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Daniel Budai — Retention Mastery Through Email Marketing

icon-calendar 2020-11-30 | icon-microphone 53m 45s Listening Time | icon-user Joseph Ianni
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Like many of us, Daniel Budai exhibits, a natural yearning to both acquire and share knowledge evidenced through his podcast and his data-driven psychology-based email marketing operation, no matter where your success takes you, there's more to learn and to teach.

Daniel has spent a big part of of his 20's exclusively dedicated to learning marketing/ecommerce. After talking to thousands of ecommerce business professionals in the last years, he could see that many of them lack the time and skills to implement email professionally. His team helps these ecommerce businesses because email marketing is still the best tool to increase revenue without additional ad spend, customer retention, and profit margins. They dive into the psychology and the biology of the human brain to find out what marketing strategy works the best for the product and audience of his clients. His emails move people to do something, not to just read.

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Daniel Budai: [00:00:00] The best things. They always come the best ideas. They always come from the intersection of two very different areas and if you mix copywriting with physics then maybe something great happens. 

Joseph: [00:00:14] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of a kind insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable. So let's go. 

Like many of us, Daniel Budai exhibits, a natural yearning to both acquire and share knowledge evidenced through his podcast and his data-driven psychology-based email marketing operation, no matter where your success takes you, there's more to learn and to teach.

Daniel Budai, it's good to have you here. Welcome to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. 

Daniel Budai: [00:01:08] Amazing. Thanks for inviting me and I'm really glad to be here today.

Joseph: [00:01:13] Glad to have you and it is, it's always nice to talk to another podcaster and I'm going to set a ground rule. We're going to do our best, not to have that meta conversation where podcasters, start to talk about how great podcasting is.

We know how good it is. All right. 

So we got to start. It's the most important question I could possibly conceivably ask. Who are you and what do you do? 

Daniel Budai: [00:01:36] Yeah. So I'm originally from Hungary Budapest, and during COVID times, I'm, I'm here at my home city. I had a long journey to end up as an email marketer.

E-commerce email marketer. I studied geology first at the university, and I wanted to work in the oil industry, but I didn't find a nice job with this degree. So I just started out with copywriting on Upwork actually like four years ago. And then it was quite successful. I started hiring some people into a team.

I started building a team. And with the team we leveled up, we started creating a, not just copy, but strategy. We niche down into e-commerce and today became an e-commerce retention marketing agency. We do more than just email. So SMS messenger, marketing loyalty programs, and just recently we added conversion optimization.

And actually our plan is to become a full service e-commerce growth agency. The next one year. So, this is who I am and who we are. 

Joseph: [00:02:42] Excellent, so when you say full service, what other parts of the puzzle are you looking to add in the longterm? 

Daniel Budai: [00:02:48] Yeah. Yeah. So up to now, we were like, like retention marketing. So there was an e-commerce store and if they wanted to add the more marketing and more retention focused services, we could help them. But now we want to build a system and the team who can really take them to the next level to eight figure from almost zero from the startup level. And we added [?]. And, uh, we will add a Facebook ads and we will work on our creative team in the next few months.

So it will be a different approach. 

Joseph: [00:03:24] Excellent. Now I've talked to a couple of email marketing agencies so far, and one common thread is that there is usually a criteria based on who they're going to work with. They do prefer to see some momentum in their clients thus far, but you say that you want - you're

cool with working with people who really are just starting up. So I guess aside from the financials, which are a case by case basis, but what criteria are you looking for when you want to work with people? 

Daniel Budai: [00:03:54] Yeah. Great question. Because actually just yesterday I sent a long message to my team that these criteria, uh, will change in the next weeks.

They have been the same in the last two years, I would say, but now they will change really fast and. Uh, so up to now, it was like, of course, financially, it had to make sense. So they had to make ground's 30, 40 K per month. And obviously they had to be able to pay our a retainer fee. But besides that, we were quite flexible.

We were being served to different, uh, 30 plus e-commerce niches, but now I think this revenue number will go up actually. So if I really think about it, we don't really work with like real startups from, from [?]. So they need to generate that [?]Six figure per year, let's say, or maybe even higher.

And, uh, we won't work with dropshippers anymore. We still have a few, uh, dropshipper clients. And I can see a few niches where we have more experience and probably we will niche down in that way. One of them is skincare and beauty. Another one is fashion and probably food, the food industry itself, because.

We can see a crazy high, uh, returning customer rate there. And email works very well. And that's still our DNA, I would say. And they have high profit margins. So there's a huge growth potential in these areas, but we are still figuring out this part. 

Joseph: [00:05:32] Yeah. I mean, those are consumer goods that with the exception of clothing, which somebody I suppose could wear the same clothing for you know, decades such as myself, a lot of these are industries where the people will inevitably come back to, uh, to resupply. You don't, you don't get, maybe you don't get the same retention rate on people who sell fridges. Especially a good fridges. 

Daniel Budai: [00:05:53] Yeah. I think it's fair to talk about the opposite side.

The other side, there is a very nice graph and I have it somewhere, but basically it shows you the, the two spectrums, like, uh, industries is high, high retention rate. And I think coffee has the highest, like 80%. Like you drink coffee everyday. And the other end of the spectrum is expansive jewelry. You don't buy a golden ring every day.

Or a furniture or electronics, expensive electronics, maybe some car accessories. So these are the things where, you know, the retention rate  is not as high for these industries. 

Joseph: [00:06:34] You know, I, I had a major revelation when it came to coffee drinking because I was hanging out with some acquaintances and she's driving around and she's going to Starbucks to pick up her fourth coffee of the day. And she turns to me and says, do you want anything? Am I know I had one coffee earlier today. I'm okay. She's like, are you insane? 

Daniel Budai: [00:06:53] I, I, you know, I, I should actually, I just, I just drank a coffee like 15 minutes ago and now I'm still under the influence. I'm not a big fan. I mean, yeah. Like caffeine is not good for sure. But four times a day that's crazy.

Joseph: [00:07:09] Yeah, one of the episodes I listened to, I couldn't, I couldn't help myself, but it was the, it was the health based one. I can't remember the name of the guest, but it's a two-parter. And, uh, and by the way, I will recommend that people check out Daniel's podcast as well. And one of the problems is that caffeine turns into a crutch where it's really supposed to be something that you use sporadically.

Daniel Budai: [00:07:29] There's a coffee crash. I really recommend, uh, different kinds of teas, green tea, black tea, matcha tea. And there is no crash there. Yep. That's about, beverages.

Joseph: [00:07:41] Exactly. Beautiful. You also run a Facebook group too. It's the top 3%. E-comm email marketing. So I'd like to let people know what to expect if they want to join in the group.

I'm also curious about what's the significance of it being the top 3%. Where does that particular number come from? 

Daniel Budai: [00:07:58] The number of the 3%?

Joseph: [00:08:00] Yeah. Because I always think, you know, the dichotomy between the 1% and the 99%, but that's as political as I'm going to go. 

Daniel Budai: [00:08:06] That's a great question. I, I, uh, you know, I used to be a copywriter and I know that numbers, they convert very well at the beginning, especially three, five, seven, nine.

These numbers. And I didn't want to use top 1%. Maybe that's not, you know, that's too tiny. So it became 3%. I don't think there was a big thought, big idea behind it just, it became top 3%. But this group, they are very strict about the members because we had before we had more than 1000 members and we removed, uh, 300 members just like two months ago, we messaged all of the members, if they want to stay in the group.

And if somebody didn't reply, we removed them. So, uh, we try to keep it three, like the top 3%. And we don't want to have, like, I don't know, tens of thousands of people. And we try to come up with a case to these regularly new features, especially email messenger, Shopify related. We have live streams and we share all of the podcast episodes there.

So, and we have some nice, nice memes and jokes there as well. We have a kind of joke person in the team and he loves creating memes. So this is what the group [is]about really. 

Joseph: [00:09:28] Oh, excellent. I'm going to do my best to resist talking about memes for the next hour. I love, I love a good dank meme. Your your e-commerce business strategy.

And this is me looking at the website and I recognize that as you've said so far, a lot of things are still being worked on and developed. So we'll take this as how it is for now, but you know, it could change, but your business strategy is, is three parts. There's you're setting up the email system.

There's the behavioral psychology based targeting, and then there's advancement beyond email. So, uh, I'd like to get you to give us a breakdown of this, and I'm particularly interested in the middle part, the psychology based targeting. So, uh, I definitely want to hear more about that. 

Daniel Budai: [00:10:10] Yeah, sure. So let's say you have an e-commerce store.

And you have an amazing product. You have some traffic on the website, some revenue kind of stable revenue, but you don't have email marketing. Yes. So why you should get started? Probably the simplest reason, because it can boost your revenue by 20, 30, 40% and you don't have to spend on ads. So the profit margin on this extra revenue is very, very good.

You just pay the product and the marketing software, basically the rest of it, it's profit. Also you have to nurture your customers. You have to set expectations after they purchase, you can send them content and it's highly personalized. So email has a lot of benefits. First, if you don't have anything, I think you should start with the email automations email flows, because if you set up these things, once they will run forever, you can leave them there.

Of course you should optimize them, but even if you don't have time or money for that, they will still work. So you can start out. We usually start out with like, uh, seven, eight different automations. You can start out with abandoned cart emails. You can send the emails to your new, your new customers. You can send the emails to your VIP customers.

You can send the emails to win back the old unengaged subscribers. You can install a sign up form to get more subscribers. So there are many different automations. And actually, if you go to our website, you can check out these flows. We posted many, um, case studies and articles, how to do these setups. So I think you should start with this.

And I would recommend Klayvio as the email software for every e-commerce businesses, you can use MailChimp, but there are other tools, uh, Active Campaign, but they are necessarily for e-commerce and not really high-level tools for e-commerce. So I really recommend Klayvio. So that's the email automations part.

And once it's done, once they run. You can start sending manual email campaigns to your email list. You can segment your email list who purchased already. What was the value of their purchase when they subscribed, if they open your emails or they are totally uninterested and you can send out different email campaigns to them during holidays, like we will have Halloween on black Friday soon. You can send out promotions. You can also send out your blog articles, your videos, different kinds of content. And we mentioned jokes, actually for my clients we send out jokes on Monday and simple reason because people love jokes and Mondays are boring for many people. So we just made them happy.

And after they buy, it works very well, Monday jokes. So there are different angles to sell and. Uh, what to send people. And once you have the flows and the campaigns, it usually generates 20, 30% for most e-commerce businesses. And after that, uh, you can start out with SMS and messenger, which can add an additional five, 10, 15% to your revenue.

And the logic there is it's very similar to email. So there are out donations, abandoned cart, SMS, abandoned cart messenger, welcome flows. Yeah, uh, on both and you can send out campaigns as well for both platforms, SMS and messenger. Don't send as many campaigns for SMS than for email, because you cannot send 15 text messages a month. That drives people crazy. Don't do that. If you don't want to any illegal issues, maybe two, three, four per month maximum, I could see agencies who sent four or five to brands to their brand client branded clients. And I don't know, it's just too much. I think. I don't know how they do it. So yeah, in a, in a quick nutshell, this is how it is, how it, how it looks like.

And after you can start a loyalty program as well, especially if you have a strong brand equity, people love coming back. And there is the CRO part as well, website conversion optimization. But now we wanted to talk about email, mostly of course. 

Joseph: [00:14:40] There was a few points that were raised as I'm, as I'm taking this in and starting backwards is the SMS side. I assume most people listening by now know, but it's just in case it's receiving text messages from companies that you've subscribed to. I would expect there needs to be limitations on that, both in terms of what content you can put on there. And also, like you say, how frequently people are willing to put up with it, because it all comes down to what expectations people are conditioned to have prior to.  Emails are still wild West when it comes to what it could be. Right. It could be a correspondence from a friend. In fact, it's actually, at this point, it's more surprising when people get an email from a friend with just like a pen pal or something like that. People expect the inbox to be more about communication from companies because you expect companies are sending these things out on mass.

But I don't think I've ever, nor do I ever gotten or want to get a text message that's content from a company where it's like, Hey, here's top 10 tips to clean your sunglasses. I feel like this is neither the time nor the place to want to receive this. So, uh, what about you like, what do you think about that? What do you think are kind of like limitations to SMS? 

Daniel Budai: [00:15:51] Just a bit about email. Uh, here in Europe, we, we have GDPR, it came in around, I think two years ago, two and a half years ago in 2018. And back then it was a big thing. And, and everyone expected that we here in Europe, we will get, uh, fewer business emails and sales emails, but actually it didn't happen still.

Yeah. I don't think this GDPR thing was very effective on, on this thing. We still have the same amount of sales emails. 

Joseph: [00:16:21] Sorry. Can you just define what GDPR is for us, uh, westerners?

Daniel Budai: [00:16:25] Yeah. Yeah, so I, I'm not a, I'm not a lawyer, so, uh, it's not official or anything like that. And even lawyers, they don't, they are not on the same page.

And if they can see something on the website of a big company, they still don't know how it should look like. And yeah, but basically what it is about if somebody subscribes to your list, They have to consent first. There is usually a checkbooks there that, uh, okay. I consent that I will, uh, receive marketing messages from this company.

And if you don't do that, that's a problem here in Europe. That's kind of, you know, gray area, but everyone should do that. And, and yeah, we, we do this with our clients and double opt in is strongly recommended as well, but I think it's the same in the U S and Canada. Uh, double opt in is, is really recommended.

So, yeah, this, this is the rule. You cannot, you cannot send the emails, um, with promotion and sales, if they didn't consent. Uh, they didn't agree before to receive those about SMS. So SMS is it's worse than email in, in legal things. Every, every country is very strict about SMS. That is this checkbox thing.

People have to agree to get, uh, your, uh, texts, text messages from you. That's one thing. And actually I cannot list out all of the things. Now there are like six, seven things. We have an SOP for that. The process, my team does it for our clients, but one of them is, uh, subscribers. They have to agree to join your list and get marketing messages.

And there are a few best practices. So at the beginning of the text message. It's highly recommended to, uh, put the name of your company or your store. So people will know that this is a marketing message. It's not from their grandma or something like that. And to the end, you have to, I think, uh, so it's, it's a rule.

It's a law that, uh, you have to put the unsubscribe link to the variant, or at least say that if you send us stop, then we will stop messaging. You. Similarly to email, not subscribing. I remember these two, as I said, there is a whole list of these things and, uh, my, my team, they take care of this 

Joseph: [00:18:52] right now, I guess the one thing that I would like to see different in SMS. And I don't know if this is a feasible or possible, but when I get a text message, a number from these, from these companies. It it'll be like one, one zero one eight, five, six, two. And I already know. Okay, well this is either the bus stop telling me when the bus is coming or it's a company trying to sell me something. And I guess I'd be okay with just the name of the company on it. So at least I know right away. And I'm not trying to have to figure out because I don't think it looks very good on the company side for, for there to be just random number assigned to it. It doesn't convey the same amount of legitimacy as just, Oh, okay. Well, I got a message from Sony. All right. I got a text message from Sony. I bought a camera from them. I get it. 

Daniel Budai: [00:19:37] So I, I'm not sure what do you mean. Uh, by the number it's like an ID number for? -

Joseph: [00:19:44] Well, let's see, just say I'm getting a text message from somebody who knows me and I don't have their information saved. So it'd be a phone number and it'll be four one six five eight two.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Daniel Budai: [00:19:55] That's a great point by the way. Um, I think these phone numbers are both by the automation companies. And at this point, I don't really know how this could be done better, like yeah. To be shown on your phone that this came from Sony or, or I dunno, Gymshark or somebody else. 

Joseph: [00:20:15] Yeah. Like I would have to take it upon myself to do that. Like if I'm, if I know, and I even welcome text messages from a branded company, I would have to enter their information in and save it. Like I did that with Amber alerts. Cause I'll get Amber alerts once in awhile. And so, okay. I added that to my, uh, to my contact page for when amber alerts show up. Yeah.

Daniel Budai: [00:20:35] It makes a ton of sense. That's very interesting. Yeah. At this point, I, I, I don't know how it's possible, but, uh, I will, uh, I will take a note on this. 

Joseph: [00:20:46] Yeah. We'll see far, far be it from, uh, either of us to completely revolutionize the industry, but by all means, you know, go for it. One of the things I wanted to ask earlier on from your breakdown is just about acquisition strategies, because one of your main points that stuck out to me is that you don't need to pay for advertising because these are customers period. Like their customers they're there already, they're already there for you. So what I'm wondering is just some of the things that you would do for people who haven't committed to the funds just yet, they're just. I know, I know there's abandoned cart, but let's, let's go with people who maybe have just visited the website.

What are some of the options or some of these tactics that you can use to, uh, to get them involved into the email side? 

Daniel Budai: [00:21:31] So, first of all, there is a flow called Browse Abandonment Flow or automation. And this can be sent out to those people who just visited your website. They just checked out a product and they left. And if they already subscribed in the past, then we can email them. And this is one way. The other other thing, and probably the most important is to install a different sign up forms on your website. It can be a popup embedded form. You can use it on your blog or your product page, but probably the popup works still the best.

Uh, just make sure that it's not too annoying and it doesn't come up every time. So, so popup usually works very well. And with popups, we can. Even triple the number of subscribers, most of our clients, uh, e-commerce store owners or marketers, they have their email lists, uh, only from customers. And that's great because the list is highly engaged, but on the other hand, it's a small list.

And, uh, if they, uh, or we install a popup, the list starts grow much faster and really like we had an email list with 50,000 people, customers with one client when they came to work with us and we could increase it to over 120,000 in like two months, simply because, you know, popups work probably popups different signup forms, browse abandonment flow.

For sure. I would say these things, but you know, they still have to subscribe. So there are tools to scrape that email address. And I know people who use it, but those people, they never subscribe. So that engagement will be very low. That's one thing, the other thing is it's a gray area legally, so I, I wouldn't do that, especially in Europe.

Joseph: [00:23:29] Yeah. We don't want to advocate for anything like that. Just from my own experience as a, as a shopper. One of the brands that I do have a lot of respect for, because I feel like they're basically making all the right calls is a manta sleep, which is a sleep mask, which you might actually like. Cause I know you mentioned that you blindfold yourself to  mask yourself.

Uh, I'm I'm obsessed with sleep too. And Manta Sleep is excellent. Um, this podcast is not sponsored by Manta Sleep. So, I had my own interest in sleep. I've had previously masks, but they weren't very good. Uh, my philosophy is buy something cheap to test. And then if the concept is working, then invest in a good one.

And so I invested in a mat to sleep and then, and even to this day, I still get emails from them. I don't think I was going to go to their website and read their content. Until I tried out their product because the quality of their product, I think, says something about the quality of their content. If they put together a product that's lousy.

I'm not going to trust what they have to say. I'm not going to trust their, their information from their blog. I'm not going to trust the research, but if their product works and is effective, then I'm definitely more interested in hearing what they have to say because they have established themselves as an authority.

Daniel Budai: [00:24:40] Yeah. I, I, uh, it depends. It depends on the person and it depends on the niche. You know, like there are certain niches where a ton of education is needed before the purchase. I think supplement is traditionally like this. Uh, probably sleep as well. So I think you are a bit outlier in this context, like, uh, because I remember I, so for me, good sleep is also very important.

I bought a Fitbit watch and I bought the blindfolds. I both a few things, but I needed education, like, uh, because before I was totally unaware, why bad sleep is I wasn't really aware of this. So I needed the education and maybe if I, I could see a Facebook ad, I click there, I subscribe and I get a lot of emails, a lot of content than I, I, I start being educated and then I buy the product in the very end.

I think I, I, I had the same journey with my Fitbit, watch that I needed education. That why good sleep is important and how to solve this problem with this watch and that I just bought it. So. I think it depends on the niche and the product. Of course, we have a client and they sell hearing AIDS in the U S and that you don't need much education.

You have a problem. You need the hearing aid, maybe after purchase, you need education, how to use it properly. Yeah. So I would say depends on the niche. Certain niches they need a lot of education before the purchase. Other niches only after the purchase, some niches, they don't need any education like fashion or. You know, I don't know, like high-end shoes, uh, they just look nice and you just buy them. I would say it depends on the audience and you really need to think about it and also how you sell the product. And it's, it's really channeling the [?], so you can use the same strategy for email as for ads or on your website.

If you need a, if your audience needs education, then you should educate them everywhere. If they don't need it, then you don't have to do it. So, yeah, this is my, um, point of view. 

Joseph: [00:26:52] That's fair. I, and yeah, I am definitely an outlying type. I will totally concede that. Although with, as far as the sleep mask goes, it wasn't, like I said, it wasn't the first one that I used.

I had been doing some, some research prior to it. So in that regard, you are right. People who need to be educated on it, because like you say, with hearing AIDS, well people know what the problem is, because they're experiencing it, but with proper sleep people, don't realize there is a problem. And so it's a much more difficult job, especially in the advertising sector, because the ad has to convince you of a problem. And people maybe they'll agree with that right away. Or maybe they'll have to live in that problem for a while and really think about it before they, they accept those terms and say, yeah, this is a problem I could be sleeping better. 

Daniel Budai: [00:27:37] Can I ask you how you got educated in this topic? I'm just curious.

Joseph: [00:27:42] Sure. So with sleep, actually, a lot of it had to do with an objective and my objective was lucid dreaming. Are you familiar with this? 

Daniel Budai: [00:27:50] Yeah. 

Joseph: [00:27:51] Okay. So lucid dreaming is, and there's a, and there's a spiritual element to this too, from people who don't know, it's when you try to retain your consciousness in dreaming, as well as in, in the waking state. And it's, there are YouTube videos where people would tell you how to lucid dream tonight and don't, they don't. I don't know if you're lucky they'll work, but it's more about this spiritual connection to yourself at a higher level, because my philosophy on dreams is that there's people who. Like how the, the things that happen in dreams are so bizarre and so amazing and inspiring and even, or terrifying at times, I didn't think of it, but me at a higher level put a lot of work into this.

And so I want to connect with that. In order to achieve that you have to have a number of quality habits. Uh, sleep, obviously being the most important one, but you also have to take care of your wellbeing, mental health, uh, physical exercise, proper diet, avoiding substance abuse. And to also have this almost like this era of lucidity in your waking state to the point where the line between the dream state and the waking state is a little more intertwined, a little more inmeshed, uh, you have to be careful with it because it, it can send a person into somewhat of a, of a downward spiral.

So like, you know, you, you drink too much water. Too much water causes drowning, right. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. But I was so enthralled by lucid dreaming. That's actually where my study came from more. So it was more about what can I do to improve my sleep. Um, so I wear earplugs at night to block out sounds uh, and then I, and I were asleep mask to ensure that, uh, no light gets in. And so that's that, that was where my interest came from. And as if I needed to prove how much of an outlier I am, I think that with that pretty well did a good job. 

Daniel Budai: [00:29:49] And so you became problem, problem aware, and then you found a solution somewhere, right?

Joseph: [00:29:58] And now I will say is that I don't consistently pull off lucid dreaming. Maybe like every 20 dreams I'll have one where I completely catch onto it. But I will say there's just for people who might have like a passing interest in this, there are some cool techniques that you can do. One of them is to have tells if you've ever seen Inception, they have the totems where they try to tell what I do is anytime I saw, I spot a spider, I use that as my dream check because they're, they're a totem. I, I encountered them in dreams. So the more consistent I am with like, Oh, that's a spider over there? Is this reality? Hmm. Yeah. That's reality. That helps me to like, wait a minute. That spider is massive and it's 12 legs. 

Daniel Budai: [00:30:41] Yeah. I have a friend who did the same and, um, He told me a few interesting stuff. Like what, what can happen if you do this? I think he stopped doing it a few years ago, but it's, it's fascinating. 

Joseph: [00:30:54] Was there another followup point you wanted to make in regards to that? 

Daniel Budai: [00:30:56] Yeah. Yeah. So when did we start the topic? Uh, I 

Joseph: [00:31:00] Tell you the truth. I'm a little, uh, uh, I, I got so far into that, that I did lose my own place, but that's okay. I've got, uh, lots of material written down here. There, it actually I'll bring this because I just thought that was funny, but you didn't made a point about how lawyers are not like. On the same page about the GDPR, which I just thought was funny because a lawyer's job is to argue. So they're never on the same page on anything.

They go to work, they go to work to fight so.

Daniel Budai: [00:31:23] They are similar to entrepreneurs. They find problems, but unlike entrepreneurs, they don't solve them. I mean [?],

Joseph: [00:31:34] That's fair. So let's, uh, let's move on to a case study. One of the questions that I had asked you prior to our interview was if you can share, or if you think about a case study that you'd like to tell us so that we can go through a practical example of the process, uh, and you've sent me one, but to be fair, I might've only checked the email like 10 minutes before we started.

So I didn't get a chance to read through it fully. Uh, but it's here the case study, how we made. Mid six figure extra monthly revenue with emails in a unique niche. Uh, the revenue increase in nine months was 24%. The extra revenue in nine months was 1.19 million or 1,900,000, uh, be our partner get started. Okay. That's that's just a button to click. Uh, so I could read the client testimonial and then you could, uh, take it away from there. How does that sound? 

Daniel Budai: [00:32:29] Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, please. That's good. Yeah. 

Joseph: [00:32:31] Okay. Cool. My business partner and I got a referral from a mutual friend with Daniel and his team. We wanted to increase our revenue using emails because we didn't have time and energy to learn it and implement it properly.

The Budai media team changed the way we think about email flows and campaigns. When we started Q4, they generated a six figure amount to use emails and triple the sales from our website popups. No hand-holding required. These guys know what they're doing. 

Daniel Budai: [00:32:55] So basically this client, they sell in the U.S. And they sell a pet products.

And I really like these two guys. They are, uh, they are from Austria, Vienna. It's in the neighborhood of Hungary, but they sell in the U S I really liked these two guys. They are, they are still very young. And they, they transitioned the business from really, it was, it was a kind of drop shipping store using Facebook ads and drop shipping from China.

They shifted the business model a few times. So first of all, they, uh, started making the product better. Now they have a very good product quality. That's one thing. And also now they don't really rely on Facebook ads anymore. So they added email marketing. We do SMS loyalty program, referral programs, different kinds of retention stuff, but also they added native ads like Taboola and Outbrain. And this is where their traffic comes from. I don't know, like more than 50%. So not Facebook ads anymore. So that's one thing the guys are amazing and the product is amazing. Um, and we started working together, uh, last, uh, summer in July. Their revenue was, let me check the number. It was $550,000 and 6% of their monthly revenue came from email.

And as I said, we follow the same process. So we set up the main, uh, email automations in, uh Klayvio. Um, we cleaned their email list. They had, I think, Yeah, they had a 96,000 email subscribers, which is a great number, but, uh, the engagement rate was very bad. So we had to clean the email list. We removed a lot of contacts from the, from the email list.

So we set up the flows. And, um, we also changed their signup forms. They use the Wheelio and they use the, um, like a lucky wheel kind of, um, I'm sure you know, that most of, you know,

Joseph: [00:35:02] Yeah. I've seen them. 

Daniel Budai: [00:35:03] Yeah. yeah Lucky wheel have kind of popup and we found it to be honest, really annoying and kind of, um, scammy because on the wheel you can see, uh, free products, 80% of, and the end, they got 10% of like everyone.

So, you know, people first, they subscribe and after. They get, they subscribe because they expect the free product or 80% discount and in the end they get only 5% or 10%, and then they will never come back. They are kind of, you know, you let them down. So they use this popup, which converted very well. Like 16% I think.

But, uh, people never came back and we changed the pop-ups to a more straight forward approach in the popup. We told them that, Hey, if you subscribe, you will get 15% of that's the deal you can subscribe or not. Fewer people subscribed, but, uh, they were highly engaged and in the end it generated more money actually, even with a smaller list.

And, uh, I think it was a win-win for the audience, for the subscribers, for the business, because if they have a lot of shitty emails, then they have to pay more for the software. So we changed the pop-ups and the numbers were lower, the number of subscribers, but they generated more revenue and higher engagement.

That was a big change, uh, in the very, at the very beginning. And after we started sending out the email campaigns, And by Q4, we generated more than 30% of their monthly revenue. Um, at the beginning, as I studied for 6%, uh, only, and last November, it was a 230,000 U.S. Dollars. And this year they could, um, grow the business so now they're, uh, email revenue in stronger months it's around 300,000 USD. It's around 30% of their, um, monthly revenue this year. We added SMS messenger, um, loyalty program. We work with your Yotpo. Uh, we added all of these and, um, I don't know the numbers on the top of my head, but probably we generate like 40% of their revenue from these channels.

So, so this is where we are with the guys and they are working heavily on branding the company. I think they will promote events, pet related events, like mostly dog related events in the U S so they, they started branding heavily. Um, this is their direction now. 

Joseph: [00:37:44] Excellent. Well, uh, commendations for, uh, getting rid of the, the wheel.

It's ironic because if I were to be a winner, that's when I wouldn't trust that thing. Oh, I won. Did I? Oh, wow. Look at that. 

Daniel Budai: [00:37:57] That's interesting.

Joseph: [00:37:57] Yeah. One of the other things is that. One of the things you told the client early on is that you had to clear out some contacts. Now putting myself in the position of the client. I can see myself being a bit weary hearing about that, just to just picture like, you know, I'm getting a message from you saying, uh, we're going to go through your contact page and we're going to remove some of these and I'm gonna say what, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Wait, why, why, why, so, how do you put somebody at ease when, when you get to 

that point? 

Daniel Budai: [00:38:27] Yeah. So about the list cleaning this conversation happened a lot and it's will happen. 

Joseph: [00:38:33] Yeah. I can see it. 

Daniel Budai: [00:38:34] And about the sign up form that conversation happened. I really remember because. To be honest, I'm kind of proud of the conversation that I could calm this down because they had a big list. And this wheel, this lucky wheel work very well for them in terms of conversion, but not in terms of generated revenue. So I just put some numbers on the paper and I explained to them that we should test it for two weeks. Let's say because we cannot, I mean, Of course we could have, uh, lose, uh, revenue and, and, and, uh, subscribers, but still the potential was, was bigger than just not trying this out.

So they, they approved to try it. We tested it, it worked out pretty well. So, so, yeah. And about list cleaning. So that thing is more common because we cleaned the list of everyone and they usually understand it that if somebody doesn't open an email for six months. They don't need that person anymore. And they also have to pay less for the software.

So it is good for, for everyone because really, if we send out content sales, win-back emails and we give them 30, 40% off and they still, you know, nothing happens, then we don't need those subscribers. Some clients want us to export these, uh, contacts so they can have those emails. But yeah, it doesn't make much sense to keep those people.

Joseph: [00:40:12] You've given us really a lot of really good stuff to parse and absorb. There was something that I wanted to get back to before we run out of time. One of the common themes of the show is that everybody has a unique background, which, uh, brings them into this. Uh, and you mentioned, uh, at the beginning that you were interested in geology and then you had some aspirations to getting into the oil industry.

I had a friend, he, he, he had like a quarter life crisis where he ended up going to Calgary, which is, uh, our, uh, our oil Mecca in Canada. And, and he left because they were doing so many drugs. And so he comes back to Toronto. I mean, you can understand, right. They need to take the edge off it's it's it's hard work.

So, you know, I can't say that I've, uh, put my, I could put myself in that position, but that aside you're interested in geology. How did that transform into your interest, uh, here in e-commerce. And secondly, is there any skills or perspectives that your study came with you when you moved into this?

Daniel Budai: [00:41:19] Yeah. Yeah. So just as a side note, I just read this book. I I'm just showing this, uh, here. So, uh, it's, it's not in English, but, uh, it's Stephen Hawking The history of Time or Short History of Time. I think that's the English, 

Joseph: [00:41:35] Oh, Stephen Hawking. Yeah, A Brief History of Time. 

Daniel Budai: [00:41:38] I'm just reading this now. So I still have the interest in natural sciences. Yeah. So I think the best thing, what I, I learned at the university is being skeptical about things because in natural science, you need a skeptical thinking.

And when somebody tells me something I don't believe it because that person just told me, even if it's an influencer or famous person, I don't believe it. I always question things. I think that's the best thing. What I learned from natural sciences is it's really, it's a great skill in business and how I transitioned.

So I always try to follow principles, rules, what I can find in the business world. And, um, I think that's very helpful. On the other hand, I always had some interest in people. So even if I studied geology at the university, I was specializing in history in high school. So I'm not really a hardcore physicist or anything like that. I'm more like a mix. I think, you know, you can learn from both, both, uh, areas, humanities and sciences. 

Joseph: [00:42:48] Well, I, I appreciate the, uh, the skepticism. I'm somewhat of a, I don't know, it's I going and using the, the, uh, the X-Files dichotomy. There are some skeptics and believers. I, I don't know. It's, it's hard to parse because there's that guttural feeling of wanting to believe something, but needing to verify it through the scientific process so that that belief is founded on something, something real.

And this is by the way, this is coming from somebody who talked earlier about, you know, going to sleep and blasting off into a, into dream space, even that, even something as nebulous, or even as fantastical as that has to come from a place of practicality. So what's interesting is converging these, uh, these ideas together and trying to figure out what is the, the balancing point. What is the center point? Because it's, it's it's dreams, but it's the, it's the science to it. It's trying to take a scientific approach to our our spirituality and understanding things at a higher level. 

Daniel Budai: [00:43:45] Yeah. Yeah. That's very interesting. I just, two days ago, last weekend I talked with a guy who's an engineer, I think engineer. And, uh, he's a Buddhist and, uh, he converted a few years ago and, uh, he's a very interesting person. It's an intersection of spirituality and being very numbers driven and data driven. So, yeah, and I, I, in general, I th I think that the best things, they always come the best ideas they always come from the intersection of two very different areas.

And when you mix copywriting with physics now maybe something great happens. Um, and I could say many examples. 

Joseph: [00:44:28] It's chemistry, it's these different elements coming together to make something, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but, uh, it's the it's the important part is the consistency of the process.

Okay. So this one, I have to make sure that I, uh, that I asked you about, because I've talked to everybody involved in the drop shipping council, and I want to make sure I complete the set. So. Can I get a picture of how you got involved in the council and, uh, what's your, what's your status with them? What do you do to contribute?

Daniel Budai: [00:44:56] Yeah, sure. So, uh, actually one of the founders or, or I think he was the first founder, uh Shishir Nigam.

Joseph: [00:45:05] He's a previous guest on the show. 

Daniel Budai: [00:45:07] I hope I pronounced his name right. So he's from Vancouver, Canada, great guy. And we worked together. As, as, um, as a client of ours and actually we are, we will restart working together, uh, this week.

So this is, uh, how I got introduced to this group. And he asked me to join. We try to, you know, share, uh, knowledge there regarding email marketing, um, in the group. And, um, yeah, yeah, yeah. So through Shishir actually. 

Joseph: [00:45:38] Okay, excellent. So one of the other things about. Actually, it's sorry. Well, one of the things I, I wanted to mention too, is I have this, this arthurian fantasy in my head of the council and that at some point, it, when people can meet in person again, that you guys form like a Knights of the round table, where everybody has like a crowns or rubs or something like that.

Uh, I'm just trying to plant that seed as often as possible anyways. So one of the things I found kind of cool about your website is that. On the contact page. It basically went right to the book and calendar, and I'm sure that there's other websites that do this too. But for the most part, when I click on a contact page, there's one degree of separation before that point, like, uh, Oh, here's, uh, or maybe there's an email box or something, which would lead to the calendar, but you seem to have a pretty direct and open approach. So was there any particularly our philosophy behind that, or is just, this is just how you found it was the most effective way to get people to, uh, to book?

Daniel Budai: [00:46:33] Yeah. Yeah. Great question. So in general, I always try to be very reachable. You know, if someone messages me even, uh, I don't know, like literally anyone, so even somebody who never made money from e-commerce, uh, and they want something to do with, with me or with us I'm open. And I always try to reply. Sometimes it takes a few days to reply because I have priorities, but I always try to be reachable to everyone. Probably this, this is the reason I would say. So if somebody books a call, uh, sometimes I, I emailed them that, um, we should, uh, reschedule it, but yeah, in general, I always try to be reachable, um, to, to everyone.

Same on social media. If they comment below my posts or they message me. 

Joseph: [00:47:21] Okay. Is it a couple more, uh, rapid ones  just to fire off for you before I let you go. To be fair over the course of this episode, you've given us kind of like a, a perspective on what would be the answer to this question, but I want to get a summarization of it for you, which is, um, you are thus far the third email marketing agency I've talked to on the show.

I don't know. Maybe some of the guests, they have one too, and I just forgot to ask, but. What do you think is important about your agency that makes you distinct from not only the other ones that I've talked to, but all the other ones that are out there? 

Daniel Budai: [00:47:57] Great question. So if you go to Upwork or anywhere, you can find hundreds of email marketers, it's hard to differentiate.

You know, these experts and agencies, probably what really differentiates us is we limited the number of clients. Now we are 11 people in the team and we have maximum 20 clients. We limited the number of clients, and this comes with a few things. So, first of all, since it's limited, we don't want to scale up to the moon and selling the same to everyone.

We rather want to customize everything. You know, every, every channels and everything, what we do for clients and make it better and better. Basically as an agency, we want 20 very strong partners. Who we can grow together with. So, uh, and, and the, our growth as a, as a business, as an agency will come from not adding more clients, but adding more services and helping our clients better.

I think this is what really differentiates us. And beside that we are very innovative and an opportunistic. So when we see an opportunity, We, we jump into that. We are not like, no, we don't do this because we are an email marketing agency. So recently we sent out a postcard campaigns. I don't know anyone who did that before. And they generated some nice revenue. For a brand we sent out postcards to their audience in the UK. So we always, always try to test new things, add more services, help our clients in more ways. Yeah. I would say these things. Yeah. 

Joseph: [00:49:36] Postcards. So just so that I'm understanding it, like the physical postcards sent in the inbox.

Yeah. That's great. You know, it was, it was funny. Cause I was, I was going to say, I was remembering when, when music was really starting to digitize and even CDs were meh one of the things that ended up coming back into common parlance was vinyl because people enjoyed collecting people like to have collections of things. Uh, but the music quality in vinyl records is unparalleled. It really is something to behold. And in a way I can see how postcards can have similar strengths, not to denigrate the other forms, of course, but receiving something physical in the mail that could have, you know, beautiful artwork on one side as part of the intricate design of a postcardn and then the information conveyed on the other side, you know, that can go a long way too. So nothing really dies things end up becoming reborn again. 

Daniel Budai: [00:50:33] Yeah. And exactly because 40 years ago, DMs direct mails and. Probably even postcards, but mostly direct mails. They came regularly to people. You, you open your mailbox and 20 other, um, direct mails and could read them and buy or not. And they, they disappeared in the last years. And I think this is why they can work again because they disappeared. Nobody expect them and you start sending out them again. And yeah, people like these things because they are very personal, physical things. I was a big fan of audiobooks for many years. And I started reading physical books again, because I don't know, it's just a nice feeling.

It's a real book in my hands. So probably the same thing here. 

Joseph: [00:51:19] And it gets people away from, uh, from their, from their devices for a little bit too, especially, you know, and like that, that last, uh, winding down hour to, to read something I find is quite, quite helpful. You know, I think things have their place, right. And things have to fit in. 

All right. Well, that is, I think that's as a, as far as we can go today, Daniel, I want to thank you for your time. And I want to give you the floor one last time in case there was any last second points that you just wanted to convey to us, or, uh, and also let people know what to do to get engaged with you. Uh, so take it away. 

Daniel Budai: [00:51:55] Yeah. Yeah. Unlimited self promotion. So basically. If you want to contact us, go to thebudaimedia.com. B U  D A I media.com or check out The Top 3%, uh, e-commerce group on Facebook. And, uh, we have our own podcast, The E-comm Show. And if you have a high growth e-commerce brand with a great product, then feel free to reach out to us. We can help you with your growth, the email, SMS messenger, conversion optimization on your website. And yeah, let's see if we can help you. That's my pitch to everyone. 

Joseph: [00:52:35] Terrific. All right, guys. Thank you so much for listening, Daniel once again. Thank you for being here. 

Daniel Budai: [00:52:40] Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for the invite. It was an amazing one hour with you. 

Joseph: [00:52:45] Happy to hear. All right guys, I'll see you next time. 

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Joseph Ianni

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