165: How Kim Kardashian West Helped LuMee Create Massive Growth
Posted by October 2, 2018on
About four years ago, Allan Shoemake was Skyping with his daughter and hated how the poor lighting was impacting the video quality. He strapped a couple of LED lights to the side of his phone case and LuMee was born.
Two years later, Kim Kardashian West picked LuMee as one of her “selfie secrets” and the company exploded from there.
Our guest Jeremy Horowitz is LuMee’s Ecommerce Manager. He attended my email Intensive last August and then he went on to have a ton of success with email. In today’s episode, he shares what they’ve been working on, what’s been working well, how they think about growth. I think you’ll really enjoy this tactic and results heavy episode. Enjoy!
- 7:03 The email strategies that are currently working for LuMee.
- 8:50 The pages you should be placing pop-ups to increase your sales.
- 10:15 Why you should be using heat maps to find the holes in your funnel.
- 13:46 How LuMee changed their approach once Kim Kardashian West started promoting their cases.
- 19:50 How surveying your customers at these points in the funnel can lead to improved growth and a better customer profile.
- 24:11 The KPI’s that LuMee focuses on and the book that changed their approach to tracking performance.
- 27:39 LuMee’s plan for Q4 and the 1 holiday secret weapon they plan to use and you can too.
- 32:00 Why Jeremy is “nerding” out on Chatbots and messenger marketing right now.
Links and Resources
- Measure What Matters – Book
- Dot Com Secrets – Book
- Brand Growth Experts
- Foxwell Digital
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Austin Brawner: Well, I’m excited to be chatting with you today. We’ve got a guest who wanted to interview for a while. He’s been a long time listener and somebody that I got to know at one of my intensives in Austin, Texas, last year.
Austin Brawner: He came to the one in August and they basically went on to have a ton of success with email and he comes on and just chats basically at what they’ve been doing, what they’ve been working on, what’s been working well for them, how they think about growth. His name is Jeremy Horowitz and he works at LuMee, so great conversation.
Andrew Foxwell: Yeah, it really is and Jeremy is somebody that I very much respect and I love his approach and love the approach that LuMee is taking too. Everything from marketing to understanding the customer, thinking in the longer journey. So, without further ado, let’s bring him onto the show.
Jeremy Horowitz: Thanks for having me. Really happy to be here.
Austin Brawner: Really happy to have you as well. We first met at an intensive I was running about, I guess it was about … was it about a year ago?
Jeremy Horowitz: Yeah. I think so. It was last August, right?
Austin Brawner: So almost exactly a year ago. I’m excited to have you on the podcast now to chat about what you’ve been up to. It’s just going to be fun to catch up a little bit because I know you’ve been doing a lot of cool stuff. Why don’t you give our listeners a rundown of who you are, what you’re doing and how you, just kind of like your marketing background?
Jeremy Horowitz: Yeah, sure. So Jeremy Horowitz, Ecommerce manager at LuMee. What I do is I manage all of LuMee’s direct to consumer online sales channels, so Lumee.com as well as Amazon and just from all that activity, I could get my hands dirty on a lot of different things primarily maintaining and owning the shopping experience on both of those polices, as well as doing a lot of support and working with our marketing team pretty closely.
Then I consider my side hustle LuMee and what I do in my “free time” as I run the consumer insights division. So all customer feedback, research surveys, all of that fun stuff. And then what LuMee does probably what everyone cares more about, is we are currently a phone case company.
So about four years ago, our founder, who was a professional photographer for the past 30 plus years was skyping his daughter and just hated how poor the lighting quality is and couldn’t see her, decided to slop some high powered led lights on either side of the case. Essentially the same quality, and the same setup as you would have in a photo studio and LuMee was born.
Two years later, Kim Kardashian West picks it up as one of her selfie secrets, company explodes from there. 2017 was the year of retail expansion, 2018 was the year of growth. We’ve expanded our product line to a bunch of other mobile accessories like rings, screen protectors, power banks that have our same lights on the sides. So think of a power charger with a super strong powered flashlight in it. We’re just looking to provide more awesome content as well as products to our core consumer who just can’t get enough of us, and we’re really excited to be in that market.
Austin Brawner: It’s exciting, the growth has been really phenomenal. It’s been fun to watch and see what you guys are doing. Let’s take it back about a year ago. So I think about a year ago, you guys had switched onto Klaviyo. I think relatively around that time, maybe a few months before, if I’m not mistaken. Walk us through what you’ve done over the last year since the intensive on the email side. What’s been working, what did you guys install, what’s been working for you guys? Let’s start there and then we’ll work towards maybe what you’re working on right now.
Jeremy Horowitz: Yeah, sure. So I took email as a project under my wing leading right up to that intensive and actually I think I found out about you by cobbling together one of your abandoned cart flow webinars and trying to rebuild it myself. And then ended up deciding to go to the intensive.
So 2017, we tripled our email revenue grows from GA year over year. This year we’re looking to two to three X that as well. I mean, obviously, you’re very familiar with how well-automated flows perform. Really use that profit and net revenue to invest heavily into segmentation campaigns and just more content. Someone, I think is 50% more likely to open a sales and promotion email if they regularly open content email.
So we’ve really just put a lot of resources since August in building that out so that those automated flows, and those lifecycle moments just keep generating and piling up cash. Then we just had those campaigns just build on top of that, so that we have that full encompassing at any point in time a customer comes to the site, we grab their contact information, using the Justuno pop ups that we built at the intensive and just feeding them the right content or well, at least what we’re hoping is the right content at the right time, to just provide them the best all encompassing experience.
Austin Brawner: That’s awesome. So you went pretty deep into creating different types of pop ups and overlays. Could you walk us through what you’ve been doing? The different styles of overlays you’ve created, how they’ve worked and where you’re positioning them within the funnel?
Jeremy Horowitz: Yeah, sure. So we do a bunch of different things. I think probably the easiest place to start is where we did last year at the intensive, just the simple buyer die pop up, an exit intent giveaway value to capture an email and then plug them straight into our buyer die automated flow.
That has worked unbelievably well. I would say that’s where most of our pop up revenue is coming from because an insane stat that I just stumbled on a little while ago is that if I go into GA source medium, just the pop up tool accounts for 10% of our store wide revenue. So we’re not talking about email, we’re literally just talking about people interacting with the pop ups and then purchasing. Then from there I really just used that design and technical template as a master file, duplicated it.
The first one we did was what I call the abandoned cart stopper. We don’t have a checkout page anymore on our site. We moved to a dynamic inline part, but when we did, it was a really simple, if you were leaving the checkout page or the cart page, pop up, “Hey, do you want 10% off of your order today?” And then once we captured their email, showed them the discount code, we were seeing a 41% interaction to conversion rate on that pop up.
Then basically I’ll just go through the site every six to eight weeks, look at our heat maps and look at our GA exit rates. I noticed that our FAQ page for example, had just a super high exit rate. I was like, “Okay, why is that happening?” Most likely if someone’s looking for information, they’re not finding it on there. So let’s just do an exit intent pop up on there, get them in direct content with our customer support team to just curb that exit rate, but also just provide that close out moment.
If we know a lot of traffic is leaking out of that part of our funnel, let’s plug the hole, get the people the answers that they need, that even if they’re not ready to buy today, we’re preparing them and getting them the information that they need to ensure that whether it’s in two or three more touches that we bring them back, they’re ready to buy.
Austin Brawner: Makes a lot of sense. One thing you mentioned, and this is actually a topic in the membership this last week was around checkout pages. So you said you guys went from a checkout page to just a slider, right? That comes out as people add to cart. What type of impact did you see when you made that change? How did you guys decide to do it? How has that impacted what you guys are doing?
Jeremy Horowitz: Sure. That was a really interesting change. We essentially … in the past year and a half, we’ve gone back and forth, I think two or three times you can checkout page and the slider.
We moved our design agency to be VSL based out of San Diego. They do a lot of big Shopify plus sites and we were just looking at what were a lot of the other customers doing. What were a lot the other big merchants that target our customers doing?
It wasn’t just a conversion play. By making those adjustments, we also were able to have a one click upsale within our cart. So if you go to lumee.com right now, add something to your cart, you’ll automatically see our power light, which is our best selling accessory, pop up in your cart. You literally click a checkbox to add it to your cart and get 15% off of that accessory.
So it was a … we’d finally come to a place in our product evolution, and our product catalog where we really wanted to up-sell and cross. Really importantly cross sell a lot more items. So we saw it as this innovation of we can provide an awesome UX. Really, it’s not gonna change conversion rate, which we deployed it last January. They started this January, we haven’t seen any changes. We’ve seen AOV jump by a considerable amount.
So it was just one of those moments where we could think of; what are we crossing off the list, everything works and how can we just drive those RPD numbers higher and higher.
Andrew Foxwell: You know, the thing that’s insane to me, of going through this, Jeremy, honestly, listening to you and being in different groups with you. And one thing that I very much respect is your wider vision to digital marketing, that I think is very unique in terms of thinking about the entire customer journey. Clearly, something that is a big part of what you do.
At a high level, you’re saying, you’re looking at heat maps and GA. Can you tell us just a little bit about your philosophy all the way from the pop up to the repeat purchase of the type of value you think you need to provide to a customer in 2018?
What does that look like and how do you continue to provide them value even for something like yours, which is a phone case company with accessories. How do you think about that?
Jeremy Horowitz: Yeah. Thank you. Appreciate it. Some people think I’m crazy. I would say that, and I think I really take of this a lot from the founders of my company and so I think taking one step back, once a celebrity and our brand endorser, like Kim Kardashian West is attached to your company, you need to start thinking about things as a brand instead of a company. Like we don’t sell phone cases, we sell a lifestyle and we need to stand for a lifestyle.
I think that just like really changed a lot of my perspective of, “Yes, I manage sales channels, but I’m really managing a relationship between LuMee as a company and our end customer.” And to me, my philosophy is more like, “I don’t want to sell you something. I want to provide so much value in your life that you are dying to give me your money.”
I think that’s just like a … it just kind of is a difference in philosophy that maybe not everyone shares, but it just changes the way that I view things of like, to me it’s not about getting one sale for $70 because if I had to keep doing that, I’m going to be working my entire career just to keep getting one sale.
It’s about providing someone with such an incredible experience that they don’t even think about, “I know I need whatever I need from.” Today, we’re selling phone cases, but I’m really excited about what we’ve been talking about internally on where we’re going and we’re going to move in a lot of really interesting directions.
What we need to be prepared for is, okay, someone came today to buy a cell phone case from us, but just like the power chargers and just like the other products, it’s really more about they know what we stand for and they know that we’re always looking to provide them with the best overall experience.
So, I mean, at a certain point, this is all just tetris. There’s just a bunch of resources and a bunch of moving parts and a bunch of strategies and it’s all about how do we put all those pieces together so that when someone comes to our site or our Instagram or any of our in-store experiences, they just have an awesome time and then associate that name with that great experience.
Austin Brawner: Sure. So when you’re thinking about this and actually implementing it with Facebook ads, with emails, with wherever your touch points are with your customers, how are you actually implementing that? How are you actually providing these great experiences for your customers? Do you have any examples of what you guys are doing that’s unique that maybe would give people ideas of how they could do it themselves?
Jeremy Horowitz: Oh, that’s such a great question. So, I don’t want to get bogged down in anything that we do too specifically, because I think so much of it has come from our customers that I’d really rather just talk about how we got to the experience. And it’s super fascinating, I’ve been reading a bunch of books on this recently and a common thread that I keep seeing which kinda like hit me. It was like one of those, “Oh, duh” moments. It’s just like, we just ask our customers what they want, to be perfectly honest.
We have a lot of surveys, we have a lot of feedback, we’re very active on social media and we are literally just like, “Hey, we have an idea,” and whether that’s around content or literally our product, current product roadmap or our onsite experiences, we literally just are continually asking like, “Hey, what do you guys want?” and then we just give it to them.
So for example, our customers are super fashion focused and they love the designs of our cases and we were struggling with a while internally, like picking colors and picking patterns and picking designs. We eventually just like, “Okay, here are the three ideas we have.”
We essentially created a bunch of variance of each ones that we sent out a survey of 10 colors and they varied in patterns and all these different things. We just asked them what they wanted and they voted, and it’s turned into some of our best selling products and our best selling designs where we’re pulling them out into other cases, other products, in our Instagram posts. They’re the background colors and the background patterns.
So I don’t think there’s one super specific example, but it’s really just more about like; your customers are coming to you for a specific reason. Once you know what that reason is, just ask what they want next and just make sure it’s really high quality, it fits with what you’re already doing and just give it to them.
Austin Brawner: And when you’re surveying people, are you doing this through email, through social media, through both? How are you selecting the people that you’re connecting with?
Jeremy Horowitz: Sure. So, this has definitely had a long evolution over the past year that I’ve been working on this. We send general email blast out to surveys. We actually just wrapped one up a month ago that we’re making all of our next year decisions based off of.
When we give discount codes away to the store for taking the survey and it was actually so popular, it operated as a promotion for us, which is a pretty interesting unintended consequence.
But yeah, we use IG stories, social posts, we do in-feed stuff as well. It all depends on how complicated what we’re asking is and how well we feel like we can communicate the questions that we have and what we need for each platform. But we use everything we can get our hands on.
Andrew Foxwell: I mean, I think one … so first of all nice work on using IG stories for some of that. I think one thing that is huge is that surveying piece and you putting surveys. I know that you’ve said you’ve put them in either the end of emails and you’re surveying people.
I know you also recently did a larger project, I think in relation to customer avatars and rethinking some of those people of what they might look like. That then you had a big survey at the end too that was part of this.
Can you talk about the lifecycle of that? Where it went from understanding what you thought might have been a certain avatar to where you ended up, and the types of things that you knew you needed to create that didn’t exist?
Jeremy Horowitz: Sure. So this is going to be a fairly long and somewhat, I hope not too complicated an answer. So stop me if I’m going too much on a tirade. Pretty much every single one of our automated lifecycle emails that we set up at that BG intensive, I’ve just slapped on another email of like, “Hey, give us our feedback.”
So like, Austin, you gave us the example of the VIP email, and it’s customized to that segment. We have a customized survey going to prospects that don’t buy. Abandoned carts that don’t buy. Post-purchase after we send them all of their post-purchase info. Win backs that we don’t convert get a customized survey as well.
Basically I just like, we take all of the internal feedback and were like, “What do we need to know to make this work?” Send out a survey. So we have each piece of those throughout the life cycle and then yeah, we have our personas of our Queen Bee and our Trendy Friend and all those other things. We’re constantly looking for ways to how can we refine them, how can we make them more accurate, how can we understand exactly what our core customer is doing throughout their day?
So those are again like, over the Summer, we wanted to know where are people taking photos? Is it at the beach? They want to know selfies, they want to have sunset photos. So that’s where we would go to Instagram stories, and we would just literally like, it’s a yes/no or option A and option B of, “Do you want this or that?”
Then we have these bigger, more all encompassing surveys like what we did in August where we blasted out to 130,000 people in our email database, 55-questionnaire survey, getting into their buying behavior, getting into their shopping behavior and other places, getting into what they’re interested in.
Then basically, a project that I’ve been working on since we gather all that data is how do we refine each of those personas of our primary persona, secondary persona, tertiary persona, because everything is a balance of an assumption that got us there and then we learn, and we have to adjust it.
So I would say probably every year we’re just looking to … from what we thought we knew about our customers last year, what can be changed that we better understand our customers this year? That literally trickles into everything from the products that we create to what we’re literally posting daily on social.
Austin Brawner: What I love about this is that, you guys have really … it’s a company that initially exploded off of social media. Social media has been at the center of your guys as marketing strategy from the beginning and you’re truly being social with your consumers, with your customers, right? It’s like going back and forth, just asking them questions, learning from them.
One of the things I would love to ask you and one of the things I’ve been thinking about, because I get this question a lot from people who were in a similar role. They’re either leading a company or leading Ecommerce at a company. How do you track and report? What type of reports are you looking at; weekly, monthly, to determine if you’re on track and determine if you are making progress. What are the kind of, maybe KPIs you’re looking at, or what are the things that are important to you guys every single week and every month?
Jeremy Horowitz: Oh, that is such an awesome question. And so relevant to what we’re working on internally right now. We have KPIs and forecasts for every unit of our company. Every team, no matter what department you’re in, we’ve got what our goals are and what data points we need to track to make sure that we’re hitting those goals and then forecasts throughout the entire year to see based on last year’s performance, based on changes that we’re making from a product promotion, strategy perspective, and we basically just keep rolling those up higher and higher and we’re actually making an internal change based on a book that my boss read and that I have fell in love with in the past year. It’s called; Measure What Matters by John Doerr.
If you don’t know who he is, I would highly recommend. He’s a managing director of KPCB. He was one of the early guys at Google and he has a system called OKRs which is objectives and key results.
So this is what we’re aspiring to and what we’re working towards, but it’s basically just like, “I have this big hairy aggressive goal that I want to accomplish.” So whether it’s sales, whether it’s launching a new product, whether it’s launching a new marketing campaign. And then here I break those down into key results which have KPIs that I need to hit.
We’re evolving our KPI forecasting project into that, so that we can have this just like big behemoth beast and when product is going on their crazy new, innovative IP driving research and they’re going to bond some crazy stuff by Q2 of next year and I want to hit X number in sales and our marketing team is doing ABC. It’s just a really good system that we’re trying to build out internally to make sure that whIle we’re all doing insanely aggressive things and really, really being optimistic, but we’re all in line with each other, so that when I need to swing back and give product development feedback and they need to make sure that marketing has these resources and those resources.
It really just helps us as we build and scale because we’re still a fairly small team. Just make sure that we’re all working together on the right things at the right time. It’s all just driven by data to be perfectly honest.
Austin Brawner: Jeremy, how large is your guy’s marketing team and what are some of the key components that you’ve hired as you guys have grown?
Jeremy Horowitz: Yeah, sure. Our VP of marketing will be much better to answer this question, but since I’m here I’ll do my best. So the VP of marketing joined shortly before I did. We’ve hired a full time marketing manager as well as a social media manager. We have a couple of part-time resources for some other areas that we’re working on building out right now. Then we have a couple agencies, we have an agency that does all of our paid media.
Yeah, I mean, that’s really it, to be perfectly honest and it’s like our founders and me and that is our marketing team driving it. I always forget how many sales channels we have because we have so many retail partners, it’s incredible what they accomplish with just a few people.
Andrew Foxwell: You know, here we are and the Fall coming up on Q4, coming up on really a show time for Black Friday, cyber Monday, et cetera, we’re going into the holidays. How do you see your plan playing out? I mean, obviously, we’re not asking for you to give us everything here, but I mean, what’s your general philosophy of the beginning, before Black Friday, then Black Friday time and then going between Thanksgiving and Christmas. What are your thoughts about each of those phases?
Jeremy Horowitz: I set up meetings with the entire team fulfillment logistics, product marketing bosses, C-Suite, everybody in August, this holiday prep. September and October, we’ve … so for our business specifically, we still operate off of the form factor, like the phone model buying year. So October, November, December, January are double down for us because everyone just bought a new phone, and it’s the holidays. So our product team is working like crazy to get us product for this window. For us it’s all about tooling, gearing up and just blasting through so that we drop new products before holiday.
We are running and preparing everything so that the FCM is our biggest weekend of the year. We throw in pre-BFCM promotions in late October or early November depending on the year, depending on the product launches to gear up so that we get people in the funnel, we get people in our marketing. We drive some sales out ahead of that window just because that weekend is so expensive to advertise during.
Then we’re looking at limited edition releases throughout that period and being very strategic in looking at things. Not just the BFCM but Cyber Week, Green Monday, free shipping cutoff. It really like, you gotta be looking at from mid October to the Wednesday before Christmas this point and just how can we be driving as much revenue as possible during that window, and August is all about prep.
So really making sure that all of our marketing pieces are in tune, making sure that we’ve got our product launch scheduled down, so that we know; these are the days that we need to blast and these are the days that we need to prepare for. We’ve already mapped out our site development through the end of the year and early … sorry, excuse me, early into next year as well, to make sure that whatever prep work we need to do for Black Friday is done, we’ll throw a code freeze on the website around that period, and then we’ll pick development backup after the holidays to really start us off in 2019.
Well, and then this year, my one secret sauce that I will share is chatbot prep. Knowing that other companies are seeing 80 to 90% open rates. I mean we do well in email, but I mean, I think a 15 to 20% open rate in email during that period is incredible, and just doing the math behind what essentially would be 4xing that open rate would be, I think we’re starting to get to that place in the market where it’s worth the time to do.
Austin Brawner: It’s exciting stuff. That sounds like a solid plan. I totally agree with you about open rates, especially around that time. The competition for inboxes are so, so high. It’ll really be high … it’s high in general and it’s going to be much, much higher during that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, week before or week after, during the holidays.
Everyone, even if they don’t email all year, they’re like, “Well, how can we get into people’s inboxes?” Terrible plan. But anyway, Jeremy, this has been fantastic. I loved your book recommendation. I’ll check that out. Do you have anything else before we wrap up; tools, books that have had a large impact on you and what you’re doing over the last few months?
Jeremy Horowitz: Oh god, how long do you guys have? So, I mean, I would say Measure What Matters is my big win. I went back and reread through DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson, and it’s just one of those things like every time you read through, there are additional nuggets and stuff that it’s like, “How have I not been thinking of things this way?”
So I won’t go too deep into the reads, but I would say that those two would definitely be my recommended readings. As far as tools go, we’ve been playing around with a lot of cool new stuff like push notifications and chatbots, so I’m definitely on the techie, nerdy side of things. Yeah, I would say those are like push al for push notifications and many chat for chatbots are really what I’ve been digging into recently.
Austin Brawner: Cool. It’s exciting, man. I really appreciate you coming on and dropping some knowledge pre Black Friday, Cyber Monday. It’s exciting. It’s also just exciting to catch up and hear how things have been going over the last year since last year’s intensive. So I really appreciate you coming on and chatting with us.
Jeremy Horowitz: Yeah, it’s been awesome. I really appreciate you guys having me on. I’ve been a follower for a long time, so it’s cool being on this side with you.
Andrew Foxwell: How you met? Yeah, man. First time caller, long time listener. So we’re glad to have you.
Austin Brawner: Thanks so much Jeremy, we’ll talk to you soon.
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