Martech Interview with Rytis Lauris, Co-founder & CEO, Omnisend

Rytis Lauris, Co-founder & CEO, of Omnisend talks about how businesses can remain competitive, agile, customer-centric, and collaborative in this ever-changing landscape.

Automation means you don’t need to find the time to do something, and you haven’t got to manually send messages to each customer at specific points of their journey.

1. Could you tell us more about Omnisend and the inspiration behind starting this company?
I used to run a digital marketing agency, and one of our clients was a PR agency that was managed by Justas Kriukas, the other co-founder of Omnisend.
Over time we realized that while we both ran essentially local businesses, we both had the ambition to have a global business.
We noticed that online businesses have a unique advantage in communicating with their clients because they see the whole customer journey, from the very first website visit to making a purchase. This gives so much valuable information, which can help you automate your marketing, segment your audience, and personalize the experience.
That’s what united us, and that’s how we started Omnisend.

2. How does your typical day at Omnisend look like?
I usually start by looking at my calendar to know exactly what I need to do. I put all my tasks into my calendar instead of a to-do list because it gives me a better understanding of how much time I need for what I want to accomplish.
I also schedule Focus sprints each day. These are 90 minute blocks without meetings or other interruptions, to enable me to focus on crucial tasks that would otherwise get lost.
Lunchtime is a great opportunity to bond with other people, and some days I’ll meet business partners and other days I’ll spend time with people from the team.
As I’m based in Europe, it’s afternoon for me when our colleagues and customers in the USA start their day. The second half of the day is typically when I have meetings with people in a different timezone.

3. Can you underline some of the features that set you apart from the competition?
One of the main differences between Omnisend and other email marketing platforms is that we specialize in ecommerce. We offer unique value for online businesses compared to generic email platforms.
We also build the best practices into our platform so that our customers can start using it straight away. Also, being a data-driven company allows us to share a lot of knowledge with our customers, which we do through our blog, reports, webinars, videos etc.
Talking about some specific features, we’re proud of our email builder, powerful segmentation, and great automation capabilities. Most importantly, these are very powerful but easy-to-use tools, so everyone, including marketing beginners, can use them.

4. Can you enlighten us with some tips and tricks to increase sales through email marketing automation?
At the start of 2022, we published a report that analyzed more than 12 billion emails, 63 million SMS, and 54 million push messages sent by Omnisend customers in 2021. Through that analysis, we learned that automated messages generated 29.6% of all email marketing orders but accounted for only 2.2% of email sends.
So the first tip is to make sure you set up the most essential automation workflows for your store (like Welcome Series, Cart Abandonment, and Order Confirmation).
Also, try not to think about automation as only applying to email. SMS and push notifications can also be incorporated into your automation workflows, and it’s also possible to automatically retarget your visitors on other platforms like Facebook.
We also frequently update our blog and YouTube channel with tips for marketers of all levels.

5. What are the pain points that customers approach you with?
I’d say the main one is customer retention, because acquiring new customers is way more expensive than retaining existing customers. And this is where email marketing comes in very handy.
It’s estimated that the average dollar spent on email marketing leads to an incredible return of $40 in sales—for comparison, the second best ROI is $22 from SEO.
In addition to this high ROI, you’re also in control of email as you own the subscriber list —that’s your asset. Other channels, such as social media, aren’t within your control to the same extent.

6. What do you suggest to businesses struggling post-pandemic to remain competitive, agile, customer-centric, and collaborative?
It looks like the post-pandemic phase is just one of the current challenges for businesses, considering that the economy appears to be going into a global recession.
But regardless of the circumstances we face, try to stay customer-centric and put your customer at the core of everything. That’s what is ultimately going to lead you to success. Listen to your customers and take care of them.
I think that relying more on the existing customer base is very important. There will be fewer spontaneous purchases, and attracting new customers will be more challenging. At the same time, consumers will buy more from brands/service providers they trust and know.

7. What are some growing trends in the Marketing Automation industry?
As I mentioned before, Omnisend customers saw fantastic results with automation while only accounting for a small percentage of sends in 2021. So it’s really worth using automation for as many marketing tasks as possible because it does the job for you while you or your team focus on other tasks. Or even while you sleep.

Automation means you don’t need to find the time to do something, and you haven’t got to manually send messages to each customer at specific points of their journey.

I’d also mention personalization. It’s not just adding a customer’s name at the beginning of the email anymore. Automation can take personalization to a whole new level because there’s so much data available, your customers’ behavior from your online store allows you to do advanced personalization—such as specific product recommendations based on browsing and purchase history.
And finally, choose the omnichannel approach. Email is a very powerful channel on its own, but adding SMS and push notifications can be very beneficial for your business results.

8. How do you manage, lead and build teams? What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
We’ve grown from 8 people at the beginning to almost 200 now, but we still try to keep the organization as flat as possible. I believe empowering people to make decisions is important.
Also, always remember that you can’t be the best at everything. It’s a common mistake when you’re just starting to think you can do everything on your own. Make sure you surround yourself with good people, because you need a team to be successful.

9. What according to you is the fundamental rule to being successful?
Put your customer at the center of everything and find ways to bring them value with your product or service.
Find your niche. It’s much easier to create value for your customers when you specialize in something rather than trying to make a product that serves everyone.
Be resilient. You’ll have good times and bad times when running a business. Most importantly, learn from the failures and mistakes and use this experience to overcome new challenges that will ultimately lead you to success.

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Rytis Lauris is the CEO and co-founder of Omnisend. Omnisend is the all-in-one e-commerce marketing automation platform that helps you sell more by converting your visitors and retaining your customers.

Omnisend is an ecommerce-tailored email & SMS marketing automation platform built to help nimble teams drive more revenue without increasing their workload. One-click ecommerce stack integrations, pre-built workflows and intuitive drag & drop editing make it easy to get up & running without diving into the gritty details, unless you want to.
More than 70,000 ecommerce brands use Omnisend to grow their businesses on autopilot, converting their customers with quick-to-build, highly-relevant emails & texts.
We’re a team of more than 180 Omnisenders working worldwide and looking for talented, passionate developers, artists, marketers, and everything in between. Are you excited about helping ecommerce marketers to discover the best ways to build relationships with their customers? Check out our open positions here:

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