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How This Founder Scaled A Fitness Business to Over $20 Million in 2 Years

Will Torrez was operating businesses within the travel and hospitality industry when COVID-19 hit. As the impacts of the pandemic forced him to shut down his businesses, Will noticed the lack of access to gyms and decided to pivot. He created Zeno Gym by designing an all-in-one workout bench. In less than two years, Will has scaled the business to over $20 million in sales. On this episode of Shopify Masters, Will shares his tactics for building high conversion landing pages and an efficient supply chain.

For the full transcript of this episode, click here.

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Show Notes

From ideation to market—in one week

Felix: Your business started in 2020, but you have an interesting story about how it all got kicked off. Tell us more about the background behind the business.

Will: It is an interesting story. In late April, the whole world was shocked by what was happening with COVID. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. Both my businesses at the time were hit very hard. I was in the hospitality and travel accessories industries, and both had come to a halting stop. I was trying to figure out how we were going to survive, not only for myself to survive but for our employees at our factory to survive. We had a factory that would make furniture for hotels, and hotels closed down. We were simply trying to find a means to stay alive, pay our bills, and pay our employees.

My partner and I got to work to figure out how we were going to keep the factory busy? What industries were staying busy? The gyms were closed and I was actively going to the gym every single day. I wanted to get into this space, and I didn't know-how. I didn't know anything about it. 

The first thing I did was go on Amazon and look up items that we could manufacture ourselves. We have a local factory in Tijuana, Mexico, which is about 25 minutes south of downtown San Diego where I reside. We had these resources for upholstery, wood, and metal, how can I utilize this? I started scouring the web and realized that I had some dumbbells myself. I could get some fitness in. I could work out if I had a bench to use. I was like, well, why don't I make benches? I can do that. I have the resources, I can easily go down and have our engineers design it. 

That was my thought on Monday night of the week of the 28th of April, 2020. On Tuesday, I went down to the factory, I worked with engineers and we designed this bench together. Come Wednesday, I had the bench in my possession. We had made a sample. My partner and I were like, why not? What do we have to lose? How many of these do you think you can sell a week? I'm like, "maybe like 20 or 30."

We did the math and if we sold them at this number, we could possibly help with some of our expenses. We had 240 people down south at the time, and no PPP money, no support from the government. We were on our own, really. That Wednesday, I had the bench and took some images of myself working out at my house. I knew how to navigate through Shopify. My other business was a travel accessory called Torro Bracelets. I knew how to use a website builder to make a website very simply and easily on Shopify, which is a great tool.

I knew how to build some ads, and I worked with a local agency to run some ads. It simply was just taking pictures of myself moving furniture. At that time, masks were heavily sold and I didn't want to get in that rat race. I was like, this is something different, unique, people would be interested in it. To my pleasant surprise, that Friday morning is when we launched when our backs were up against the wall, complete desperation, a hail Mary pass.

That first day, we had three orders. I was like, wow, it worked. Even though we had low-quality ads and a very janky website, it worked. On Saturday we had $3,000 worth of revenue. That second day I knew that we were onto something. That's how we started, complete desperation, backs up against the wall. Those times reveal your true character and those are the make it or break it, very creative moments. We were lucky and blessed to have the resources and everything set up to make this happen.

Founder of Zeno Gym, Will Torrez sitting on a workout bench in a gym setting.
When COVID-19 hit North America, Will Torrez quickly pivoted from producing furniture for the hospitality industry to workout equipment, launching his brand Zeno Gym. Zeno Gym 

Felix: Not only did you pivot your business, but you entered a whole new category while managing multiple other businesses. How were you able to manage the launch with your other commitments? 

Will: I had no intentions of starting another business. It was never my intention because it does run thin. When you have at least two, it's very tough. I always ask myself and try to balance myself as well, because it can get out of hand–early mornings, restless nights. With that said, it was a blessing in disguise. I was vice president of sales for the furniture manufacturing business, and I was also about to relaunch our wallets for the travel business, and then the pandemic hit. At that time, I wasn't doing anything. What was I going to do with my time? Was I going to watch TV and more Netflix, or drink myself away, or was I really going to get to work and try to figure this out? I decided on the latter and we started another business.

During that time with Zeno, I positioned myself at the end of last year to hire another person–my mentor in the furniture manufacturing business. I'm separating myself from the furniture manufacturing business, but we're still very close because they are the manufacturer when it comes to these benches. Now I am solely focused on Zeno Gym.

If it wasn't for my past experiences with Torro Bracelet, then the manufacturing, I wouldn't have this opportunity that I have today. I learned a lot, and we always hear that you don't fail, you have experienced. That's truly the case in my scenario. I don't consider Zeno a failure because of the pandemic slowing that down. It was a God-sent opportunity with Zeno. I wouldn’t have had the success nor the trajectory of our success if it wasn't for the pandemic. I'm blessed, we're blessed.

Felix: You got to market incredibly quickly. Any key takeaways? 

Will: You have to keep on evolving. It's always all day. Just the growth at which we did it was really remarkable. Operationally, it was tough. Especially when you're trying to evolve and innovate the product. When we first launched, it was simply a padded bench. What you see today is a completely different item with new materials. It did not have the best product development going into it. It was a combination of getting better quality content out there, getting better ads, and getting a higher-converting website. That was on the front end. On the back end, you have logistical hurdles, which we are doing everything. From taking in customer service inquiries, sales, manufacturing, fulfillment, packaging. We were doing everything and then setting up all the operations.

At the same time, we're taking 50 to a hundred orders every single day. It was a lot to start. I remember at the time, it was difficult, but the momentum was undeniable. We had to do whatever it took to make it happen. Move fast. Luckily, like I with the experiences that I had at previous businesses and the resources that I had available, I have a pretty good network. I remember having calls with some of my friends who owned shops as well. Griffin from Pura Vida helped me out a lot and a couple of other guys really showed me what to do when working at this speed. Focus on trading your own content, don't let anyone do that. Working with agencies, not working with agencies. Just having the experience and good network helped me pave the way and navigate our ship.

Felix: I think first-time entrepreneurs can over complicate the launch process. What are the main components of a launch that are important to nail, and what is just excess when getting to market quickly? 

Will: I'm the best Monday morning quarterback you'll ever meet, and I think about that all the time. There is a list of items. Early on, we knew that we had a one-time purchase business and we were selling a lot of these benches. The number one question we had is “how do you get the most out of it? How do you use it?” Because it is a pioneered product.

I wanted to get the foundation of our subscription model going. We put a lot of effort into getting a subscription model going and wanted to do it fast because of the momentum we had. If I had to do it all over again, I would've allocated better and walked a little slower at the application process. Since the first time we launched the app, we've actually moved over to two different companies, and now we're at a place where we're very confident in the product, as opposed to just launching based on urgency.

Speed to market is important, but having the best quality product is even more important. My impatience got the best of me. When I could have found the best partner for us in that app space, in that subscription model, I would've probably allocated more of the brand community building. That's the first thing that comes to mind because you're trying to keep revenue high, be profitable, continue with customer servicing, get out orders and then establish a brand.

Then we were also building another product, which is the trainers and getting subscriptions, doing the live streaming, following the Peloton model. We definitely bit off a lot. I walked a little slower when it came to the subscription model.

How to use creativity to sell two different products in one transaction

Felix: On top of the equipment, you also launched an app that came with it. Was it a harder sell, having both products? 

Will: You're essentially selling two different products. You think you have someone down the bottom of the funnel because they just purchased a bench, but the end goal, the true bottom of the funnel is getting them subscribed and getting them into that subscription model so as to have that recurring revenue. Our conversion rate has been fluctuating between 50% to 60% of bench purchases that sign up for the app. You're essentially selling more, but also it's our job to make sure that the value of the app entices too. Our subscription is very affordable when compared to everyone else, but you are selling another product too.

It brings in a level of creativity and more work. Not only building out the content but recording the content and doing all that stuff. You have to recruit, have the trainers build a program, record, and make it look nice. Then develop it, make the videos and upload it, making sure it's seamless with the checkout process, which is probably the toughest thing in the whole formula–making sure that the customer checks out. When they check out, they're able to use that same checkout information for the purchase of the subscription too.

You're buying two products, but you want to make sure that you get them at the same time because then you have to start all over again the whole conversion process. That was most of our time and trying to figure this out because it is a very complicated process when we have a one-time and subscription model in play.

A workout class in session with Zeno Gym’s workout benches.
Having an app in addition to workout benches, Zeno Gym’s team noticed that it’s easier to bundle the sales together rather than selling the app after a bench purchase. Zeno Gym 

Felix: So when you miss the opportunity for the membership bundle, it’s more difficult to convince customers to make another payment, even though it’s significantly more difficult. 

Will: You're absolutely right. There are other variables that come into play too because you use a recurring subscription app to get that. You have Shopify Merchant, and then you have a firm. You have three different merchants, and you're trying to get them to all play together. Plus, you have the hosting of the app too. You're talking to four different entities and trying to get them to get the API seated up with it. It's a very custom mix, and we still haven't got it.

For example, if you come to our bench and right now our number one selling bench is the Bench Pro bundle with the squat board–that's a $1,000 product. A lot of people want to finance that, which they should. You have over a third of people that want to finance, but we can't have a recurring subscription product when you finance because that's going through a firm.

You're trying to navigate and build outflows for those people, and it's complicated. Peloton's done a great job, but they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their own system build when we're trying to do it bootstrapped, overnight, with the resources that we have. It's been a challenge, but we've done a great job where we're at today.

Felix: What are the ways you try to convert them on the membership before they complete that initial purchase? 

Will: First, you have to hit them with an ad. That shows them what the value is. Once you get them on the website, always be visible. What's worked for us best is that, either when you're on mobile, on the website, there's a side cart that pops out. When you add something to a cart, say, a Bench Pro, you add that to the cart. Automatically underneath the Add to Cart button, there is an option to add the 30-day trial subscription for free. That feature comes on there, which is a custom feature that our developer did. Then you're one click from Add to Cart and that automatically adds it to your cart too.

You want to make it as fluid and as easy as possible. We thought about putting it as a requirement to buy our benches, but then that lowered our conversion rate. It's all about testing. We're going into these uncharted waters with really no knowledge or data behind it. We've been testing how much the app subscription will cost when we should insert it into the buying journey, and how we should have it. There's a lot of testing that we go into blindly. Throughout it, we're learning a lot more. We're finding that on the side cart, the Add to Cart button that pops up in there automatically works best for us. Then you always want to sell the annual subscription too, instead of the monthly. The retention rate on that is a lot higher. That's our goal too–getting the annual subscriptions up, and that's more of a purchase for them, but it's a greater value as well.

Felix: Post first purchase, what are the ways that you try to encourage them to purchase the membership? 

Will: Post-purchase is huge for us. The emails with Klaviyo, we have an email guy, who is very experienced. We hit them with that first. Once you receive the product, we have a lot of sales material that comes with the bench, with QR codes that show, “hey, sign up for the app. Here's a QR code. You can download it at the App Store or Google Play Store.” Then it has a list of workouts reiterating the level of workouts from HIIT to recovery, to mobility, strength training. We want to hit them as much as possible with the retargeting of this subscription.

How to handle the logistical challenges of achieving 6 figures in the first month

Felix: What was your trajectory after the launch? 

Will: It was a very interesting market. The first month we did several hundred thousand, and the second month, we doubled that. In July, we got nearly a million sales, which was remarkable because never did we expect that was going to be the case. That was tough for the factory too, because we still had orders for furniture. On top of that, we were concerned about shutdowns with factories. That took a toll. 

At that time, we started incorporating resistance bands into our benches. I remember one run, I went on. That was the only thing we could really do outside of working out on a bench, was going on a run. I knew that we could evolve the product into having the resistance band play into it, and everyone was buying resistance bands. That's when we incorporated resistance bands and we started sourcing those. We do that from China. That was probably one of my biggest challenges in the beginning because we were scaling so fast, I wanted to get resistance bands. We started ordering resistance bands by container from China. At that time, so was everyone else. 

We unfortunately had one container fall in the water at that time, and that was a lot of lost money and time. I started focusing on never sourcing from China again. I didn't want to deal with it. I know our biggest asset is business in Mexico manufacturing. At that time, I said no more China, we're going to make our own resistance bands, and that's what we started doing. Now, we're 100% vertically integrated. We don't source anything from China. We make our own resistance bands, but we learned the hard way, and that was the biggest hurdle for us. It's been a blessing in disguise because now that forces us to make our own resistance bands and be completely dependent upon ourselves.

A model uses the Zeno Gym workout bench in an living room setting.
After experiencing supply chain issues with international producers, Zeno Gym’s team decided to build a localized supply chain. Zeno Gym 

Felix: You experienced some supply chain issues just when your product was selling out. How did you mitigate the impact on the customer experience? 

Will: It was definitely frustrating when you see customers complaining about social media–which they can do very easily. Then they're only complaining about one thing. You know you have a good product, but they're complaining about delays, delays, delays, and we're just like, wow, why is this happening to us? It's even more frustrating because it's something that you can definitely accomplish, but it's these resistance bands that are the issue. You have to be proactive.

The first step is to be proactive let the customers know. They may say something not so flattering on Instagram or via email, but if you get them on a phone call, you explain the circumstance, chances are, they're going to have a lot of empathy and they'll be okay. They just want to know that there's a real person behind it. There's a humanizing aspect to it.

There have been several times where I personally had to send a message to a segment of people that were delayed, and give my condolences and say sorry for the inconvenience. Being proactive and pushing your face out there, that human aspect really softens them up and says, “hey, this is a new company struggling during a very difficult time.” They understood once we started implementing those practices.

Felix: Did you already have a customer service team ramped up for that? How were you able to make sure that you were responding to these upset customers as quickly as possible?

Will: We did. We had a customer service team, and we had a couple of people that worked at Beachbody, which is interesting enough because they have a call service there. We had a couple of people that worked there, so they knew the experience. They knew the customer journey, and we took the blueprint from what Beachbody had done and taught them.

We had a phone call set up and they could call our customer service line. They could simply just go outside and look and see their order and check. That was great. Another thing that really worked for us was hiring someone on Upwork that would monitor the social media comments–because there were a lot–and there still are. Those aren't going through our traditional email or phone calls, but are very important as well, because people see ads–new customers see ads and there are comments on there. Upwork helped us when we weren't in the office during those off-hours when people were on their phones and commenting. It's a 24/7 job.

Funneling social media unrest into customer service success

Felix: How do you make sure that you’re able to stay on top of any customer comments in your social media channels? 

Will: Slack has been great for us. We have our fulfillment team all on Slack. Throughout the day when our Upwork team is responding to messages, they're Slacking our team for customer inquiries. Whenever our team gets in the office at 6:00 AM here in California, they look at those messages and they respond to those people. There are other tools that we've hit up, but right now we're comfortable with the upward team, as well as with Slack and communicating. That Slack channel is constantly being used, it picks up everything from Facebook messages, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The Upwork team has access to all our social platforms, and then filters it all through our Slack channel, which is then responded to by our customer service team.

Felix: When dealing with these kinds of comments on social media, do you have a playbook that you can reference? 

Will: I'm a firm believer that if there's ever an ounce of doubt, you need to go with blunt force of truth. For example, delays. A lot of time, delays weren't even our problem. Even today, customers are calling like, "Where's my order at?" The answer is, well, FedEx hasn't come to our facility. There's only so much we can do. Even if it's at FedEx's fault because they haven't brought their truck over, it's still our fault that we have to respond to that. We have a detailed message for that specific comment. There have been comments like, “oh, I can build this bench, and it's overpriced.” All right, if you certainly think you can do that, this is how we build our benches, we use the 11 layer laminate plywood from a CNC machine that costs $100,000. We use a high grade vinyl, we use high density, contract grade foam, and we pay for shipping too.

If you can get all that done and pay for packaging and provide an engineered product designed to support up to 800 pounds, then we welcome you to do it. We hit them with that, and then it typically silences the crowd and comments. People think that this can be done very easily, but a lot goes into these benches and we want to make sure that everyone knows the level of quality and engineering that it takes to make these benches. We've got it down to a science where we're making these benches in under 30 minutes a pop. It does take a lot of engineering and a lot of hands to make every single one of our products.

A model uses a workout bench by Zeno Gym in an ourdoor setting.
Addressing concerns from social media allowed Zeno Gym to stay transparent and earn trust while answering customers’ questions. Zeno Gym 

Felix: Do you have some sort of education or transparency process so to address these people who are saying they can make the same product DIY at home?

Will: It all starts with the PDP page, which is really important. Our team has done a great job of detailing and designing a PDP. From our marketing director, Jose, to our media buyer, what really needs to be displayed, how important it is to show the raw materials that we use. Secondly, is YouTube, which has been a huge tool for showing how these benches are made. Again, given that human aspect, we're making your benches, this is how your product that you're investing in is made. This is the level of craftsmanship that's been going into these benches. We did that early and you can look on YouTube, how our benches are made and it shows our factory. It shows us doing it there. It shows the engineering team with their CADs and building it out, which would typically take a year, at least for any other person traveling overseas to engineer it. 

It's taken us a matter of days to make, and then days to innovate because we have our team here too. Showing people, giving them a window to view our innovation, quality control, and the measures that we take is truly vital in making it the story that people can buy into.

How to launch quickly and incorporate consumer feedback while iterating

Felix: One of the things with taking longer to iterate is that you get more feedback to build off of. How did you handle that in your development process? 

Will: For the resistance bands, there's been a learning curve and feedback on the lengths. If you watch our tutorials on YouTube, you can certainly get a better understanding of how to do that. As far as our bench goes, there's been a lot of inquiries. Like, can your bench do this? Can it do this?

In terms of feedback, there's not been too much. Maybe a bit about how we can incorporate our products into newer items how we can fit our squat board into our bench. But to be honest, the team has done a great job of innovation. I can't stress that enough because whenever we get crazy wild ideas, we go right into the application. For example, leg extensions. I always did leg extensions at the gym using this hefty big machine that had plates on it. We actually built a leg attachment machine with our bench. We thought of this idea two weeks ago, and we planned to have an accessory piece that comes with our benches in a matter of 45 days.

We definitely have our ears close to the ground with our customers but have been very keen on innovating and testing the product as much as possible. Trust me. We welcome ideas with this bench because we truly believe this is just the tip of the iceberg of what we can do. One of the complaints that we get more often than not is, “I just bought this bench and you guys came out this bench. How can I upgrade?” That's been a little difficult to navigate too. People buy one variation, it's like when you get an Apple phone or an Apple computer, and then they want the brand new model, but we're doing that in a time span of 18, 19 months. We've come out with almost four innovations of the original bench.

A model uses a workout bench by Zeno Gym next to a couch in a living room setting.
Keeping an ear to the ground and gathering feedback allowed Zeno Gym to iterate on their products and launch new models quickly. Zeno Gym 

Felix: Initially, the marketing was dictated by your speed. Over time were you able to build out a strategy in terms of ads, or driving traffic? 

Will: It was fairly easy because of the market. People were selling resistance bands, and the home fitness market vertical was very easy to tap into. What worked best for us was mashup videos. Last year was about showing the versatility of the benches, and really helped out. UGC, that was a big part of the beginning phases and getting it in people's hands and repurposing that UGC content. The mashup videos and showcasing four, five different workouts in the first three seconds to show that it could be used for free weights, but also with resistance bands, for HIIT workouts, for stretching, for group fitness. You can take them outside because of how portable it is. The benefits and showcasing that in very fast frames and getting everything done as quickly as possible, worked best for us.

Leveraging user-generated content as a startup

Felix: When you first started, how were you able to encourage buyers to publish that user-generated content? 

Will: It came very easy to us, at the time. We were being sought after by a lot of high profile people who were like, "Hey, this bench is cool, do you work with influencers?" We got a lift off when it came to the influencers and people that wanted to leverage their followers and send us videos, which isn't easy, not only to get people to play along and participate, but to manage.

We originally had a good start, which gave us a little bit of credibility. It is a lot of work to get people who are actually willing to open up their followers to it, but also deliver good content that you can use. They had to be experienced with it too, and, of course, they had to be authentic with it. That's the most important part. You can tell when someone's selling a good product, but if they're using it in a very genuine fashion, it sells itself. Getting people to play along with the dos and don'ts of that is something that we really put a lot of effort into in the beginning stages of curating that user-generated content, but that's what we use. We have a lot of UGC stuff that we constantly repurpose.

Felix: Now that things are starting to return to normal, how are you able to maintain that momentum, or keep demand up? 

Will takes a leap over a Zeno Gym workout bench.
Encouraging user generated content allows Zeno Gym to advertise with more authentic marketing campaigns. Zeno Gym 

Will: The market's definitely softened up. You have people, like Peloton and big players like that, that are hurting everybody with their stock offerings. The biggest thing for us is the community, it’s getting that content out where people make it a part of their regimen. As we see today, it is part of their routine. People that are on our app, currently, they're seeing it. Building off that core community is our biggest asset, and our biggest strength is where we need to grow. Getting those several thousand people that are on our app right now to publish themselves, rewarding those people with reward programs, those people are our biggest strength when it comes to that, and word of mouth.

Everyone last year loved to talk about their Peloton, loved to talk about their favorite trainer. That's what they see as what motivates them too. We have to replicate that blueprint and get people in love with our trainers and how convenient it is to workout. The mission is to really showcase that because gyms are open–and we're not advocating against gyms at all–but if you go to the gym six days a week, including the time it takes to get ready and travel and find the equipment and get set up with your earphones and go to locker rooms, you're going to be spending 12 to 15 hours a week at a gym. Is that really as time effective for you?

If you're a new father or mother, do you have the time allocated to do that? You can accomplish all that in 15 minutes and burn 300 calories with the HIIT workout, if you just turn your phone on with our Zeno bench. Showing people the convenience of the hybrid lifestyle of working from home and wanting to go out, that's another aspect to it. But building off of that core community that we've already established last year and this year with our subscribers is the goal.

Embracing market changes enabled this brand to capitalize on a new audience

Felix: So it sounds like the target audience’s mentality has shifted–now it’s about convenience. How did that change your marketing approach? 

Will: Last year, there was a void in the market and demand for our product. Now this year, people want to have our product. We have to make people want our product, and we have to showcase the convenience of that. Our demographic definitely has shifted. Last year, our demographic was 24 to 34 year olds. This year, it's 35 to 44 year olds. It’s the older demographic, the 30 year olds who are still working from home and who are just having kids. More males now than last year, too.

Our demographic has shifted and our messaging has shifted with it. It's based on the convenience factor. So the inconveniences of going to gyms, which there are a lot. When I get sick, it's always because I had used the water fountain. Or it’s the inconveniences of seeing people or having to get ready or being comfortable. Having those inconveniences, and showcasing those has been our strength. It's definitely different messaging when it comes to it.

Felix: How do you balance the needs of the new demographic–the convenience value prop–and the old demographic–the necessity value prop? 

Will: There's a lot of meat still on the bone. For instance, pregnant women. How many pregnant women do you see at the gym? I'm sure there are people going to the gym if they're pregnant. But there's a level of comfortability being able to workout at home when you're pregnant. We don't want to neglect those people, whatsoever. We want to bring that peace of mind and be able to workout at the convenience of your own home, at your own time. There's a chart that we have of demographics that we look at, and we're working our way from the middle to the outside. Of course, we're keeping our eye on the middle target. But having that chart, looking at those demographics, and working your way from the inside out is the approach that we're taking. That's our strength, that's our strategy.

Felix: How were you able to narrow down and identify these specific descriptions of these niche demographics? 

Will: First off, I look in the mirror and I see where I work out and where I find convenience. Working out from home has opened my eyes to the level of convenience of not having to go to the gym. I haven't been to the gym in some time. Then, looking at emails, looking at customer inquiries, and also picking up the phone sometimes and calling. I love doing that. I love talking and inquiring because I have as many questions as a customer. I have questions about their lifestyle. The last part is, we look at our most active subscribers on our app and we survey them and their lifestyles. What time they work out, how often they work out, we see how often they work out, but what's their lifestyle? Were they working out from home? We get a better understanding of our core demographic.

We're finding that they are working from home. A lot of them do have kids, so they have to stay at home while the other parent is at work because they may not have that option. They don't have the time to travel to the gym or they don't want to spend an hour, they want to get a quick 15-minute workout in. Mostly it's like a mindless workout. They want to check into a class and then not to worry or not to figure out their own program, just have 20 minutes, 350 calories on a HIIT workout and that's it. I'm done, I'm ready to go do the next chore or whatever it may be. Convenience has been the biggest eye-opening factor in this home fitness hybrid.

How to use customer landing pages to boost conversion rates 

Felix: You mentioned the product detail page plays a major part in conversions. Is there anything else you’ve done with the site that has had a big impact on conversions? 

Will: Absolutely, landing pages. Landing pages have a better conversion rate than our actual website. It has to do with speed, information, and also the ability to test on landing pages. Like with Unbounce, being able to modify colors or placements on the fly without having to work with the developer has been a big help for us for selling targeted products. We can test out when we want to push a product for margin purposes or for higher AOV, we started out by using a landing page.

Then running custom landing pages. When we run specific ads for that demographic that we're targeting for those ads, or what those ads are showcasing, who they're profiling in those ads, we're mimicking that same persona, gender, age demographic on the landing page. We try to match it up and target a specific demographic and showcase a similar profile character through the ad and landing page, all the way to the checkout.

 A workout bench with additional accessories in an living room setting
Zeno Gym sees higher conversions from landing pages compared to their own website. Zeno Gym 

Felix: How is the landing page different from an ad that would drop someone to a product detail page?

Will: I wish I had an answer to why it does work, but it's a lot different from our PDP page. Our PDP shows the product, but our landing page has a hero image and has a lot more copy. It has called to action, but it doesn't have the typical PDP layout. It's more of a long-form value prop-based bench, where you're not really having to click buttons, and you're just scrolling.

People are accustomed to scrolling on Instagram. So, it's long-form. It showcases how many workouts it has, the versatility. It has a section on the app. It has a section on how much money savings you have. It's more of a storyboard than it would be a typical PDP page, and it's informative. Then it has your call to action, but it has a lot more valuable information than it would, just on product details. It has more of a story to tell, and the way it's laid out, it's completely long form.

Felix: You mentioned Slack. What other apps or tools that you like to use to run the business? 

Will: Recharge for subscriptions works very well for us. Their customer support team is great. We use Postscript for SMS marketing, product upsell, and we have an email system with Klaviyo. Those are the big fundamentals. For administration, we use Avalara for taxes and stuff, because now with each state, recording taxes and different parameters is challenging, even though we have a CPA team, having them just to handle the taxes has been huge for us. Then, of course, Yotpo because reviews are something that we rely heavily on.

Felix: What is the most important area of focus for the business moving into the new year? 

Will: What we are going to do right now is we're going to hit this direct-to-consumer market. It’s what we've been doing, it’s what gave us success and where we're at today. We're moving forward to build a brand in that community and expand what we've already acquired and what we're building on. Secondly, we’re going to look more into business-to-business, because we have a very competitively priced product when it comes to competitors. It’s significantly less expensive, and more versatile. We're going to go after business-to-businesses, studios. 'm not saying we're going up to F45, but other boutique gyms and studios, because people do want to go out and our product can be used for those applications.

We're actually building out our own studio right now in San Diego, in our own gym, but we're recording all that content. People are buying our gyms and our benches for their own studios. People want to duplicate what they're doing at home. They're buying 15, 20 benches and putting them in their studios. We want to go after the business-to-business market, as well as continue to grow our community.

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