Christian Guy, Vice president of Marketing & Growth at Cakemail, Charles Brun, Director and Enterprise Sales Leader at Dynamic Leader and Noah Goldberg, E-commerce Director at Mackage,  were invited to the #37 Conference of MTL + ECOMMERCE  to talk about their expertise.  

Christian Guy, Charles Brun and Noah Goldberg talked about their e-commerce experience in terms of personalization and the importance of customer experience.


“Just like a kiss, when done properly email marketing leaves a mark.”


Christian Guy, Vice president of Marketing & Growth at Cakemail, spoke to us about the confessions of a digital shopaholic (himself). A lot of people (so called experts) think that email is dead, because of the rise of social media. The same was said about radio when TV came about.


Guy tells the story of how he was struggling with his putting in golf. And so, like any other human being searching for an answer, he used the Google search engine to look for solutions to his problem. He realized his technique wasn’t the issue – his golf clubs were! Hence, this research brought him to look for new ones on Amazon. A month later, Guy was still receiving newsletters, promotional emails, as well as email reminders of his unfinished purchases on the Amazon website.


This digital marking ends up somewhere, usually on emails (behavior, triggers, interests, trust and relationships). On search engines like Google or even social networks, the notion of trust is absent. But when you subscribe to a newsletter, you are giving your “permission” to be contacted. Here are a few interesting statistics:


“Every Time you spend 1$ on a retail campaign (e-mail) you pretty much make 38$.”


“There are 8 times more chances for a transactional email to be opened as opposed to any other email.”


“50% of all emails are opened on a mobile device.”


“13 hours is the average amount of time spent by workers on their emails and in their inbox.”


Here are a few concrete tips given to us by this e-commerce specialist



  • Be personal: People are waiting to buy but don’t want to be approached by salesmen. Be human.
  • Don’t use “dead” words (ex. sales, discount). Use keywords (ex. Get this color by tomorrow.)
  • Be timely: You have 1 hour to re-contact someone after an abandoned cart.
  • Never sell: Let them purchase. Tell them stuff that they want to know (ex. available tomorrow at 5 pm) inform them. People buy for different reasons, be close to the person but don’t be too specific. Find their sweet spot.
  • Use ESP (an email service provider like cakemail). It sends emails to a lot of people, using a clean IP address. Abide by the rules and your delivery rate will go up.)



Guy stated – “When you use a search engine, it’s like using e-harmony, you search for specific things, using keywords. Social media is a bit more like tinder, you share, you like, you swipe. Emailing is like a kiss; it implies, proximity, intimacy. A kiss requires permission and consent. That consent is what makes email marketing so powerful. Just like a kiss, when done properly, email marketing leaves a mark.”


Personalization – the key to success.


Charles Brun, Director and Enterprise Sales Leader at Dynamic Yield spoke to us about the importance of personalizing the customer journey. Brun has been in the retail and technology industry for the past 10 years. His main focus was on the personalization of the purchasing experience across touchpoints.

According to Brun, the problem is that companies are funneling customers onto their website, which in itself is very static. Hence, a lot of money is spent on attracting customers, while very little is spent on converting them (which makes no sense). You want to optimize the journey.  Brun states – “This morning I was at Bloomingdales. What’s funny is that the mobile and the desktop version of the website only offer women products, so it was a pretty shitty experience for me. It’s like going out on a date and on the third date the person is still asking you the same questions… You want one to one individual conversations that are meaningful.

Why is it important? A huge portion of your traffic is driving all of your revenue. 2% of visits is worth 200 million dollars, driving all revenues. Treat these guys like royalty. They should be getting a unique experience. So by caring for your customer, you are driving value into your own business. You want to bring the customer down the funnel in the most enjoyable and seemingless way possible (ex. Campaign ads, guide them to category pages). You want to trigger all of these micro-experiences throughout the journey to make it a relevant one.


Here are some real life examples:


  • Homepage: Under Armour has third party data ( that is collected throughout the web) so they personalize their banners. Depending on your likes and wants, if you like soccer that is what you will see on the banner. (Personal info, based on person’s interests or cities, localization, etc.)
  • Notifications or real-time messages: Giving that sense of urgency (ex. three other people booked this flight, bought this object) It works!
  • Cart page: product recommendation


Noah from Mackage – Specializing customer journey from beginning to end


Towards the end of the presentation, Brun and Goldberg had an exchange on how to specialize the customer journey. Noah Goldberg, e-commerce director at Mackage, was excited to try out the concept of personalization simply because of the love-hate relationship he had with his website. Nothing was working! Hence, personalization was a great venue to pursue. He had to do whatever it took to make his customers feel as close as possible to his products.


Although, at the beginning, Goldberg was held back by his lack of content. He stated “We did not have enough content to even begin the creation of that special relationship with his customers. We had to show them that romance – selling them these high-end products.” The e-commerce decided then decided to target his audience based on weather and location. It became the brand’s biggest selling point. Consequently, the content had to be changed in order for it to be relevant to the context in the west coast (considering their weather conditions are different).


When asked where he saw the future of personalization going for him, Goldberg stated: “In five years from now, at the speed that our industry is growing at – our brand awareness will be unmeasurable, and we will have to follow it using a holistic approach.


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