1648 – Understanding Your Audience on a Personal Level with Code Crew’s Alex Melone

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Co-Founders & Chief Operations Officer  of CodeCrew INC, Alex Melone & Andrei Marin.

Alexander and Andrei highlighted two crucial areas: deliverability and segmentation. They stressed the importance of ensuring emails reach the intended recipients and tailoring messages to specific audience segments. To illustrate this, they gave an example of a brand selling kayaks and explained how segmenting the audience based on their purchase history can lead to more effective email campaigns.

They also mentioned the transition from Google Analytics to GA4 but clarified that it hadn't caused significant issues for them. They explained that they rely on data from their email service provider and e-commerce platforms for reporting rather than heavily relying on Google Analytics.

Alexander explained that triggered messaging is a way to send messages to people based on their actions on a website. It involves understanding their intentions and crafting personalized messages. Andrei added that implementing triggered messaging doesn't require expensive software and can be done with a free email service provider for smaller brands. However, more prominent brands with more complex data points may need a more robust and costly tool.


Key Points from the Episode:

  • Specialization in email marketing and 22 years of combined experience
  • Importance of deliverability and segmentation in email marketing
  • Example of segmenting audience based on purchase history
  • Discussion on recent changes in Google and its impact on email tracking
  • Types of companies Code Crew works with and their achieved outcomes
  • Power of triggered messaging and personal experience shared by Speaker 1
  • Implementation of triggered messaging with free email service provider for smaller brands
  • Need for more powerful and costly tools for larger brands with complex data points


About Alex Melone:

Alex Melone is a versatile professional with a wide-ranging skill set. He has explored various industries throughout his career, including race car mechanics and construction management. However, his true expertise lies in email marketing, where he has honed his abilities as a project manager and technical specialist.

Having collaborated with prominent brands and exciting startups, Alex understands the essential factors driving success in email marketing. He values client satisfaction and knows how to align strategies with their specific business objectives.He also emphasizes the importance of addressing technical aspects to ensure optimal outcomes, a vital but often overlooked part of the industry.

Alex serves as an officer at CodeCrew, a leading email marketing agency. In this role, he oversees and manages projects of all sizes for various companies, contributing to their success in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape.


About Andrei Marin:

Andrei Marin is a seasoned professional with over a decade of technical and marketing expertise. He has held various dynamic roles ranging from email, website, and theme development to adeptly solving diverse email marketing challenges for prominent and emerging brands.

Noticing the need for an improved approach, Andrei and his co-founders established CodeCrew – a leading global email marketing agency. Beyond just driving impressive client ROI, their mission extends to utilizing business as a force for positive impact.

Andrei's profound enthusiasm for entrepreneurship was ignited during his childhood when he engaged in street-level sales of small items, instilling a lifelong aspiration to be an entrepreneur. His journey culminated in successfully co-founding and independently funding two technology-based ventures before age 30, showcasing his dedication and skill in the business realm.


About CodeCrew INC:

CodeCrew INC is an email marketing agency that started in 2018 and has grown into a dynamic team of over 40 experts in email design, code, strategy, data analysis, and campaign management. With vast experience collaborating with startups, industry leaders, and various businesses, CodeCrew is well-equipped to handle any challenge that comes their way.

One standout feature of CodeCrew is their flexibility, as they are not tied to any specific email service provider, making it hassle-free for clients to work with their preferred platforms. Their dedication to using business for good is commendable, as they actively turn away clients that might have negative impacts, focusing instead on supporting small businesses and NGOs with pro bono email marketing assistance. Moreover, their commitment to environmental sustainability is evident through their reforestation program, where they plant two trees for every email or SMS campaign they handle and donate 1% of profits towards restoration efforts.


Tweetable Moments:

06:24 – “Your likelihood of annoying them is really, really high. And so why do that? Let's make sure that we know exactly what each segment looks like and what we want to send to each segment specifically because for purchasers, for instance, we oftentimes recommend a much more tailored experience that offers them something else except for just those darn bye bye bye messages all the time.”

13:54 – “Thankfully, software has evolved massively and competition has evolved massively and so right now you can get an ESP going for free if you're small enough usually for let's say a brand that I would say 10 to 20,000 subscribers in they would probably pay anywhere in the hundreds of dollars every single month for the USD they probably have the ecom expenses figured out by now anyway and you don't need much else.”


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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out CodeCrew INC website at

Check out CodeCrew INC on LinkedIn at

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Check out CodeCrew INC on Twitter at

Check out CodeCrew INC on Instagram at

Check out Alex Melone on LinkedIn at

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Speaker 1 (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, Alexander Malone and Andre Morin. Gentlemen, you are the co-founders of Code Crew. You're found on the web at Code It's great to have you. Thank you for joining us. And I was so excited because I don't often get to interview and have more than just two people in the room.

Speaker 1 (00:01:20) - So thank you each for being here.

Speaker 2 (00:01:23) - Yeah. Thanks for having us here. We're a package deal, so we're glad that you let us both Come on. Fantastic. I think we can't say much more about ourselves. Um, but yeah, a quick little spiel, I guess, about us is we're two of three co-founders, so we actually have a third um, we call her the Supreme Boss, but, you know, we're her lackeys. We do all the, the video stuff just because, you know, she's a little too cool for that. But aside, thanks for having us on. Really appreciate it.

Speaker 1 (00:01:48) - Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, kind of taking a look at your front page here, this is pretty compelling. We exponentially boost email revenue for the world's most exciting companies. Tell me more.

Speaker 3 (00:01:59) - Well, we've been doing it for the longest time. We see a lot of value in being niche experts rather than kind of doing, you know, email marketing as part of a grander scheme of things that the company offers.

Speaker 3 (00:02:12) - We see a lot of kind of agencies out there that try to do every single thing under the sun, and unfortunately they rarely succeed at being really great at more than a single item. And so we've niched down, we are Alex and myself, we've been in the email space for, I would say roughly a combined 22 years or change and then code gurus been around for the last five years. We've niched down, we're doing email marketing for a series of different brands. Really as long as they have anything that you could realistically sell online and have a good enough following, we can pretty much step in and make sure that we improve every or any email program out there. We've been doing it all really for such a long time that we know the benchmarks, we know what they need. We kind of know anything from tech stuff, deliverability and kind of gruesome topics that a lot of other folks might might be scared of, all the way to obviously just strategy, content design, execution, which goes into every single program under the sun anyway.

Speaker 1 (00:03:16) - Yeah. All right. So what are most people doing with their email that maybe they're not doing what they should be? Help us out here.

Speaker 2 (00:03:27) - Oh, man. Well, you know, we get a lot of leads in the door and. Well, with a lot of those leads that come through the door, we we run an audit or at least we take a look at the program and see what they've been doing, what's good, what's bad, what they can do better. And I feel like more often than not, deliverability is more of an issue than a lot of people see or expect or even know of. And then segmentation as well is oftentimes the key talking point. We do see a lot of brands, especially, you know, those with with funding get going up the food chain, get a little bit bigger doing things usually more often than not pretty well. But that being said, you know, there's always that little hack that only gosh, decades now guess of experience can really, you know, get through the door for you and really show as added value to the program.

Speaker 1 (00:04:12) - Okay. So again, I still it feels very vague to me. What's tell me, what are you typically doing or I kind of break this down. Imagine that you're speaking to a group of fifth graders and you're going to explain to them what you actually do, like what the outcome is. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3 (00:04:33) - Joshi So you and your friends want to put together a lemonade stand and want to start marketing it online, want to start sending out emails. First off, you need to make sure that everybody that lands on your website starts receiving emails kind of on an automated matter. So you need to make sure you have a welcome flow. You need to make sure you have a cart abandonment flow. You need to make sure you have a browse abandonment show. And then probably I would recommend having a post purchaser flow on the back end of that just to make sure that, you know, the easiest customer you can get is the customer you've already gotten in the past and you're kind of re converting him again and again and again.

Speaker 3 (00:05:13) - Now what we're oftentimes finding is that we step into email programs and obviously that's the fifth grade version for Joshy, but for clients that are a lot more experienced and to Alex's point, have funding and whatnot, we find these more kind of robust email programs and we jump in and we make sure that the nuts and bolts are tightened down a lot more complexly than just what I've described here. It just doesn't end with making sure that you're doing campaigning and sending automated messages as well. You need to understand who your your audience is on a more personal kind of level. Make sure that you're segmenting out, make sure that you have a proper standing strategy. For instance, let's say you're sending emails for a brand that's selling kayaks. Weird example. We've actually had that client not too long ago with somebody that has just bought a kayak in the last four months. Be likely to buy again. No, no. And if so, if you're messaging that same person with a sales pitch three months into them owning a kayak, your likelihood of converting them again is very small.

Speaker 3 (00:06:24) - Your likelihood of annoying them is really, really high. And so why do that? Let's make sure that we know exactly what each segment looks like and what we want to send to each segment specifically because for purchasers, for instance, we oftentimes recommend a much more tailored experience that offers them something else except for just those darn bye bye bye messages all the time.

Speaker 1 (00:06:48) - Yeah. Did was there a change made recently in Google that I thought a lot of people were kind of concerned about how Google was changing Gmail and the ability to track that really hasn't affected this a whole lot.

Speaker 2 (00:07:10) - You know, go for it. Right.

Speaker 3 (00:07:12) - Interesting question. So I think you're alluding to Google Analytics moving from the regular one or the older one to Ga4 now, which has been causing a bit of a chaos, I would say, with a couple of our clients who were struggling to get that integration flowing. Usually we have such a good integration between the ESP and the e-commerce that Google Analytics really doesn't come into discussion in the first place because we're relying on data that we're seeing either on the side of things or on the US side of things to be able to do proper reporting on the sense that we're we're mastering.

Speaker 3 (00:07:50) - And so I would say no, any changes haven't really been an issue, if that's what you're alluding to. If it's anything else that.

Speaker 1 (00:07:59) - Is a tracking pixel. That's what I was thinking of.

Speaker 2 (00:08:01) - Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So one funny thing is part of our secret sauce here is that there's always a workaround for literally any roadblock that those giants will give us. So I mean, for instance, with the iOS change, what is it, year and a half ago now, giving it a little bit tougher time for us marketers there. There are workarounds. So when when the iOS, I believe was 14, maybe was 15, honestly, they all blend together at this point in time. There are so many updates, but when it came out, we we saw our open rates for all our clients just shoot to the moon. Just skyrocket to what, about 70, 80%. And, you know, obviously that's not going to be the case. It was because of a technical change. That being said, we don't know how deep I want to go into this just because it is a secret sauce, but we found a workaround that allowed us to actually see real data as to who actually was opening, even though there was a relay, even though, you know, we didn't have nearly as much direct tracking capability as we had before.

Speaker 2 (00:08:59) - So I guess the old adage where there's a will, there's a way comes into play here as well.

Speaker 1 (00:09:04) - Yeah. So I would imagine you're working with a lot of companies, but who else are you working with and what sorts of outcomes have you been able to create with them again by looking for it Sounds like again, if I were to sum this up right, looking for opportunities to better, more personalized the email experience and not just treat email like just like a newsletter repository where you're communicating the exact same message to everybody that that is a missed opportunity.

Speaker 3 (00:09:37) - Exactly. You know, one of the more up and coming spaces that we're seeing turn up as of, I think the last year and a half to two years here has been actually the B2B space. So historically, we have these big corporations that have really big sales teams that teams that get on calls with clients and bug them all day long. But now a lot of these teams are starting to see the light in actually being able to be in your clients inboxes, have them be aware of you, have them be reminded of your existence without bothering them to the extent of actually phoning in and asking what are they is up or how their day has been going so far and and whatnot.

Speaker 3 (00:10:22) - And so we've been building up our B2B arm of the business. Yeah, so far, especially throughout the past year, I would say here with them again, seeing a lot more value in being able to be proactive about the way they're selling rather than reactive, either waiting for those businesses to call in or calling incessantly until the they ultimately either get asked not to call anymore or or get the sale because yeah, email is still a personal way of sending a mass message still. But it's not as intrusive as getting on a call with your clients. And so we're seeing this space evolve quite a bit more because you kind of brought up ecommerce and asked what else B2B would be a big what else that's happening in the past year here? Yeah.

Speaker 1 (00:11:15) - Yeah. I mean, how powerful would that be? You know, and it was just on a I'm sure at some point I had opted in for it was a past guest and I was on his website because someone who was sharing it with me, I was like, Oh yeah, I know this guy.

Speaker 1 (00:11:30) - So it's kind of looking around on his website, wouldn't you know it? I started getting email from him all of a sudden, so and very high ticket B2B and you know clearly got on the radar. Not only that but was sending me emails about the individual pages I was looking at as well.

Speaker 3 (00:11:49) - We're sorry.

Speaker 1 (00:11:51) - Oh, it was you guys. That's great. That's great. So that would be again, just another example of of what you could be doing. What does that look like to implement something like that? Like, you know, technically from an investment standpoint, what does that look like?

Speaker 2 (00:12:14) - Honestly, it's just another example of a triggered message, as Andre was alluding to a little bit earlier. You know, if. As marketers, we have a lot of data on what people do on the websites. I'm sure that that's, you know, news that everyone knows at this point in time. So, you know, we can see when, for example, Josh, you land on, you know, Josh's lemonade stand slash, you know, contact us.

Speaker 2 (00:12:36) - We'll know when you're there. So, you know, we can go ahead and take that metric, that data point, go ahead and turn around and use, you know, first, understand your intents. You know why you're on that page specifically. You know, more often than not, we know that just, you know, without having to do much strategizing in any way, you know, it's pretty pretty obvious what you would be doing. And then from there, we go ahead and, you know, just craft a message, make sure it has, you know, the right angle, the right twists and turns, everything that you would want more information on and go ahead and send it to at the time. That testing shows us would be best. We could go ahead and send it immediately. That being said, you know, one thing that we we abide by here is always test every single thing you can, because more often than not you'll learn something new. I can't even count how many times at this point in time, you know, we've been solid in our thought and saying, you know what, this is going to work.

Speaker 2 (00:13:24) - You know, Josh is going to want this email at seven in the morning because, you know, that's just what the industry best practices tell us. But what if you're not awake at that time of day? You know, it's not going to be the right time. So again, just trigger messaging is always a really easy way to to make sure that, you know, we're just hitting people at the right time and getting people that messaging that they're interested in whether, you know, they they specifically ask for it or not. You know, as long as you've been there, we know that you want it.

Speaker 1 (00:13:52) - What size company? Oh, go ahead. Please, please, please.

Speaker 3 (00:13:54) - No, I just wanted to say, in case your question was kind of more along the lines of what kind of software do you need? How much should you be investing into getting there? You know, funnily enough, when Alex and I started being in this space and acting in this space and learning the ropes and whatnot, it's such a long time ago that these kinds of things used to cost thousands upon thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars every single month.

Speaker 3 (00:14:20) - Thankfully, software has evolved massively and competition has evolved massively. And so right now you can get an ESP going for free if you're small enough, usually for, let's say, a brand that I would say 10 to 20,000 subscribers in, they would probably pay anywhere in the hundreds of of dollars every single month for the USD. They probably have the Ecom expenses figured out by now anyway, and you don't need much else. Sure, you would probably need an agency or a freelancer or a hired expert to run email for you, but other than that, you don't really need much else in order to be able to start implementing some of these things. So thankfully, it's gotten a lot cheaper lately. The bigger the brand, the more diverse the data points that you might need to be able to be as efficient. And that's tailored as we were talking a bit earlier about. For instance, think DoorDash and think about all the millions of data points those guys have. We've been on the account. It was interesting to say the least, and just think about all of the complexities that you need.

Speaker 3 (00:15:25) - You need a very powerful tool that will not cost hundreds of dollars by any by any stretch of the imagination. It will cost a lot more probably in the tens of thousands of dollars at that point. But I don't think you're you're tripping over the USB cost if you're DoorDash.

Speaker 1 (00:15:42) - Yeah no kidding. So your website is code cruise. First off, who should be reaching out immediately and what would you recommend they do?

Speaker 2 (00:15:55) - Absolutely everyone. Well, maybe not everyone. We've had some some pretty funny calls in the past. But, you know, anyone who wants to see results, anyone who is at that point in time where they think, you know, I've outgrown what I can do, what my team can do in some cases. And you know what? They want to see what their email program program can do for them.

Speaker 3 (00:16:15) - Yeah, let me quantify that a bit better. If your email revenue is less than 10% of what your ecommerce revenue is, reach out.

Speaker 1 (00:16:26) - Big time. Yeah. And again, the website code Cruz.

Speaker 1 (00:16:32) - What would you recommend they do when they go to your website?

Speaker 2 (00:16:36) - Uh, go to our contact page or even on the homepage. Think we have a place where you can reach out to us directly and, you know, we just love the chat from there. We'll go ahead and hop on a call, see what you're doing, see how we can improve and, you know, just make your life a little bit better, at least with some jokes, if not with some natural revenue coming coming your way. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (00:16:53) - Awesome. Appreciate it. Well, again, the website code crews Alexander Malone, Andre, Maureen and again say hi to the big boss for me It's great to have you guys and again great for the thank you so much for the conversation.

Speaker 2 (00:17:11) - Like it's been a real pleasure. Take care. Yeah. Thanks for having us.

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