S3 E25: BEST OF SEASON 3: Partners


On this special episode of Malomo’s Retention Chronicles podcast, we’ve taken out some of our favorite clips with our partners from Season 3. Listen now to hear what leading ecommerce pros think about:

  • the Shopify ecosystem,
  • customer retention,
  • scaling social media,
  • A/B testing transactional emails and SMS,
  • post-purchase strategy, and more!

We highlight our conversations with:

  • Drew Himel (Founder & CEO of FIRESIDE),
  • Dylan Byers, Jacob Paduch, & Liam Veregin (Co-Founders of Aplo),
  • Maier Bianchi (CEO & Founder of Bemeir),
  • Ari Murray (Director of Growth at Sharma Brands),
  • Jim Breese (Head of Growth at AppHub),
  • Thomas Kimura (Founder of Brickspace Lab),
  • Chelsea Jones & Rachel Saul (Co-Founders of Chelsea & Rachel),
  • Josh Chin (Co-Founder and CEO of Chronos),
  • Erik Huberman (Founder & CEO of Hawke Media),
  • Casey Matthew (Founder & CEO of Skylab),
  • Adam Robinson (Founder & CEO of Retention.com), and
  • Kasey Luck (Founder & CEO of Luck & Co).

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.


brand, retention, shopify, work, episode, customer, founder, product, clients, agencies, email, black friday ads, ad tech, big, facebook, email addresses, ads, campaigns, ceo, purchase


Drew Himel, Dylan Byers, Josh Chin, Mariah Parsons, Thomas Kimura, Casey Matthew, Jim Breese, Chelsea Jones, Maier Bianchi, Kasey Luck, Erik Huberman, Ari Murray, Adam Robinson, Noah Rahimzadeh

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:04

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

Mariah Parsons 00:16

Hey, everyone, as you probably know, retention Chronicles likes to bring in some of the best retention focused brands in the Shopify ecosystem.

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:24

Well, we don't just feature brands, we also feature some great thought leaders in the Shopify ecosystem that serve brands.

Mariah Parsons 00:31

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

Noah Rahimzadeh 00:39

We hope you'll stick around to learn and laugh with us retention Chronicles

Mariah Parsons 00:43

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 go malomo.com. So hello, everyone. If you saw the title of the episode, then you might know that this is a special edition of retention Chronicles because we're rounding out season three and going into season four, which is always exciting. So for this episode, we have taken clips from our favorite episodes with our partners. And in between each clip, I'm going to be telling you which episode you can go back and listen to the whole conversation if it pleases you. So this first clip is from drew him on who is the founder and CEO of fireside enjoy.

Noah Rahimzadeh 01:33

And what I know you talked about that a little bit and what I heard was like You What attracted you to e commerce, which is really interesting is like, I think the ability to properly attribute like value based on like, inputs and outputs. And, and yeah, properly attribute revenue and all of the other things that drive it. Is that right? And is there anything else that sort of made you think this is sort of the future of, of commerce? And it's where I need to be?

Drew Himel 02:17

Yeah, I mean, I think it was, it was very much like fundamental were like, you know, the track. I mean, we even did so from like restaurant groups and everything else. It's just, it's very difficult to get the ROI. And so for us, it is always around, like what is the value of our efforts? And so, within EComm everything is trackable. If anything, there's like too much data for these brands, heads or tails of what's actually going on and what's effective and what's not.

Mariah Parsons 02:44

From episode three of season three, we're joined by Dylan briars, Jacob paddock, and Liam Barragan Applo.

Noah Rahimzadeh 02:55

In terms of Black Friday, vers Cyber Monday, for us, specifically in comm space. Do you see any? Are there any differences in terms of strategies that you recommend brands employee on the different days?

Dylan Byers 03:11

Yeah, so I think I can go many ways. We're not a huge fan of turning off Black Friday ads on Cyber Monday, mostly because you do run with some risk with Facebook, I use Facebook as an example, because that's where most brands are still spending the bulk of their advertising dollars, or I should say that up. So we'll often run Cyber Monday ads alongside Black Friday. That way in doing that process, if the Black Friday ads continue to stick to be the top performers, they will get the bulk of the spend. And there's a small chance sometimes when you try and live ads, they get disapproved or they get stuck in processing. These things do happen sometimes. And on those days when you're trying to push a lot of budget behind the platform's you want to make sure that your ads are actually live.

Mariah Parsons 04:02

On episode five of season three, we're joined by Mayor Bianchi at the Meijer

Maier Bianchi 04:11

said there's a lot of people that have seen success in the Shopify ecosystem. So it's self propelling, because it's like, hey, if you've been able to make X brand, X millions of dollars, well then let's do it again, following a similar playbook. And there's been a lot of that. And so I just think as trends shift, or as things shift, like socially, or you know, consumer tastes, but also like, you know, these external forces like Google and cookies and, and like advertising or like laws changing in Europe, which affects Facebook, I would say that's where we're seeing brands have to like push how they engage with customers and how they acquire traffic. And so I think it's just always going to be something that's like shaking it up. But because Shopify is such a big company now, and they're continuously innovating, and there's so many people that are passionate members of the ecosystem, like ourselves included, like, you know, like, if you want to do web three and token gating, you can do that on Shopify, if you want to focus on loyalty, you can do that on Shopify, if you want to focus on any aspect of your E commerce experience, or go omni channel, and like, you know, the POS, part of it's growing. So I would just say it all is at the mercy of how each part of the product matures. But because there's so many invested parties, I would say they're propelling it forward. And like this whole commerce components launch, I think, is a statement a, I guess, for like shareholders and like trying to address that market fit. But then I think also because it's them, they can actually push that forward a year from now and have more better clients. Because, you know, why wouldn't brands want to take advantage of more being like be able to be more dynamic.

Mariah Parsons 05:52

This next one is from episode seven of season three with Ari Murray, VP of growth at Sharma brands and author of go to millions newsletter.

Ari Murray 06:05

I posted a role for I think it was director of growth. And my husband is friends with Nick and a few of the people that I just know that we're good friends with Nick, so I made them all text him in the same second to be like army would kill it as your drawl. And then he texted me and was like, Oh, I keep hearing your name. I was like, Oh, really? I think I like signed my offer the next day. So it's very quick,

Noah Rahimzadeh 06:32

what is the what is the ICP? You talked a little bit about it earlier. And then what does the typical engagement look like from like, start to finish

Ari Murray 06:38

for sure. So ICP definitely is a brand that either has a big audience that's waiting for this product, let's say it's a creator brand, that is stealth pre launch, that's perfect. That is what we do best. That's really our team specialty is to take a brand, build the entire website, design it or handle the does bring it bring it all agencies set the brand up for launch, and then help it to scale. That's, that's the bread and butter. And then the other side is the growth stage companies that are doing like eight figures, and they have a specific problem. And they could use a partner to help them get to nine figures or that can help them to fix part of their funnel or something is either gone wrong, or there's just room to scale that hasn't been realized. That's also a great sweet spot. And for that client, it might be just taking over redoing their tech stack, introducing them to the right people, building landing pages, building ads, redoing parts of their website, and just like optimizing the entire experience, that's the other client but there's really nothing in between those two, you're either gonna be a big brand that's about to launch or you're a big brand that needs some help. And those are both perfect for us.

Mariah Parsons 07:55

Jim Brees, head of growth at app hub joins us from Episode Nine of season three.

Jim Breese 08:04

But I think retention is going to be the most important metric for SaaS companies going forward like you just cannot ignore the fact that money is falling out, fix the holes in your bucket before you go add new features or go acquire new customers because optimizing the few percentage points on your convert on your registration page. You know, having interactive exit funnels for a cancellation all those things are going to play a much bigger role when you go and have the ability to go acquire more customers because now that bucket has a lot less holes in it. So I think it's very very important to not ignore the fact that if you have high retention, you have an issue or if you have to if you have a low retention, you have an issue you need to take care of that because it's not just going to magically fix itself because I you see founders were like, they just don't get it well then explain it to them, demonstrate it to them, educate them show them you know, yeah, so retention is gonna be big.

Mariah Parsons 09:00

From episode 11 of season three Thomas Kimura, founder of Frick Space Lab joins us

Thomas Kimura 09:09

but definitely for like some of those more like a static Instagram brands, the photography is probably number one, I think that's one of the components on like a website where it can make something go from looking really kind of unprofessional to make making something looking completely top grade like top notch. Photography is a big part of that because if you think about it, Shopify or any website really like you're looking at a grid of products and you've got a little bit of text under each photo, like the name of the product 90% of that design is just the photos. So that is a that is a really important component

Mariah Parsons 09:59

on Episode 13 We're joined by Chelsea Jones and Rachel Saul cofounders of Chelsea and Rachel.

Chelsea Jones 10:09

I love this conversation because to me, Omni channel became the trendy buzzword from bunch of marketers, but the reality is when it comes to business and it when it comes to like retail itself, it's it's been trying to figure out how do we make this more accessible online, because historically retail brands, it was the lion's share of, you know, the foot traffic. So I think exactly what you were saying you have to be a lot more innovative. And you have to be a lot more creative on how you're presenting your brand that much more online. Because your consumer buyers expect that right? It's a perfect example is like Apple and Apple products right now, so many of us have iPhones and you get used to the updates in the user experience like on a massive scale. But the apple.com website is very different on your desktop versus your mobile. And it was done that intentionally you have to have a simplistic user experience design for how you're working on mobile versus how you're working on desktop, etc. And I think retail it's the same way how your storefront needs to reflect and your mobile needs to reflect in your desktop, but it has to be positioned to your customer at that buying path right there. So to make it easier, and to make it like in flow. That's what I think is top of mind for a lot of these brands looking at omni channel, it's less about the term omni channel as it is about how do we really serve customers holistically in this and then have it simple to check out, whether it's on our store in our site, you know, on our mobile device, all of that should be connected and should be more seamless. So it's more of like how are these channels becoming simplified and more seamless.

Mariah Parsons 11:39

Um, season three, Episode 15, we're joined by Josh Chin, co founder and CEO of Kronos.

Josh Chin 11:50

When you look at the economics of an initial purchase, you have cogs, which accounts for call it 30%. The cost of acquiring customer Yep, going to ad spend, and almost the ad spend, that's going to be about 50% or thereabouts, on average. And that leaves a tiny bit of margins for OpEx. And for most businesses, that 20% isn't even there, because the cost of acquiring a customer is just so high. And when you look at retention, and what email, SMS and all these channels can do, it effectively removes the need for cost of acquisition completely by diverting all these resources into sending sending an email sending a text, which costs you a quarter of a cent. And when you look at that, it dramatically shifts the level of the levels of profitability within a 14 day 14 day period. So what I like to do is, I like to maximize the profitability of a customer within the first 14 days. While interest levels excitement is at its all time high. So that includes and Malomo is a great tool for this as well. The post purchase experience, what we like to do is during the post purchase experience, we'd like to identify most key moments of interactions where excitement and interest at its is at its peak, and introduce new products that are relevant and exciting for the customer at an unbeatable price, offer package or whatever. And once we get over the hump of the second purchase, what I've found is that the third and fourth purchase becomes a lot easier because you now have two moments of, of truth versus just one.

Mariah Parsons 14:03

From episode 17, Eric Huberman founder and CEO of Hawk media.

Erik Huberman 14:11

The funny thing is who we compete with is like the five person Facebook shop and someone's their bedroom. And I frankly like and this is part of this is just being transparent about our challenge. My challenge is like trying to explain to people like you want to go work with someone to grow your business has no idea to grow their own. Like once in a while there are agencies like that, that are just getting started that are on a ramp and they're good and you can get a good one. They exist. I don't want to be like but 99% of the time. It's someone that just can't keep any of their clients is why they can't grow. Nobody wants to run a five person Facebook agency, they can tell you that as a sales pitch, but nobody's happy doing all the work and not being able to scale their business. And if they are you're trusting someone that doesn't like scale to scale. Like it's it's just that that's always been crazy to me and so, you know for us, we figured out how to at scale, keep the same level of service keep the same, like we know all the jabs, larger agencies where it's like, oh, we're going to fall through the cracks, well know that that would mean our agency would suck like we, there's a month to month, if we don't take care of you, you fire us next month, if all of my clients fire me after a month, I don't have a business. So it's about keeping, you know, showing that we know how to grow. We know the roadmap, and whenever someone says, How do I get the agencies I should work with and like find someone that's already taken some of where you are to where you want to be. That's number one, like that. Don't be the test subject. If they've done it, do it like, because then you can just run a playbook and most of marketing is sort of that baseline rinse and repeat scalable piece. Because if it's not, it's not predictable, and you can't run a business off it, you need predictability and marketing, about 10% of it is that like flash in the pan, you know, go viral, do some big campaigns, that kind of stuff. But 90% of it is rinse and repeat, like do the thing, the best practices. And if you've got a good product, and you run the best practices, you should be great.

Mariah Parsons 16:04

And next up, we're listening to a clip from Episode 19, with Casey Matthew, founder and CEO of Skylab.

Casey Matthew 16:13

And so we've actually been working really hard on lowering their CPAs on metal platforms. Believe it or not, we've been very successful in that. And it just comes down to the framework and structure of how we've set up their entire campaigns. Now we're starting to expand on other platforms like Pinterest, and a few others. I don't want to reveal it yet. But our partnership with them is awesome. I love everybody that works there. Our team does too. And you know, they treat us well, just as much as we treat them all too.

Noah Rahimzadeh 16:46

That's awesome. Do you feel like you've figured anything out in meta, or Facebook? That's like scalable, just in terms of ideas on going on. And it's not really my wheelhouse the acquisition side, but I am interested in it. So like, is there anything that you sort of had a revelation on that you think you can scale it up

Casey Matthew 17:06

or client in some ways, like you'd think it would be a lot more complicated that it is sometimes just staring right in front of your fish. One thing that I've always seen work for any apparel brand, even when I was a media buyer back in the day, we're running product, beauty campaigns, pacifically, for those that are on apparel, just taking their product, the constantly updating it based on a collection or product, SKU or modality, whatever it may be, and just running data campaigns on that, and making sure that the campaigns installed are broad and using certain placements. Because there are times where you pull in the product feed and maybe the images don't the the requirements of Facebook and Instagram, Instagram Stories, whatever it may be. So it's just becoming because everyone nowadays, they're always saying be broad as possible, because of the the Facebook pixel and iOS and whatnot, right? In a sense, that is true. But you can still be granular and all of your targeting, you can still have different data sets and target based on product selection, you can still AB test ad copy messaging, you can still do a lot of things to our very intent this and still keep it broad. And still, obviously you want to wrap it up and remarketing users based on whatever it may be and identifying with the brand and what their needs are as well. Done dust kind of approached Viola steak and I think doing it incrementally as well. And not, you know pouring $100,000 In one week or one month. I think if you in my opinion, slow and steady when serious.

Mariah Parsons 18:56

From episode 21 Adam Robinson, founder and CEO of retention.com.

Adam Robinson 19:04

Oh, how does it work? There are many networks. There are cookie pools, like these are all foreign concepts. But like in ad tech, which is the anonymized banner ad world, right? There's like Facebook and Google but there's like a bunch of open internet ad tech providers, a lot of ad tech. The persistent identifier that follows somebody across websites is an MD five email hash. Interesting. Okay. So we look out for these MD five email hashes in people's browsers. And we have a way to basically D anonymize them you're not supposed to be able to but it turns out if you have every email address that ever existed, then you can empty five all of those and then just do like a VLOOKUP. And we have opt ins through a coverage network for every email that we provide people, it's not a legal necessity. We just do that. Because generally when a consumer asks, Where did you get my email, and we send them an opt in, of where they opted into this network, they immediately are satisfied with that. So, so yeah, that's that's basically how it works. And then the real magic of it is we clean these email addresses. We're purchasing signal data opens and clicks from the rest of the email ecosystem, like you can buy anonymized opening clicks. So like, we only give people email addresses that have like, opened and clicked elsewhere in the past, like 24 hours, seven days, depending on like, other characteristics of the email address. So we basically were reverse engineer, like the hottest possible email addresses. Yeah, and then pass them over to the brand. So yeah, it's an aggressive tactic, like I'm not in any way, trying to construe that it is not, but it is amazing in how effective it is. And legal, actually, yeah, it's not actually like retention, either. I just thought it was close enough attention to like be retention, commas are name, I actually want to create a category called customer reCAPTCHA. That like, you know, embodies what we do. And there's a couple indirect competitors that do it too. I think it'd be helpful brands.

Noah Rahimzadeh 21:23

I like just wrote down on my notes here, it seems very acquisition focused, why not? Yeah, not calm instead of retention.com. Do you? Do you see use cases on the retention side? Or did it just feel feel like this makes sense? The name Yeah, like,

Adam Robinson 21:42

do you like, the way I looked at it as like, there's retention as E commerce people talking about retention. But like, then there's also just like, like, it is retaining people who are retaining your website in funnel leakage, right? Like, it's not loyalty rewards, reviews, like whatever, like the yacht post suite, if you want to call it that. But it is in some way retention, and I could get the domain. And it's so much I thought, like I did so put it this way. I didn't think that there was a better name that I could get.

Mariah Parsons 22:17

And our last clip is from Episode 23, with Kasey Luck, founder and CEO of Luck & Co

Kasey Luck 22:25

the team in general is doing a lot of exciting things. But some of the stuff that I like personally worked with there. You know, it's it's kind of I don't know if it's a basic theme or not basic thing, but it's one of the most common conversations around email is people don't read, right? Like, why send long emails? People don't read anyway. And as an agency, we often get feedback from clients or like, let's make this shorter. Like, why is this email so long, people don't read. And so we've done a series of AV tests. And I love that it was like really a series of tests, and not just one test that showed that for this particular brand, and, you know, like don't take these results and just apply them to your brand as is, I still recommend that everybody test because everyone's audience is different. But for this one brand. We tested shorter emails versus longer emails, and even like those shorter emails, like they still contain, like good information. And it was the brands actually, like the brand was advocating for longer emails, which is unusual for us. Yeah. I was on on the devil's advocate side this time, but I was like, okay, yes, that's a valid test, let's test it. And much longer emails, one over shorter emails, and that brand, like, you know, like speaking generally, they sell sort of like supplements stuff, thanks. Let's just call them supplements. And so their audience just really needs education. And they would they want to learn how the supplements work, and what do they do to your body? And like, what are the alternatives and why do alternatives don't work? And all of that stuff. So I think maybe the like the the learning from the story is that it's worth testing even like the most basic basic assumptions that you have about your audience. If you've never tested that tested, if it's been a while that you've tested that tested again,