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How We Helped a Sauna Brand Generate Over $805k Through Email and SMS Marketing in One Year


Of sales coming from email marketing in November 2023


Achieved in sales through email marketing.

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Brand Story & Challenges

This case study provides an insightful look into the effectiveness of email and SMS marketing for luxury brands, focusing on a high-end sauna brand based in Canada. This brand, also dealing in hot tubs and cold plunges, features products priced between $4,000 to $45,000. 

Typically, luxury brands hesitate to leverage email and SMS marketing, underestimating its potential for high-value products. However, the personalized touch offered by these channels can be particularly effective for high value products, and this case-study is a testament to the same. 

Prior to our collaboration, the brand had achieved an impressive revenue of almost $2 million in just six months. Despite this success, their marketing strategy missed one important element that could boost their revenue even further: the absence of any email and SMS marketing initiatives. 

Our primary goal was to establish the essential automated flows, targeting the easy wins like abandoned cart users and new website visitors, and to help them increase their customer lifetime value by developing a personalized strategy that resonates with their premium product range and clientele. 

Their revenue before working with us 

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The brand earned $1.8 million in revenue in just six months without any help from email marketing. 

Their revenue just 1 month after working with us

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After working together for one month our client was able to generate $109k extra revenue through email marketing. $71k of this was through the 4 email flows we set up for them.

Email marketing revenue in August 2023 (After 2 months after working together) 

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By August we started sending out more email campaigns, the flows also started generating more revenue. In just 2 months email accounted for 45% of their total store revenue. 

In September we noticed a sharp rise in the revenue generated through email campaigns. We had been testing promotional emails vs content emails to see what works better for the brand, and moved towards sending more content and educational emails since they performed better. 

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In October we made $204k through email marketing, this is almost double of the revenue we had been generating for them per month. 

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 Before Budai Media

  • Total revenue of $2 million in 6 months, with no contribution from email or SMS marketing.

  • Absence of any structured email or SMS marketing campaigns.

After Budai Media

  • In just one month of setting up flows, $71k revenue was generated.

  • Total revenue from email marketing reached $855k 

  • SMS marketing brought in $81,000.

  • A significant growth in SMS contacts, with 573 new additions.

How We Helped

Whether you're selling a $5 keychain or a $5,000 sauna, the basics of e-commerce strategy stay the same. Every online brand needs a few key things:

👉 A website pop-up: This is crucial for growing your email and SMS list. It's your first handshake with potential customers, inviting them to join your circle.

👉 Automated flows: Triggered by customer actions like website visits or cart abandonment, these automated messages keep the conversation going even when the customer has left your site.

👉 A solid email campaign strategy: Regular emails are essential. They're not just for alerting customers about sales or new products; they're also about education and sharing milestones. Keeping your audience in the loop is key.

The twist in the plot comes with how you approach these strategies. The nuances, like how much discount to offer or what type of emails to send, differ based on the product. For example, with the sauna brand, we leaned towards more content-driven emails than promotional ones. Since the product is complex and costly, customers needed more education on its use and maintenance, rather than straightforward sales pitches.

Setting up their website pop-ups

When we kicked off in July, our first move was to set up website pop-ups for the brand, using Recart. Our approach was a two-step pop-up strategy aimed at collecting both email IDs and phone numbers.


The first pop-up offered customers a 5% discount on the brand's five bestsellers. We specifically chose these top-selling items because the product prices ranged from $5,000 to $40,000, and we aimed for the discount to make a substantial difference for products in this range. 

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For the second pop-up, we took things up a notch by offering an additional $300 off in exchange for the customer's phone number. This approach proved to be a hit, attracting more than 567 sign-ups in less than six months. 

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Email marketing flows

After setting up their pop-ups, our next task was to establish automated flows. Did you know that, according to a study by Episerver, 92% of people visiting a website don’t make a purchase on their first visit? This statistic is particularly relevant for high-value products, where customers often take more time to decide on substantial investments.

This is where automated flows can do their magic. Automated flows allow you to stay in touch with customers through various steps of their customer journey and motivate them to make a purchase. For our clients we set-up four basic automated flows to help them get started. Here’s our blueprint:

👉 Welcome Flow: We created a 2 email welcome flow which gave new subscribers their promised discount, and some information about the brand. 

👉 Browse Abandonment Flow: Our browse abandonment flow consisted of three emails. The first email asked customers for feedback and consisted of FAQ’s. This email was followed up by a second email which offered discounts. We created multiple variations of the second email and segmented it to offer customers a discount based on the product they were browsing. The last email serves as a quick reminder to use their discount before the offer expires. 

👉 Abandoned Cart Flow: This flow mirrored the strategy of the browse abandonment flow but  was sent to customers who have already added items to their cart.

👉 Post-Purchase Flow: Our most detailed flow, the post-purchase flow, was designed to thank customers for their purchase and then offer them information and advice on how to get the best use out of their product.

Buying a sauna is a big decision. With the help of the post-purchase flow our clients were able to offer a more personalized experience to their customers which included sending out useful tips on how to make the best use of their new products, care instructions, and more. 

Email campaigns

Once we had the automated flows in place, we turned our focus to the email campaigns. The goal was to strike the perfect balance between promotional content and informative material. We knew that with a product as significant and intricate as a sauna, our campaigns needed to educate as much as they enticed.


👉 Educational content: We prioritized sending emails that delved into the details of sauna benefits, maintenance tips, and user guides. This approach was designed to position our client not just as a seller, but as an expert in the field.

👉 Promotional offers: While educational emails formed the backbone of our strategy, we didn't overlook the allure of a good deal. Our promotional emails were carefully timed and crafted, ensuring that each offer felt exclusive and valuable.

👉 Trust emails: We also incorporated trust based emails into our campaigns, sharing customer testimonials, and stories that highlighted the transformative experience of owning a sauna. This approach helped in building a community feel and deepening customer engagement.

What’s next?

As we look ahead, our strategy for the sauna brand's email marketing focuses on refining and expanding our successful tactics. Here's what we have in store:

Planning more targeted campaigns: We're delving deeper into data-driven insights to craft even more targeted email campaigns. The aim is to reach customers with messages that resonate with their specific interests and buying behavior. This could mean creating campaigns tailored to different customer segments, such as new sauna owners, repeat customers, or those who have shown interest but haven't made a purchase yet.

Expanding the post-purchase email flow: Recognizing the importance of nurturing customer relationships after a purchase, we're planning to add more layers to our post-purchase flow. This expansion will include a wider range of content, such as advanced usage tips, long-term maintenance advice, and exclusive offers on complementary products. The goal is to enhance the customer experience and foster loyalty, turning one-time buyers into lifelong fans.

Enhancing existing email flows with more targeted branches: Now that we’ve got the basic automated flows setup, we’d like to build on it further by adding more segmented branches to each flow. This means personalizing the journey even more based on user interactions. For instance, if a customer shows interest in a specific type of sauna or accessory, our automated flows will adapt to provide more tailored information and offers related to those interests.


In just five months, our strategic approach combining website pop-ups, automated flows, and carefully crafted email campaigns transformed the sauna brand's digital marketing. We elevated their revenue from virtually zero email and SMS contribution to an impressive $805k from email marketing alone, plus an additional $81k from SMS. This remarkable growth, achieved by tailoring our tactics to the brand’s high-value products, showcases the power of personalized retention marketing.

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