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.

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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.