How to Spark Customer Curiosity: A Solopreneur’s Learnings from Building Two Fitness Brands
When you hear rugby, what comes to mind? For me, it usually involves two rugby players battling over the ball, fiercely clawing at each other, not minding the fact that they’re covered in mud.
But just because the sport is rough and tough doesn’t mean the kit has to feel rough and uncomfortable—and that’s exactly what Scott Flear thought, nearly five years ago.
Scott originally created Rugby Warfare as an educational platform to help rugby players train, which can be difficult without a dedicated trainer.
“Most rugby training plans are hidden—players don’t know what the best training methods are or what experts advise,” Scott explained.
To shed light on best training practices, he created a content website based on his fitness background and SEO knowledge.
“I set up a blog, worked on SEO, and got it ranked number one for rugby training,” he said.
As the blog grew organically, Scott had the idea to pair rugby training guidance with selling actual gear to make training more comfortable.
“That’s when it turned into an ecommerce website. I had a lot of visitors from the blog and so my idea was to offer them rugby clothing that was different,” he said.
In 2016, Rugby Warfare—which uses the ecommerce platform WooCommerce—became a fitness-inspired clothing brand that quickly became popular across the UK—and particularly in Wales, where rugby reigns supreme.
Since then, Scott also co-founded Live Like Louise, a UK-based influencer fitness program that offers fitness programs and advice for women.
In addition to a fitness focus, there’s one thing that these two businesses share: Scott’s tips and strategies to hook and convert customers. Keep reading to get a look into what strategies he’s found that work across his brands.
How Rugby Warfare finds and nurture customers
Appealing to customers who are considering a purchase is central to Rugby Warfare’s marketing strategy.
"Most people are slow buyers—they take 60 to 120 days to decide to buy something. Those are often the forgotten people because businesses think you have to sell to someone within a short period of time. If they're not interested during that short period of time, they'll never buy. That’s not true."
Scott Flear, founder of Rugby Warfare
“Most people are slow buyers—they take 60 to 120 days to decide to buy something. Those are often the forgotten people because businesses think you have to sell to someone within a short period of time. If they’re not interested during that short period of time, they’ll never buy. That’s not true,” Scott explained.
So how does Rugby Warfare find and nurture people to become customers? Scott gave two examples of effective tactics he uses.
Dig deeper for targeted advertisements
To find new customers, Rugby Warfare often runs ads on Facebook. While it’s an effective channel, the danger is in how high the customer acquisition costs can be.
“With paid ads, if you just go for the suggested targeting, everybody else will do that as well, so it’s more expensive. In rugby, everybody knows who the big players are, but there are some middle tier players who only true rugby fans would know. If you target those people who are interested in those players, you find higher quality customers,” Scott said.
The acquisition costs are lower when Rugby Warfare targets more niche interests simply because fewer brands will bid against them.
But that’s not the only benefit: Ensuring they only target deeply invested rugby fans leads to more loyal customers in the long run, too. Finding the more passionate customers from the beginning ensures that the rest of Rugby Warfare’s marketing efforts will truly resonate with their customers.
Which leads me to how Rugby Warfare continues to engage those customers…
Send daily emails
Another key to Rugby Warfare’s marketing strategy is a practice that some marketers might advise against: Sending daily emails.
Why is this strategy so often avoided? Fear of the dreaded unsubscribe.
“If people unsubscribe from my daily emails that offer genuine advice, then I don’t want them on my list. If they’re not going to buy anyway, why worry if they opt out?” Scott countered.
Here’s an example of a daily email:
While the daily emails aren’t overly sales focused, the educational format and P.S.-style call to action drives 40% percent of email revenue per month—plus, it builds customer relationships by giving the customer value and showing brand personality.
The secret weapon of curiosity
Another way Scott makes sure people pay attention is by tapping into natural curiosity.
“People are built for curiosity. If I say to you, ‘My top two tips on life are…,’ you’d be waiting for me to say what they are. Or if I give the first bit, you’d be like, ‘Okay mate, what’s tip number two?’” Scott pointed out.
This principle is how Scott approached the launch of Live Like Louise. After the day of launching the website, the team realized fewer people made a purchase than they had hoped. To further engage those customers, Scott crafted post-launch daily emails to pique his customers’ attention.
“The first email subject line was ‘Myths that kill fat loss,’ which got a 75 percent open rate. The email the next day said, ‘I’ve got this interesting question…’ The day after, ‘You underestimate your calorie intake by 1,000 calories,’ yielded a 78 percent open rate. ‘My big stupid nutrition failure’ was the next day,” Scott recounted.
The common thread between these subject lines is posing a question that the person reading the email now wants answered: What are myths that kill fat loss? Do I really underestimate my calorie intake?
"For all of these people who didn't buy straightaway, just sending them a follow-up email led to a revenue increase of 50 percent."
Scott Flear, founder of Rugby Warfare
“For all of these people who didn’t buy straightaway, just sending them a follow-up email led to a revenue increase of 50 percent,” he went on to say.
With Rugby Warfare, one curiosity-driving approach Scott implemented was direct mail. While customers get emails from brands all the time, getting a piece of mail—especially one that doesn’t look like a promotional flyer—is pretty rare. To really play into a customer’s curiosity and desire to open it, the letter looked like a personal piece of mail.
“I sent repeat buyers a letter giving them an exclusive offer for being my loyal customers. I sent about 50 letters, and I got 34 orders,” Scott said.
The fact that the letter was addressed like a personal letter was enough to convert some customers immediately, but for those who didn’t purchase, Scott followed up via email, which ultimately led to the impressive 68 percent conversion rate.
What’s next for Rugby Warfare? Community challenges to build loyalty
As Scott thinks about what’s next for Rugby Warfare, the business model of Live Like Louise offers some great insight.
In addition to fitness gear, Live Like Louise offers fitness challenges that members can subscribe to. This offers people an opportunity to not just become a customer, but to join a community and regularly interact with the brand.
Scott has a similar vision for Rugby Warfare.
“Just because people come for the rugby gear doesn’t mean they don’t want to stay for general health and fitness, and even mental well-being,” he hypothesized.
“We’re going to do a six-week challenge where we’ll bring in a rugby player every week to do a Q&A, we’re going to be doing workouts, live Q&As, and take people through six-week challenges,” Scott said.
Rugby Warfare is reimagining the game. From more comfortable gear to transparent fitness routines, the brand is already building a community for rugby lovers—these upcoming challenge programs and continued daily emails are sure to continue that mission in 2021 and beyond.
Plus, looking for fresh ways to get highly targeted customers? Check out these three tips on customer acquisition.
Want to use the tool that Rugby Warfare uses for their data-driven, customer-focused email marketing?