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In this episode of eCommerce in the Trenches, JD sits down with Brett Swensen, who calls himself the “email whisperer” for Purple. JD and Brett dive into how Purple’s unique marketing strategy disrupted the mattress industry. They discuss how it translates to YouTube commercials to email campaigns and more, and makes buying a mattress fun.

Brett: We really needed to communicate to people in a way that was personal to them.
Voiceover: The biggest names in eCommerce share tricks of the trade from tools and software to strategies and growth hacks. Learn from the best and take your business to the next level. Now your host, JD Crouse.

JD: Hello and welcome to eCommerce In The Trenches. This is JD Crouse and excited to be here today with you. I am bringing a wonderful guest that I’ve gotten to know just a little bit over the last few weeks. His name is Brett Swensen and I love your title dude, the email whisperer from Purple. If you’re not familiar with Purple, you soon will be. If you are familiar, you’re going to become more in love with Purple and their story. Welcome, Brett. How are you, man?

Brett: Good. Thanks, JD. Happy to be here.

JD: Great. I just want to dive in, but first of all, I’d like for you to just tell me and tell those listening a little bit about … I know that your role is expansive and ever expanding at Purple, but tell me what you do on day-to-day basis.

Brett: Yeah. Expansive is a good word. We have a bit of a startup feel still with Purple with our huge growth. We’re all kind of wearing multiple hats, which makes it fun. Yes, I am an email whisperer. I handle all of our email marketing here at Purple. If you get an email from us, it probably goes through me at some point. I also handle our marketing automation. Those not familiar with that, anything that we can personalize and segment through our platforms that we use, I have a hand in that. I’m trying to understand our customer base on a more intimate level, so we can provide the type of communication and marketing that makes sense for you. In a nut shell that’s what I do and I love it.

JD: That’s great. When we talked last time, you’re the head or a big part of the acquisition team. Talk to me just a little bit about that.

Brett: Dan Bischoff, he’s our head of acquisition. We have a team of about 10 people that our whole goal and our whole charge I guess is to convert. We’re in charge of really bringing revenue in. Part of what we focus on on a day-to-day basis is testing new channels, optimizing the current channels we’re on and really when we attract the traffic in that we get, our job is to turn those into customers and to hopefully lifelong customers. We have people all the way from paid ads to even part of our organic SEO efforts.

JD: Perfect. If you haven’t checked out Purple, go to Before we get into attraction, conversion and retention, which is really what eCommerce In The Trenches is all about and get kind of geeky and down into the weeds a little bit, I think it’s important to discuss Goldilocks. If you haven’t checked out the Goldilocks video and series of videos on, you got to go check it out. I see a real uniqueness. It’s very similar to Dollar Shave Club with just … Dollar Shave Club was very in your face, very surprising kind of slapstick comedy with a strong value proposition, a big idea. I see the raw egg test and the Goldilocks videos just being really quirky.

Can you talk about your brand a little bit and the convergence of science and fun and kind of what sets you guys apart?

Brett: Yeah. I think your analysis is pretty spot on. One thing that you’ll notice about Purple is we’re quirky and we’re a little sarcastic and we like to have. If you look at the mattress industry as a whole and back before some of the leaders of the “bed the box” companies launched, the mattress industry is kind of boring. No one really wants to go buy a mattress from a mattress store. It’s kind of that used car feeling. When we were getting ready to launch Purple, we wanted to make the experience of buying a mattress fun again and something that people would enjoy, but also part of our unique selling points here at Purple is our science and how our technology is different from others.

We needed a way to communicate that to our audience and do it in a way that wasn’t boring and too sciency that it would go over people’s heads. The founders, Tony and Terry Pearce, they spent a long time inventing the technology and they kind of knew from a scientific and a … One of them is actually a rocket scientist. They knew from an engineering standpoint what they wanted to communicate and it was our job as a marketing team to come up with a story and really make people feel something and educate. That’s where you get the raw egg test, which Goldilocks is our spokesperson that kind of takes you through that experience of testing the egg and how the egg is like your pressure points and how Purple cradles those pressure points.

It’s been fun to see that really take off and go viral and have people … They tell us all the time, “Your YouTube video or your commercial is the first commercial I didn’t skip as it came up.” It was kind of a culmination of us wanting to be able to tell a story and demonstrate what Purple is in a fun and engaging way. That’s how we think about everything at Purple.

JD: Very cool. How many patents do you guys have?

Brett: The Pearce Brothers as a whole, they have somewhere around … Last that we heard, they have around 50 patents unique to the hyper elastic polymer, which is the Purple technology. They have 22 granted patents and then 35 pending. Quite a bit of technology and innovation is invested into our products.

JD: How fun is it for you, a direct response marketer, to be able to be on a team that has founders that have serious chops and a product that you’re super proud to represent and that has all the science behind it that is just allowing you to go and say, “Acquire customers. Go get it. Test every channel that is available under the sun and here’s a budget to go with that,” and then to see it actually work. How fun is that?

Brett: I’d day in the marketing industry we have a unique opportunity here with how well-received some of our Kickstarter campaigns were and how well we’ve done over the past year and a half. Our growth has been massive. We are in a unique spot to be able to have the faith and the backing from upper management and from the founders to as you mentioned go test and learn. A big charge from our CEO is to test, learn and scale. If we can provide some insight into what we are hoping to gain out of a new channel we’re testing or a new method, if we can say, “Hey. This is what I expect to have happened or this is kind of what our hypothesis is,” then we can usually get the okay to test that channel and get a bunch of learning from it.

If it works and it works well and it fits within our KPIs, then we have the ability to run with it. It’s been so fun just to have an idea and have the ability to run with it. You don’t get that in a lot of businesses and really any of the businesses that I’ve worked in. It’s a blast.

JD: That’s so cool. I told you when we talked last that I envious. Not in like a jealous nasty kind of a way, but I’ve been a part in a small way of being … Our company had hockey stick growth the first 12 months in the business. Being able to dump money into an ad spend and be able to pull out a three and four X multiple on that and just to be able to dump more money in and watch it just blow up in a good way is a fun, fun thing. With you guys having a pretty wide moat even though … What I mean by that is having patents. Obviously there’s people that can come after the technology, but it sounds like your founders and the company is very solid and you’re going to defend that technology and those patents.
That gives you a wide moat by which you can then go build a brand on and really … I did some research and I’m very familiar with several of the mattress in a box companies. Just from first appearance, it’s a very crowded marketplace. When you get in and you learn about Purple and what makes you all different, you all have very much differentiated yourself from the other mattress in a box. Could you speak to that a little bit from your perspective on how you have in addition to making the science fun and leveraging Goldilocks as your spokesperson, how else have you differentiated Purple from the other mattress in a box, direct to consumer companies?

Brett: That’s a great question. To give you a little bit of background, the mattress industry, it’s a $14 billion industry. Not until some of the competitors that you see out there, they launched in 2014. Somewhere around there. Not until then did really the market get the shake up that is the bed in the box consumer. You start to see part of that industry, part of the pie, the traditional mattress stores of just owned, you see part of that start to be … It chips away each year. There’s more and more growth within our space. Every day we see a new company launch that’s doing the direct to consumer ship you a mattress, 100 night trial. There’s even one out that has even a full year trial. They’re trying every which way to get into the space and get a part of it.

One of the thing that we’ve held true to is our technology. That is the thing that if you go look at a lot of these brands, it’s a piece of foam or different layers of foam on top of one another in different layers and different fashions. They’ve tried to do things a little different, but nobody has the Purple or the hyper elastic polymer that we have.

That is what is so fun about Purple is no matter who comes up, what type of competitor launches tomorrow, we’re always going to have this technology that we can speak to and say, “Hey, if you’re sick of memory foam and your traditional mattress that you sleep hot in or it breaks down, come try Purple where we have proven science,” which goes back to the egg test, “Proven science that if you sleep on a Purple, your body is going to feel better. Scientifically it will feel better because you’re aligned better and your spine is aligned and your pressure points are relieved,” and all the things that go along with it. You’ll feel better.

That as marketer and being able to build our brand around that and then make it fun with the different characters that we have come in and out with different products or sheets and things like that, being able to have that, it really makes marketing for Purple … It’s kind of an unfair advantage because no one can speak to that. It’s fun.

JD: Very cool. Talk to me about attracting new people to the brand. When you think about what you lead with both the creative and the copy to introduce people to Purple, cold prospects, people that have never brushed up against you guys, talk to me about your thoughts around that. Are you leading with the quirky fun to hook them? I’d love to get kind of inside your brain as to how you guys think about your lead touch.

Brett: For us, it kind of goes back to what I said earlier about making the process of sleeping and your mattress fun and something that is related to people. Usually the way we like to look at it is if we can get people engaged with our brand and engaged with the story of Purple and the technology and just kind of who Purple is high level, then we can kind of get them to understand where we’re coming from as a company. Our goal is to make people feel better. That’s written all over our offices is Purple helps people feel better. We want people to understand that we’re not just trying to sell them another mattress, but we want to help them feel better and help them enjoy life when they’re not sleeping because they got a good night’s rest.

We look at it as obviously Goldilocks is kind of staple intro to the brand because if you want that video, early on it presents a question, how do you determine if your bed is awful. That will really make people stop and think, “Hey, you know what? I have noticed that I’m not sleeping as well or my bed is really old and grungy or it’s falling apart.” Whatever it may be, they’ll stop and they’ll say, “Hey, yeah, okay. This speaks to me.” You see we immediately launch into Purple, our brand, where Goldilocks in this case is a little bit sarcastic and fun and playful. She’s describing who Purple is and then you’ll notice …

One of the unique things about our video is we take people all the way through the marketing funnel or the buyer’s journey through that video. It’s about a four minute long video. If you watch it closely, you’ll see that it starts with the awareness and it starts with presenting maybe there’s a problem, maybe there’s some consideration going on there. By the end, we’re actually pushing people to convert within that four minute video. That’s not a common thing you see nowadays with videos. They’re usually pretty short. We found that being able to create an engaging video that helps people move through that funnel allows us to then be able to take the insights we learn from people watching those videos and really target them with additional messaging.

That’s kind of one of the unique strategies that we have as we start to attract people.

JD: You found that having a little bit more long form video content versus those short punchy in and out videos, we’re all vying for time, mind share, right, in the prospect. Everybody’s preaching, “It’s got to be quick. It’s got to be punchy,” but you’re telling me that you’ve found that the long form content has actually worked really well for you even the point of converting cold traffic first visit?

Brett: Yeah. We definitely do have some of those short punchy videos because some people they don’t have the attention span to sit through something or they’re not in market for what the video is, in our case the mattress. We do have some of those that are top of funnel quick hitters. When we’re introducing someone to Purple and to our brand, yeah, the long form content does a few different things. One with our technology and the way we position our brand, we have to be able to explain our story and the technology to people. It truly sets us apart from our competitors because we have to be able to explain that, “Hey, we’re different than the traditional memory foam mattresses that you see popping up.”
We do get those conversions straight from that initial video, but then it also allows us to see when did people stop watching the video or did they make it all the way in to the end, did they click through and allows us to remarket to them and to deliver more messaging to them that’s a little bit more what they need to hear to push them further down the funnel.

JD: Nice. You guys are actually looking where they drop off and saying, “Okay. They got through awareness.” I’m asking, but I’m making a statement. Maybe I better ask it as a question. Are you looking at it and saying, “Okay. We’ve set this four minute video up, the egg test video, and it’s got the full buyer experience in it, but this segment of people who fell off and really didn’t get into the consideration stage, they really only got fully through the awareness part of that video,” do you then go back and remarket to them more from that point on or are you guys that sophisticated that you’re serving up via retargeting, remarketing funnel or buyer journey specific content?

Brett: Exactly. Yeah. We’ll look at all the data behind how someone watches the video and then just as you mentioned, if they didn’t get to the point where they’re getting the meat and potatoes of the science or they’re not getting towards the end where it’s more conversion-based content, then we’ll absolutely pick up where they left off so to speak. We have some shorter cuts and different material that we’ll hit them with it that kind of continues on where they left off. That’s one of the ways that we found some good success.

JD: Very cool. Talk to me a little bit about how many touches. If you have a number and you’re willing to share it with me, I would love to know roughly how many people convert from cold traffic to the best of your knowledge. It’s hard to know truly is somebody is flat cold, but to the best of your knowledge, the first touch that they have that they go ahead and complete a purchase from the first time landing on your site, watching the video, engaging with it and then checking out. Do you know that number roughly?

Brett: If I understood your question, you’re asking how many people convert on the first touch or what is the …

JD: Correct. Yes.

Brett: To be honest with you, it’s a pretty low percentage. It’s relative to the traffic that we drive though. We have a ton of traffic with the different channels that we’re on. We’re trying to drive a lot of people to start that funnel. It’s a small percentage. It’s definitely below 10%, even below 5% of people that are one time hey, they saw a video or an ad and they convert. It does happen, but we know that with a high ticket item like a mattress, their time to purchase is usually a month or longer to be honest with you. Most people they’re looking at different brands.

They’re looking do I want to try one out before I buy or am I okay with buying online without trying something and taking the word that I have 100 day trial or whatever that maybe to try it out at home and then either keep it or return it. We see most people that we engage with one time. They’re coming back to the site within 24 hours. They’re either googling us or reading reviews and then coming back and kind of getting deeper into the funnel. It definitely takes the majority of our customers multiple weeks, multiple touch points, different channels, email, Facebook, Google, YouTube. They may even chat with us online. It definitely takes time for them to obviously understand the brand.

Then I think more importantly they want to know why is Purple different. We hear from our friends and we hear from people that, “Hey, have you tried Purple? Purple is different than the other brands out there.” They have to kind of consume more content I think with us than some of the other brands because we’re educating them on we truly are unique. I think when that resonates with people and when they start to understand how the technology is different and how that benefits them, then that’s really when we’ve got their full attention on us and then it’s a little bit quicker to convert them at that point.

JD: You’ve got a thousand dollar product and I’m thinking even a 4% conversion on cold traffic … I mean there’s people that I know with a $15 or $29 product that would kill for that. I mean I just want to pause and just say good job. I mean that’s fantastic. It’s fascinating that you can play this long game with people, right, and just to understand … One of the things that’s so subtle by the way … The long game, let me finish my thought, is hey, we understand it’s multiple weeks. We understand that you’re going to be shopping. You don’t really address that necessarily, but the subconscious message that comes through every video that I watch and I watch most of them is there’s no pressure.
We’re Purple. There’s no pressure. It’s Purple. It kind of sets up a fun little connection in the brain that is brilliant. I don’t know who came up with that copy, but they probably need a raise, so hopefully it was you. Was it you?

Brett: It wasn’t me, but I’ll pass that along and maybe I’ll take a little credit. We have some really good marketing team that came up with that.

JD: Genius. Very subtle, very gentle, but yet very powerful. Very, very powerful. If you had to pull a number out of the air for those who don’t convert on the first touch, how many touches or interactions cross-platform, cross email, media, different media, paid, organic searches, do you have with somebody before they pull out their credit card and buy a Purple mattress?

Brett: Another great question. I’m kind of a data nerd. I love looking as much of that as I can see through our different analytics platforms. I’d say again it’s hard to get cross-channel attribution and things like that, but within that 30 to 45 days or so, we usually see 10 to 15, I mean even upwards of 20 different touch points of them reading blogs and coming back, wherever they’re finding information. There’s quite a few different touch points that we anticipate and have come to expect from people. One thing I want to mention is one thing that’s unique about Purple is our videos push people into market more so than I think other brands. What I mean by that is the way that we set up our videos and our sense of humor, people watch our videos just for fun.

I think along the way they kind of say, “Hey, I kind of want a new mattress or I kind of want to try your pillow,” which they really weren’t in market for a new mattress. Maybe they just got one three year, four years ago. That I think adds to the length of their path or the amount of touch points is with us because they’ve just kind of sold themselves on “I want to be part of Purple.” They have to talk to their spouse or come up with the funds and really kind of convince themselves that they really do need a new mattress. That is a unique, unique thing that I’ve never see anywhere else that I’ve been as a marketer to really get people into the funnel that really have no business being there at that time.

I think that adds a little bit of length to how long people take to get through. We’ll take that all day.

JD: Yeah, absolutely. I used to own a small marketing agency and I did some work with car dealerships. If you start talking to them about spending dollars on the top of funnel with a car buyer, they’ll just laugh at you. Maybe some of them have changed, but it doesn’t look like it because they’re all taking out the full page ads in the newspaper. They’re all running the buy, buy, buy commercials on the radio and on the television and they’re funneling 95% of their dollars into the very bottom end of the funnel. Obviously they think it works because they continue to do it, but for you guys to actually take somebody who is not even …

Great marketers, great copywriters say that you need to enter a conversation that is already going on in somebody’s head, right? What you just described and I believe it to be true because I guess I’m still kind of in the market, but ashamedly I bought a mattress in a box from one of your competitors back in January. We went to their show room and we laid on it and we had a good experience and it felt fine, but my wife hates it and I don’t love it at all. It’s totally what you said. It’s just some foam smashed on some other foam and glued together and thrown in a box. I’m actually in the market.

I am in the market, but I believe what you say to be true that you see Goldilocks and if she runs in your YouTube feed as you’re messing around watching ESPN videos or whatever you’re doing and it captures you, that you can actually pull people into the market. I don’t know that it was designed at the outset to do that or if it’s just a total blessing that you all have been able to realize holy moly, we’re actually pulling people into this thing. Can you speak to that at all?

Brett: Yeah. I’d like to say that it was premeditated, all of it, but I’d say part of it is you have to be a little bit lucky when you’re in marketing. I mean you have a concept and you have ideas. I think none of us really knew the magnitude that it would resonate with people. We get people all the time that they want more videos. They want more Goldilocks. They like to be entertained. We’ve kind of become an entertainment company. We’re definitely leveraging that, but yeah. To think that we knew that going in would be hard to predict.

Being able to pull people in that really aren’t in market has been huge for us and it’s been huge part of our success when we do test new channels to be able to use some of our proven asset, then see that work on different channels and then continue to funnel them through. It’s a little bit of luck and a little genius there.

JD: I think that’s the appropriate answer. You’re the email whisperer. Talk to me about how important email is to Purple specifically around segmentation and how you use email to push people to conversion.

Brett: Before I got here to Purple, I mean we were … They hit the ground running and running a mile a minute. They were using just a traditional, they meaning before I got here, just a traditional simple email platform to just do batch and blast emails. Obviously they knew they needed more and so that’s when I came aboard. My background is marketing automation. One thing that I knew especially with Purple and with a high ticket item like a mattress is that we really needed to communicate to people in a way that was personal to them. Especially with sleeping, everyone sleeps different. You’re a side sleeper or you’re a back sleeper. You sleep on your stomach. Some people are in pain. Some people have whatever type of ailment that they have that they’re struggling with.

We can’t speak to everyone the same way. I knew that coming into Purple we really needed to be able to segment and to understand our users, people come in the site, what type of content were they consuming and then be able to track that and to be able to give people through email where they’re a little bit further down the funnel that type of content that really resonates with them. One of the things that I really wanted to understand early on was how people slept. Were they a side sleeper? Were they sleeping on their back? Then we could message them with technology specific, proven science to say, “Hey, you know what?

If you sleep on your side, we have an answer for you because Purple can help those pressure points and they can relieve the pain that you currently feel when you’re sinking into your memory foam mattress and you’re not getting that support.” I knew that we could speak directly to those people. Obviously from a marketing standpoint, if you can answer a need or a concern without having to talk about something that doesn’t resonate with someone, then you’re going to have far better conversion rates and engagement rates. That’s really from my standpoint and what we try and do is really segment our users based off of … Obviously there’s a ton of different things that we’re segmenting on, but I believe in that wholeheartedly that it’s the way to go.

JD: Although you’ve got a plethora of things that you’re segmenting on, the 80-20 principle, in other words, the 20% of things that you spend time on generates 80% of your results, how do you view just the very basic of are you side sleeper or a back sleeper? Is that an 80-20 scenario or is that like a 95-5 scenario?

Brett: I’d say it’s probably in that 80-20 or 90-10. I mean most people don’t sleep on their back, right? It’s hard to stay in that position, so most people are side or stomach sleepers. We could send the same message to everyone assuming that they fall in line with everybody, but we know that not everyone is that way. That’s one of the things we try to identify early on is how you’re currently sleeping. If it’s not the position you’re sleeping in, are you suffering from something, from scoliosis or something that is really keeping you up. I’d say 80% of the traffic and the sales that we get, people are in some kind of pain, some kind of discomfort. If we can figure out what that is, then we can provide a solution for that.

That’s really what I personally focus on too is when people come to the site, let’s figure out who they are and what they’re suffering with so we can help them feel better. It’s a pretty simple thought, but I think not a lot of people do it well. Obviously we’re still learning and doing it better, but it’s going pretty well so far for us.

JD: Well, I’ll tell you two nights ago, I was almost in an enormous amount of pain because I was sleeping on my back and sleeping really well. My wife said, “If you snore like that again tonight,” this was last night, she says, “I’m going to elbow you in the ribs so hard.” Does your wife elbow you because you’re sleeping on your back and snoring the house down?

Brett: Well, you know what? This is not a sales pitch, but at Purple we have had people say that it helps snoring. I’m just saying if you need another reason to come check out Purple.

JD: I completely do.

Brett: That’s something we hear a lot of is there’s some kind of ailment or something that’s keeping people up or their spouse, right? We really want to help people while they sleep, but also when you’re awake. Be with your kids and be able to enjoy life. That’s kind of our mission statement as well.

JD: It’s very cool. You did something fun the other day. It was a YouTube takeover. Tell me about that.

Brett: Yeah. Our acquisition or our paid acquisition side who kind of run YouTube and Facebook, they have some pretty good ideas and contacts in the space. We’re able to work with Google too. You actually can buy a day so to speak. You can takeover the top placement on YouTube. There’s a little section there that plays a video on mobile. You can see it on desktop that will actually auto play and you can turn on the sound. We’re able to get a day there where the Goldilocks video was … It’s about a 30 second spot, but it was the top of YouTube for the entire day. We thought through it strategically and thought what’s the best part to show and how can we really engage people.

We found a 30 second snippet of it that is close to the beginning that really starts to describe the egg test. In order for people to see the rest of the video, they had to click through and see what happened to the egg to see if they break or what happens there. We cut up a video and kind of launched a new video so we could track the amount of unique views on that video. I think we got somewhere in the range of 3 million views on the video in that one day. It drove over close to 50,000 new sessions to our website just from that one video. It was a ton of fun. We had to beef up our servers and make sure we could handle the traffic.

That’s a ton of fun. That kind of launches a ton of new traffic into the top of our funnels so we can then start to engage them with the messaging that they want to hear.

JD: That’s fantastic. Brilliant. It’s brilliant. You guys are a dynamic growing company and trying to stay true to eCommerce In The Trenches, we talk about attracting, you and I have talked about attracting buyers, getting them to … I mean YouTube takeover is a great way to get people introduced to your brand. Converting all the different things you do to segment users to speak to them personally and specifically and understanding that it might be 30 or 45 days if they don’t convert on that first touch where you’re communicating different messaging back to them based upon … To the best of your ability, based upon how far down into the buyer experience they have gotten.

You’re using data, the amount of time, where they fall off on that Goldilocks egg test video and probably some other videos that you have. What are you guys doing for retention and retention strategies and specifically a mattress is a once in a handful of years, I’ve heard seven years, I’ve heard more, less, love to hear your thoughts on that. How are you addressing the lifetime value of your customers and retaining those customers to Purple?

Brett: When I first came onto Purple, that was my biggest question is okay, what do we do when someone buys a mattress and we don’t see them for 10 years? How do we sustain that? How do we keep them coming back? One of the things that I didn’t know, but found out really quickly going in when I started with Purple about a year ago is the roadmap for the different products and technology that we have. If you’ll notice, if you kind of followed Purple from last year, we launched five different products, ancillary products, after the mattress to kind of go along with the mattress and kind of … We call it our sleep system, to be able to enhance the experience with your mattress. We launched sheets.
We launched mattress protector and a base and a power base, an adjustable base. Those all came within a year. To be honest, it was nuts here. We were all running around crazy every day just trying to keep going and get things launched. It was fun, but it was crazy. We knew that while we had a captive audience and a lot of people were interested in Purple, we needed to give them some other options to repeat, to become repeat customers. Not only that, but also to enhance their experience with Purple because the mattress itself it’s unique. It has kind of that grid waffle design. It’s interesting. If you use traditional sheets on the mattress, you don’t get to feel those … We call them buckling columns or the supportive columns.

You actually can feel those a little bit more if you have really stretchy sheets. We knew that for people to get the most out of their mattress and to be able to feel the technology and the science and to cradle their pressure points, they needed to have stretchy sheets. We set about trying to launch that product so that people could … Once they have those sheets, it makes the experience with Purple even better. Our goal was to introduce these products that would help kind of layer on top of what they already have so they could come back when they had the funds or they needed something like that to come back and interact with us again. Then also to increase the lifetime value of our customers and to really create evangelists with Purple.

As you know, the more successful transactions and the more successful experiences someone has with your product and your brand, then they’re going to go shout it from the rooftops and they’re going to go tell their friends on Purple. That’s what we see all the time is people saying, “You have to try this.” People are going into other people’s bedrooms to try their mattress. That’s really a strategy that we wanted to implement was to get people to become in love with Purple and all the different ways that they could interact with it. Even our seat cushions where they’re sitting at work, those are things that we wanted to do.

That’s how we try and retain some of those people because as you know and as you can imagine, trying to get someone for a $1,000 price point, a mattress, the cost of acquisition is pretty hefty there. While we have them, we need to be able to maximize and leverage those people. We’ve seen some good success with those product launches.

JD: Before we get into kind of wrapping this thing up, I want to ask you when you think about post-purchase experience, obviously I would assume the first 100 days are important, that you stay in front of them, checking in on their experience, giving them an opportunity to resolve any issues if they have any. Just making sure that that period of time is a positive time for the customer. When do you begin introducing the sheets? Obviously you’re probably going to try to sell them because it’s important to the overall experience of the bed. You’re probably trying to upsell them or bundle them in on the front end. If they don’t buy, when do you in your email post-purchase follow up …

Could you open the treasure chest a little bit and just share with me your thoughts about how you communicate post-purchase and when you try to cross-sell, upsell them into the other related ancillary products?

Brett: Yeah. We obviously try and do some of that during the shopping experience. In the coming weeks we’re actually kind of redoing some of our order confirmations and things like that to help with some of that cross-selling and things like that. I’d say one of the big things that again is unique to Purple is the polymer itself, so the actual bed. We know from a lot of data that people within that first 30 days, there’s people that they don’t know what to expect when they get the Purple. They’re kind of expecting the memory form experience, something that they’re used to. It’s not like that.

We try and educate them early on that they need to give it enough time to really let their body adjust and to align their spine and their body to actually adjust to how they should be sleeping normally. Part of that education is our ancillary products. We really within that first 7 to 10 days of a purchase of a mattress, we’re messaging them with an email that talks about our sheets and our mattress protector and the base, to have a solid base. Really before they even get their mattress, we’re giving them information of how to make their experience the best that it can be. Part of that is introducing our products to them so that they can understand that, “Hey, we’re not just trying to sell you sheets just to sell you sheets.

We want you to get the right sheets so that they fit on your bed and that you can actually feel the technology, the hyper elastic polymer, you can actually feel that more with this type of sheet.” We go and explain those things to them and that they need to have a sturdy base. If they’re looking for the ultimate comfort, maybe they want to try our power base. We really try and get that in front of them early on so they can go like, “Oh yeah. We didn’t buy those with this purchase, but yeah, that makes sense. We really do need those sheets.” We get a lot of those upsells and those cross-sells from that first 7 to 10 day window where there just need a little bit more explanation of how those products go together to create a great experience.

JD: You create an open loop in the path to conversion. Even if they don’t jump in and buy, add that to their cart, you’re coming back in 7 to 10 days trying to close that loop for them. You’re reminding them of the open loop, the idea that you introduced in their mind that they didn’t take you up on and I’m assuming just the psychology of open loops really you’re follow up emails do help to convert those and create additional sales.

Brett: Yup. Absolutely. Yup. That’s exactly what we’re thinking too.

JD: Very cool. If you have to say one thing, I’m dropping this one on you by the way, Brett, that was just a miserable failure that you guys have tested since you’ve been at Purple or even in a past experience that was maybe like a significant five figure flop, could you think of anything that you could share with us?

Brett: Oh man. I’ll be 100% honest with you, at Purple, we have … You’re not going to believe me on this, but we really haven’t had any flops. I mean it’s been crazy.

JD: You lucky dog.

Brett: I know and that’s not normal. We’ve definitely been lucky in a sense that things have aligned and we’ve had a great team. Really each product that we launch people resonate with and they enjoy. I’ll let you in on a little secret. When we were launching one of our products, we had a price point that was set that was a little bit higher than … It was kind of higher than the industry average and we actually were going to launch with that one. We said, “You know what? We better test this a little bit because the marketing team is really unsure about getting this out there into the wild and running with it.” We did some A/B testing and the original price point that we had, people were just …

They were hammering us on. We had a way for them to give us some feedback and they said, “Are you guys crazy? This is nuts.” We were actually able to quickly pivot there and bring that price point to a level that made sense for the consumer. I think if we would have launched with that price point, it would have been probably a pretty good failure there. Again with smart people and some good tools to test, we’re able to nip that one in the bud and avoid some backlash that we got a small sample size on.

JD: Very cool. Do you guys use Optimizely or other tools?

Brett: Yeah, we do. We use that all the time and we love it.

JD: Nice. Well, we’re about done. Can you open or share with us a little picture into the crystal ball what’s next, what’s coming in the future, what you guys are up to?

Brett: Yeah. We’re going to do another Kickstarter actually in the coming months. I won’t let the product out of the bag yet, but it’s going to be … We’re excited to launch something that’s another comfort product that we’ve gotten a lot of requests about. That’s been fun. We’re actually going to be filming a video and getting that ready for later this year. We have a test with Mattress Firm that we’re doing right now to see how that will resonate in giving the opportunity to test Purple in a few select stores. That’s something that is taking a lot of our attention right now to make sure we can fulfill and make sure those things go smoothly. We have a couple things up our sleeves that will be coming out in the next couple months as well.

Stay tuned. It will be a pretty good, pretty big sizable announcement I’ll say. I’m going to get in trouble from our PR team if I leaked it a little too early.

JD: I understand. You guys are going to open up the wholesale channel in your test potentially with Mattress Firm.

Brett: We’re looking into it. It’s a test we’ve wanted to try and Mattress Firm is an intriguing partner for us. We’re going to test a few stores and see what it looks like for us and if it resonates, then we may have a larger roll out in the future. Because we do get people that they simply want to test and try something before they commit to buying even with 100 night trial. It’s going to be fun for us to try that route and see how that goes.

JD: Very cool. Well, I wish I had more time to really dive into Kickstarter and how your Kickstarter campaigns actually play strategically into building your eCommerce business. Maybe we can come back and visit that in the near future if you would be open to it, Brett.

Brett: Yeah. That’d be great. We’d love to. Those have been fun. We’ll be back for sure.

JD: Cool. Very cool. Well, man, thanks for spending some time with me and I don’t want to go much longer. I want to be respectful of your time. Again everybody, Brett Swensen, the email whisperer and much, much more from Purple. If you haven’t checked out Purple yet, go to I imagine that I am going to be giving Purple a try out very soon. Brett, thanks so much for your time and I look forward to seeing you and talking to you again real soon.

Brett: You bet. Thanks, JD.