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Precision Hydration

Find out how Precision Hydration, an electrolyte supplement business, targets the right products to shoppers and how the brand uses its owned marketing to scale its business.


About this episode:

  • How Precision Hydration uses custom tags and a patented sweat test to help shoppers
  • Why paid advertising hasn’t driven significant results
  • How evergreen content drives 50 percent of the brand’s traffic


Learn about custom tags

Precision Hydration product

Full Transcript


Dave Colley: At Precision Hydration, we work with athletes to personalize their hydration strategies, so everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat. It’s also something that a lot of people don’t know. Your hydration needs can be very different than the person next to you on a start line or on the basketball court. So, we help people understand those needs and we have a multi strength range of electrolyte drinks that we then match to you based on how you sweat.

Alicia Thomas: I know you’re doing a lot of work with segmentation and custom tags. Can you talk a little bit about how you’ve decided to analyze the data that you have and how to message to customers?

Dave Colley: We have people do a free online sweat test on our site. And there’s a paid test that you can go and do at one of our test centers, where we actually find out how much sodium is in your sweats, and off the back of that, we take a load of information about how you sweat, how many hours you’re training. All that information is put into Klaviyo on your profile as custom tags. So particularly when our customer service guys are answering an email from you, instead of asking you a million questions we would know the answers to, they’re going in and looking at those custom tags to know as much about the customer as possible for our customer service.

Dave Colley: We also use those custom tags to personalize all of our emails. So, you get a couple of emails off the back of the sweat test, that breakdown your hydration strategy, and those are all driven through custom tags. If somebody cramps they’ll see., we use the dynamic conditional formatting in the emails to show certain blocks of text or images. So, if you cramp, you’ll see copy that you wrote. If you don’t, our email templates are huge. They’ll have tons and tons of blocks and you’ll only see obviously the blocks that are relevant to you based on how you sweat. So that’s a big part of what drives a lot of conversions. And when we launched those flows on Klaviyo, these are huge increase in conversions because you are sending people relevant stuff to them. Obviously now it’s going to be a lot more effective than being more generic, like let’s be honest, a lot of other sports drinks businesses are.

Alicia Thomas: The sweat test that you have, how did you think about building out that information?

Dave Colley: So the online test came later. The original test is a patented medical test that’s actually used in all the hospitals around the world to diagnosis Cystic Fibrosis. We’ve got exclusive rights to that, to apply that in sports. We did a lot of research early on. The questions that are in our online tests now, we asked in the physical test and we found, we did some work with some researchers at Sheffield Hallam University. They found a very strong correlation between how you perceive your sweat and reality. So people who are salty sweaters tend to know they’re salty sweaters, they see the white marks on the kit, heavy sweaters go, oh yeah, people walk up to you and say, “Oh, I’m a heavy sweater, you know, I sweat buckets under my treadmill or whatever.” So there’s a strong correlation between that and reality. And so we developed this algorithm because not everyone can get to a test center. So we’ve got test centers dotted around UK and the US and around the world, but some people are multiple hours away from a test center. It’s not convenient.

Dave Colley: Some people don’t want to pay for a test initially, so the free online test is an algorithm based test that we developed off the back of all that data from those tests. The first version of that went live on our original website and there wasn’t a kind of a lot of thought that went into kind of the e-commerce conversion side of things, but our original website in late 2015, we launched a new site on Shopify and that’s when we launched Klaviyo. In the initial version, we know we’ve iterated on that multiple times in the last three, four years, looking at drop off rates at different points in the test. The questions have remained largely the same because there’s kind of a scientific basis to those with the algorithm. The results and what we show and how we present that information has changed quite a bit over time. And that’s all just been through looking at how people use it both constantly and qualitatively as well. Asking people how they use the test.

Dave Colley: We have events we go to where we have an iPad with the online tests that we’ll do with the athlete and just by seeing kind of how people react to that, we’ve kind of iterated on it as well. So there’s a lot of sort of analysis that’s gone into optimizing that experience because it is the main experience on our website. About 50% of people who come to the site will do that test or at least start it. Most people who buy our products will have done at least the online test to give them an idea of what to drink. It’s a really important user experience for us.

Alicia Thomas: What’s next for your marketing strategy? You’ve got a lot going on already, kind of what in the next 12 months or so are you excited to kind of test out or improve on?

Dave Colley: Content marketing is always going to be a big part of our strategy. It’s 50, 60% of our traffic. I think it will always be, probably the majority of our traffic, but we definitely want to expand beyond that as we grow. We’ve tried Facebook ads and Google ads as what you would think would be a nice sort of scalable roots of growth. Those things haven’t worked out for us. I’ve had success with those in other businesses, so I think it is more just that they’re not quite right for our messaging the way we get that across. So we’re doing a lot more now, as I said, in outreach, but also trying to get on podcasts. Podcast is a real sort of golden nugget that we’ve uncovered in the last couple of years. I had our founder Andy on podcasts quite a few times, and we’re still seeing traffic from his guest appearances on podcasts years ago, because again, it’s content, it’s in search.

Alicia Thomas: Thank you so much for sitting down with me today, digging into your marketing strategy and just kind of sharing where you’re headed next with your marketing at Precision Hydration.

Dave Colley: Thanks for having me. It’s been fun.

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