How Living Proof Expanded Its DTC Business
Customer: Living Proof
Platform: Salesforce Commerce Cloud
|514%||YOY increase in Q3 owned revenue driven by email|
|21%||increase in revenue per recipient after launching an abandoned cart flow to accompany an abandoned checkout flow (live within 2 weeks of integrating with Klaviyo)|
|29%||email list growth after less than 2 quarters with Klaviyo|
YOY increase in Q3 owned revenue driven by email21%
increase in revenue per recipient after launching an abandoned cart flow to accompany an abandoned checkout flow (live within 2 weeks of integrating with Klaviyo)29%
email list growth after less than 2 quarters with Klaviyo
Living Proof is a Boston-based haircare brand rooted in science. Founded by a group of hairstylists and biotech scientists, the brand now has more than 50 products, twenty patents, 165 awards, and millions of brand enthusiasts worldwide. Core to the brand’s growth strategy: it’s direct to consumer business.
Ilana Cohen is Living Proof’s senior ecommerce manager. She oversees all of the brand’s direct to consumer (DTC) business on its website and Amazon.
Ilana spoke about the brand’s growing ecommerce business and the opportunities the brand sees in this space, why Living Proof became a Klaviyo customer in summer 2019, and how they’ve been able to both expand their business and prepare for their next phase of growth as a result.
“Ecommerce, in general, is definitely growing. And here at Living Proof, we hadn’t done much before our digital team started, so we knew there was a lot of groundwork to be done, but also a lot of revenue and a lot of different opportunities in the ecommerce world.”
Senior Ecommerce Manager, Living Proof
As Living Proof ramped up their DTC business, Ilana said the brand soon realized that the marketing automation platform they were previously using to support their email marketing program was too limited and it wasn’t the right solution to help the brand embark on its next phase of growth. To support their growth, Living Proof wanted to improve their email open rates and deliverability. They also wanted to become more sophisticated with how they used marketing automation and with the marketing strategies they used to target specific buyer personas, so they sought a new solution.
“The platform we were using before Klaviyo wasn’t very user-friendly. We also didn’t have dedicated account support and the emails we were sending out were mostly mass email blasts. We weren’t doing anything that was personalized to the customer about what they wanted or what they needed.”
Knowing they needed to make a change, Ilana and her team looked at different solutions, including Klaviyo, which was recommended by fellow online brand builders.
“When we first started looking for a new email service provider, Klaviyo definitely stood out in our search. A few of their current customers recommended it for their ease of use, account support, and personalization.”
How Living Proof integrated Klaviyo with Salesforce Commerce Cloud in a quick, easy, and affordable way
Before making the decision to move to Klaviyo, though, the Living Proof team needed to first understand what it would take to integrate this new marketing automation platform with their ecommerce store, which the brand runs on Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
While some may think the process would be overly time-consuming, complex, and considerably costly, Ilana says Living Proof found the process to be rather quick, easy, and affordable.
“Before we integrated with Klaviyo with our Salesforce Commerce Cloud website, we didn’t expect it to be a complete plug-and-play integration. But with Klaviyo’s support team and our development agency, we were able to integrate pretty easily. One of the big benefits of integrating [these two platforms] is the productivity that we’ve seen and also the cost savings.”
Why personalization and segmentation are marketing strategy fundamentals for Living Proof
Once the integration was complete, Living Proof was able to quickly begin using personalization and segmentation strategies with their email marketing program that Ilana said they were limited with before they made the move to Klaviyo.
One of the first marketing strategies that Living Proof quickly launched was an abandoned cart flow to accompany their abandoned checkout flow. Within two weeks, this new flow was live and results show it worked: these flows helped to increase revenue per recipient (RPR) by 21 percent. Living Proof also created a Cyber Weekend campaign, which drove an 8.5 percent increase in Cyber Weekend revenue over 2018.
What’s more, with personalization and segmentation now at the center of its email marketing strategy, Living Proof saw its Q3 owned revenue driven by email marketing increase 514 percent year-over-year (YOY) and its Q3 number of successful email deliveries increase 432 percent YOY, as well.
“[Email] production itself has improved since we started using Klaviyo. The drag and drop feature has been great, and it’s allowed us to save a lot of time while building out emails. We’ve also seen open rates improve, click rates improve, and I think that’s a testament to how we warmed our email list and then grew it all together.”
Ilana also spoke about why growing their subscriber list is a top priority for the brand.
“Growing our email list is a top priority for Living Proof this year. We know that if we have a loyal customer base, they are going to continue to subscribe to emails and use them to find out about exclusive product launches, free samples, and we can also build out our emails to be personalized to that specific customer.”
To grow their list, Living Proof launched a quiz to help people find the right hair mask for their particular needs and offered them a free sample for subscribing. They also wanted to mitigate the risk of early unsubscribes, so rather than sending mass email blasts, Living Proof created segmented campaigns based on a subscriber’s level of engagement—for example, sending emails only to people who’ve opened or clicked an email within the last six months.
Since Living Proof started using Klaviyo in late summer 2019, their email list has grown by more than 29 percent.
“We’ve definitely been able to grow our email list since switching to Klaviyo. We’ve run different programs like sample programs and exclusive access to product launches through social and using our website. And through that, we’ve been able to segment our list and send more customized emails to these subscribers.”
Because growing their email list is a top priority, Living Proof also needed an effective, automated way to both welcome new subscribers to the brand and engage them as they began their relationship. Ilana spoke about how Living Proof created a welcome series to do just that.
“One series that we have live now in Klaviyo, that we didn’t have before, is our welcome series. I think it’s great to have—when a customer subscribes to your emails, they’re instantly sent an email that welcomes them to the brand. Then, that’s followed up with an email that encourages them to follow us on social media and then another email with our introductory kits so they can find the right kit for their needs.”
Owned marketing is core to Living Proof’s DTC growth strategy, and with Klaviyo, the brand has been able to execute that strategy—they’re now capturing more data about their customers they in turn use to create more relevant, personalized marketing experiences. Ilana spoke about one such way the brand collects customer data to inform its marketing strategy.
“One way we capture data about our customers is through our haircare quiz. It’s a series of questions that ask you about your hair type and which products you use. From there, we’re able to segment out which products are right for that specific customer, give them a recommendation, and then follow up about those products to either see if they’re using them the right way or provide tips and tricks on how to use the actual products.”
Marketing advice: Ilana’s pro tips
Based on her experience as an online brand builder, Ilana shared some advice on effective marketing strategies that ecommerce marketers should be using if they’re not already doing so today.
“A big tip for other marketers is to focus on personalization and customization. We know it’s important to not send mass email campaigns, but to instead send ones that are catered to the customer. For example, if we have someone who’s using Perfect hair Day shampoo versus Restore shampoo, they should be getting emails that are specific to that franchise. They shouldn’t be getting emails about products they’re not using or that aren’t the best for their hair. By doing this, customers are more likely to continue to purchase from your brand and try new products that make sense for them.”
When asked about the one thing she’d do to build better relationships with Living Proof’s customers this year—cost, resources, and other priorities aside—Ilana said she’d love to get a product, the brand’s dry shampoo which is a cult-favorite among beauty editors, celebrity stylists, and everyday consumers, into their hands.
“I’d be like Oprah and say, ‘You get a dry shampoo, you get a dry shampoo, everyone gets a dry shampoo!’”
What’s ahead: Living Proof’s next phase of growth
As Living Proof continues to grow, Ilana says that consumer education is a top priority.
Living Proof plans to delve deeper into owned marketing. The brand will use its website and email marketing program to provide extensive education on the brand’s products and ingredients to both enhance their relationships with customers and help them make more informed purchasing decisions.
“One of the top challenges I could see us facing in the next couple of months is how we communicate that our products are silicone-free and sulfate-free, and what that actually means. To help with this, we’re building a content hub on our website and doing things that are personalized to the customer to let them know what the actual ingredients are—they’re usually long-form ingredients that the average consumer isn’t really aware of.”
Along with creating more educational content, Ilana said that personalization and segmentation will continue to be key strategies that Living Proof will use to create more engaging and relevant experiences for their customers.