Owned Marketing Strategies On Shopify

Many brands discovered the continuing rising cost of CPM's in 2020, which is only more reassurance that the most important way to grow your business which is owned marketing channels. Looking on a quarter by quarter comparison CPM's have consistently grown (on average) by 20-40% each year compared to the year prior. To counteract sky-high CPM's brands need to shift their priorities away from pixel events and shift towards capturing leads. Once you've captured the lead (email or phone number) then you have the ability to market to them on your own terms, you no longer need to pay for CPMs or CPCs you message them when you have something to say and make sure it gets seen by cultivating a good relationship with the end customer.


TL;DR: Capture Leads, Not Customers. Convert Leads Into Money. Profit.



The first step is capturing the leads. My preferred platform is Privy, (a lot of people like JustUno) there is no wrong answer here just look for the platform that integrates with your platforms and has the core features you need. I'm going to continue assuming all of you clicked that link and use Privy now :) the link gives you a free extended trial and the best price on their platform.


This is how the campaign was setup, we're looking to capture emails from new visitors in exchange for a free shipping discount code. I prefer the flyout style, this doesn't have any negative implications on mobile (Google will penalize your page if you have poorly structured or consistent popups):

Privy Campaign Admin


Below you can see the targeting rules, how frequently it appears (after 5 seconds and no more than every 5 days), the second field here 'who to show it to' is where things get tricky. We're looking to targeting people domestically (USA), order count = 0, user identity = unknown, and I also exclude some UTM codes so prevent it from showing to paid media campaigns that are targeting specific cohorts that I do not want to see this offer. 

Privy Targeting Rules


Beyond that you'll need to do a bit of design magic to bring it all together but with the template they provide and using your typography and brand colors you can make this come together and feel very native. 




Next you'll need to point this list somewhere, the team at Privy have an amazing integration with Klaviyo which will add all the people who signup to this form into one of your lists. Klaviyo is by far the leader in email marketing for online stores in 2020 and likely for the foreseeable future. If you're using something else give your head a shake and think about if Brooklinen, Homesick, Beardbrand and 50,000+ others would be using anything but the best for their ESP (email service provider). You can signup here and this will give you a free trial to their platform.


Within Klaviyo you'll want to setup a welcome series, luckily this is already prebuilt! When you click on that flow you'll be asked which list you'd like to connect (make sure this is the same list feeding in from the Privy form). 

Klaviyo Welcome Series


The goal of the welcome series is to introduce them to your brand, if you made them an offer from the email capture then you'll want to reiterate that same offer in here so they can act on it. Typically you'll have an immediate send followed by a few others days later, I highly recommend these be strategic messages since they do get a good engagement rate so educate them on your brand and show them why they should support your business! In the prebuilt flow you'll need to edit the content inside of these emails along with their subject lines but they do a lot of the heavy lifting to get you started.

Klaviyo Welcome Series Emails




Now for the fun part, text messaging! Postscript is a very powerful tool if harnessed correctly. To get started Postscript should be connected with Klaviyo, this will allow for data passthrough and the ability to segment by Klaviyo lists inside of Postscript. The best way to start building your list is to run a segmented offer, give you loyal customers a one time deal (this could be free shipping, XX% off, etc) when they signup to your SMS program. Postscript is my favorite SMS marketing platform because it doesn't have any crazy monthly platform or carrier fees, it's based on usage (sends). Sending messages = making money, so you pay for this platform when you make money.


To start, create a Keyword. This can be text or numbers that if sent to a specific number (shortcode) will result in someone signing up and actioning the response. You can add a discount code to be tied to the response as well. Once this is done you can click on Grow List and connect that list growth function to this keyword to complete the rest. It's important to note that you should create a different keyword for each campaign, this will allow you to identify the source of signups (email, ads, website capture, etc).

Postscript Keyword


Another tactic that uses the above process is by including a dynamic banner in your Klaviyo emails to capture peoples phone numbers. This will create a dynamic 'button' which can be either an image or banner within your email template but will only be displayed to people who you do not have emails for:

From here you can include this in your emails to give an offer to non-SMS subscribers to encourage them to sign up.

BONUS (Gorgias):

Gorgias is the best help desk platform for Shopify (Plus) there is no question about that - but did you know it can integrate with your ESP and SMS platform like Klaviyo and Postscript? Now when you send an email newsletter or an SMS campaign you can respond directly from your helpdesk! My recommendation is prioritizing the Postscript responses so they're the first thing your team sees when a customer responds, this makes it feel like your customers are texting the brand directly almost like you're a friend of theirs. This builds a great relationship and also converts VERY well, imagine you're shopping for bed sheets and you're curious the difference between two shades of white - being able to speak with someone directly through SMS they can give you some context about the yellow or blue undertones that make white and off-white very similar but slightly different. 


I hope this helps! I love these three tools because of how well they work together and also their ability to scale from small businesses doing thousands of dollars in monthly revenue all the way to larger businesses doing $10M+/mo in revenue. Their plan selections also allow you to scale, you're not locked into a contract where you pay for features they generally give all merchants the same core features but you pay more as you have a larger list, send more messages or have more monthly page views. This is a more detailed approach to follow the steps to get started, this gives you a solid foundation to then use more features of each of these platforms to scale based on where you discover opportunities. 


These links will give you an extended free trial AND the best pricing on all of these platforms:

Privy Free Trial

Klaviyo Free Trial

Postscript Free Trial

Gorgias Free Trial

1 comment

  • Marco

    This is super informative and really well done, Taylor! Very important callout that these all fit all sizes of merchants and are built to grow with merchants as they scale, which is not always applicable with SaaS.

    Looking forward to more thoughtful pieces!

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