Oh Crap is a brand on a mission. What started as a light bulb in the park has grown into a thriving business with many copycat brands eager to acquire eco-conscious dog owners. And driving this brand messaging and ongoing customer connection is an increasingly refined approach to email and social marketing.
It all started in 2014 when company founder Bruce Hultgren was in the park with his rescue dog, Brady, and realized that trying to get rid of dog poop in a plastic bag was a bad habit for the environment. Oh Crap was born, focused on the goal of eradicating 4% of dog feces wrapped in plastic bags from the landfill “one poo at a time”.
As the initial business model started out as B2C, retailers began to ask about the sale of the dog poop bags in stores, extending Oh Crap’s path to market. Today, over 170 small stores and businesses carry Oh Crap bags. It has also instructed all dog shelters in Australia to start using non-plastic bags and is currently the number one dog poop bag in Australia.
“We’ve saved over 23 million bags of dog poop from the landfill,” Oh Crap CEO Henry Reith said. “It’s just cool to wake up every day and know that everyone in the Oh Crap family is making a difference.”
The power of email
Oh Crap’s marketing automation platform, ActiveCampaign, has been at the heart of success since day one. Having initially introduced digital marketing tools in 2017, Oh Crap has more recently adopted ActiveCampaign CRM to manage retailers in its pipeline and gain the visibility it needs to track and manage all retail customers.
Reith noted that the platform offers both B2C and B2B customer management capabilities. “You don’t find a lot of CRM platforms that work really well on both sides,” he said. CMO.
One of the challenges Reith faced with the brand was how to retain long-term customers. B2C sales were strong, but the challenge was to keep customers coming back and buying again. He was able to overcome this challenge thanks to ActiveCampaign automations and personalized emails.
Depending on the size of the pack a customer ordered — 45, 180, or 375 packs — Reith could estimate when people might need to buy again. So he built automations based on those recording predictions and improved them over time.
“I think the first two years were really about improving our B2C communications,” he said. “One thing I love is using some of ActiveCampaign’s automations to orchestrate time-based emails, so we know someone on our team will be in the office at that time. customers respond, we can actually be there to respond to their message.”
Another impetus is to generate an authentic experience with the Oh Crap family. “When people order on the weekend, it would be weird to get a personal message back,” Reith said.
By using text-only emails with no graphics or headers, Oh Crap’s emails come across as more personal and have achieved excellent open rates.
“We implemented a thank you email on first purchase, with an open rate of 73%. It’s crazy,” Reith commented. “A lot of people also respond and just say, ‘Thank you, we are really happy to be part of the Oh Crap family.”
The company recently adopted the ActiveCampaign enterprise plan to accommodate continued growth, accessing features like split testing and predictive sending. With 40,000 people going through automations, Oh Crap is quickly able to test subject lines and find out what content makes a difference.
“I’m dropping split testing in ActiveCampaign and here we go. We’ll try both emails and leave them for a month to see which one works. That’s really cool because you can pick up an email really quickly if it doesn’t work,” Reith said.
Built-in data goals
To keep retailers on message, Oh Crap uses a 45-day record to connect with customers and educate them on the differences between compostable and biodegradable.
“I think it’s really important to educate retailers so they can explain the product properly,” Reid said.
On the prospecting side, Oh Crap uses a separate CRM pipeline to track new leads interested in buying. For its business customers, ActiveCampaign has helped predict when deals will close.
“We have the value of the deal, the time and everything, and what actions to pursue and who we should call when,” Reith explained.
By funneling these deals into various segments of the prospecting pipeline, Oh Crap is able to use sales pipelines to stay current on open deals so nothing slips through the cracks. With clear stages in the sales cycle and next best actions, the business is better prepared to turn prospects into Oh Crap customers.
The enriched e-commerce data Oh Crap gets from a Shopify integration provides other key insights the team can use to effectively engage and track customers anytime after they purchase.
“This is especially useful when it comes to our B2B transactions and the ability to view order activity directly on the contact record,” Reith said.
Another element of Oh Crap’s advertising strategy is Facebook’s Custom Audiences. When it’s time for a customer to place a new order, the teams sync customer data from their CRM to Facebook Audience to run a few ads and other information on Facebook and Instagram for a few days before sending an email. According to Reith, this again brings a more personalized touch to the communication process.
“We can do a lot of subtle marketing using this Facebook integration with ActiveCampaign. It’s completely changed the way we do marketing, allowing our emails to be family-to-family,” he said. “We don’t need to sell so hard on email because they recently saw us on Facebook.”
As the Oh Crap brand grew, it was able to apply more features and grow across the platform. Overall, the business has generated $3.46 million in revenue, most of it in the past two years, 62% of which can be attributed to loyal customers, i.e. those who return after having received emails after first purchase.
Its latest email campaign celebrating the #OhCrapFamily of over 72,000 dogs nationwide, the company rescued 25 million bags of dog poo from the landfill and generated around $50,000 in revenue in seven days .
Looking ahead, there’s a website refresh on the agenda and continuing its mission to educate customers on the difference between biodegradable, which means very little, and compostable, which actually decomposes. , keeping plastic bags out of the landfill.
“In terms of marketing, the education part is huge and pushing the mission is a massive part of our marketing because it’s really important,” Reith said.
And there is only fun too. “We can hang out with our dogs and talk bullshit, but we’re also in partnership with the RSPCA and I really want to highlight that as we also try to give back to charities,” he added.
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