Man sitting on the ground with a laptop

How to Grow Your Startup’s Email List

Man sitting on the ground with a laptop

 

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet Daycation.

Daycation is a Miami-founded startup that allows people to book “daycations,” gaining access to hotel amenities without staying the night. Traditionally, people must check in as hotel guests to access amenities like pools, lounges, hot tubs, gyms, and private beaches. Now, with Daycation’s network of beautiful, on-demand hotels, users can visit their site and easily book hassle-free day experiences.

We worked with Daycation to grow their email list. In two weeks, we added 1,000 new subscribers at an acquisition cost of $1.15 per subscriber. In addition to the list growth, 25 of the new subscribers booked a Daycation within 30 days of joining the email list.

Why Daycation Focused On Growing Their Email List

For starters, email has been the #1 most profitable marketing channel for ten years in a row. From this one statistic alone, it isn’t hard to see why you need to grow your startup’s email list. It is a key piece of any well-rounded user acquisition effort.

From a growth perspective, it is the statistics on customer acquisition costs that make email a no-brainer for a business like Daycation. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

While we had launched a number of acquisition channels for Daycation, including paid social and chat, we were looking to build an email list of valuable subscribers. Because Daycation is a transactional marketplace, we were confident that email marketing would be a more effective channel than social for driving people to their website and getting them to sign up and purchase a day pass.

So, how did we attract 1000+ new subscribers in two weeks?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

Daycation’s Playbook:

  • Everything begins with great content or value. People will find your site because of your amazing content. They will keep coming back because you provide relevant value. Your content will be the foundation of what you email to them, which will be the reason they stay subscribed (or hit unsubscribe!). For Daycation, we decided to run a cabana giveaway in Miami. In exchange for an email address, people entered for a chance to win a day pass and cabana for four at one of Miami’s top luxury pools.
  • Once you have the right content, you need to start putting your landing page together. Creating a high converting landing page isn’t rocket science. However, creating an effective page involves more than simply designing something that looks good. For Daycation, we leveraged these nine components of a killer landing page and mocked a wireframe using InVision.
  • The page went live, and we needed to get the word out. For Daycation, that meant adding a banner to the homepage of the site, as well as tapping into paid social. We launched Facebook and Instagram campaigns, targeting a specific subset of customers who were most similar to their best current customers.

Screenshot of a Facebook ad for Daycation

Screenshot of an Instagram ad for Daycation

  • Every interaction with someone is a chance to influence their opinion about your business. The minute you collect an email you can start providing relevant value and the message you send is critical. Using Customer.io, when someone signed up for the giveaway, we triggered the confirmation email below. For a large percentage of this list, this was the first email they ever received from Daycation. This is a large opportunity to make a lasting first impression. Try your best to step away from a transactional mindset and show your companies personality.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

  • We ran the giveaway for two weeks, spreading the word to as many people as possible. Once the campaign ended, we announced the winner through email, sending the entire list a $10 off coupon code on their next Daycation.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

The Results:

  • Duration: 2 Weeks
  • Ad Spend: $1,215.76
  • New Subscribers: 1,264 new subscribers
  • Cost Per Subscriber: $1.15
  • Subscriber Purchases (within 30 days): 25

Next Steps:

Our focus on email didn’t end with the cabana giveaway. You’re not just looking to grow your startup’s email list and present a nice vanity metric. It can be easy to just focus on building the list and see the number of subscribers growing and call it a success. Once you have a healthy list of emails, you need to continue focusing on the value you provide to your users with email. What is the end goal and conversion you’re looking for them to make? 

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about customer acquisition or email strategy that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account and talk about how to grow your startup’s email list and what to do with that growth. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.

Illustration of wireframes

How To Turn Your Website Into a Hyper Growth Engine

Illustration of wireframes

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet The Buy Guys.

In this post, we’ll share the story of The Buy Guys, a Florida-based home buyer and seller that has purchased over 10,000 homes in the last ten years. We helped increase their leads by 138% this year by updating their website to increase conversions and serve as a growth engine.

Why The Buy Guys Decided to Update Their Website

Whether you’re launching a site for a new startup or overhauling the site of an existing brand, your website is often one of your most important lead generation channels. Which makes sense, right? People go to your website to learn more about your service or your product.

But here’s the thing: Your website is also the one marketing asset that could benefit most from regular improvements to help boost conversions.

Previously, The Buy Guys allocated the majority of their marketing time and effort to print mail – a successful channel in the home buying industry. But as The Buy Guys matured and more people were spending time researching home selling and the home selling process online, it was critical they improve their online experience. Working with their CEO and COO in January, we decided to work on a digital marketing strategy that would focus on increasing leads and sales.

So, how increase their leads by 138%?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

The Buy Guys’ Playbook:

Start with user research.

You always need to design your website with your target audience in mind, you can’t design it for yourself and your subjective style preferences. To start to get to know the audience interacting with The Buy Guys better, we took both a qualitative and quantitative approach using CallRail, their call tracking software.

The qualitative approach was listening to 100 phone calls recordings to see what kind of words customers were using, what was the very first problem they explained over the phone, what were they hearing, thinking, feeling, saying? Using a spreadsheet, we took notes on each call and tagged each call with a trend we had identified among customers (i.e. ‘unhappy with realtor).

The quantitative approach using CallRail was to export data from over 1,000 calls to see larger trends such as time of day people are calling, what page the visited before calling, where are they calling from. We believe the best strategies are built on customer research and 3-5 detailed personas that can represent the larger audience. Personas give your team a shared language to use when talking about customers and make sure you’re building for them, not you.

Build the wireframe (don’t skip this step!)

After developing user personas backed by qualitative and quantitative research, our designer put this information into action by mapping out a bare-bones layout for your new site. We like to call this part, “the blueprints.” When the wireframe is completed and approved, you have a clear understanding of all of the user paths throughout the site, as well as what content you need to prepare for the redesign. At Tuff, we do wireframes between the strategy and redesign phase as a way of mapping out the strategy in a way that sets us up for success in the design phase.

Through the wireframe, we can accomplish the following:

  • Confirm that our site’s new layout is in line with our UX goals for the redesign.
  • Make sure that everything on our redesign wishlist is accounted for in the new layout.
  • Create a visual roadmap to serve as a foundation for the often chaotic design phase.
  • Give your design team a head start. With the layout and content map already completed, the team can focus on design and brand development.

Designing the site

And now, the fun part, designing the site. During this phase, we bring together all of the elements of our project: our strategy and goals, the completed wireframe, our updated copy and images, and the brand style guide. Using the wireframe as our guide for layout, and the brand style guide and updated content as our guide for visuals, we redesign the site for both desktop and mobile – thinking strategically about how to lay out our content for easy consumption, not only on our audience’s computer but across all of their devices.



Once the mockup is completed and approved, it’s time to start the site build. We chose to build thebuyguys.com using a versatile theme on WordPress.org, a great choice for its flexibility with design and easy ability to be customized. Upon completion of the build, our team went through several rounds of quality assurance testing, before we got to the final step before launch: adding tags.

Review and improve

When your website launches, you should already be recording all of the available data with tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar. With these tools installed, you’ll soon have data that you can start to use to improve pieces of your website.

For example, once The Buy Guys site launched, we quickly realized that their site traffic was heavy on the mobile side. In fact, over 70% of their traffic was mobile. Knowing this, we were able to prioritize mobile updates and start A/B testing our CTAs above the fold on mobile exclusively.

Rather than starting from scratch each time your website becomes outdated, your can think of the website as a project that’s never truly finished. You have to continuously oil your growth engine.

Results:

With the launch of the new website, we:

  • Increased paid advertising spend month over month by 49%
  • Increased leads by 138.02%
  • Decreased Cost Per Lead (CPL) by 36.92%
  • Increases conversion rate by 3.68%

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about user experience or conversion rate optimization that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.

a bar chart

How To Scale User Growth Using Facebook Ads

a bar chart

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet Fresh Meal Plan.

Fresh Meal Plan is a healthy meal delivery service located in South Florida. Looking to find traction in the Florida market and scale their growth, they partnered with Tuff to launch high-impact Facebook and Instagram campaigns to increase ROI and quickly drive key learnings on what’s working and what’s not.

Why Fresh Meal Plan Tapped Into Paid Social Acquisition

Scaling growth is hard and it requires you to be rigorous about the channels you experiment within the early stages of your business. It might seem easy to find one right away and then dump all your money into that one tactic but that almost never happens. As a startup, you have to work towards the right channel – and understand that it takes time.

One of the channels we saw the most success with for fueling user acquisition for Fresh Meal Plan was Facebook. With a wide range of targeting options to help you find the right niche, customer acquisition using Facebook ads can be a highly cost-effective channel. After an initial kick-off meeting with Fresh Meal Plan to align on goals and ROI expectations, we launched geo-specific Facebook and Instagram campaigns following a 3-step process.

The Three Step Process

Step 1: Conduct user research before design

Figuring out the right targeting is key to reaching the audience most likely to convert. Be it in-depth customer segmentation or listening to customer phone calls, we never create a Facebook or Instagram without researching user behavior first. As an agency, you can lean on your client’s customer-facing team members or, if you’re in-house, partner with your support team to learn more about your customers.

We’ve found that it’s better to spend more time building out target segments and do the right design for them than doing the right campaign for the wrong users. For this account, we built out 5-10 core and custom audiences in Facebook.

For our core audiences, we relied heavily on interest and behavior targeting. For example, we created an audience of users who expressed an interest in CrossFit on their Facebook page. In addition to core audiences, we also built out Lookalike Audiences using website traffic and existing customer email lists.

Step 2: Develop custom creative for each audience

After building out our target segments in Facebook’s audience panel, we created Facebook campaign concepts for each target segment. Both the copy and creative is developed with a particular audience in mind.

Step 3: Retarget with a compelling offer

To combat ad invisibility and get the most of customer acquisition using Facebook ads, we try to always include a compelling offer or call to action in our retargeting effort. Doing so can drive great results, especially if your goal is to generate sales rather than solely drive clicks.

 

Results

Over the course of 30 days, we achieved the following results for customer acquisition using Facebook ads, driving significant market awareness and sales for the brand. Since then, we have doubled the budget and scaled our acquisition efforts to new markets:

  • Clicks: 1,984
  • New Customers: 228
  • CPA: $15.85

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about customer acquisition using Facebook ads that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.