobody else is doing this. And so that's where we decided to like leave and start sticky digital. And we made it our sole promise to each other as co founders, that we would stay true to retention marketing, and we wouldn't do any of these other service lines, because we wanted to be really good at this one thing. So that's sort of like how sticky digital was born almost four years ago, coming in December. And yeah, we do retention marketing. So email, SMS, full journal journey of the retention marketing cycle. And we also focus on CRO about, like helping your website convert customers, which is like that tech stack app piece. So yeah, it's like we I can't say enough good things about it. We've been around for four years, and we're just having a really good time doing retention, marketing and staying true to that.

Noah Rahimzadeh 12:33

Okay, I have so many questions. First of all, I'm curious, like, for me, personally, this is a little bit of a selfish question, but going from marketing to partnerships, where you actually let me take a step back going from Magento agency to Shopify, like that seems like it was a crazy leap back in the day. What sort of like, was it the sales pitch that this agency gave you on? Why you should come over? Was it a financial kind of situation like, what? How did you make that crazy? Well, you

Nikki Tooman 13:05

I was yesterday actually, I got a message from Dylan Whitman, who was the CEO of BBA. And I got this LinkedIn message from him and never heard of him before. I'd never heard of the agency before. And he was like, hey, we need somebody to do our agency work. I was doing agency marketing for this Magento agency. And so he was made remarketing,

Noah Rahimzadeh 13:28

the agency the agency

Nikki Tooman 13:30

itself, yeah. Got it. So I was doing like stuff on on the website. I was doing like newsletters. I was doing the email marketing for the agency itself. And he was like, hey, we need somebody to do Agency Marketing would love to talk to you more about it. And I like, went to the website of the agency of VBA. And I was like, I don't it's a landing page. Like I didn't, there was literally nothing on the page, except for a couple of like, a background of New York. And a couple of faces, I think like Dylan's face and Andy winger space and Kyle Woodrick face because they were all part of a team. And I just remember like looking at it being like, what is Shopify? Like, what does this do? And I remember leaving Dylan on red for like, a couple of weeks, because I was like, I couldn't make heads or tails. And I remember googling it like BVA BB XL Shopify, like, what is this? And finally, I just reached back out to him, and I was like, there was something about his message, and then the lack of what I could find that really made me interested. And he was just a straight shooter. It wasn't he didn't try selling me in the LinkedIn message. It was literally just like, we want you to come work for us. By the way, to change that. You haven't changed. And when I went to go meet him, that's exactly how my interview with him was to it's just very, it was conversational, and he was very much just like, look like I don't want to hire somebody that I have to like, watch all the time. I want to hire somebody that is just good and a hard worker. But I will say that I think at that moment, and the people that I met when I first started as employee number nine, that was true to its core, he had done a phenomenal job of just hiring this core group of people that just worked their asses off, am I allowed to say so sorry, work their asses off their asses off. And just were genuinely the hardest working group of people I had ever worked with. And like some of these guys, like, Corey Cummings was one of them. He now has his own agency package, it'll like you just like, look at these people. And they're all doing great things in life today. And Dylan Whitman had done a really great job of just being like, it doesn't matter how much it's gonna cost to hire these people like this is what's going to make my agency succeed. And it was, yeah, I don't know. I don't to be honest with you. I think it was just Dylan himself. That just made me feel so comfortable. And I was just like, Sure, why not?

Noah Rahimzadeh 16:01

That makes sense. That vibe from him, like every we've had, we've seen each other a few times on the road, and every time is just like, straight shooter, but like, not sometimes I feel like that gets a negative connotation. Because yeah, it's like, he does make people very comfortable, even when even though he's very direct.

Nikki Tooman 16:21

Totally. And I think like he always, yeah, and he always has been so kind to me personally, and I can't say any bad things about him. And couple of months ago, I even like, shot him a text message like, Hey, can I talk to you real quick, I'm just very curious about some of these questions like, well, building sticky, and he's always so willing to sort of like get on the phone. And I think that that's what sort of like sets people apart in this industry is sort of the authentic piece of really wanting others to succeed. Shout out to Dylan Whitman. He's just so great. Yes.

Noah Rahimzadeh 16:54

I'm definitely telling him that we come out here when we launch it. Yeah, same thing for us. He's he was one of the early investors in Malomo. And no matter like, I can literally call him and be like, Dude, I have a question about partnerships, and he'll pick up the phone.

Nikki Tooman 17:10

Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, it's awesome. And there's very few people I will say that I personally met in this industry that are so willing to do that, and like give them time to others. And I think if you were to just see Dylan, as Dylan on LinkedIn, you would just be like, Oh, this guy is just trying to like stir. Yeah, shut up, to be honest with you. But it's just like, he's just very much very direct. And he's doesn't mean anything bad by it's just like a very direct person. And I am also a very direct person, and I think I just responded well to it. Yeah.

Noah Rahimzadeh 17:40

Yeah. Totally see it. Yeah. Yeah. Shout out Dylan. We got to play a shout out. Shout out. Yeah. I was supposed to catch up with Cory last week, and we had to push it. But yeah, we work pretty closely with the pack team now as well.

Nikki Tooman 17:59

Yeah, I mean, that entire team like Cory Tyler Tyler was also one of the first ones at BBN before I got there. Andrew, who's their other co founder got there, like right after me like it was. It's crazy to see the people that we worked with doing such incredible things. And they all are so willing to still help each other out. Which is so crazy. So

Noah Rahimzadeh 18:19

cool. So yeah, it's really awesome to have an experience like that early in your career, too. Because, yeah, you not only learn a ton, but you establish a network that you know, you know, you'll have for life. So

Nikki Tooman 18:32

that's awesome. Yeah. Okay.

Noah Rahimzadeh 18:34

The marketing to partnerships thing really interests me. Were you like hesitant about that? I mean, they're complete. You know, I think there's things that you can take from each but especially going from, you know, agency marketing to brand side, you know, b2b SaaS partnerships. Yeah. What was that like and what influence on it sounds like a huge influence. Huge,

Nikki Tooman 19:02

and it's probably one of the best besides going to BVA. It was the best thing that sort of like happened for me in my career. And I didn't have a partner. Which sounds really weird. Dylan just approached me one day and was like, hey, we need somebody to really focus on the partnership side of things like marketing can wait. We need somebody to focus on the partnership side of things and so that you were the person and I don't know if it's just that he like saw the type of person that I was that I was like, I was very social. I like, was very social. And as a partner person you need to be I was very social. Got to know basically, everybody at BVA and so when he was just like, yeah, I need somebody boots on the ground that will just call people and talk to them and really establish relationships. And I think like, you'll be the best person for that. And I remember saying to him, like, I don't know. The first thing about partnerships though, right? Like I don't think I will be He's successful. And he's like, Don't worry, we've already mapped this out. We've already got a budget for you, we're gonna get you a mentor. And he flew me to San Francisco to work with somebody, over a couple of days that she was actually the, I think she was like the director of the VP of partnerships at Optimizely. At the time, oh, yeah, he had built, she had built the entire partner program, Lisa. And so I sat with her for day, a couple of days, and she just sort of like helped me understand what partnerships was and how you truly map a good partnership and what that looks like. And without them setting aside the budget, he they knew I was gonna ask the question, like, what, what is this, and so they had already done the forward thinking, set aside the budget. And literally, like, I think, a week or two later, I was like, on my way to San Francisco to go beat her and put the program together. And I just took the tools that she taught me and just scaled it for the agency and made it what we needed it to be. But again, like, I don't think I would have ever gotten into it had Dylan not that, like, you're gonna be our partner person. But it was the best thing for me. And I am truly a partner person. And as you can tell me rambling on, I can talk to I can talk to people all day, you know what I mean? So it's definitely my favorite part of working in the ecosystem is just the people that you meet and the relationships that you build, which is partnerships.

Noah Rahimzadeh 21:22

Yes. 100%. I think that and actually, it's a question that came to mind like, we, I think that the relationship side of partnerships used to not be like what it is today, and especially in the shop, fight ecosystem, kind of going back to your experience at BVA, like what I found is, everybody here is like, truly all boats rise with the tide, like, yeah, you know, we were talking before this, how can we help each other? Yeah, given that, you know, the economy's a little down, and everybody's feeling that a little bit. It goes beyond like the transactional so much these days were in the past, I think, in a lot of the partnerships I worked with, especially on the enterprise side, it was very much like, I need intel on this account. I need an intro here. And now it's more like, really establishing personal connections. Yeah, that's rule the business side. And I think that they're powerful that way.

Nikki Tooman 22:18

Totally. And I think like, when I do meet somebody even still today, that's like, their first reaction was like, oh, send me leads, or like this transactional, I am meeting and I'm like, I'm done with this conversation. Goodbye, like, you don't want to know me or my business, or like how this started, like, we have no need for you here. And I think that's just You're so right. Like, it's, it really has become personal. But to me, that's what makes me tick. And I love getting to meet people and learn about them. And I'm one of those people that like, I have a really great memory. And so and I know, my husband hates this about me, by the way, he hates the fact that like, I can remember conversations from five years ago, were like, well, you

Noah Rahimzadeh 23:01

know, 9094

Nikki Tooman 23:03

I've like, um, but yeah, like, I just remember things about people, kids names, where they're living, things like that. And so partnerships, for me was just a very smooth transition, because it's what is important to me is like these characteristics and attributes about people, which I think the reason why I'm so good at retention marketing, too, because you have to know like, the attributes and characteristics of people, and sort of just like, you know, hand in hand, if you know things about people, you'll get way further in life. 100%

Noah Rahimzadeh 23:33

could not agree more. And I've seen that personally. Yeah, I don't think I was always great at that. And, you know, over time realize how important it was. So I got good at and I agree. Yeah, yeah. Okay, I'm curious, really quick. And then we'll move on from this. But I'm like BVA being one of the first shop by agencies and thinking about partnerships, like they were way ahead of their time. And because some agencies still haven't figured out. Yeah, the value of partnerships, right. Yeah. Yeah. Years and years later, was like, what was the goal of that role back then? Was it to bring in revenue from tech partners? Was it to get like better deals from tech partners? Was it to get rev share? Like, what? Yeah. How did you think about that roll back back then? Yeah,

Nikki Tooman 24:23

I think for us, like it wasn't necessarily the rev share piece. It was more just like, push it was as Shopify was sort of, like on the precipice of exploding, right, like everybody at that point was hearing Shopify, and so everybody was trying to think about making the leap from Magento to Shopify. So it was really for us to get in front of as many people as possible on the partnership side of things to be like, if you have somebody that thinking about going from Magento to Shopify, I think BVA, so it's more just like getting in front of people to have our name there so that the leads would come and they did and we had amazing like our first partnership was Jaco like they were JD who's now at loop. He was just he was their singular partner person at Jaco. And so him and I sort of just established this relationship and we, he would send anytime he had heard that somebody was looking to go from Magento Shopify, he was like up BBA, BBA, BBA. And he was such an amazing advocate. And JD and I are still really great friends to this day and text each other even though we've like sort of like gone and doing our own things. And, yeah, it's just it was really just to get our name out there. And with that, the leads followed. And then obviously, the rev share also followed because we weren't then able to start passing leads back. And by the time I left, I was doing partnerships for about two years there. And by the time I left, we had turned the partnership program in just rev share into a six figure. Yeah, like line for the like, it was stupid how much money we were bringing in, because we were referring out so much so much business, because we were getting so much business in,

Noah Rahimzadeh 26:07

right. Yeah, that's, that's awesome. I feel like for the big agencies who have cracked the code on partnerships, like for some of them, I know this for a fact their leading source of revenue month over month is those referral kickback

Nikki Tooman 26:22


Noah Rahimzadeh 26:26

Real quick, JD story, because it's tonight, which we're recording on August 31. He texted me like two weeks ago. He's like, have a buddy moving to Indy. Can you take them out and show him around? So tonight? I'm taking his buddy out that I've never met know nothing about out and about on the town in Indianapolis. But

Nikki Tooman 26:45

JD you're doing the Lord's work Connect. Right.

Noah Rahimzadeh 26:47

Exactly. Yeah. Ultimate connector. Yeah, exactly. That's awesome. So okay, I'm curious. You mentioned Jaco, are there any apps that you worked with back then and then I'd like to get a little bit more into the partners today. But any apps you've worked with back then that you still know and love and work with today? Yeah,

Nikki Tooman 27:10

recharge, we also worked with recharge a lot. Um, so recharge iapo labia was up and coming when I was there. So they were still people were using clay vo but it's not on the scale that it was now we had a lot more people sort of like using Bronto and tools like that. So it was sort of towards the those tools. But I will say I think the two that we use today that we still use are Jaco and recharge and then sort of the tail end of like when I was leaving there. And then when I was at the brain incubator, there's also these other ones that have sort of like come up that we use then. Like the attentive and things like that, but those weren't around when I was doing partnerships at VBA. Right.

Noah Rahimzadeh 27:57

Okay. Makes total sense. What do you what do you typically use Yabo? For? Because now they're, you know, they're consolidated. Different tools under their? Under their Yeah, yeah. So what's like, what are the ones that you actually leverage? I would

Nikki Tooman 28:12

say, so we leverage basically, every single one of them. And the client is we've used every single one of their tools, we've used their email tool, before, we've used their SMS tool, loyalty and rewards, reviews, we've used it all across the board with all of our clients. I will say one thing that I don't think they get enough credit for is their SMS tool. It's pretty incredible, right? SMS bump. And the segmentation of SMS bump is pretty incredible. And we've seen a lot of success with our clients that are using it. So we do love them for that tool, obviously, we have a lot of clients that are using the reviews tool, their loyalty piece, and then we have had two clients that are using email as well. And so their email is sort of like coming to the forefront. So I think that they are building some really great tools. And I think that people know them as reviews and loyalty and aren't really giving them the opportunity for oh, and their subscription tool, too. We have a client that's using their subscription tool as well. So we're always willing to try it out if we have a good relationship with the tech partner. Because we know that Yabo isn't going to build something that's bad. Right. Got it. Yeah. So and we know that the supports there, right, like that's part of partnerships too is like knowing that support piece is there.

Noah Rahimzadeh 29:29

100% Absolutely. That's interesting, I think especially now like the SMS space is crazy crowded.

Nikki Tooman 29:37


Noah Rahimzadeh 29:38

Are you using all like all of them? CLEVEO attentive? Yeah. Like yeah, that's needed. Yeah,

Nikki Tooman 29:45

I will say that one thing that we were really trying to do it sticky digital is like we're really trying to make it so that it's in our clients best interest. So if our client is using a clay VO and loves clay, VO We are not going to push that under any other tool, if a client's using attentive and is loving attentive, we're not going to try pushing them to any other tool, mostly out of respect for our other tech partners. And if it's not broken, sort of like don't change it, the only time that we will make a recommendation when somebody is say, on a SMS bump, and like we will sort of start about start talking about migration is if it's gone stagnant, or it's missing a core piece of what we're trying to do when some of these other tools offer it, then that's sort of like a piece of conversation that we're like, hey, we know we want to do this. You can't do it with this tool, but you can do it with this tool. But really, it's all about whatever is going to make our clients win at the end of the day.

Noah Rahimzadeh 30:40

Yeah, absolutely. I think being like, it's harder in a way to be platform agnostic like that, because you know, all of them,

Nikki Tooman 30:50

right? No, totally. Yeah.

Noah Rahimzadeh 30:51

But it you know, I think clearly, it's hard to argue against that being the best approach like being client centric is obviously super, super important. Not Yeah, exactly. It is but also even for b2b SaaS platforms. Yeah. How like, round out that stack for me what other tools are you using? Like, you know, almost every time or? A lot? Yeah.

Nikki Tooman 31:18

So it'll be like a recharger subscription tool loyalty and rewards, which is typically Yup. For the most part, it's going to be yatco reviews, Jaco or a kendo junipers actually up and coming to which I love the Juniper tool, I think that it's pretty incredible. Reviews, we also focus a lot on, like, consolidating all of that with like, gorgeous, and things like that to to make sure that that's all plugged into like your customer service tool. And then obviously, you guys like a Malomo, which is huge post purchase, that I think a lot of brands are forgetting about, but I can say without plugging you guys. But plugging you guys, I can say with it without a doubt every merchant that we've actually gotten on Malomo for post purchase, it's increased their revenue. It's just It's crazy, because it's like you just turn it on. And it could be like, very basic, and it all automatically, like just starts pumping money into the machine. So yeah, yeah,

Noah Rahimzadeh 32:18

I think thank you for saying that. We have, we have integrations or you know, all of these tools that you just mentioned, we work we work with, in some capacity, whether or not there's a product ties to integration, like as you know, because we live within the Shopify theme. And I think they went in Shopify already can also live on a Malomo page. On the JUnit front, we launched an integration with juniper, and it's sweet, like it's so simple, easy to use, their platform is just like super, super smooth. And they also are crazy good developers like they, they built the integration themselves without like bugging our product team once in like, four days is so good. But we love a kendo, too. And probably we'll do something similar with them pretty soon. Yeah. Yeah. And on the tracking page thing, I totally agree. It's like, it is such a no brainer. And honestly, I like I kind of fault myself and, and our team for like, we're just, we just need to educate the market better. Because it's such a no brainer. I don't know if there's a like for us, that doesn't seem to be a good example of like a Shopify merchant that this doesn't make sense for. Yeah, exactly. Unless, you know, unless it's just like, they're doing less than 1000 orders a month or something,

Nikki Tooman 33:39

right. We're all I mean, but even if like a merchant turns it on, and they're only getting like, which this is probably like on the downside like three, even if you're getting like $3,000 a month from just turning on Malomo You're paying for Malomo. And you're actually like getting more revenue from just sending them to like a USPS page. So it just like it doesn't, I don't feel like there if you're sending a shipping confirmation email, which every brand should be if you're sending that email, like you need to try making it a sales pitch and bring them back to your website and cross sell products. 100%

Noah Rahimzadeh 34:14

Why wouldn't 20% of your whole web traffic is going to that page and most brands are just sending them to UPS or FedEx. It's wild. Yeah,

Nikki Tooman 34:23

y'all were were you like years ago? Right? Like, where was this 10 years ago?

Noah Rahimzadeh 34:29

I totally crazy. It's crazy. Yes, we're doing the educating the plug and yeah, I mean, it is true. I mean, I know this firsthand, all the all the merchants that we've worked on together, I've seen insane results, and I think they're probably even more outsized because they're working with an agency who really gets it. And not only gets why tracking is so important, but how to plug in the rest of the stack to drive you know, your retention marketing experts, which is where I want to go Next, leveraging the entire stack and all the other initiatives that you're driving through in that post purchase journey is what? Where we see the best results for sure. Totally.

Nikki Tooman 35:12

And I think if somebody's using like, even like a ribeye or something like that, right, like you guys have the integration. So it's like, make these two pieces of technology that you're investing in and talk to each other. And you'll get way more revenue out of it. And it's just, it's, and you guys also make it easy, which is awesome. It's like not a heavy lift for brands to be able to do the two things, right.

Noah Rahimzadeh 35:33

Yeah, the integration side is rebuys. A perfect example of like, one plus one equals three. If not, totally, you're getting more value out of both platforms by combining the power of the

Nikki Tooman 35:45

Yeah, exactly.

Noah Rahimzadeh 35:48

Okay, retention. So I always like, first of all, I think it's insane that you guys took that leap. You're like nobody's doing retention marketing, we're gonna go against the grain probably wasn't even like a thing that people talked about that much. No. So how did like how do you think this is a broad question, but how do you think about retention? Like, overall? And what would you say is like an area that brands regularly neglect when it comes to retention? Yeah,

Nikki Tooman 36:19

I mean, honestly, that's a really great question. Because we, the way that we've built sticky digital is that we don't want you to think of retention as just email and SMS. I think that that is a big missed by many merchants, they're like, Oh, I've got my claim to lock locks down. It's like most the time, when you look into these claim your accounts, there's areas that you can sort of improve it anyways. And it's because they're not looking at the full retention cycle. They're looking at CLEVEO as its own standalone tool, they're looking at attentive as its own standalone tool. Malomo or gorgeous or rebuy, like all of these tools have standalone tools like operating to make customers come back. But the piece that's always missing is integrating them together and making them work seamlessly across the board. And so I think that's the one thing that sort of like makes sticky, unique and sets us apart is that like, we think of retention as holistic, holistic, bringing your customer back to repeat purchase. And that includes every single piece of your website, right? Like that's where the CRO piece comes in, we think about recharge, we think about loyalty, we think about your reviews, your CX tool, your post purchase, like, holistically these touch points that you're triggering to customers, and that customers have the opportunity to reach you. And you have to tie them together in order to make them work well. Otherwise, just have free standing tools, and you're missing opportunity. And I will say that that is the biggest thing that merchants neglect, is tying them all together and make sure that cohesively their messaging stays consistent. And you don't over message people when you have all these additional tools.

Noah Rahimzadeh 37:54

Right, it's easy to get, you know, it's kind of easy to lose track of all the different touch points, because you're sending messages now out of I mean, you can send messages directly into your news platform, you can send messages directly out of your returns platform, obviously clay VO and your SMS platform. I think that's a really interesting take. And not only that kind of goes back to the, you know, Malama plus ribeye thing that we were just talking about, by integrating all these things across the board. Not only do you have a better view into everything, but you're making all of the the tools more powerful as a result, you know, them playing seamlessly together, which they all do, because they're all built on top of Shopify.

Nikki Tooman 38:36

Yeah. Yep, totally. And I think that that, like, merchants just don't think about it. They're like, Oh, I have all of these tools. So I'm good. But it's like, if you actually peel back the onion, and you look at how many messages your merchants or your clients are getting from you, because of all of these tools that consolidating them and like, adding messaging or whatever, like they're probably getting an absurd amount of emails from you, that could be prevented by just tying these tools together. Right.

Noah Rahimzadeh 39:04

Right. So would you say like, when you bring on a new client, or you do an audit, which I know you're offering for free right now, which is awesome. Yeah. Whoo. Is that the first thing you're doing? Like going into clay? VO and just seeing like, what Okay, where are the gaps right now? Is that one?

Nikki Tooman 39:21

Yeah, exactly. So like digging into clay VO and sort of looking at the gaps, obviously, like your flows and then sort of looking at your flows in general for how they're performing. But then looking on the customer profile level, and seeing how these things are triggering and, and how clients are actually like where customers are actually receiving them. So we just did this for a client recently, and we've dug into one of their customer profiles, and they're somebody made a purchase and they purchased and they still got an abandoned cart. And then immediately after they purchased they got two reviews and then immediately after purchase they got a shipping confirmation and they like they literally got seven emails within a two day period. And I was like this, and I don't think you realize that it's happening as the merchant because you're not digging in profile level, you're like, oh, this seems like this trigger is set appropriately, this trigger set up appropriately. But when you look at it holistically as a customer, you need to like take a step back and go like, holy shit. I've just sent my customers seven emails in a 24 hour period, because they purchase and now you're pissing off the person that's bringing revenue to your company sending too many emails. So yeah, it's like one of the first things that we do, because I think it's so missed on sort of like the granular level.

Noah Rahimzadeh 40:32

Yes, man, that's a that is such a great like tactical example. And something that I like, personally, I haven't thought about, which is, you know, looking at flows is one thing, looking at, you know, actual customer engagement on a one to one level as a whole nother, on the on the level of like, recent client project, any any particular any in particular that you're like, super excited about, that you've recently worked on, that you can talk about. Um,

Nikki Tooman 41:03

I'll just say I always say this. One of my favorite accounts to work on is our client, you beauty and our mutual client of ours. You beauty, and I'll say that they're one of my favorite clients, they were actually one of our very first clients ever. So we've worked with them now for almost four years.

Noah Rahimzadeh 41:21

Oh, my god, yeah, retainer thing, or is it like projects will come up and they come retainer,

Nikki Tooman 41:27

but they, for years, we've just worked with them. And I will say like, their products incredible. So I have full faith in the product. The team is I've never met such a group of amazing my kind of remind me of of BVA days where like, you just work with some really incredible minds that like, they've hired really amazing people to do these different pieces of their business. And it's so much fun to work with them on a daily basis. So like, our relationship that we have with them, I think is like very unique. And it's less like, agency brands, like we really genuinely feel and they treat us like part of their brand. And it's so helpful. And they bring us into a lot of conversation that maybe you typically wouldn't bring a retention agency into, because they know that it will down the line have an impact on what we're doing. But they're just they're so fun. Like they're fun to work with. The product is amazing. And the people are just insanely smart. I walk away every single week learning something new from somebody on their team.

Noah Rahimzadeh 42:28

That's awesome. I'm there. Oh, it's lovely. I know what their tracking page looks like. Yeah, I remember when we launched it. But yeah, that's a great, great. Shout out with that brand.

Nikki Tooman 42:41

Yeah. So if you know anybody that needs skincare, I use it personally. And I will say My husband also uses it. No founders use it. Oh, you can, the men can use the regular like oyster. It's, it's, I can't say enough good things about it. It's incredible. When I don't when I run out of the product, I literally like message their team being like, hey, my face doesn't know what to do right now. Because it's your product. It feels homeless, like my skin needs some love their product I will I've never experiences like a skincare product like there's and so that's also one of the cool things about working with them is like we genuinely believe and use the product ourselves. And we'd love it.

Noah Rahimzadeh 43:25

Yeah, I love that. Because it's like, you got the product, which is huge. The relationship right is another thing that I think probably gets lost in translation. Like, yeah, well, every agency says like, we're a true partner to the brand. That doesn't always happen even even when you try to be sometimes I think as an agency or or a merchant. You know, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. So it's awesome. It's awesome when it does, yeah,

Nikki Tooman 43:53

they genuinely treat us like we're a part of their family and like it's just the warmest feeling like meeting like, we still talk to the founders and like they're just they're just an extension of your family. It's incredible. Awesome. Love it. I can't say enough good things about them.

Noah Rahimzadeh 44:09

Rapid fire. Black Friday, Cyber Monday is around the corner. We talked about it a little bit before started recording what is one or two things that brands should be thinking about leading up to this holiday season.

Nikki Tooman 44:24

Start your efforts early. So last year we start we saw like sale starting in October but if you saw the sale starting in October, you needed to start your sort of like retention efforts well before that. So like if we're already looking at coming up to September like we need to figure this out today. So make sure that you know what your deal is make sure that you have all your retention efforts set up on site so whether that's your exit your entrance, like your messaging, getting people to make sure that they purchase from you on Black Friday, Cyber Monday is going to be huge. The other thing that I think is sort of like using some anything like this, like post purchase, right? If you haven't yet, do that for the holidays, because people, as we all know, like holiday shipping is insane to sort of like use that as your mark. And you know that. So install something like Malomo today so that your client or your customers are constantly coming back to your site when they're looking at what are their packages and make sure it gets there on time. So their mom is gifted? Yes.

Noah Rahimzadeh 45:25

Great. Yes, yeah. Not that I'm biased. But No, but seriously, we talked about this a lot, like, you know, brands are going to spend more money this year. And it's, you know, it's not that it's a special year, they're going to spend more money next year and the year after every American more excited to or more excited, more expensive, and excited to acquire new customers. And that's just the fact of the matter. It's, you know, most brands aren't going to get to profitability after that first purchase. And if you turn those customers, because you didn't set up a great post purchase experience, and you set them on the side quest, yes, or FedEx, and then their package was delayed, and there was no communication about that, because you didn't have those triggers set up. You just lost money acquiring that customer. Yeah, become an existential crisis for brands like pretty quickly, if you're losing cut, if you're losing too many customers after that first purchase, and they're not coming back to buy again, because you never got to prop you never even get to leave it on. Right. Totally.

Nikki Tooman 46:28

I think another thing too, that a lot of brands don't do that is impactful, because of the amount of people that come to your site. It's like set up some sort of like post purchase survey with these people, like find out more about them, because especially if they're gonna be first time purchasers, you can like use this data in the post purchase survey. And we also recommend doing an abandoned cart, do an abandoned cart survey, find out why somebody purchase, right? Because you can use all of these findings. And you're like, I don't want to like wait on them for a full year. But if you know why somebody didn't purchase during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can alter your sale next year to know to hit more people. So if you know that it was like your shipping threshold, or if you know that it was sort of like shipping timelines, you can work on those things and be more proactive going into next year.

Noah Rahimzadeh 47:14

Absolutely. That's a that's a great one that I think is often forgotten as well. Yeah. Last question. We're right at the hour. This flew by by the way, it

Nikki Tooman 47:24

didn't fly by let's keep talking. Tuesday, we've got

Noah Rahimzadeh 47:29

Tuesday. There we go. Okay, you've had an awesome career. We walked through that earlier. What's like one tip or trick that sort of helped you get to where you are today that you would that you'd share with the audience?

Nikki Tooman 47:43

Yeah. So the one that's been the most impactful to me, my dad told me when I was first starting out. In my career, my dad said, you don't have friends at work. And for the first couple of years, I didn't really understand it, right? Because we've we've just spent all the time talking about partnerships and how you build relationships. I didn't really understand and I'm like, What do you mean, I always have friends at work. And as I've sort of like, gone through my career, it started, I realized what he meant. It's not necessarily that like you don't have friends at work, but like, you are only accountable and responsible for yourself, and you are only as good and as hard as you work. So like nobody else is going to defend Nikki, at the end of the day, when it comes between me and a friend to get business, the friend is going to pitch against me and I am responsible for myself and my business. So like holistically when he said like you don't have friends at work, it took me a while to like really figure out what he meant. But it's like, you are responsible for your success. And you can't rely on others to help you get there. So like build the network of people, but ultimately, if you don't put in the work if you don't put in the time. It's not going to happen for you.

Noah Rahimzadeh 49:00

I love that advice. I didn't know where you were when either when you first.

Nikki Tooman 49:04

I mean, when my dad told me when I was like no, my dad told me I was 24 I'm like, I always make friends. I'm like now like I get it right. Like, I tried telling my employees at work the same thing like just remember, like you don't have friends when it comes to work. Because at the end of the day, you're all responsible for yourselves and nobody's gonna cover for you. You know what I mean? Like when a client mishap happens, the fingers start pointing and that's what my dad meant. It's like you have to perform your best because somebody will ultimately always point the finger. Right?

Noah Rahimzadeh 49:35

They're looking out for themselves. You gotta love themselves. Yeah, I'm the same way. One of my my values is accountability personally, and I just feel very strongly that like, you know, you need to control what you can. Yep, exactly. And take accountability for how things play out as much as humanly possible. And totally have that mindset. You're always kind of just, you feel more comfortable in the drawer. I proceed, I think in a lot of ways, so

Nikki Tooman 50:01

yeah. And you know that you're going to make it because you are holding yourself accountable and you're doing what your own expectations of yourself are.

Noah Rahimzadeh 50:10

Exactly. Great advice. Fantastic episode. Nick, thank

Nikki Tooman 50:14

you for

Noah Rahimzadeh 50:16

coming. And looking forward to catching up with you more personally on Tuesday. Yeah,

Nikki Tooman 50:21

same here. Thank you, Noah. Thanks, Nikki Talk soon. Okay, bye.