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Crush Your Email and SMS Marketing!
Nikita Vakhrushev is the Founder, CEO, and CMO of ASPEKT, an agency that helps e-commerce brands increase their monthly revenue by 30% with performance-driven email and SMS marketing. He has helped brands achieve their e-commerce goals through Facebook ads, email marketing, website design, branding, and influencer marketing. Before ASPEKT, Nikita was the Founder and CEO of RPMmedia.com, where he helped businesses in all industries increase their profit through digital marketing strategies like social media, SEO, and Google Ads.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [03:12] Nikita Vakhrushev talks about ASPEKT and what it offers
- [04:48] ASPEKT’s ideal client profile
- [07:06] How ASPEKT helps its clients with their email marketing
- [10:10] The perfect number of emails a company should send out
- [12:01] How does ASPEKT differentiate itself in the marketplace?
- [16:40] Nikita shares how he helps clients maximize SMS marketing
- [24:59] The growth of email and SMS marketing
- [27:41] The process of working with ASPEKT
In this episode…
As an e-commerce brand, are you looking to take your marketing to the next level? How can you do it through email and SMS marketing?
Nikita Vakhrushev says that email and SMS marketing are two of the most productive ways to reach potential customers. Both methods have proven successful in getting people to engage with brands, but most e-commerce brands don’t know how to leverage them. Creating a schedule from your customer list is essential. Automating emails and SMS messages to reach out at the right time without overwhelming them is an excellent way to maximize your reach and customer engagement. To boost effectiveness, it’s best to recruit an expert.
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Pat Yates sits down with Nikita Vakhrushev, Founder and CEO of ASPEKT, to discuss how to thrive through email and SMS marketing. Nikita talks about ASPEKT’s ideal client profile, how it helps its clients with their email marketing strategies, how to maximize SMS marketing, and the process of working with ASPEKT.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Nikita Vakhrushev on LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
- Nikita Vakhrushev’s email: [email protected]
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Joe Valley
- Pat Yates on LinkedIn
- Mark Daoust
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
Sponsor for this episode
This episode brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
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Hey folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Pat Yates 0:32
Hello, and welcome back to the Quiet Light Podcast. I’m Pat Yates sitting in for Joe Valley. We have a fun conversation for you today. Actually, it’s amazing being from an econ background, how much I like to hear about new things and companies and what they do talk to a lot of marketing agencies, digital agencies, people that help you grow your business, but this conversation today is really kind of actionable from only two standpoints. Sometimes you talk to marketing agents to do 20 things pretty good. So I’m doing great, but this company is trying to do two things really well for your business. So today we’re going to talk to Nikita Vakhrushev. And I know I butchered his name like nine times before I started, so hopefully I got that one, right. And he’s with ASPEKT agency and they concentrate only on SMS, and email marketing. So utilize your Klaviyo and do that. Our guest himself is just so smart at this because when I was listening to him, I realized that there are little nuances that can make a huge difference in revenue. And even if you’re sending four or five emails a month, if you get eight 900 1000 bucks extra on each one because their knowledge you’re more than paying for the service and actually creating engagement and long-term customer value. Nikita spent six years immersed in the digital marketing world started his own e-comm brand quickly pivoting to an agency model. He’s now worked with over 100 DTC brands having the knowledge behind all marketing channels. But sticking with email is his bread and butter. Nikita has a unique perspective on how to get the most out of a brand’s retention channels. This is a really interesting conversation because if you have an opportunity that you want to grow your email marketing or your SMS, they do a free audit of your Klaviyo. They will look at it and give you actionable tips. If nothing else, it’s giving you great information that can help you grow the business. I am so excited to hear about this today with Nikita. Let’s get right to it. Nikita, welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast. It’s great to have you here today.
Nikita Vakhrushev 2:22
Pat, it’s a pleasure, big fan of the podcast. And it’s a dream country to actually be on and be chatting with you today. All things email and SMS.
Pat Yates 2:31
Well, it’s the shame I don’t get to do autograph sessions after this because it’s really amazing podcast, no, kidding. It’s really great to have you in I think I tell you what I’m so excited about this conversation today really from two aspects. No ASPEKT, there’s another play on words right there. So ASPEKT is the company. So I’m so interested in this because SMS is becoming so big and some people either love it or absolutely hate it. And other people from email marketing, this is really what you specialize in. Like I talked to a lot of agencies that do tons of things so they don’t really hone in. But I know today we want to talk a little bit about SMS as well as email marketing. So maybe you could tell the listeners a little bit about your whole company sort of a 30,000 foot view, give us an idea of what all you do it ASPEKT?
Nikita Vakhrushev 3:12
Well, you actually brushed up on that, like every agency does everything. We actually used to be one of those agencies, we used to do Facebook ads landing pages, CRO, you name the service, we did it, I was just a yes, man. And it got to a point where we were trying to manage like eight to 10 different clients with five different services, each client and I simply got burnt out, the business was bloated, all my employees were burnt out. And about two years ago, I was like we need to make a pivot because this is not sustainable whatsoever. Like the more clients we got, the more money we were burning, not only on payroll software and just keeping up with it. So we pivoted into email and SMS mainly because it was just one of those services that we were really crushing it at, we had great designs, and I knew that we were able to like actually sustain the agency with that service. So about two years ago, we pivoted into that. And since then we were able to dig so deep into that specific, like retention channel that we were able to get so many great wins for our clients. Like just recently were able to generate our client, like we were able to take them from zero to 20k a month in email and SMS revenue purely because of the systems that we set up. Yeah, so that’s all we do. We only work with e-comm or e-comm brands. And we only handle their email and SMS purely because it’s just, that’s what we’re good at.
Pat Yates 4:30
Okay, so tell me a little bit about the people that might hire you. I know you basically do e-comm. But are you always let’s say someone out there as a solopreneur and they just run their own business? Is it? Is there a certain level you have to get to work with your agency or do you work with smaller companies? What are the people have to be like that you work with?
Nikita Vakhrushev 4:48
Yeah, so before actually, a few weeks ago, it used to be just all e-comm businesses that are doing at least 60k a month in revenue, mainly because that’s their right that revenue range where they can afford to work with us. But also, that’s where they’re going to see the biggest gains. Because there’s been countless of times where we started at 60k. And pretty much by month two or three, they’re at like 80 90 100k, purely through that email boost, giving them more cash flow, so they can dump more into ads. But now, I’ve actually been toying around with working with like solopreneurs local businesses and trying to offer a more accessible product, a low ticket offer, that still takes care of the entire fulfillment for them, like doing all the email design, sending out all the messages on their behalf, but something that’s more affordable for them, and something that is less hands-on for ourselves, but it’s still a really, really quality product.
Pat Yates 5:42
That’s really amazing. So when you’re dealing with these clients, like you just mentioned one, so let’s dive into one you just talked about, you said you have one that went from zero to 20,000, which obviously, that means they weren’t doing an email marketing, so there’s gonna be growth there. But when clients come into you do you would you rather them not have a predetermined idea about what they’ve done in the past, so you can sort of take that path or you’d like that they have some experience and say, let’s stick with email marketing first, you liked that they’ve done that before, and you can improve on there, do you want to start fresh with a whole new approach.
Nikita Vakhrushev 6:13
So if it was, like an ideal world, I would love to have 10 15 20 finds that have no idea that email marketing is so powerful, because when your reports done, like, hey, we meet you like an extra 5k, this month, eyes light up and all that. But that’s not ideal. It’s very, like, it’s a very rare case, we’ve only had like, over the last year, out of the 20 clients that we’ve worked with, you only had, I think like three or four of those that came on that we’re just not doing anything, but they were sitting on a big list. So we were just able to take advantage of that list and run with it, implement our strategies and see that initial, like huge spike in revenue. But that would be ideal, but we also work with clients that have worked with agencies in the past, and maybe the agencies that they were working with, the strategies are just not good. Or maybe the content was bad, or the designs were bad. So any, anytime a client has their email marketing set up, like they at least know what it is, they know that it’s powerful, but they feel like they’re not getting the most out of it. That is our ideal client, because that’s where we can come in and implement everything that we do. And give them those big gains and generate more revenue month over month.
Pat Yates 7:26
That’s amazing. So tell me a little bit about the process. So let’s say someone comes in on email marketing, we’ll stick with that at first, and we’ll talk about SMS a little bit. I mean, do you do a lot of AB testing? Do you split test? How do you all arrive at the way that you need to market? So I’m sure that entrepreneurs come in like with a predetermined idea, like my customers this and this is how we sell but they may not really understand it. So how do you go about breaking down maybe their predetermined ideas of what their market is? So maybe they can expand it and grow their business?
Nikita Vakhrushev 7:56
Yeah, so there’s a few things that we do as soon as we onboard the client. First off, we try to onboard them as quick as possible. I’m sure you’ve dealt with this in your e-comm. Where it’s like, yes, we’ll onboard you like the first month is purely onboarding, it’s like, no, we’re not doing that, it’s five business days after the sales call is closed, you pay the invoice, we actually like after those five business days, we send you out that first batch of emails to review, like we’re on top of it. After that, we try to handle the pop-up first, meaning we try to optimize the pop-up or the form submission that you have on your website. So that we get way more subscribers per like every 100 visitors. That’s number one, the more subscribers you have, the more you can monetize those subscribers. Number two, we do a very comprehensive audit of the exact emails that need to be implemented. A lot of the times, if anything, most of the time, the clients that come on, they don’t have a solid foundation on their flows, and automations, which are pretty much 50 to 60% of your email revenue. So those automated messages of like abandoned cart, the welcome series, the post-purchase flow, all of those are very important to generate that big chunk of revenue. So that is the secondary focus that we typically work on. And then third, we work on sending out more campaigns to your list, and cleaning up the deliverability side so that way more people actually getting the email into their inbox. And typically after that initial three months of like the foundation setup in the campaigns, we then start to do the AB testing, because what’s important for us is it’s not the $500 gains, it’s the $5,000 gains that are able to see those 5k gains by implementing the strategy first and then tweaking it to the were like okay, this flow can get an extra 500 to 1000 or this campaign can squeeze out an extra $200 percent, that sort of thing.
Pat Yates 9:49
That’s really incredible. So let’s say you have a company that’s in their busiest season, there maybe some companies that are seasonal, but is there an earmark of how many emails a month or week or day for that matter that you tend to think is good for engagement with a client, but not too spammy. I guess it’s terrible. I put it but, I mean, is there any earmark that you have of what you guys try to target?
Nikita Vakhrushev 10:10
Yeah. So it purely depends on the size of the company and the size of the list that they have. And I know the word it depends. It’s like such a no, no. But let me break this down for you, you shouldn’t send more than two emails per person per week. So what that means is like, let’s say you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you’re only going to get at most two emails a week, if you get more than that, you’re probably going to be bothered by it, and you’re probably going to unsubscribe. So the way that we do that is by segmenting the lists in our clients Klaviyo or whatever they’re using, we segment it to make sure that we don’t triple-send to them. So for example, we may have sent four emails this week, but only a certain amount of people got one of those emails, certain amount of people got to have those emails, or maybe some of those people didn’t even get an email because they weren’t part of those lists. So by segmenting those users, even if like, if the company has like a list of over 100,000, it’s a lot easier to do that, because you have way more pockets to play around with, like, you have like an audience that’s 5000 over here, or 30,000 over here. Whereas if you have a list of 10,000, it’s a lot harder to do that. And we typically stick to like, a one to two email a week cadence.
Pat Yates 11:23
Wow, I mean, that’s actually really interesting, because I would have thought that one to two would have been the right number, but I’ve seen people try to do 3 4 5. I mean, it seems like a lot. And I have some companies that we obviously get them from that sometimes you can just go too far with it sometimes. So, how important, what’s more important, your list? The quality of that list? Or the quality of the ad? I know, that’s a weird question. But I mean, like, I think some people think maybe they don’t need an agency to do something like that, because it’s so easy to drag and drop and design an email on Klaviyo. But it’s not that easy to get engagement and get purchases, maybe talk about a philosophy, is there a certain philosophy that you guys have to be able to get customers in better?
Nikita Vakhrushev 12:01
Yeah, so there’s actually a few things that we cover, that’s completely different than let’s say, you feel like I can get a MailChimp account, I can send an email tomorrow, like, trust me, I get that all the time. And I’m like, okay, sure, go ahead and try. But there’s a few things, different things that we do. So number one, there’s a lot of people think of email is just like a one-way send, which it technically is, but customers can understand the sentiment of the email that you send them, if you just keep reminding them that they abandon their cart, that’s just gonna get tiring really quickly. It’s like someone nagging you like, hey, you didn’t buy you didn’t buy, come on, please buy. So we don’t want to have that kind of bad taste in people’s mouth when we send it to them. So one thing that we do differently, specifically with the abandoned cart flow, is we want to give them as much information as possible to help them make a better buying decision. Like when was the last time you bought something that you were just nagged to death? And then you’re like, okay, fine I’ll buy, is probably never, if anything, you got pissed off and unsubscribed. So here, we send them more educational information of like, we obviously remind them that they forgot their cart, but the email is after that. It’s about the product, like use cases, testimonials, social proof. And one of the last emails that we actually send out is like, hey, what did we miss? Or like, how can we help you and we have a direct line to the Support Chat, sometimes even a direct line to the CEO’s email, so that way, if they do have any answers or questions, they can immediately reach out and get those questions and answers, or get those answers to those questions. A lot of people just, they know there’s friction to reaching out if they have a question. And unless they really, really want to buy, they’re not going to reach out. So we kind of open that dialogue for them to reach out if they’re still on the fence about something. Another thing that we cover in-depth, and a lot of people don’t even know this is a thing, but dark mode. So a lot of phones, my phone specifically has dark mode enabled. And when you send out an email without any specific optimizations on the design side, your email will look like trash. Because the way that light mode and dark mode are different. You see, like some images or some buttons or some text is visible on like just normal white background black text. But if you inverse those colors, if you don’t test for different light, or if you don’t test for light and dark mode, though, like maybe a call to action will look just blank and people won’t know what it is. So they’re not going to click on it. So those kinds of little things can mess up an email campaign that you think you can just do at home.
Pat Yates 14:27
I guess I never really thought about that. Because like, if you have a JPEG that has a white background picture, it’s going to look odd on a black setup. So you’re saying that each time when it goes through there, if it’s in dark mode, it adapts to that and actually makes the image appear better, obviously increasing your engagement, correct?
Nikita Vakhrushev 14:44
Yeah, so there’s a few things we do on the back end. And that’s another thing that we do. We don’t just drag and drop. There’s a lot of HTML and CSS that we implement on the back end of the design to make sure that it’s not only mobile optimized, it’s easy to and quick to load. You don’t want to slow loading email because then you get bounced users, and we want to make sure that the email is very well visible. And you can actually see all the elements, the text, the call to actions, the images on dark mode.
Pat Yates 15:10
That’s really incredible. Because I think one thing people, when solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs get really busy in their businesses, they probably do some of this a little quickly so they can get it to market. And I think that the design things are so much more important. Just talk a little bit about, I know you said you, you will do newsletters as well correct. And maybe explain a little bit about that. I saw that on the site that you can work on that. So explain what you guys do with those.
Nikita Vakhrushev 15:34
Yeah, so with the newsletters, it’s more so on a consultative basis, I’d say, we’ve helped a few newsletter, like some are in the real estate, some in the finance niche, it’s more so just a direct one on one consultation with me to help them with their best practices, more. So I’d say those newsletters or campaigns for our clients that we send out on like a bi-weekly basis. So we don’t necessarily work together with like, let’s say, with your email list for the podcast. Like we don’t work on that we more so work on just consulting you for best practices.
Pat Yates 16:06
Yeah, that makes sense. So let’s turn the page a little bit to SMS. This is because it’s growing every year people, I think there’s a lot of stigma to it, because people don’t like, you know, getting text messages, I especially if anyone calls my phone, I don’t know what they’re doing anymore. It’s like, why are you calling me, do people talk anymore. It’s kind of like other. So tell me a little bit about maybe how SMS has come into the market and grown because I see it getting more prevalent, a lot more people using it, but some people that are just sort of like weirdly against it, because they don’t want to be in their customer space. Tell me about how that side moves.
Nikita Vakhrushev 16:40
I’d say the mostly the business owners that are in the e-commerce space are like Go, Go, Go on the SMS side, because they want to take advantage of that channel before it gets regulated. For instance, just like there’s like spam filters on email, you don’t want the same thing. Like I’m sure you’ve gotten a ton of spam text messages, where that’s like, why is this even in my inbox? How did they get my number. So there might be more regulations like to come because more and more services are using text to like communicate with their customers. So a lot of them are very on top of it, it’s mostly the businesses that are like, oh, we’re fine, we don’t really need to do that. I don’t want to bother my customers. Or maybe when they have an older customer demographic, that’s when they’re a little hesitant to join SMS, I’d say the big thing is just test it out. Like, typically, we see with brands that are below $150 average order value do really, really well, because there’s a lot of impulse buying with like an SMS message. It’s like, oh, wow, discount, cool, I really want to buy a hoodie from them last week, let me just go ahead and buy, because they have a discount. But if it’s an average order value of above 150, that’s usually for most people, that’s a conversation you want to have with your wife, or husband where it’s like, I don’t know if I can impulse spent $700 on a cold plunge tub. So it’s like a little tough to sell them over SMS and I’d say SMS is more of a follow-up channel, if someone abandon their cart or something like that.
Pat Yates 18:07
It definitely gives you a response. It’s like a lot of tracking go that way. So you can actually mark it back a little bit that way. It’s really amazing. Because so when people come in and try to get a philosophy on SMS, same question, how often do you try to engage with customers? I mean, is it probably on a smaller rotation than twice a week? Correct. So what would the earmark be that you guys would like to see with that?
Nikita Vakhrushev 18:29
Two to four times a month at most, typically more, so four to six times per month, if it’s like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or if it’s like Fourth of July weekend, or if it’s like a big holiday that has to do with your specific niche, like Mother’s Day is a big one, Valentine’s Day is a big one. When you have those big days, you want to let as many people know as possible. But on an off-season month or like a normal given month, you’d want to go with two to four messages a month. And we can talk a little bit more about the philosophy on SMS here as well. Because a lot of people think that, oh, it’s just another channel to mass blast, like about our discounts or sales or whatever. That’s true, you can use it in that regard. But at the same time, a lot of brands get SMS wrong, because they think it’s just a shorter version of email. It’s not, it is a lot more personality that goes into it. Because when you really think about it, your phone is the most, it’s like the most coveted thing that you own, aside from like, I don’t know, if you like your computer more, but like it’s the most like ideal technology to have. And it’s like your most personal thing. It has all your information it has all your contacts has everything you need. So when you just send a message to someone that’s like, very basic, very plain, and it’s like get 10% off that I don’t know, soapstore.com people are going to be less turned off unless they’re in that buying stage. So one thing that we do completely differently with our SMS is we want to number one, we add an image with every single SMS that we send. And that image has clear call to actions, clear discounts and clear information about the promo. Because a lot of people like even maybe you, for example, if you scroll through Instagram or Twitter or whatever, you look at the image first, and then you look at the text. So that’s number one thing that we do is like, we want to make sure that they see that image number two, they can quickly identify what brand is sending to them based off that image. So we want to make sure that image uses using like brand colors, brand fonts, so you can quickly identify like, oh, Nike sending me a text message, or like, or oh, like Apple was sending me a text message, instead of like, because you’re gonna get like a random number with like three different digits. And it’s like, who’s this number texting, you open the message, it’s like, okay, it’s this company that I subscribe to. And the other thing is, we personalize all of our text messages, we try to get the first name of every single person that’s subscribed to our SMS list. So that way, we can open like, hey, Pat, we got a great sale going on, or like keyboards this week. So that’s going to likely lead to a higher open rate, because you love your name. And when you see your name, like I’m gonna click that. So we tried to do all of those different things, among other things to maximize SMS.
Pat Yates 21:12
That’s really incredible. I mean, I think I’ll get fascinated about this. So you said you’d like to do a couple of emails a week, typically, but then, maybe SMS is about half that time, do you try to then come up with a philosophy that maybe on the 15th and 30th, I’m just making this up, that you do an email that has a branded campaign? And maybe the text message matches that? But are they independent? Do you try to mirror those promotions at the same times? Or do you come up with something different, so it feels more special to be on the text list, for instance?
Nikita Vakhrushev 21:44
I mean, you can do things a little bit differently, I’ve seen it work very well. But for the most part with our clients, we pretty much have the same exact strategy, like, for example, for launching a Big Black Friday, Cyber Monday sale like it’s going out to the full email list is going out to the full SMS list. Everyone is getting to know about it, it’s the same agle of the message, it’s just a different form. And it’s a little bit more personalized on the SMS rather than what most agencies are most e-comm founders do.
Pat Yates 22:14
Well, that makes a lot of sense. One thing to think about in this, I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs a Quiet Light to come in and talk about being a solopreneur or having to cut back maybe if they’re having a little tough time in a year. And maybe they don’t have the marketing collateral. And the time to put into doing this, is it easy to come in and work with ASPEKT and you guys and be able to say I want to do my six-month plan now I want to get the assets done, I want to set the campaigns. And then you sort of I don’t use the word set it and forget it, but you have it set to where you’re not putting a lot of work and just monitor the results. Do you encourage people to do that? Are you looking at market trends to do stuff at the current time when they’re running it?
Nikita Vakhrushev 22:53
I’d say there’s a few things that we try to do. Like we want to make sure that every brand that we bring on before November, I’d say like November, the second week of November is like usually are cut off time like that is like you get in so that would be right the holidays with you. So that way you don’t have to think about like trying to hire an agency mid-season or mid-peak season. But other than that, we try to get clients whenever they want to come on, like it’s very easy to work with us like the only time commitment that we require from them is number one, like a 45-minute onboarding call getting all their assets. And then after that is just five to 10 minutes a week just to review the emails that we’re going to send out to make sure that all the language is on brand. And all the imagery is on brand. And that’s pretty much it. And we report to them every week with all the stats and numbers and provide context of like, okay, numbers are down here, because of this popup was shut down because of a website error or like this is this because this, so we’re very communicative in that regard. And we try to give them the action plan almost immediately as soon as they sign on. So that way they at least know what we’re working towards. Instead of just like, yeah, no, well, we’re probably going to do this and then we’re probably going to do that. And like they don’t really have any clear guidance.
Pat Yates 24:07
That makes sense. So it’s as much trying to lean on the experience that you have and how to get to market is going to save people a lot of time and money generally. So sometimes it offsets it. Well, again, we’re talking with need Nikita Vakhrushev from I was close there, that was good. It’s tough next with ASPEKT. And I mean, this is really incredible, because I think some people when they think about marketing, they go traditionally to social to Amazon, if they’re on there, and then to Google AdWords, Google Shopping, but this to me, like I know, in our business, I have Klaviyo as well. And our engagement is really, really strong. When we do email marketing. It’s like some people are more willing to do that, because it’s not, that they’re scrolling all the time. They’re scrolling all the time, and they sometimes miss it. I mean, have you seen that open rates in the last few years have grown or shrunk? I mean, is there a stat in the industry that shows how people are engaging with SMS and email, is it growing?
Nikita Vakhrushev 24:59
Yeah. I’d say it’s growing by numbers, but I can’t necessarily give you a direct answer of its growing. Number one, because after Apple introduced like iOS 14, and iOS 15, it’s very hard to track open rates through like Klaviyo. So one big thing that we look for is the click-through rates as well as the place order rates. And when it comes down to it, like, there’s some companies that we’ve worked with that had like a normal open rate of like, 30%. And then the next week, it was like, 90% of the same list. And it’s like, I don’t even know what to trust the stats, huge number. So I can’t give you a definitive answer. I’d say SMS by far always has the biggest open rate of like, least 70 to 90%.
Pat Yates 25:43
70 to 90%. I would have guessed anywhere 50%, south of that, it’s hard to believe that that’s, I mean, it’s amazing. So I just tells people, if you have an e-comm business, you’re out there trying to engage with your customers, you need to get with ASPEKT and talk to Nikita about getting, this SMS going because that’s really incredible open rate. I mean, the fact that you can get as many customers in there, it’s worth its weight in gold. So let me ask this, when you’re trying to put together a campaign, let’s say that someone has a budget, should they concentrate on one or the other? Do you feel that you’ve mixed that budget? Because the consistency of both of them will grow it? Or is it one is better than the other? Or is it depend on the business?
Nikita Vakhrushev 26:24
It depends on the business. But for the most part, we try to implement emails first, because that is the foundation of your business for the most part, that is the most direct way that you can communicate aside from SMS. And then typically, once we have all the foundation’s set up for most brands automations, we then move on to SMS and trying that out. Unless they’ve already had an agency in the past that maybe they’re not happy with them, and they moved on and they want to work with us, and they already have SMS running, we can then easily integrate it into that same exact process. For the most part, if they just starting out with email, we just locked down email first as a revenue channel and then move on to SMS. And you got to think about it from like a business person’s perspective. They’re already paying us for email, it’s like, do they want to pay even more for SMS if we haven’t even started on anything on email side? So for them, it’s like, okay, let’s get a return on email first, and then let’s reinvest that into the SMS side.
Pat Yates 27:23
So you try to crawl before you can walk and let you guys see the results that you guys have. And obviously, you’re retaining customers, you got some big customer? So obviously, that’s working. Can you tell us maybe I’m sure the listeners out there, and you don’t have to get specific on the actual dollar amount. But how do you do your billing? How does someone work with you at ASPEKT? I mean, tell us how that works?
Nikita Vakhrushev 27:41
Yeah, good question. So we have, so the local side and like the more like solopreneur side, that’s still a work in progress. So if anything that if you have a question, just contact me, I can help break that down. But for the e-comm side, it’s very standardized, I’d say we have a set of base services that we cover. So number one that covers the pop up setup and optimization, segmentation, ab testing, reporting, as well as doing all the strategy, copy, design, and setup. So we do all of those different things under base services. And then what we do is we charge per number of emails that we do that month. So for example, if they’re doing, I don’t know, if they’re doing five emails that month, we charged them around 2k. If they’re doing 10 emails that month, we charged them around 4k. And those emails can be used for either automations or for campaigns. Some clients already have everything set up on automations. And we just fully focused on the campaign’s some have good campaigns, but they want to focus on automation. So we’ve used that budget there. Typically, were the number fluctuates is, for example, like, we do an audit, and we’re like, okay, for the next three months, you need 40 emails, okay, 40 divided by three is what like 13 and a half, or 13, and three repeating. So at that point, it’s like, okay, we’ll get you on a 14-email-a-month plan, and we customize that depending on our needs.
Pat Yates 29:08
I mean, that’s great. So when you’re coming in, obviously, when you’re putting it into those emails to be easy to quantify how someone’s return on their investments there. And obviously, as that gets there, and your return investment grows on the email, you run into SMS is that the price with the SMS, or is that separate?
Nikita Vakhrushev 29:25
So SMS is just a separate $1,000 add-on. That’s just something we add on to like our email price. And we handle I think, five messages a month for 1000. And then for 2000, we handle 10.
Pat Yates 29:37
And you handle the backend database where you keep the numbers and everything to make sure you go through their systems do that. How does that work? What do you mean by making sure. They provide the list to you and you send it out through there? Is there a system that they tie into in their systems?
Nikita Vakhrushev 29:51
Oh, we just get access we’re added on as a user to their Klaviyo account. Yeah, Klaviyo attentive, postscript whatever software stack If they’re using nine times out of 10, if any 10 times out of 10, they can just add our team email to their account. And then, I can log in my team members can log in to do the actual setup and scheduling of those emails or messages.
Pat Yates 30:14
That’s awesome. So I know one of the things we talked about that you wanted to help inform people were right now we’re recording this in August. And for all our listeners out there, and we think it’ll probably air sometime September, October, we want to talk about preview of q4, I mean, this is a great opportunity for you to tell people what they need to be doing, maybe they come in and do a checkup with you guys to understand what they need to be doing. If they’re not sure, tell us all about how you structure that if you were a potential client.
Nikita Vakhrushev 30:40
Yeah, absolutely. Like I’d say, number one, you’d want to make sure that you have your q4 plans locked down by the end of October, like I mentioned earlier, like we try to lock off any new clients coming in by the second like first or second week of November, depending on how well the clients doing. Like, if they need everything from the ground up built like that’s gonna have to wait till next year, for example, because there’s just a lot of work that we need to do on top of all the clients that we have to fulfill. But when it comes down to it, there’s a lot of how to put this, there’s a lot of teasing. In the month of November, it’s not so much as like, here’s our sale is going to happen in two weeks, that gets very boring very quickly. So typically, during the month of November, when we handle our clients email, we try to do a few teasers in the beginning. So like maybe the first week of November, it’s like something’s biggest happening. And it doesn’t have to be anything details, it could be just like a silhouette of maybe like their sale or discount, or maybe it’s a new product launch. Then slowly towards like, I think the second week is when you get into like Veterans Day territory, that’s when we start to do like another portion, maybe this time, it’s both email and SMS. And then pretty much the week before we do, like, every other day, if not every like three days, we try to send out an email of like, hey, we have this big thing coming up, don’t buy anything, don’t buy any product, you’re gonna have to wait till next week, because that’s when we’re our biggest discounts for the year is happening. And then the week of, we then basically push everything like either the day before Thanksgiving, either Thanksgiving, midnight, or Black Friday, depending on the client and how they want to do their promos. We then push heavy on the sales, the discounts, we send emails, sometimes like three times a day, one in the morning to get the morning crowd, one in the afternoon for all those people that ate too much Turkey, and one at night. Just to like, make sure that all of our times are covered.
Pat Yates 32:38
And people that wake up from their naps at seven o’clock. I know. That’s me.
Nikita Vakhrushev 32:42
Yeah, exactly. So you’ll probably get an email from us. And then Cyber Monday, we do that thing all over again, we tease Cyber Monday on actually Saturday after Black Friday. And then Cyber Monday comes out, send out another batch of emails in the morning time and then in the afternoon. And I think we give them like a last chance on that following Wednesday, like the month like the two days after Cyber Monday is like, hey, last chance of our biggest discounts get in now. And then after that, we just close it off. We sometimes do like we’re extending our sale. But that’s a very cheap shot that we try to avoid. Because you just lose customer trust with that one. It’s a call man already bought, but I didn’t know the discount was for another three days because you like arbitrarily put down like this timer. So after we send out like that last chance that that’s when like we send it out and maybe like send a thank you out afterwards. Like thank you for participating in like on Black Friday, this year or something like that.
Pat Yates 33:41
That’s really good. Because especially I think people don’t look hard enough. If you raise your engagement 1% on your email in the holiday season, what a huge difference that can make in revenue. I think going in and making sure that all your i’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. And this kind of segment is really, really important. So I mean, is there anything else? So obviously ASPEKT does a ton of things that helps your business email and SMS. We touched on a lot of that. Is there anything else you think we haven’t touched on that the people out there to listeners want to know about ASPEKT?
Nikita Vakhrushev 34:13
I’d say not necessarily about us, but I kind of wanted to touch on one little thing for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. So a lot of econ brands misconstrue that like okay, we’re gonna have a killer month or like, think about it like this. Every other econ brand is advertising during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, it’s gonna get really expensive for you to reach those same exact people that we were trying to reach in September. So build your email list as early as possible. So that way you have as many people to directly email at, like during those times, and you can take advantage of your email list and get as much sales as possible through this direct channel rather than paying Zack for his Facebook ad placement. But to answer your question for what ASPEKT does so the main thing is just email and SMS. We do some consultation here and there mainly myself, we do provide audits. So, for example, if someone needs a comprehensive audit, we do provide a free audit, that you can just go to our website and click free audit at the top, you can just sign up and we’ll get that taken care of for you. And lastly, if you just want to learn more about everything that we do, we have a newsletter that, we practice what we preach. So we send out an email every Wednesday, talking about all things email and SMS marketing.
Pat Yates 35:29
That’s really incredible. I mean, for the listeners out there, sometimes when you get to agencies that do eight or 10 things, they do eight or 10 things very average. I’ve seen that but there’s some that pull it off well, I like the agencies that really concentrate in the fact that ASPEKT jumps into two segments, and only says, hey, we’re gonna make the best out of this to me. Let someone really realize that you do what you do. I mean, it’s been great talking with you, Nikita, anything else you’d want to know, tell the people how to get in touch with you.
Nikita Vakhrushev 35:54
Yeah, best place is Twitter. Just look up Nikita Vakhrushev. It’s gonna be hard to spell that one out. I’m sure you like link it in the show notes Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, best place, I’d say visit agency website, if you want to take a look at some beautiful emails that we’ve designed. That’s aspektagency.com. And yeah, I mean, that’s pretty much it.
Pat Yates 36:19
Well, again, the kid has been great having you in the Quiet Light Podcast, I encourage everyone to go to aspektagency.com and check this out. It’s really cool ties into systems you already have. It can help your revenue grow and your business grow and nothing else you have a free opportunity to sit down and discuss it. If nothing ventured, nothing gained. You never know it could change your business. Nikita thanks for being in the Quiet Light Podcast today. I appreciate it.
Nikita Vakhrushev 36:41
Likewise, man, actually, I was gonna say one special. For Quiet Light listeners, if you email me [email protected] and you say if you type in the word blueprint, from Quiet Light, I’ll send you a special document that has everything that we know about email, I’ll send this to Pat as well just so that way you can get a sense of what it is.
Pat Yates 37:01
Yes, send it to me and we’ll make sure we link that on the site guys take advantage of that Nikita, that’s a great offer for allow people to come in. They’re Quite Light always likes to get a little bit of a shout-out. So it’s really exciting to have you in today. And we’ll definitely try to push some people your way and appreciate you doing the podcast.
Nikita Vakhrushev 37:17
Likewise Pat, thank you.
Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected] Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.