Table of Contents
Apr 21, 2022
Salem’s growth career started out in the natural foods world, working with a number of startups from inception to sale. Most of these focused on traditional sales for growth. Salem moved on to a digital agency and began focusing more on CRO and Email. He was recruited by one of the agency clients and moved up into leading a team of 10+ people for a CBD company, which will be the focus of this story. He now works as a contract growth marketer for several companies and agencies as a consultant.
The CBD company we’ll be focused on for this story sits directly in the eCommerce category. CBD is becoming more popular among older people, who were traditionally hesitant and resistant to cannabis products (even if they are ‘non-psychoactive’ like CBD). Many people in this demographic struggle with pain, sleep, stress and depression – all of which CBD is commonly said to help. The company positioned it as the BMW of CBD – a high quality product that you can trust.
Here’s how Salem grew their revenue 👇
👨👨👦👦 Target Audiences
Individuals over 55 years of age with a high household income
📝 Describe the growth hacks
1. Auto Segment your Emails
When Salem first took over marketing, the company was sending 1 email a month. They weren’t really utilizing it as a platform. They did have a very sizable list – around 40k people from their eCommerce site that was collecting emails. But most of them were cold. There was no segmenting, no optimizing send times, not really any organized marketing efforts at all.
From a strategic standpoint, Salem started sending 2x surveys a month to the list. He wasn’t focused on products, but on questions.
“What kind of content do you want to see?””What time do you want to get emails?””What’s your favorite product for sleep?”
Each email would ask a single question, then have 4x CTA buttons in the email they could click on to answer. Whenever someone clicked a certain button, it would auto add the information into their profile and segment the list. Once segmented, they could send their audience tailed emails for products within their interest category. They also sent surveys going out to 3rd party platforms.
Because of all these surveys and collected interest data, they were able to increase revenue by sending fewer emails. The emails were so segmented, they didn’t have to send as many. When he first came in he ramped up to 3x emails a week, which worked at first. Then unsubscribes started to climb. This is how they solved it. Emails were so well targeted and well timed, they were able to send less. It’s also less annoying and less work to build.
What was the effect?
This made a HUGE difference with click rate (35% increase), which really helped email deliverability. It’s both a strategic and tactical move.
In addition to helping with their deliverability and engagement, it also increased the data they had on customers so that they could segment the list. The metric it was moving was clicks, but those clicks allowed them to bring people into really unique segments about the content they wanted to receive and when.
They also did some testing around simple gifs (worked 19% better for CTR) around a button to grab attention. They weren’t complex, but more subtle animation as if you were doing CRO on a website.
2. Plain-text abandoned cart emails
Everyone wants to have an eye-catching, flashy email design. After all, you need to stand out in inboxes, right? Salem suspected this tactic was overrated. It’s not rocket-science. If you look at the HTML of an email, it’s quite easy, whether you are a human or an algorithm, to see which ones are marketing vs. personal emails. It makes sense that the more person-to-person an email is (or seems), the better it will perform.
Salem started AB testing these image-based “sexy” email designs vs. pure-text. He setup an entire abandoned cart sequence as plane-text messages, as if they were coming form a person who you could respond to (which of course, you could). From a customer journey standpoint, it felt unique because these were the only plane text emails you get.
What was the effect?
A 33% increase in sales revenue from their flow!
Having them directly in touch with an Account Manager/Customer Service rep at this point in the journey also proved to be quite valuable.
3. Use hidden content to your SEO advantage
Thankfully, Google is always trying to figure out how to feature the BEST search results. It’s not perfect, and the journey for optimization is endless. That means most content marketers still run into scenarios where they need content indexed which they wouldn’t otherwise have chosen to put on their site. Maybe it’s out of a preference for one’s website to be incredibly simple and clean, only featuring the bare minimum needed to solve a problem. Regardless, it can be useful to point Google to content that won’t bog down your users.
In these scenarios, you can visually hide the content you want Google to look at. Essentially, you just want a hidden clickable dropdown box that displays the high ranking content. Put the dropdown location in a place where no one would really click (like right above a section break, seen in the gif below).
Google doesn’t reward keyword stuffing like the old days, but it does reward certain content formats and keywords that you may not have interest in using organically.
What was the effect?
This tactic took Salem’s client from a Domain Authority of 61 to 68!
Quite a large jump with numbers that high, as domain authority get’s harder to increase as you go up (it’s much easier to go from 1 to 10 than 60 to 70).
💡 Bonus tips and advice
- Do you collect emails via a pop-up? Everyone does the typical “sign up for 20% off” email pop-ups.
- Instead of doing a coupon code, lead with your best content! Salem created a “know your dose” piece that genuinely helped educate new CBD users.
- Use a tool like Klaviyo for proper email segmentation. It integrates really well with other tech stack tools like Shopify.
- Eventually you should move towards a mature CRM where you can fully automate your personal email sends, but start small. Provide value to just a few segments before you try to build an overly complex system.
- Spend some time researching email tools. There are TONS on the market, each serving a unique niche.