Day 1: MozCon Recap for Magento - Email and Video Tips

Day 1: MozCon Recap for Magento - Email and Video Tips

A couple of actionable points for Magento 1 and 2 from MozCon 2017 in Seattle.

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MozCon has been a transformative conference for me: one of my favorite conferences I’ve attended. It is great meeting smart people, learning new things, reinforcing existing knowledge, and eating awesome food. Here at SwiftOtter, we’ve found going to conferences enhances our abilities to help our clients, bringing them the latest in industry thinking so that our clients can be more profitable.

Read Day 1's recap here: email and video tips

My goal is to write daily recaps to cover actionable takeaways for Magento and how you can put them to use. I write this on my commute in the ferry back from Seattle (the picture above).

Our agency’s focus is Magento. These are ideas directly from the conference that you can put to use on your Magento installation.

There were nine sessions on the docket today. There are two that particularly stood out to me and will be the focus of this article: The Tie That Binds: Why Email is Key to Maximizing Marketing ROI by Justine Jordan at Litmus, and Thinking Smaller: Optimizing for the New Wave of Social Video Platforms by Phil Knottingham.

The Tie That Binds: Why Email is Key to Maximizing Marketing ROI

by Justine Jordan

Every morning, when I sit down at my desk, I clear out 10-15 emails: ones that I never read and have little to no interest in. After a while, I get tired of doing so and click unsubscribe at the bottom of each of those emails (which hopefully is an easy process).

There might be one or two interesting emails a day that contain interesting information, or has a unique message, or comes from a brand that I trust.

Justine shared some amazing statistics: 50% of consumers click “spam” instead of unsubscribing. Why? Because we like to hide the “unsubscribe” link thinking that people won’t click it. WRONG: they will just click “Mark as Spam.” Hiding your unsubscribe link is a great way to ensure you will never be able to reach their inbox again.

Another one: 54% of subscribers have felt tricked by the subject line. How about a subject line like: “HUGE SALE: 25% off products” only to find out it is 25% off clearance?

We know email is important. How can we take advantage of this in Magento?

Magento sends quite a few emails:
  • Thank you for your order (new order)
  • Welcome to our store (new customer account)
  • Your order has been invoiced / billing (new invoice)
  • Your order has shipped (new shipment)

How do you present your brand in these communications? Most of the Magento websites that I have seen and ordered from use the stock template with very little customizations. They get the information across and that is about it.

Did you know that your email template is super easy to modify? Try it for yourself. Go to the System menu, and click Transactional Emails. Hidden behind this “tech-jargony” term is an exceptionally simple way to modify the emails that go out to your customers.

In this area, you can modify the subject line, and you can modify the body of the email. You can create different templates. Maybe a special one for Christmas time. Maybe try some humor and see how that goes. What interests your customers?

A little trick: I like to take the original name of the template and put it at the end of the name of the new template to provide some context. For example, with the New Order template, I would name it: Christmas Copy (New Order).

To change which email template you use, go to the configuration:

  • M2: Stores > Configuration > Sales > Sales Emails
  • M1: System > Configuration > Sales > Sales Emails
  • In the sections provided, you can set the name of the template.

These emails are an expression of your brand. An expression that your customers are interested enough in that they ordered from you (for order emails).

Communicate your brand, your quirk, your message to your customers through your transactional emails.

Note: there are some limits as you can't change much of the look of the email or how products are laid out in it. That said, the Transactional Email template will likely help you extract 80% of the value out of your emails.

Thinking Smaller: Optimizing for the New Wave of Social Video Platforms

by Phil Knottingham

Who doesn’t enjoy watching a well-done video? I believe it is safe to say that video is the most personal of all communication channels (except for face-to-face). Many online retailers are turning to video to connect with their audience. It’s as personal as you can get with such an impersonal medium of eCommerce.

Phil focused on video in social platforms: Facebook, Facebook live, Instagram / Snapchat and more. He made the point that if you ask “Where should I host this video?,” you are asking too late. The reason is that there are wildly different strategies for each platform.

One thing I found very interesting about Facebook video is this: in Wistia’s experience, Facebook videos need to be like a “snack.” Facebook viewers are likely bored and on their phone. They are scrolling through their content while their phone is in portrait mode, the videos start in audio-only mode, and you only have 3 seconds to make an impression: enough that they stop to watch (the downvote link on Facebook is your thumb: you keep scrolling). He showed some examples of Wistia’s excellent use of this knowledge to take advantage of the Facebook platform.

The takeaway for Magento merchants: do you use video to connect with your customers? In Magento 2, this is very easy. In Magento 1, you need to install a custom module (such as this module by IWD). To include video in Magento 2 on CMS pages, you can install our custom YouTube module that makes it very easy to inject YouTube videos onto your site. This module, though, is exclusively available to our customers.

You can add a video in Magento 2 onto product pages by:

  • Going to Catalog > Product.
  • Choose the product you want to edit.
  • In the Images and Videos section, click the Add Video button.
  • Specify the url for YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Save the product.

A final takeaway in this is don’t worry about making your videos perfect, but rather make them personal.


Your customers are not just numbers on a chart. They are not just the means for you to make more money. They are people—like you and me. They have personalities. They enjoy hearing from other people, too. This was hammered over and over again today at MozCon.

Other Recaps to Read:
Read Day 2's recap here: website migration techniques
Read Day 3's recap here: website optimization strategies

Our marketing must be based on that simple concept. As we connect with our customers, remember: they are people just like ourselves.

Let’s communicate with them how we would like to be interacted with: as people. After all, isn’t that the golden rule?
SwiftOtter, Inc.
It relates to Magento 2.
Joseph Maxwell - president / senior developer at Swift Otter

President / senior developer at SwiftOtter - @josephmaxs