MarTech360 Interview with Rytis Lauris, Co-founder and CEO at Omnisend

“Just do it. Don’t overthink every aspect of the business you want to launch or a change you want to make. Start acting, evaluate the results, and pivot if needed.”

You have a background in political sciences, yet you have pursued a successful career in business and entrepreneurship. What aspects of your political science education have you found most valuable in your business ventures, and how did starting your first business at the age of 14 influence your approach to entrepreneurship?

Public speaking is the main aspect of my political science education that I often use in my work as an entrepreneur and CEO of my company. One important lesson from political science is that it’s important to overcome the fear of approaching people who may be uncomfortable to talk to (such as competitors).

I didn’t start my business when I was 14, but I started to help my mother at the optic shop that she owned when I was that age. It helped me to learn a lot about business and I became a co-founder of my first venture when I was 20. A friend of mine was launching a business selling polyphonic melodies for phones and invited me to join.

I learned a lot from that business but my biggest learning was that in order for business to grow it has to be sustainable. Tracking results and seeing if the business is profitable is crucial not only for the business to survive but to constantly evolve.

Rytis, can you tell us about your professional background and your current role at Omnisend. Also tell us how Omnisend differentiates itself from other companies in the same space?

I have always wanted to start my own business. Omnisend was my third attempt to launch a successful start-up. The first one was a business selling eco-friendly postcards and planting a tree for every postcard sold. The second was called IQ Polls and was something similar to what Slido does now, helping speakers interact with their audience.

I also tried to launch a more traditional business, a marketing agency, which later transformed into my third and most successful start-up, Omnisend. It is important to say that I didn’t launch any of these businesses alone, I had partners and co-founders along the way.

At the moment I am CEO and Co-Founder of Omnisend, which means that I am still actively involved in daily aspects of the organization.

Omnisend is different from its competitors because it is an email marketing platform specifically tailored for ecommerce businesses, which includes which includes features designed to help store owners increase their sales on autopilot. It also has much better pricing for small to medium businesses and an award-winning customer support team.

How can Omnisend’s email marketing features help you create beautiful, personalized campaigns without coding or tedious editing, and what are some of the specific tools and benefits it offers for ecommerce businesses?

Creating personalized, aesthetically pleasing emails inside Omnisend is simple and intuitive. In addition to providing pre-built templates, Omnisend’s drag-and-drop email builder allows brands to create and customize emails with ease. Brands can customize the look and feel of each email and insert elements like dynamic product recommendations and product reviews with a simple drag and drop. These are designed to make more sales, right from within the email.

Features like automated workflows give online merchants the power to send highly relevant and personalized email and SMS messages to customers at specific times, such as when they sign up to receive emails or abandon their shopping carts. Automated messages are so powerful that they generate 41% of all email orders from only 2% of the sends. Making them even more effective at increasing sales, Omnisend offers multiple pre-built workflow templates to make creating and implementing them as simple as possible.

Other great features of Omnisend include email, SMS, and web push channels, email and SMS signup forms, built-in product reviews, segmentation with pre-built segment suggestions, reporting, and 24-7 live award-winning customer support for all customers.

Also Read: MarTech360 Interview with Jason Hemingway, Chief Marketing Officer at Phrase

What are the most common fears and misconceptions surrounding SMS marketing in the ecommerce industry, and how does Omnisend’s approach to email & SMS marketing address these concerns while driving strong conversions and offering competitive pricing?

There are a lot of myths about SMS marketing, including that people don’t want to receive text messages from brands and that SMS is spam. Nothing could be further from the truth. SMS, like email, is a trusted opt-in channel that consumers increasingly prefer. In 2023, Omnisend brands made $33 million in SMS sales. This alone proves these beliefs about SMS marketing aren’t true.

At Omnisend, brands can capitalize on this change in consumer behavior by incorporating SMS into almost everything we do. For example, our signup forms offer multiple ways to capture mobile numbers with email addresses, helping companies grow their lists. Our workflows allow brands to incorporate email and SMS into the same workflow, providing customers with an improved, branded omnichannel shopping experience. The SMS campaign builder lets brands dynamically insert fields into the messages and use segmentation to send relevant messages.

SMS is an established marketing channel, and brands not using it are leaving, as we’ve seen, millions of dollars in sales on the table.

How do Omnisend’s ecommerce reporting and analytics tools help you identify which marketing strategies are most effective and drive more sales?

For brands to make more impactful marketing decisions, they need to understand how all aspects of their marketing program are performing, from signup forms to automated workflows. Omnisend’s reporting gives brands the valuable insights they need by showing them their level of success.

With email and SMS collection popups, for example, brands can see which forms have the highest success rates. Brands can use this information to test different styles and layouts of their signup forms, helping grow their lists quickly.

Email and SMS campaign reports will show all the essential email marketing metrics brands need, such as click and conversion rates, and provide brands with a heat map to better understand where users click in their messages. They can use this information to adjust their email marketing template to maximize engagement.

Merchants can go more advanced with their reporting and look at the performance of individual segments, which workflows have the highest revenue per message sent, and even show workflow revenue trends. By knowing this information, brands can fine-tune their messaging for the right audience.

Can you share any success stories or case studies of ecommerce brands that significantly grew their business using Omnisend’s tools?

Of course. Let me provide a couple focusing on different areas of business. The first is B-wear Sportswear. With Omnisend, the company improved the aesthetic design of its email campaigns and incorporated email automation and SMS marketing to improve its sales performance. It worked.

Their automated emails account for less than 1% of email sends but generate 9% of sales, and in the first six months of using SMS, B-wear Sportswear paid for two years worth of Omnisend. Omnisend is now responsible for 40% of all company sales, the largest and most cost-effective of their paid marketing channels.

Another brand that found success with SMS marketing is Divatress. Initially believing some of the common myths about SMS they were skeptical of trying it. Eventually, they took Omnisend’s advice and added an SMS field to their signup popup to test it. Within eight months, the brand grew its SMS list by 70,000 contacts, and within the first year generated $123,000 in SMS sales. The first three months alone paid for a full year of Omnisend, and SMS now accounts for 7% of all the sales that Divatress makes with Omnisend.

These are just two of many examples of easy companies trusting Omnisend to grow their businesses. You can read about more brands finding success with us at our website.

What advice do you have for other leaders who are looking to drive growth for their brand?

Just do it. Don’t overthink every aspect of the business you want to launch or a change you want to make. Start acting, evaluate the results, and pivot if needed.

What is the biggest problem you or your team is solving this year?

Every year we solve the same two problems: how to drive new customers and retain the existing ones. This year customer retention is a bigger focus because the industry underwent a big change when the new spam policy was presented by Yahoo and Gmail. Some clients got scared of the changes and decided that it was a good time to switch providers or rethink their strategies.

Is there anything that you’re currently reading, or any favorite books, that you’d Recommend?

The best book about a business that I have ever read is called “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”. Unlike most of the books about entrepreneurship, it doesn’t talk about success that much and focuses on how much people fail before they succeed.

Thanks, Rytis!

Rytis Lauris, is a Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Omnisend.

Omnisend is an email & SMS marketing platform with a suite of features made specifically to help ecommerce stores grow their online businesses faster. One-click integration with major ecommerce platforms, pre-made automation & email templates, and award-winning 24/7/365 live customer support make it easy for brands of any size to sell more—all without the exaggerated cost. “Great marketing needs to be expensive” is a myth that 100,000+ Omnisend customers are busting every day by growing their businesses with email and SMS marketing.

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