How a New Mother Made $87,000 with a Single Welcome Email

Mike Arsenault
July 20, 2021
minute read

It’s a brutal technique terrorists use to break enemy captives…

Unfortunately, it’s also a condition that afflicts many brand new mothers; sleep deprivation.

“It’s horrible and one of the worst things I’ve ever endured ,” says Elina Furman, a mother whose first son was born with colic and couldn’t sleep without being constantly rocked.

“When your baby doesn’t sleep it causes so much anxiety because you never know when they’re going to wake you up. Even worse, it can happen any minute and you just never know which can be maddening,” Furman adds.

Besides jeopardizing the formation of what should be an enduring bond between mom and baby, sleep deprivation can also lead to depression. Sleep-deprived mothers, especially first-time mothers, often find themselves wondering what exactly it is that they’re doing wrong when their baby refuse to sleep.

It’s a type of hell Furman experienced first hand…

But with a second child on the way and no solution in sight, Furman once again feared seemingly endless nights and a sense of hopelessness.

That is until a surprise package arrived in the mail from a total stranger…

Inside was a brand new something that had never before existed; a miracle that would allow Furman and her little miracle to get the sleep they so desperately craved.

Trouble is sleep-deprived mothers worldwide would initially mistake this miracle for a lie…

Magic + Influencers = Sales

That unsolicited package Furman received…

Turns out it was a creative invention from another new mother who was hoping Furman, who at the time operated a popular digital media property reaching tens of thousands of mothers, might review the invention and share her thoughts with her audience.

It looked like a big fluffy pillow…

baby in DockATot

Turns out it was really a new category mothers would eventually call “magic” and credit with saving their lives and even their marriages.

“It was absolutely a miracle,” Furman says. “I would pay three times whatever it cost because it worked. It helped my baby sleep which means I got to sleep and there’s no price a mother won’t pay for sleep.”

It’s called DockATot, a multi-functional lounging, playing, resting and snuggling dock mothers can take anywhere to feed, soothe, and bond with their baby. It’s the brainchild of Lisa Furuland, who after giving birth to her first child wanted a product that combined the functionality of a blanket, cot, and baby lounger into one product.

“I am passionate about co-sleeping and wanted to create something that would help moms who are too,” Furuland says. “I craved something more snug and at the same time more versatile.”

Elina Furman founder of DockATot

She spent years perfecting DockATot…

When Furuland was finally ready to launch in the U.S. she sent that sample to Furman, who estimates she has reviewed more than two-thousand products on the digital property she runs for mothers. Furuland was hoping Furman would offer her audience a positive review and earn publicity for DockATot.

However, DockATot was different from any product Furman had reviewed before…

“My little one sleeps for hours when I put him in one,” Furman says. “I just couldn’t endure the sleep deprivation I experienced with my first son so I felt obligated to tell other mothers about it because it changed my life.”

In fact, Furman was so in love with the product she agreed to help Furuland market DockATot and help other mothers and their new babies sleep better together. The DockATot is a new category that promises a safe and breathable product that helps babies sleep better in their first year which Furman says also helps babies eat, grow, and develop better.

Following the initial launch in the U.S., customers quickly fell in love with DockATot and began posting reviews online. Turns out the glowing reviews were actually a problem for Furman; the reviews were so overwhelmingly positive mothers considering DockATot weren’t sure whether the reviews were authentic.

“We were victims of our own success but thankfully new mothers are willing to dig deep for the truth,” Furman says. “They believe other mothers who say they sleep eight hours a night.”

DockATot review example

Like other brand new categories, educating the consumer is crucial to commercial success. It’s why Furman used the company’s burgeoning customer base in combination with a strategic influencer marketing program to convince skeptics DockATot is indeed the answer for sleep deprived mothers and their crying babies.

“It’s one thing when a mother gets this product in their hands and feels and touches the handmade quality,” Furman says. “But what’s really special is the peace of mind a mother gains knowing that their babies are resting comfortably. They want to spread the word and share this with other mothers going through the same thing.”

Launched in 2015, DockATot became one of those overnight successes that took years to realize. In addition to robust demand from sleep deprived new mothers, DockATot was being courted by big box retailers begging to carry the product in their stores.

Demand significantly outstrips supply…

The imbalance only got worse after Furman launched what is unquestionably one of the most commercially successful emails of all-time.

Welcome–Please Take My Money!

One way to excel in commerce is to break a rule from time to time…

While we’ve all been taught to look people square in the eye, marketers know that breaking eye contact can often be one of the most effective ways at getting prospects to focus on what’s important.

It’s a concept Furman knows well…

And it’s on full display in what can only be described as one of the most lucrative welcome emails ever constructed. In fact, people receiving DockATot’s welcome email after joining the company’s community immediately see a mother whose eyes are not locked on the reader but on her baby who happens to be resting in a DockATot.

welcome email marketing campaign by DockATot

“It’s intentional and meant to focus the reader’s eyes on the product,” Furman says.

The beautiful yet minimally designed email was designed by Becka Schultz and chock full of professional photography that is on full display and aimed squarely at stylish, high income, metropolitan mothers who desire a product that will help them and their babies sleep better.

But the email’s aesthetic appeal is rivaled only by its success.

In the last year, the performance of DockATot’s community welcome email includes a:

  • 42% open rate
  • 6.2% click through rate
  • $87,000 lift in sales

“I could tell you it’s the greatest email in the world but its success is really the result of all of our branding efforts,” Furman says. “We invented a new product category and spent a lot of time upfront educating mothers and showing them reviews from other mothers they trust. The email is representative of that. It’s minimal, beautiful, and communicates that motherhood doesn’t have to be so hard.”

Furman’s modesty is admirable and so is her generosity. Importantly, it’s on display right here as she has agreed to dissect DockATot’s ultra-successful welcome email so you too can build better welcome emails that result in tens of thousands of dollars in additional sales.

Insight #1: Give First, Sell Later

Just below the initial visual you’ll notice the first block of content. Rather than trying to sell new members anything, DockATot instead emphasizes the three major ways members will benefit from being part of the community.

It’s generous and focuses on helping new mothers form critical bonds with their babies in what Furman calls the fourth trimester.

“Trying to sell something would erode the brand’s integrity,” Furman says. “We sincerely want to help new mothers and their babies whether they buy something from us or not. Lots of companies may say that, but it’s in our DNA.”

Insight #2: Multiple CTAs

The email has generated nearly six-figures in sales. But the “Order Now” call to action is just one of several scattered throughout the email. Remember, the objective here is to further immerse new mothers into the DockATot community.

Embedding multiple calls to action allows new community members to choose their own path and take control of how they interact with the brand. Furman credits the multiple CTAs with improving the email’s engagement metrics.

“Building several CTAs into the email gives us multiple ways to win,” Furman says. “We want to be there as an advocate for mothers. If they’re ready to buy, that’s great. If they’re not we still want to help them because that’s the core principle this product and brand were founded on.”

Insight #3: New Category Education

Even if you haven’t created a category like DockATot you may find it useful to creatively educate your audience about your offering. This is true for commodities that may be used in new ways or for new purposes or especially valuable for products with “off label” uses or unintended ways people might use your product or service.

In DockATot’s case, the welcome email invites mothers to engage with the company’s FAQ. Not only does the FAQ help new mothers better understand a new product that can reduce clutter by replacing multiple products like bouncers, beds, or changing stations, but it also addresses and often eliminates objections mothers might have when considering a purchase.

“New mothers want to believe this will work and that their babies will sleep through the night,” Furman says. “When you create a category it’s vitally important to educate consumers. That’s why we have so much content. The idea is to build trust rather than to sell.”

The goal is also to give mother’s something else–an excuse…

The Equivalent of Gold

The welcome email is a top performer

But DockATot also follows up with a drip campaign that generated more than $110,000 in a year by giving new mother’s something essential; an excuse to buy.

“Sleep is not a luxury,” Furman explains. “We work really hard in all of our email marketing to offer something that is easy on the eyes, pleasant to digest, and something that makes their lives better. Our email is an extension of the brand and we want it to feel like a DockATot. In other words, if you buy a DockATot it’s going to be a beautifully designed, easy experience that improves your life.”

In all, Furman estimates 10-15% of DockATot’s revenue is directly attributable to email marketing. The company’s email mastery, in part, is powering accelerated year-over-year growth as evidenced by the following achievements:

  • Month over month revenue has quadrupled
  • Sales have grown 2,000% since the company launched in the U.S.
  • Its first ever sale resulted in 1,200-orders in one day

Importantly, Furman has grown the company’s email list to more than 310,000 subscribers through a variety of co-branded giveaways and sweepstakes. Growing the brand’s list has been a key objective from day one.

“Email is an extremely important channel,” Furman contends. “It’s kind of like an insurance policy in case a social media platform you use to reach consumers starts charging you for reach or reduces your brand’s organic reach. That email list is like gold because no one can take it away from you and you’ll always be able to reach consumers practically for free.”

Sounds like email lists and DockATots have something important in common…

They’re both helping people sleep much better at night.

Frequently Asked Questions


Mike Arsenault

Founder & CEO

For the last 10 years, Mike has worked with brands like Moosejaw, Hydroflask, Peak Design, Triumph, Hearst & Guthy Renker to provide the strategy & technology with which they use email to drive revenue growth. He's also the Founder of Rejoiner, a SaaS marketing platform built for ecommerce businesses.

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