Athletic Greens Marketing Breakdown: How They Achieved a $1.2 Billion Valuation

Athletic Greens Marketing Breakdown: How They Achieved a $1.2 Billion Valuation
Athletic Greens Marketing Breakdown: How They Achieved a $1.2 Billion Valuation

If you haven’t heard of AG1 yet, you must be living under a rock! Seriously, they’re everywhere, dominating social media like champs. 

If you’re active on any social media channel, it’s basically impossible to avoid their ads or their work with influencers.

In 2022, Athletic Greens made headlines by raising $115 million in funding. This boosted their valuation to a staggering $1.2 billion. But it took them more than ten years to get there—founder Chris Ashenden started the company back in 2010 after experiencing a range of health issues.

So, how did they achieve a $1.2 billion valuation? What’s their secret sauce? 

In this breakdown, we’ll take a closer look at the magic behind AG1. Get ready to learn how they achieved these remarkable results and what valuable insights you can apply to your own DTC store. 

Let’s jump in!

Analyzing AG1’s top marketing channels

First, let’s break down AG1’s marketing channels to uncover their winning strategies. 

According to data from SimilarWeb, organic search reigns supreme as their top traffic source, closely trailed by paid search, direct visits, and social media.

AG1's top marketing channels on Similarweb

It’s no surprise that their omnipresence on social media and heavy use of paid ads help bring in a lot of visitors.

But let’s talk about their top traffic source: organic search. 

When we look closer at their organic keywords using Ahrefs, we notice something interesting: almost all of their keywords are branded.

This means they’ve done a fantastic job of building brand awareness. Their organic and direct traffic is a testament to their success.

Now, let’s see what they’re doing across each marketing channel to achieve this.

Step 1: Master influencer marketing

If there’s one thing AG1 excels at, it’s influencer marketing. This tweet sums up their efforts pretty well:

Tweet about AG1

In an interview on the Leveling Up podcast, Athletic Greens COO Kat Cole talked about their influencer selection process. 

They exclusively partner with creators who are also avid consumers of their products. 

AG1 strives for authenticity in its influencer partnerships. They want to make sure that their influencers genuinely believe in and advocate for AG1.

They send product samples to health experts and creators to turn them into genuine customers and potential partners.

They also make special deals for each creator’s audience, like giving them special codes or links to use.

Check out this landing page, for example, where visitors who arrive from The Tim Ferriss Show podcast see a personalized message at the top: “Recommended by Tim Ferris” plus the headline“Tim’s All-in-One Daily Supplement” and a photo of Tim.

Personalized landing page for AG1's partnership with Tim Ferriss

But those who hear about the product on the Huberman Lab podcast will arrive at this landing page.

Personalized landing page for AG1's partnership with the Huberman Lab podcast

If you’d like to drive more sales by customizing landing pages for your top influencers, try our Tailored Referral Landing strategy

But AG1 doesn’t stop at influencer endorsements. 

They leverage influencers’ social credibility to run paid ads, further amplifying their reach and impact. We’ll talk more about this later. 

Some of the celebrities and content creators they’ve partnered with across various categories:

  • Lewis Hamilton (Sports)
  • Sanne Vloet (Fitness)
  • BarBend (Fitness)
  • Solving The Money Problem (Finance)
  • Eric Karlsson (Sports)
Content creators promoting AG1

Each of these collaborations strategically targets diverse audience segments, ensuring maximum reach and engagement.

Moreover, AG1 ensures that their influencer partnerships are mutually beneficial—they make sure that this partnership is worth it for influencers by offering a generous commission structure.

They pay a 20% commission per sale for affiliate partners, incentivizing influencers to promote the product and driving more sales through their channels.

Step 2: Advertise on podcasts

Athletic Greens is a titan when it comes to podcast advertising. At this point, it almost feels like you can’t listen to a podcast without hearing about AG1. 

They’ve allocated a major portion of their marketing budget to podcasts. In fact, they spend $2.2 million a month on podcast advertising alone.

We’ve already talked about some popular shows that have become platforms for promoting AG1 (The Tim Ferriss Show and Huberman Lab). 

Dr. Andrew Huberman about AG1

Other popular shows include Pod Save America and Crime Junkie, along with those hosted by celebrities like Dax Shepard, Conan O’Brien, and Joe Rogan.

These podcasters pitch AG1 directly to their listeners, weaving the product seamlessly into their content.

Jonathan Corne, the CRO of Athletic Greens, shared with Marketing Brew that the company collaborates with “hundreds” of podcasters at any given time. And they rank as the third-largest podcast advertiser by total show count.

Advertising on podcasts isn’t just about selling their product. It’s about making their brand part of listeners’ everyday lives. 

They create a narrative of health and wellness that resonates deeply with the podcast audience.

Step 3: Always test new ads

AG1 does a great job at brand-building across social channels by constantly testing the waters. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

They experiment with different ad formats such as videos and images. 

This allows them to gauge which format resonates best with their audience and optimize their advertising accordingly.

AG1 experimenting with different ad formats such as videos and images

They also tailor their campaigns to appeal to diverse target audiences. 

For example, they target athletes with promises of performance optimization while simultaneously enticing busy professionals with the allure of enhanced focus and energy. 

What’s more, these ads redirect to personalized landing pages, maximizing relevance and engagement.

AG1 personalized ads for diverse target audiences

They also experiment with different languages, like German, to cater to global audiences and expand their reach.

AG1 experimenting with different languages, like German

AG1 also experiments with different value propositions, not just on social ads, but also on Google.

AG1 search ads on Google

This diverse testing strategy ensures that AG1’s messaging resonates across a broad spectrum of audiences and demographics.

But AG1’s innovative approach doesn’t stop at the content of their ads. They strategically leverage influencers’ social platforms to run paid ads. 

AG1 using influencers' social platforms to run paid ads

This way, they can expand their reach, tapping into the influencer’s followers and thus amplifying their brand’s impact. 

The main thing to remember here is how AG1 is always trying new things and that they’re not afraid to take risks. They know that online marketing is always changing, and that the key to success is being able to adapt and try out different ideas. 

Step 4: Limit the number of products

One crucial lesson that many DTC brands could learn is not to overwhelm their consumers with too many products.

Athletic Greens nails this principle by offering just one product: AG1. 

This approach has proven to be a winning strategy, keeping their website nice and clear without loads of different options.

Unlike many companies that bombard customers with choices, Athletic Greens demonstrates that simplicity can lead to substantial growth. 

By avoiding the trap of offering numerous products, they’ve removed analysis paralysis and choice overload, making it easier for customers to navigate their site.

However, having only one product doesn’t equate to having only one marketing angle. 

As we mentioned, Athletic Greens showcases versatility by tailoring various marketing angles to different audiences (e.g. athletes vs. busy professionals).

AG1 targeting athletes vs. busy professionals

This strategy allows them to appeal to a diverse range of consumers while still maintaining the simplicity of a single-product focus.

If you also have a product (or multiple products) that can be targeted to several different customer segments, you should consider displaying personalized product messaging for each customer group. 

This can be done easily with OptiMonk’s Dynamic Content tool. If you’re interested, check out this step-by-step guide in our Tactic Library.

Moreover, Athletic Greens has cleverly expanded its one-product offering by implementing a subscription model. 

AG1 subscription model

While they give you the option to try once with a one-time purchase, they nudge customers to subscribe for regular deliveries. 

This subscription model is perfect for products that run out over time, such as nutritional supplements. 

By offering recurring delivery and adding additional benefits to the subscription (like discounts or extra items) Athletic Greens significantly increases the lifetime value of their customers.

Step 5: Don’t be afraid to rebrand when necessary

Chris Ashenden, the visionary behind Athletic Greens, laid the foundation for the brand’s journey when he secured the domain name back on April 2nd, 2009. 

Since then, the company has undergone several rebrands.

In 2018, Chris initiated a rebrand, transforming the product into Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily. Then, in 2021, another pivotal rebranding effort occurred, resulting in the birth of AG1.

For those familiar with AG1 today, it might come as a surprise to see what the old website looked like (see below). 

However, this should serve as a reminder that brands evolve over time. Launching with the most polished brand image from day one isn’t a prerequisite for success.

Step 6: Optimize your website for conversions

Driving traffic to your website is crucial, but converting that traffic into customers is where the real magic happens for an ecommerce store.

AG1 understands the importance of website optimization and has crafted a robust CRO strategy. Let’s take a look at how they do it.

A standout feature on their website is an interactive quiz, which serves as a secondary call-to-action for new visitors. 

AG1 homepage with two calls-to-action

They also promote this quiz through a popup that appears as visitors scroll down the homepage. This ensures maximum visibility and encourages user engagement at the perfect moment. 

AG1 popup promoting a quiz

The quiz prompts users to answer a few questions and then asks them to provide their email addresses to get their results. 

AG1 quiz email subscription

At the end of the quiz, AG1 provides personalized recommendations based on users’ responses.

AG1 quiz results

Additionally, if visitors attempt to leave this page without making a purchase, an exit-intent popup appears, gently nudging them to reconsider with a prompt like “Still unsure?” 

This popup directs them to read reviews, leveraging social proof to alleviate hesitations and inspire confidence in the product.

AG1 reviews

By integrating interactive elements like quizzes and popups, AG1 creates an engaging user experience that not only captures visitors’ attention but also guides them through the conversion journey. 

If you’d like to try quizzes on your website, you can get started with our conversational popup templates below as they’re really easy to set up.

+1: Be consistent with your strategy

Athletic Greens isn’t just in it for a quick win. They’re playing the long marketing game. 

Even during economic downturns, Athletic Greens remained committed to partnerships. They understand the value of consistency in maintaining relationships and fostering brand loyalty.

Their goal is not to get attention quickly, make a splash, and then fade into the dark. Instead, they want to show up continuously, day in and day out, and build lasting connections.

The big lesson here? Consistency is everything.

Wrapping up

AG1’s dominant presence across social media platforms and in the wellness sphere is hard to miss. 

From mastering influencer marketing and podcast advertising to relentless experimentation and strategic website optimization, AG1’s marketing playbook is a great source of inspiration.

So follow their lead: embrace experimentation, stay true to your brand philosophy, and who knows? You might just be on the path to achieving your own billion-dollar valuation.

Learn more