Launched in July 2014 by Aayush Rai (Forbes 30 under 30 winner) and his partner Varun, Inito is a Bangalore based, rapidly growing med-tech startup.
Their flagship product, the Inito Fertility Monitor, is a smartphone-connected device able to conduct accurate lab-grade fertility tests at home thanks to their ‘Flat-lens’ technology. The device delivers accurate results that are 99% in agreement with Lab Readers and, most importantly, they increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant naturally by 89%.
Having raised funding from investors in India and Singapore, along with having a potentially high-scale product, Inito was experiencing an all-too-common problem with small businesses and startups: difficulty scaling their online sales.
In January 2018, we began speaking with Inito about the conversion problems they were facing, and what type of strategies we could leverage to solve those problems. As a result, over the past 18 months (as of May 2019), we’ve successfully driven an 85x increase in unit sales per month!
Inito successfully penetrated and began to disrupt the $30 billion fertility market. To make this story even more awesome, they’ve just been selected by the world’s premiere startup incubator, Y Combinator! Inito is the first Indian medical device startup to join the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator. Other globally-known startups in their portfolio include AirBnB, Reddit, Quora and Dropbox.
Inito aims to put a diagnostic lab in every home and personalize medical diagnosis for every human. Being funded by Y Combinator allows us to think globally and access global expertise and resources which will enable our mission
The best news for small business owners and startups is, Inito has grown — and continues to grow — WITHOUT investing in a resource-intensive in-house marketing team. By effectively outsourcing their Facebook marketing, Inito has been able to scale its business growth in the leanest, quickest, and most cost-effective way. This means it can be done for your business too!
Let’s walk through how we achieved this and several other big wins for Inito!
After several detailed discussions with the Inito team, we defined the primary goals as:
1. Traction: we needed to create and execute conversion strategies that profitably increase online sales via their website and Amazon in the short, medium and long-term
2. Brand Awareness: we needed a strategy for building brand awareness, trust, and educating the audience on the benefits of using Inito
We did not have an experienced in-house team member to handle marketing. We also had a good amount of research on consumer behavior that was not being utilized in our marketing efforts. Hence we wanted an agency that could not just build the FB marketing strategy based on our consumer insights, but also create, run and optimize the Facebook Ads on a day to day basis.
We identified and worked to understand these 6 major challenges to Inito’s growth:
1. Inability to drive online sales from Amazon and their website
Inito was having difficulty driving sales on Amazon. They were also experiencing major challenges with selling on the website via facebook ads, so much so that the purchase functions were removed from the website, linking people to Amazon instead.
2. Minimal brand awareness and trust in the market
As an early stage startup, Inito had very little brand awareness. There was no trust, and a whole target market of tens of millions of people didn’t know anything about Inito.
3. Lack of audience insights and historical data
A key challenge was identifying, segmenting, and creating the audiences from scratch. Without a customer database of website purchasers (due to using Amazon for sales), Inito did not have a valuable database to leverage for their marketing. This meant that our first few months would involve a lot of research, strategy, testing of audiences, creatives, and no guarantee of immediate sales.
4. Online consumer behaviour in India
Online shopping is not prevalent in India compared to more developed markets. The market has been transforming in recent years, however, with innovative products like Inito this is not the case yet. The Inito Fertility Monitor solution is not something people usually go looking for online, unlike other “traditional” e-commerce products. Most people aren’t even aware of fertility monitors exist, unless they’re well-educated on the topic, have seen our ads, or have been referred by someone they trust.
5. Conveying the product’s technical USPs in a simple and engaging manner
As a med-tech product, there are key scientific terminologies associated with the Inito Fertility Monitor. We needed to express the USPs in a simple and engaging manner to an audience who didn’t even know a product like this existed.
6. Strict Facebook regulations for our key words
Facebook’s strict regulations with pregnancy keywords made it very challenging for us to convey the key points. We faced many disapproved ads as Facebook’s review team claimed they were discriminating based on personal characteristics. Additionally, limited targeting options due to policy regulations often made it hard to laser focus on the target audience.
The NSD team is very proactive in testing out new ideas, audiences, campaigns etc. and take data informed decisions to scale the ones that give good results. While the team is an expert in FB marketing, they have shared very valuable suggestions on the optimizations we should do on our website to have the best results from the FB ads.
To solve these major challenges, we combined three proven strategies and a team with a track record of success in tactical execution.
1. Paid Ads on Facebook
Once we started testing, the data showed us that we’d have to optimize the website. We then ran fb ads to Amazon again to meet the sales target in the short-term, while also consulting on website optimization, collecting social proof in the form of customer testimonials, case studies and doctor references. We were able to steadily grow our Amazon sales, that is, until all of a sudden Amazon banned all Fertility Monitors from the platform!
We switched to Flipkart and also started building funnels for website conversions. The top of the website conversion funnel was where we educated the audience by sending traffic to our blog to read high-value content, and then remarketing with informative videos, social proof ads, and sales ads.
As we gained website sales traction, we started testing a wide range of creatives & audiences. We leveraged heatmaps to track and analyze website behaviour, tested various landing pages and gave the client our recommendations on removing unnecessary friction to improve the user experience.
While we struggled to make cold campaigns work in the beginning, cold sales are now our most profitable campaigns, even more than remarketing. This is all thanks to building a database of purchasers and leveraging this data to create lookalike audiences.
Facebook knows so much about our target audiences that we saw a huge boost in performance once we were able to create Initiate Checkout Lookalikes and then Customer Lookalikes. We also experimented with pricing tests & successfully leveraged Indian holidays like Holi & Mother’s Day to increase seasonality based sales.
Here are some of the best performing ads (most landing page views, most link clicks to Amazon, and most purchases on FB):
2. Marketing Strategy
We created a comprehensive Facebook marketing strategy to provide Inito with the strongest possible foundation for both near-term and long-term success. Facebook marketing strategies are where to start if you want to remove all the guesswork of who to target, what content they love, and not waste your time or advertising budget.
3. Content Marketing
As a young startup, it was crucial for Inito to build brand awareness and position their product as reliable. Serving our audience with valuable content every day was the answer here.
The first step was educating the target audience. A large part of our content was made to educate the Indian audience about fertility, pregnancy, and how the Inito Fertility Monitor could make this all easier for them. It was crucial to show the product was endorsed by doctors, had won awards, & delivered 99% clinically accurate results.
With the Indian audience, we leveraged our proven strategies to create content that really resonated with the users, by touching on topics like family, motherhood, & happy lifestyles at home. We experimented with Hindi-language posts, noting that the audience responded well to such content. With content marketing, we reached over 230,000 people in our audience every single day, achieved massive levels of engagement, and learned about the audience’s behaviour.
All of this data powered Inito’s sales to a whole new level.
Reaching hundreds of thousands of people in our ideal target market with valuable content that doesn’t try to sell them, then we nurture this audience from “not problem aware” into the “ready to buy” stage
You can the see incredible impact Facebook marketing has had on Inito’s sales in the graph below:
Within the last 18 months, we were able to generate:
^ Total People Who Viewed the Inito Facebook Page
^ Interest over time for “Inito” on Google Websearch * Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular *
1. Collect social proof at any opportunity you get: Invest in gathering user testimonials, success stories and customer reviews. These go a long way in building credibility for your brand and showing your future customers why they should buy your products.
2. Optimize your website constantly: Make it a point to invest in the development of your website because intelligent page optimization can help move your traffic from external e-commerce websites to your own site, and keep them there! Also, don’t forget to make your landing pages mobile-friendly as most consumers are now browsing social media and websites through their cellphones.
3. Trust the power of the Facebook algorithm: Facebook creates 4 new petabytes of data every day – that’s 4 million GB worth of data! With so much information, the algorithm is able to create powerful lookalike audiences based on your own custom audiences such as customer database, website visitors, engaged users etc. These lookalike audiences are far more accurate in targeting people who could buy your products as compared to interest-based targeting.
4. Fully understand your target market: Before you start marketing your products in any country, make sure to truly understand the culture of the audience. Misunderstanding consumer behaviour can result in poor engagement on your content, low-quality traffic to your website, and wasted money in ad spend.
5. Continuously obtain valuable data about your customers: Collect data on your own website with the Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics to better understand your customers. Building a strong database with these valuable insights and you’ll have a solid pool for your future products!
While our strategic & tactical Facebook execution had a hand in achieving these results, marketing is never the hero. The real heroes are Inito’s superb product, incredible leadership and structure at the company, and the fact that their product has a massive impact on the lives of their users.
We have been using North Star Digital’s services for FB marketing for the last 18 months and have been growing 30%+ every month on FB.
Inito has huge potential for growth online. The next step is to replicate Inito’s success in the US market, and grow the brand in international markets. Inito has several other medical tests in their product development pipeline that can run on the same device, and they will be launching these game-changing features soon.
For us, we look forward to executing and improving our repeatable process for deploying Facebook marketing efforts that drive Inito’s awareness and growth.
In the short, medium, and long term, the future is bright for Inito and the thousands of couples who can now achieve their dreams of parenthood.