Goal: To create an email marketing program for Oru Kayak highlighting their unique products and ramping 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. And it turns out, we exceeded all expectations. Check out this email marketing case study for all the info.

Here’s What We Achieved In Under A Year:

  • Doubled 2020 YTD sales in just two months.
  • Increased YTD sales 4X by end of year.
  • Applied strategy to overcome YTD sales through workflow-driven sales only.
  • In our first 8 months, we generated 3x the revenue Oru generated in their previous 8 months.
  • A 527% increase in Black Friday & Cyber Monday revenue compared to the previous year (yup, you read that right).
  • Nearly $2 million in revenue from workflows so far (not a typo).
  • Our best campaign smashed Oru’s previous best sales campaign by a whopping $170,000.
  • A 3% increase in average open rates.
  • 2x increase in average click rates.

In this case, we paddled our way to success

When Jeffrey, the Marketing/eCommerce Manager at Oru Kayak and his team first hopped on the line with us 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, Oru Kayak 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 year 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. 

We also realized that kayakers are really passionate people who appreciate great, informative content. So we filled Oru’s flows and campaigns with the kind of tips, articles and inspiration that would make customers want to grab their paddles and take a kayaking trip ASAP.  Not only did this add value, it increased sales, too. But read on, this email case study is just getting started.

But Wait, There’s More

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. Ready to open those campaigns?

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.


The ultimate Black Friday email case study

Our Black Friday/Cyber Monday strategy was simple:

1. Give customers sizable discounts on Oru’s kayaks.

2. Start advertising them early, before other competing brands would release 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 and ready to roll.

3. Create simple, clear communication making the deal the hero.

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.

Jeffrey 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 Oru 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.

What’s On The Horizon

We’re happy to say that the Black Friday success wasn’t just a once-off. Our campaigns for Oru are still doing exceptionally well and to date, we’ve created over 13 workflows for them, also all doing well. What’s more, Oru was so impressed with our design work that they asked us to design their new web pages. Plus, they’ve taken our advice and implemented processes that will make creating their new workflows, well, smooth sailing.

So what does the future hold? Hopefully more and more people purchasing an Oru Kayak and discovering the magic of the water for themselves. And, we hope, another email marketing case study just like this.

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