Facing up to Customers: How to do video personalisation | #048

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In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Matt Barnett from Bonjoro, a SaaS based video platform that allows you, your customer service or warehouse teams to send […]

EP 48
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Nathan Bush is a director at eCommerce talent agency, eSuite. He has led eCommerce for businesses with revenue $100m+ and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row. You can contact Nathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.


Matt is the CEO and Papa Bear at Bonjoro, the 1-1 personalised video messaging platform that started as a sales hack for an agency he was running. Bonjoro went from hack to side hustle to global business in 18 months, and now has teams across five continents. Matt’s love of building great products is only surpassed by that of building great culture, and his goal is to be the next Zappos, to be the most loved brand in the world.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Matt Barnett from Bonjoro, a SaaS based video platform that allows you, your customer service or warehouse teams to send short, personalised videos to your customers via email. Started in Sydney in 2017, Bonjoro is now used across the world and is integrated with platforms such as Shopify, Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign. In this conversation, you’ll hear how Matt had the idea for Bonjoro on his morning commute, how personalised video can increase conversion rates at certain points in the funnel and his tips for people struggling in front of the camera..

We put video on this pedestal, whereas it’s just a window, it’s just a comms tool. If you were there in person, you’d say the same thing.

Matt Barnett 

Questions answered in this episode include
  • How did you come up with the idea for Bonjoro?
  • What are some of the outcomes for eCommerce retailers who are using video personalisation?
  • How do you navigate the recruitment process in such a culture-driven company?

Convert by personality

So I was running an agency in Sydney where we dealt with large enterprise clients. Most of our clients came from overseas, UK, London, Paris, New York.  Obviously, our lead funnel was signups. Inquiries from interested clients are coming in during the evening here. Australia is a great place to live, but it’s not ideal in terms of time zones. So we’re very much a convert by personality kind of company. We had great products and offers, and I like to get up and shout about it.

We were dealing with the creative sides of businesses, which is very important. We had this idea to try something a bit different, I thought, let’s just send a video to every single person that ever gets in touch. And so I’d record a video each morning on the way to work.  I used to take the ferry across the harbour. So if they were outside of Australia, I’d get the Opera House on the video. As a result of that being the first piece of comms they ever heard from the brand or the team, like we tripled our response rates, overnight, we, as a result, tripled the number of meetings we had and therefore tripled the amount of business.

That was like a pat on our back, a good little sales hack. One of probably a hundred that we tried. Then one of those customers at the end of a meeting, just asked, “What’s this video email system? Can we use it?”  I explained that it’s something we’d done ourselves and then we kind of sat back and built something that they could use over a weekend, like as a little side project.  Inevitably some of their customers they sent it to, asked if they could use it and some of their customers asked if they could use it. And you know, 12 months later, a couple of us on the team decided to work on it full-time and within 18 months it had overtaken the original agency.

Camera-shy?  Get over it!

So don’t use the word video, drop the word video from your vocab. We all think, talking about videos, like edited videos as film and TV, so we put video on this pedestal. Whereas it’s just a window. It’s just a comms tool. You know, if you were there in person, you’d say the same thing. So I stop thinking about it in terms of getting dressed, made up to make an amazing piece of content. It’s just like a chat.  It’s like being a butcher and someone walks in and you say, good morning.  It’s the same thing, but obviously we’re dealing with customers who are far apart. That’s all you’re trying to do.

Tip number one would be, use your mobile.  I think just psychologically mobile is a very personal device. We use them all the time. So it makes you think less about video when it’s on mobile. Also, get outside, get comfortable, take a walk, do it somewhere where you’re going to be less nervous.

Secondly, get over it. Because you have to send that ten, fifteen, twenty tests.  Like, it doesn’t matter anymore. The first few times you might end up scripting and re-shooting them and stuff and then you’ll realize, especially if you have a funnel, like a large customer base, you don’t have time for that. And it doesn’t matter. So the medium will teach you that it doesn’t matter. So again, if it works for you and it’s positive, you’ll end up getting rid of the time. I think those are probably the two most important things. Just get on with it and use a mobile device.

Can I have a beer with this person?

When it comes to choosing our staff, we know within five minutes of meeting them if they are the ones we want. So with us, and this is specifically for our company, you have to be transparent. You’ve got to think, can I have a beer with this person? Would I go for lunch with them tomorrow? You have to be very open, very transparent, very authentic, no BS, just kind of straight to the point.  They have to be smart, intelligent, and then have a hunger for problem-solving and a hunger for growth because we’re quite independent here.

We’re not amazing in management training. I think in that sense, we want people to be able to find the issues and then test to solve it. We’ll give you everything you need to do that, but again, you need to have the hunger to go and sort out what’s not working, stand up and talk about it and then go solve and test. And then if you fail, that’s fine, we don’t care, test again.

We have more of a vetting process now than we would do before, around certain skill sets, but then the first interviews, we keep fairly short because I know what I’m always looking for. Our last few hires, we knew them all 12 months before we hired them.

That’s a common trait. I’ll meet customers, I’ll meet people and I’m thinking, great, when the time comes, I’m here to reach out. So, don’t wait until you’re going to be hiring to build relationships, build them early. And if you never end up hiring that person, that’s fine, you’ve got a great relationship.

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