In this episode, host Francois Marchand is joined by Sam Thomas Davies—Growth Marketing Manager at Drip—to talk about why community marketing is such a hot topic for growth in ecommerce and beyond, and why it matters now more than ever.
- Sam’s background [1:47]
- Sam recently took on a new position at Drip.
- Historically he has grown marketing blogs – which is what he has been doing at Drip up until recently.
- He spends 5 hours a week on Drip’s podcast and the rest of his time is spent on short term and long term projects that help drive new free trials for Drip.
- Sam is in his 6th year of marketing and is exploring a lot of new channels that historically he has looked down on because of an old school approach to marketing.
- Why is community marketing such a hot trend in ecommerce and in growth marketing at large? [3:32]
- Sam’s foray into this area was interviewing ecommerce founders on Drip’s podcast. A lot of them would talk about community when Sam would ask them how they were gaining and retaining customers.
- He wanted to know what they meant by community because some people mean simply Instagram comments.
- A lot of ecommerce founders are realizing the importance of community.
- Sam’s experience in building relationship through his expertise at Drip [6:00]
- Some of the guests on Drip’s podcast were Drip customers.
- It was interesting for Sam to talk directly to the customer and hear their success story.
- There is so much to be said about people really enjoying using your product. This applies to SaaS but it’s a bit different with ecommerce. Drip customers are excited to get the most out of the product – they’re championing the product, they know everyone at the company.
- What are some specific examples of ecommerce companies successfully utilizing community marketing, and what makes those strategies effective? [7:43]
- Urban Everyday Carry – the founder Yong-Soo Chung is someone that Sam thinks of that’s nailing community building.
- One founder’s business is selling dog treats and toys by subscription. The reason she started the brand was because she had a dog that was overacted. And said it reflects on the owner when the dog is barking while the owner is out. So she built this community for dog owners to share their experiences.
- Should you do a paid or free community? What tips for starting a community? [10:29]
- If you’re going to start a community, you have to define the systems that will help necessitate that community.
- Who will post? When will they post? Who will be responsible? What about spammers? What will you post?
- Justin Welsh was making thousands of dollars with a paid community, but ended up shutting it down because it didn’t align with his lifestyle.
- Start an MVP version with the systems in place to see if it’s something that you want to pursue in the future.
- If you’re going to start a community, you have to define the systems that will help necessitate that community.
- How can companies ensure that their community-building efforts are genuine and not just a form of “astroturfing” or other disingenuous marketing tactics? [13:40]
- Anyone is always skeptical of marketing in general. Even if it’s wholesome and transparent marketing, people still have an adverse reaction to marketing in general.
- Outdoor Vitals gives a CTA at the bottom of the emails letting people know about the community without pushing it as a hard sale CTA.
- It has to be an extension of what you’re already doing.
- Donald Miller uses an analogy of an airplane – it’s all about balance. You have different areas of a business – it has to be an extension of what you’re already doing.
- Is community a product that you sell? Or is it something that helps your product sell? Or neither? [15:45]
- In ecommerce – are you (the founder) the face of the brand? If the customer knows, likes, and trusts you then they’ll likely want to participate in the community.
- If you do sell, it needs to come back to your values.
Everyone wants the strategy, but it’s the principles that uphold everything.Sam Thomas Davies
- Is it always the founder or the CEO or executive level person that has to be the face of the community for an ecommerce brand? [17:50]
- There is no one answer to this.
- There’s an idea of having your brand and then having personalities within the brand. For example, Friends had different characters – and people could identify with and love the different characters.
- What’s the value of community forums these days? [22:06]
- You have to go where your audience is. If they’re on Twitter you tweet. It’s easy to focus on a platform because it’s easy to build on.
- One founder recently told Sam that their customers were of an older demographic – so they wouldn’t know about Discord for example. The channel really depends on the type of customers that you have. It’s easy to assume what people want by looking at what other people are doing – which is a huge mistake.
- Sam’s “community marketing 101” [23:43]
- What problems are you solving? Why are you going to work every day? How are you being valuable to your employers and customers? And what is the best channel for you to deliver those solutions?
- Maybe you want a platform where it’s easier to moderate. Or maybe you want a platform that people are more familiar with.
It’s not the platform — what really matters is what problems are you solving and what is the quickest and easiest way that you can deliver solutions for those problems?Sam Thomas Davies
- Common mistakes that ecommerce managers, founders, business owners should avoid [25:08]
- Having systems in place that dictate who does what and when. Drip scopes all of their projects: what are they doing and why?
- Sam loves the idea of looking for positive signals. When do you know something is working? You see positive signals.
- In the next few years, how do you see community marketing as part of growth marketing evolving? [27:39]
- Sam is seeing many ecommerce brands doubling down on content. Because they realize how important it is.
- More and more brands are going to realize the importance of community building because it’s probably the number one churn prevention strategy.
If your customers are loyal to you because you’re consistently delivering value outside of the products that you offer, who would want to leave?Sam Thomas Davies
- Sam’s advice for ecommerce managers out there [29:45]
- Start learning out loud. Share on a platform that’s best for you and your customers. Your customers want to know what you’re doing day-to-day to move the brand forward. If it’s email, make them personal and coming from an actual person.
Meet Our Guest
Sam Thomas Davies is a Growth Marketer at Drip and the host of the Beyond the Inbox podcast. A former Head of Content at Sleeknote and Drip, Sam helped grow both marketing blogs to over 180,000 organic visitors a month. He’s the co-author of Subscribe! (the world’s first and only book about website popups), and his work has been featured in CNBC, The Times, and Fast Company, as well as leading marketing blogs including, Ahrefs, Search Engine Journal, and SEMRush.
If you are going to start a community, you have to define the systems that will help necessitate that community.Sam Thomas Davies
Resources from this episode:
- Subscribe to the newsletter to get our latest articles and podcasts
- Connect with Sam on LinkedIn
- Check out Drip and Beyond the Inbox Podcast
Related articles and podcasts:
Read The Transcript:
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Francois Marchand: Community marketing. Now, community marketing is much more than building a loyal fan base that you can sell your product to. Sometimes community is itself the product that you're selling. Community marketing is now one of the main drivers for audience growth in e-commerce, and it spans social media groups, community forums, and content marketing subscribers to drive loyalty and retention. So how can your brand get on board with this hot trend?
Welcome to The Ecomm Manager Podcast. Our mission is to help you succeed in your ecommerce journey with helpful advice from the experts who made it big. I'm your host, Francois Marchand.
And today I'm very excited to be joined by Sam Thomas Davies. Sam is the Growth Marketing Manager for Drip and the host of Beyond The Inbox Podcast. We'll be chatting about why community marketing is such a hot topic for growth in ecommerce and beyond, and why it matters now more than ever. So stay tuned to learn about how your ecommerce brand can leverage community marketing for growth, how to define who your community is, how to pick the right channels, how to foster loyalty with your customers, and everything else in between.
Sam, welcome to The Ecomm Manager Podcast. I'm so excited to have you on the show today to talk about leveraging community marketing for growth. You're an expert in the field as a growth marketer, but you're also a podcast host. So from podcaster to podcaster, I think we can have a pretty good conversation.
So, I'll open it up for you to give us a little bit of an overview about what you do at Drip as a growth marketer and as a podcast personality.
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, sure. So I recently took on a new position at Drip. My background is in content and historically, I have managed and grown marketing blogs, and that's what I did Drip up until January.
But I've always been doing growth marketing in the background as well. And the way we work at Drip is we have projects, and these projects relate to quarterly OKRs. And right now I'm spending around five hours a week on Drip's podcast, Beyond the Inbox. And the rest of my time is spent on short-term and long-term projects that help drive more free trials for Drip.
So that might be building new alternative pages. It might be revamping our comparison pages. It might be exploring a new channel. So there's a lot of versatility in my role, and it's a really exciting time in my career actually. Because I'm in my sixth year of marketing and I feel like I'm looking at my work with fresh eyes because I'm exploring a lot of new channels that historically I might have looked down on because of my old school thinking approach to marketing.
So it's a really exciting time and I'm having such a blast with the podcast as well, and it's really unusual to be on the other side of the microphone for a change. So I'm looking forward to this conversation.
Francois Marchand: You say it's an exciting time. It's an exciting time for growth marketing, but it's also an exciting time for community marketing. Why is that? Why is community marketing such a hot trend in ecommerce and in growth marketing at large? But yeah, let's start with that. The rise of community marketing in ecommerce.
Sam Thomas Davies: It's such a fascinating topic. I think my foray into this area was interviewing ecommerce founders on the podcast. And I noticed over time, a lot of them, when I asked them about how they were gaining and retaining customers would talk about community.
And over time I would try and ascertain what each founder meant by community, because some founders mention community but they really mean Instagram comments. But the marketers and the founders that are really nailing this are the ones that have a highly defined approach to community building that can be free, that can be paid, depending on the founder's goal.
But to answer your question, I feel like this is becoming such a hot topic now because everyone is so overreliant on Meta and it's not getting any cheaper. And I do still feel like list building falls by the wayside sometimes, and I'm wondering if that is due in part to a lot of ecommerce founders not focusing on content.
Because in B2B typically you'll have a blog and so on and so forth. And I think a lot of ecommerce founders now are realizing the importance of community, and I'm sure we'll get into this in a lot more detail, but that is my belief as to why this is becoming such a hot topic.
Francois Marchand: Yeah, and we're talking like in the ecommerce sphere, we're talking about social media and some of the other episodes that we produce for The Ecomm Manager Podcast. But it's about moving away from the transactional aspect of sales through social, like social commerce. And really about fostering those relationships that will create a long lasting kind of connection between customer and brand, between audience and ecomm company, for example. Can you talk to me a little bit about your experience in building that relationship through your expertise at Drip, for example?
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, that's a great question. I think one customer comes to mind, so some of the guests that we've had on the podcast were Drip customers. And it's so fascinating for me as someone that hasn't typically had very customer facing roles to speak to customers and hear how they describe the product and what they get out of it.
Because oftentimes in the past I was writing product copy and I was writing what I think our ideal customer profile wanted to hear. And then now I'm speaking to customers and I'm actually hearing some of these success stories and I feel like there is so much to be said about people really enjoying using your product.
And this applies to SaaS, I think it's different with ecommerce and I'm sure we'll get into that as well. But as far as my experience with Drip, when I do speak to Drip customers, they are really excited about getting the absolute most out of the product, and they are championing new features. They know everyone at the company.
I spoke to one business owner recently. He described himself as an OG. He was an original customer from way back in the day. He's a super successful entrepreneur, and he said to me, if I was ever looking for a job, I would love to work at Drip because I love the culture and I love the product. And I thought that was a really fascinating takeaway because it's something that employees might take for granted.
But when you speak to your customers and you actually learn how much they dig what you're doing, it's really affirming.
Francois Marchand: Yeah. Speaking of examples, what are some examples of ecommerce specific companies that come to mind that have been successful in using community marketing, and what do you think makes those strategies effective?
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, so there's one brand called Urban Everyday Carry, and the founder Yong-Soo Chung. I spoke to him recently and he is the person I think of when I think about nailing community buildings. So he has a free community, which is simply a Facebook group. And for context, Urban Everyday Carry is an online store that sells knives and everyday carry items.
And this free community is for people to come together and talk about products and maybe talk about some of the pain points they're experiencing relating to the products. But recently he introduced a paid community. And there are two tiers: there is $9 a month or there is $99 per year. And there are all kinds of perks.
I don't recall a lot of them from the top of my head, but one of them was you get early access to the weekly drops. So a lot of these ecommerce brands, they do these product drops every Tuesday, for instance. And if you are a devout follower of the brand, you find out maybe three days before. And he's really smart with packaging benefits to all his offers.
And I went on the page today in preparation for this recording, and he even offers his podcast, but without the ads. So there's all these perks that you get and he is someone that has just really nailed it. There's another brand that comes to mind as well, and I'm actually blanking on the name of the brand now, but it's less important than what she's actually doing.
I spoke to one founder and her business was selling dog food, dog treats by subscription. And it was so fascinating because she told me that the reason she started the brand was because she had a dog that was very overactive. And she said it reflects on the owner when the owner is ow and the dog is barking at another dog.
And she said that she met of her dog owners that also shared this pain point. So on the surface, her brand is selling dog food, dog snacks, and so on. But she also has this community where dog owners can come together and share these experiences and share techniques. And I believe she's even considering now having that as an extension of the business because it's grown so much and it's so fascinating to realize how much hidden value there is in all these different brands.
It just takes someone to decide, okay, we need a community and this is how we're going to build it.
Francois Marchand: Right. And the community, like you said, will dictate new directions, new niche topics that a brand can approach. So obviously there is a lot of idea generation and content generation that comes through those community efforts. But you mentioned, free community versus paid community and it might be tempting for an ecommerce company to say, Hey, I'm gonna start a paid community right off the bat. Do you have any insights into what's a better strategy for an ecommerce company?
Should they try the free approach first to soft test it? Should they go straight into paid? Any kind of tips that you have in terms of getting started in building a community plan?
Sam Thomas Davies: I think it's such an important question and my short answer and then elaborate on this. I do feel like if you are going to start a community, you have to define the systems that will help necessitate that community.
What I mean by that is, who will post? When will that person post? Who will be responsible? What about spammers? What about content? When will you post? And I feel like a lot of people jump into community building without really defining what they're actually trying to do. Because anyone can start a Facebook group or start a circle or any other online community.
But if you don't really have an end goal or a strong reason for why you're doing this, then what is the point? So I think that's one of the mistakes that a lot of people make, and that doesn't just apply to community building. I think that applies to anything. Even when we started the podcast, we spent three months building all the systems that would necessitate us growing a podcast.
We had to define how we will find and vet guests. We had to define how we would edit the episodes. We had to build a process in Notion, and we spent three months doing that. And it was three months well worth invested because now we have processes that allow us to record and ship podcast episodes every week.
Justin Welsh tells this great story about him starting a paid community, and he was making tens of thousands of dollars a month with this paid community. And one day he shut it down because it simply didn't match the lifestyle that he wanted to live. He found he was in there too much. It was distracting him from the work that he actually wanted to do.
So I think that's another important takeaway. If you do start a community, I think you have to be very clear on whether it aligns with the brand's values. And if it does, then I would definitely suggest starting an MVP version. And of course, having those systems in place, even on a basic level to necessitate whether it's something that you wanna grow in the future.
Francois Marchand: Yeah, I mean, communities are not self moderated environments. You need someone, like you said, to be in charge, to be able to weed out the spam, to make sure that everybody's taken care of, that questions are answered, et cetera, et cetera. It's not easy work. There's a lot involved in making sure that things run smoothly.
The other question is, how can companies ensure that when they build a community that their efforts are genuine, that they're doing it for the right reasons. They're not just showing off or what we call astroturfing or it comes across as, a disingenuous marketing tactic just for the sake of having a community and saying, Hey, our people are engaged, customers are here. They're talking to each other.
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, that's a really good question. And to be honest, I don't know the answer to that question. I mean, I think anyone is always skeptical of marketing in general. And even if it is wholesome marketing where it's completely transparent, people sometimes still have this adverse reaction to marketing in general.
I think it comes down to how hard you push it. I think it's okay to, I'm trying to think of an example of a brand doing this. I think the outdoor brands, Outdoor Vitals do this where it's simply a call to action in the photo of every email that goes out. It's not the main cta, it's just there that says, Hey, if and when you're ready, we have this community.
They summarize it in one sentence and they say, if you wanna learn more about it, you can go here. That's it. And I feel like there is this non neediness attached to the community because you're saying, Hey, it's there if you want it, but if not, that's totally cool. And I think the opposite of doing that would be pushing a community in email campaigns multiple times a week and going for a hard sale, if it is a paid version.
It has to be an extension of what you are already doing. And I think a really great analogy, I was reading the book, How to Grow a Small Business by Donald Miller this morning, and he uses this analogy of an airplane. He says, you have the cockpit, you have the left wing, the right wing, and so on. And it's all about balance. Community, sales, operations, you have all these different areas and it should simply be an extension of what you are already doing. And I think that's a way of finding the sweet spot without being too aggressive in your marketing.
Francois Marchand: Yeah. And that being said, is community a product that you sell? Or is it something that helps your product sell? Or is it neither of these?
Sam Thomas Davies: Such a great question. I think it's whatever you decide it to be. Because I know the founder that I mentioned earlier with the dog brands, I don't think she's doing any selling whatsoever. I think it's almost completely separate. But the people that are customers, they partake in the community because they love the brand and they love her as a founder.
And I think there is another side to this as well, which we haven't talked about, which is in ecommerce, are you the founder, the face of the brand? Because if you are and I as a customer like, know, and trust you and I wanna get closer to you, I will probably partake in that community.
And you see it all the time, even in non-traditional senses on social media. You see it's the same people leaving comments on tweets, on Instagram posts and so on. And I think that's very telling as well. But to answer your question, I think you really have to define what are we trying to do here? If we do sell, what are the rules around how we sell?
Do we do a promotion once a week? Do we do it when it makes sense? There's no right or wrong way. I think it really comes back to your values, and that's something that I feel I've really taken a lot more seriously in the last couple of months, speaking to a lot of different ecommerce founders. Again, Outdoor Vitals comes to mind.
When I spoke to the marketing manager, he spoke so passionately about the values. And he said, we look at our values and if we're thinking about doing something and it doesn't align with our values, don't do it. And it's as simple as that. And I used to think that was a very wishy-washy thing to say, but I really see it now.
And it's not as simple as reading the book and finding the silver bullet and applying the strategy. Everyone wants the strategy, but it's the principles that uphold everything. So it's a very soft answer, but it's a very difficult question to answer for sure.
Francois Marchand: It is. And I'll get to, you know, my follow up question about your community marketing 101. Like you said, there's no roadmap or set roadmap that'll fit everybody. But you did mention something about the face of the community, right? So is it always the founder or the CEO or executive level person that has to be the face of the community for an ecommerce brand?
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, that's such a great question. And as you were asking it, the brand Poo-Pourri came to mind where they actually hired a model to be the spokesperson and she was in all the viral videos and everything like that.
And then when you look at, I spoke to a founder recently and his brand sold backpacks to carry dogs, and the dog was the face of the brand. And it's fascinating because again, there really is no one answer to this. Something that I've been thinking a lot about lately is I'm trying to come up with a catchy marketing term for it.
I'm settled on meta branding, although I'm not entirely sure I'm happy with that. But this idea of you have your brand and then you have these personalities within the brand, and it's almost like a TV show. A TV show is a brand, but you have your favorite characters, and I think that's why Friends were so popular.
Everyone identified with each of the characters and saw themselves in those characters as well. And I look back on some of the earliest marketing blogs I read, which back in the day was Sumo and you had Nat Eliason writing and you had Sara Peterson writing. And I still remember their names six, seven years later because they each had their own personality.
And it's actually something that my colleagues and I used to do bucket sleeknote to give full context, Drip purchased Sleeknote last year. Sleeknote was a pop-up software based in Denmark. I'm an OG sleek noter, and it's something that we try to do in our marketing where I would write weekly emails to our leads and Soray or Reeke, my colleagues would write weekly emails to customers. And sometimes one of us would go on vacation and the other person would take over and we would make jokes about it and people loved it.
And sometimes when there are conferences and we see people featuring our emails in their slides, it's fascinating because we were just having fun. And I think that is something that a lot more brands could do. Another brand that comes to mind, I spoke to a founder recently. He has a really fascinating approach to branding.
The name of the brand is Mid-Day Squares. They sell afternoon snacks and there are three co-founders. It's a brother and sister and the sister's husbands, so the other man's brother-in-law. And they have a reality TV show talking about growing the brand. So, it's very meta. You have these three co-founders talking about building a brand, which in and of itself is a brand and I've not seen anyone else doing that.
And he said in the interview he was inspired by the Kardashians and two other shows, and he said, what if we put them all together? Yeah, I think he mentioned Shark Tank as well. And they've built something really unique. So it's a long-winded answer to your question, but I think there are so many different ways you can approach it.
And the last thing I'll mention here as well is that I've heard so many founders say, I didn't want to be the face of the brand, but I had to because if it wasn't me, it would be no one. And it was the best decision I ever made.
Francois Marchand: Yeah, that makes sense. If you're going to represent your own brand and no one else is there to do it. You're the brand, you're the CEO, you're the founder, you're in charge. That's who people are connecting with. And I, I was talking to other founders for this specific podcast. They're the face of the brand on Instagram. They're the face of the brand in community forums and elsewhere, like you said, Facebook groups and so on.
They're the ones answering. They might not be the ones necessarily doing the mechanical work, but it's their name that's attached to it. So, having said that, let's talk about channels for a little bit. We mentioned social media being one. We mention Facebook being another one. Obviously, TikTok and all other social channels are key in building that community interaction with your customer, building those relationships.
What's the value of community forums these days, in your opinion? Do these still have the same weight that they used to have, or is everybody scattered on, Discord channels or Twitch or other new avenues?
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, that's a great question. I read a great tweet recently. I'm blanking on who said it, but she said, you have to go where your audience is. And if they're on Twitter, you tweet. And if they're on LinkedIn, you post on LinkedIn.
And I do feel like it's very easy to focus on a platform because it's easy to build on. So most people think of Facebook groups or Discord. But one takeaway I had recently, I was speaking to a founder and he told me that their customers are of an older demographic, so they wouldn't know what Discord is.
They wouldn't probably even know what a Facebook group is. For them, community would probably be in-person events, done several times a year, high ticket item, then it makes more sense. So I think the channel really depends on the type of customers that you have, and it's very easy to assume what people want because you look at what everyone else is doing. And I think that's such a mistake that people make.
Francois Marchand: Right. You can't replicate the success of another company because you are not that company. Your audience might be different. Your demographics, your segmentation is different, so go where they are. Actually, my next question was going to be what's your community marketing 101?
I guess in a nutshell, it's go where your audience is. Any other kind of 101 level advice in terms of community marketing that we haven't touched upon so far? Cuz we've mentioned a few for ecommerce specifically to come to mind.
Sam Thomas Davies: I think what comes to mind for me is, What are the problems that you're solving? I've been thinking a lot about this in my own role recently as well, because we all know that job titles are mostly BS. What it really comes down to is why are you going to work every day? What problems are you solving? How are you being valuable to your company, your employer, your customers? And what is the best channel through which you can deliver those solutions?
So, maybe it's a Facebook group because you want to be able to share media to help solve those problems. Or maybe you want a platform where it's easier to moderate, or maybe you want a platform that people are more familiar with, and I think that really is what matters most. It's not the platform, it's all unnecessary at the end of the day. What really matters is what problems are you solving and what is the quickest and easiest way that you can deliver solutions for those problems?
Francois Marchand: Perfect. Yeah, that totally makes sense. Attached to that, what are some of the common mistakes that you see that ecommerce managers, founders, business owners should avoid, and what kind of metrics should they track to figure out, this is working, or really this isn't working?
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, so I'll start with the first part of the question. So I think I mentioned this a few times throughout the episode, but having systems in place that dictate who does what and when. And like we do at Drip, we scope all of our projects. We write down what are we actually doing here and why are we doing it?
Very similar with if you have a small marketing department. Obviously, resources are limited and you don't have time to waste on starting something that you can't maintain. If you're thinking about building a community, what is a minimum viable version that you can build? And to answer your second part of your question, I love this idea of looking for positive signals.
I learned this from Chris Walker. He talks about when do you know if something's working? Well, you're getting positive signals. But it really comes down to what the goal is as well, and this relates to metrics. Of course, if you want to explore alternate revenue channels, which a lot of ecommerce brands are doing now with say, a paid membership, then of course sales, monthly recurring revenue, churn rate, everything like that, you will wanna keep an eye on those things.
But if it's not money-driven, maybe you are counting number of comments, number of DMs, number of email replies. That's something that we started doing at Drip when we revamped how we looked at email last year. We had all these CTAs and we're in HubSpot, so we have revenue attribution and things like that.
And we asked ourselves, what if we just tracked replies? So we started tracking replies and people started saying, Hey, I love this email. This is really helpful. And we knew that's a positive signal. We're onto something here. So I think to summarize, it comes down to having systems in place that necessitate the type of community that you wanna build, and building a community that is an extension of the values that are important to the brand, and tracking the right metrics that relate to those values.
Francois Marchand: We're getting near the end of our conversation, Sam. It's been illuminating and entertaining and actionable, which is, the number one aspect of this podcast. That's why we do it. That was our own analysis of why we were doing this podcast in the first place.
Let's talk about what's coming. In the next few years, how do you see community marketing as part of growth marketing evolving, particularly when it comes to ecommerce, which continues to grow and change at such a breakneck pace?
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, it's a great question and I think to answer, I'll use another channel as an example. So I am seeing so many ecommerce brands doubling down on content. And it's so funny speaking to ecommerce founders talking about, oh, I subscribed to Ahrefs and I was looking at keywords and something that's very common for B2B marketers like ourselves.
And I'm seeing so many brands now that are really dialing down on content. And I think it's because they realized how important it was because of everything we mentioned earlier with matter getting more expensive and so on. To answer your question, I think more and more brands are going to realize the importance of community building because it is probably the number one churn prevention strategy.
If your customers are loyal to you because you're consistently delivering value outside of the products that you offer, who would want to leave? There's certain brands that come to mind that I think of that I will probably never churn because I love the brands. I love the value I get out of it. I might not be part of a community per se, but in a way I am because I feel like my voice is important, and I think that's an important part of it as well.
So I see a lot of brands doubling down on community making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and really exploring what community can mean for them.
Francois Marchand: Yeah. In the end, it's all about loyalty. It's all about retaining the customers that you attract in the first place, no matter what channel they came from.
If you can build that relationship, foster trust, you will be successful. Before I let you go, any other insights or advice you'd like to share about, your experience as it ties to ecommerce, maybe your number one piece of advice, maybe not even community related for ecommerce managers out there?
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, I would say start learning out loud. Start sharing online what you're learning, what you're experiencing on LinkedIn, on Twitter, whatever platform is best for you and your customers. Your customers want to know what you're doing day-to-day to move the brand forward. What features, what products more specifically you have in the pipeline.
When it comes to email, please write personalized emails and have them come from a founder or a CMO. Give those emails a face that people can reply to and ask questions. And don't be afraid to have more of a connection with your customers, because those are some of the easy wins that you can pick up very easily.
Francois Marchand: Yeah. Fantastic. Sam, that was wonderful. Where can we follow your work? Let us know about what's good and happening around, what you're doing right now with Drip and yeah, we'll take it from there.
Sam Thomas Davies: Yeah, sure. So if you've enjoyed this conversation, I encourage you to check out Beyond the Inbox, which is Drip's podcast. You can simply Google Beyond the Inbox Podcast, or you can go to drip.com/podcast. Every week I interview an ecommerce founder or marketer, and we talk about their marketing strategies beyond the inbox. So enjoy.
Francois Marchand: Fantastic. I'll try not to create too much competition here. Let's do some more collab, crossover opportunities between our two podcasts. Sam, you've been wonderful. We really appreciate you coming here.
Also, I want to thank you the listener out there for tuning in to this episode of The Ecomm Manager Podcast because your support is so appreciated. If you liked what you heard today, don't be shy — leave us a review, comment, let us know how we're doing. Subscribe to the podcast to be the first to know when we drop a new episode in your feed.
And until next time, I'm Francois and I wish you all the best in your ecommerce journey. We'll see you next time.