How Product Reviews Helped Waves Gear Get an 8% Revenue Lift

Waves Gear was founded to solve a simple problem:There were tons of good looking sunglasses out in the market, but they didn’t float. That’s troublesome for those who love water sports.

So Waves Gear set out to solve this problem, and after multiple attempts, finally created and launched the Waves Gear Floating Sunglasses for the summer of 2012.

Through their Shopify site, they sell their signature floatable sunglasses, and have expanded their product line to micro towels (which take up less space in your beach bag than regular towels).

The Waves Gear team is not only talented at product design, but they’re also very smart marketers. Here’s how they are growing their business and using Klaviyo for email marketing.

Biggest Marketing Lessons Learned

Waves Gear is constantly testing and trying new things for marketing. Here are a few of the key things they’ve learned.

1) SEO matters.

They’ve found that conversion paths on their site are pretty straight-forward and that customers don’t jump around too much. Therefore, SEO-optimized product pages paired with Adwords campaigns have done really well for them.

2) (The right) partnerships work.

Waves Gear does affiliate programs with related companies (like fitness brands) and media outlets (like Gizmodo) to drive email signups and sales.

3) Email subscription pop-ups generate sales.

They also try to optimize their site for sales and email conversions. For example, they recently used Klaviyo to add a pop-up email signup form and $10 discount offer on their homepage.


This feature alone has driven more than 2,000 email signups over the past six months.

4) Email works better than other stuff.

Previously, Waves Gear did a lot with Facebook advertising and had a lot of success there. But recently, they haven’t felt they’ve gotten the same ROI from it. So, they have turned their attention even more towards email marketing as a result.

Blake Macleod, Founder of Waves Gear, explains:

“I used to be able to buy a ‘like’ for $.06. Then I could post to my page, and my content would be shown to those people. Now, I have to pay for my content to be shown to my own audience. If I spend $1, I want to make $1.50 back. Email is the most successful way to drive revenue. For what we pay for Klaviyo, we make that back multiple times,” he says.

5) Auto-responders and product reviews = a winning combination.

Waves Gear has been using Klaviyo for about a year. What initially drew them to the product was the ease of integration with Shopify and the ability to easily set-up and test different campaigns.

One of the biggest testing successes is an auto-responder that goes out to customers seven days after they make a purchase. The auto-responder offers $20 off in exchange for a product review.

They used the Klaviyo email editor to build the auto-responder. Here’s what it looks like:


“The value of product reviews is two-fold. First, most people will read one or two product reviews before making a purchase. So it helps drive future sales. Second, reviews are very SEO-friendly, because you have all of this rich content on your product pages,” Blake says.

The initiative has been great. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 34% of the people that write a review come back and make another purchase.
  • Waves Gear has seen a 7.8% lift in revenue from this autoresponder.

There are a few nuances to this campaign you should know about.

  1. The review sentiment doesn’t matter. First, Waves Gear gives customers the coupon whether they write a positive review or a negative one.
  2. Discount messaging isn’t left to chance. Waves Gear team did some testing around the effectiveness of certain discount messaging. They found that describing the discount in terms of “dollars off” felt more like a discount or a gift card. It added a sense of urgency for the customer to actually use it. Describing a discount in terms of “% off” wasn’t as effective. This is why they offer $20 off rather than 10% or 20%.

Next Up

As always, Waves Gear plans to continue to test their marketing channels and email campaigns to see what drives the most conversions for their online store.

Blake offers this advice for people with new online stores:

“The most important thing you can do when you set up your online business is begin to collect email address.  I did not have a way to collect email for over a year.  It still pains me to this day when I think of how many email addresses I lost in my early days.  After you are capturing email, invest time in auto-responders.  They are amazing.”


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