As E-Commerce Changes, Many Things Stay the Same: Digital Marketing with Tink Taylor – 243
The landscape of digital marketing has changed substantially in the last 20 years. Still, when it comes time to sell your Amazon (or other e-commerce) product, it comes down to making sure that you are connecting with your target audience.
Today on the AM/PM Podcast, Tim Jordan speaks with a digital marketing expert who’s been at the forefront of the industry for the last 20 years. Tink Taylor is a marketing legend. He’s the Founder & President of the dotDigital Group with offices in London, Manchester, Belarus, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Amsterdam, and Cape Town.
Tink has over 20 years’ experience in the field of digital communications and has been pivotal in the development of digital marketing since its outset in both the UK and the USA. He’s introduced digital marketing to companies both large and small.
Over the next 40 minutes, Tink is going to talk about the cutting edge tactics, tools, and strategies that will help make sure that your digital marketing is connecting your products with buyers. He’s also going to talk about how some very big companies are getting a lot of things wrong and tell us what he sees in his e-commerce crystal ball.
In episode 243 of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim and Tink discuss:
- 02:00 – What is Dotdigital?
- 04:00 – ‘You Can’t Stand Still in This Industry”
- 07:00 – Dealing with Challenging Situations
- 09:30 – Tactics, Tools, and Strategies
- 11:30 – “You Need a Team for the Ferrari”
- 16:00 – How Big Companies are Getting it Wrong
- 19:00 – White-Labeling SMS Technology
- 22:00 – Looking for Business Opportunities in the “Gaps”
- 25:00 – Running a Split Test isn’t Enough
- 27:00 – What’s in Tink’s Crystal Ball?
- 29:30 – A Revolution is Coming to Your Inbox
- 32:00 – Email is Going to Adapt
- 34:30 – How Might Privacy Rules Affect Digital Communications?
- 37:30 – “Building In” Compliance
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Tim Jordan: 20 years ago, the landscape of digital marketing was much different than what it is today. The truth is most companies that were doing digital marketing 20 years ago are gone. They failed, they couldn’t adapt, they couldn’t become flexible and they couldn’t make the adjustments in the ever increasing complex world of digital marketing. but dotdigital has been around for at least 20 years. And today we have Tink Taylor coming to share some of his wisdom that he’s gleaned from 20 plus years, experience running dotdigital in this crazy digital marketing world that we all live in.
Tim Jordan: Hi. I’m Tim Jordan and in every corner of the world, entrepreneurship is growing. So, join me as I explore the stories of successes and failures. Listen in as I chat with the risk takers, the adventurous and the entrepreneurial veterans, we all have a dream of living a life, fulfilling our passions, and we want a business that doesn’t make us punch a time clock, but instead runs around the clock in the AM and the PM. So get motivated, get inspired. You’re listening to the AM/PM Podcast.
Tim Jordan: Welcome everybody to another episode of the AM/PM Podcast, where we talk all things entrepreneurship from the eyes of an e-commerce seller. Today, we’ve got a guest that frankly we’ve been trying to get on for a while, but either my kids would be sick and we couldn’t record or his power to be out or all sorts of stuff. So this is what I’ve been looking forward to for a while. An introduction made by a good mutual friend of ours. And even in just the few minutes that we chatted getting ready for this episode, I realized, Hey, this is going to be really, really great content, some really good actionable stuff. So without further ado, welcome Tink Taylor from dotdigital.
Tink Taylor: Hi. Thanks for having me. It’s great to finally be here. It’s been fun and games, trying to do want to get this organized, but yes, it’s good to finally happen.
Tim Jordan: So I have heard the name dotdigital, but I will admit that up until a few minutes ago, I didn’t really know what you guys did. And I always like to ask the question, if you have a company or service that applies to this industry, now, I’d like to hear the history of that business, like how you got started, what the business is doing. And it’s really good context because then when you share the actionable content, after the introduction, we understand your point of view. We understand where you’re coming from and it kind of sets your credibility. So if you say something that I might not even agree with, I can step back and say, but wait, this guy has been doing it for 20 years and I haven’t, maybe I’m the one that’s wrong. Right. So, go ahead and give us the history of how did you get started with dotdigital, and just give us the five minute history of how you started to where you’re at now.
Tink Taylor: So dotdigital, today’s 20-something years old. It’s a publicly traded company in the London stock exchange. It’s a fully blown marketing automation platform. Being a– you mentioned entrepreneurialism. I’m an entrepreneur myself. I’m one of the founders of what is now dotdigital. We actually started off as a sort of web development agency back in the late nineties. And we were building websites. We then started building technology for people to build their websites with. So we built a content management system, editor, and an e-commerce system, dot commerce, funny enough. And then those sites needed to be successful. So they need to be marketed. So we built an email marketing platform called dot mailer. We were facing difficult challenges over the years. Like each one of those business units individually were incredibly good. I mean, we began things like the commerce platform, and the CMS, the things like the e-commerce platform. We still have people running them. They still work. And it’s sort of 10 years later, we look at some of the features and functionality and the likes of Shopify and Magento fallout in the last few years. Big trumpeted fanfares and we’re thinking we have that stuff like a decade ago. So we kind of understand what it is when we talk to an e-commerce merchant. Because we know what it’s like to be all parts of that journey. We know what it’s like to have to design and build your site. And we know what it’s like to work with your e-commerce vendor. And then we know what it’s like to work with your marketing partner. So that was the journey that we’re on. We decided to pick a winner and the email marketing side of things had a great recurring revenue. It’s very easy to predict that growth. So we focused on that and that’s been a tremendous success. The world has changed and we’ve needed to adapt and change everything about our business to the needs of merchants over time. So we’ve led on so many features and functionality to make you be more segmented, more targeted over the years. And nowadays it’s across multiple channels. So a few years back, we changed our name from dot mailer into dot digital. And that’s because we brought a number of other channels into the marketing mix so that we really offer an omni-channel solution now. So we offer things like SMS, push, mobile push. Web push, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger seemed to bring on WeChat for Asia. And we also have a live chat product as well, so that, and they all link together. So yeah, it’s constant innovation and change. And you can’t stand still in this industry. And I remember once going into a sales meeting, when the sales guy was saying, we were struggling to sell this against X, Y, Z competitor, and I white labeled the old version of the platform and said, can you sell it against this? And they went, no. And I said, see, this guy is your boss. He sells millions of dollars of this. That was our platform. Wow. What we’ve got now is incredible, but yeah, hopefully it gives you a bit of a potted history on who we are.
Tim Jordan: And it’s interesting when you think of commerce over the several thousands of years, there wasn’t a ton of change until the past 20 years. So you’ve literally started in the era of Yahoo and AOL. And now you’re talking about advanced WhatsApp integrations, connecting to almost every cell phone in the known world. It’s pretty crazy. So, that’s a really good history and congratulations on your success. One thing that strikes me before I move on that I want to bring up is you use the term, you found a champion, or you picked a winner. And what I perceive that to mean is you had a bunch of stuff going on and you said, Hey, we have to throttle back. Like we have to actually on paper downsize what we’re doing and become hyper focused on one thing. And that’s tough because at least for me, it’s been tough because I think of, even the lame ducks that I have, like, I just keep telling myself, Oh, just one more month or one more quarter, and it’ll get over the hump and we’ll be fine. And pulling the plug on something that you’ve invested so much time, energy, effort, and money into is tough. How did you get to the point where you realized, Hey, I’m going to be comfortable cutting the plug on a bunch of this stuff and really hyper focusing on one thing.
Tink Taylor: Yeah. I mean, you say the word focusing on him for me, focus is everything. I’m fortunate enough now to mentor a number of merchants and entrepreneurs around the world actually. And it’s a common discussion I have with them. So yeah, we have essentially several things going on. We had a successful agency. We had a successful e-commerce platform, a successful content management platform and a marketing platform. There were three co-founders of the business, so I was doing the email marketing piece and my other two co-founders were looking after the other elements. And that was a very tough thing. It was becoming immediately obvious that the email thing we had invested in was the decision we made across all three of us, that investment decision was made on. This is the easiest way to make money in that recurring revenue. But then it did become quite a challenging conversation, especially since they were ahead of the other business areas, we were looking to end-of-life and it’s your first baby syndrome is you saying. And it’s like, Oh, just give it another month. We might just get this in. We won’t get that in. But the metrics and the numbers never stacked up in the agency world, we’d have to do however many implementations a month just to even catch up. And that focus is actually end of lifting those business units and saying, right, let’s take the developers that we have working on here and get them working on the platform. And the marketing platform made a massive difference. And I think one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful, especially in the e-commerce world, is our developers understand what an e-commerce platform is because they built one. One of the steps we took to end a life that we actually became a Magento SI. So one of the reasons why our integration into Magento is so good to new in the Magento platform inside out as well. So I think that’s a big part of our journey is that when we talk to a merchant and they just say, we understand all those pain points of everyone involved in that situation, it’s not just a case of wiring stuff together. We understand why people are doing it, what pain points they’re facing and what they’re hoping to achieve and try to address those challenges.
Tim Jordan: That’s great. And the other thing of course that’s done is this giving you 20 years, 20 plus years of experience, which a lot of our listeners, myself included need because unfortunately the things that worked five years ago don’t work today. Like we have to keep changing when it comes to the actual implementation of tactics and tools, but the strategies of running a successful business that doesn’t change. I live a lot in the Amazon world and everybody thinks that you can become a millionaire, selling a brand by optimizing the backend of a listing. And I’m like, well, you’re missing the point. You still have to have a great product. You still have to sell it like business fundamentals, still trump the specific tactics. Right. So I know that there’s a lot of noise out there, a lot of shiny object syndrome. And what I’d like to do today is talk about a combination of the two, like hardcore business marketing strategies, mixed with some of the best tactics and tools and things that we can utilize in the current day and age to help build our businesses, whether it’s digital marketing, e-commerce brands, whatever. And even before that, what I’d like to do is start out with some of the mistakes that you see people make. So whether it’s existing customers and you’ve got hundreds and thousands, I’m sure, especially like new clients that you’re bringing in that you’re consulting them, you’re helping them. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see e-commerce businesses making right now that hopefully we can glean some wisdom from and maybe stop making those same mistakes ourselves.
Tink Taylor: Yeah, I think probably a good answer to that is actually people have this ambition to do everything and they try and do everything at once. And quite often they would have bought that shiny object you were talking to this guy. So there’s always a lump of slick salesmen out there in this new software world that will promise the earth. And we were talking of things where we position ourselves deliberately as a consequence of that. We have sort of the lower end, a lot of the cheaper or freer products and your mail chimps would have been great, great entry level, get you going. But then when you want to go a bit more sophisticated, you just can’t do it on those platforms. You kind of outgrown them or you want some help. How many customers a mail chimp has, for example, it’s probably like 11, 12 million. Yeah. They probably only have a thousand stocks. Your chance of talking to someone is pretty slim. What’s your thoughts on this, et cetera, et cetera. Then you go to the other extreme: the big enterprise, your oracle, your salesforce marketing cloud, and what have you. And these things, you start buying a Ferrari, but people buy it, but they don’t get the performance out of it. You need a really good driver. You probably need a really big team or pit crews and big sponsors and people just end up again, my analogy there is, you bought this thing and you’re only actually driving it to the shop and back to get your groceries. So we find in both situations areas sort of at the lower end and the top end, people are just batching and blasting one message to everyone. And that fundamentally just doesn’t work. That work many years ago, people know that that’s happening to them. You don’t treat people specially or as an individual, you don’t build a relationship or any trust with that particular brand. And kind of what you’re always trying to do. I would say you try and replicate an indoor– in-store sorry, experience you walk into a shop, someone will say hello to you. They’ll get to know you, they know your name. If you come back, they know your preferences. They know the types of things that someone similar to you with a ball and that’s sort of natural service. And when you get good service, you appreciate it. And that’s what we can do in a digital, well, we can replicate all of that, but it seldom happens.
Tink Taylor: I think people buy the dream and then they sit down with these tools and he would say, this is too much and too big and too complicated, or there’s no help with this. And this is too simple. So, that’s why we’ve positioned ourselves in the middle of, as a business to address that challenge and easy to use UI with sophistication, but platform and people. And it’s quite interesting. We run some market research. I think it’s been over 10 years now, we do something called hits in the market, and I encourage people, any merchants listening to download it. What we do is we sign up to numerous merchants from around the world. Uh, we then register on their website or someone up to newsletters, SMS updates. We’ll put stuff in the basket, abandon it when we buy it with browsers and what have you. And then we sit there and wait, and then we see what happens. And we reverse engineer, uh, absolutely everything that happens and then rank these people on their marketing automation based on what we see. So there’s two things there. One is to download the report because everything that we score is important that you should be doing. It’s almost like a checklist.
Tim Jordan: And these are big brands that you’re doing this with, right? I mean, these aren’t small companies, these are like big major brands.
Tink Taylor: Yeah. We picked some big ones. They’re not clients of ours, so there’s no preference. We don’t sort of sit there and say, Hey, look at these guys. Aren’t they doing well? We call out the good, the bad and the ugly. And I think for your audience in particular. I think it’s encouraging news because when we look at the report, it’s the same every year. And I think, why do we keep doing this? But every year we see some of these big brands just missing the most fundamental, basic things that haven’t maybe got their abandoned cart set up, or all that kind of good stuff. As sort of a midsize merchant, or even a small merchant, I think this gives you the opportunity to really compete and excel on that customer experience because that’s ultimately what using marketing automation is to deliver great customer experience, build loyalty trust, or what have you in your brand and people were using. And maybe some of these bigger companies they’re actually, they left with older legacy systems. So it’s hard for them to move off of some of those platforms. So you can be a lot more agile in that sort of mid-market and SME space.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And you’re right. It is encouraging that the big brands are making a lot of these mistakes. So one, we shouldn’t feel like complete doofus for making those mistakes, but it does make us agile. And we saw that in COVID, even our small e-commerce brands versus the big ones, we were more agile. We could move faster, we could restock faster. And that gave us a big opportunity. So it’s interesting that you bring that up as one of the biggest mistakes is just not doing the basics, forgetting the basics of following up with people and just business 101. Do you think that these big brands are making these mistakes because they haven’t pivoted fast enough? Or do you think that they’re just so wrapped up in all the stuff going on that stuff’s just getting swept to the cracks?
Tink Taylor: I think there’s probably a couple of things at play there. One is, as I say, legacy platforms that may not allow various integrations across platforms. Some of, one of the things we mentioned there is because we’re a proper omni channel company and we offer multiple channels of messaging. We can use the underlying data and the engagements that we see across all those channels to really leverage the messaging we’re sending out. So if I’m doing– I’m on a stream sports website and I’m chatting to the live chat agent about snowboards, I might want a blue one. I might want a certain brand, a certain size. We can take that data. And maybe we can use that to our ability to personalize an email that goes out later. And the analogy I often use there is that when I find the bank, the first thing they say is like punch in your credit card and we’re putting you through to someone. And then you get through to someone and say, what’s your credit card details. So I’ve already told you, and he’s like, I can’t help you in this department. And you go through to another department that says, punch into details and you can just keep going. It’s like you should already know this about me. And I think that’s the challenge is not only for the larger organizations, but the smaller ones as well is you will have– if you’re looking at doing more multi-channel stuff, and I think you should be these days, if you’re not, your competitors are, but you might go out and buy an SMS product. You might go out and buy push product, might go out and buy an email product, a separate live chat product. If they’re not properly integrated, you can’t have that. You can’t offer that cup, that great customer experience where you’re saying, Hey, welcome back, saying we understand who you are and what you’re all about from all of our previous conversations across all those channels. And those channels, by the way, it’s no longer in the control of the merchant about which one you use, it’s your customers who are deciding which channels they want to engage with you on.
Tink Taylor: So you have to be able to have these two way conversations and it’s vital that you’ll use it in the information that you learn from these channels across all of your future channels. And equally, I think one of the challenges that the larger organizations have is quite often, it’s a different business unit. You might have an email business unit in certainly in the US, you would have an email marketing director. Isn’t going to be earning that much revenue. Someone else probably has ownership of SMS and so on. And then their personal KPIs and annual salaries and bonuses are probably all driven to be at odds with each other. They’re all arguing over last click attribution in terms of who’s going to get their Christmas bonus. So there’s challenges of that nature as well. But I think it’s that unified experience. There’s not many people around that do really have their own ability to send messaging across many channels. And again, that comes back to the don’t buy something shiny really, maybe if you can get a demonstration count and use it in anger, other ways I recommend that because there’s lots of people to say, Oh yeah, we– SMS is incredibly popular right now. It’s growing like crazy. And they say, yeah, we’ve got estimates capability, but it’s simply, it’s a white label of someone else’s, it’s not their own tech. Maybe the email messaging engine that underpins this email company isn’t their own tech. So they’re not in charge of that. There’s consequences there in terms of how you can actually get your emails delivered into the inbox. So I always recommend some decent digging around. And then when you try to get a bit more sophisticated to make sure you get proper support and account management, what we found, obviously being in business 20 years, we released new software every two weeks in the background.
Tink Taylor: We wrapped everything up in the public sort of fanfare. But that means we made a lot of changes. And what we’ve seen over time is all of these features and functions we’ve built at the request of merchants. And they’re all sensible because they all ultimately drive revenue, better engagement and more weight. Maybe sending out an SMS or an email or whatever, it’s on their list of marketing things to do. They’ve then got to go to a trade show or get some swag or do some SEO or what have you. So they just sort of tick the box and get something out. So they don’t utilize the full features. So that’s why we believe in platforms and people, and we’ll hold people’s hands through that journey. We also have a number of templates of the types of things you should do. So certain automations, everyone should have a welcome series, birthday series, abandoned cart series, abandoned browse. So we kind of have those within our platform deliberately and say, right, go color those in. Everyone should have them. Okay. Now you’ve got that set up and let’s go to the next level. And that’s where you’d have someone who would sit there and understand your business and sort of say, well, what other opportunities have you got to send out a message? And it’s– that becomes kind of scary for people because kind of the message or message there is send more, send as much as you can. And then people kind of go, would have thought it was a bit spammy.
Tink Taylor: And it’s like, okay, well, we have a caveat. There is like, don’t do anything daft, don’t send the same thing to everyone. So you’ve now got to look at how you’re properly going to divide up your database and segment, or automate one-to-one messages. So, you’re getting something out of the door as often as possible. So what some people do is a typical mistake is their segment, and they’re sent less than in aggregate. And that means you’ve got less of a chance of making money. So what you want to do is have more segments, but then have a greater volume in aggregate across all your channels, because every single one of those messages that goes out is a touchpoint that can drive someone to a sale. And you can only do that once you’ve understood the business, you’ve got your basics in place. And then look at the nature of that business and say, what other opportunities exist within your client base that would enable you to send out another message is that something seasonal or whatever it might be. Is it a replenishment of a product? What’s the time period for that and what do you have? But yeah, I think once we’ve done the basics, we walk people through that and then we will always look into that right in between the gaps. What else can we offer here? And just try to get that number of messages in aggregate much, much higher, but the perception of the person receiving that it’s much more tailored. It’s a one-to-one message that is a hundred percent relevant, relevancy equals results at the end of the day. And you’re making them feel special.
Tim Jordan: Yeah. And it’s interesting. And let me say this too, for those of you who are listening that are completely lost right now. Like if you’re completely confused, what we’re talking about, let me dummy down one of the overall messages or a couple of the overall messages that Tink just gave us. Because even if you don’t have your own e-commerce website, let’s say you’re on Amazon and you can’t do SMS and chat and all this stuff. Here’s some of the big takeaways I just took. One is I think buyers are more savvy and they want a custom experience, right? You can’t just cookie cutter everything because we’ve all been digitally marketed death. And we don’t feel like that’s great. So whether it’s your email, or it’s your SMS, whether it’s your social media messaging or whether it’s the email follow-ups that you send to customers on Amazon, right? Customize this stuff, spend a little extra time because the retention rate and the actual success rate will be much higher. The other thing is, and this is something I’m bad about Tink if you were talking about, basically everybody has a right while I’m doing my SMS, or I’m doing my social, I’m doing my email, or I’m doing my followup campaigns, abandoned cart stuff. But just because we’re doing it, doesn’t mean we’re doing it well, hitting a checklist doesn’t necessarily equate to success. So, we have to make sure that instead of just adding more and more things to our business, more components, more complexities, we have to occasionally review what we’re doing and make sure we’re doing it right. And I’m really bad about this. Like I use Mail Chimp because, well, I’m not technically very savvy, right. And we just send out an email and every week an email goes out, but I never really stop and look and say, well, Hey, I’m doing this, it’s checked off my list, but let’s start from scratch and let’s start split testing and see what has higher engagement. Right? Like sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. Right. And I definitely screw up on that. And it’s interesting that you bring that up as one of the biggest mistakes people make and you see that a lot.
Tink Taylor: Yeah. Certainly split testing is an interesting one. If I put my hundred percent marketers hat on and I’m doing dot digital service here, because we have features such as automated split testing on subject lines, and so on and so forth. And for many people, I think that ticks that box and say, yes, I’m split testing, but what are you actually learning? If you’re not going back and reviewing it, you might be getting results of 49 to 51, have you really made a substantial difference? So, I think you’re right. I’m just ticking the box to say, I’ve done this rather than actually allowing proper time to go back and analyzing and really pushing the boat out on some of those tests. I wouldn’t be afraid of failure. And that’s both in your marketing and just in the business sense as well. Something that I’ve always done since I’m growing old businesses, start something off, monitor it super closely. If it works, do more. If it doesn’t, stop it immediately and do something else. And there’s nothing wrong. If it didn’t work, it’s plenty wrong. If you just leave it running for that long. I was mentoring someone who’s become a dear friend of mine, has an e-commerce business up here in Canada where I’m based at the moment. And I was looking at their Facebook ads or their email campaigns. I said, what was the last time you looked at these? And it was like 12 months ago. And it’s like, and you really think this is optimized and a good use of your spend. And is that, well, it sits there, I’m kind of satisfied with what it’s bringing me. And I guess that’s one of the opportunities don’t be satisfied with because there’s more money to be wrung out of all of these different types of digital marketing. If you afford yourself the proper time and energy to go review, what’s actually going on.
Tim Jordan: So speaking of reviewing, what’s actually going on. That’s one thing that you do a lot of. I know we talked about this online and a lot of times we are so in the trenches and running our business, that we don’t have the time to go out and experiment and see what else is new. Just the fact that you’ve talked about interconnectivity between WhatsApp and WeChat, which is now the largest texting app in the world right now leads me to believe that you might have a few tricks up your sleeve. So, I know you can’t tell us all your secret Juju sauce, but if you were to look into a crystal ball and you could tell us maybe some of the biggest game changers that we should be paying attention to in 2021 and moving forward, what are some of the upcoming things that have you most excited when it comes to digital marketing?
Tink Taylor: Yeah. I mean, first of all, WhatsApp, I think they’ve got some challenges or Facebook or challenges there to catch up with somebody like they might’ve we out, I mean, those are familiar with We Chat. It’s sort of WhatsApp on steroids. You can do everything within We Chat and you can not purchase. And all of that sort of good stuff. You say, obviously Facebook had some criticism about changing their terms conditions recently, and lots of people were scared about it, but really it’s about transitioning, merging together, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp into one unified messaging service and then layering on features and functionality that merchants can make use of. So it’s going to– it’s their attempt so it will become the Western version of We Chat, I suppose. I think one of the other things that’s interesting, which is now capable or there are some capabilities out there to do now is transactions occurring directly within the inbox. So you have certain scripting languages you can do. You can do a lot more sophisticated stuff like change content in, within the inbox. We actually got some projects with some of our partners going on in the background, experimenting with that. There are only some inbox environments that allow Microsoft just actually the not too distant past actually stops that prevented that from happening. But the likes of Google, Gmail are massive. You can do that there. So, it’s quite an interesting challenge. We’re looking at– can I make a purchase directly from the email? I don’t have to jump off to the store. You’ve been doing that for many years. We’ve got a PayPal button. But I think, right now, I think we want to take that to the next level.
Tink Taylor: And then there’s some interesting challenges there around stock control or products that have numerous different variations, colors, sizes, and so on and so forth. But that’s definitely the future of some like email, for many years doing cool stuff within the inbox itself in terms of scripting or the ability of scripting languages being able to be used has been deliberately prevented because that’s how many people use your doorway to your computer. And all of those malicious emails, people trying to hack into your machine could make use of that. But there’s increasingly more standards coming into play that will allow that sort of thing. So I think the merging and all the messaging challenge channels, Facebooks, WhatsApps, and what have you, and the sophistication of those apps are going to accelerate. And I also think, the inbox is very shortly to undergo a bit of a revolution.
Tim Jordan: Do you think that email will ever lose its effectiveness?
Tink Taylor: That’s such an interesting question. In 20 years, there must be every year someone writes a white paper, email is dead. And every year when you look at the ROI for digital marketing, email and search, always one and two have been for many years, I think, it will never be forever. I mean, I talk about Asia, you go over there and you say, can you give me your email address? And they look at you with a very blank expression. I just don’t do it. Because all it [inaudible] and it has sort of bypassed it there. I think it’s never going to go away. It’s still going to be incredibly powerful. It’s huge, we’re driving conversion still. I mean, it’s not going to go away for a long, long time, but I think the best way to augment it moving forward is to utilize it alongside those other channels. There’s a saying that it might be your transactional email you’re sending out with some sort of additional marketing push. And what have you said, or may have happened in WhatsApp, or via LinkedIn in SMS. I mean still to these days. Yeah. SMS. I think it’s quite a private channel. I mean the open rates of SMS, like the time span of it is seconds. If someone receives it, now you think it’s befriended and you see a message from a brand. Yeah. That’s the sense that you’ve got to be very sensitive about the type of content you send in that scenario is that the situation is changing. As people get more familiar with it, but happily receive reminders and that kind of thing, or receipts. But yeah, I don’t think email is going away, but I do think it’s increasingly going to be used in conjunction with all those other channels, sure.
Tim Jordan: So what’s the next evolution of email. Because when you think about like SMS, right. Things have changed now because you can link to stuff directly, you can have personal push notifications. When you think about Facebook messenger, then we turned into chatbots and ManyChat flows and 1everything keeps evolving. So what’s the next big change that happens to email that keeps it hyper-relevant and keeps it caught up as far as like the tech ability with some of these other platforms.
Tink Taylor: Yeah. I don’t think it’s the next big thing that’s coming. I think it’s already there. It’s people actually leveraging the ability. I mean, you can send a mass broadcast, but tailor it one-to-one, but every single recipient and I don’t think there’s another channel that can do that in such a sophisticated way in every product image, of every price in the– talk about B2B commerce. Pricing can change per customer. The subject line, literally everything can be automated. Also everything can be automated and integrated with other channels. So I can link into my e-comm store and all the product pitches and prices, putting automatic for them. Maybe I’m using someone like Cleaver and site search, or I can put in those site searches and I can update the content of the email that it’s so tailored. Absolutely every buying line of it can really be driven to deliver that one-to-one communication quite effortlessly with the right technologies linked together. The challenge is I say going back to that hits in the market report is so many people don’t seem to be doing that. And I think it’s probably because they’ve got not the right tech stack that actually enables them to do that, or maybe they’ve got the products. But they just don’t have the people to tell them.
Tim Jordan: Tell them how to use it.
Tink Taylor: How to link it together. Yeah. But if you do it, it takes a bit of time, but once it’s set up, it then runs itself. That’s when you afford yourself the time to go back and analyze what I’m sending out, how can I find a way to get better results?
Tim Jordan: So the other question I have about email, I guess the last one before we run out of time here is we’re starting to see more and more legal restrictions for emails and digital privacy in general, right? You used to be able, you could buy email lists, you could spam the crap out of everybody, whether it works in lots of different debates, but now there’s laws as far as how you can acquire how you can use opt in, opt out. Do you see upcoming additional legal changes coming to the email marketing landscape that you can give us a heads up on?
Tink Taylor: Absolutely. For sure. I mean, outside of dot digital, I’ve sat on the direct marketing associations, email council for many years, or left the UK and back then even, we were working very closely with the UK information commissioner office, who was working with the EU on things like the cookie law and privacy. Obviously in Europe, we’ve gone through GDPR in the not too distant past. I’m up here in Canada now. And we’re faced with a CASL act in the US. We have things like the California data laws. I actually think what we’ve been preaching for many years is best practice, which is over and above the basic legal requirements, because it works, it gets you more effective marketing and much better results. So, I think these laws are a good thing because it focuses the mind on doing the right stuff. You kind of forced me to, I think the consequences many years ago about not following the law was so slack that people were being lazy. They would go out and buy a list and put yourself in the shoes of the recipient on that list. It just gets stuff left, right and center from people you haven’t heard or don’t remember giving them permission to, and it’s not relevant or even tailored to. So it just goes straight in the bin anyway. The messages that I received, there’s probably 10, 20 brands that if that email doesn’t appear in my inbox, I go hunting it out just in case it’s going into the spam folder. Because it’s always so good. I love it. So, I think the data privacy laws are a good thing. I think being open and transparent about what you’re doing is a good thing.
Tink Taylor: The way I kind of describe it and when we worked on the cookie law with the information commissioner, his view was always like, if the average man on the street knows what’s happening. Like you click on his email, you’re being tracked, using that tracking to help you send something more targeted and relevant next time to add more value to that person’s life experience. They’re going to enjoy it. All the time that seems to be a bit sort of mysterious and what data do you get on me, it sounds a bit dodgy, so I’m all for openness and transparency. There’s definitely a lot of people out there that have used data in quite a nefarious way. And I don’t agree with that. So I welcomed the restrictions, I can see very much particularly in the US, it makes no sense that you’re having different laws in every state. So I think we’ll see a federal law. In fact, I sit on the email evolution council, which is part of what was the DMA in the US. And we have lobbyists quite very closely looking at the laws and the legislation there. And I think a federal law does make more sense, because it’s just going to be too difficult. And I would very much suspect that that would follow the kind of processes and practices that GDPR has set up because it’s sensible and it’s working. And maybe this has a bit of a sales pitch perhaps with dot digital, but because we’re UK by birth, we’re sort of much more finely in tune with the GDPR issue. And we’ve built into our platform a number of features.
Tink Taylor: It doesn’t make you compliant because you as a brand have to be that, but it makes it easier for you to be compliant. So we, it’s much easier to pull a list of this is a date that someone signed up. Here’s the copy of the permission statement. I think we’ve got seven or eight particular GDPR beaches that just makes it easier for you to stay compliant. And even if you’re in say the US now, and you’re sending something to someone within Europe, someone’s got a Gmail address, do you know where they physically live? They could be in Europe and you could be subject to a GDPR fine, which is 4% of the turnover and 34, 30 million euros. Do you want that? Bushy don’t? So that’s where you need help and advice. And again, that comes back to our platform and people’s message. Because I think that is, I think you’re right. It’s a hot topic. It’s one that sounds incredibly complicated from the outside in, but really if you just consider best practice, no shortcuts. How do I sit down and build my own list? Because those lists that you’ve built yourself always have a much higher engagement anyway. So it’s just good practice. Great question.
Tim Jordan: I love it. I feel like we’ve covered so many topics and pulled so many golden nuggets out of so many different things. If you’ve just listened to this and you’re lost, go back and listen to it again, because the second time you listen to this, you’ll pull something else out. If you’re still lost for the second time, give it a couple of months and come back again because you will have picked up some keywords, seeing them elsewhere over the next two months, and then you’ll be able to make some connections when you come back. So, Tink, thank you so much for being on and congratulations for being around for so long, because the truth is most digital marketing/.com type businesses that were born in the year 2000 aren’t around because they weren’t able to– whether so many changes and stay relevant and all that good stuff. So, you must have had a great mentor, had some great, you know, advice given elsewhere. And my suspicion is you’ve read some great books, right? To be a good entrepreneur, you’ve read some good books. So lately on all the episodes I’ve been asking everybody, if you had to go to your bookshelf and those of you that can see this on YouTube. You see it. If you don’t see it on YouTube, I’m watching something in front of like 200 books on the bookshelf behind them. But if you had to go to the bookshelf and pull one book off that you would suggest every aspiring entrepreneur read that made the biggest difference in your life, what would that book be and why?
Tink Taylor: Well, I have a real problem with this question because I get asked it all the time. But my honest answer is don’t read someone else’s book to tell you how to be an entrepreneur, just get on with it. As I say, it’s about marketing or starting things and stop monitoring them, putting more into what does work and stopping what doesn’t. I think a lot of people, they’re always sitting there saying, I need this instruction manual on how to make a successful book. I can’t imagine Steve jobs, Michael Dell, I know those guys sitting again. I need to go retail and speak to God and be successful. They just got on with it. Now there is– so, that’s kind of like the pendulum swings one way. So yeah, I just know plenty of the people that I’ve mentored over the years. They’re just obsessed with that question. Book, book, book, book. And it’s like, when are you actually going to start something and do something. Slightly obtuse answer there is like, probably go and write your own book of success once you’ve made it a success, roll your sleeves up and get on with it. But one of my honest answers, the book that I liked most, and maybe it’s marketing, but more so, is Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Say it has a number of different things about testing and so on and so forth. Of course, loads of different platforms that even describe very eloquently, how Sesame Street was very, very, very scientifically put together in terms of how to jive engagements. And so it has got off. I find that quite fascinating,
Tim Jordan: Amazing, well, that’s two good pieces of advice. I like your crap or get off the pot directions because you’re right. We do need wisdom and we need to educate ourselves. But so many people get so caught up in gathering information that they don’t go out and just experience it. And there’s no better way to learn. [inaudible]
Tink Taylor: I’m actually dyslexic. So that’s what I’d probably dive on that question. Richard Branson’s dyslexic. I can’t imagine him sitting down and reading a book and going, right. I’m going to go be an entrepreneur.
Tim Jordan: I understand it. Well, Tink, thanks so much for being on, continued success with your business. I know that a lot of folks listening to this podcast are probably in the position where they want something more advanced than a male champion and looking for something that’s more advanced, but simple to use. So, hopefully you’ll get a little website traffic bump when this episode goes out. And for those of you who are listening that found value in this, please, please, please, please, please give us a thumbs up on YouTube. Send us a review on whatever podcast platform you’re listening on, whether it’s Spotify or iTunes or whatever it is. We love getting those reviews and hearing your feedback on the episodes and type of content we’re bringing and make sure to go to the ampm.com website, check out past episodes. And I think that’s it. So, we’ll sign off. Thanks again, Tink. And we’ll see you guys in the next episode.