The Dollar Shave Club — surely you’ve heard of it by now. (And if not, check out the video embedded below.) Co-owners Michael Dubin and Mark Levine raised $1 million in venture capital, then watched as their irreverent marketing video went viral in 2 days with a million-plus views. So what’s the secret behind the biggest business launch in recent memory? DSC followed 5 simple rules.
1. They nailed it by using video. Online video ads are the hottest trend in online marketing, and with good reason. A study by comScore shows that internet users viewed almost 40 billion videos in January 2012, and 12.2 percent of them were advertisements. Kissmetrics says that people are at least 65 percent more likely to buy a product after watching a marketing video.
2. They understood the importance of copy. There’s been a lot said about content used for marketing purposes lately, but if you’ll look at the most successful copy, it all has one thing in common—it entertains the viewer (or reader). No one wants to sit through a dull video that expounds on the greatness of a company at length. People don’t have the patience for talking heads and narrated slide shows any more. For a video to catch the eye of today’s audience, it really has to grab them with a unique and punchy delivery. Dollar Shave Club did it brilliantly by combining deadpan acting and over-the-top writing — although some consumers still aren’t sure if the company being promoted is for real. (See also: Chuck Testa.)
3. They kept their pricing simple. For $1 a month, DSC will keep you in razors. That’s it. If you want to upgrade, there are two options that are simple to understand and don’t require a lot of brainpower. Traditional sales wisdom has shown that the fewer choices a customer has, the easier it will be for him or her to make a buying decision. DSC could have offered dozens of options and plans, but the simplicity of the pricing system it chose makes it easier for people to pull the trigger and sign up.
4. They offer convenience. No one has a lot of time to waste these days, and if you can get an ongoing need met for a $1 per month, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? Michael Dubin said in his press release that Dollar Shave Club wanted to put an end to the frequent drug store trips and shake up the way America buys its razors. Companies that concentrate on making their customers’ lives easier have a leg up in the marketplace.
5. They didn’t take themselves too seriously. Okay, this isn’t exactly a marketing tactic, but think about it: Who would you be more likely to buy from? The person who shows you the construction of their razors and pontificates about their quality and features, or the guy who has a little fun and offers a great deal? I know where I’ll be buying mine.