Success Story

BariatricPal: Driving Sales with An Omnichannel Approach

BariatricPal is a brand and online community that offers a huge range of vitamins, supplements, and diet food. The story of BariatricPal began in the most personal way – with CEO Alex Brecher's bariatric surgery. While embarking on his own health journey, Alex recognized the need for support, connection, and community.

On the same day that Alex came home from surgery, he launched a weight loss surgery forum to share information on procedures, diets, and related topics. That was 17 years ago. Now the forum has 374,000 members and over 4.5 million posts.

But BariatricPal's journey did not end there. In 2015, the BariatricPal store was launched, and it now consists of over 3,500 products and hundreds of brands. This one-stop-shop is continuously growing, providing the bariatric community with food, snacks, vitamins, and health accessories. The company currently owns 4 brands: BariatricPal (Store), PatchAid (vitamin patches), NutriNoodle (pastas), and Alex's Acid-Free Organic Coffee.

As millions of Americans, and countless people across the globe, continue to spend billions of dollars on weight-loss products, BariatricPal's popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.
The Challenges
Like many stores striving to give their customers maximum value, BariatricPal operates within several marketing channels. The company connects with its audience through its website, Facebook ads, SMS, web push notifications, and email. It is this focus on omnichannel marketing that has brought them so much success.

Email is one of the main components of this strategy. But email automation and campaigns require a good research strategy and a strong creative effort. That is why BariatricPal recognized that its email channel had room for improvement – so, they hired Essence of Email. Together, they worked on several key areas to improve email content and performance. Essence of Email helped to:

  • Revamp campaigns and flows.
  • Fine-tune and A/B test the flows.
  • Increase open rates and decrease bounce and spam rates.
  • Adjust flow filters to capitalize on Checkout Abandonment emails as much as possible. As a result of more lax filters, BariatricPal is now making more sales with this automation.
  • Solve an ad hoc challenge – you'll read more about this soon.
The Solutions & Results
Revamping of campaigns and flows

BariatricPal did not have an in-house designer. As a result, the Essence of Email team was responsible for creating enticing graphics to accompany the campaigns.
When Essence of Email started designing for us, the designer was being really "safe" in his designs. But once we encouraged him to be fun and creative, the graphics became something our customers look forward to seeing.
Veronica Hernandez, Digital Marketing Director at BariatricPal.
Little did they know that design was going to play an extremely important role in BariatricPal's strategy.

Essence of Email created a Labor Day campaign that became one of BariatricPal's favorites – and the campaign's success did not stop there. Thanks to the fun design and specific resend segmentation, the campaign turned out to be one of the best performers. Segmented into four emails, the campaign was sent to a group of more than 240,000 people. It resulted in approximately 429 placed orders and over $38,132 of revenue for BariatricPal. The successful result of the campaign is also apparent from the low churn rate – just 0.2% in comparison to the usual 0.5%.

A great takeaway from BariatricPal's Labor Day campaign: never underestimate the power of reminder emails in your sending strategy. In this campaign's case, one of the reminder emails brought $12,376 alone, which accounts for almost a third of the total campaign revenue.

Fine-tuning and flow A/B testing

In addition to email design, BariatricPal pays special attention to automated emails, as they have proven to be key revenue drivers for the brand. Essence of Email organized a flow overhaul and updated the emails to be more attractive, clear, concise, and up-to-date with changes in the industry. Taking BariatricPal's directions for discounts and sales items into account, the Essence of Email team created fresh and exciting graphics to complement their specials. This took the burden of coming up with campaign and flow ideas off the BariatricPal team.

However, there were obstacles along the way. In January 2020, both teams were faced with a new challenge, when one of BariatricPal's competitors copied their email template. The Essence of Email team updated the existing template and enhanced it in record time. With a quick approval by BariatricPal, all of the new templates for flow emails were up and running in less than a week. A fast and successful turnaround!
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! It was a challenge to rework the entire template on such short notice, but with a team of skilled experts we managed to make the template even better than what we first set out to achieve.
Milos Rakic, Quality Assurance Lead at Essence of Email
The Challenges
To maximize revenue potential, every email should be accompanied by a web push notification. Previously using Firepush as their web push notification platform, BariatricPal migrated to PushOwl in December 2018 to reach this channel's full potential. The teams were trying to reach customers on various levels of their journey; to recover abandoned carts of people that haven't provided their contact details, and to increase sales.
    With the use of push notifications, we're able to reach our customers on various levels, whether they want a reminder when their favorite product is back in stock or when a sale is launching. The Essence of Email team has been essential in winning these sales thanks to their graphics, thoughtful targeting and copywriting.
    Veronica Hernandez, Digital Marketing Director at BariatricPal.
    The Solutions & Results
    Adding web push notifications to the mix and making a careful platform choice paid off for the company. BariatricPal went from zero to 90K+ subscribers and $400K+ in revenue in only 6 months and their campaigns and automations keep on improving since all changes are backed with the data from PushOwl's custom reports. This way both teams, Essence of Email and PushOwl, share relevant data and best practices that helps BariatricPal achieve better results.

    Prior to the changes, recovering abandoned carts was challenging. But BariatricPal's new Abandoned Cart push notification helped to bring back prospects who had added products to their carts, but had not completed their purchases. It was designed to be entirely automated and has since helped bring in more than 2.2k in sales. The best part? Together with Browse Abandonment - yet another push automation - it managed to catch these prospects deep in the funnel, regardless of whether or not they had opted in for the email or text list – as long as they had opted in for push notifications.
      The Challenges
      BariatricPal saw the opportunity to gain new subscribers and improve their results with simple, yet effective, pop-ups.
        The Solutions & Results
        Some pop-ups can be intrusive and overly distracting, while some are not visually appealing. To counter this, BariatricPal and Essence of Email took a subtle approach, teasing the user with a discreet discount message at the bottom of the screen. This resulted in a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing customer experience.

        The Exit Intent pop-up has shown some great results in winning back prospects and capturing their emails. These prospects have shown interest in BariatricPal's products and they likely just needed a little "push" or an incentive to help them purchase. Therefore, catching them before they left the website was essential – instead of going to competitors to shop around, they were compelled to close the deal. So, in the end, about half of the caught prospects did make a purchase on BariatricPal's website.
          By introducing a great design, strategic placement, proper follow-through in flows, and utilizing an Exit Intent pop-up, BariatricPal managed to drive new subscribers and generate an impressive $3,400,000 in revenue from contacts who signed up through a Privy display and subsequently made a purchase.