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Want to sell over 1 million kids books? Directly? In just 4 years?

Design-savvy, business-savvy, marketing-savvy ‘dadprepreneurs’ Tal, Asi, Pedro and David have done just that, launching a brilliant personalised picturebook series called Lost My Name. With gorgeous illustrations and a cute plot, each book is tailored to its wide-eyed young recipient, building to a climactic final page where the reader’s very own name is revealed in print.

Snatching profit from the jaws of the big publishers

Clever book, clever business. The Dads’ Lost My Name enterprise has won £100k backing from a Dragon (plus heaps more from other investors), widespread acclaim from the business community, high-profile awards from all sorts of communities and – at around £20 a pop – a whole lot of revenue from parents around the world.

As an independent, entrepreneurial start-up, it’s made a pretty disruptive impact on an established market, dominated by big publishers and global brands.

‘How’, though?

How could one, tiny, start-up company, operating in a highly competitive and crowded market, dominated by big players with big budgets, possibly make such inroads?

Admittedly, Lost My Name weren’t the poor underdog for. They secured some serious investment to get things started. But it’s where they put that money that counts. And they put it in some exceptional digital marketing.

In fact, Lost My Name provides something of a digital marketing / eCommerce 101 – a bold and inspiring case study for how to build audiences, delight customers, and make a seriously tidy profit.

How to reach 1 million customers online, and make them buy a book for their kid

Here are 10 ways Lost My Name have achieved digital marketing nirvana…

  1. Dominate Search

    Lost My Name knows where their best prospects are, and are prepared to pay for premium exposure. Here, they’ve bid top dollar for prime placement on SERPs (search engine results pages) – the digital marketing ‘watering hole’:
    Lost My Name - Google Adwords Placement
    But alas, in the organic listings for “personalised children’s books”, the publishers come in 6th position. Not bad, but not ideal.

    Not to worry, though, because check out how many more people search directly for “Lost My Name” than they do for a generic term like “personalised children’s books”…!Lost My Name - Keyword Planner Comparison

    And that’s because…

  2. Maximise Offline Exposure

    They may sell all their books online, but Lost My Name start the sales process offline. Seeking eyeballs, they found exceptionally prominent exposure on TV programmes like Dragon’s Den and with high profile press coverage. Generate awareness > generate demand > generate sales.

    A great reminder that digital marketing doesn’t stop at digital.

    Here are the ‘Dadpreneurs’ with Dragon Piers Linney:Lost My Name - Dragons Den

  3. Invest In High Quality Media

    Naturally, with a product like this, you should make a nice little promo video.

    But since you’ll only have your prospect’s attention for a minute or so *max*, you’d better make it a really good one. That takes time and money, but it’s time and money well spent.

    (To be fair – this one looks like it’s been made for TV, but it’s not the only video they’ve invested in: YouTube Channel)

  4. One Product, Front-and-Centre

    Lost My Name - Simple Product Offering

    What I really love about the marketing strategy here is that Lost My Name have resisted the (undoubtedly significant) temptation to diversify. Yes, they’ve added a second title – The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home – but in 4 years, that’s it.

    As a customer arriving to their brilliant homepage, you know what you’re meant to do: buy the first book, or buy the other book. That’s it.

  5. Replicate Top-Quality Product Design in Top-Quality Web Design

    Lost My Name - Homepage

    Like the book itself, Lostmy.Name is an absolutely beautiful website, filled with carefully planned and refined design touches. It inspires absolute confidence in the quality of the print product.

  6. Design Really Really Good Landing Pages

    Lost My Name - Landing Page
    You can look at the designs all you like. Admire the simplicity. Check out the clear user journey pathways. Or you can consider the fact that they’ve sold over a million books, largely through these landing pages. Either way, it paints a picture.

  7. Test. Improve. Repeat.

    Lost My Name - Improvement

    None of this digital marketing success came first time, of course. As Optimizely’s case study details, success is born of failure.

    This kind of detailed analysis has also enabled the site-wizards to get brilliantly personal, refining messaging for each visitor to maximise relevance and impact. As Lost My Name’s CRO (conversion rate optimiser) says – “ultimately, what it comes down to is that each customer is really important to us, and we’re passionate about delivering personalized online experiences for each and every one.”

  8. Speedy-Checkout, For Those Who Just Want The Darned Product

    LostMyName - Checkout

    Because not everyone cares about the ‘brand story’. Some Dads just want to log on, buy the thing and get back to the football, or whatever.

  9. One Brand, Reinforced Creatively On Social

    Screenshot 2016-05-03 at 8.13.49 AM

    Now, here, again, is where Lost My Name really excel. They’ve 4 social profiles: FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest. They could do with their own blog post, really, but I’ll focus on just one key point…

    Everything posted on social is brilliantly on-brand but also entirely creative and original. It’s what comes from having true creatives on staff, sure, but there’s some serious strategy behind this too. Lost My Name are using their exceptional design assets to feed each social platform with exactly the kinds of content they each want and need. Truly a social media masterclass.

  10. Get An Astronaught To Promo You

    As plugs go, this one takes the biscuit.

    Lost My Name - Tim Peake

  11. *Bonus*: Build A Rich, Carefully-Planned Careers/Investor Brand

Finally, it’s not all about customers. Lost My Name know how to work their potential employees and investors too.

Over at they’ve curated a fantastic blog, regularly-updated with news, ‘how-tos’ and, in particular, some seriously in-depth technical investigations that dive into the data behind the book.

Lost My Name - Employer Brand

It’s all about attracting investment dollars and top talent. “Work for us and you too could be sitting at a desk with a whopping 3 monitors!”:

Lost My Name - 3 Monitor

So there we have it, an irrefutable recipe for digital success, well-and-truly proven in the pudding.

Thanks, obviously, to Lost My Name for the imagery. And the inspiration.

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