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Find Out Email Automation Methods QuaGrowth Used to Grow IKONICK

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IKONICK – The Founder Story

Mark Mastrandrea

Growing up in Long Island, NY, Mark’s first taste of entrepreneurship started at the University of Delaware by buying beer for his fellow fraternity brothers and students. Realizing a unique opportunity to earn an income, Mark expanded his side hustle by organizing party buses for exclusive events in and around Northeast United States.

After graduating college, Mark moved to California to work at an energy company with a former fraternity brother. Mark received a cold dose of employment reality after getting fired a week into his new job. The company wasn’t doing so hot and Mark was a victim of corporate downsizing.

Channeling his inner hustle, Mark took a commission only job selling energy efficient lighting door to door. The job was soul crushing and sometimes Mark would spend an entire day at one house with nothing to show for his efforts. However, he was taught a valuable lesson selling door to door: How to sell to anyone.

Jeff Cole

Some people spend a lifetime looking for their passion, Jeff Cole found his at an early age. Growing up in Chicago, Jeff fell in love with art at the age of 6. Three times a week Jeff attended after school art lessons to feed his creative drive. Most of Jeff’s early designs focused on sports-themed shirts and phone case illustrations for friends at school.

Jeff attended the University of Arizona majoring in studio art. It wasn’t until after college that he started focusing on computer design. Once he mastered the art of digital design, Jeff created designs for mix tape covers, clothing brands, and tech companies. The brands Jeff has worked with are some of the biggest in the world; including Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas, Marvel, and more!

Success Highlights
3.5x Email List Growth
3x Repeat Purchase Increase
11xed Email Revenue
Jeff Cole
“Jason was the first guy to touch our email program and created great framework to allow us to scale. As we continued to grow, his experience with working with an array of clients always uncovered new opportunities for us. I would recommend him to anyone! ”
Mark Mastrandrea Founder, IKONICK

The Birth of the Ikonick Art Brand

Mark Mastrandrea and Jeff Cole met via an email introduction when Mark was dating a mutual friend of Jeff’s at NYU college. At the time, Mark was running a comic book T-shirt company and needed a design contractor. For three years, Mark and Jeff communicated through email and phone conversations, not once meeting in person.

Mark immediately realized Jeff’s immense talent and tapped him to be his go-to digital creative producer. He eventually convinced Jeff to move to LA where they continued to work at various companies together.

In late 2016, Mark and Jeff took the entrepreneur leap and founded IKONICK. By this time, Jeff and Mark had worked together for over 7 years and created print canvases as a side hustle selling canvases at $1,000 a piece. IKONICK was born out of the idea that canvas art should be high quality, affordable, and inspirational.

At the time, there was massive hole in the art market. High quality art canvases tended to sell for thousands of dollars a pop. IKONICK set a goal to be the global leaders in affordable motivational art canvases.

The Email Story

We started working with IKONICK in May of 2017. At the time, IKONICK recently transitioned off Squarespace onto the Shopify platform. Additionally, the brand was investing heavily in paid Facebook and Google Ads to bring new users to the website. As a hot new startup, the challenge we faced was converting the increase of visitors to the website into long-term repeat customers.

We tackled the problem by focusing on growing the email subscriber list, adding value to existing customers, and adding strategic flows with advanced segmentation. We were able to grow IKONICK’s email list 3.5x, increase repeat purchase behavior 3X, and show 11X revenue growth by the end of the year.

3.5X List Growth in 7 Months

In order to convert new visits into email subscribers, we created strategic popups to capture email subscribers on select pages of the website. For example, new visitors landing on the homepage might get an incentive like below.

Ikonick Email 10% Off Popup

This is your typical 10% off popup that does a good job of email collection. You collect an email address, fire off a Welcome Series through your email platform, and incentivize the user to make a purchase.

We wanted to take this a step further by branding the experience based on how the user reached the IKONICK website. For example, IKONICK was releasing new Space themed canvases and wanted to give a unique experience to people landing on the Space category page.

Ikonick Space Collection Popup

New users landing on the Space collection page through a paid ad, social post, or organically received an email collection popup like the above. The unique overlay allowed us to get creative and keep the branding consistent throughout the user’s journey. Additionally, the Welcome Email Series referenced the space collection once a user added their email address.

Lastly, during select eCommerce holidays, we created a branded website popup experience for all visitors to take advantage of the seasonal discount.

Ikonick Halloween Popup

New users and repeat visitors (by repeat I’m referring to window shoppers who haven’t entered an email address) receive the opportunity to take advantage of the seasonal discount by engaging with the popup. Additionally, a triggered email fires off to redeem the discount.

Why go through all the work of creating branded popups?

If done correctly, without annoying the user, branded popups tend to increase the conversion rate (visits to emails collected) by 20 – 30%. IKONICK had very aggressive email acquisition goals in anticipation of the peak-shopping season. Our strategy was to maximize the efficiently of paid ad spend by converting website visits into email addresses at the highest rate possible.

The Results

Due to strategic popup implementations, branded website experiences, and an increase of quality traffic, IKONICK’s email subscriber list grew exponentially. We were able to account for a 3.5X increase in the total number of email subscribers by the end of 2017.

In the eCommerce world, significant high quality email subscriber growth usually equals significant revenue growth. IKONICK was no exception. New customers became repeat customers, which built up IKONICK’s loyal VIP fan base.

3x Increase in Repeat Purchases

In eCommerce, or any business, it’s much more cost effective to retain an existing customer than to go out and get a new one. In early 2017, IKONICK was just starting to make a name for themselves by investing in serious top of the funnel traffic while also doing collaborations with other name brands.

One of our first initiatives was scaling up the number of campaign sends to IKONICK’s email subscriber base. Since we managed most of IKONICK’s marketing initiatives, Jeff and Mark were able to focus and hustle more to launch new product categories and motivational prints for IKONICK’s customer base.

Ikonick Ali Ikonick NBA

Investing in collaborations like Muhammad Ali and branded NBA motivational prints gave existing customers a reason to keep coming back to IKONICK for art inspiration. We kept email deliverability and engagement high by giving subscribers first access to any new releases or limited edition canvas prints.

Treating Customers like VIPs

In the email marketing world, it’s very easy to treat subscribers like dollar signs. Want to know one of my favorite hacks for separating your brand from your competitors? Treat your customers like VIPs!

Thanking your customers for taking a desired action is one of the best ways to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

Ikonick Post Purchase Ikonick Review

In the above examples, we created text heavy content thanking customers for their purchase and for leaving a positive review. (A positive review is any 4 and 5 star reviews). Any replies to the email would get directed to Mark and Jeff personally to respond at their discretion. These emails tended to get open rates of 75% and above!

The Results

By the end of 2017, we were able to increase the number of monthly returning customers and sales by 3X. We can’t take credit for the entirety of the success as the number of new releases during this time also had a big impact in repeat customer behavior.

In addition, Mark and Jeff’s dedication to their brand and customers by providing a personalized customer support experience also contributed to the huge number of repeat purchases. For example, how many business owners would spend an entire day, personally calling customers thanking them for their support?

Mark Mastrandrea personally calling IKONICK customers.

11Xing Email Attributed Revenue

When we first began working with IKONICK, we felt limited in the number of eCommerce flows and segmentations available to us. After a recent transition to the Shopify platform, we decided to also transition to an email marketing provider built for Shopify customers, Klaviyo.

Our goal was to give IKONICK the best marketing tech stack possible to allow us to execute on exponential brand growth. Additionally, as the email list started to grow, we wanted to make sure deliverability and engagement remained superb. The combination of behavioral based triggered emails and advanced segmentations gave us the edge we were looking for.

Behavioral Automation

TOF – Top of Funnel

The increase in top of funnel traffic from Facebook, Google, and organic collaborations allowed us to build and create unique flows to convert visits into purchases. I mentioned above the different types of overlays and popups we built for IKONICK. Once a user enters an email, we built custom Welcome Series to convert email subscribers into purchasers. Below are a couple of examples

Ikonick Email 10% Off Popup Ikonick Halloween Popup

The Welcome Series accounted for about 21% of IKONICK’s total email revenue.

MOF – Middle of Funnel

The middle of the funnel was pioneered in the B2B industry with the implementation of CRM data with marketing automation. The idea of lead nurturing was invented to market prospects with additional content before going in for the hard sell. The lowest price point for an IKONICK canvas is $90 (at the time of writing this). Most first time visitors won’t purchase on their first visit.

Subscribers that complete the Welcome Series without making a purchase get added to the weekly campaign calendar. In addition to one-off email campaigns for nurturing, we created a series of middle of the funnel category and product abandon funnels.

Browse Abandon

Above is an example of an email you might receive when visiting a category or product page on the IKONICK website. Category and Product nurturing funnels accounted for about 9% of IKONICK’s total email revenue.

BOF and Retention – Bottom of the Funnel

Traditionally, email marketing is the #1 marketing channel for bottom of the funnel marketing and retaining existing customers. Almost every eCommerce brand we’ve worked with has some sort of Abandon Cart and Post Purchase messaging strategy. IKONICK already had a well-rounded Abandoned Cart funnel. Most of our work was focused on Retention. (However, we did segment messaging between new and repeat abandoned cart offenders as well as based on (AOV) Average Order Value).

Ikonick Post Purchase

I mentioned above how we went about 3Xing repeat purchase behavior. Adding in unique customer centric email funnels allowed us to engage existing customers and provide them with valued, quality content. Abandon Cart and Post Purchase funnels accounted for about 16% of IKONICK’s total email revenue.

Advanced Segmentation

The bigger the email list, the more need for segmentation. Instead of blasting the entire list, we created segments based on purchase behavior. For example, VIPs and customers usually received the highest discounts and first opportunities to buy limited edition canvases from IKONICK.

The general audience would still get the opportunity to get notified of the new product launches, but only if they consistently opened or clicked IKONICK’s emails.

Additionally, we built a number of segments to function as real-time lists inside the Facebook platform. IKONICK was spending quite a bit of money on Facebook and we wanted to create an edge that most marketers weren’t taking advantage of.

Adding real-time segments for building look-alike-audiences allowed us to sync purchase data and various other CRM data points to get the best possible audience for Facebook prospecting.

Segments for building real-time look-alike-audiences in Facebook include:

  • Purchased X Product
  • Purchased 3X times
  • Purchased at least X value
  • Opened/Clicked last 90 days
  • Added to Cart
  • LTV
  • AOV Greater than X
  • Not Purchased All Time
  • Unsubscribed

The Results

By the end of the year, we were able to increase Email attributed revenue by over 11X. The combination of new users + behavioral automation funnels + advanced segmentation allowed IKONICK to produce huge growth numbers going into 2018.

Email Marketing became IKONICK’s number 1 revenue-producing channel. The execution of all online channels allowed Mark and Jeff to focus on creating the most sought after motivational canvases on the planet!

Last Words

Ikonick and Gary V

Today, IKONICK is unquestionably the worldwide leader in motivational canvas art. Mark and Jeff’s mastery of social media and putting the customer first attracted the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk and Scooter Braun. Together they became strategic investors in 2018 to tap into the limitless potential of the IKONICK brand.

Additionally, Mark Mastrandrea and Jeff Cole are two of the hardest working most accessible business owners on the internet. Jeff currently has over 500k passionate subscribers on his Instagram account where he posts unique artist collaborations and fresh digital pop art content directly to his subscribers while Mark uses his high traffic Instagram account to post motivational content, event updates, and collaborations with other entrepreneurs. Furthermore, The YouTube web series Behind the Hustle is a must watch for any aspiring entrepreneur looking to cut their teeth as business owners.

While e-commerce is their primary business model going into 2019, there is no stopping Mark and Jeff’s passion and hustle for brand growth. IKONICK plans to collaborate with hotels, restaurants, corporate offices, co-working spaces, and home furnishing retailers around the world to turn blank walls into inspiration.

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