Episode 228 Featuring Alex Bond

The Globalization of Email Marketing with Reinis Krumins

The Globalization of Email Marketing with Reinis Krumins

Reinis Krumins is the Co-Founder of agencyJR, an email marketing agency that works with some of your favorite 7 & 8-figure brands. His team has generated over $30M in email sales in the past 3 years, as well as expand into a global brand with over 86 active clients and 50 employees.

On this episode, Reinis and I discuss his company's trademarked Email Conversion Protocol, how to think and operate globally, how to properly announce a Product Launch, and much more.


What is AgencyJR

Reinis Valters Krumins: To simply put, we just fired the business owners from thinking and worrying about the email and SMS marketing and take it over ourselves. So far we've worked with over, I think even 200 e commerce brands generating anywhere from 300 K a year to 36 million a year.

So that's been our expertise. And I'd say the way we differentiate us, we don't just operate with us brands. We work with a lot of brands in Europe. So we have a lot of international experience. We see what works well in a variety of different industries and selling to a variety of different kinds of customers. That's a brief overview of us. 

Email copywriting in multiple languages

Alex Bond: And I want to actually kind of pivot into that international aspect of your company.

So one of the impressive features that Agency Jr provides is that you guys write emails in any language, which I don't know if I've really seen other email marketing agencies do. How does that process work? I mean, how are you able to dutifully translate accurately? 

Reinis Valters Krumins: Yes, that's a very good question. It all comes down to finding locals who know the language well now. The biggest challenge with translating is if you use euphemisms or metaphors, but in English, and then you try to translate them into that language, it's just going to absolutely suck the best way for an international business who operates into multiple countries is to find either copywriting talent or translators.

Pretty straightforward in those countries. When we operated roughly two years ago, we started working with companies in the Netherlands and then we moved on to Germany, Sweden, so on and so forth. So we just found it very easy to find initially translators and even copywriters in those countries to write emails for us.

Now, typically the way the process works, and if you want to start selling and writing in new language, the easiest way is just to have a simple copy in English. It shouldn't have euphemisms or metaphors. It should be selling the product is in kind of a simple way, if you will, then you will find a translator and have them translate the English copy into, let's say Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, and just launch it, whether that's a sales page where that's emails, and that's the first iteration. 

You'll see how people respond to it. Maybe people don't like the language. Sometimes you, you find that in some areas they have different dialects, so they speak a little bit differently and then you later narrowed down and see maybe which translators work better. I mean, ideally, if you know some people from that country of people who speak language, they're able to give you more of an unbiased look, that's a good way to get started.

Eventually you're going to find talented people in all those countries who can do the work for you, which we found, because right now we have around 45 people on our team. 

Alex Bond: That's pretty awesome. I promise that we will talk about some of the processes that you guys implement, but I was really fascinated about that international aspect of it.

So you mentioned the trouble that you can get into when involving euphemisms, metaphors, you know, similes, figures of speech and idioms don't always translate well. Culturally, are there certain strategies and campaigns that work across different cultures or how do you ensure that they do essentially when you're kind of creating these emails at the beginning?

Reinis Valters Krumins: Yes, there are two elements that go into it. The translator and the ideal customer. I'll start with the ideal customer because that's the thing you have to focus on. Different countries have different buyer personas. For example, Germany, they're going to be a lot more conservative. And if you try to sell to a German as you would to American, you're going to just utterly fail.

Germans, if you look at the landing pages there, they don't have a bunch of like these bold colors with timers. It's not super aggressive selling. The way you sell theirs, it's more laid back. It's more or less. Showcasing the product, talking about the product and letting the customer decide whether they want to buy or not.

Versus in America, you kind of just like very aggressively try to shove the product down their throat. Now, not everyone does that, but that's the best comparison. Even hearing say radio ads in America compared to Europe. Now, when it comes to the actual copy side of things, you ideally want to find a good translator because a good translator can look at different euphemisms you use.

And take the core, understand the core idea of the text you've written and rewrite it for that language. Now, if you don't have someone who dives deep enough, put in a copy to fully comprehend it, not just, you know, understand it, but comprehend it, then it's better to write just in a simple tone. So instead of this fragrance is going to make all the women turn their heads.

You might say, you might say women gave me compliments for this fragrance, right? So instead of maybe using a phrase that makes sense in English, might that make friends in German, you simplify the term and kind of like put it into a different sentence structure. Now, if you'll look at different languages, for example, like French, they have different way they form sentences.

Generally speaking across most languages, if you use simple phrases or simple sentence like that, it does show, for example, whenever I wear this fragrance or women in compliments, when I wear this fragrance, it has a simple sentence. It's going to translate well across other, you know, other languages.

Whereas this fragrance leaves heads turning. It's something that's, that works well in English, but doesn't necessarily translate well to other languages. So that's the best way to put it with an example. 

Alex Bond: No, that's cool. I mean, what I'm kind of hearing you say is that keeping it as pragmatic as possible is usually the best way to ensure that there's still the substance. With a little bit of style across cultures. I think that's extremely interesting. 

Reinis Valters Krumins: Yes. And later as you scale, you hire in copywriters and have them right within the language, you can give them the core idea, let's say of the email or landing page copy that you want them to write, and they can build around it as any good copywriter would.

Email Conversion Protocol

Alex Bond: I think that's fascinating stuff. So to kind of circle back and talk about the actual processes that Agency JR implements, essentially. So I want to start off with your trademarked email conversion protocol. Can you tell me what that is? 

Reinis Valters Krumins: Yeah, it's a very good thing you bring up because whenever we work with a new client or a new brand, we don't just start randomly writing emails. As I mentioned previously, the most important part of your marketing is your audience. 

Who are you selling to? What are their fears? What was the last thing they were terrified of? What was the last thing they were excited about? Because when you're able to point out these different instances of where they get their pleasure and where they get their fear, you're able to essentially communicate the product better with them.

So what we do there is instead of just randomly writing copy and emails, we firstly focus and understand who is the ideal customer, what's their age, why do they buy. Again, as I mentioned, what their fear is, what excites them. Then we dive into the brand itself. What is a brand's identity?

Because if you want to work with a new company successfully, you can't just have a designer whip out any sort of design we like to align the designs of the emails and the kind of design we put out with what they have on their website on their ads. 

Because if let's say they're using black buttons on the website, we want to make sure we can align that with an email. So the, the transition from email to the website is as smooth as possible. And then later we dive deeper to understand different, different mechanisms of product has, because if you've Agoras copywriters, they like to break down copy within different stories about the product, the proof of the product working.

The mechanisms, right? The heroes and the villains. And if we're able to distill those out from the product, we're able to become more successful. Now, for the people that don't know what mechanisms are, you may be asking, what the hell are those? So simply put, those are email conversion protocol as a mechanism.

I could have simply put that, you know, we do the research to understand your customer. But email conversion protocol is a mechanism that takes different elements of research. And puts them together. It sounds unique. It's kind of like a USB put into a new light and the best way the best example I can give out a while back, there was a famous Claude Hopkins ad, which lets beer where they looked at the process of how beer.

Was created and they found out that their beer was being filtered compared to other companies. Now, other companies, everyone filters their beer. It's a standard practice, but no one talks about it. That's what made their product unique. That was a unique mechanism that's made it seem like their product was purer than their competitors.

Alex Bond: And I think that's what's fascinating is highlighting what you do. That is better or different, you know, just to take kind of your example, Miller lights, foundation of a lot of their campaigns is the original light beer.

You know, they've been coasting off that for a very long time because it's worked, you know I'm extremely interested in what some of the methods are that you and your team implement during your research about customers. So you obviously try to get, figure out what the ideal customer is. How do you actually conduct that sort of research? 

Reinis Valters Krumins: That's a very good question. Now, first things first is to, I'll give an example with, if I was starting a completely new brand, because that's where a lot of people start off and that's where this information is going to be the most valuable.

First things first, you need to ideally look at, identify the audience segments. What age range are they in? Do they have kids? What are different words they have in their personal lives? So, if you look at someone that is a mother that's 45 years old, they have two kids, they're a stay at home mom, what are different desires they have? 

Now, one of them Could be they want to look like their younger selves again. They've had two, two kids. They maybe have a lower confidence because they think they might have, you know, left, let a little bit of chub on. They want to regain their younger beauty. 

Now, what does their day to day look like? Every single day, you know, they wake up at, let's say, 7. 30. They, they make breakfast by 8. 30. They've driven their kids to school and then they go back home. They watch TV, yada, yada, yada. You want to understand like, what does their day look like?

What do they do? So you can understand. What are the desires and fears they have?

Now, I did mention this already, and the way you can do that is talk to these people. If you cannot specifically describe what your ideal customer does on a day to day basis, talk to the people who would be your ideal customer.

Now, if you already have an existing audience base, you can talk with a customer directly, whether that's through surveys or just even doing direct calls with, with the people, understanding why they liked the product, why they didn't like the product, maybe what do they do, or even if you sell products in real life within the shop, right?

You can talk with the customers, understand what their days are like. Now, this is something where what you're trying to do is find an idea. That's going to change your marketing. The best way to put it, if we are, for example, promoting this podcast, we could say, do you ever find yourself scrolling through TikTok for four hours? And you just realize you've waited that time. Don't just feel angry at yourself. 

Instead, you know, you can position a podcast as a better piece of content for them to consume. They're just a very, very simple example. But if we can tap in those fears of them wasting four hours, consuming brainless content, doesn't make them any more money versus they can, then watching this podcast, that is a way on how we can advertise.

That is an angle we can use within emails. And the main goal of all this research is a find different angles and big ideas. For emails for your paid ads for anything. 

Delivering high-quality output in 20 days

Alex Bond: So, you know, you guarantee at least through your website that your onboarding process is rapid, you know, with emails being written and designed in about 20 days, how are you able to operate so quickly?

Reinis Valters Krumins: That's a good question. It comes down to systems and processes. We onboarding. It's just the way our company has been built. You know, we don't have, let's say three people working on 40 different email accounts, so where, you know, if someone new wants to get onboarded, they have to wait and it's just a meticulous, difficult process for them to get onboarded.

For us, we have just built capacity. We have better systems and a bigger team than other people in the space. It all comes down to that. 

Alex Bond: Teamwork, teamwork's the dream work. So to ensure a fast onboarding process, I'm going to give you an either or essentially, all right, does it help to have more autonomy instead of going back and forth with clients or is it more helpful to have clients who are helping with the decision making process? 

Reinis Valters Krumins: That's a very good question. i would say helping is probably best. Primarily because the initial time frame was to work together it's it's very important to understand.

The ideal client sorry, not the ideal client, but to understand what the client wants and what has worked in the past, because if they already have, like, typically we work with brands who, you know, do at least, you know, a hundred thousand dollars a month in sales up to a couple of million dollars a month, so they probably have a good idea of what their customer likes and what their customer dislikes. 

So we can get the ideas they have had and things that have worked previously. And ultimately we have the final say on the types of emails we send out, but that initial month is going to be very, very helpful if the client gets involved. That's with any kind of an agency, like some eCom brands, they blame agencies for poor work. 

Sometimes it's unclear communication that results in poor work. Now this can be both on the agency side. And the ecommerce brand side, but ultimately if a front, you can be great at communication. You can manage expectations for what you expect from us, what you like, what you don't like. It's just going to be a lot, heck of a lot smoother process down the line. 

Power of testing in email campaigns

Alex Bond: When you're testing emails out, I think you mentioned that earlier. Do you do like experimental emails to better gauge say that the efficacy of your solutions before fully cementing and implementing a campaign?

Reinis Valters Krumins: Very good question. Yes. And no, it depends on what kind of a test it is. Typically with an email campaigns, we have, for example, tested and true campaigns that have worked. That's for example, 80% and 20% is kind of exploratory campaign. 

So like different random ideas something that. That's a great example. We were working with a company selling skiing equipment, so jackets and skiing pants. And they also have swimming shorts on the website and they wanted to get rid of them before winter, before Q4 and everything.  And I told him, listen, no, let's keep the shorts on the store because. When you go to a skiing resort, what do you have a spa and within the spa, obviously you're going to be wearing your swim shorts.

So then something we can experiment with is for the people that have place in order for our skiing jackets or skiing pants, we can send out the campaign upselling them on swimming shorts, but in winter it makes no sense, but that's why we're giving the customers the idea of, Hey, are you going on a, on a skiing trip anytime soon?

If so, get these swimming shorts so you can enjoy your time. At the spa outside of the skiing slopes. So testing a different ideas, seeing if something sticks, if something sticks and works very, very well, we can repeat it, we can put it within a flow and have it as an automated email going out to everybody.

Product Launch Formula

Reinis Valters Krumins: Yeah. Product launch formula, we actually had a speech on this in Dubai because we implement this within Q4, we implement this within different new product launches. We did 251K in 24 hours with a couple of new brand we launched. And it's because the product launch formula is. The way to launch a new product successfully.

It's not just sending one email, promoting it. And so we have four phase we go through. So phase one is the hype up before any product was launched. You need to have proper hype. You need to have, you need to have your customers desire this product. Now we do do it in a couple of ways. 

Number one, this can be done within paid advertisements, driving traffic to a signup form where people can raise their hand and leave an email. Tell them like, listen, I'm interested in this product within the signup form. That can be a landing page, showcasing the product, showcasing the main benefits and maybe core testimonials of the people that have tested the product itself.

Then once they've signed up, we send them emails, giving them updates. On the actual product, when it's going to be launched, so on and so forth. And then we dive into the next phase, which is the pre sale phase. So we can get people to give us micro commitments by either buying a pre sale, so putting down some sort of amount of capital for that product, or even, I guess I previously said, sending up to a lead form, maybe it might be a deeper step down the line.

Then we dive into the product launch itself. Now for the people that have signed up. They might have gotten a way to commit by having an early access sale where they can get a little bit of a discount, but you know, they put up the money up front and then we can send the email to everyone on the existing email list, whether it's older subscribers, people who have purchased, people haven't purchased.

We basically send strategically start to send out emails to the larger email list. And then we'd follow up with everyone who has shown some sort of interest, either opened emails or clicked on them for the next. Roughly six days. So this process takes in the case of Q4, this is something we do all the way, starting September off December in the case of a new product launches, typically a four week process emails being sent out.

Alex Bond: Yeah, that's pretty substantial. Are there any sort of specific ground rules that should be followed when announcing and launching a new product? I know you kind of touched on that a little bit, but what are some things that you have to make sure is happening on every single one or make sure that you are avoiding on every single new product?

Reinis Valters Krumins: I would say definitely the main thing is just seeing some sort of an interest from your audience. So this is what we deal with in the hyper phase and also the, the phase two, which is, you know, commitment. If there is no commitment, if people are not interested in the product at all, if there's no buzz about it.

No one's talking about it on social media. No one replying to the emails when we asked them to, for example, reply, if they are excited, we said, Hey, maybe we shouldn't be producing as many units because the, the whole idea of this product launch formula is to minimize the amount of money you're spending on a new product.

So you can ideally even sell it out as presale. So you have customers fund the entire product itself. That's kind of like step one. Step two is to leave the product available after launch. This is something I learned from my obvi. Ideally, after launch, you want to make the product sold out. So the people who didn't want to buy it, all of a sudden they have this fear of missing out because the product's been sold out.

They might not even wanted to buy it previously, but they see, like, we email everyone, tell them, like, hey, the product's sold out, you cannot buy it. We're sending you this email because you cannot buy it. And as a result, now they want to buy it. So the next time the product is restocked, they're ready to purchase this product.

Now the second time you restock it, you want to have it be sold out again. So you restock it with enough units for you to know that it's going to sell out. Again, the people who might have a little bit of a FOMO, they now have even more fear of missing out because this is something new, this is something they cannot get. And they're ready to buy the, when the next restock rolls around. 

Alex Bond: So you're actually knowing that the demand is high and then lowering your supply to ensure that it's sold out instead of the other way around. That's really fascinating. And speaking, you know, financially, as you were starting to, you stayed on your website that emails generate 2 dollars for every 1 that's spent.

I've never seen that stat anywhere. I thought that was very interesting. How does that stack up against other marketing strategies like SMS, social media, TV, radio, podcasts, et cetera, those avenues? 

Reinis Valters Krumins: I would say that's a metric that's important because email marketing, you don't have as many costs associated to it as something like, for example, paid ads with that.

So that itself, it's not that you should spend all your marketing budget and email marketing is that it's naturally a low cost marketing effort. So like SMS would be a little bit higher, but email marketing compared to paid ads, they play different roles. I don't really think it's a good idea to necessarily compare all the other marketing channels.

Ideally you'd want to do as many as possible, because the bigger you get, the more of a target audience you're going to get. And something like paid ads is going to be acquiring new customers. Something like email and SMS is going to be getting the existing customers to come back and buy again and buy different products.

Alex Bond
Alex Bond

Meet Alex Bond—a seasoned multimedia producer with experience in television, music, podcasts, music videos, and advertising. Alex is a creative problem solver with a track record of overseeing high-quality media productions. He's a co-founder of the music production company Too Indecent, and he also hosted the podcast "Get in the Herd," which was voted "Best Local Podcast of 2020" by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia, USA.

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