Just over a year ago, anew sleep was a blueprint for something bigger.
Fast forward to today, and it's a living, breathing business that's not just surviving but thriving. Reflecting on this past year, it feels like a whirlwind of growth and learning.
Back in the last quarter of 2022, we were knee-deep in questions:
- Who's our audience?
- How should we run our marketing?
- How much does it cost to bring a customer on board? Can we make weighted blankets a thing in Denmark?
Now, a year into this journey, not only have we found answers to these questions, but we've also discovered new horizons.
So, here's the an update on our first year at anew sleep.
It's not just a story of hitting targets and crunching numbers.
It's about cracking codes, pushing boundaries, and yes, sometimes, learning the hard way.
But most importantly, it's about turning a vision into a reality that's impacting lives, one good night's sleep at a time.
- Customers: over 5.000
- Markets: Denmark, Norway and soon more
- Teamsize: 8 people
- Reviews: +200
The Rollercoaster Ride: Challenges and Triumphs
This year has been a rollercoaster, no doubt about it. We faced our fair share of marketing challenges, which pushed us to test rigorously and increase our output. But the real test came when we faced stock shortages due to shipping issues.
Imagine being sold out of over 70% of your SKUs for first 6 months of 2023.
That was us. 😥
It was a tough spot, but we didn't let it halt our stride.
Navigating Marketing Challenges
Our marketing journey was a test of resilience.
As with everything in life, you'll have periods of drought, periods where it feels like nothing you are doing is working well.
A combination of stock shortages, summer (trust me: selling weighted blankets in the summer is not easy), and not having the right ads for the right people—well, this is a formula for a headache.
There was nothing else to do but to:
- Put on your big boy pants
- Start working as hard and smart as possible
And lo and behold: These challenges pushed us to experiment and innovate.
We increased our output, fine-tuned our messaging, and learned valuable lessons from every failure and success.
Overcoming Stock Shortages
We had the best start at anew sleep during our first three months.
But we soon found ourselves facing a new significant challenge:
Stock shortages. 😮💨
I probably can't think of something worse for an e-commerce business.
Being unable to meet customer demand was frustrating, but it taught us the importance of adaptability and clear communication.
We started working with preorders and, to our great surprise, people were willing to wait months for their products. Even though the business wasn't generating the kind of revenue we wanted, it was something, and that is better than nothing.
Sure, the road was bumpy, but that didn't stop us from cheering for every win along the way.
Every new customer who bought from us, every review we received, and every campaign that hit the ROAS target was like a high-five to our team's relentless efforts.
These wins weren't just numbers or stats; they were real, tangible proofs of the difference we were making. They reminded us why we started this in the first place and fueled our drive to keep pushing forward.
Customer-Centric Approach: Our Key to Success
For anew sleep, being customer-centric is absolutely key. Marketing is not just about ads and keywords on social media and search engines.
It's everything and anything you do with people.
That's why having the best customer service is like having the best marketing on the planet. And the best part of it all? It doesn't cost you money to be nice to people.
Building Relationships, Not Just Transactions
Since the very beginning, we knew that word of mouth could and should play a significant role in our customer acquisition.
If you have to buy every single customer through paid channels (Meta, Google, TikTok, etc.), it will be so expensive in the long run.
Being able to shift some of the customer acquisition towards word of mouth and organic channels such as SEO would significantly increase what we can pay for a new customer through paid channels.
And I don't need to conduct a huge analysis to tell you that advertising costs are rising on popular digital marketing channels.
So, it'll fit nicely in a growth case being able to spend more than competitors.
From that time onwards, we decided to aspire to be the very best when it comes to customer service for our clients — both new and existing.
Listening and Learning from Feedback
When offering phone support, email, and live chat, you end up getting a ton of insight into the struggles people face on our website, with our products, and the general perception of our position compared to our competitors.
When talking to these customers, we ended up learning a ton on how to better improve our product, service, and customer experience on the website.
One example is that a fair share of our customers were facing issues adapting and learning how to use our weighted blanket consistently.
That made us work towards making "how to get started with your new product" videos, which we now automatically send out every time someone buys a product: thus making sure they get the optimal tips and learnings on how to use our products and get the desired result:
Actually, we learned that this in turn helps our customers and thus lowers the return rate for this product. Amazing, right?
The Impact of a Happy Customer Base
Now we get a ton of repeat customers, referrals through word of mouth, and can see a positive trend for our brand searches. This is obviously also a product of our intensive and great marketing efforts, but we see through our Zero Party Data (collected at checkout) that more and more people got referred by other customers.
Happy customers = more word of mouth = more new customers.
Lessons Learned Along the Way in Marketing
The journey of marketing is never a straight line. It's filled with twists, turns, and invaluable lessons. Here's a glimpse into what we've learned in some of our marketing channels:
Mastering the Art of Meta Ads Performance
Navigating Meta's platforms is a continuous journey of learning and testing, especially when it comes to creating ads that drive performance.
Back in 2013, when I first started working with Facebook ads, it was all about the right setup and targeting. Now, the game has changed; it's all about the creative.
Over the past 12 months at anew sleep, we've heavily invested in creative content (videos and images) for our ads. Today, we produce approximately 5-10 assets weekly, which we test to learn what resonates with our audience and what doesn't for our brand.
This approach can be costly, but we've learned to produce all types of content (UGC, influencer, founder, high-end production, and banners) in a very cost-effective manner.
Our costs range from $5 per asset to as high as $200, depending on the type of ad.
This strategy has been instrumental in helping us continuously drive better ROAS, even as we scale our budget.
Going from 0 to +10.000 Monthly Visitors with SEO
The journey of scaling our website traffic from zero to 10,000 monthly visitors was a testament to the power of a well-executed SEO strategy. Inspired by the SEO framework outlined in my blog post, we focused on creating a robust foundation and building upon it strategically.
Here's some pointers on what made all the difference:
- On-Page SEO
We optimized titles, meta descriptions, URL structures, and internal linking, always keeping Google Core Web Vitals in mind.
- Link Building
Focused on quality and relevance, we combined guest blogging with strategic link purchases, including the use of PBNs.
- High-Quality Content
Our content was user-centric, addressing search intent and optimized with SurferSEO (which I honestly think is a SEO cheatcode if you want to grow your organic traffic).
This simple approach not only boosted our traffic resulting in more conversions but also established a strong SEO foundation for future growth.
This is definitely something we'll continue to invest alot of time and energy into in the coming year.
Harnessing the Power of Influencer Marketing
Our journey with influencer marketing at anew sleep has been a learning curve, evolving from initial challenges to finding the right strategy.
We've worked with around 150 influencers, each sharing unique stories about our products. The key has been to find influencers whose values align with ours and who can authentically represent our brand.
We've learned the importance of a clear strategy, whether through ambassador programs or a broad approach. Initially, direct contact proved challenging, but switching to MakeInfluence brought traffic and sales.
Now, we're focusing on expansion, continuously collaborating with 20-30 new influencers monthly, emphasizing sales-driven partnerships for entering new markets.
Influencer marketing has become a strong driver for our strategy, driving awareness, sales, and brand authenticity. As we expand into new markets, we're confident in the role influencers will play in our growth.
Reflecting on My Journey
This adventure in e-commerce has been incredibly rewarding for me.
It's a field that's always changing, full of chances to learn new things.
One of my highlights was speaking at the MarketingCamp conference in Kolding, here in Denmark. There, I shared my thoughts on how to use find the right marketingmix for e-commerces. It was also great to meet and learn from many smart people in the industry.
I'm excited to share that I'll be speaking at Ehandelsdagen in early 2024. I'll be talking about Facebook ads, which is a topic I really enjoy. If you are going to that conference be sure to hit me up, I'd love to chat.
A Year in Review: Growth, Challenges, and Impact
Reflecting on anew sleep's first year, it's been a journey of growth, overcoming challenges, and making a real impact. From mastering Meta ads and SEO to embracing influencer marketing, we've learned and adapted at every turn.
More than strategies, it's the difference we've made that stands out. Each satisfied customer and successful campaign underscores why we started this journey. Looking ahead, we're excited to expand and innovate further.
Thank you for being part of our story.
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