Go behind the scenes of today's top ecommerce brands to see the strategies leading to their growth.

Ready. Set. Grow.


Learn how HYLETE scaled their brand using surveys and segmentation to send customized messages to their audience.


About this episode:

Jone shares HYLETE’s marketing strategy on:

  • Using surveys to learn more about their audience
  • Deciding to be fully custom from the beginning
  • A segmented sending strategy for their 4 different cohorts

Full Transcript


Alicia Thomas: This week on Ready, Set, Grow, things are heating up at HYLETE. A performance apparel company, priced for everyday use. Let’s hear about a few of their marketing strategies that are leading to big growth.

Jon Palmer: HYLETE is a digitally native fitness lifestyle brand, founded in 2012. The core belief was that fitness performance apparel, highest end, shouldn’t come with a super high price tag. So, kind of selling directly to our community, instead of through any brick and mortar retail, we’re able to pass those savings along to the customer, and with that … It wasn’t planned from the beginning but has actually grown into this really awesome community.

Alicia Thomas: I know you’re using Magento …

Jon Palmer: Yes.

Alicia Thomas: … to run the business. Can you talk a little bit about that decision, and how that pairs with using Klaviyo?

Jon Palmer: The beauty of Magento is, you can do whatever you want to do. The downside is, you actually have to put the work in to build it all yourself. So, that was a decision from day one, that we were going to put in the work to make everything fully customizable. Klaviyo has the open source API, so we’re able to fire a lot of custom events in, aggregate stuff from our e-com platform, different softwares, all in to Klaviyo and use it as a de facto CRM to make customer-facing communications.

Jon Palmer: We are actually super proud of our customer surveys, and being that direct to consumer model, we have no excuse for not knowing who someone is. So, we actually send out quarterly surveys to everyone in our community, so we know age, gender, product preference, how many times a week they work out, where they work out, what they do for their fitness regimen. Obviously, for things like Klaviyo, that tells us what type of photography to put in front of them. You say you do a lot of kettlebell swings, and you’ve told us that. We can market a short that is specific to that, and then actually show photography around that. We’re really proud about the customer profiles we’ve developed, and that helps with our prospecting, we talk to investors knowing exactly what our core demo is and what our serviceable market is.

Jon Palmer: Beyond that, we actually have different customer groups within Magento, our e-com platform. We have our end consumers, that’s anyone that can come to the site, and we have a specific way we communicate with them.

Alicia Thomas: So, you’ve got a huge community of over 200,000 people and different buckets of people within that group. Can you talk a little bit about how you’re communicating and messaging to those different people within the community?

Jon Palmer: Absolutely. Our biggest cohort is going to be our end consumers. We call them our “everyday athletes.” They are going to be communicated a certain way. Separately, we have 20,000+ military and first responders, so they get their VIP pricing, as they should, and there’s all sorts of really cool programs we do for them. We have 20,000+ trainers, certified trainers, so we want them talking about the brand with their clients. We have separate ways to feature them on our site, so very important how we talk to them. And then we even have 5,000 of our community members who become investors and actually own equity in the brand. And then, of course, they get their investor pricing.

Jon Palmer: In regards to Klaviyo, it’s very important when we send out a message that it be able to be branched appropriately. We target each customer group with the specific message.

Alicia Thomas: When you’re thinking about customer lifetime value, what does that process look like?

Jon Palmer: Klaviyo actually has a forecasting tool that allows us to predict customer lifetime value. That’s great, in terms of setting up future communications and how we may want to talk about discounts with someone when we know they’re going to be one of our best customers.

Alicia Thomas: When you’re thinking about the customer journey, how do you go through that process and figure out what are the right touchpoints to have when you’ve got four really different personas in your community?

Jon Palmer: We look at number of orders, is the first thing. If you’ve never placed an order, we can talk to you very differently than if you’ve purchased 10+ times in the span of a year. Your level of knowledge about the brand, when we talk about incentivizing, those are all heavily controlled. Also, building that customer profile. After someone makes their first purchase, sending them a survey. We’re willing to give up some margin on order number two to ingratiate that person with the brand and have them place their second order within the same month, and then also know more about who that person is, from how many times a week they work out, their gender, their age, where they might be located, all that sort of stuff.

Alicia Thomas: You’ve taken a lot of the fundamentals of really great email marketing and then you really dug deep into branching out and making sure you’ve got really segmented emails. How do you think about testing or evaluating the success of some of those flows?

Jon Palmer: We heavily operate on the fail quickly model. We’re going to turn something live with … We run pretty lean internally. Getting that live as quickly as possible, even if it is just to test it, and then … We say internally, DRA, Define, Refine, Analyze. We need to define something’s working, first. Once we define it’s working, then we can refine it and make all those branches. So, obviously, we take the stallion, the thing that’s making us the money, the abandoned cart, the welcome series. Let’s put more time, energy, internal resources into those, then trying to come up with some brand new flow that doesn’t exist yet. Those are sort of the swinging for the home run versus just trying to get on base every time and grow the company.

Alicia Thomas: This has been great. Thank you so much for having us in your office and letting us learn a little bit more about your marketing strategy.

Jon Palmer: Absolutely. Thanks for coming all the way up from Boston to San Diego to do it.

Alicia Thomas: Absolutely.

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