Case Study: Sleep Cycle

How we helped Sleep Cycle to scale user growth in a sustainable and profitable way.

The background: A successful app company with 10 years of customer data

Sleep Cycle is a well performing company, having survived 10 years in the highly competitive app industry with now over 40 million users and excellent customer reviews. Sleep Cycle is an alarm clock that wakes you up when you’re at your lightest phase of sleep, leaving you feeling fresh in the morning. Therefore, the industry they are operating in is really the health and wellness sphere. With 10 years of customer data, they know very well what type of users convert from the free version to being a long term paying customer.

The challenge: Growing the user base profitably with a budget constraint

Thanks to their significant amount of customer data, they have a good understanding of what type of users they are looking for, along with how much they are willing to pay for a user. The conversion rate from free to trial user is quite high, with double digits on organic traffic, and the aim was to maintain — or even increase — the trial conversion rate on paid traffic. The challenge for Twigeo was then to see whether it was possible to increase user acquisition, whilst:

  1. Maintaining the same conversion rate as organic traffic
  2. Staying within the max budget cost per trial user

The challenge was to scale user growth in a sustainable and profitable manner.

The solution: Experiment with audiences, lookalikes and creative material

The initial test we performed for Sleep Cycle turned out successful, meaning we did manage to increase user growth while maintaining the conversion rate and keeping the budget constraints. In May 2019 we were then trusted with the assignment to scale user growth on a full time basis. To continue to grow user acquisition profitably, we experimented continuously in three areas:

  1. Audiences. We brainstormed internally within Twigeo, drawing inspiration from other clients and previous success-stories, coming up with a variety of audiences to test. At first we looked broadly, and then we scaled and tweaked the successful ones.
  2. Lookalikes. Thanks to the significant amount of user data Sleep Cycle already has, we can replicate and find similar types of users on Facebook and the App Store.
  3. Creatives. We set up a workshop with our design team in-house, setting up hypotheses on different kinds of creative material to test. User testimonials has proven to be successful, hence we tried out variants of testimonials on a continuous basis.

The end result: Reaching the sweet spot of increased growth, decreased cost and increased quality of users

Although we’ve only worked with Sleep Cycle on a full time basis since May 2019, we have already seen some significant results:

An average month over month traffic growth of 10%

An average month over month cost decrease per trial by 15%

Quality of users remained intact, and sometimes even improved in some markets with more than 40%

Our main challenge going forward is to keep this momentum and continue to grow profitably at the same pace. In order not to fully deplete a market at once, we’ll rotate market focus to secure sustainable global growth. Harvesting and watering with love, one could say.

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