Nebia’s Brilliant Pre-launch Customer Acquisition Campaign

I ran across Nebia’s pre-order campaign for an innovative new shower head this morning and was mesmerized. Sure, the product is cool, but I was more impressed by the marketing strategy.

They simply did almost everything right.

I studied their strategy at length this morning, and I wanted to share a few insights on why I think it’s so brilliant.

For those readers who don’t know me (i.e. most everyone), I have a little street cred in the customer acquisition / growth hacking world — I used a similar strategy to build 11 million email subscribers and 7 million Facebook fans at Country Outfitter, a business I founded in 2009, and sold in 2013 after raising over $100 million in venture capital IN ARKANSAS.

For disclosure: I’ve never met the team behind Nebia, nor do I have any interest in their company (other than an oversized crush on their marketing campaign.)

Diving in…

My introduction to their brand started with a compelling ad in my Facebook feed… darn straight I want to own the Tesla of Shower Heads!

Additionally, their targeting was spot-on. I happen to be in the middle of a bathroom renovation — I’m not sure if they targeted me based on my recent addiction to Houzz, off my interest profile, or just got lucky, but they found me nonetheless.

I am a fairly wealthy home owner of a 7-figure property in the middle of a bathroom remodel… a targeting bullseye if I’ve ever seen it.

After clicking the ad, I was taken to an equally brilliant email squeeze page:

I rarely give out my email address, but in this case they gave me a compelling reason — the reward of learning more exceeded the risk of receiving yet another promotional email.

I’d sell my first born child to have early access to the “Tesla of Showers” — of course I’ll give you my email address!

Perhaps most importantly, however, the only action you can take on their landing page is to give Nebia your email address — a classic, under-utilized, squeeze page technique… the same one I used at Country Outfitter.

Perhaps you remember posts like these taking over your Facebook feed in late 2012 and early 2013?

Just like the technique Country Outfitter helped popularize, Nebia fully gates their landing page and requires an email subscription to move forward.

To be clear — only around 10–30% of the people who hit this squeeze page will subscribe. The rest will leave, and won’t be especially happy about it.

While it’s counter-intuitive to piss off 70 to 90% of your users by requiring an email submission, the conversion rate (and revenue) of the 10–30% who subscribe to receive push marketing messages will likely FAR exceed the revenue of an un-gated experience… in fact, it’s usually not even close.

In Country Outfitter’s case, the revenue delta from Facebook ads was over 3000% — the gated landing page outperformed the un-gated landing page by more than 30-fold.

Want to learn more? Tough — give me your email address first.

Want to see it in action? Tough — give me your email address first.

Want to buy it? Tough — give me your email address first.

Sure, I could simply type in and bypass the gate, but most users are simply not that savvy or are too lazy like me.

After subscribing to their email list, the real magic begins. Checking my inbox, I immediately received the first email in a drip campaign.

The email was a personal note from the CEO. It contained a warm welcome, reinforced that Nebia is a a great product, professed that it uses 70% less water than traditional shower heads and thus it’s great for the environment.

And it ended with a simple and effective call to action — PRE ORDER NOW.

I’m pretty certain that this email is likely the beginning of a several day long cascade designed for new subscribers. The tracking in the email click URL is solid too — utm_medium, utm_source, utm_campaign are all utlized. I imagine they are tracking results and ROI to the nth degree.

The importance of event-driven email cascades (or drips) can’t be understated.

With 11 million email subscribers, Country Outfitter was forced to quickly move away from a “batch and blast” email marketing strategy — a strategy where every subscriber receives the same email at the same cadence.

Instead, we moved to a complex series of event-driven email marketing cascades.

In addition to the classic new subscriber email drip, and the abandoned cart email drip, our team built out dozens of cascades that were trigged by discreet events. Despite being only 10% of the send volume, these customized, individualized event-driven emails drive over 350% more revenue than their “batch and blast” counterparts.

Despite their genius-level execution, I’d change two things:

First — after subscribing on their landing page, oddly they confirm the subscription but don’t redirect to the pre-order page. A pretty surprising oversight given how tight the rest of the flow is structured.

Second — re-targeting / re-marketing appears to be non-existent. Sure, they have my email address, but a re-marketing display ad campaign prompting viewer to “Pre-order Now” would almost certainly provide ROI-positive, incremental revenue.

In conclusion — Nebia has created an incredible customer acquisition campaign. Through precise targeting, beautiful imagery, implementation of email acquisition best practices, and well-executed email calls to action they’re almost certainly outperforming most of their peers.

TL;DR — acquire email addresses via squeeze page, then send compelling, customized, event-triggered email content with prominent calls-to-action.