How to Create Desire and Hype with Anticipation Emails ⎜ Design by Reese ⎜ EP 177

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This is a podcast episode titled, How to Create Desire and Hype with Anticipation Emails ⎜ Design by Reese ⎜ EP 177. The summary for this episode is: <p>Ryan Cramer of Crossover Commerce talks with Reese Spykerman of Design by Reese one-on-one discussing how to create desire and hype with anticipation emails.</p><p>---</p><p>Crossover Commerce is presented by PingPong Payments. PingPong transfers more than 150 million dollars a day for eCommerce sellers just like you. Helping over 1 million customers now, PingPong has processed over 90 BILLION dollars in cross-border payments. Save with a PingPong account <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">today</a>! </p><p>---</p><p><strong>Stay connected with Crossover Commerce and PingPong Payments:</strong></p><p>✅ Crossover Commerce @ <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>✅ YouTube @ <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>✅ LinkedIn @ <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>---</p><p>You can watch or listen to all episodes of Crossover Commerce at: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p>

Ryan Kramer: What's up everyone. Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Kramer, and this is Crossover Commerce. Presented by PingPong payments, the leading global payments provider helping sellers keep more of their hard earned money.( silence) Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of Crossover Commerce. This is my corner of the internet, where I bring the best and brightest in the Amazon e- commerce space. That can be anything from marketing and advertising, sourcing logistics to product placement. Whatever might be, I'm going to be talking with those people on this podcast. If you're tuning in, this is my corner of the internet, again, where I'm going to bring those people and interview them live. Live is a special word because if you have questions and you're watching this on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter, go ahead and submit your questions on the comment section below if you're watching this right now. That means we can see your questions, we can entertain, or I should say collaborate with you there if you have questions about specifically what we're going to be touching on today. But before we get started, it's always important to make note of who the presenting sponsor is of any sort of podcast. But that for this podcast is going to be PingPong payments. PingPong payments is a cross border payment solution helping people save more time, money, and effort. It's always important to know what options you have out there. Whether you're sending payments over to your VAs, to your employees, to your manufacturers or your distributors. If you're paying for your goods here, hopefully by Q4 it's already done, but here moving into Q1, you want to save some money and put that back to your bottom line, pay for more goods, pay for more advertising, pay for more employees. Whatever that might be, you could save when you're paying out and then also receiving money. You can do that with PingPong payments. It's free to sign up. Go ahead and go over to usa. podcast, where you can watch all our episodes of the podcast, but also sign up for a free account today. It's important to do that. Save some money with PingPong payments. Let them know that Crossover Commerce sent you. Anyways, this is episode 177. As us in the biz like to call it, we say episode 177 or 177. There's been a lot of content that we're pumping out here on Crossover Commerce, and this we week is no exception. We have lots of great guests here this week, but today, specifically, I'm really excited to talk to the one and only Reese Spykerman of Design by Reese. We're actually going to be talking about lots of different things in terms of marketing. Specifically though, we're going to be talking about how to create desire and hype with anticipation emails. It's almost that... or the ellipses, I believe it's what it's called, the anticipation of what can come next or how to get your audience excited about a product or a sale or any sort of important nature of which your business might entail and want to come up with. Again, it can be anything from new product launches to Black Friday or Cyber Monday or small business Monday emails or marketing or anything of the sort. But you want to create that marketing momentum, if you will. I think momentum is the word I'm going to use a lot today. Is that momentum so that people can work and have your audience and loyal followers and work in your favor. That being said, without further ado, let's bring on our special guest today at Crossover Commerce, Reese Spykerman of Design by Reese. Reese, welcome to Crossover Commerce.

Reese Spykerman: Ryan, thanks so much for having me. I have been in anticipation, very meta here all weekend for our conversation. This is going to be good.

Ryan Kramer: I love it. We promised everyone who's watching us live or who is listening to this lots of excitement, lots of energy, lots of great information, but also maybe a little dancing. I don't know. We were playing around. There's only so many emojis that when you put in excitement that pop up, and that was one of them. There might be a little bit of that in there, but I know I specifically start to do a dance in my chair when there's that excitement or something is touching me deeper. You hit that emotional nerve, that excitement, if you will, for each individual. But before we get started to build anticipation for our topic, tell me about you. We were talking a little bit pre- show about you as a person and how we connected. I'm curious to hear that background of what led you to where you are today.

Reese Spykerman: Great question. I have a winding road, which I think is not unusual for most entrepreneurs and business owners. You try something, you pivot, you try again. I've been in marketing for about 15 years and I started out in the heyday of blogging. Around 2007 when it was the wild west of blogging. People who got in on that early, if they kept at it to this day, tend to be doing very well in business. I was not a blogger, but what I was doing was website design and development for these up and coming bloggers, and it evolved. Small businesses began to seek me out and then that grew into national corporations and that grew into international corporations. There came a point, Ryan, where I got really burned out on doing both design and development. When you do both, it's wearing two hats, it's very challenging. I dropped the development part of things and I started to focus more on design. As I started to focus more on design, I realized that in that design world, most people were focused on making things look aesthetically pretty, and oftentimes it would get in the way of functionality, usability, or most importantly, getting our website visitors to do what we'd like them to. Whether it's for service based businesses, maybe reaching out with our contact form. Or for e- commerce businesses, buying the product, or at least making their way over to our collection page or our product page. Then that evolved, Ryan. Again, another pivot where I saw that there was a real need in the market for customer centric design and copywriting. My degrees in journalism, so I brought back that side into my business. Today, I help mainly e- commerce businesses, sub- service businesses, but mostly e- commerce, leverage their websites and their emails with optimization. Whether it's of their website, of their emails, and frankly, sometimes even how their business is run. Because we can even optimize how we spend our time and what we devote our time to. There is my long and windy road.

Ryan Kramer: Well, I mean, like any great entrepreneur, you have to have that Genesis story. You never expect it. This is why I tell people, I feel like I play the e- commerce bingo, if you will, of what industry are we going to be today? But what's great about all this, it doesn't matter if you're in FinTech, you're in direct to consumer, you're an agency or if you're in any sort of specific nature, there's one consistent thing and that's marketing and sales. I'll put sales in both. You're either buying product or you're either buying or selling yourself an idea or solution. There's lots of different components of that. You're either as a salesperson, I'm selling myself, a product or a solution to whatever service I might be offering. Then marketing, you're representing those very similar things. You're representing the brand, an idea or solution or product. A lot of those have to work hand in hand. I think a lot of people just mistake of just the simplisticness of it at the beginning. But how you reach in different industries, which I'm assuming that you've seen this too. There's all these little nuances you have to add almost a detail or a specific nature to make it customized for a business. Is that what you've seen as now, you're technically I would consider an agency, or a design agency, if you will? We can call it something else, a little bit more fancy term if you want. But if it comes from that, do you have to put that little extra or touch and that's what makes it different?

Reese Spykerman: That is a lot to unpack. I would say-

Ryan Kramer: If I'm wrong, just say," Ryan, I think you're wrong in this." Then we'll go from there.

Reese Spykerman: It kind of points to actually, Ryan, a problem I see where a business will get very caught up on wanting to be different. The way that they think that that's executed is, one example, make my logo huge. That's something I ran into a lot when I was doing more design work. Or they think," Hey, I need a bunch of pretty graphics. That's what's going to make my brand different. That's what's going to make me stand out in the marketplace." What I've developed philosophically, Ryan, is this, that your difference comes from your positioning, how you position your product benefits and paint that picture, for example, for your customer. Less and less do I want to see you differentiate through really heavy design. I would rather see, especially for e- commerce businesses, you have a fairly simple and minimal framework, and then your point of difference comes through the words you use. Or tiny, little, subtle things like maybe microcopy here and there, or your product photos, the way you take them and the background and environment that you put them in. I'm not sure if that answers your question. It's a tricky one where, how do you stand out without getting in the way of that customer usability journey?

Ryan Kramer: Right. I mean, I think you answered that actually very eloquently. The reason why I asked those simple questions is because, when we have agencies or we have people of marketing background, not just specifically for digital, but across the board, they represent brands that never touch e- commerce, they touch retail, but their focus is on getting marketing online and that's what their focus is. If it's a service or if it's a product, the always I hear is, I always hear... Whatever that comes out from their mouth it's always pretty much," Make my brand more this or like that." There's always that," I want to be like that person." Instead of standing out by themselves. Then obviously the more as well," I want to be more like that." Or," I need to have this bigger flashier, something along those lines. Where they get caught up in the nuances of design itself, instead of at the core of it, what is your product or solution, or you yourself, what are you selling and really focus on that and how you are going to differentiate yourself from everyone else in that core concept. Instead of," I'm going to put myself in the same marketing light as these people." Does that make sense? I think that we're very much on the same page.

Reese Spykerman: 100%. I'm so glad you pointed this out, Ryan, because a lot of people will look to a competitor or even a cross competitor as," I want to be like... I want to be like Apple." Or whatever it is. But those brands that are doing really well, didn't get there by trying to be like anyone else. There's this equation it's really simple, and it's what I work with my clients on. It's your values plus your product, when we're talking about e- commerce business, equals differentiation. You don't differentiate by saying," I want to be more like this other brand or company." You differentiate by taking the bold and scary and courageous risk of deciding who you are, what you stand for and who you will speak to and what problem you'll solve. That's not very sexy work. It's a lot sexier to sit and fiddle around with your color palette, but that other foundational work is really where I see the money and success being at and the satisfaction. Because you're standing behind something that's a part of you or your business brand versus what you just used from someone else as a form of inspiration.

Ryan Kramer: Absolutely. No, that's good. I like to establish that kind of baseline, if you will, of, where the audience can expect us to come from. Going through this iteration, this design aspect, why email? You're solely focused email and standing out in that regards, which it feels like that's the most prominent aspect of your business and what you're focused. Why email?

Reese Spykerman: Well-

Ryan Kramer: Simple question. Just why email?

Reese Spykerman: Yeah, it's a really open question. I really am a fan of not just email but hand in hand, the website plus the email and how they work in conjunction. But when we think about why email, it's one of the few things in digital marketing out there that you can own, besides your website. Versus social media ads, paid traffic. All of those be pulled out from you at any time. At a basic level, email you can control it. It's something you own, it's land that you own. But it's also an opportunity to get in front of someone and not have your posts or your ad buried by algorithms. If you do email well, you're front and center in someone's life and in their inbox. I think that people dismiss the power of email marketing, but I have personally seen with many of the clients that I've worked with, as well as anecdotal stories out there, it can be an extremely powerful means of generating revenue in your business. Because someone has already decided to enter into that relationship with you as a customer. They've decided that they think that you are worth having in their inbox. So that you don't have to do as much convincing. You're already kind of halfway across the bridge with them. Then, you don't have to work as hard as you do in something like an ad or social media post. In general, that's why I think email is so damn powerful. There's a bunch of other reasons, but those are the core ones. What do you think, Ryan?

Ryan Kramer: No, that's a great question or that's a great point. I think the, you've done half the work, or you've done majority of the work, I would say is getting that person to you even pay attention to your brand. I know when I go to, this sounds silly, my customer behavior is, if they can get me to their website, I always feel like the least I can do is to see what else they have. Typically that's through either content that they produce on a regular basis. That's through email because that's what they're going to be flashing first. Is like, Hey, get this percentage off or sign up for a newsletter to learn about more new product releases, things like that. I've gone to that website for one reason or another. Most often, it's either they've drawn me there by their product, their solution, or their service. That's what I think, is half the battle of, if you can truly just get to their website, that's half the battle. The next is the design aspect or the product itself. We've won the battle. Now, it's next to get them to do an action. Whether it's to be signup, again, collecting that information so they can be an engaging member of your brand or to make a purchase. That's ultimately what people want to do. I would agree, that would be one of my... That channel, it seems is so simple. Then we go back to the simplistic nature of marketing of, email seems to be the thing that converts the most often. It's the least expensive to obtain. Would you agree, Reese?

Reese Spykerman: Yes. Depending on what research-

Ryan Kramer: It depend on who you are.

Reese Spykerman: ...and statistic you look at. There is some research out there that for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you get back something like$ 33 in return. I always think it's really good to look at these figures in context. That's assuming that you aren't just spammer in people's inboxes and you write things that are worth reading. But it is a very good return on investment. You don't have to keep paying out to that ad war chest. With email, once they're in, your biggest job is keeping them around and keeping them interested. I think that that's a lot easier than trying to hook someone who's cold and who has never been exposed to you before. But, Ryan, I have a question for you if that's okay.

Ryan Kramer: Yeah, that's fine. I like being interviewed on my own podcast. crosstalk-

Reese Spykerman: Okay. Because like I was saying before this show, part of why I love doing this is actually having conversations with experts like you. I know a big part of your wheelhouse and background is Amazon. Is that right?

Ryan Kramer: That's correct. Yes.

Reese Spykerman: Amazon makes it a lot trickier to build an email list.

Ryan Kramer: It's impossible almost now. Yes.

Reese Spykerman: Yeah. I'm wondering, and I want to think of some of your audience who might be here that are Amazon sellers, what are some of the things you can do? I've seen some really cool things with when you ship out your product. But know Amazon rules are always changing and they'll shut you down if you do a certain thing. Do you want to nerd out on that a little bit? I'm really curious.

Ryan Kramer: Yeah. Amazon's always customer- centric. They built out their marketplace and everyone on this podcast knows, or as a listener or as a seller, they know that the consumer comes first and there's a holy trinity of what they hold near and dear. It's customer data, who the customer is. Not technically owned by the seller or the third party seller. It's owned by Amazon, for building out that marketplace. It's the reviews, and then it's obviously the advertising. There's three main components that Amazon sees as, if you're going to spend money with us, and then on a consumer side, it's the reviews or the ratings. Ratings would be no word, or it's simply just one into five stars. Or review would be the inclusion of written content. Then it's the customer- centric data. It's called the seller's code of conduct. If there's any way to manipulate either rating or getting data that is outside of Amazon's ecosystem or review manipulation to get your product up higher, Amazon sees that as against its own seller code of conduct in terms of service. They will shut you down. In old ways, there used to be ways that you'd be able to see their name. This was recently, you'd be able to see their name and at least their zip code, I believe, if not their billing address. That was obviously a holy grill. You would be able to see where this person was. Not email information, but you would be able to collect a data point of where this person was located. Now you don't even get that information anymore as a third party seller. You have to think about externalized ways to, again, own that information. People have done it through, Hey, come to our website or Hey, if you're unhappy with a product, don't talk to Amazon, talk to us. That way you have that email information. Again, it's all a gray area. But a lot of people would use things like ManyChat as funnels and building that information out to people. But a lot of it is just, it's really tricky on Amazon to be quite honest to collect the evergreen data. It's not available anymore. It's not willingly given by Amazon. That's just part of the game you play with it because it's not your platform. You're just a seller in this marketplace. But a lot of people have now shifted over to different ways of, if you're talking about inserts and you alluded to this to this earlier, Reese, you can't ask people for reviews or ask them for information. But if there's ways, and one of the most exciting ways I've seen engage in the marketing world is, Hey, if you unbox a video or unbox this product and you post it with this hashtag on TikTok, for example, and you get it above a certain view count, and you emailed this information and all this other stuff back to us, we'll give you 500 bucks. It's all simply just marketing, but they're really pushing people to build this brand out on social media. Again, externalized factor, and say, Hey, if you like this product you yourself are... Again, this goes back to everyone wants to be an influencer, everyone wants to be famous in some capacity. Whether it be successful or not, we all strive to be a little bit noticed. If you're opening a product and it gets that kind of notoriety, of course, I'm going to be engaging with that brand in that level. That's almost a third or a secondary step outside of the Amazon ecosystem of, this brand, this product, I love them, and it's not engaging with a certain action or behavior on Amazon. I think that was one of the cooler things I've seen in that light. But Amazon is so... Again, I've spent 176 episodes, now 177 episodes depicting on it could change tomorrow. That's what a lot of us are kind of frustrated with, but that's a part of entrepreneurship. Rules and regulations change. It's the evolving nature of the consumer, but also the platform you might be on. There's pros and cons. Being on Amazon and utilizing their eyeballs versus direct to consumer where you have to drive traffic to your website and it's all on your dime but you own the data. Which is more valuable to you, valuable to the brand? That's what every brand has to decide for themselves.

Reese Spykerman: I love that answer.

Ryan Kramer: It's very long winded, man. How we're almost out of time already.

Reese Spykerman: Oh my gosh, no. I'm so glad you answered that. I think it's really useful for anyone who isn't aware or thinking about what they want to balance in their business. Thanks.

Ryan Kramer: Well, yeah, no problem. That's what a lot of people are trying to build up, is now with all these different cutdowns on product releases on Amazon and the ability to drive traffic to Amazon is becoming more and more complex. Amazon doesn't like it when you send people from Facebook to Amazon, but they like it when they send it from Pinterest to Amazon. There's all these different algorithms that Amazon rewards versus kind of suppresses, if you will. I'm curious, Reese, if you're a direct to consumer brand, which I'm assuming you're working on more and more of those people, do they come with you at those kinds of those problems of, where's the most beneficial traffic? Again, we kind of established emails a little bit secondary of, once I got them to our website, we can utilize this as this evergreen anticipation model. Do you have a model to get people in the first place to engage with your brand that you felt like is the right mix of either social media or paid ads, Google Ads, anything like that? Or is there something else we might be missing?

Reese Spykerman: I feel like, you know how you said the answer changes every day, the way things have been going the last year, my answer to that question changes almost every day because it is the wild west again, with changes to privacy with iOS 15. It's affecting everything from email open rate metrics to Facebook ads. A lot of the clients I've worked with have actually just given up completely on those. One of the things that I have been working with clients on a lot that I think has potential is similar to what you were alluding to with the technique to get people go and post something on TikTok. It's basically affiliate marketing and customer referral marketing. There's a couple reasons why. One is, it's a pushback against a lot of the regulations that we're seeing in terms of privacy in the ad world, difficulty getting traction with your ads. But the other reason why, and it goes back to what I was saying earlier about emails, is it's already a warm connection. Someone follows, say an influencer or a blogger who is also an affiliate marketer. There's an inherent trust that your brand gets to leverage and bank on, and the same goes for things like customer referral programs. We like to buy from the crowd. Whatever the crowd opinion is, and that oftentimes is what our friend says or our mom or whoever says we should do, we'll trust that more than we will just a cold ad, no matter how good that ad is. That's why I've been encouraging a lot of clients to lean into creating those kinds of affiliate marketing programs and customer referral programs.

Ryan Kramer: Yeah. You're speaking my language. I've ran three affiliate marketing programs for different brands. I'm still technically in charge of the one here at PingPong payments. That's what I have found the most valuable, is when you can get partnerships or people to work on your behalf and you're compensated through either commissionable notion or a reward system. This is I think the number one that we've talked with and I find the most actually enjoyment is with Morning Brew. Are you familiar with that email?

Reese Spykerman: Yes.

Ryan Kramer: Yeah. Okay. Morning Brew, I've been engaging with quite extensively on and off for the last, I feel like five years. But the referral system is a tiered system, with the more people you get into the ecosystem that use your link or use the promo code or direct link, the more swag or the more things you can get from them. Again, it's all built on information. This is stuff you can search for on the internet. It's not proprietary to them, it's just how they write it. But consumable information, that can be that people can use. But the number one growth builder is the referral system. It's almost this, they're not paying out anything besides just branded swag that is their logos and their content anyways. That's why I think as brands move forward and you said, it's a tricky situation minefield, if you will. Of, if you step here, you can get flagged and taken down on Amazon. If you step there, you may not get the information or the upgrades may not be as good anymore because of technology. There's always going to be this way to build a customer- centric following and really hone into the people who either find you by happenstance, or they just continue to repeat and love your business and brand. If you continue to cater to those people and again, through email or through rewards or whatever that might be, I think that you're going to continuously grow the brand effectively and efficiently. Also, it's always going to yield more and more positive results instead of negative results, if that makes sense. That being said, I mean, unless you have something to add onto, I'm curious with the email concept in building anticipation. Let's say that we have a really good ecosystem. I'm selling them on multiple platforms. What are the cadences that are a must have for a brand? Let's start with that first. What are my go- to I have to have these cadences or email campaigns at the ready as a successful brand.

Reese Spykerman: Excellent question. I would say there's a few different automations or flows that I want to want to see you always having running in the back end because they're highly leveraged. You don't have to keep writing content with these. The first is, a welcome series of sorts. That's where, when someone signs up for your email list. It can get very detailed here about, well, did they sign up and then did they buy something or not? But in general, it's a way of having three to five automated emails that welcome them in, that recognize them, that maybe do a little bit of education about your brand or your product. But it's such a missed opportunity that I see a lot of brands will not take. Someone will sign up for the email and they get barely a confirmation email. In this way, we're literally welcoming them into our digital home, our brand. That's first, is a welcome series. Then also a cart and possibly browser abandonment, depending on the tech you're running in the background sequence. That when you have a cookie set and you know that person's email address and you have it associated, and a lot of times it's either they're on your email list or a verified customer, they get emails from you when they've added something to their cart and haven't checked out. It's a low hanging fruit opportunity, automation to prompt them, nudge them to go to checkout. You can do the same thing when they've abandoned their browser. Usually this is, they've looked at a product haven't added it to their cart. Well, maybe you educate them a bit more about their product or give alternate suggestions. Then, this is a big one, Ryan, and I love this one, transactional emails. I'll just sum quickly for people who may not be familiar with the term or may not think about what that means. It's when someone places an order and you have an email that goes out that's like, we've received your order. That's a confirmation email. Then a lot of times you'll see a shipping update, like when it's been shipped or after it's been shipped, it's arrived at your front door. This is especially useful if you have customers in cities, which most bigger brands do, so that someone knows, okay, no one's going to go swipe my package. Then a follow up one, which is sometimes an automated review request. But the point about transactional emails, Ryan, is a lot of times I see people use templates. They sound very robotic. It is often your very first time in your customer's inbox. Especially if they didn't sign up for emails, they just bought something, you want to make that first impression in their inbox matter. Customize the heck out of that order confirmation email. If I leave you nothing else today, I think it would be that.

Ryan Kramer: No, that's a good point because obviously it's... I like the welcome series too. It's a preface into what to expect from this brand moving forward. I know a lot of people, I know there's a slice of people I'll say I'm going to do that because sometimes they'll entice me to purchase something. That buyer intent. Again, it's the whole debate of, do I give them something right away or do I just enter them to the brand? I think first and foremost, you enter somebody to the brand. If they're willing to buy something, they're going to do that right away. I think that's just the nature of a business. But as you educate people of like, Hey, here's what to expect from emails, even move moving forward of, Hey, we're going to give you content once a week, how we're going to give you awesome recipes, or we're going to give you different tips and tricks to make life more simple in the kitchen, or whatever that might be, whatever your brand's representing, give them expectations moving forward. Because that is always what people can know in the back of their mind of, when I engage with, Design by Reese, for example, I know what I'm going to get out of that brand. If you're truly just a, want to give discounts and every time you hear us, you're going to get a new sale update or a new product launch, that's great and I know what to look for. When I search in Google or my Apple Mail and search for that brand, I know I can look for a coupon, and that's what I'm looking for. Building the anticipation moving forward or that feature expectation, if you will, is super important in those and initial engagements with the consumer. Because if they don't know what to expect from you, they might just completely ignore it or scan across it when they get 100 other promotional emails in a single tab, if you're using Google. Or it's all in the midst of your inbox, if you're using Apple. If they don't know what to expect, their mind will just turn off to your brand and to that subject line and it won't matter.

Reese Spykerman: Yeah. It's true. I love what you said about setting expectations so that it's kind of in the back of their mind, even what to expect. I also think it's a good opportunity for them to understand your brand voice. Are you funny? Are you serious? Are you eloquent? Are you helpful? Are you sarcastic? That there's no right or wrong here, but it will help orient them that, yes, this brand was made for me. Especially if you did happen to pull in your ideal customer. But I want to talk a little bit more about building anticipation because there's another way we can do that with emails outside of those automations we just covered.

Ryan Kramer: Yes, please do. What is that anticipation or that cadence? When does that start, and then how do you do that then?

Reese Spykerman: Okay. I don't know if there's a right answer here, but I'll give you what I've seen work for other brands that I've worked with. First, let's talk about the problem and why we're talking about anticipation emails. It's very contextual. If you are a brand that's running sales every week, what I'm going to talk about may not make as much sense unless we're talking about a product launch. But if you're a brand who in general, you don't run a lot of sales, it may be just a Black Friday, a Mother's Day, or you have new collections that you occasionally launch and new product lines, that sort of thing, what I'm going to spell out could be very effective for you. But what happens is, a lot of times a brand will have a new product they've created or a new collection they're launching or even a sale coming up and they, the day of announce it. It's an email that basically says, Hey, go check out our new watch. It falls flat because there's been no buildup to this to get people excited. I want to think about how we might be feeling knowing, for example, that the new Matrix movie is coming out in December. I don't know about you, Ryan, but I'm counting the days. That I know it's coming.

Ryan Kramer: Quick side note. I went to school with one of the actors in that movie.

Reese Spykerman: Really?

Ryan Kramer: Yeah. I went to college with, his name... Oh my gosh. I just blanked it because I was just... His name is Toby and he was actually in Sense8 on Netflix. Worked with the sisters now who are the directors of The Matrix trilogy, and who worked with them on the Netflix series and was asked to be on the new Matrix movie as well. Little fun fact, shout to Toby if you're watching us on Facebook, but he went to the University of Evansville, shout out to my alma mater, and it's probably one of the biggest movies that... Well, I won't say that because I'm going to... Again, we're going down this really bad road. UE's produced a lot of good actors and actresses, specifically recently the Bond villain went to UE as well. But anyway, side note, Matrix, super excited about. The trailers look amazing. Very much expected. I can't wait to see what's going to blow up basically. To that side point, go ahead, Reese. I like to go on these little off channels every so often, so back to regularly scheduled program.

Reese Spykerman: It's fine. I love it. If we think about that movie or anything else, Dune, I'm a sci- fi buff. We aren't going to go down that rabbit hole, but I have a feeling we could. Imagine if we just woke up tomorrow and they're like," Yeah, the new Dune movie is here." Or the new Matrix movie and-

Ryan Kramer: Surprise.

Reese Spykerman: Yeah. I would almost feel like," Huh?" It's kind of, there is a joy that we, as human beings have psychologically in waiting for something to come.

Ryan Kramer: I like that.

Reese Spykerman: Pavlov did a whole sense study about this with the dog. After a while, he got conditioned to drool because he thought that his treat might be coming. Well, it's more complicated than that sometimes for human beings and sometimes not. But the point is, when you can build anticipation, you are creating an emotional and psychological attachment around whatever it is that's coming up in your brand, a new product launch, potentially a sale. I want to talk a little bit about that in a sec, because there can be pros and cons to this. But I'll give you an example of something that happened with one of my clients. Before we worked together, she would release a new collection, she's a jeweler, and it just would be like on the day of. Like," Yo, my rings are here." She makes fine jewelry. Well, we created a campaign, and you were asking about cadence, about two weeks before. I like this. I think it's a nice spot. It depends on everything from, if you're Apple, it might be weeks and weeks before. But for her size of business and the type of product she had, two weeks made sense and it does for a lot of companies. What she did, is she started dropping emails. I remember one of the subject lines that did really well when we could still track open rates well was, I don't usually do this and we just were peeking curiosity. Here's what happened. She started dripping out pictures of the new collection. Sometimes closeups, sometimes not the whole thing. Can you see we're building on that desire where it's not just like," Hey, here's all 50 photos of what everything looks like." It's like," Here's a peak. Let's look at the close up of the stone." Or," Here's me making it behind the scenes." Which just further drives that curiosity and that anticipation. By the time her sale day came or not sale day, but the launch of the collection came, she had customers who emailed her to say," I set my alarm today so that I would not miss..."

Ryan Kramer: I love that.

Reese Spykerman: ...the 10: 00 opening." Because it was a one of a kind collection. They knew that if they were not on her site to go get that ring or necklace they wanted, they'd lose it. That context is important. But then in the morning of this collection launch, she sold out 50% of it in the first few hours. That had not happened with previous collection launches. I really firmly believe it's because of that buildup and of telling the customers to watch for it, wait for it, it's coming. It got people going on this journey with her, for her collection. She was floored by how excited they were for her pieces. The other thing that it can really do, especially for smaller brands, but really for anyone in marketing who has a brand, it can help you begin to see your products in a different light and to understand just how much they mean in your customer's lives. It can be often very surprising and empowering and a great motivator to see how much your products mean to someone.

Ryan Kramer: I love that. In these anticipation emails, which again, you said two weeks out, is there a call to action or is it just information that you're sending out to people of, there's nothing we're expecting of you, just know that this is coming? Is that the call to action or is there another enticement to pre- order or is there anything along the lines that you think should add onto that? Or is that just enough?

Reese Spykerman: I think again, it's one of those, it depends, but there are some options available to you. I'll tell you about another example from a different client of mine who just finished up a sale last week. What she did for her call to action, it looked like this. It was an email list only sale. She let them know that this is an exclusive benefit to you because you are in my VIP club basically. What she did on the first email announcing that it's coming, she asked them to click. This is what we designed for her. Click if they wanted to be the first to buy in before it went out to the whole email list. What happened is, they got an email about two hours, maybe earlier in the day, we played a... Timing is weird right now. I don't want to get into that, but it can be weird. So that they got a jump on the sale before the rest of the email did. What this does is, when they clicked, they made that micro commitment psychologically. The minute we can do that, and we... There's a debate about micro commitments. Sometimes what can happen, Ryan, is people can make a commitment like that and then it almost feels to them like they're buying. That's why it, I say it depends. But I also think it has a lot of value in getting someone to buy in early. They're not literally buying with their wallet yet, but internally they have said, yes, I want this. Yes, I'm excited about this soap. Whenever we make a commitment to ourselves, we don't like to go against ourselves. A micro commitment will like that sends the internal message to our customer's brains, this was important to you. You've already said yes once, you need to make sure you're there on sale day. That's the power of that kind of called action. Or, Ryan, you mentioned things like pre- orders. You could absolutely use anticipation emails to say, we have up to 100 pre- orders available. Don't use false scarcity. I mean, consumers can understand when you're playing tricks on them, so it should make logical sense. But if you can do something like pre- orders for a limited number and they also get a bonus of X, for example, the first 100 people who pre- order get this gift with purchase, click here to be one of the first 100, there's so many different things that you could do with these anticipation emails to basically get people buying in to whatever it is you're doing a sale, a new product launch. Versus just throwing it at them on sale day.

Ryan Kramer: Well, I have a question here. There's a brand that has been pretty popular. I think if I said it... It's the company ArtPlace. Are you familiar with that? They have three-

Reese Spykerman: No.

Ryan Kramer: ...products. It's the pan and the pot, and then obviously they have some set wear. I'm not going to say anything apart from there was an engagement with them. I know the pricing and because I've been in the space, I always obviously know if it's a good price. I have trackers and stuff going on. I'm a little nerdy by that. But I received an email, I signed up for them thinking that this time of year, clearly there's going to be sales and whatnot. All of a sudden from one day when I'm engaging with the brand to the next, the only thing that changes is the design aspect, not the pricing aspect. A little disappointing in saying it's Black Friday, Black Friday sales deals, everything like that. But me knowing the brand from one day to the next, who happen to engage in potentially purchase something from them... I won't say anything in case a certain someone is listening to this episode live or later, before a certain holiday. But if that is the case and the consumer noticed that there's no difference in price, it's just how you're packaging the deal, does that have a sense of distrust that you would think to the consumer? Of like, yeah, Black Friday deals. Psychologically I'm like, that means it's the best and brightest. But you're offering that a day before, so what's the difference? Is that a misleading statement or is that something where that truly might be the best price that they're offering, the bundle that you purchased and we're just packaging it differently?

Reese Spykerman: Okay. I want to make sure I understand correctly what's going on in terms of the mechanism. Are you saying that there actually is no difference between the Black Friday pricing in this case and the normal pricing? Or are you saying they're running a Black Friday sale early?

Ryan Kramer: Nope. There is no difference in that. The fact was that there was a bundle and there was a discount in that, but that discount price was the same before Black Friday versus during their Black Friday sale, if that makes sense. There was no difference in that regard, it was just how it was packaged marketing wise. Is that a mistrust or is that just simply that might be the best price and that's what it is >

Reese Spykerman: I personally think for me and for a lot of the people I work with and know, there might be some mistrust around that approach. I think that a fair amount of our consumers, we have to think, at least I just spitball and say 50% of them, are savvy enough to notice the things that you just talked about, Ryan, and to pick up on. Even if they can't figure it out, there might be this lingering intuition in them of something doesn't smell quite right here. Even if they haven't parsed together it as finely as you have. I don't want, when I'm working with anyone in marketing, as much as possible to create that kind of psychological reaction in my customers. I don't want them thinking something doesn't smell right here. For example, my husband was saying he would be pretty grumpy if someone ran an early sale about a week before Black Friday on a mass market type thing. Let's say a computer model that there's a lot of, he was going to get 15% off. Then he finds out on Black Friday, it's more like 30% off, and it wasn't a scarcity issue. Where there's only a few of these models available, so he's going to jump on the 15% so that he at least gets a computer. We really need to think about these things in context. It's not like there's one right answer for one brand that's going to work for another. The example I gave you about the soap company that last week ran a sale, their sale was for a holiday collection. She makes her soaps by hand. These are not mass market soaps. They take six weeks to cure. When the soaps are gone, they're gone. If the consumer understands that, they won't begrudge her a sale again later on Black Friday, because they know they were at least able to get on these limited edition soaps before they're gone. Do you see where I'm saying, a, contact matters? But, b, to answer to your question, I guess if I was one of their customers, I would kind of feel funny about that if I had been watching their emails in any way closely.

Ryan Kramer: Right. I mean, I was priced watching. I'm a hawk when it comes to this. Because I work in affiliate marketing for as long as I have, I know how to find the ways that are either offered discount wise out there or you know that you can expect and you can track 90 days, 120 days worth of price fluctuations. It's easy to do. If you're asking, how do you do that, Ryan? Go to CamelCamelCamel. Again, that's not me just spitballing. You can go to that website. It looks really junk, but it actually tracks across Amazon direct to consumer websites. There's things like honey, where they use the price tracker. Again, each person uses it differently. I use it for price tracking. Even Amazon has it where you can actually watch the prices fluctuate when you put it in your cart or on your list, if it's risen or if it's dropped since you've added on there. There's lots of different mechanisms to have you pull the trigger. Side point. When I engaged with this, the branding is impeccable. I love how they brand. I love the concept. I'm really excited to get these products. The package that I was looking at didn't look like there was anything different. I will put a pin in that and say, there other things that they were offering on sale that price could have maybe fluctuated or changed a little bit. That's where the anticipation of like, Hey, more stuff is on sale, or maybe at a lower cost on a one- off issue instead of a bundle package. It was just, it was not the whole thing that they were pushing in their marketing as Black Friday pricing. That's my only issue is, there is nothing that changed. Because I was going to actually say," Hey, listen, you changed your price the day later from when I purchase something. I would like to buy it at this cost or this price." Get a refund or something of the source. You don't want to pay more than what you should if it's a day or two later. I mean, there's those mechanisms and not to be difficult, but it was the same price. I did the math and I was like," There's nothing that was daily pricing and that was on sale versus what you're claiming as a major component." Again, just a observation, if you will. I have to go back and do a lot of looking through everything. But when you're building anticipations, Reese, what are the ones that are most successful? Are you building anticipation for product launches that we talked about earlier with your client? Is there anything else that you can build anticipation for that would actually be beneficial to the brand or to the community that you built up?

Reese Spykerman: I think that you can build anticipation around upcoming discounted promotions or bundle type sales. I go back and forth on this. For example, if you start building anticipation now about Black Friday, you might actually cannibalize your normal November sales because people will hold out. It kind of depends on the time of year. Whereas I think doing that for a really typically dead time of January and February, depending on what you're selling, you could build anticipation for a February sale coming up. It makes a lot of sense contextually to do that. The other thing that you could build anticipation for, and you mentioned it, was maybe for your community, there may be sponsorships that your brand is a part of. A couple of the women I work with, every time someone orders, a tree is planted. They're in partnership with One Tree Planted. Well, if you did a special event with them to raise money, for example, or raise awareness, you could build anticipation around that. One of the reasons you want to do this depending on your brand values is, you're solidifying for your ideal customer that they've chosen a brand that's in alignment with their values. You're building more goodwill with that customer and you're also showing that customer, you put your money where your mouth is. You're living your brand values. If you wanted, you could even tie some products to this community event. For example, let's say that you... I don't know. Ryan, give me some type of charitable organization or community thing, and we can riff off of it.

Ryan Kramer: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Reese Spykerman: Okay. Let's say you want to do a partnership type fundraiser or awareness driver with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. One of the things you could do is, in your anticipation emails, you're going to have product giveaways, for example. For people who contribute a certain amount to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in conjunction with this partnership you're doing with them, those people are entered into a giveaway if they contribute me a minimum of$ 20. Then you can create more anticipation about the cause that's dear to your heart. But also, I don't want to say you're bribing people, but you're giving them an incentive to maybe do this. If they win, you're building further goodwill with your brand. Even if they don't win, people love the idea that again, you're willing to put your money where your mouth is. You could build entire email campaigns around this, leading up to that day and to that event to try and generate more interest, generate more donations and contributions. You could even do a referral thing with it. You were talking about the Morning Brew, maybe people who you get to also contribute to the foundation on your behalf, it gives you more entries and them into the giveaway. There's so many different ways that you could skim this. But the point is, in your emails and to a certain extent in your other forms of marketing, don't let it go dead. Don't tell someone something's coming up and then drop that thread and never bring it up again. But two, at least depending on the size of the event or the launch or the collection, a couple weeks out at least for bigger things that may be a month or more.

Ryan Kramer: Yeah. I like that. I like the idea of not just making a product centric anticipation, but almost as if it's a near and dear to your brand or to you. Again, I like the idea of, Hey, 10% of all of our sales this month are going to go towards this foundation. You can donate directly or you can buy something here. Things like that, where it's obviously comes back to your brand. But knowing that there's different motives behind certain anticipatory events, like you had mentioned. I like that idea of being more personable, making it more actionable, but then also knowing that they're making a difference. I think a lot of people, us as humans, we want to get something or the most we can out of everything. Like I said, it's the best price. Of course I want that add on feature, or if they're going to give me a free gift or anything like that. Majority of people are not going to say no to those things. When you know that, Hey, anyways, I'd like this product or going to make this purchase anyways, but I can also get more out of that purchase, stretch that if you will, I think a lot of more people would be apt to pull the trigger then instead of again, just getting a deal or discount and knowing that there's nothing else tied to that. I think anticipation, you can use in a lot of different ways and especially in a arena where you have loyalty, a following, people understand you as a brand and we've set that up from the beginning. If you can engage them in that way, Reese, I think that's how a lot of brands are going to become successful and you're going to create that following. That's how you get bigger as a entrepreneur and as a company and as just doing good for whatever you're on the mission to do so. But I keep looking at the clock and I keep seeing, man, we've already burned through an hour of our time just talking, having fun and going are different concepts. We've touched on lots of crazy things like The Matrix and lots of different down the roads. But I'm curious, in the little time we have left in this episode, what is the thing that you're excited to see that you're anticipating either for the remainder of this year, or working with clients moving into 2022? What's that thing that you're really truly anticipating and excited for?

Reese Spykerman: You threw a curve ball at me, didn't you?

Ryan Kramer: I always do. Look at me.

Reese Spykerman: Okay. Sometimes Ryan, I'm a little like Dr. Spark in that I'm not like a lot of customers and consumers where I get real excited about things or I look forward to it. It's just kind of not how my brain is built. But with that said, I'm really excited about what I brought up earlier, which is essentially relationship marketing. Where, instead of just trying to rely on things like cold traffic and ads and reaching more and more people, this idea of doing your marketing and reaching new customers who already have a link and a bridge between your brand and them, in the form of things like affiliates or customer referral programs. Because I think it's a long game way of playing. I think it's very exciting, Ryan, because instead of just being a brand with this, we talk about an advertising war chest, just throwing money at the wall to try to do acquisition, you actually have to spend time being a brand that people want to tell their friends. Or in the case of affiliate marketers, their audience about. You can't just rest on your laurels, and I think that's better for the customer. I think it will help brands and companies that already have integrity and values around them really capitalize on this. I'm excited because it gives them an opportunity where before they may have been really struggling to stand out above the noise in things like the advertising marketplace. I think it gives them an edge, especially those brands that are like what we've talked about. They have a strong value system, they have something they're committed to. Or it could be as simple as, they actually just stand behind their customer service. Those brands can really capitalize on this form of relationship marketing, and that excites me.

Ryan Kramer: That's amazing. I agree with a lot of those sentiments and I'm going to thank you again for just spending a little bit of time in our corner of the internet, like I always mention, and consider the insights that you are sharing with our audience, obviously for free valuable. But if people are engaged and they're captivated by you, Reese, or maybe just have more questions, how can people best get in touch with you, work with you? What is the best way to do that?

Reese Spykerman: Great question. I would love it if you can just go to my website designbyreese. com. If they would love to maybe sink their teeth into how to write a more persuasive product page, I have a gift that they can get, it's at designbyreese. com/ roadmap. When they do that, you do sign up for my emails, but I also walk you through the ins and outs of the making a persuasive product page that really does connect with your ideal customers. If they'd like, they can also reach out to me on Instagram @ reesespykerman. I'm pretty chatty in the DMs there, as long as you don't come at me and try to sell me something out of the blue. Just come say hi.

Ryan Kramer: That's fantastic. We actually put that free gift, if you will, in the comment section on our social post. If you're watching us online or you're listening to the podcast in the show notes, you'll be able to get that link. Check it out, get it for free. Again, as humans, we like to get more things. If you liked what you heard today, you're going to get more out of that thanks to Reese and her team over there. Reese, thank you so much for hopping on today. We didn't get to talk about superheroes as much as I thought we would. I know. I mean, there's going to have to be a part two or three to that segment. But I guess maybe off the cuff marks, favorite movie you're anticipating coming out? It sounds like you're a big sci- fi person. I'm assuming you've seen Dune already. Any other movies that you're excited about coming up?

Reese Spykerman: Mainly The Matrix. I didn't know it was coming out until I went to Dune and then it was in the trailers and I turned to my husband and I said," We are going to this in the theater." What about you, Ryan?

Ryan Kramer: I am a big Marvel fan. I haven't made it to the theaters, and I post this on LinkedIn. This is the fun I like to have. If people are going into theaters now still or are they streaming it from home. Really excited about the Eternals. Gosh, I'm excited about the new Spiderman coming up as they're collaborating and clashing with different iterations of it of Spiderman in the past. Which I think is just funny and kind of hilarious and brings me back to my childhood when we got kicked out of the theater with five minutes left and we didn't know what was going to happen at the original Spiderman when I was a kid. I was like full circle, this is kind of cool. Bringing back Tobey Maguire and those kinds of people. But I don't know. There's lots of iteration that you continuously add on, like the Batman with Robert Pattinson. It looks really cool in dark. I don't know. There's lots of good content coming out. Red Notice, actually this is not sci- fi, Red Notice is coming out in Netflix this week. Which signed me up for The Rock, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot crosstalk-

Reese Spykerman: Yeah.

Ryan Kramer: Sign me up. To nerd out, I'm a big movie person, so that one excites me here in the media future. But well, thanks, Reese, for hopping on today. I know we'll chat offline about more of that kind of content. But designbyreese. com, obviously everyone makes sure you go ahead and check out Reese and her team. Thank you so much for hopping on Crossover Commerce. Now, friend of the show. We appreciate your time.

Reese Spykerman: Thank you, Ryan, and everyone watching. Bye.

Ryan Kramer: Awesome. Bye. Thanks, Reese. Again, everyone else who tuned in live or watched us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter, or if you just are listening to us on your favorite podcast channel again, Crossover Commerce is available on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple podcast. If it says podcast after in the name, we're going to be there. Just search for Crossover Commerce and subscribe to our channel through that and you'll be notified of feature episodes. But you can also watch and see all the episode transcripts at usa. pingpongx. com/ podcast. You can take away key takeaways of every episode. Our video and audio formats are there, but to get notified of feature ones, make sure you hit that notification bell and let us know what you're thinking. Lots of people worldwide are listening and watching to this podcast. We appreciate every one of you who are tuning in asking questions or just listening passively to all the great content that we're putting out every single day. That being said, if you like this podcast too, I just want to put out there, there is a competition going on at solarpole. com. It's leaders in the Amazon space and the e- commerce space for different contributors to the YouTube channel, teachers, consultants, things like that, but there's a podcast channel in there. If you're new to this space and you're excited about this podcast, I would appreciate it if you just went there and you voted for Crossover Commerce. You don't have to, but if you like what you hear and you like engaging with this podcast, it's the favorite one that you can vote for and you can write in Crossover Commerce is your favorite podcast channel and we appreciate that here in the e- commerce space as well. I think it's really cool that we're getting notoriety already for only being a podcast just over a year and we've pumped out so much content. But that being said, the mission continues on in my corner of the internet, where we continue to bring out the best and bright as experts in the Amazon and e- commerce space. Tomorrow is no exception. We actually have a two on one episode. What I mean by that is, tomorrow, we're going to be talking with Monica and Daniel of SellerLogic where we're going to talking about repressing strategy on Amazon. If you're nerd like I am, that is always something that comes up all the time. How do you make your pricing fluctuate in representation across the B2C brands across the board and why people may not want to engage on your pricing and restructuring and re- pricing strategies. We're going to be talking a little bit more on that side of things for brand owners as well. I'm Ryan Kramer. This is episode 177 of Crossover Commerce. Thanks again for tuning in live. Or if you're listening to us on our podcast channel, we'll catch you guys next time. Take care.


Ryan Cramer of Crossover Commerce talks with Reese Spykerman of Design by Reese one-on-one discussing how to create desire and hype with anticipation emails.


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Today's Host

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🎙 Ryan Cramer - Host

|Partnership & Influencer Marketing Manager

Today's Guests

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Reese Spykerman

|Owner of Design by Reese