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Beards, coffee, and an Innovative E-commerce Strategy

0 min readLast updated: April 18, 2022
Written
Ramin, a Managing Partner at SKU Agency focused on growing your business through strategy, technology & design. Ramin loves to devour business books, podcasts, and blogs. In his spare time (which is minimal) he enjoys hanging out at home with his wife and three kids - and occasionally riding the Peleton.

Choosing the right platform for your e-commerce store and creating an online marketing strategy that will grow your revenue can be game-changers for your e-commerce business.

In this episode of The E-commerce Revolution, Ramin speaks with Jason Sealand, CEO and owner of Mad Viking Beard and Brewtality Coffee. They discuss what they love about e-commerce and which channels have been fruitful for Jason’s two successful businesses. They talk about:

  • Email marketing
  • Creating value for customers
  • Video as a marketing tool
  • SMS marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Klaviyo’s culture of innovation
  • The future of SMS

Breaking through the email marketing noise

Jason: I think one reason is just the chance to be creative. I like the fact that it’s always kind of changing. If you can’t do something one year, wait a year, six months, and then the technology changes, and then you can.

Ramin: That’s great. So tell me what don’t you like about it? Is there something about e-commerce that drives you crazy?

Jason: Yeah, and you’re going to laugh about this. So as an entrepreneur, your time is so valuable, and you want to maximize it and do the things you want to do, the things that pertain to your business and the things that you love. I do not like going through email.

Ramin: And it’s interesting that you talk about receiving the emails. But email is a very strong marketing channel for you.

Jason: You know, we get inundated, and it’s hard to break through the noise. You don’t want to add to the noise. If you give value, they’re going to want to open it. They’re going to want to look at it. They’re going to share. That’s the key to it. That’s how you can separate it.

Videos are a powerful marketing tool

Ramin: How many people are involved in the companies as a whole? And what do the operations look like?

Jason: We have eight to nine employees in-house, and then we outsource marketing and different things like that. Right now, we’re looking to hire a couple more in production and a couple in-house for video editing and stuff like that.

Ramin: I love that you’re focusing on the video side of things.

Jason: We do a video podcast because seeing people on-screen adds an immense amount of value. We are even showing the roasting process, the brewing process on the coffee side of things. Then there are the various Mad Viking Beard products and we show how to use them.

First rule of marketing: know your customer

Ramin: So tell me now, what’s one tip you can offer an entrepreneur getting started in the world of e-commerce that will kick their business into high, high gear quickly.

Jason: There are so many variables. I would recommend that they do the entrepreneurial thing: no matter what you’re doing, execute and be persistent.

Data’s important. Know your numbers. You can be thrashing around and think you’re doing the best job in the world, and the numbers and the money aren’t matching up, and you’re just digging yourself a hole. I would say to be persistent, execute and know your numbers.

Ramin: Let’s just talk about, you know, in terms of numbers, what marketing channels do you currently use, and how do you use them in each of the businesses?

Jason: With the last IOS update with Apple and the privacy stuff, I think zero-party and first-party data will be hugely important. So I think anything in that realm like SMS, email quizzes, stuff like that.

I think it’s important to know your customer and know what they want, know what they like and give that to them because that’s owning a business, just that exchange of value. And you want to give the best that you can.

Right now, my two favorite things are SMS and email.

Ramin: Yeah, and your results are amazing. You have very loyal customers, and I think they gravitate towards a product, and we love doing it for you guys.

What about pay-per-click advertising? How does that work for you?

Jason: We do pay-per-click for both businesses, like Google pay. All the search engines, social media, Facebook, Instagram, stuff like that. We’re going to start heading into YouTube talk, all those different channels here in the future.

SMS is the future of digital marketing

Ramin: So tell me, what SaaS software, app, mobile app on your phone can you not live without?

Jason: I’d be really mad if Klaviyo went away. It’s been really great for us. Everything that you could do with Klaviyo. It is just awesome. They aspire to get better constantly. SMS was great, too.

But I think customer communication in the future, especially with SMS, should just be wide open. I’m not talking about the regulations currently put on it because that keeps everything spam-free and safe and cool.

I’m more talking about having a text instead of having a chatbot up on your website. Your customers should be able just to go to a text app, and you can text them back through your SMS. So just kind of open it up a little bit more.

Ramin: That is where it’s going.

Jason: Like you don’t want to be just throwing discount codes. You want some sort of value. You don’t want to inundate your customers. I want them to buy what they want, what they need, and find utility in the products we offer.

I don’t feel SMS should be like a discount factory or anything like that. I think it should be more transactional. Definitely going to be a more important marketing channel in the future, I think for sure.

Ramin: Well, Jason, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the e-commerce revolution podcast, and we really appreciate you taking your time out of your day to do this.

Grow your sales with a honed e-commerce strategy

If you enjoyed the banter with Jason and Ramin, check out the full episode or watch interviews with more e-commerce entrepreneurs on our YouTube channel. You can also listen in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio (or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts).

Did Jason’s interview inspire you to expand your e-commerce revenue? Get in touch. We’ve helped hundreds of e-commerce businesses create an e-commerce marketing strategy that generates the right leads and converts to sustained sales growth.

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