Bulletproof Re-Engages Customers with Direct Mail + Email

Bulletproof Product Photo.jpg

Bulletproof is more than a coffee and supplements brand. It’s a phenomenon.

Founder and renowned biohacker Dave Asprey started the company in 2004 after discovering yak butter tea during an energy-draining trek in Tibet. Bulletproof coffee quickly became a sensation -- and that sensation expanded into a supplement products company.

The company reimagines nutrition with a variety of high-performance food, drinks, and supplements. It’s a pioneer when it comes to marketing too.

In this case study, we’ll give you an inside look at Bulletproof’s retention strategy.

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Repeat purchases and high LTV are critical for supplement brands like Bulletproof.

Customer acquisition costs are high in the supplements category.

Because of this, most supplement brands don’t make any money on a customer’s initial purchase. They suffer from what we call the One-Time Buyer Problem.

Profits come from repeat customers. From customers where one is not paying up to acquire a customer again.

Creating repeat customers is therefore a goal of most supplement companies … at least the ones that aim to ink profits. It requires building long-term relationships with new customers. For Bulletproof, it means creating daily regimens around its products.

Enter: Re-engagement Campaigns

So, after acquiring a new customer, Bulletproof’s #1 goal is to convert that buyer into a repeat buyer.

Its #2 goal is to keep that customer repeating.

Simple, right?

But how does one keep a customer repeating? The easiest way in online retail requires two steps:

  1. Companies must detect when a customer is defecting, or leaving the brand.
  2. Companies must prevent this defection from happening.

“Re-engagement Campaigns” are marketing campaigns that accomplish this. They typically are triggered when a customer has stopped buying. And they create an incentive for that customer to come back into the fold and re-engage, or buy again.

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Bulletproof’s Re-engagement Campaigns

Bulletproof has created a series of re-engagement campaigns that work as follows:

  1. A customer that has purchased predictably (i.e. monthly) in the past suddenly stops buying.
  2. This lack-of-expected-purchase triggers a re-engagement campaign to send to that customer.
  3. This campaign offers the customer a discount on that customers’ subsequent purchase.

It’s simple. Bulletproof can afford to extend these discounts, as each offer is targeted specifically at an individual customer (not at the entire internet) and only at those who are no longer buying.

In short: Bulletproof is not giving away discount dollars where it doesn’t have to.

How does Bulletproof deliver these campaigns? Two ways:

  1. Via email, direct to a customer’s inbox, and
  2. Via direct mail postcards, direct to a customer’s mailbox.

Why Bulletproof Uses Email AND Direct Mail

Why not just deliver the re-engagement campaigns via email only? Email is cheap to send, after all.

The issue with email is three-fold:

  1. Not every subscriber opens an email. Typical ecommerce open rates hover around 20%, meaning 80% of your list will not see your campaign.
  2. Not every customer is on an email list. Most are not, or they may have unsubscribed.
  3. Even if a customer is on the email list and opens an email, he or she may perceive the email as spammy.  

Studies show that receiving personalized direct mail from a brand feels more like a gift, and that it’s far better for recall and engagement than digital messaging. This is exactly the type of connection Bulletproof is trying to make with its customers.

Because of these reasons, the data suggest that duplicating the same offers across channels like email and direct mail increases the deliverability, engagement, and ultimately ROI. Bulletproof therefore duplicates all email campaigns and logic with direct mail.

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How to Make Direct Mail As Easy As Email

The Bulletproof team had success with direct mail campaigns in the past. However, other service providers required complex integration, setup, design, and maintenance. Bulletproof turned to PostPilot to drastically improve their internal workflow and access better segmentation and automation capabilities.

PostPilot plugs into your ecommerce store. It allows you to set customer segmentation rules and triggers postcards to these segments.

The PostPilot app also allowed Bulletproof to create and test new campaigns quickly without burdening an internal design team.

Here is Bulletproof’s direct mail postcard design:

Bulletproof Card Front.jpg
Postcard - front
Bulletproof Card Back.jpg
Postcard - back

The Results Speak for Themselves

And here’s a snapshot of Bulletproof’s results: the company’s campaigns are consistently generating a staggering 1000% ROI, with some over 4000%.

And check out that conversion rate—any Facebook ad buyer would be doing caffeine-enabled back-flips to get a conversion rate in that ballpark.

That’s a boost any supplement brand would be glad to get.

The PostPilot’s ROI dashboard for one of Bulletproof’s campaigns
The PostPilot’s ROI dashboard for one of Bulletproof’s campaigns
Bulletproof’s campaigns are consistently generating a staggering 800% ROI, with some campaigns over 1000%.

Key Takeaways

  • You need to retain customers to ink profits.
  • The best way you can do this is via a re-engagement campaign.
  • Push your campaign through Email, and Direct Mail postcards.
  • Postcard marketing works, and PostPilot makes it super easy.

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