An interview with Cody Arsenault, growth marketing specialist
In this interview Mailbutler chats with Cody Arsenault about business, SEO, PPC, and how Mailbutler helps him stay organized.
James has seven years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.
Cody, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview today. We at Mailbutler are curious to find out more about you and your work life. Let’s start with some easy questions.
What inspired you to get into marketing and ecommerce?
I’ve always been interested in two primary things: business and music. I enjoy the capitalistic side of the business and the creative side of music.
Getting into marketing, in my mind, is the best blend of the two. Marketing allows me to remain creative, whether that be through ad creation, copywriting, etc. It also allows me to use my business skills to analyze data, understand markets, and develop strategies.
In the early days of my career, I dove into SEO and quickly realized the power it had to help businesses increase their online visibility and reach new customers.
As I gained more experience in the digital marketing space I started to build my own e-commerce brand. Building a brand and a business from scratch was incredibly challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. I learned firsthand the importance of understanding the customer, creating a compelling value proposition, and constantly testing and refining my marketing strategies to drive success.
What motivated you to start your own business?
Starting my own business was motivated by a few key factors:
- I wanted the creative freedom to take my own ideas and bring them to life. There’s no red tape when you’re your own boss and you can test and learn things quickly.
- I wanted to take control of my own financial future. Starting my own business allowed me to create my own income and have the potential to earn a much higher return on my time and effort.
- I wanted the time and freedom to complete tasks on my own terms. These days my schedule is quite flexible. And that works for me. I like doing things when I feel inspired and ready to work.
What advice would you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own business in the marketing/ecommerce industry?
Here are a few pieces of advice:
Understand your customer: Before you start your business, take the time to research and understand your target market. Know their pain points, their desires, and what motivates them to make purchasing decisions. This will help you create a compelling value proposition and develop marketing strategies that truly resonate with your audience.
Validate your business idea: Before you invest time and resources into building your business, make sure there is a real demand for what you're offering. Run some ads and have people join a waiting list for your product, or even do some cold outreach to potential clients to see if they would be interested in what you’re planning to sell.
Be prepared to adapt: The marketing and ecommerce landscape is constantly changing, so be prepared to adapt your strategies as needed. Be open to new ideas, be willing to test different approaches, and be ready to pivot (quickly) if something isn't working.
Stay focused: There are a million ways to make money. That’s both a blessing and a curse - it's easy to get sidetracked by distractions. Stay focused on your goals, and be disciplined about using your time and resources in ways that will help you achieve them.
Have patience: Building a successful business takes time and patience, and it's important to be aware that not everything will go as planned. So, be prepared to face the challenges and be patient as you continue to grow and learn.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced while running your business, and how did you overcome them?
As a business owner, I have faced various challenges throughout my career.
One of the biggest is cash flow management. Cash flow is one of the most critical aspects of running a business, and it can be a major challenge for many entrepreneurs. To overcome this, I implemented strict financial management systems and got a great accountant. Accounting for every last dollar of revenue and spending is extremely important so that you can track where the bulk of your cash is going.
Recommended reading: Chrome extensions for business owners
Keeping up with the competition and staying relevant in the market can also be a significant challenge. You need to constantly be learning and testing. Join Facebook groups, watch YouTube videos, join Discord groups, and network with others. Whatever you need to do to connect with other like-minded individuals is key. This will greatly help you stay ahead of the competition.
Lastly, as a business owner, it can be hard to separate work and personal life and to ensure that you're taking care of yourself. Having a well-planned calendar and not deviating too far from what you have planned is a good strategy for keeping that balance in check.
Can you tell us about a particularly successful project you've worked on?
I built an e-commerce store from the ground up and scaled it to over $2 million in lifetime revenue over the span of about 3 years. The products this e-commerce store sold were in the niche of children’s footwear.
The marketing strategy primarily focused on leveraging social media PPC ads to drive traffic and conversions.
On the back end I used email marketing to keep existing customers engaged in the brand and offered post-purchase upselling to increase the Average Order Value of each customer.
How do you keep up with the constantly evolving landscape of the tech industry?
Like I said above, I think joining groups with like-minded individuals is your best bet for staying informed. No matter how experienced you are, if you're in a group with 50,000+ individuals it’s likely that some of them know something you don’t.
I also like to follow certain marketers like Gael Breton, Matt Diggity, and Wiz of Ecom (to name a few) on Twitter in order to get short, quick updates on their latest thoughts.
What are a few tools you use in your daily life?
I use a bunch of tools each and every day but there are a few tools that I use religiously:
- Ahrefs for keeping track of client rankings, doing keyword research, competitive analysis, etc.
- SEO Minion for checking real-time rankings in various geographic areas, broken links, and analyzing heading structure.
- Helpscout for managing customer support.
- Canva for designing new graphics for social media, web pages, etc.
- DaVinci Resolve or CapCut for creating short-form video content for social media profiles.
- Mailbutler for email inbox management and productivity
How has Mailbutler helped you?
Mailbutler has been a game-changer in terms of efficiency. The ability to schedule emails, track opens and clicks, and use templates has greatly increased my productivity in reaching out to potential clients and communicating with existing ones.
The Snooze feature has also allowed me to declutter my inbox and prioritize important tasks, which for me is essential.
What do you enjoy most about working in the marketing industry?
I love having the ability to work on my own projects as well as help my clients in achieving their goals. Whether that be for SEO, copywriting, PPC ads, etc.
I love getting into the weeds of it all and uncovering things that I believe can help a business grow.
What are some skills and qualities that you believe are important for success in the marketing industry?
The skills and qualities you need to be successful in marketing can vary widely depending on what type of marketing you want to do. However, in general, I would suggest getting good at the following:
- Copywriting: learn how to write a persuasive text that encourages people to take action.
- Short-form video content: All social media platforms are moving towards short-form content. Learning how to make an impactful short video that has the potential to go viral is an invaluable skill these days.
- Email marketing: Nothing is potentially more valuable to marketers than an email list. Using a solid platform to send out insights, sales, and promotions to your customers will keep your brand top of mind and usually provides a high ROI.
- Relationship building: Whether it’s with suppliers, other brands, or clients, building strong relationships is the name of the game to see long-term success in marketing.
What do you see as the future of marketing, and how will it impact our daily lives?
There have been a few really interesting developments in the marketing industry that have taken place over the past couple of months.
One of them being artificial intelligence. ChatGPT has made it possible for marketers to access AI-powered chatbots that respond to customer inquiries, write high-converting copy, and more. When used properly (and edited to retain your brand's voice) it can be an incredibly powerful tool for efficiency purposes.
Another really exciting aspect of marketing that is still in its infancy is Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR). VR and AR technology is becoming more accessible and Meta is leading the way on that frontier. I’m sure this will provide new opportunities for brands to engage with their customers, allowing them to experience products and services in new ways.
Lastly, I think consumers are becoming more and more aware of companies that are performing “shady” business practices. Customers are becoming more interested in how their data is being used and they expect more transparency from brands. Brands will need to be more transparent in their data collection and usage practices, and they will need to be able to demonstrate that they are handling data responsibly.
Cody Arsenault bio:
Cody is the founder of CodyArsenault.com where he helps e-commerce businesses drive revenue growth through email marketing. He’s operated and scaled several e-commerce and niche blogs generating multiple 7 figures in online sales.
Check out our tutorial video here:
In this interview, Mikael, a London-based photographer, shares his passion for photography, his process, and the challenges he faces in the industry.
5 min read
In this interview, Dharmendra, a photographer, shares his passion for photography, his process, and the online tools he uses.
9 min read
Check out 17 experts from various industries sharing their best email productivity tips and tools. Read more here.
15 min read
Here are the 22 experts sharing their outlook hacks and tips to increase productivity. Read more here.
16 min read