10 Lessons From Ecommerce Marketing School: A Daily Podcast For Scaling Your Ecommerce Brand


MarketingSchoolEvery day we talk to ecommerce founders and marketers just like you.

And you know what they’re looking for every single time?

How-tos for growing their brand. 

That’s why we launched the latest segment of The Ecommerce Marketing Show, Ecommerce Marketing School, with Privy Founder & CEO, Ben Jabbawy.

In the last 5 years, he’s helped 500,000 brands drive more than $4B in online sales. 😱

And now you can catch him every weekday for quick, 5-minute episodes to help you scale your ecommerce brand. 

It’s free coaching to help you make that first million.

And these are the lessons he shared on the first 10 episodes.

You can tune in below👇 on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, or anywhere you get your podcasts.

You’ve probably thought about driving more traffic to your site and getting your email automation set up, but have you thought about the different types of visitors that are coming to your site? They fall into 3 categories:

  • First-time visitors
  • Repeat visitors who haven’t purchased
  • Repeat visitors who have purchased

If you’re going to improve your conversion rate, you need to think about this level of detail.

If you’re focused on getting that first sale, spend time on that first-time experience. What will get them over the hump? Is it a code for free shipping on their first order? Maybe a bundle?

If you’re seeing a lot of repeat visitors who haven’t purchased, what content can you create to bust objections? It might be as simple as show your brand’s FAQs in more obvious places.

And if you’re trying to ramp up repeat sales, suggest products based on previous purchases

Bottom line? You have to understand the intent for all 3 types of traffic you’re getting.

70% of people that add items to their online cart don’t actually end up making the purchase. And many brands think the only way to win these would-be customers over is to follow up after they’ve already left the site.

But what if there was a way to get 10% of those people to follow through before they go? That’s exactly cart savers are for – helping you reduce cart abandonment by 10%. 

For that reason, a cart saver is one of the most important things you can do to drive sales for your store. So how do they work? You target visitors who have items in their cart and are about to leave.

Cart saver = cart targeting + exit intent

This means you can save more people at the very bottom of the funnel. Here’s one of Ben’s favorite examples from the Minnesota Vikings.

If you have any amount of product in your cart and you’re about to leave, you’ll see that popup. I’m sure you can think of a time where 10% off would have gotten you over the hump to make a purchase.

When should cart abandonment emails go out? How many should you send? Should they include a coupon? We get this a lot.

Our favorite playbook? 3 emails in 48 hours. This exact series helped Suzy Cohen save save 20% of abandoned carts and more than $100k in revenue.

Email #1 (1 hour later)

Your first email should go out 1 hour after the cart was abandoned. This emial is 100% customer support driven (bonus points if it comes from the founder) and does not include a coupon code.

Email #2 (24 hours later)

Your second email is sent 24 hours after the cart was abandoned. This time, you should include a 10% coupon code with 24-hour expiration to drive urgency.

Email #3 (48 hours later)

Your last email should go our 48 hours after the cart was abandoned. This is the final reminder to use the 10% coupon code and should reinforce that urgency.

What’s a good conversion rate? Brands using Privy have had billions of site visitors complete 500M+ forms. And we’ve seen consistent benchmarks for conversion rates over time.

What’s a good conversion rate for a signup campaign? What if there’s a coupon? Enter to win? Here’s what you can expect to see for 3 different campaign types. So you know where you stand and how to improve.

Conversion rate for a signup campaign

With a signup campaign you’re just asking people to join your list. No coupon code, just an ask for an email address.

With a signup campaign, you should expect to convert 1% of visitors.

Conversion rate for a coupon campaign

With a coupon campaign, you’re offering a discount or code for free shipping in exchange for a visitor’s email address so you can contact them later. 

With a coupon campaign, you should expect to convert 5% of visitors.

Conversion rate for an enter to win campaign

Last but not least, an enter to win campaign is exactly what you’d expect. You’re offering a chance to win something like a gift card or free product to those who give you their email address.

With an enter to win campaign, you should expect to convert 10% of visitors.

Chances are, your brand has a founding story. But are you telling it the right way? If you nail it, you can win over customers (even in a crowded space) and keep them coming back again and again.

Here are the 3 versions of your brand story you need to have.

The long version

This should be about a page. This is your opportunity to tell the full story about why you started your brand.

It should live somewhere on your website. It could be on your homepage as a letter from the founder or maybe it lives on your ‘About’ page.

This is something you could include in your unboxing experience or as part of your welcome series for new subscribers as a way to introduce yourself and your brand.

The short version

This is where you condense your 1-page brand story into 1 paragraph. Think about it as the SparkNotes version. What do you really want people to know?

You can use this version as part of your abandoned cart email series or in your order confirmation emails. People want to support other people. They don’t care about supporting a brand unless you give them a reason to. 

The headline version

This might be the hardest version of your story because it’s only 1 sentence. If your short version is SparkNotes, then this is the headline.

It can be front and center on your homepage. In your social bios. It’s what you answer when someone asks what you do for work. This will feed your ad creative when space is limited, so it might actually be the most important version of your story.

If you can get it right, your story is what will win you customers and fuel every piece of your marketing. Take the time to put your thoughts on paper.

Whether you love it or hate it, spin to win can be incredibly effective if you know how and when to use it. Death Wish Coffee and Zutano are two examples of brands getting spin to win right.

So before you rule it out entirely, find out how Death Wish has been able to turn thousands of new visitors into subscribers and Zutano’s secret sauce for driving repeat purchases. All with spin to win campaigns. 

Death Wish Coffee’s spin to win secrets

Death Wish targets a certain audience from paid (not all new visitors) so they can turn new visitors into subscribers and follow up with email.

Their campaigns always match the look and feel of their website, so it feels on brand and native to their store.

Zutano’s spin to win secrets

Zutano, on the other hand, never uses spin to win for new traffic. They use this campaign type to drive repeat sales by sending a newsletter to their most loyal customers and targeting them from there.

Popups are not a dirty word. If you use them correctly, they can help you convert more first-time visitors, recover more abandoned carts, and drive more repeat purchases.

So how many do you really need? Start simple. There are only two you really need to get started. One will help you convert 5% of visitors into subscribers and the other will help you save 10% of abandoned carts. Here are the 2 types of popups you can’t afford to skip.

A welcome popup

Think about it. This is a top of funnel form, so you want to target first-time visitors.

Your welcome should show up after 5 seconds on the site or after scrolling 75% of the way down the page, whichever comes first.

But you want to make sure to have a thank you message that reveals the code on the site so they don’t have to leave to check their email (you might never get them back!). You also need to send an email that includes the code just in case they don’t convert right away.

You should expect to convert 5% of visitors into subscribers with a welcome offer.

A cart saver popup

A cart saver is focused on reducing abandonment. So you want to target those first-time visitors who haven’t made a purchase. It doesn’t need to be fancy – you’re just looking for a way to incentivize these visitors who have added something to their cart to complete a purchase before they leave.

The cart saver for first-time visitors will help you reduce abandoned carts by 10%

What if there was a way for you to increase your revenue with the traffic you already have? No extra ads and the same number of orders. That’s exactly what cross-selling and upselling allows you to do. 


McDonald’s is famous for asking customers, “Do you want fries with that?” at checkout. This is a classic cross-selling approach.

Fries are an add-on or cherry-on-top to many of their meal choices, so it’s a really easy way to increase the amount customers are spending.

And it can be a straightforward way for you to increase your average order value by offering customers complementary products to whatever they’re already purchasing.


If cross-selling is the equivalent of asking customers if they’d like fries, upselling is like asking,“Do you want to supersize that?”

An upsell encourages your customers to purchase an upgraded, or more expensive version of a product.

Many brands leverage upselling as a way to increase their average order value. 

The free gift with purchase play is killer for getting new visitors over the hump to make that first purchase. And Hellbent Crew was able to 4x the number of orders and 10x their revenue in just one month using this strategy. 

When a visitor adds anything to their cart, tell them they qualified for a free gift if they complete the order today. For new customers, this was the perfect nudge many needed to make their first purchase. Yes, it’s that simple.

Screen Shot 2020-08-27 at 9.51.29 PM

Grow your email list, and you’ll grow revenue. The easiest way to collect more emails is a welcome popup. And if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to convert 5% of your traffic into subscribers so you can continue building the relationship with them over email.

  • Target new visitors.
  • Trigger it to load after 5 seconds or after they’ve scrolled 75% of the page, whichever comes first.
  • It should be vertical so it looks great on mobile and desktop.
  • Offers (like a discount or free shipping) aren’t required, but they will convert at a higher rate,
  • Your button should say ‘Reveal Now’ or ‘Claim Offer Now.’
  • Keep it simple.

If you’re trying to scale your ecommerce brand from $0 to $1 million in sales, Ecommerce Marketing School is meant for you. Email [email protected] if you have any requests for future episodes. Who knows…Ben might even mention you in the episode.

This article originally appeared in the Privy blog and has been published here with permission.

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7 Call-To-Action Examples For Better Conversion Rates

7 Call-To-Action Examples For Better Conversion Rates

The lion’s share: A day in the life of… Tom Vance (Software Engineer)

The lion’s share: A day in the life of… Tom Vance (Software Engineer)


Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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