The Case of the $300,000 Email

Still wondering what the ROI of blogging and email newsletters might be? One of our clients discovered the massive value consistent content marketing had for their business, and the importance of authentic content. 

The Client:

Bluffworks is a clothing brand that produces technical men’s travel clothing that doesn’t look or feel technical. They sell garments that are machine washable, wrinkle-free, and actually stylish.

The Problem:

After raising most of the capital for their first products through Kickstarter campaigns, Bluffworks was moving into a round of angel investment.

We decided to write a blog post about how Stefan, the CEO, had funded the company up to now, and explain that he was seeking angel investors in order to bring more products to market more quickly. In the past, articles about the company’s extensive R&D process and other “behind the scenes” content had done well.

We also crafted the weekly email that would go out to the company’s subscribers encouraging them to read the article. Because of the strict rules around soliciting for angel investors, we had to be careful about what we said, but we decided to include a secondary call to action in the email, suggesting that if the reader wanted more information about becoming an investor, to reply to the email.

The Result:

The email went out to Bluffworks’ list of around 10,000 subscribers — mostly composed of guys who had purchased a pair of pants — and within hours, Stefan had 16 responses. Of those, 3 individuals ended up contributing a total of $300,000 in angel investment to the company.

The company reached its investment goal, and in the roughly six months since, has brought three new products to market, with an entire new women’s line on the way in 2019.

The Analysis:

Bluffworks originally hired us when they were going through a rebrand. After spending tens of thousands of dollars with a big branding agency the year before, the brand had lost its soul — and market share. The goal was to bring Stefan back into the spotlight as the personality behind the brand, and we were hired to help rewrite the website content and then help him consistently produce blog and email content to reinforce the personality of the brand through content.

While it’s certainly tempting to assert that the one email we wrote about angel investing was so good it was worth $300,000 to the company, I think the truth is a bit more complicated.

I believe that the two years we had spent reintroducing the Bluffworks guys to Stefan and building his KLT factor (know, like, and trust) with them were the real keys to unlocking $300k in funding with a single request.

Without the consistent effort we had invested in cultivating that relationship between Stefan and his audience, I doubt an offhand, “P.S.” sort of request for angel investors would have had nearly the same effect.

While business owners often wonder whether consistent blogging and emailing their audience are really worth the effort — especially companies that struggle to see a direct ROI in sales from content marketing — this case clearly demonstrates the power of a consistent content marketing strategy combined with authentic, compelling, personality-driven content.

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2 thoughts on “The Case of the $300,000 Email

  1. Thanks for the great tips! I keep telling my clients that effective marketing is all about building relationships, so I love seeing articles like this one that affirm what I’ve been saying all along.

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