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How performance pricing helped Manscaped reach US profitability and take on an international expansion
Jul 10, 2021|5 Min
case study-manscaped

Ever since receiving its first major investment on Shark Tank in 2018, Manscaped has been growing steadily. The men’s grooming brand goes where few have gone before: below the waist. The brand has successfully normalized manscaping, the process of removing body hair beyond just the face and head. It also strives to create a more open and empowered male self-care culture that results in a proactive approach to grooming, hygiene, and health.

This message of positivity and empowerment has earned Manscaped a place in Forbes, a ranking on Inc.'s list of best workplaces for 2020, and the attention of Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Meanwhile, the Manscaped team has grown 500% in just a couple of years, with a 20-strong marketing team that’s hiring new talent on a weekly basis.

At its current growth stage, Manscaped aimed to balance profitability with its goal of boosting brand awareness. The team understood that to achieve this, they would need to tie ad spend directly to first purchases. They would also need to expand their reach, targeting consumers outside of the saturated mainstream channels.

Net new customers
U.S. Customers
new users internationally

Acquiring New Customers Outside Of The Usual Growth Channels

As the marketing team has grown, so has the number of strategies Manscaped deploys for customer acquisition and brand awareness. Despite using over 30 growth channels — among them social media, paid media, content, SEO, and more — the company still sought to reach more net new customers. To achieve this, the team is constantly testing new strategies. They’re not afraid to go off the beaten track: They’ve leaned into influencer marketing, engaged in podcast and audio partnerships, and tested in-app video.

“Reaching new audiences is an ongoing challenge to get brand awareness and new customers,” explained Jessica Carlson, Paid Media Manager at Manscaped. “Acquiring new users that we may not reach on some of the main channels, such as Google and Facebook, is something we are always striving to achieve.”

This challenge led Manscaped to test rewarded advertising in mobile games. The team expected that the mobile gamer audience would overlap with key customer personas, but hoped that Cost Per Action (CPA) bidding would offset risk while they found their footing. Another draw was that the value exchange model would allow the brand to enhance the consumer experience and increase brand affinity.

“The CPA method of bidding is completely unique to Tapjoy. It allows you to pay only for completed purchases, so it was a no-brainer for us. We have the benefits of brand awareness within the app, but also the unique offering of rewards for users to purchase Manscaped products.”

- Jessica Carlson, Paid Media Manager at Manscaped

Rewarded Offers Attract Customers At A Profitable CPA

Manscaped reached out to Tapjoy to test its first rewarded offer. At the offset, the team decided to promote the first purchase of MANSCAPED’s Perfect Package 3.0, a bundle that includes a quality trimmer, toner and deodorant, toiletry bag, and free pair of boxers. The CPA bidding model would allow them to run profitable tests, with every dollar of ad spend going towards a new customer’s first purchase.

Working alongside Tapjoy’s mobile strategists, Manscaped tested various messaging and creative strategies. They found that product images outperformed lifestyle images by roughly 20%. Promotions that offer free gifts and free shipping also increased conversions significantly. Finally, the brand discovered that tailoring messaging to appeal to the gaming audience, using phrases like “level up” and other gaming verbiage, gave the campaign a boost.

“The CPA method of bidding is completely unique to Tapjoy. It allows you to pay only for completed purchases, so it was a no-brainer for us,” Jessica said. “We have the benefits of brand awareness within the app, but also the unique offering of rewards for users to purchase Manscaped products.”

Given the offer’s $89.99 price tag, the team was eager to optimize every aspect of the campaign to scale conversions. Fortunately, it gained impressive traction from the offset and exceeded their baseline with a 2.7% CVR. These encouraging results led Manscaped to expand the promotion of their Lawn Mower 3.0 trimmer to Tapjoy’s network upon its release in January 2020.

Strong US Growth Leads To International Debut

Manscaped's CPA campaigns have consistently hit their ROAS goals, pleasing the growth team and stakeholders alike. Though they initially allowed for a higher CPA, the combination of data and creative optimizations allowed them to scale the campaign more cost-effectively.

As Jessica put it, “With our CPA at the level of profitability for the US, the added value of nearly all traffic to the site being new customers excites the stakeholders — we are reaching qualified traffic from a channel that many of our competitors are not utilizing.”

Achieving profitability in the United States later gave the team confidence to embark on an ambitious international expansion. After just a single week, MANSCAPED was able to acquire roughly 2.5K users in the UK, with similar results in Australia and Canada, landing Tapjoy a spot among its top 10 channels for new user acquisition in all three regions. Rewarded in-app offers now play a pivotal role in Manscaped's growth strategy, and the company plans to continue to invest in the partnership in the future.

“Tapjoy would allow us to reach a new audience of consumers and entice a purchase while offering rewards for what they’re currently doing. While many in-app ad formats take users away from their game, Tapjoy allows us to enhance their experience.”

- Jessica Carlson, Paid Media Manager at Manscaped