How Firebelly Tea leveraged Sampler’s capabilities to reach a highly targeted audience

Discover how Firebelly Tea partnered with Sampler to reach their ideal consumer and boost ROI in their latest sampling campaign.

Program overview

Firebelly Tea, a predominantly direct-to-consumer tea brand founded by David Segal (DAVIDsTEA co-founder) and Harley Finkelstein (Shopify president), was looking to boost brand visibility and drive sales among their target audience. Collaborating with Sampler, known for hyper-personalized sampling experiences, Firebelly Tea set out to introduce new consumers to their loose-leaf tea offerings.

Targeted product sampling: No sample goes to waste 

Firebelly Tea partnered with Sampler to distribute 600 tea samples across three flavors, alongside 1000 unique coupon codes consumers could use on the Firebelly DTC site. But first, given the fact that Firebelly Tea exclusively sells loose-leaf tea, it was critical to the campaign's success to identify qualified consumers who owned the proper equipment for brewing loose-leaf tea. 

A pre-diagnostic survey, with participation driven by a branded giveaway, allowed for early identification of Firebelly’s ideal consumer. Consumers could also enter the giveaway by posting a photo or video of their tea equipment. Using AI identification, Sampler was able to identify the users who had the proper teaware for loose-leaf tea. This ensured only qualified participants were offered free samples, as well as provided invaluable information for the brand to use with any post-campaign CRM integration. The pre-sampling campaign generated brand awareness with 234,000 Canadians, including 43,000 self-identified ‘tea lovers’. It also allowed for competitive conquesting and insight into which tea brands were in highest competition with Firebelly in Canada.

By building a custom audience, Sampler ensured every sample claimant brewed tea via a tea ball, in-cup strainer or tea pot, and drank tea a minimum of 2-3 times per week (with the majority of users drinking it once a day). This ensured Firebelly’s sample made it directly into the hands of their ideal consumer.

“Firebelly is on a mission to bring high-quality tea to North Americans. As a start-up, we need to be laser focused on ROI in everything we do, and the Sampler team was understanding of the challenges and designed a custom launch plan to make sure our samples made it to the teacups of those most likely to become Firebelly customers. This level of understanding and engagement from their team allowed us to move forward with confidence, knowing that our goals were front and centre.” - Kara Westerlund, Ecommerce Marketing Manager at Firebelly Tea

Personalized journeys to accelerate sample trial

Supplementary touch points throughout the sampling journey enriched the consumer experience, including a post-claim email featuring the brand’s founder story and detailed instructions on how to most effectively brew each tea sample. This educational touchpoint aimed to accelerate trial and generate excitement, and 93% of claimants engaged with the post-claim email, indicating a strong interest in learning more about Firebelly Tea and its offerings with the intent to purchase.  

Showcasing a positive return on ad spend

Firebelly Tea's primary objective was to convert trial participants into loyal customers while showcasing a positive Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). After tea samples were delivered, recipients received a follow-up coupon code for a future Firebelly Tea purchase. From these coupons, Firebelly Tea saw an impressive average order value that was 1.5x higher than their site’s average, along with several repeat purchases after sampling, resulting in a positive ROAS. 

The program also saw a 70% opt-in rate, collecting valuable CRM data for nurturing leads with personalized content, establishing a foundation for building lasting relationships with potential future customers. 

Identifying consumer’s favorite flavors

By offering a selection of three tea flavors to consumers, this segmentation strategy provided insight into the preferences of potential customers before and after they tried the product. Post-trial, detailed ratings and feedback were collected for each flavor; the ratings & reviews participation rate reached an impressive 48%, marking a 71% increase compared to tea category benchmarks, providing valuable feedback for future product development and marketing strategies. 

Key Takeaways

Through a personalized, omni-channel sampling experience, Sampler’s partnership with Firebelly Tea not only demonstrated immediate positive returns but also provided invaluable insights for continued growth in the competitive tea market.

Interested in learning more? Speak to a sampling expert! 

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