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CASE STUDY

Increasing LTV: The Earthling Co.

We met with The Earthling Co.’s team to discuss how the brand has grown its subscriptions by 59%+ with Smartrr while keeping its commitment to curating a more sustainable world through its products.
Brand
The Earthling Co.
Industry
Health & Beauty
Stat
59%+ increase in subscriptions in 3 months
Migrated From
Recharge

The Inspiration Behind the Brand 

The Earthling Co. was built by Emelia DiBello and Kevin McQuiston on the belief that collectively, all of us have the power to create a more sustainable and harmonious world. They started with a mission of positively impacting the environment and discovered that making low-waste daily tasks more accessible was the way to go. They found that people were interested in finding safe, sustainable products for families but were confused and overwhelmed by the options. In addition, they noticed how hard it was for someone to completely change their lifestyle or commit to going zero-waste right off the bat, so they really focused on making progress over perfection. 

This sparked the inspiration to craft thoughtfully designed products that nurture earth-friendly habits and routines. Swapping out traditional products for The Earthling’s products does not decrease the quality, but does reduce plastic use. The team is passionate about simplifying eco-conscious living and creating a positive impact on daily routines and the future of the planet. Because they want consumers to only buy what they actually need, the brand does not market with sayings that promote overconsumption, like “buy it now” or “limited supply”. With core values of embracing growth, considering all earthlings, owning your impact, and nurturing collaboration, The Earthling Co. lives and breathes being intentional by nature. 

Intentionality and Brand Mission

The Earthling Co. is a Climate Neutral Certified business, meaning that they measure all of the carbon emitted through every single business activity, offset those emissions, and have a plan in place for reducing future emissions. The brand prides itself on taking responsibility in all business practices to play their part in fighting climate change. The Earthling Co. has donated to numerous organizations that are close to their mission and aligned with their values, such as Earth Force, Black Lives Matter, The Plastic Ocean Project, and many more.

Ideal Core Customer Profile & Journey

The Earthling Co.’s ideal customer is a range of people, but mainly consumers who are shopping intentionally, caring about how things are made and where things are made. The brand attracts a large number of people who are interested in reducing their waste but have not made the jump yet or do not know how to do so. The majority of customers want to make a difference but need something that is accessible and simple that they feel is good for them, low-waste, and with natural ingredients. 

In terms of mapping its customer journey, The Earthling Co. splits customers into three groups: non-purchasers, purchaser non-subscribers, and subscribers. For non-purchasers, The Earthing prioritizes pushing getting 15 percent off of your first purchase because that is the standard for new customers. Those in the purchaser non-subscriber stage of the customer journey are customers who have shopped with the brand any number of times but have not bought enough to subscribe; they have an affinity but are not necessarily brand loyalists. In the post-purchase stage for purchaser non-subscribers, the brand prioritizes talking about subscriptions. If customers are current subscribers, The Earthling Co. gives them monthly exclusive offers that no one else receives to reward them for their customer loyalty. Any promotional activities, such as plastic-free July, are adjusted for subscribers so that it does not cause any friction with their subscription.

“Subscriptions just made sense. Number one: these are products that you need at a certain frequency based on your needs. Number two: it’s even less wasteful to just subscribe to what you need, get it delivered when you need it, and have everything shipped at once. It’s a better consumer experience and less wasteful.” 
- Sophie Baer, Retention and CX Marketing Director

Unearthing Subscriptions

Subscriptions were not an immediate focus for The Earthling Co. but ended up just making sense for the brand, primarily because these are products that customers need coming at a certain frequency based on their specific needs. Products that are meant to be used frequently and replenished regularly, like The Earthling Co.’s shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bars, especially benefit from subscriptions. Subscriptions directly support The Earthling Co.’s mission, as subscribing only to what you need and only when you need it decreases waste and further emphasizes being a sustainable consumer. Getting everything that you need at one time at the interval that you need makes for a better, more eco-conscious consumer experience.

Pre-Smartrr Days

Prior to using Smartrr, The Earthling Co. used Recharge for subscriptions. The Earthling ran into barriers with the customer portal, specifically with its lack of compatibility with Shopify’s checkout, causing the checkout to be in two different places, minimal customization, and theming capabilities, and were underwhelmed by the customer experience overall. 

Smartrr Enters the Earthling Co.’s Orbit  

After switching to Smartrr, the Earthling Co. has been able to increase subscriptions by over 59 percent. They credit this to defaulting products to subscription purchases, where the customer’s first option to buy is no longer a one-time purchase. In putting subscriptions as the default option, they also promote the discounted price for subscribers, which is 20 percent off of every order- pretty much the best offer for customers besides on Black Friday.

“It sounds simple but the biggest key has been defaulting our products to subscription. Your first option to buy is no longer a one-time purchase, it’s a subscription purchase. We show the slashed price, we promote that you save 20% on every order. And 20% is pretty much the best offer you will get outside of Black Friday.” 
- Sophie Baer, Retention and CX Marketing Director

Switching to Smartrr unlocked many opportunities to strengthen The Earthing Co.’s retention strategy. For one, the ability to introduce more subscribable products with different variants. As a result of increasing the number of products, sets, and bundles that customers can subscribe to, average order value & subscription counts have also increased. With these sets and bundles, customers can receive a higher purchase value at one time, and receive it regularly, ultimately increasing average order value and lifetime value. With having about 46 variants of bundles, Smartrr has allowed for a seamless process as The Earthling has added to its subscription line. 

With Smartrr, the Earthling Co. has the ability to easily create its own subscription program based on how much it needs to discount and what is in the bundle in just a few minutes. Bundles are anywhere from 15 to 19 percent off, so The Earthing gives subscribers an extra three percent off of bundle purchases, versus the 20 percent subscription discount. 

“Our main priority and gold standard is LTV. We look primarily at 90-day LTV, which is a trailing metric, so it’s hard to know if what you’re doing is working. So we also look at subscription revenue as one of our key goals that we have monthly, which will ultimately lead to LTV.”
- Sophie Baer, Retention and CX Marketing Director 

In terms of retention, looking at 90-day lifetime value is The Earthling Co.’s main priority. Additionally, increasing monthly recurring revenue coming from subscriptions is another important goal for The Earthling because it ultimately feeds into lifetime value. 

Results

The Earthling Co. launched subscriptions in November 2020 and made the switch to Smartrr in April 2022. After only 3 months on Smartrr, The Earthling has seen a 59%+ increase in subscriptions. Not only that, but The Earthling has also seen roughly a 4x increase in subscription growth from the end of Q1 to the end of Q2, as well as a 24%+ increase in average order value.