How Meller built a $6M online fashion brand

A closer look at the startup’s high-powered performance marketing.

Meller is a digital fashion brand that sells watches and sunglasses through social media. Founded by Sergi Benet, Borja Nadal, Marco Grandi, and their German CMO Chris Erthel, the brand leverages creativity, exotic designs, and an adventurous attitude to set up their marketing campaigns.

These campaigns now bring in over 6 million euros (USD 6.5M) in annual sales—just three years after launching the company. How do they do it? Here’s their story.

Aim for exponential growth

Since day one, online marketing has played a huge role in the exponential growth here at Meller. Our favorite channels? The usual suspects: Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, Google display, Google shopping, email marketing, and of course, Youtube.

We now reach a total of 25 million impressions in Europe, Mexico, and Chile every 24 hours. That means 800 daily advertisements—400 of those run on Facebook and Instagram.

Next year, we plan to spend almost 14 million euros to increase our performance in both Europe and Latin America, while also expanding into a very ripe US marketplace.

Soon Meller will close another investment round which, along with last year’s sales, will allow our Marketing Team to more than triple our campaign budget.
Chris Erthel, Meller cofounder and CMO

So as we ramp up our marketing efforts, we’ll be executing two or more campaigns simultaneously—each running hundreds of different ads. Here’s one of them:

But how do you know which ads to pick, which are performing, and when to kill a campaign?

A/B test everything

Build your culture around testing and experimentation.
Chris Erthel, Meller cofounder and CMO

We test everything. On Facebook alone, we run over 40 A/B tests a day with clear testing guidelines. We’ve even developed our own tool to do it. But testing alone is not enough.

To gain a firm competitive advantage, you need to build your entire culture around testing and experimentation.

For us, this meant separating our Marketing Team in different countries and regions, where every country manager is fully responsible for their results.

This little competition between marketers inspires people to be more creative and test out techniques and strategies.

To maximize campaign impact, run an A/B test in a representative market. Once you have proven results, roll out the full campaign in other markets.
Patrick Windbüchler, Meller country manager, Germany & Austria

Another key success factor is our close cooperation with Facebook HQ in Dublin. Our entire Marketing Department visits the office often to stay on top of trends, gain top-notch insights, and receive useful tips and training.

Create a full-funnel strategy

It’s all about continuous learning. Just recently, we’ve implemented a full-funnel strategy which monitors the customer journey from awareness all the way down to conversion.

Here’s Chris on the details:

The sustainable way to continue our rapid growth is by investing even more into the upper part of the funnel through Facebook ads. This lets us educate an increasing number of people about our sunglasses revolution and convert them into loyal customers.
Chris Erthel, Meller cofounder and CMO

This strategy isn’t just for ecommerce companies like Meller. It’s a powerful method for any industry where the brand plays a significant role in the buying process.

For instance, let’s look at the awareness/love phase of the funnel. This is when a brand needs to leave a positive impression with a target audience.

Ever think of building your funnel from the bottom up? Find out why it’s the foundation of lead generation.

It’s only after that positive first impression that people actually consider a product. This makes them more receptive to direct response ads with a “call to action” to purchase.

Once people have visited the website or added a product to their shopping cart, the next step is to retarget them with a compelling offer, like a discount or free delivery, to help make the actual purchase almost irresistible.

Once you’ve satisfied your main customers, broaden your horizon by showing ads to new people in different audiences.
Patrick Windbüchler, Meller country manager Germany & Austria

Retargeting—or remarketing, as Google calls it—is effective because it allows you to focus your advertising spend on people who are already familiar with your brand.

The basic structure of our funnel:

Phase 1: Awareness/Love

Strategy: create traffic ads for an audience of 2 million.

And check out this guide to brand awareness.

Phase 2: Consideration

Strategy: deliver direct response marketing to an audience of 800,000.

Phase 3: Conversion

Strategy: retarget audience of 50,000.

Main takeaways

So what’s in store for the future? Definitely dynamic ads. Dynamic ads show prospective customers the exact products they were just searching for—giving them a gentle nudge to cross into the conversion phase.

Here’s a recap of what we learned:

  • Keep close contact with Facebook support.

  • Run at least 40 A/B tests per day to improve performance.

  • Test new ads and new strategies before rolling things out.

  • Implement a full-funnel strategy for long-term growth. And make sure your marketing speaks to every stage of your customer journey.

These tips should help kick-start your business into positive growth. Just remember to test, test, and then test some more.

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