Goal: To create an email marketing program for Oru Kayak that would highlight their unique products and ramp up their sales in a BIG way. And, because most people enjoy kayaking in summer, we had to create a strategy that would help Oru generate maximum revenue in the off-season as well. As it turns out, we exceeded all expectations two years in a row. Check out this email marketing case study for the full lowdown.

Highlights from 2020 to 2021:

  • Doubled 2020 YTD sales in just two months
  • Increased YTD sales 4X by end of year
  • A 527% increase in Black Friday and Cyber Monday revenue in 2021 (yup, you read that right)
  • Nearly $2 million in revenue from workflows (not a typo)

Highlights from 2021 to 2022:

  • July 2022’s email revenue reached never-before-seen highs - let’s just say Austin Powers’ Mr Evil would be gushing
  • Increased Q1 Revenue YoY by 256%
  • Increased unique placed orders from email campaigns by 71%
  • A 3% increase in average open rates
  • 2x increase in average click rates
  • By including SMS marketing in Oru’s program, we increased their subscribers by 156% overall
  • Helped Oru Kayak’s Kickstarter campaign reach a whopping $2,253,646 through email marketing and design (so nice we’ll say it twice - that’s $2,253,646)
  • Achieved a huge 103% increase in email campaign revenue compared to 2021
  • Generated over $600,000 in Lake and Lake+ launch sales
  • Successful email deliveries increased by an astounding 290% to 18.6M (compared to our first year with Oru Kayak)

Paddling our way to success

When Oru Kayak contacted us back in 2020, we knew they had a pretty special product on their hands. Born out of a Kickstarter campaign and an out-of-the-box design idea, the brand creates exceptional-quality origami kayaks that fold up to the size of a suitcase so you can fit them in your car, garage or even take them on a plane. Oru truly revolutionizes the way people experience kayaking trips.

We loved Oru Kayak's mission of making adventure accessible for everyone and so we hopped aboard and set sail as a team. What followed was a truly exciting two years (and counting!) for both of us. In this email marketing case study, you'll see how we smashed Oru's goals and set new records for them.

First, we set to work creating new email flows to help bring in more orders from Oru’s new and existing subscribers which would increase revenue for the brand (by boatloads - see above). And even though their flow metrics were already pretty good, we made them even better.

Ready, Set, Paddle!

After discovering that Oru Kayak had a monthly gift card giveaway in place, we knew we could use this to our strategic advantage in order to encourage more customer engagement. We updated the giveaway so that you could only win if you had been opening Oru’s emails. Which is not a bad entry mechanism for a $500 prize.

Then, we created a campaign calendar that would make Oru’s path to success as easy as paddling down a gently flowing river. In fact, our first 2 email campaigns generated over 200% more revenue than Oru’s last 2 campaigns BCC (Before CodeCrew).

Things were going pretty well. With average campaign open rates of nearly 30% (which, by the way, is super-impressive for a huge email list like Oru’s) and our new workflows in place, we were on our way to growing this adventure brand’s business, despite all the challenges that came with the global pandemic. And then something really exciting happened - something that makes us pretty darn proud of this email case study.

Then, we created a campaign calendar that would make Oru’s path to success as easy as paddling down a gently flowing river. In fact, we’ve already smashed our record from year 1 by increasing email campaign revenue by 103% in 2022.

But we digress. Let’s go back to 2021 where something truly spectacular happened - something that makes this email case study one we can really be proud of.


Just Add Water: The Ultimate Black Friday Case Study

Our 2021 Black Friday/Cyber Monday strategy was simple: Start advertising discounts early, before other competing brands released their campaigns. As a big-ticket item, we knew that Oru’s Black Friday campaigns needed to hit contacts’ inboxes while their wallets were still relatively full. This campaign was also a first for Oru Kayak – they had never put the Inlet (the original kayak that started it all) on sale before.  

So how did it turn out? Well lets just say our plan exceeded every expectation.

Oru Kayak contacted us a little while after the sale had finished to let us know that not only had our Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns made them nearly half a mil, they had also totally smashed their internal records. It’s a great illustration of how, when it comes to holiday email campaigns, planning and simplicity is absolutely everything. Want another example? Sure…

Kayaking Into Kickstarter

In 2022, we were instrumental in designing and promoting Oru Kayak’s June 2022 Kickstarter campaign for their new super-portable kayak, the Lake. As the numbers came in for pledges, we knew gold had been struck and fists were being bumped. By the end of the campaign, Oru Kayak had reached 2,624 backers pledging $2,253,646 with the highest click rate of all their campaigns for the year - how’s that for an adventure!

What’s On The Horizon

We’re happy to say that the Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Kickstarter successes weren’t just a drop in the ocean. We’re continually seeing steady increases in list growth, quarterly revenue and the amount of unique orders being placed.

So what does the future hold? Hopefully more and more people purchasing an Oru Kayak and discovering the magic of the water for themselves.

It really is incredible what you can achieve when passionate business owners and a crew of dedicated email marketers join forces.

For more mind-blowing case studies and off-the-charts email marketing stats, please visit our Email Marketing Case Studies page.