Whisker Seeker Tackle spotted a glaring gap in the market and turned it into a thriving e-commerce and wholesale business. Learn how entrepreneur Matt Davis leverages text marketing to drive sales.
Iowa based Whisker Seeker Tackle was born from the demand of catfish anglers to elevate catfishing. It creates gear that combines proven methods from the past with modern tactics and technology.
Whisker Seeker Tackle wanted to build a text marketing program–Mega Deals–to drive higher engagement with mobile-only offers.
An average conversion rate of 25%, click-through rates as high as 47%, and an opt-out rate that hovers around just 0.5%.
If you’re an angler and take a trip to your local Bass Pro or Cabela’s, you’ll notice that catfish specific gear makes up just a tiny fraction of what’s on offer. Iowa based Whisker Seeker Tackle (WST) was born from this lack of choice.
Founder, Matt Davis, is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of building successful businesses. He also happens to be a long-time catfish fisherman that was fed up with retrofitting gear to make it suitable for his needs. Combining his passion, business acumen, and the clear market need has been a winning formula.
“I started this in my basement with a little seed money, and last week we just moved into a brand new warehouse. We’re in over 500 stores and are the largest catfish gear manufacturer in the US. It’s been a fun ride.”
We spoke with Matt to learn more about his MegaDeals text program and the marketing principles that underpin it.
Matt was predominantly using email to communicate with his customers before he layered in text marketing.
He read an article that referenced the high open rates and conversion rates of SMS–and also believed that texting could offer a more personalized way to interact with his customers. Four years ago, he chose SimpleTexting for its intuitive interface and hasn’t looked back since.
WST built its SMS subscriber list predominantly by promoting its MegaDeals program on its website.
To collect phone numbers, Matt has a pop-up on his site that advertises the MegaDeals program, stressing that subscribers are the, “First to know when Whisker Seeker Tackle coupons are available.”
Matt also believes that being explicit about the volume of promotional texts his subscribers can expect to receive is essential. This transparency partly explains why WST’s unsubscribe rate is a jaw-droppingly low 0.5%, despite texting a large number of people.
“We let our customers know we’ll text them a minimum of once a month and during holidays three times a month. So we’re upfront with how many times we’re going to text them.”
Matt is careful to create a sense of exclusivity and anticipation around the monthly MegaDeal announcements.
"We push out a monthly MegaDeal promotion, and we find that people are actively waiting for the text, so it means people are more likely to interact with it."
With click-through rates (CTRs) on his texts as high as 47%, he’s not wrong. Another reason for Matt’s incredible CTR is the fact that a lot of his MegaDeal offer texts include a photo–known as MMS messages. We recently ran an A/B test that showed texts with images have a 52% higher click-through rate.
Matt also takes advantage of our template feature to lessen the work involved in sending these monthly campaigns, copying past MegaDeals, and tweaking the text message. The returns are impressive.
"I would say that easily our conversion rate on a text is about 25%. That’s huge compared to any other channel."
For context, the average conversion rate for e-commerce emails is 2.3% for email, 2.9% for paid search, and 1% for social. This means that Matt’s MegaDeal text promotions have a conversion rate that is 762% higher than the average for the next best channel.
Looking ahead, Matt plans to continue building on the success of the MegaDeals program. He also has other exciting mobile marketing initiatives in the pipeline–like push notifications–that he believes will complement his email and SMS marketing.
What is the lesson for other e-commerce entrepreneurs considering text promotions? WST emphasizes the importance of crafting a specific strategy for text promotions.
MegaDeals are exclusive to SMS subscribers, and this creates a significant sense of anticipation and engagement from his list. The high conversion and CTRs, combined with the low opt-out rate, act as both an inspiration and benchmark for other e-commerce businesses.
That said, even small, less well-established e-commerce stores can benefit from the power of text marketing. Want to find out more? Visit our industry guide for e-commerce and then sign up for a 14-day, risk-free trial.
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