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Swell Rewards Merchant Spotlight: How Smoky Mountain Beards Drove a 150%+ Increase in Revenue from Existing Customers with a Few Clicks


Swell Rewards Merchant Spotlight: How Smoky Mountain Beards Drove a 150%+ Increase in Revenue from Existing Customers with a Few Clicks

It’s no big secret that beards are as in today as they’ve ever been.  Whether it’s trendy young professionals, big-time movie stars, or outdoorsmen (who are probably surprised to see others borrowing their style!), it’s hard to walk down the street without seeing a man who’s decided to put the razor away for at least a few weeks.

Nate Toney, owner of Smoky Mountain Beards (who sports quite the beard of his own), began selling high-quality beard care products in 2014.  “I was able to get into this niche before it got too flooded”, he told us.

We Helped Smoky Mountain Beards Discover that they were Sitting on Some Untapped Potential.

Smoky Mountain Beards is the type of store that relies on repeat business to succeed; with items that generally fall in the $15 - $30 range and don’t last forever, gently nudging customers to buy more often (and spending more when they do buy) is an important factor in its success.  Not only it is easier to unlock the potential in existing customers, but it’s also much cheaper than spending advertising dollars to find new ones.

After nearly a year in operation, Smoky Mountain Beards was beginning to see repeat business, but Nate had a feeling that he could have been generating even more spending from existing customers.  As it turns out, his hunch was accurate – on average, only 10 – 15% of daily purchases were coming from existing customers. 

Nate’s business reminded us of a lot of other businesses that we’ve seen and worked with.  While his business was performing well and growing steadily, he had the foresight to realize that by driving repeat spending, he had an opportunity to take Smoky Mountain Beards to the next level.  As e-commerce businesses mature, it’s important to strike a healthy balance between new and existing customers, and that’s what we were hoping to do for Nate and Smoky Mountain Beards.

Swell Rewards was Easy to Use – And (Spoiler Alert) It Worked!!

After looking around for a solution, Smoky Mountain Beards eventually settled on Swell Rewards.  “I just wanted something that was easy and didn’t require a lot of work to make it work”, Nate said.

"Very pleased with the results.  My repeat customer orders have more than doubled in the short time I've been using Swell Rewards."  -Nate, Owner, www.smokymountainbeards.com


Nate set up a spend-based campaign where each of his customers who spent at least $100 would receive the equivalent of $10 back.  In less than 10 minutes, he enabled the Swell Rewards widget and quickly generated an email marketing campaign (using our templates) to let his customers know about the promotion.  “Setup was extremely easy, and y’all helped me through the process – explaining everything in detail, making sure all of my questions were answered, etc.” Nate told us.

widget screenshot for smbeards post The customized version of the Swell Rewards widget can be found on www.smokymountainbeards.com to advertise the promotion to customers.


So how’s the campaign going so far?

It’s probably best to let Nate answer that one:  “Very pleased with the results.  My repeat customer orders have more than doubled in the short time I’ve been using Swell Rewards.”

Here’s the chart to back that up:  In June, Smoky Mountain Beards’ revenue from existing customers increased over 150% compared to the previous month!  

smb june 2015 results

Because we love data so much at Swell Rewards, we’ll share a couple more fun facts:

  1. Remember how about 10 – 15% of Smoky Mountain Beards’ orders were coming from existing customers? In the days after running his first email marketing blast to tell customers about the promotion, that number skyrocketed to 50% - about a  5x increase!
  2. According to MailChimp, the average email open rate for businesses in the “Beauty and Personal Care” segment is 19.5% . When Smoky Mountain Beards sent their first email notifying customers of the promotion, it had an open rate of 47.2%.  That’s over 2.4x the average!

What does a higher email open rate mean?  It means that Smoky Mountain Beards’ customers are more engaged, and that even the ones that chose not to buy right away are far more likely to remember Smoky Mountain Beards when it comes time to make a purchase in the future.  It’s tough to quantify the impact of customers feeling the love from a store, but we know it’s a positive thing.

Stories like this one make us really happy.  We’re glad we were able to help Smoky Mountain Beards, and we can’t wait to do the same for all of the other e-commerce businesses out there.


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Josh Enzer

Josh Enzer

Co-Founder and CEO at Swell


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