Sending The Right Message Helps Achieve 72% Email Open Rates

Oh Crap



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The Challenge

  • Needed to turn one time buyers into long term customers
  • Needed the ability to automate email campaigns
  • Wanted to be able to automate personalized emails to send in proper time zones

The Solution

  • Integrated Shopify and ActiveCampaign for enriched ecommerce data, providing key insights into both B2B and B2C order activity
  • Predictive Sending allows them to send emails in their customers time zone
  • The Shopify integration provides enriched e-commerce data on the contact record revealing key insight into B2B and B2C client activity  
I can genuinely say we've gone from zero customers to nearly 40,000. That's all been in ActiveCampaign.

Oh Crap started in January 2014, when the founder of the company, Bruce Hultgren took his rescue puppy, Brady to...

Company Size
1-100 employees
ActiveCampaign Marketing + Sales

Oh Crap started in January 2014, when the founder of the company, Bruce Hultgren took his rescue puppy, Brady to the park. As Brady did what dogs often do in these situations, Bruce was struck with the question, “Why am I putting organic dog poo in a plastic bag? This makes no sense at all.” 

Bruce reached out to a contact in his network who worked in materials to find out how to solve this plastic bag dilemma. Within 20 minutes, the materials expert was back with a solution – Cornstarch! Bruce had samples in his hands within weeks. It took a couple more years to refine the product, a compostable dog poo bag that’s six times thicker than the average plastic dog poo bag, but it all started with Brady in 2014.

Bruce Hultgren Oh Crap geelong addy pic
Crapologist Bruce Hultgren and Brady. picture: Glenn Ferguson

“We’ve saved over 23 million dog poo bags from landfill,” commented Henry Reith, CEO at Oh Crap. “I remember when we got to a quarter of a million back in 2017, and it was just Bruce and me at the time. I thought that was amazing, and now we’re at 23 million! It’s just so cool to wake up every day and know that everyone in the Oh Crap family is making a difference.” 

Creating long term customers

Henry has been using ActiveCampaign for over eight years, so when it came to choosing the right CRM for Oh Crap, “ActiveCampaign was the right option because it has a really strong B2C side, but it also has the B2B CRM as well,” said Henry.“ That’s something you don’t find in many CRM to do both sides really well.” 

One of the first challenges Henry encountered was how to keep customers long-term. B2C sales were pretty good, but the challenge was to keep customers coming back and buying again. Henry was able to solve this challenge using ActiveCampaign Automations and personalized emails. 

Depending on what size package a customer ordered, 45, 180, or 375 packs, Henry was able to estimate when people might need to buy again relative to the product they previously purchased. So he built automations based on those check-in predictions and improved them over time. “I think the first two years were really about getting our B2C communication right.

One thing that I absolutely love is using some of the ActiveCampaign automations where we can do time-based emails, so we know someone from our team is going to be in the office at that point. When customers reply, we can actually be there to reply to their message.” This lends towards a more authentic experience with the Oh Crap family, “because when people order over the weekend, it will be odd to get a personal message back.” 

By using text-only emails, with no graphics or header, Oh Crap’s emails come across as more personal and have great open rates. “We’ve implemented a thank you email for when people first purchase, and it actually gets a 73% open rate–it still does today. That is insane. So loads of people reply as well, and just say, `Thank you, we’re really happy to be part of their crap family.’” 

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Feedback from customers like Henry helps ActiveCampaign in continuing to fine-tune features such as Split Testing, and Henry loves Split Testing. With 40,000 people flowing through his automations, he’s able to easily test subject lines, or even find out what content makes a difference. “I just drop the split testing in ActiveCampaign and off you go. Try both emails and leave them in there for a month to see which one works. It’s really cool because you can pull an email really quickly if it’s not working.”

Sales CRM and Integrated data

Oh Crap began as a B2C company with a great consumer product, but as they started to see relatively fast growth, retailers started asking about selling their dog poo bags in their stores. Today there are over 170 small shops and businesses that carry the Oh Crap product. Using ActiveCampaign CRM to manage these retailers in their pipeline, Oh Crap has the visibility they need to see where deals are at and where sales needs to follow up. 

To keep retailers on message, Oh Crap uses the 45-day check-ins to educate their retail clients and educate them on the difference between compostable and biodegradable. “I think it’s really important to educate retailers so they can explain the product properly.” 

On the prospecting side, they’re using a separate CRM pipeline to track new leads interested in purchasing. For their business customers, “ActiveCampaign CRM has helped us predict when deals are going to close, because we’ve got the deal value and time and all the rest, plus just what actions and who we should be calling when, plus just what actions and who we should be calling when.” 

By transferring those deals into various segments in the prospecting pipeline, Oh Crap is now able to use sales pipelines to stay up-to-date on open deals so nothing slips through the cracks. With clear steps in their sales cycle and what next steps to take, they are better prepared to turn prospects into Oh Crap customers. 

The enriched e-commerce data Oh Crap gets from the Shopify integration provides key information they can use to effectively engage and follow up with customers any time after they purchase. “This is especially helpful when it comes to our B2B deals and having the ability to view order activity right on the contact record.” 

With Facebook Custom Audiences, when it’s about the time for a customer to reorder, they sync that customer to the Facebook Audience. They’ll see a few ads and other information on Facebook and Instagram for a few days before they get an email, so it’s almost like a personalized email that comes in. 

One of Henry’s favorite automations

“We can do a lot of subtle marketing by using that Facebook integration with ActiveCampaign. It has completely changed the way we do marketing, allowing our emails to be family to family. We don’t have to sell so hard in the email, because they’ve recently seen us on Facebook.”

Growth with Gratitude

Oh Crap recently moved to the ActiveCampaign Enterprise plan to accommodate continued growth, gain access to features such as split testing and predictive sending, and more. “Even though I’ve used AC for years,” says Henry, “I love the fact that I can check in with one of the team and just get a second pair of eyes on the way that I’ve designed, especially some of my CRM automations. And just do account health checks with them.”

“I think the really cool thing is that as we’ve grown, we’ve been able to get more features and just grow through the ActiveCampaign platform and use all the extras that the various plans come with.”

If you would like to explore the platform that Oh Crap uses every day to deliver the right content at the right time to each individual at every point in their customer journey, try ActiveCampaign free today.

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