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Case Study: Collecting 100,000 Emails in one week

published 6/3/2024



Today we are talking about a Men’s grooming company called Harrys.com. We are going to dive into their pre-launch marketing and how they successfully managed to gather 100,000 emails all before making a single sale.

Email marketing and list building is important, it lets you market to an audience that has already expressed interest in your business. Be sure to read our guide, Build an email list to learn more.

Harry’s is an ecommerce store that sells mainly razors and other hair related products. The company was started by co-founder Jeff Raider with the plan of providing a direct-to-consumer razor blade manufactured by a company in Germany.

So how exactly did this company start small and quickly grow to hundreds of employees with global distribution, physical stores and an online magazine?

The success of Harry’s marketing campaign to gather emails using a lead magnet is what makes it stand out.

If you’re like me, when I first saw 100k emails, I imagined how valuable it would be for my business if I had that many interested people.

Well hang in there, because we are diving into the details next.

How did they know they needed to market?

Anyone that’s tried e-commerce knows that simply starting an online store won’t necessarily get you any sales. You need to drive buyers to your store.

Jeff and team had this persistent worry, would they be launching a new business with nobody there. The team at the time of launch was only about a dozen people.

The team decided they would create a referral campaign to raise awareness.

But why referrals? Checkout just a few statistics:

  • Consumers find word-of-mouth to be 2 to 10 more reliable than paid advertisements. (Boston Consulting Group)

  • 69% of customers who had a positive experience with a company would recommend the brand to other people. (Groove, 2020)

  • Leads from referrals have a 30% higher conversion rate than the leads generated from other marketing channels. (Ross)

  • Referred customers are 4 times more likely to refer your brand to others. (Ross)

  • Referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate compared to other customers gained through other marketing channels. (Ross)

  • 29% of satisfied customers refer products and services to others. (Chua, 2021)

  • 92% of consumers trust the referral or recommendations of people they know personally. (Chua, 2021)

  • In the US, 49% of shoppers get introduced to brands or products/services by their family members and friends. (Miller, n.d.)

  • For every 1 happy customer, you also get 9 referrals. (Ong, 2020)


How did they structure the referral program?

Okay, so let’s set the stage on the pre-launch campaign and exactly how they setup their program.

The site they used was relatively simple. It consisted only of two pages.

The first was the splash screen where users could enter their email address. Instead of a subscribe button, it said, “Step inside“ - This page would let them collect any email entered, but then they could create a unique referral link and display it to the user once they entered.

This meant the second page was like a homepage for a person. They could come back repeatedly to retrieve their unique referral link and they could check how many referrals they had made to date.

Below their unique referral link was social share buttons, so a person could easily share the link on social media platforms.

Here is all of the source code they used to run the site.

Admittedly the code takes a bit of technical knowledge to setup, so you may need to find someone to help you. You can look for help on platforms like freelancer.com or contact us if you want us to provide a quote.

What made people want to share the referral link?

So now we get into the details of how they were successful.

We should look at the copy, or words that were used on each page. On the splash page, the words “Step inside” created a sense of exclusivity. By entering, people were gaining access to something exclusive.

On the home page, after a user entered their email, they would see, “Shaving is evolving. Don’t leave your friends behind. “ - This created a sense of urgency, and a sense of something big was happening. By sharing, a user would be sharing something exclusive with their friends. This sharing has the psychological effect of providing status to the person that shares. If you want to read more about social status and why people share, checkout this blog post.

What did they give away?

Jeff and team took the referral program even further. They offered tangible rewards that increased in value as a person referred more users. This gamified the entire program.

They made sure to clearly tell the user, “Invite Friends and Earn Product“ - It was important to be as clear and transparent as possible. People are often skeptical of anything “free“ - So keeping communication clear and concise on rewards is important.

The steps for a user to participate were clear:

  1. Sign up

  2. Share link

  3. Earn product

Further each tier of giveaways was attainable and not overwhelmingly difficult. This was meant to keep people referring instead of giving up.

For example, the first tier was free shaving cream, and a user could get it with only 5 referrals. The next tier was equally obtainable and took only 5 more referrals and a user would receive a free razor.


If you enjoyed reading about this case study, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter. If you want help running an email collection for your business, reach out to us at support@justblog.ai

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