Marketing Podcast for Shopify Merchants: The Ecommerce Coffee Break

AI Marketing Manager App for Your Shopify Store: Boost Sales and Save Time | #188 Seamas Egan

May 20, 2023 Claus Lauter: Ecommerce Podcast Host | Shopify Partner | Marketing Optimizer Season 4 Episode 51
Marketing Podcast for Shopify Merchants: The Ecommerce Coffee Break
AI Marketing Manager App for Your Shopify Store: Boost Sales and Save Time | #188 Seamas Egan
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode you discover how AI can streamline your store marketing efforts, allowing you to save valuable time and focus on other aspects of your business. Guest on the show is Seamas Egan, founder & CEO of

On the Show Today You’ll Learn:

  • How to compete with the big brands with just a small budget and AI
  • How to save time, with AI managing your email automation and campaigns
  • How AI can be utilized to cut down on expenses in your business operations
  • How AI can manage your whole store in the background
  • What tinyEinstein is about and how it helps you

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Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the E-Commerce Coffee Break podcast. Today we wanna dive again into artificial intelligence. It's everywhere, but it's also very helpful as we know, and we wanna also dive back and revisit a topic of email marketing. Now, not every merchant out there has a dedicated email marketing manager and AI can help you there a ton.

That's a topic of today and with me as a guest on the show. I have Seamas Egan, he's the founder and CEO of tiny email. . He's a tech executive who's 15 years of experience in product strategy, new product launches, organizational restructure, and integrating acquired companies. In 2019, he founded High Performance Algorithms to offer m and a advisory service.

In 2022, he cool, launched Tiny Email, and in 2023. So this year they introduced, the first AI email marketing manager. We wanna find out what that is. Hi Seamas, how are you today? 

Seamas Egan: Hi. Hi cla. Thank you for having me. for that introduction.

, my background is exclusively or predominantly in email marketing. I started it in the early two thousands. I work for an email service provider that got acquired then got acquired again by a public company. And then that public company, I led the, corporate development or like the mergers and acquisitions.

And this business, basically that's what they do is they move into different verticals and they buy up like a whole bunch of competitors in the space. For that company we bought 13 different email service providers. And so I have a lot of experience in running email service providers.

I've been doing it for over a decade. And when I left that business, Had a few years write a little bit of a gap. I had to not be directly competing with my old company. And that's when I was doing my own m and a advisory. During that time when I was doing my m a advisory, I actually sold a, an email business that was sharing an office with a company that was one of the first movers in ai.

These guys were a Y Combinator company. They actually had access to open AI before the rest of the market. What I saw, what they were doing was just growing astronomically with this product. They went from zero users to 50,000 users in a couple months and, paid users and I couldn't believe what was going on.

I've never seen this type of growth before. So I actually tried other product I'm not gonna say where the company was, but, they did get a 1.5 billion valuation, eight months after that. And basically what they were doing is they were doing generative ai, , creating text for marketing content.

I used the tool myself and I started to use it like a lot myself. Oh my God, this is like, just revolutionary. It's unbelievable, with all the different tools that exist in marketing today. One of the hardest things to do is still come up with content, right? Like you could have all the tools in place to automate things, create structures, provide feedback and give you analytics and maybe even help you, , create some type of advertising, creatives.

But coming up with the text is really hard. Coming up with the content was really hard and these guys had nailed that. We'd launched our business, which was Tiny Email, which was an email service provider. And we had been featured by Shopify as one of their favorite apps. So we got a bunch of Shopify users really quickly and , hundreds and hundreds of users within a couple of weeks.

said the same thing to us. They said, listen, like we love tiny email. It's so much easier than using Clavio. It's so much easier than using the other tools that we've used. But I still don't have the time. I'm a solopreneur, I'm a small shop. I just don't have the time to do it right.

Like, I can set up a few automations and they run for me and, maybe I'll dedicate a few hours to set up each one of these. There's no way I have the time that I can dedicate to creating a weekly campaign to send it to my audience to just drive them back to my site, to potentially make some purchases.

We'd started playing around with open AI again before I had come to the market as well. We registered as a researcher we created a subject line generation tool. we saw that the subject line generator was getting used by a lot of our users because they just didn't wanna come up with the subject lines, right?

This one simple thing, and the users who were actually using it were seeing a significant lift over the previous subject lines they were creating. So they were getting about a 50% increase in open rates, which was pretty crazy. the more I was playing around with these tools, I said, you know what?

know, it's probably the cheapest way to communicate with like your direct audience. It is definitely the cheapest way and , if you can actually get it up and running, the return on investment can be unbelievable, but you still to invest time in it.

we can do this, we're able to like command open AI and say, . Go look at this store, take this link to this store, read a bit about the store, scrape the images from the store. Take a little bit of information from the user about like how they want their brand to be perceived, if it's professional, if it's edgy, if it's informal or uplifting or friendly.

Give us a little bit more details about like your. Your typical audience, right? The people that buy from you, the value of your products. And with that we started testing it and it was writing these unbelievable campaigns for these small Shopify stores. we picked Shopify just because, we already had a channel of, like a whole bunch of shop buy source coming in and testing on our product.

Two, we had all these people telling us, Hey, I love it. I wish I could do it. I just don't have the time. So we found this technology that could just solve this problem for them. And effectively what we did was we went out and templatized all of the best programs from the biggest, e-commerce and d TOC brands.

So we would go and we would look on really good emails on mail charts and take like all of the email campaigns that had the highest interaction rates, the best conversions, the calls to action were getting the most clicks and we started to feed it into our software. So, Tiny Einstein Tiny email is an app that like, can be used inside and outside of Shopify.

Tiny Einstein is exclusively for Shopify right now, so it can only be used inside as an app on your Shopify store. The reason for that is cuz it's so structured in Shopify, right? So we're able to like point at like different pieces of, where the data is stored in Shopify and pull that into our templates automatically and prefill them for you.

And then take open AI and rewrite content that we know is driven. Toro or is persuasive and actually drives actions like people clicking and going back to your site or people clicking and going and completing their purchase or driving people to come back and actually review one of the products that they've purchased from you.

What we've done as a business is effectively this structure or replicated, like you said on the introduction, like what a full-time email marketing manager would do for you. Somebody full-time email marketing manager. You're a bigger business if you've got that person right?

Like you're somebody who can afford to spend a hundred thousand dollars on an email marketing manager. You're a business that's doing quite a bit of revenue. That's not most of our customers that was coming in, right? Or you're a business that's just gone past and you're starting to grow and you're realizing that you've got all this data and.

You want to maybe outsource to an agency, but agencies are gonna cost you a couple thousand dollars a month, to manage your other email service provider. Or you're just a, small shop and that email's really important it is probably the most recommended app to add to your store, right?

Because from a remarketing purpose, it's so inexpensive to communicate with your customers and you're trying to do it yourself, and you're just banging your head against the wall going like, Why can't this be easier, for us, we've effectively taken that time off of your plate.

We've replaced the agency cost or replaced your email marketing manager and your service provider, right? So whatever on the higher end, whatever you used to pay, Email marketing manager and like your Clavio, account that's all consolidated into what we do on the lower end. It's really the time.

And that's what we focus on the most because that's where most of our customers come from, is like, I would say the majority of 'em are solopreneurs, right? We definitely have public companies that use us as well, but the majority of the customers that sign up for Tiny Einstein are one to three people, one to five people shops, and.

The majority of that being solopreneurs, right? Individuals that are like managing this on their own. So for them, it is just completely elating to hand this off and give it away to somebody else. Cuz getting two hours back. Every single week is just time that you can invest in other things, that are more important or things that you know, you could spend your time on to like growing your business.

So like handing off the remarketing piece to us, it's stuff you could do. Everybody could do what we're doing, right? There is nothing that we're doing that anybody couldn't do, but all we do is we do it for you in like a minute or couple minutes as opposed to you spending hours doing it I would say like most other AI products too, it's probably 90% good. 10% of it that you're like, eh, probably wouldn't have said that. But, 90% good works for a lot of people and for us from a business standpoint, we've realized that we need to add in this customization point.

So for that last 10%, people can come in and go. Best example we've got, a skateboard shop and they're like, listen, like you guys said, skate April Fools. We would say skater fools. That's just what we would say. Like, you just have to change that one word. And so for us, putting in that editing piece, it means that you're gonna have to spend a couple more minutes doing things as opposed to just letting us do it for you.

Right away. And it typically takes to like set up your account with us. Literally in two minutes. You can have a full year's media planner, like marketing calendar for automations, weekly campaigns pop-up, forms all done for you. But if you want to just change a couple things so that it's a little bit more on Bryant.

In the next couple weeks what we're releasing is the ability just to pull up an editor and like change it from skating fools to skate fools, right? And you want to change the image, pulling your own image or whatever. But a lot of users right now are just happy with the 90% and they're good with the.

Activating it, letting it run, and letting the AI just do its work. And they do nothing, right? They just turn it on. , all the contacts that are like sinking into your store, right? It's constantly trying to like, add people into the marketing list. So it can send weekly campaigns. Anybody that is on your site, based on their activities or in activities, the automations are gonna start to trigger messages to you, right?

So if you're like actively making purchases, They'll send you certain types of messages. If you're inactive, it will send you , Hey, come back and check out the new products that we've released. It's really doing everything for you without you having to invest any time at all. And again, it's always learning.

Like any other AI product, it's always learning about your brand. It's always learning about your business. We're always tuning in it to see what type of actions are driving the most type of conversions for our users. Then with that updating to make sure that like it's driving revenue, it's driving sales.

Cuz that's the real purpose of your email marketing program, right? It's to bring people back who've expressed an interest, who've come to your site, get 'em to sign up and register so you can remarket to them, people who've made purchases, drive 'em back and make additional purchases of other products.

That's it. That's tiny Einstein in a nutshell. We're super excited about it. The product is evolving. Pretty much every week. We're releasing pretty advanced new stuff. , right now it's really templatized with content and updated content.

And some of the things that we're working on in the upcoming weeks and months is gonna be enhancing images too. One of the things that I think a lot of smaller Shopify stores, some struggled compete with the bigger stores. If you run color pops through our store, and you look at color pop, and color pop has these vibrant images everywhere.

Like everything that is created, the tiny Einstein looks like stunning, ? It just looks unbelievable. But some stores, like the pictures of the products they have are just not as high quality, they don't have the ability to do that. But AI can actually take that and they can enhance your image, the same product.

Increase the quality, put a filter on it, change the background. , and that's one of the next things that we see as like the ways that we can help smaller businesses compete with the big guys is still showing your product. that's the thing that we struggled with at first was that, a lot of the first commands that we were doing to AI would produce something that was like totally different.

And actually in a lot of instances, kind of scary, we were doing there was like a person in a hoodie that was like, their face was very like, why does he keep doing this? This is really scary. , I really don't know why this character keeps coming in.

But as you learned, command better, right? Which is the time that I think probably. Solopreneurs or smaller businesses don't have the time to do this. And this is what we're doing constantly and our development team is doing is, you find the right ways to command, to like actually get the outputs that you're looking for.

And then you figure out how you can inject like actual product images from certain stores and enhance them. near term for us, it's still real about really about adding additional, automations and segmentation and , just like standard email marketing stuff with updated content from OpenAI to make it more persuasive for your brand.

And the next iteration for us is really, enhancing the images so that a smaller shop can look, as competitive and as attractive as the biggest shops. And for us, that's the thing that just makes us. The most excited, , is being able to take what the little guys are doing and just make them look like the big guest because in the end, everybody's selling products, our customers in the end are selling , their own products. Your ability to market is significantly different than somebody who has millions or hundreds of millions in budget versus what you're spending, which is dollars, right?

So if we can use AI to take your dollars in budget allow you to compete with the biggest brands, that's truly what we're trying to do with Tiny Ass Time, right? It'll help the little guys be more compete with big guys. 

Claus Lauter: No. Makes perfect sense. And I said most time constraints that people cannot do it or resource restraints, they don't have a email marketing manager.

And email, as we know, is one of the best tools still, and it will never go away. Should make you 30, 40% of over all revenue in your store. that should be reason enough to look into that. Now, I love the name Tiny Einstein because Einstein obviously a genius, so it really works nicely together.

One question I have is, a lot of merchants already have some kind of email market , system running. How does it work with import existing data into your solution? 

Seamas Egan: Yeah, that's a great question. So the way that it works is, , it actually syncs directly from your Shopify store. So if you have your users as , accepts marketing, right?

So in Shopify we'll pull in all the customers, but anybody that is a customer who's made a purchase, who's been added into your database in your Shopify store, will get synced in and, they will be able to receive automations, right? So the automations will be able to be sent to them based on their activities that we can track.

The people who get the weekly campaigns that are scheduled and sent out once a week on your behalf. , those are only , the individuals that have accepts marketing in the Shopify store. So whatever provider that you have, . If you don't have that data in your Shopify store, the way to bring it back into your Shopify as the subscribed users from Fabio, for example, as accepts marketing.

, most businesses that have that integration already, , unless they haven't integrated their email service provider with their Shopify store, it'll already be there they haven't connected those two things, then the ways to bring back or subscribe users as accept marketing into your Shopify store, you can do that.

There's instructions on how to do it. I think we have it in our support center as well if it's not clear to anybody. Most of our users right now come from Labio. So that is predominantly where, even the smallest solar printers are actually using Clavio.

We have a lot of instructions on specifically how to do that. But if it's from anywhere else, we can walk you through. We've got great support. Our support's available from, 4:00 AM eastern till 8:00 PM Eastern. We have team members that are cascaded across the globe.

, so they cover like a broad range of time because the customers that you use, tiny Einstein are really everywhere and that's kinda another question that actually pops up as well. Is, can you use other languages in tiny Einstein? And you can. When you input like your company and product information, you can put it in your native language and it will update the text.

, now there are some parts of the email templates that have static content in them right now and so on us, if anybody is coming in a different language, we are working to update all of those static pieces to make everything dynamic because that's truly the way that somebody, who's sending an email in Spanish or in German or whatever it is.

Can use the product in all those sessions, we'll update without having a little bit of English in it. So there are definitely like a couple things in like the templates that exist that are like not dynamic, which restricts most people like from sending an email under native language cuz it looks a little bit weird to have some English in there.

But we're updating that cause we've had just a lot more users come in than we expected that were not English speaking or sending emails that were not in English, . 

Claus Lauter: Question in regards of implementation. So you said it does, obviously all the flows and it does a weekly campaign.

If you're running specific promotions or you wanna run a promotion for a specific product, , how do you pick that? 

Seamas Egan: The way that you'd have to do that right now is you'd have to use our customization. Right now. , the product is completely automated based on what it's pulling in.

So it's pulling in for the automations based on specific products if you wanted to run it on a weekly campaign, you'll have customization available in like the next week. You would pull up your weekly campaign, you would go into it, you would change the content, and you'd specifically put that product.

You could update and say, this product is discount. you can create discount codes directly within Tiny Einstein, so you can generate a coupon code that gets pushed back into your Shopify store and makes it valid there as well. , but that would be the way that you do it.

Cuz right now you let the AI run with it, to actually specifically promote a certain product, you'd have to go update one of the existing flows or weekly campaigns to promote that product. And that's not currently available that, but that will be available in the next 

Claus Lauter: week. Okay. No, that sounds great.

Now, if somebody wants to start with Tiny Einstein, I said massive timesaver there. And also, it helps you with writer's block. What kind of homework do they need to do , and how does the implementation work? How long does it take? 

Seamas Egan: There's not much research you need to do. , there's a seven day free trial. Easiest way to get up and running is to just go out of your store. , nothing will be sent. Until you activate something. So when you go into the product, the whole way that it works is it presents to you, here's how we've created a weekly campaign.

Here's the time we're gonna send Here's an automation, here's the definition of this automation and how it will be sent. Here's the content. This is what the template looks like, here's the content that's gonna be sent in it. , and it gives you examples of here's a product from your store that could be in this, for example, like a product review or a browser abandonment or a abandoned card or whatever. And it will present to you, here's what your weekly campaigns look like. If you like them, you just hit activate and it will just send it on that time. If you don't like it, you can hit regenerate.

It'll give you another version of it, right? So you just can regenerate the content and it gives you another version of the template design, the content text, that's all put into it. , the same thing for automations and for popups. will give you a preview of exactly what. Is gonna be sent.

, exactly What's gonna load onto your site and be deployed directly onto your homepage. , and if you like it, you just hit activate. If you don't, you can just keep hitting regenerate. But from a, testing it out and seeing if you actually like the product or not, and if it's producing content and stuff that you would actually, want to send on behalf of your brand or is like on brand, I would suggest just trying the trial.

In the trial going in, playing with the regenerate a few times, going in, trying to see what type of content it's creating for weekly campaigns for automations and for popups. And if you like it, you just hit activate and the second you can activate on automations, it will start working.

that happens immediately. The weekly campaigns are scheduled, in your local time zone. Typically at what we're seeing as the best time. To send and get interactions. So for a weekly campaign, I can tell you most times it goes out around 10:00 AM on Tuesdays. It's predominantly always doing that.

Like it's always coming around that time. From what we've seen is that, from our, testing is that drives the highest interaction rates as Tuesdays at 10:00 AM , for weekly campaigns. If you went in today for example, and you registered on Thursday, , you would've a weekly campaign that's scheduled.

Sometime early next week, it's probably Tuesday, around 10:00 AM in your local time. Then all the automations, would start happening immediately. If you decide that you want the popup, if you activate it, it automatically deploys to your homepage, if you wanted to see if it works for you, sign up for the trial. You have seven days. You can go through those three different, features.

The, campaigns, the automations and the popups. You can preview what it looks like. You can regenerate it a few times to see what it's creating for you. If you like anything. You can automatically deploy a popup to your site. You don't have to load any script.

It just automatically gets deployed to your homepage of your Shopify store. It's a popup. The automations will go on immediately, so if you activate them, they'll start working immediately for you. And then the weekly campaign will be scheduled at sometime early in the week. It's usually around Tuesdays at 10:00 AM from what we see every time.

If anybody from your podcast is interested in signing up, we created a coupon code called First M 50 Klaus, so f i r s t m 55 0 c l a u s, And I'll send it to you just again in the chat so you have it. If you want to reiterate that again. what this will give you is it will give users 50% off their first month. Anybody that signs up if they want to use it, they want to take the seven day trial, it's free for the seven days after that.

This will give 'em per 50% off for the next 30 days. 

Claus Lauter: Excellent. I will put the link in the show notes. , before we come to the end of our coffee break today, what's the general cost per month or how is your pricing structure? 

Seamas Egan: It's all based on the number of contacts. So we charge based on the total contacts.

So not just your accept marketing contacts. And this is because, we're always trying to capture users who are on your site to, accept marketing and all the automations work , for everybody. So anybody that's in your Shopify store as a. Customer, or in your contact list is gonna receive automations based on their activities or in activities.

The pricing starts at $3 a month and that includes up to a hundred contacts, hundred customers or subscribers. based on the number of contacts you have, charge you based on the total size of , your database 

Claus Lauter: basically. Yeah, that's very straightforward.

, it should be very easy to calculate for every merchant. What's that then at the end of the month, and I said it's just such a , massive time saver there, everyone should try it out. I'm a big fan of AI save so much time and I think you took also the heavy lifting of creating the prompts, the comments already away to have good results there.

So highly recommend to look into your solution. As said, links will be in the show notes and thanks for your time 

Seamas Egan: today. Really appreciate it. Thanks a lot for having me. Thanks. Bye. Bye.