Facebook

How S'Wheat Collected Over 20k Leads With a KickoffLabs Prelaunch!

Learn how S'Wheat ran a successful KickoffLabs pre-launch and generated over 20k leads for their store launch with a minimal ad spend, micro-influencers, and KickoffLabs referrals!

Subscribe here:

iTunes Spotify Stitcher RSS

Key Takeaways

Don't launch to crickets!

Get influencers with Free product

They utilized mico-influncers, with under 10k followers, to generate anywhere from 2-200 referrals.

Email is Key

They sent 2-3 a day for a week leading up to launch teasing the product.

Test via Facebook ads

They used Facebook ads to test their message to find a winner.

Use an IP blocker

They implemented an IP Blocker and blocked Sweepstakes sites to keep the quality of leads high.

Profitable rewards at a low level

They kept the rewards simple and easy to obtain. At three points, unlocked 5 pounds off.

Reach out to Journalists

They reached out to 300+ journalists to get PR coverage on their launch.

Interview Bio

Jake Elliot-Hook picutre

Jake Elliot-Hook - Founder - S'wheat

Jake Elliott-Hook (25) is the Founder of S'wheat, the world's first reusable bottle made from plants. Jake started S'wheat while he was studying psychology at University and noticed the huge amounts of reusable bottle waste. Noticing many of his classmates discarding their bottles after only a few weeks of use. Jake set out on a mission to create a natural easy to clean reusable bottle, avoiding unsustainable materials such as plastic, steel, and glass.

Full Transcript



Josh: We're recording. Today, I am talking to Jake Elliot-Hook from S'wheat Bottle. S'wheat Bottle is the world's first plant-based bottle. It's available now at S'wheatbottle.com. That's S-W-H-E-A-T B-O-T-T-L-E.com. You can go check it out. I'm talking to Jake because they recently wrapped up a campaign on KickoffLabs preceding the launch of their store. In this campaign, they generated over 20,000 leads with an amazing conversion rate of 35% and over 80% of the leads coming from a referral. We'll talk to Jake about the success of that afterwards, and how many people have been purchasing the bottles since they've launched the store. But first of all, Jake, thanks for coming on the podcast.

Jake: Thanks so much for having me on. I'm really excited to speak more about what I've learned over the last month.

Josh: Yeah. We look forward to it. I'd love to get the listeners a bit of a background on you. Can you kind of explain. Are you a technical background? Did you come up in marketing? Tell us about you and your background and what you've been doing before this.

Jake: If I could go back in time, I would have done marketing or something related to business. But no, I started S'wheat when I was in my last year of uni, and I was studying psychology. I'd done a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology, which is pretty much nothing to do with business at all, but it was kind of in my last year, I didn't like psychology. I didn't really like doing it. So that was when I started kind of branching out trying different things, and then we started S'wheat. But yeah, I didn't have any backgrounds at all in anything to do with business. So it was just very much hit or miss and just learning things through failing.

Josh: Where have you work before this?

Jake: Again, nothing to do with the business, but when I was studying, I was just in and out of different places really. I had done waitering, I worked in clothes shops. Just completely random different things really.

Josh: Cool. Tell us about the product and where that idea came from.

Jake: So we made the world's first plant-based reusable bottle. It came up by when I was in uni. I had a lot of classmates that would come in with a different reusable water bottle every two or three weeks. I would always be kind of concerned, and I would ask them like, "Oh, you've a different water bottle." Why? It's like the third one this month. What's going on? It would always be the same answer, like, "Oh, I kind of clean it, it gets smelly and then I throw it away." It kind of got me thinking about the amount of reusable water bottle waste. Not just single used bottles because that's a huge problem in itself, but also reusable but also reusable water bottles, because over 90% of them don't end up getting recycled. They just get thrown away and then it's in landfill.

Jake: So we thought, well, there must be a better material than plastic, steel or glass because they all have huge flaws. Plastics being around forever, and it will stay around forever. It's not going to biodegrade. Most plastics take over a thousand years to biodegrade. A lot of the time it's the same with steel and glass and glass isn't very durable. So I wanted to make a water bottle, but with a more sustainable angle to it. One that could biodegrade naturally if it ended up in landfill. That's kind of where the idea came from and how we felt that.

Josh: I'll tell you two things from that. One, I enjoy recycling, and I can tell you you're absolutely right on the problem. Because I can't tell you how many cycling bottles I've been through, where I just accidentally just forget to clean it out right away after a ride, and you come back and there's this like moldy smelly mess. Despite trying my best to clean it, you know what? It just has this off smell, and I don't want to drink from it anymore. I've tossed so many of those bottles. So now I both feel guilty and I'm looking forward to you guys having a bike version of this. A bike bottle [crosstalk].

Jake: Yeah. Well, ours fits in the standard bike holder, so I'll need to get one sent over to you.

Josh: Perfect. Then the second thing, I imagine there's some skepticism. I can tell you here around Seattle where there's been an effort in the States, where there's been an effort to ban plastic straws. One of the things I cannot stand about that movement is the paper straw. It's great. It certainly biodegrades. In fact, it tends to biodegrade when I'm halfway through my drink in the cup. So, I'm wondering is that what happens to these bottles?

Jake: No, we took that into account when we were in our development process. No, it won't biodegrade if you put water in it. It biodegrades naturally from the pressure of landfill. So the more that gets piled up on it, that intense pressure breaks it down. Then it biodegrades within two years of it being broken. But it lasts as long as you want it to. Until you throw it away.

Josh: That's amazing. So, how did you discover KickoffLabs and what made you decide to run a pre-launch campaign on KickoffLabs?

Jake: I was looking into our kind of various competitors and just trying to see how we could stand out, and how we could really kick off our brand, because you don't want to launch to just an audience of crickets and have nobody there. So we just wanted to build up a large audience base just to kind of get the ball rolling, and just get the ball rolled rolling. Sorry, I totally lost track of what was going to say.

We wanted to use KickoffLabs, because we don't want to launch to crickets because this was kind of our brand relaunch.



Josh: We were talking about how you first found KickoffLabs and why you decided to run a prelaunch campaign at all. There's some people will just go and they'll just say, "I'm just going to open the store."

Jake: Yeah. So we wanted to use KickoffLabs, because we don't want to launch to crickets because this was kind of our brand relaunch. We launched before with a similar product. Like an earlier prototype. But we didn't launch to anybody. We just didn't know at the time, but from learning from that we realized we need a large audience to target right off the bat. KickoffLabs seemed like a great way to do that and I would tell a large amount of people.

Josh: Okay. So you've been through this personally. So tell me about the product in that launch before? You did go like directly to market, and you said, "Here we are, here's our product." That didn't work out as well as you would have hoped?

Jake: Yeah. So it was in our first three months of kind of getting into the product, and getting into business. We were like, "Okay, right. We've got our product ready, it's great, let's launch it right now." That's what we done, but we didn't realize we didn't have an audience. We didn't have a target market. Like ready waiting to buy. We didn't have any PR set up. We didn't have any SEO, we didn't do blogs. Yeah, we weren't ranking for any keywords, so we weren't even showing up on Google. So we were practically impossible to find. We weren't doing like any influencer marketing or anything like that.

Jake: So yeah, we launched. Literally nobody, and we were like, "Wait, why isn't a sound?" From that, we've kind of learned that you really do need to have a large audience waiting for the product to come out because that really kicks off everything. As soon as you have a large audience and those people start buying into it, you start to see a lot of PR articles written about it. And then from PR articles, it snowballs into more sales.

The first time round we'd done a crowdfunding campaign. But with our relaunch, we didn't bother doing a crowdfunding campaign this time.



Josh: Yeah. So I want to talk about the strategy you guys chose to... It looks like you guys went from starting to build this audience on KickoffLabs, and other sources to the store. Some people really like to try and go bring that first round of audience and do a crowdfunding campaign. It doesn't look like you did a crowdfunding campaign as part of this, is that correct?

Jake: We did. We did actually. Well, the first time round we'd done a crowdfunding campaign. But with our relaunch, we didn't bother doing a crowdfunding campaign this time.[crosstalk 00:09:53]-

Josh: Tell me about that decision?

Jake: The first time round it went great. I think we raised about $23,000 in 30 days, which was really great for starting our company, but again, we didn't really have an audience to launch to when we'd done that. And with crowdfunding, as soon as those 30 days are over, you're then sending out your product. There's really nothing else after that unless you keep the ball rolling. So, this time around, we didn't bother with a crowdfunding campaign because we've done it. We then think we do as well as the first time round. So we just thought, you know what? We'll stick with KickoffLabs, and we had an idea of like what we wanted to do. Through doing KickoffLabs, we managed to kind of target in our Facebook advertising as well, and found out what works and what doesn't.

Jake: Also kind of helped shape our advertising for now. Because with KickoffLabs, we were able to test, well, all the answers clicked on the link, and went on and signed up for our prelaunch, and what audiences didn't. And then from that, we find that it's the same people, except instead of sign-ups, those are the people that are now purchasing.

Josh: That's great. It's a podcast, is kind of hard to do it, but I've got the pre-launch page that you had from KickoffLabs up. The messaging is basically the same as the messaging I now see. The messaging is now the same messaging that I see on on your main website where it says the world's first reusable bottle made from plants. It says be the first to hear of exclusive launch offers in your email that claim free rewards, discounts, and products. Did that significantly throughout your campaign as you were testing these different advertisements on Facebook, or did the main message on the site basically stay with the very environmental forward a message about the model?

Jake: We didn't do too much testing on our landing page. We changed the headlines around a little bit in the subheadings, but we didn't change it too much. I was just too lazy. I didn't really want to do loads of [crosstalk] tests and I got it like how I wanted it and how I thought that our target market would want to see it as well. I just kind of left the at that. I did run one AB test, but I found that it wasn't converting as good as the first one I made. So I was like, you know what? I'm sticking with SS Converter pretty well. I just left it with that. A lot of people like [crosstalk]... I think our bounce rate was quite low as well. So a lot of people that end up signing up. So we just kind of use the message on the landing page and import that to our new website. We get the same results with a lawyer bound tray as well.

Josh: Yeah. So I want to talk about and dig into the to the marketing and the campaign a bit more. When you launched the campaign KickoffLabs, did you, because you've done this crowdfunding before, did you have a list of email addresses already that you were seated with that you kind of let them know about this new campaign?

Jake: No. We started completely from scratch.

90% of our budget was on Facebook ads. Our cap that we wanted to spend in total was about 1,500.



Josh: Okay. So you started from zero. So then starting from zero and you mentioned Facebook ads, is that where you spent the bulk of your advertising budget was on Facebook ads?

Jake: Yeah, I'd say 90% of our budget was on Facebook ads. Maybe 80 to 90%, yeah, but we also done influencer market primarily on Instagram which that gave us really good leads. But it wouldn't get loads of leads.

Josh: Yeah. So let's break down those two a little bit more. On the Facebook advertising side, would you mind sharing the budget that you had in mind? Like how much money were you spending either per day or per week sort of at the peak of the campaign?

Jake: Yeah, sure. Our cap that we wanted to spend in total was about 1,500, and the overall we only spent about 1,100 pounds.

Josh: You've got really great results for those numbers. So talk to me about the influencer marketing, because we recommend that to people all the time. But a lot of people don't where to go, where to start. How did you go about doing influencer marketing? Because you mentioned it was something that you felt was lacking in your first launch. So this time you wanted to do it. Tell us about that and how that went for you.

Every influencer has that different audience. So you really need one that has the same ethos as your brand.



Jake: Influencer marketing can be so powerful, but you have to have the right influencers. It's almost like every influencer has that different audience. So you really need one that has the same ethos as your brand. So it's really hit or miss. We used the influencers and some of them would maybe only get one or two sign-ups yet others might get a hundred, 200 sign-ups. We didn't work with huge influencers because we want it to keep our budget down. So I think we only paid about three influencers, and not very much either. The rest was just micro influencers, like under 10,000 followers. A lot of the time you can just, if you have the product already ready, you can just do the post and exchange for the product. We'd done a lot of that and that kept our budget really low.

Josh: So I want to just make sure I heard this correctly. So I was writing down a couple of things here if anybody heard me typing. So, you paid about three influencers. So first of all, how did you go about finding the influencers? Were these people that you already knew? Did you use a tool to find people that you wanted to try and connect with? How'd you go about finding people that you thought would be worth trying to promote your brand to?

Jake: Great way to find the influencers is by looking at your competitors. See who they're following. Most of the time, they're following someone that they've worked with. So if you just go on your influencers followers or sorry, who they're following, scroll down and just check each one of them. Most of them will be people that worked with in the past, or if you check their tagged images on their feed, that's also a great way to find influencers.

Josh: So you went to competitors and you looked at who was following the competitors, or who the competitors were-

Jake: Who the competitors were following. Yeah.

Josh: Okay. So you looked at competing products and you said it looks like they're following these people. Then you probably sorted them and said like, "Okay, who are people who are co-workers or who are people who are actual... you just kind of looked at their feeds and what they are tagging, what they're doing to see who is actually an influencer.

Jake: Yeah. So, for us where target and people who are interested in sustainability. So we kind of looked at sustainable brands. Who are they working with, what influencers are they using? We use a lot of those same influencers that we find that just kept popping up on our competitors following list.

Josh: That's a good point. It wasn't just competitors. It was a generalist space. So if people are interested in sustainable brands, there's a lot of other brands that are, sustainable brands that aren't competitors to you guys. At least not directly [crosstalk]. It's a related market where you're going to have the same audience.

Hey, can I send you this bottle? And can you just write a post about it?



Jake: Yeah. Because for us, anybody can use a water bottle. It doesn't matter if you're interested in sustainability, but we know our target market are interested in sustainability and that's where we get the best results. So we knew that's the influencers that we wanted to work with.

Josh: Yep. Then you mentioned if you already had the product ready or product you can send, a lot of it was as simple as saying, "Hey, can I send you this bottle? And can you just write a post about it." That worked for a certain number of influencers.

Jake: True. Pretty much. There's a little bit more in the fact. Do you need to kind of write a brief and schedule a time that works for both you on the influencer. But basically when you boil it down, it pretty much is that it's just, "Hey, we really like your content. Would you be interested in working with us?" That was pretty much the basics. Yeah.

Josh: Then what made you decide to, you said there were two or three influences your pay. What made you decide, "Okay, these were infringing. Hey, did you reach out to some that had a lot of followers?" And they said, "Hey, we do sponsored posts." You decided it was worth trying, or did you just reach out directly and say, "We know we want to pay you guys to do this because you have a huge audience."

With influencers who could produce really good content, and really good photography that you can then use again on your website is always worthwhile.



Jake: Yeah. It was pretty much that. We didn't pay anyone under 10K. A lot of the time you can just send your product to them and they'll be really happy with that. But with influencers who could produce really good content, and really good photography that you can then use again on your website is always worthwhile. Just paying because you want to build that relationship up with them, so that you can just keep working with them and keep having access to their audience.

Josh: No, that's great. These are really good tips around influencers that I think people are going to appreciate. So the paid promotion of influencers, is that something you would do again, or would you just stick to the exchanging bottles with the micro influencers?

Jake: I think both work really well together. I'm definitely going to do more paid influencers, but with much larger followers. I want to be working with 500K up now that launched. But definitely when you're in the kind of the email list gathering phase. I think if you can get anyone from 50 K to a hundred K, and usually that will kind of cost anywhere between 200 pounds and 500 pounds. So, probably was like $800, is probably what you'd be looking at.

All their followers will see them using a product that they can't buy yet.



Jake: But I think it's definitely worthwhile and it gets your brand out there as well. And I guess that pre-hype built, because all their followers will see them using a product that they can buy yet. I think that kind of builds up that kind of momentum, and gets them excited for the product for when it does release. But yeah, I would try and get in as many people's hands as you can before you launch.

Josh: It's good advice no matter what. That way at least people are trying to product and you're getting it out there.

Jake: Because that makes you to want a product more when you can have it, and you're seeing all your friends there or something and all these people you look up to using it, but you can't get that until the state. So I think it is really good for building up hype.

Josh: Yeah. There's certainly something to that. We talked about seeding a campaign. You didn't have a list. You did some advertising, you had a budget under 1,500 pounds. Then you did some influencer marketing where you were exchanging bottles, and sometimes paying for a mid-sized influencers. But once somebody signed up for your campaign with KickoffLabs, you were running a straight up friend referral program it looks like. So to explain the rewards program, once somebody signed up for the S'wheat Bottle, they came to a page and it said, "Share your link with friends to earn amazing rewards." And then for every friend that signed up, you were giving somebody a point.

What's too much to give away? What's too little to give away?



Josh: At three points, they were getting five pounds off at five points. They were getting a free bamboo cutlery set. 25 points would get people a free S'wheat bottle. The rewards kind of went on from there where you had a limited edition engraving, VIP access. How did you decide on the rewards, because we get this question a lot about like, "Oh, what's too much to give away? What's too little to give away?" What would you tell people who are thinking through that decision today?

S'Wheat status page

I wanted to keep a lot of their awards early on to kind of motivate people to share it.



Jake: Yeah. For us, I would say only give away what you can afford to give away. Don't go too crazy overboard like, "Oh, we're going to give away free products if you get three friends to sign up." Because you're in the androgen it to make money. You don't want to lose money. For us, I wanted to keep a lot of their awards early on to kind of motivate people to share it. So we had three was the first reward where you got five pounds off. Straight after that was five points. So you only needed two more referrals, which is really kind of easy and manageable for someone to do.

Jake: They call it the five pounds off, and then all they had to do was just refer to more friends and then they would get a physical product. Which was the bamboo cutlery set that we use. So I think that worked really well for us, because most people I think go around three to five referrals. Then you kind of find out who your kind of diehard fans are. They want to get in the bottle, and want to earn the higher up rewards as well.

Think about the rewards into two categories.



Josh: Yeah. You guys hit on exactly the advice we give people, which is to think about the rewards into two categories. The really low level rewards that you kind of don't mind giving away, because you're still going to make money off of them potentially, but it's still something related to your brand, something that people want. So it was $5 off a purchase, which means you have to want the product. You weren't just giving people an Amazon gift card or something, and it was this cutlery sets, which was related to your markets as a free bamboo cutlery set, and toothbrush.

Josh: Then three to five referrals is something for the average person where even if you're not an influencer in this space, anybody can find three to five friends to do something. But it's really hard for most people to find twenty-five people to sign up for something unless you're an influencer in the space. So did this help you discover additional people that were potential influencers to add to your kind of VIP list when you were doing this?

All they had to do is just share it with their audience, share their link, their referral code with their audience. They would easily get all those referrals which worked great.



Jake: We noticed because we were able to check the extreme ends of who was referring, and some people got 400 referrals. I think that was our highest 400. But there was a fair few people getting anywhere from a hundred to 400. We find a lot of those places had Facebook pages in that kind of eco-friendly sustainable area. So all they had to do is just share it with their audience, share their link, their referral code with their audience. They would easily get all those referrals which worked great.

Josh: So this is basically you were with the campaign then activating influencers that you hadn't known about ahead of time and that you were then getting to take advantage of their audience that you hadn't reached out to before.

Jake: Yeah, exactly.

Josh: Okay. And just to fill in the details. When anybody listens to this episode, these screenshots are going to be posted with the signup page, the referral page and then also I'll post. I kind of clipped the emails that people were getting throughout the campaign or a couple of the emails that came out. I would just say we would recommend anybody doing, which is you were sending an email back when somebody signed up encouraging them to refer friends and get and get their first reward.

S'wheat auto-reply mail



Josh: Then at each reward level you were sending out an email saying same basically like, "Congrats, you did it. You got this discount code." You're only two points away or two referrals away from the next. It looked like you were sending out those mails consistently. Were there other communications that you had with this audience throughout the campaign outside of the automated emails that were being sent?

S'wheat reward level mail



Jake:

In the last week, that was when we started emailing people with not just automated emails, but with our personal emails.

Yeah. But we only started doing our own emails in the last week. Because at the time we didn't know that if you had 22,000 emails, that's going to cost quite a lot to message them a few times a day. Which we then factor in at the start. So in the last week of our campaign, because we only ran our campaign for 30 days. In the last week, that was when we started emailing people with not just automated emails, but with our personal emails. We would just kind of keep them warm, because so far all they had received was automated emails.

Jake: So we just kind of wanted to get them hype, like this is a product, here's some more kind of sneak pics, and behind the scenes. This is what the packaging looks like. kind of all this stuff just to get people hyped. That worked. That ended up working really well, because I think it's really important to keep your audience warm. I don't think you should just send automated emails, because again, it gets tired.

Josh: Yeah. Tell me a little bit more about that campaign when you say worked really well, what does that mean for you?

We started emailing people about three times a day in the last week.



Jake: So I think we had about 20... it was 22,000 emails that we gathered and we started emailing people about three times a day in the last week. Two to three emails a day, and you'd find that every time you send an email, you get a hundred people who unsubscribe. Which is so annoying because you've spent all this time gathering all these emails, and do you want to keep your audience warm. But every time you send an email, you get a hundred people that leave your email list. So that was kind of frustrating, but in the end, those aren't people that you want on your email list anyway. They more than likely weren't going to convert. They were interested, but now they're not. So it's-

Josh: Did I hear say you were sending two to three emails a day leading up to the launch of the store. For how many days were you doing that?

Jake: It was in the last week. It was in the last week that we started really emailing people a lot. Then in the last few days of that, maybe four or five days before we were sending about two to three emails a day.

Josh: Okay. And then tell me did you run the campaign straight up until the launch of the store? Did you run it in parallel with the launch of the store, or did you go immediately from the campaign? You sent out those emails for a week? And then you launched the store?

Jake: Yeah. So the store was non-existent during the campaign. We just had a landing page up which would redirect people to the KickoffLabs landing page we had. So yeah, and we only launched the store. I think we finished the store really late. It was like the day before our campaign finished was when we actually had fully completed the store. Even on the day of the campaign ending, there was still some things that we were changing. We managed to get it finished in time thankfully though.

S'wheat landing page

I use Shopify. I just think it integrates really well with everything, and it integrates well with other platforms



Josh: Do you have a recommended store platform you're using for your product?

Jake: I use Shopify. I just think it integrates really well with everything, and it integrates well with other platforms and it has so many apps as well that are just great.

Josh: Yeah. That's obviously a fairly common answer, and that's what I figured.

Jake: Yeah. I have really good customer service as well, because lately I haven't been dealing with Facebook and I can tell you, I did not recommend their customer service. Just stay away from them. But Shopify have a surprisingly good customer service. I will say that.

They were great for kind of finding a target audience that we can run different conversion result for because obviously we're driving email signups during the campaign, but now our conversion goal is purchases.



Josh: Yeah. Yeah, we've talked about the campaign a lot. Is there anything else before we get into kind of like after the campaign and plans, is there anything else you feel like you guys did to market the campaign that you want to share with people?

Jake: we done a fair bit of Facebook ads. I was saying, I think we spent about 1000 odd pounds on Facebook ads. They were great for kind of finding a target audience that we can run different conversion result for because obviously we're driving email signups during the campaign, but now our conversion goal is purchases. Can we just use those same audiences that we developed in our email signup phase to what we're using now. We find that they convert quite well.

Josh: So specifically, did you populate the Facebook audiences with the emails that you were collecting during the campaign to sort of train Facebook, and improve those audiences?

Were you're running retargeting just people that might not have signed up, but people that clicked through the ad, and then retargeting those people once you launched the store?



Jake: Yeah, exactly.

Josh: And then were you running another common thing? People ask were you're running or since you launched the store, were you're running retargeting just people that might not have signed up, but people that clicked through the ad, and then retargeting those people once you launched the store?

Jake: We did. Yeah. We're doing that now, but during the phase, we didn't run any retargeting ads. But yeah, now we are. Yeah.

Josh: But it was probably beneficial to build up that audience during that phase that you can then leverage when the store came out. So how long has the store been up for now?

Jake: It has been live for three weeks now.

Josh: And is this launch going better than the previous launch that you mentioned went to kind of crickets?

Jake: Yeah, absolutely. It's been a lot better than the first time around that's for sure.

I think it's super important that people use an IP blocker especially for referral campaigns.



Josh: Are there any numbers you want to share with us, or things that have gone well, or not gone as well as you were hoping?

Jake: Well, in the first day, so I guess it was important to explain we had plenty 2000 emails overall, but with using the IP blocker that filler that down to 13,000 people. So I think it's super important that people use an IP blocker especially for referral campaigns, because you find that when you're running ads to promote a referral campaign, regardless what you do and who you target, there's always going to be somebody who puts that up on a free stuff website. One of these like sweepstakes sites. That generates just loads of really trashy leads that you don't want. That's the place where it's just people who want stuff for free. They're not going to pay for your product. They'll refer their friends who also just want stuff for free. So you kind of ended up building up a lot of bad emails that you don't want. So yeah, I would use an IP blocker to kind of cut that out.

Josh: Yeah. It's something I had never imagined existed was the whole world of freebie seekers before we started KickoffLabs, and then discovered that we needed to implement the IP blocker. We've also got a running list of freebie websites that we just automatically flag people as like, "Hey, it looks like they came from the site." In a running list of kind of bad email addresses of these people we kind of start automatically flagging. So it's good advice to everybody. [crosstalk]. So, still even as you said like you feel like 13,000 emails were legitimate, did that translate well for you in terms of purchases?

We found our purchases were great on our first day. We got about 500 orders.



Jake: It did. Yeah. So from those 13,000 that they were who we're messaging it in the last seven days of the campaign. Like I said, every time you send them an email, you'll get about a hundred people who unsubscribe. So that it kind of filters down a little bit more as well from them. But we found our purchases were great on our first day. We got about 500 orders. That was just in day one alone. That's not counting the rollover over the next few days as well. We also found that when we launched, we also got PR off the back of it as well. Because a lot of people were buying. A lot of people's just started writing articles about it as well.

Josh: Did you do anything to drop the PR or did you work with a PR firm or did that just start happening naturally as people discovered it, and saw this store up that people were making purchases from?

Jake: Yeah, that just came completely naturally. It's not something we paid for. We try and pay for as little as possible. We're really, really stingy. Even like our branding, our packaging, everything like that, we just do ourselves. Same with Facebook ads. I wouldn't pay an agency to run your Facebook ads for gathering email signups anyway. It just helped save so much money as well.

Josh: Yeah. Well, especially in the early stages too, is beneficial for you guys working for the company to take those lessons and really just learn from the lessons who your audience are. You could probably do a better job handing stuff off now, but if you didn't know what the message is to hand it off to somebody to say, "Well, we don't know what the message is. You figure it out." It's never going to work out well.

The one thing I would pay for would probably be a PR agency, because trying to get in contact with journalists is really, really difficult.



Jake: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That's kind of what it was in the early days. It was just making mistakes until we figured out what was wrong, and then learning from them.

Josh: So these articles have come in the couple months since you launched the store. I can see on your homepage immediately below the full page, you talk about an article from Bustle where it says essentially, it's essential for your socially distance picnic in the park from Delish where they rated you the best reusable water bottle for 2021, and then a Mashable and the Guardian article as well. Those are pretty big name PR sources for you guys to have hit on.

S'wheat shopify page



Jake: Yeah, absolutely. We were really happy with some of them. I think we got The Guardian one from KickoffLabs. I think it was somebody shared... somebody had a big Facebook page shared it, and then somebody seen it and rule about it. With some of the other PR, I managed to get myself just from hounding journalists. The one thing I would pay for would probably be a PR agency, because trying to get in contact with journalists is really, really difficult. They're getting like 500, 600 emails a day. So it's kind of really just have the chance whether they see your email and decide to open it.

Josh: Tell me about the effort involved in hounding the journalist. It's hit or miss. Some people have had zero success with PR and some people say, "Oh, it's great. I have this contact and it worked really well, and I got these articles written." But tell me about your approach to PR and how you went about it.

I must've messaged about 300, easily 300 journalists.



Jake: So for me, there's a bunch of tools you can use. I don't know the names off the top of my head. But some of them give you journalists emails, and where you can just go on an article that they wrote and then get their email and email them that way. Which was primarily how I got my journalists. I would do that, write their name in an Excel spreadsheet. I must've messaged about 300, easily 300 journalists, and I would write all their names and their email addresses in a spreadsheet. What every one once got back to me, I would mark on the spreadsheet that they've replied. Then I marked again when they posted. If they did post.

Jake: I would do that with about 300 journalists. Then if they didn't reply, the ones that didn't reply, I would then message them again. A couple of days later. If they didn't reply, I would then message them once more again a couple of days later. I was messaging them on their email, their LinkedIn. I would just try and annoy them as much as possible until they just caved in and roll by us. That was kind of my goal for all these journalists.So I think I messaged about 300 easily, and I think that converted to about 15 articles. So it's not easy. It's really not easy. So, if you do have enough funds, which we didn't at the time, but if you did have enough funds, I would probably use a PR agency. Yeah, sorry. And then again do you want to do it for email signups? Is it worth it? Will you be able to then convert those emails into sales? Or is it better using a PR agency when you have launched and you can make sales straight off the bat of that.

Have a basic idea of who your target audience is, and who will be interested in your product. Because just having that knowledge alone is enough to start running Facebook ads.



Josh: Yeah. Cool. This has been really educational for me. I love the talk, how you went through and described how you worked with the influencers, how you set up the campaign, why you set up the campaign. It's all things that our audience is going to find really helpful. So I appreciate you taking the time to share with us today. Before I let you go, is there anything else that we kind of didn't cover that you kind of say like, "Oh, I had in my head that we'd cover this." Or people that are thinking about launching their own physical product, like this should know about?

Jake: I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I would just make sure that you're not launching to nobody. That you kind of have a basic idea of who your target audience is, and who will be interested in your product. Because just having that knowledge alone is enough to start running Facebook ads. That was one of the best sources for our leads. I think that kind of got our conversions really high as well. Just running good quality Facebook ads. So yeah, that's why I would say get your audience in line.

Josh: That's great advice. Thanks again, Jake for coming on, and if anybody is interested and you should be, again, that's s'wheatbottle.com and S'wheat bottles spelled S-W-H-E-A-T bottle.com, and go online, buy it, check it out. Let us know you think. And if you liked this episode, feel free to click subscribe in your favorite podcast tool is we'll have more interviews coming up with people running amazing campaigns like this. So thanks again, Jake, and I'll see you again next time.

Jake: Thanks so much for having me. Okay, thanks.

Josh: Bye.

Try KickoffLabs for free

Grow your business with proven campaigns that go viral.

Sign Up