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091: Jeff Sheldon, Ugmonk – How To Create The Most Authentic Online Brand So Customers Never Leave You

Posted by Austin Brawner on September 17, 2015

If there’s any online company that completely embodies the idea of an authentic online brand, it’s Ugmonk.

Customer loyalty to the brand is second to none and something all ecommerce brands should seek to emulate.

Jeff Sheldon, founder & designer, has taken a small side project and turned it into one of the most successful, most authentic online brands we’ve ever encountered or worked with.

His story is truly one of the most remarkable authentic online brand building stories out there today, and he walks us through the steps he took to grow his business from basically nothing to an “online household name” where customers rarely leave.

He explains to us how he created a loyal community of customers that rarely leave him, the early mistakes he made and how you can avoid them, how he built his authentic online brand without advertising, and his plans to take his business to the next level.

Key Takeaways from the Show

  • How to create the most authentic online brand
  • The early mistakes Ugmonk made and how you can avoid them
  • Their shift in email marketing and the results it has produced
  • How Jeff plans to grow Ugmonk moving forward & how you can use some of his ideas to move your business forward as well
  • The one thing Jeff suggests you must do from the very beginning

Links / Resources

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Transcript

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Austin: Hey Chad, how’re you doing today man?

Chad: What’s up buddy, how are you going?

Austin: How am I going? I am going well.

Chad: Yeah, that’s an Australian saying by the way, “How are you going?”

Austin: It is, how’re you going? I am going quite well today, I am excited about our conversation today, I am excited about this episode, I am excited to chat a little bit more about something we always talk about a lot, which is brands and branding and what it means to be a brand. We’re going to dive into that and we have a very interesting conversation today.

Chad: Yeah, and I think even more exciting is that finally, for the first time, we are bringing on one of our clients, someone we can talk to technically outside of the working relationship and just have a real conversation about why he does what he does and what’s made him so successful when it comes to branding and building his business. And the person we are talking to today is Jeff Sheldon of Ugmonk and many of you probably know Ugmonk, a fantastic brand and for many reasons.

Austin: And also it’s exciting because today we are having a discussion with somebody who is actually on the opposite side of a very popular trend in today’s online world of trying to sell products on Amazon, doing Amazon fulfillment. That’s great, there’s a way to – we’ve seen people make a lot of money doing that; Jeff has a very different approach because his approach is an approach that has left him after seven years of starting his business, with zero competition from Amazon because of the way he approaches business, and his style of cultivating, as you put in, an online tribe.

Chad: Yeah, now the thing I think about here is, he has zero competition from Amazon, he is playing the longest game possible; you can go on Amazon and make quite a bit of money. In fact, there are people who have used Amazon to launch a brand, to launch an authentic brand but nothing can get as authentic as what Jeff has done and if you are really in this game for the long haul, then listening to how Jeff has built this brand is probably going to behoove you because this is what’s going to keep you in ecommerce for, I don’t know, for potentially ever.

Austin: Yeah, for a long time, you think about it, he’s been in it for seven years and he feels like he’s just getting started because of his approach to business, and yeah, I think it’s – like we say, we talk about building a brand, this is a guy who has actually done it over the last seven years, and has a tribe of following of people who follow him and then pick up the different products that he produces. It’s very interesting to hear his take on it. So without kind of going back and forth for too much longer, let’s dive in and get a take from Jeff on all things ecommerce and branding.

Chad: Yeah, and before we do that, just a quick reminder, you can always go get access to our free ecommerce marketing training library and includes seven guides including ‘Four Steps to hiring A-players on Elance’, “Selling Your Business for Max Value’, ‘Getting Twice As Much Done In Half The Time’ plus a bunch of other things like training videos and master classes with top ecommerce experts, and you can subscribe to that or join in as an insider at ecommerceinfluence.com/insider. So now that you know that, let me give you a quick background on Jeff. Jeff Sheldon is the founder of Ugmonk, a brand centered around Jeff’s love for typography and minimal design. He focuses on creating high quality, well-designed products and he and his people, the people at his company would want to purchase themselves. He started Ugmonk back in 2008 while working on other jobs, bootstrapping the business the entire way, while methodically building it into one of the most recognized lifestyle apparel brands in ecommerce today. So, we’re pumped to welcome Jeff to the show.

Jeff: Happy to be here; thanks for having me.

Chad: Yeah, you are absolutely the first client of ours that we are bringing on the show. So, pretty excited about that man and especially since we have talked to you enough times, it’s going to be fun to do this podcast episode with you. But before we really get into anything, if you could, for people who don’t know you, can you give us a quick 30-second background about you personally and then give us an overview of your business at Ugmonk?

Jeff: Sure. Yes, I’m Jeff Sheldon, a designer by trade and a businessman by accident. I started Ugmonk about seven years ago to design some shirts that I wanted to wear for myself, and really didn’t think of it as a business that I would be running full time or anything, that would turn into what it was today; but slowly but sure, I grew into a much larger designer lifestyle brand and I still consider design as the center of everything that I do. We branched out beyond t-shirts and now have all sorts of other products; leather bags, wallets, coasters, a lot of other stuff, but all coming back to the same minimal design aesthetic that I started with seven years ago.

Chad: Sweet man, we’ve seen a lot of your growth happen personally but of course there’s a lot of other things that you have done to get to where you are; so maybe we’ll start off really broad, we’ll probably dig down – I know we will dig down deeper into some of the ways that you have grown your business, but if you could, can you start off with like an overview with how you are able to take – how you think you were able to take Ugmonk from a small side project into a full-blown brand?

Jeff: Yeah, I think part of it was that I didn’t go into it with a really well-established business plan and I really the thought-of strategy and trying to raise money and raise investment capital. I almost went into it the opposite, thinking this is not going to become a business, this is just something for fun and was really driven out of that pure passion for design. It wasn’t even to make a lot of money, it was just a side gig to keep my creative juices flowing while I was at the day job as an entry-level designer not doing a whole lot of creative work. Now looking back, it probably would have helped to get some sort of business plan or strategy, but because money was not the top priority and design and just creating cool products was, I was able to ignore a lot of the stuff that I think people get caught up in; even the legalities and the formalities of making a business and kept it super personal. Even today, I try and keep it – it’s just me, I am designing every single product, I try to connect with our friends, be really transparent, really human about it and not pretend that we are somebody that we are not.

Chad: Sweet; so let’s talk about this a-ha moment because I think I read it in an interview that you’ve done, but what is the a-ha moment at the beginning that made you realize that you could really turn this into a full-time gig, something that really caused you to take the leap. Was it – customers really flocking to what you had and telling their friends, like tell me a little bit more on like the a-ha moment that allowed you to take that leap.

Jeff: I think the main thing was that customers were coming back and asking for more products. Initially, when I launched, I only had four different shirts and I ordered 50 of each shirt, not knowing if I’d ever sell those first 200 shirts. But I started emailing design blogs, just letting them know what I was doing and this was before really social media had really taken off, and as orders started coming in, not only were orders coming in, but people were writing emails saying “Hey, I really dig this stuff.” I thought it would only be designers or people into typography that would want the original shirts but I realized there was a broader group of people who really appreciated design and detail, and what I was doing with the brand that I was like, if people want more, I am going to keep creating it. So I just poured all the money back into the business, and really thanks to a few different design blogs and a few different features across the internet, it started to kind of go global.

Austin: How long until from the initial t-shirts to when you took it on fulltime?

Jeff: So, it was two years that I was building it on the side, working a full-time day job at an agency, and building Ugmonk in the weekends and nights late into the nights or the early mornings, which got to point which was pretty crazy and almost unhealthy at times. But once I got to a certain point, I knew if I just kept pushing, I could grind through those really busy days. My wife and I were staying up late packing shirts and taking them to the post office, we didn’t have anything automated or anything systematized but as it kept growing and growing, it got to a point where I was like, I either got to quit my day job or I got to stop – I got to scale the business back. And that’s when I went for it.

Chad: One thing I think about is a lot of people that are listening are probably very similar to you in the sense they are working a day job right now and working on their business at night, whatever it might be, and before we really jump into more detailed stuff, like looking back at those two years working at night, and spending all that time and all that effort, what are the things you can think right off the top of your head that you wish you would have done differently at that mark in order for you to get into this full-time sooner?

Jeff: That’s a good question; I think a few of the things would have just been not limiting myself to only being a designer and kind of putting all business strategy, marketing, sales stuff aside. I was almost too much of a design purist, where I wasn’t even thinking, I should be capturing email right now, ‘cause that’s the way to stay in touch with my customers. I wasn’t even on social media at the beginning; almost too resistant to – because of the design background that I came from, I just wanted to create products and then I realized that these things are all aids and the email marketing and the different things of connecting with people is really what pushed it to the next level. But I didn’t invest much time at all in the first few years on that side of things.

Austin: What about now? Can you fast-forward us a little bit? So was it 2010 you went full-time, is that right?

Jeff: Yeah.

Austin: 2010; so can you fast-forward us, so what has changed when you first went full-time to where you are at now?

Jeff: It’s been a lot of incremental changes and not major shifts, not having a team of ten people to get me into a lot of big-box retailers and change the business; it’s been a lot same in that sense but I have adapted and grown in a lot of ways when it comes to strategy or even just thinking about the way we communicate with our customers, being more open and more transparent like how I do things, I’ve shared more of the process, let people in a little bit more; like now we are getting to the point where we finally have systems in place, mostly via email, where we are able to have a lot of that stuff automated but still very targeted and very segmented so I am not just hitting people over the head with emails every week that aren’t relevant to them.

Austin: Have you tried any – I mean, between now and less five years, what growth channels have you tried, progressed through, do you have any phrases that you could maybe explain or talk about over the last five years that you feel like the business has gone through?

Jeff: Yeah, I mean, it’s always been about selling directly to the customer; the large chunk of our business, I’d say 90% is direct sales to the customer. So that means focusing on improving our website, the design, the UI, the response of design and all those things have changed and we have updated things, the story-telling where we are actually trying to communicate our story better because it’s a pretty compelling story that people really latch on to when I just tell them, this is how I started. I designed a few shirts and then I was building on the side, and now I’m doing full-time seven years later. Putting some of those things in the forefront and connecting that with the product has helped a lot. But as far as the actual growth channels, I think email is the only thing that we have done other than social, and now we are focusing only on email since social is getting even more crowded and noisier. The back end of our shop has changed, we started off on Big Cartel, which is a smaller shopping cart and now we have moved on to Shopify, but overall nothing drastic has changed from the strategy standpoint.

Austin: I’d love to hear – so when I come back to talking about the emails, like the emails as channels, growth channels what we have been doing and working on, but first I want to you ask you a more broad of a question because I look at what you’ve done with Ugmonk and just talking with you about the way that you think about branding, I think it’s pretty unique and it’s definitely a strength of your; something that not many other companies have; could you maybe give us your thought process on what a brand is?

Jeff: Yeah, I think a lot of – I don’t know if I actually sit down and think about it ‘cause a lot of that is just part of my nature, part of the way I think about business in general, but the branding aspect, thinking it through a design lens not necessarily just talking about what it does and does the logo look like, but having everything feels very consistent even to the point where I am selling shirts that I have sold for the past five years the same shirts, but kind of this timeless simplicity typographic and minimalist and geometric forms, all of that has been super, super consistent throughout the years to the point where people send me all the stuff all the time and say “Is this one of your shirts?” And it’s got some real simple shaped design on it or they see an ampersand and they think somebody is knocking off of my stuff. To the point where I almost own that tiny little niche and instead of adapting and changing the brand every year, to whatever is new and whatever trend is kinda hot, I have stayed really focused on that same vision of minimalism.

Chad: You know, one of the things I was telling Austin before we got on, I said, Jeff is probably one of the most authentic people we know in the sense that you are so concerned about your community that there’s a lot of things you won’t do that you really block out from incorporating into your business at this point. And that community atmosphere is I think, what really has allowed you to grow and to thrive year on year, despite not even spending money on ads ‘cause you are currently not spending money on ads, correct?

Jeff: That’s correct.

Chad: Especially for somebody who is getting started, who is building a brand, and does not have the money to spend on ads if they wanted to, how are you able to foster such a tight community do you think; even before you started using email, like what was that process like?

Jeff: I think it really just goes back to being human and treating people the way I want to be treated, and maybe I am like more critical or picky than the average consumer but if it’s something that ruins the website experience for me or the product is not great for me, I am not going to tell my friends about it. If it’s not amazing, then I am not gonna put it out. So I used myself as a filter for a lot of those things to the point of, if this quality is not good enough for me to wear, I’m not going to put it out even if I could do something cheaper or lesser quality, and have a better profit margin and things like that, but I am not going to put it out there.

I think it really goes back to the – I think it’s Kevin Kelly, who wrote the 1,000 True Fan Mentality, where wrote that building a tribe – or Seth Godin talks a lot about it, building a tribe of 1000 true fans as opposed to 10,000 or 100,000 or a million fans, and I’d much rather have that really core group of people that every product that they get, they are truly satisfied with and they are happy with the Ugmonk experience. Not just happy with it, but they are so happy that they end up telling people and that right there is my marketing.

Austin: And I’ve seen it happen quite a bit, I mean we recently launched a review platform on the site with you, and it was very interesting to see the reviews come back overwhelmingly positive, and people would spend time to write not just mark it as five stars and say “Nice shirt”, but actually comment on why they liked it, why they – you know, what they were going to buy next which is interesting that people were commenting on what they were gonna buy next or what they are looking at. Do you think that compared to what you are doing, what do you see with some of the other brands online where people are having, I guess maybe, what do you think other brands can improve on what you are doing or what do you see as the biggest mistake that a lot of companies that you think that they are building a brand or creating a tribe are doing that is leading them to the opposite of what you are creating with an actual authentic tribe?

Jeff: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is that they are playing the short game and they are converting a lot now but those customers are going to come back over and over and over because they might be really aggressive in the wrong way, or not authentic in the way they are communicating, slashing sales every single week, promotions everywhere to the point like no one is ever going to value the brand the same way that if you were to slowly bring in the customer along and introduce them to the brand and giving them the real story and being authentic, those are customers for life. So when we think of acquiring a new customer, for us it’s not just about getting someone in the door; we want them to get in the door and then to be with us for years and years, which we have had. We’ve had people with us like almost the entire seven years, which is insane.

Austin: Yeah, I think it is very interesting just seeing that passionate community; can you talk about what we have been working on, how you have been working on with email, and how that’s played into the strategy of the long game?

Jeff: So up until actually when I started working with you guys, I was only using just MailChimp and sending email campaigns, maybe once a month to announce a new product. I was really hesitant, I didn’t want to send too much email because I hated getting emails from stores three times a day and I immediately unsubscribed. What I didn’t realize is the third option is to send really triggered and segmented specific emails to certain people and have that all be automated. So now we are doing that with Klaviyo, and we have a lot of these sequences set up to the point where I am not having to think about it, but people are getting emails each day kind of on these different timelines, different parts of – maybe it’s a new product intro, maybe it’s a video about the brand or maybe it’s a follow-up to ask them how things are going. It’s been huge to think about the way that that can scale so that I am not sitting here literally clicking ‘Send’ on email campaigns but this stuff is all happening in the background and it’s really a one-to-one connection ‘cause that’s what email is, it’s not 20000 to 1 or 100,000 to 1, it’s like you are literally getting into somebody’s inbox so it doesn’t matter. You know, you have to think about it on a smaller scale, an individual scale.

Chad: You know, thinking about the platform that you have switched to, Klaviyo, we talk about Klaviyo a lot, and a lot of people think that we are trying to pitch Klaviyo in a sense, and we kind of are because we believe that people should be on that platform but coming from somebody like yourself who did make this rich, can you maybe give a little insight as to how Klaviyo has worked compared to MailChimp and what your recommendation is based on that?

Jeff: Yeah, at first, I would say I was a little hesitant as a designer looking at their site saying, this doesn’t look nearly as neat and clean as far as the interface as MailChimp did, which has a huge design team, and I still think they are a great platform, but as soon as we started of digging into the powerful features of being able to see the activity from each person on the site, not only if they opened an email but if they viewed a product, and then be able to trigger things off of that, and then being able to target certain people and targeting our best customers, finding out why people aren’t opening emails, digging into those layers and layers of automation and details and specifics and especially the way it integrates with Shopify and other platforms, there is really no comparison; it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made in the last couple of years.

Chad: I believe your comment was to me or to Austin a while back, it’s like “MailChimp on steroids.”

Jeff: Yeah, totally, I mean, if you are running an ecommerce brand, there’s no reason to still be using MailChimp or any of the ones that don’t have this much automation and integration.

Austin: It was interesting, ‘cause when we first chatted and knowing your mindset on maintaining like integrity and maintaining the small aspect of the business, like the ability for you to do all the design work, it’s been interesting ‘cause I think we have been able to maintain that while setting up the systems to send out emails because you know, what it comes down to your voice and creating a very authentic voice; can you maybe describe – you mentioned a lot of the discount emails that we get bombarded with by other brands, can you explain the strategy in marketing that you’ve been taking or we’ve been taking on the email side? Like the style of emails that were going out ‘cause I think they are quite a bit different than the majority of emails that you see being sent out by similar brands in the same marketplace.

Jeff: Yeah, I think it goes back to the being human and just staying – we are a small brand, we are growing year over year but we are small and I do – I am wearing 80%-90% of the hats of the business, so the emails still come from me, and I’m still working on the copy with you guys, I’m still working closely on and actually designing the graphics and doing all that but we are keeping the voice of the brand the same as it’s always been if not even more personal. And people connect with that so much better because it’s not marketing-speak and it’s not bullets of features and benefits, and things that we are trying to trick people with. It’s really like “Hey, did you have a problem with your shopping cart, can we help you check out?” If it’ s an issue, “Here’s a discount for your first purchase” type of thing; just like you are talking with somebody in a store, you wouldn’t be listing all these crazy, official press-release types of emails, you’d be just talking to them. So I think to me, that’ s really relatable and as a person I love when brands talk to me that way as opposed to trying to be perfect and polished and you know, even sending out things like – I’ve sent out stuff that said, “Hey we messed up” or “Hey, this is why this is delayed” and people love that because it’s really authentic.

Austin: If someone would ask you where are you right now, it’s been seven years, I know you are about to celebrate the seven-year anniversary which is exciting, I think it was last month but it is coming up soon, can you tell us, what’s on your radar? What are you excited about in the next couple of years for the business, what are you going to explore, what areas are you interested in exploring in terms of ways to grow the business, where is your mindset right now with the way you will be going in the next couple of years?

Jeff: Yeah, my brain is like bursting with stuff right now; I’ve had so many Google docs and notes that I have started with all sorts of brain dumps of different directions, different things we could add and improve, whether it’s a product I’d love to get into some more custom product, I’ve got a whole line of desk products that I have been developing over the last couple of years, and as far as growth and thinking of more like sustainability and scalability, I thought a lot about bringing in other people similar to how I worked with you guys. So you are experts in your field, you are not necessarily expert designers, but you are experts in ecommerce, and then the marriage of me working with you guys has proved that I don’t have to sit there and figure out all the logic for each email, but I can still – you know, kinda “1+1=3” type of thing where we can work together. So I get really excited about thinking to bring some people to help with brand strategy, some of the content – just getting the content in front of people more, telling our story better, improving photography and all those type of things too but kinda not changing to the point where now the strategy is Y, before it was X and a big shift; it’s more of like let’s build on the same and then allows me to have more time to design and more time for the creative side of the business, which is what founded it and what I think is going to keep propelling it forward.

Chad: Speaking of what’s coming up and the vendors you are looking at bringing on board to help you whether it’s – maybe it’s advertising or whatever other areas it is that you are looking into, you know, one of the things that a lot of ecommerce business owners really think about is how to vet a vendor, if that makes sense, like how to find out if somebody that they are looking at hiring, that they can trust and actually bring them on and actually produce results. Now I don’t know what other vendors you have at this point, but how do you go about you know, vetting a vendor and making sure this is somebody that you can trust and actually bring into your business and help you grow it? I know it’s a big concern for a lot of people and it’s a big hesitation, and I know you are very thorough so I would love to have your input on that.

Jeff: Yeah, for sure; I mean, that’s one of the hardest things to trust anybody else with your baby. Your business is so important that as soon as you give it to the wrong person, that could really screw you over and that could – things could fall apart pretty quickly. So you know, I’ve been – I always err on the side of you know keeping it in-house and doing as much as I can, but when it comes to working with people, there are obviously things I can’t do as manufacturing, the production side of things and then working with you guys on the ecommerce and the email stuff. I think a lot of it comes down to a gut feeling of after talking to you guys and jumping on Skype and really getting to know you a little bit even through your podcast, which is funny ‘cause that’s why I found out about you initially and now I am actually on the podcast. So basically not going into it thinking that everybody is in it for you, they are actually in it for themselves a lot of times and being really careful on who you give the keys to your business. I don’t have a great system or a way to know, who to go with or who not to go with, but I am always erring on the side of if there’s any caution then just pass and find somewhere that you are completely comfortable with on a personal level and ethical level, and then you have the same vision ‘cause I get literally probably 50 emails a week from different companies pitching products for Instagram and Pinterest and ads and this and that, but I don’t know any of these people and it’s just kinda like a cold call; whereas I approached you guys and I felt a lot better about that.

Austin: Has your mindset changed, or if you would have looked back at maybe five years ago or three years ago, has your mindset changed as you have had more experience working with outside vendors as your business has grown? Is there anything that you would share with somebody, with actually yourself five years ago, that you wish you had known or that you wish you could go back and tell yourself in terms of like scaling the business or growing on the outside of the business. Does that make sense?

Jeff: Yeah, I think I know what you are saying; I would go back and tell myself that you don’t have to do it all. For some reason, it’s almost a pride or a control aspect where I felt like I need to do everything because I can; so I can figure out how to use Klaviyo and how to do a lot of stuff but I am not great at it and it’s not what I enjoy. But for some reason, I didn’t want to give anybody the keys to the business or like anybody to help from that control aspect. Now there’s definitely a balance; I think, too many people, some people would just start letting anyone who has input or has expertise come in and chime in with your opinion, but there’s definitely a balance where finding somebody that’s truly good and truly has knowledge that can add to what I was already building, can really be beneficial and can really help. So and even on the marketing or on the business side, I didn’t want to put a pop-up window on my website ‘cause I hated pop-up windows and just out of a user experience thing, and then I realized after we implemented the exit pop-up which doesn’t interrupt the experience and only comes up when you are leaving the site, that was like a perfect – not compromise, but a perfect marriage of allowing this both to happen and work really effectively and not get in the way of the design or the things that I was really conscious off.

Austin: Do you think any of the systems that you have built over the last five years, or since you have been going full-time that you could talk about maybe on the marketing side, or the operations side, or the product creation side that have been pivotal to giving you more time to be able to actually design?

Jeff: I think that’s what I’m working through right now actually; I don’t have great systems in place for that, so we’re working through a lot to figure out how can I carve out that time and how can I systematize things, maybe even chunk things together or maybe even do things in bulk so that I am not – my brain isn’t scattered all over the place each day. I’m hoping to get to that point and I am looking towards next year, I’m hoping to have more systems in place. One of the strategies that we have kept since the beginning is to have three main sales a year, main product kinda production sales; one being around Christmas time, one in the spring, and one during our anniversary. So those are the three pillars that kinda divide up the year nicely since we don’t release fall-winter collections or spring-summer collections. Basing those three pillars and not getting too caught up in having a sale every other week or a promotion every other week, but supplementing that with different product releases in between. So that’s been our very loose strategy and I think we want to get delivered more so we have buffer time when things go wrong.

Chad: We’re going to be finishing up here and the last couple of questions before we sign off before we get to the final question that I do want to ask, where can people really connect with you at this point? Like what is the best way to reach out and connect whether it’s Twitter or email or anything like that?

Jeff: Yeah, I’m still active on Twitter even though it’s getting noisier and noisier there, but I’m still on there almost every day. So I’m just @Ugmonk on Twitter, Ugmonk on Instagram, and then my email is just jeff@ugmonk.com. I like connecting with people and I get emails all the time from other business owners or ecommerce related questions, so happy to help there.

Austin: Definitely check out Jeff’s Twitter and Instagram and he’s got some really cool photos and he puts a lot of like – you got a great design eye, and if you are interested to check him out. Follow him and you’ll see some very cool stuff. I mean, some of the stuff that you posted from Iceland, from your trip to Iceland, it was on your website, they are just beautiful pictures.

Chad: Yeah, a great eye for design is slightly an understatement. He’s got pretty incredible stuff for sure. So the last question; we talked quite a bit today, a lot of it is on email and other systems and things like that, a lot of authentic community-building ideas, but what’s the one thing that an ecommerce business owner who is listening to now, what’s the one thing that they should go back and do today, or do differently in their business, something that you wish you would have done sooner and can they do that today and seeing something happen maybe even tomorrow?

Jeff: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s almost an obvious one from what we’ve been talking about but just capturing that email, capturing people’s email and not thinking about just numbers of people getting in the door, but thinking about capturing that email and then being able to communicate with those people kinda on a one-on-one basis, whether it’s a welcome sequence of emails in introduction to what you do. But start capturing that because everything else – as all the different social media change and you evolve, emails really is the one steady thing right now.

Chad: Awesome.

Austin: Good advice.

Chad: Really good advice.

Austin: It’s been fun Jeff to talk and just chat it up outside of working together; so, thanks a lot for coming on and just drop in some wisdom for your experience. It’s almost seven years, it’s pretty impressive and I know we talked about it a couple of days ago but time moves very quickly.

Jeff: Yeah, it’s crazy I mean, honestly to be sitting here talking on an Ecommerce podcast, running a business was not in the plan at all but it’s been such a fun ride and I am super blessed that I get to wake up and do this every day. I absolutely love it.

Chad: Yeah, we actually started our relationship about a year ago, I remember because I think it was probably about nine months now, but I actually remembered where I was when I talked to you the first time. I was sitting on my brother in law’s recliner talking to you about ecommerce and here we are today, you are on the podcast. It’s incredible.

Austin: Thanks a lot Jeff and go check out Ugmonk.com, he’s got a lot of cool products if you are interested in beautiful leather mouse pads, especially one of the things that I always look at, and I’ve got one in here, they are really great. So thanks a lot guys for joining us and we’ll talk to you later, Jeff.

Jeff: Okay, see you guys.

Chad: Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Ecommerce Influence podcast; a couple of things before we sign off here, if you are still using MailChimp or something other than Klaviyo, hit up the guys at Klaviyo, we have a special email just for us, it’s ei@klaviyo.com and no, we don’t get paid a referral commission for sending people their way, we actually just love Klaviyo that much. I think Jeff made that point for us. He still enjoys using MailChimp and appreciates MailChimp, but you know, as he said, Klaviyo is MailChimp on steroids and if you are in ecommerce then you need to be using it. So that’s the first thing and the second thing is, if you want to become an Ecommerce Influence insider, head on over to ecommerceinfluence.com/insider where you’ll get access to seven of the guides that we have out, which include ‘Four Steps to hiring A-players on Elance’, “Selling Your Business for Max Value’, ‘Facebook Marketing for E-Commerce’ and much more plus some training videos and some master classes with some top ecommerce experts. So you can head on over to ecommerceinfluence.com/insider. That’s it from us, make sure you subscribe if you haven’t subscribed yet; always leave us a review whether that’s one-star or five-stars we don’t care, we just want to know what you think. So send us some feedback and we’ll see you in the next episode.

 

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  • Very interesting interview!