Sweet Dreams: How Email Marketing Helped One Direct-to-Consumer Mattress Brand Drive a 500% Increase in Revenue | Coronavirus Series

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Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series that explores the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on the world of ecommerce. Explore insights surrounding the coronavirus crisis or check out these additional resources to help you navigate your marketing strategy during this time.

What happens when a pandemic hits and there’s economic uncertainty? People get stressed out. 

What happens when people get stressed out? Many crave a solid night’s sleep to de-stress. And that’s exactly why one mattress brand saw tremendous sales growth.  

I recently talked with Lauren Haas, director of integrated marketing at Eight Sleep, a sleep fitness brand that sells products that help people sleep better, leveraging technology and temperature. Lauren shared how the brand, which sells relatively high-ticket items, has been able to prosper despite difficult economic times.

Read on to learn about some of the customer engagement strategies Eight Sleep uses to create an engaging experience for customers who want to catch a healthful, restful night’s sleep. 

 

Marissa McGovern: Tell me a bit about what you sell and what your business has been dealing with this year during the coronavirus crisis.

Lauren Haas: Our CEO, Matteo Franceschetti, founded the business along with two other co-founders, and we consider ourselves a sleep fitness company. We have a product, the Pod Pro, that’s a key pillar of health right now, and while it’s a premium product, improving your sleep is one of the best ways that you can boost your immunity. We sell mattresses and all kinds of products that improve your sleep in a smart way, and we help you regulate your sleep temperature to get the best sleep. 

Sleep is the third pillar of health alongside eating healthy and exercising. It’s evident a lot of people feel the same way because our sales via email are up 500 percent in May year over year. 

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Marissa: I’ve spoken with a lot of brands that have been leaning heavily into ad spend right now to acquire new customers. Have you been doing this, too?

Lauren: While paid advertising will always be an important aspect of our marketing mix, we’re focused on creating organic content for our website, blog, social media, and email to acquire new customers to tell our story. 

Right now, one of my main focuses is on nurturing and engaging our existing customers to increase their lifetime value and build a community of sleep fitness enthusiasts.  

Last year, the trend in the venture capital space was that brands should grow at all costs. We know that mindset can lead to overspending when you’re only showing topline growth and not being mindful of your profitability, so customer engagement and retention are really important to us.

"While paid advertising will always be an important aspect of our marketing mix, we’re focused on creating organic content for our website, blog, social media, and email to acquire new customers to tell our story."

Lauren Haas, director of integrated marketing, Eight Sleep

Marissa: What types of content are helping you to drive the success you’re seeing in sales recently?

Lauren: We’re strategic with the content we share with our customers. We focus on educating them on sleep as part of their overall health and wellness. 

Many people aren’t aware of how vital sleep is to their health and how it’s one of the key ways to boost immunity and fight viruses and bacteria. It’s also something everyone can control, to a degree. 

When you’re stuck at home and you’re unable to do the other things in your life that you could once do, you can prioritize getting more sleep. Now is a great time to think about your health and wellness, and your immunity in the context of the virus. 

We leaned into that messaging for a while and we’ve also been talking about ways to optimize your living space for a peaceful and restorative night’s sleep. We’ve also been sharing a lot of sleep tips, sleep hygiene information, and ongoing communication about our sales. 

 

Marissa: How are you using content to nurture existing customers and increase their lifetime value?

Lauren: We have an Eight Sleep app that comes with and connects to our mattresses. It has videos that guide you through setting up your mattress and it also offers nightly sleep reports and content to help you manage stress and wind down—it has milestone trackers for your nightly sleep goals so you know if you’re staying on track.

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This is where Klaviyo comes in. We send customers a series of emails that are triggered by the milestones they reach or the actions they take. We congratulate them on their success and further encourage them to take more actions to achieve more milestones.

 

Marissa: What are some other ways you’re using email to engage your customers and increase the amount of money they spend with your brand?

Lauren: When it comes to ways we can reach people who are already engaged with our brand, email is king. It gives us a lot of real estate to share what we want to communicate with our customers. We also use it to drive people back to our blog or to educational pages on our website that they might not otherwise find. 

Email has definitely been a big part of cultivating lifetime value for our customers. It’s also been a great way to get new customers into the funnel, whether that’s for mattresses or sleep accessories. 

Our flows, for the most part, are geared towards nurturing and educating consumers on the value proposition of our products and what our brand stands for. 

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From a campaign perspective, we’ve had a lot of success with new accessories launches, so we’ve been using campaigns both for customers and non-customers to introduce new products like our new Pod Pro or new pillows. 

We’ve seen a 500 hundred percent increase in our May year-over-year revenue driven by email, so it’s a great way for us to get the word out in a really efficient way.

"Email has definitely been a big part of cultivating lifetime value for our customers. It's also been a great way to get new customers into the funnel...We've seen a 500 hundred percent increase in our May year-over-year revenue driven by email, so it’s a great way for us to get the word out in a really efficient way."

Lauren Haas, director of integrated marketing, Eight Sleep

Marissa: What’s the best piece of advice you could share with fellow DTC marketers who might be feeling discouraged by disappointing sales? 

Lauren: It’s important to start with your own channels. Review how clear your brand’s story is on your website, in your emails, and across your social media channels. Make sure it’s clear, digestible, and relevant in those places, and then you can think about paid advertising if that’s crucial to your business model. 

Don’t think of emails as an afterthought when you plan your communications. Be thoughtful about the emails you’ve received, what you’ve read, what you’ve opened, and use those insights, along with your data, to inform your content strategy. Just make sure you’re not inundating people with emails for the sake of sending an email—you have to provide valuable information.  

That’s the formula we followed when we created our welcome series. We spent a lot of time thinking about the psychology of what would make somebody want to sign up for our emails and what they’d want to know, and then we served that information to them. 

Looking for more insights to help you navigate your marketing strategy amid the coronavirus pandemic? Check out these resources.

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