dark·​room | \ ˈdärk-ˌrüm  , -ˌru̇m \

noun

 

: A darkroom refers to a space where art and science come together to create something complete before premiering to the public. It’s where process and creativity combine to form a final product.

 

This is why we’ve chosen it as our name.

Contact Us

CALPAK

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Background

CALPAK was founded in Los Angeles in 1989 to make quality travel bags at accessible prices. Today it is a leading designer and manufacturer of quality travel accessories, with a brand dedicated to self-expression and thoughtful, modern design.

What we did

CALPAK came to Darkroom to improve retention and revenue margins. So we decided to focus on initial order intent and repeat customers, implementing new user flows to help CALPAK boost average order value (AOV) and customer lifetime value (CLV) for both new and existing customers.

  • Increased overall first-quarter retention by 103% YoY
  • Boosted first-quarter email revenue 166% and SMS revenue by 59% YoY
  • Beat overall client retention goal for Q1 by 7.5%
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Boosting Retention & Conversion

Timing is everything when it comes to purchase-intent, so we built automated Email and SMS flows to reach customers with targeted messaging based on their site browsing behavior in the critical days following their first interactions with the brand.
We also revamped CALPAK’s purchase flows – including their Welcome, Abandon Cart, In Stock and Promotional flows – presenting products in a more visually compelling way that measurably improved conversion.

 

Valuable Content Ultimately Leads to Sales

Through intensive testing, we also learned that the CALPAK customer was particularly interested in content that offers travel advice. We doubled down on this type of content in the month of March, resulting in a month-over-month increase in email campaign revenue of 128%.

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Creating CALPAK Brand Advocates:

One of the biggest advantages of direct-to-consumer brands is the ability to own the relationship. Darkroom helped CALPAK develop strategies to increase customer retention and customer lifetime value for their most valuable cohort: repeat customers.

  • We redesigned the post-purchase flow with a strong focus on nurturing customers’ relationship with the brand, helping them feel good about their purchase and providing support if needed.
  • We implemented VIP Flows to show appreciation to loyal customers — measurably increasing repeat purchases.
  • We used predictive analytics to customize Reorder and Cross-sell flows based on past purchase behavior
  • We redesigned flows for CALPAK’s Very Important Traveler program to improve brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchases
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Outcomes

103%

Increase Overall Retention Efforts Q1 YoY

166%

Email Revenue Increase Q1 YoY

Outcomes

Year-On-Year 2022

  • 59% SMS Revenue Increase Q1 YoY
  • 7.5% Over Q1 Client Retention Goal

 

Month-On-Month 2022 (Feb to Mar)

  • 128% Increase MoM (Feb to Mar) in email campaigns
  • 50% Increase MoM (Feb to Mar) in email flow revenue
  • 24% Increase MoM (Feb to Mar) in SMS campaigns

Maaji

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Background

The private-equity-backed swimwear brand Maaji tapped Darkroom to grow international revenue 16x during our multi-year engagement.

 

Inspired by the Mahi-Mahi—a vibrant, subtropical dolphinfish— Maaji was created by sisters Amalia and Manuela Sierra in Columbia and sells swimwear that is sleek, stylish and sustainable.
Maaji approached Darkroom with the challenge of helping them scale internationally and had ambitious growth goals for their expansion into the United States market. But in the beginning, Maaji had a modest international advertising budget, and needed to validate their entry into new markets before investing more. Darkroom delivered an end-to-end digital acquisition strategy for Maaji’s e-commerce operations, resulting in 10x the return on investment.

Outcomes

16%

Scaled Paid Social Adspend

700x

Increase in Paid Social ROAS

Maaji approached Darkroom with the challenge of helping them scale internationally and had ambitious growth goals for their expansion into the United States market. But in the beginning, Maaji had a modest international advertising budget, and needed to validate their entry into new markets before investing more. Darkroom delivered an end-to-end digital acquisition strategy for Maaji’s e-commerce operations, resulting in 10x the return on investment.

Outcomes
  • Total advertising ROI of 10x
  • Scaled paid social ad spend by 16x and increased ROAS by 700%
  • Reduced time between 1st and 2nd orders from 65 days to 12 days
  • Increased retention revenue by 126%
  • Boosted customer LTV by 37%
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Scaling Paid Ads

We started by rethinking Maaji’s paid advertising on Facebook and Google, testing both design and strategy in order to maximize visibility and conversion. This resulted in the development of a new creative direction for the brand as well as the production of standalone, social media creative. The success of these efforts led Maaji to increase their paid social ad spend by 16x.

 

Intelligent Email Flows

Next, we tested email templates to identify high-performance copy and creative, tested different send-times, and implemented lead nurture flow (30-day) where warm leads are revisited. We also optimized for the seasonality of the swimwear market and notified prospective customers of seasonal sales and price drops. These changes helped Maaji reduce the average time between first and second orders from 65 days to 12 days.

MA _ 5.30 _ MEMORIAL SALE 50_ off + Extra 10_ the entire site w_ coupon code 8AM -8PM
MA _ 6.23 _ Thursday Drop

Retaining Repeat Customers

By focusing on repeat customer retention, we were able to help Maaji measurably increase customer lifetime value and improve revenue margins. We restructured Maaji’s landing pages and interfaces, optimizing click-through rates and boosting conversion for this valuable cohort. These changes helped Maaji increase retention revenue by 126% and improve customer LTV by 37%.

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Results

Darkroom helped Maaji scale internationally and grow into a multi-million dollar e-commerce business over our 2+ year partnership. The brand is now sold in over 50 countries and is the single largest swimwear company worldwide.

Takeaways
  • Creative is King: When creative direction stagnates, so does the brand—that’s why it’s vital to revitalize key visual elements continuously. This includes the integration of platform-native content and UGC with more editorial, polished content.
  • Seasonality: Fashion and apparel messaging needs to be tied back to season and context.
  • Send Times: When messaging is delivered at the right time, it makes a world of difference. For Maaji, 21:00 EST was ideal; when users were in a relaxed, wind-down state their purchase intent was higher.

Necessaire

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Background

We launched a category-leading campaign that allowed Necessaire to aggressively break goals for the critical holiday season.
Since 2018, Necessaire has been reimagining body care with effective, environmentally responsible products sold online and at retailers like Nordstrom and Sephora. They approached Darkroom in the latter half of 2021 for help revitalizing their paid media strategy post-iOS 14, and needed to implement changes quickly and in time for the critical end-of-year sales season.

Outcomes

Top 1%

Performed in the top 1% of all 2021 BFCM Facebook Campaigns

43%

Overall Q4 Revenue Increase YoY

14%

Below CPA goal on Paid Social

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Capture New
Interest Efficiently

Video Views Funnel

With the introduction of the new iOS 14 in the spring of 2021, Paid Social efficiency and accuracy took a severe hit. So Darkroom chose to implement a new top-of-funnel strategy for Necessaire called Closed Loop Video View, which bypasses the pixel tracking that most advertisers rely on for attribution.

This strategy gave Necessaire a much larger (and cheaper) audience to retarget, and increased the likelihood of repurchase over the next few touchpoints.

 

Paid Social

We also rethought Necessaire’s paid social strategy in order to maximize visibility and conversion. This included the development of a new brand art direction and standalone, paid social performance creative.

 

Influencer Whitelisting

Darkroom tapped into Necessaire’s robust influencer network and found audiences that already engage with Necessaire and other trending beauty brands. Then we worked with influencers to serve whitelisted videos to that pre-primed audience, which increased revenue by 46% percent when compared to the next best-performing audience.

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New Acquisition and Shopping Campaigns

 

We also saw an opportunity to build remarketing audiences and drive one-click purchases by targeting highly interested, top and middle of funnel traffic. This led to an increase in new customers, while also creating a new starting point in the buyer’s journey for audiences that purchased through lower-funnel campaigns.

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Re-engage users at the right time, with the right product

Dynamic Ads

 

At the bottom of the funnel, we employed Dynamic Ads using the most popular and highest average order value (AOV) products, targeting individuals who added these products to their cart.

 

Messaging was essential here; the communication we chose to use for these Dynamic Ads was a carefully curated collection of testimonials and customer reviews, highlighting the value props of the brand. This amplified the effectiveness of these campaigns.

Convert users to
loyal customers

Social Proof

 

At the top to mid-funnel, we capitalized on videos made by social media influencers,emphasizing the luxury and efficacy of Necessaire products. Mid to bottom-funnel content relied on gushing reviews and publication quotes speaking to the positive changes users experienced while using the product; this sped up and optimized conversion.

 

Darkroom was able to quickly and efficiently implement solutions throughout Necessaire’s marketing funnel in time for the critical holiday sales season. These changes resulted in a paid social CPA 14% below target, a paid media revenue increase of 118%, and an overall revenue increase of 43% in Q4 YoY.

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VYBES

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Background

We helped VYBES grow by re-engineering their digital experience and increasing online-store conversion by 40%.

 

VYBES is a Los Angeles based beverage brand dedicated to improving their customers’ health and wellbeing through natural plant derivatives. The company sells Hemp CBD beverages and has expanded into candles and apparel – evolving into a cohesive lifestyle brand dedicated to health and wellness. VYBES’ bold, colorful packaging makes it one of the most Instagrammable products in the market.

Outcomes

40%

increase in online-store conversion

56%

Increase in attributable email
revenue within 90-days

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“We hired Darkroom to help us grow our online sales and the changes they recommended and instituted have helped us increase online store conversion by almost 40%.”
Jonathan Eppers, Founder VYBES avatar
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Customer Retention

VYBES’ loyal customer base eagerly anticipates new brand developments and collaborations, making Email and SMS essential mediums for communication. Darkroom put into motion robust retention campaigns for VYBES, and continues to manage their strategy and implementation.

 

Email Performance

Email campaigns and automations boast some of the highest success metrics in the e-commerce food and beverage space. Darkroom helped implement new email campaigns that resulted in a 56% increase in attributable email revenue within 90-days.

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Technology

Darkroom also helped re-engineer the VYBES digital experience to bring customers new functionality – including robust subscription features and a cleaner user interface that lets the VYBES brand shine. These changes all with a view toward compounding user retention. The result was a 40% increase in online-store conversion.

 

Intelligent Email Flows

Next, we tested email templates to identify high-performance copy and creative, tested different send-times, and implemented lead nurture flow (30-day) where warm leads are revisited. We also optimized for the seasonality of the swimwear market and notified prospective customers of seasonal sales and price drops. These changes helped Maaji reduce the average time between first and second orders from 65 days to 12 days.

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“I would highly, highly recommend Darkroom to any brand who is looking for easy and smart strategies that grow their customer base, improve online conversion and build stronger relationships with their customers.”
Jonathan Eppers, Founder VYBES avatar
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What we did

Technology

  • E-Commerce Strategy
  • Web Development
  • Ongoing Web Support
  • QA & Implementation

 

 

Design

  • Editorial Content
  • E-commerce Content

 

 

Growth Marketing

  • Paid Social Ads
  • Email & SMS Marketing