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October 21, 2023

Strategy Development Process At YOCTO: Here’s What to Expect

Starting a new chapter of e-commerce growth requires a meticulously crafted strategy. At YOCTO, the strategy development process is one we pride ourselves on—focused on your brand’s uniqueness, data-driven decision-making, and effective communication. Let’s delve into the first step of this journey.

Kick-Off Call

Stepping into the strategy development phase at YOCTO begins with alignment. The Kick-Off Call serves as the linchpin that ensures mutual understanding sets expectations, and charts the course for the upcoming weeks.

In this first touch point, you get to meet your team, which includes: 

  • Senior Retention Strategist: Your expert in both Email & SMS.
  • Dedicated Operations Expert: Ensuring a seamless flow of operations.
  • Dedicated Email Designer: Crafting visually compelling emails tailored for your brand.
  • Dedicated Email Copywriter: Delivering messages that resonate and drive action.
  • Dedicated Campaign Manager: Offering specialized focus, depending on your brand size.

Our Operations System, which includes: 

  • Real-time Slack Shared Slack Channel: This is perfect for urgent requests and rapid communication, as needed. 
  • ClickUp Project Management: We provide a clear onboarding course on how to use ClickUp, so your team is 100% clear on how to use our system and keep track of things.
  • Clear Strategy Roadmap: Know the plan, next steps, and overall trajectory. This Roadmap is produced during our first 2 weeks of Strategy Development and will be unlocked once you approve of the strategy. 

Next, we go through behaviors that get in the way of success, so we manage expectations and avoid common pitfalls from day 1. These behaviors include: 

  • Delayed Deliverables/Approvals: Stalled items will be put on hold. We expect your team to respond within 5 business days at most.
  • Communication Gets Lost: All work is documented and discussed in ClickUp, so we avoid this. 
  • Last-minute Revisions/Requests: We’re an extremely flexible team. But if last-minute requests become habitual, the probability of human error goes up. 
  • Private Chats Over Channels: When conversations happen in DMs, context gets lost, and misunderstandings can happen. Using channels is key, as it keeps everyone aligned. 
  • Going Out of Scope: We can and will support you in any way possible, according to our contractual agreement. But if things fall outside our agreed scope, a new contract will be necessary. 

Deep Dive Into Your Onboarding Survey: 

Before the Kick-Off Call, you would have filled out our comprehensive onboarding survey. We use this session to clarify and truly grasp your brand’s unique context. This survey is critical, encompassing various facets:

  • Customer Demographics: A description of your average customer.
  • Pre & Post-Purchase Lifecycle: Understanding customer motivations and experiences.
  • Lapsing & Lapsed Customers: Recognizing reasons for drop-offs and strategies to re-engage.
  • Product Catalog: A detailed overview, from top sellers to inventory specifics.
  • Tech Stack: Tools and technologies in use, from transactional messaging to upsells.
  • Brand: The tone, voice, and messaging you envision for your brand.

This information serves as the bedrock of our strategy development, ensuring our approaches are always tailored to your brand’s specific needs.  

To ensure we’re on the same page, we will use the kick-off call to clarify potential points of confusion and ensure we’re crystal clear on your CRM channel objectives, and overall quarterly and business goals.

Next: Mapping & Optimizing the Customer Journey

A successful e-commerce experience is rooted in the user’s journey—every click, every decision point, every email they receive. At YOCTO, we meticulously map these journeys to discover (then correct) discrepancies so we ensure an optimized and cohesive brand experience.

Here’s how we dive into the subsequent phase:

Place a Test Order

Our mission is to experience your customer’s journey firsthand.

  • Placing the Order: With a 100% discount coupon code, we simulate a genuine customer purchase experience. (Note: We coordinate with the client to cancel this before shipping).
  • Documenting the Process: Every step, from the product page to post-purchase emails, is captured via screenshots and populated on our Miro board.
  • Spotting the Gaps: Our sharp eyes detect issues – like not being added to the email list, clashing emails from different platforms, or missing nurturing flows.

Map the New Subscriber Journey

Entering as a new subscriber, we explore the brand’s onboarding experience.

  • The Signup: Using distinct email addresses, we sign up via popups, and footer forms, and create a Shopify account—without a purchase.
  • Journey Capture: The process from the signup form to the final onboarding email is again documented meticulously.
  • Retargeting Exploration: In incognito mode, we activate all retargeting journeys, ensuring they function as intended. Any hiccups, like the Welcome flow overlapping with other emails or retargeting flows not activating, are noted.

Navigating Other User Journeys

Every user journey, from affiliate programs to quizzes, is explored to ensure a consistent brand experience.

  • Affiliate and Referral Programs: We immerse ourselves in the referral process, from signup to sharing referral codes, looking for issues such as overlapping emails or malfunctioning referral codes.
  • Additional Journeys: Whether it’s a quiz, a lead magnet on the blog, or any other interactive feature, we journey through to ensure seamless functionality.

Layering Onboarding Responses on the User Journey

Our analysis doesn’t stop at merely mapping the journey. We incorporate your onboarding survey responses directly onto the Miro board, aligning them with the corresponding user journeys.

By juxtaposing your understanding of the customer (e.g., “Why do customers buy from your brand over alternatives?”) with the actual user experience, we can pinpoint inconsistencies. If a common objection to purchasing isn’t sufficiently addressed in the content, or if the value proposition isn’t prominently displayed, we’ll highlight these discrepancies and strategize ways to enhance the experience.

Next: Customer Research Surveys & Analysis

While mapping the customer journey and visually representing it is crucial, true understanding comes from immersing ourselves in the customer’s mindset. Our customer research phase at YOCTO aims to bridge the gap between brand perception and customer reality, offering clear pathways to enhance the overall user experience.

The Crafting of Thoughtful Surveys

We recognize that every brand and its audience is unique. Hence, our surveys are tailored to extract insights that align with the brand’s objectives and the nuances of its customer base.

  • Platform Selection: Based on your preferences and the nature of the audience, we opt for platforms like Typeform or Google Forms.
  • Targeting the Right Audience: From segments of engaged non-customers to recent buyers, we ensure our research captures a holistic view of the user base.

Our questions are geared towards understanding your audience’s:

  • Goals: Discovering the primary objectives users have when using the product and gauging their frequency of use.
  • Motivations: Unraveling the catalysts that prompted the initial product usage and understanding user expectations.
  • FUD (Fears, Uncertainties, Doubts): Identifying any points of confusion, pain, or hesitation in the purchase journey.
  • Value Propositions: Uncovering the key factors that influenced their choice and gauged their post-purchase sentiments.

Survey Validation & Execution

Before deploying, every survey undergoes rigorous quality checks.

  • Collaborative Approvals: We ensure you’re on board with every question, providing clear justification for each.
  • Execution: Upon finalization, the survey is launched to the identified audience segment

Diving Deep into Survey Analysis

Post-survey, our focus shifts to extracting valuable insights from the gathered data.

  • Qualitative Data Analysis: Through codifying open-ended answers, we transform subjective sentiments into actionable data.
  • Quantitative Analysis: By funneling responses into pivot tables, we derive clear patterns and trends. This process helps crystallize the main persuasion drivers, purchase frictions, and user motivations.

Layering & Comparing Insights on the Customer Journey

With the survey insights in hand, we juxtapose this data on our Miro board, just as we did with your onboarding feedback.

By the end of this phase, our Miro board showcases:

  1. Brand Belief: What you believe your brand stands for and delivers.
  2. Customer Perception: The genuine feelings, expectations, and experiences of your customers.
  3. Actual User Experience: A mapping of the real journey users undergo.

The convergence of these three data points on Miro offers a panoramic view of the gaps, frictions, and opportunities in the customer journey. We now possess the insights needed to draft strategies that are not just informed but also deeply empathetic to the user’s needs.

Next: Deep Technical Audit & Analysis

A deep technical audit serves as our looking glass into the intricate workings, allowing us to pinpoint areas of excellence and opportunities for growth. Here’s how we meticulously dissect every facet of your CRM operations.

Historical Performance Review:

Understanding the past is pivotal to shaping the future.

  • Business Overview: A retrospective dive into the last two years, capturing the ebb and flow of your performance.
  • CRM Channel Specifics: Highlighting seasonality, growth trajectories, and other channel-specific trends.
  • Deliverability Insights: An analysis of your email delivery health, segmented by inbox providers, to deduce the authentic open rate, eliminating the noise of inflated metrics often presented by platforms like Klaviyo.

Sign-up Pathways Analysis:

In the user’s journey to becoming a subscriber, every entry point matters.

  • Performance Review: Gauging the effectiveness and conversion rates of all sign-up methods employed.
  • User Experience: Evaluating the seamlessness and intuitiveness of the sign-up process.

Deep Dive into Automations:

Automations are the silent workhorses of CRM. We ensure they’re optimized and effective.

  • Technical Assessment: Ensuring flawless triggers, timely executions, and glitch-free operations.
  • Content Review: Checking for relevancy, coherence, and alignment with brand messaging.

Email Campaigns Audit:

Your email campaigns are direct communications with your audience. Their efficacy can’t be overstated.

  • Performance Metrics: Evaluating open rates, click-through rates, and conversion metrics.
  • Cadence & Content: Reviewing the frequency, timing, and content quality of your campaigns.
  • Segmentation Strategy: Analyzing how audience segments are carved out and catered to.

Gauging Optimization Maturity:

As an optimization-centric agency, we’re keenly interested in your familiarity and application of optimization practices.

  • A/B Testing Familiarity: Determining if and how A/B testing is employed.
  • Quality of Tests: Reviewing the depth, scope, and rigor of conducted tests.
  • Documentation & Insights: Ensuring tests are well-documented and insights are actionable.

Crafting a Path Forward:

With the audit insights, we curate a list of actionable steps.

  • Alignment with Goals: Recommendations are prioritized based on your Channel and Quarterly Goals. If these are still nebulous, our guidance leans towards maximum impact in minimal time.

Next: Internal & Competitor Content Deep Dive

Creating content isn’t just an art—there’s a scientific component to it. At YOCTO, we understand that high-performing content is the amalgamation of keen insights, competitive analysis, and stellar creative prowess. Here’s our modus operandi for ensuring the content we produce for you isn’t just good—it’s phenomenal.

Analyzing Historical Top-Performers:

Building on what worked in the past – and avoiding what didn’t – is fundamental.

  • Historical Campaigns: We dissect your most successful campaigns to understand the elements that resonated most with your audience. The motifs, messaging, and style all offer valuable cues.

Bridging Silos between CRM and Paid Media:

There’s an incredibly high chance that your Paid Media team has insights into what content works best for converting net new customers that your CRM team is not aware of. 

  • Advertising Spy Tools: We peek into the success matrices of your paid campaigns. What worked there can be a goldmine of information for CRM strategies.
  • Integrative Analysis: Our goal is to ensure that insights from paid media don’t remain siloed but infuse their dynamism into the CRM level, creating a holistic marketing strategy.

Competitive Landscape Analysis:

Knowledge of one’s environment is a strategic advantage.

  • Technological Aid: Using platforms like Milled and MailCharts, we get a panoramic view of your competitors’ content landscape.
  • Content & Strategy: Beyond just the visuals, we dive into the strategy, frequency, and messaging of your competitors to identify both strengths and gaps.

The Creative Crucible: Copy & Design

It’s here that the magic happens.

  • Data-Informed Creativity: Our content team, equipped with a wealth of insights from the previous analyses, the survey responses, and their own heuristic expertise, crafts copywriting angles that are persuasive and engaging.
  • Design Optimization: An email isn’t just about words—it’s a visual journey. Our design team ensures that the visual narrative is compelling, responsive, and in tandem with the brand identity.

With all the pieces of the puzzle in place, we come prepared, ready to hit the ground running with content pieces that are likely to outshine your current benchmarks.

Final Strategy Presentation & Approval

It’s important to note that everything we’ve just went through happens in the span of 2 weeks from our initial kick-off call. In just two weeks, YOCTO brings forth a comprehensive and tailored strategy, sculpted uniquely for your needs.

We begin our second call by systematically breaking down the findings and insights we’ve gathered, laying the foundation for our custom game plan. This roadmap is designed with an understanding of the nuances of your brand and industry.

Once we’ve painted a clear picture of our research and intentions, we turn our attention to the proposed strategy. This isn’t a generic plan; it’s a crafted solution informed by our rigorous pre-production work. And it’s poised for swift execution. With your approval, we switch to execution seamlessly, ensuring no loss of momentum.

What sets YOCTO apart? Our unparalleled 100% client retention rate speaks volumes (as of October 2023, with a launch date of September 2022). We pride ourselves on not being just another agency you outsource to; instead, we immerse ourselves to become a vital extension of your team. This intricate blend of strategy, precision, and partnership is what has made our clients prefer YOCTO, often citing that we feel more like “in-sourced talent”.

Together, let’s embark on this journey towards unparalleled growth and success.

Interested in Working with YOCTO?

Book a call with us today, and let’s build something extraordinary together.

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