Loop Earplugs’ Marketing Strategy: How They Revolutionized the Ear Protection Industry

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Loop Earplugs started selling noise-reducing earplugs back in 2016. 

Fast forward to 2023, and they’ve grown into a €126.5 million business. They’ve sold over 5 million pairs in a single year, and The New York Times has recognized them as the top choice for concert earplugs.

The idea of Loop Earplugs was born from the shared frustration of two Belgian friends. They were avid concert-goers but couldn’t ignore the persistent ringing in their ears after a concert.

They found that most products on the market were ugly, ineffective, or uncomfortable. This set them on a mission to revolutionize ear protection.

They created stylish, effective earplugs that not only dampen noise but also preserve sound quality for music lovers.

In this marketing breakdown, you’ll discover the strategies they used to achieve major success and growth in the past seven years.

Let’s jump in!

Analyzing Loop Earplugs’ top channels

First, we went to SimilarWeb, a leading analytics platform. Here’s what we found: their top marketing channels are paid search, organic search, and direct traffic. 

Loop Earplugs channels overview on SimilarWeb

What does this mean? 

  • Paid search brings in 39.02% of Loop Earplugs’ website visitors. Through targeted ad campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and Facebook, they strategically show their products to potential customers. 
  • Organic search makes up 25.54% of their website traffic. They improve their online presence and attract visitors by using the right words on their website, and by writing helpful articles about ear protection.
  • Direct traffic, which accounts for 22.04% of all visitors, happens when people go straight to Loop Earplugs’ website. This might be because they already know about the brand or because someone recommended it to them.

We’re going to look at exactly what they’re doing across each marketing channel. But first, let’s talk about a big change that was necessary for their success.

Step 1: Shift to a DTC model

In the early days, Loop Earplugs found their home on the shelves of major retailers like CVS in the USA and Saturn in Europe.

However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic cast a shadow over their once-thriving business.

Their monthly sales dropped from roughly $100,000 to under $20,000.

The founders knew they needed to act quickly and decisively, so they pivoted toward a DTC model. They changed their approach, skipping the usual stores and opting to connect with their customers directly.

At the same time, they saw the need to diversify their customer base in response to the pandemic. At first, they only targeted the vibrant nightlife scene, but they later expanded their horizons. 

They started selling to parents, noise-sensitive individuals, and even those seeking focus or relaxation during everyday life.

Loop Earplugs diverse target audience

This strategic shift helped Loop Earplugs not only to survive but also to grow. 

Step 2: Go big on design

Loop Earplugs didn’t just stop at functionality. They went the extra mile to redefine ear protection as a fashion statement.

Forget boring designs—the DTC brand introduced a vibrant array of colors and metallic finishes that scream style and sophistication.

Loop Earplugs product design

And it’s not just about looks—it’s about feeling comfy, too! They have a range of soft silicone tips in different sizes to fit all ears. No more awkward fidgeting or discomfort; just pure, uninterrupted bliss.

Their unique design is also reflected in their packaging, which features bright, bold colors.

Loop Earplugs packaging

Step 3: Run targeted ads

Loop Earplugs has mastered the art of targeted advertising. 

They don’t limit themselves to one platform. They leverage the expansive reach of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Google to connect with their audience wherever they may be.

Loop Earplugs ads on different channels

With a product lineup as diverse as their audience, Loop Earplugs tailors their messaging to resonate with different demographics and use cases. 

They also have a diverse array of creatives. 

From eye-catching images and videos to clever memes and interactive content, they experiment with different formats and styles.

Loop Earplugs Facebook ads

They collaborate with influencers who already have a lot of followers and whose values align with their brand. But they not only sponsor influencers, they also run ads from their social media accounts. 

Check out these examples:

Loop Earplugs Facebook ads

With a monthly ad spend of €1.5 million, Loop Earplugs doesn’t take their advertising lightly.

To get the most out of their ads, they run A/B tests continuously. They fine-tune their campaigns to perfection, optimizing every aspect.

As Dimitri O, co-founder of Loop Earplugs, puts it, “With those different use cases, we created very different ads, very different landing pages, and different prices to test to see what works and to see what has the best return on ad spend.” 

Through relentless experimentation and innovation, they continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of advertising, cementing their status as pioneers in their field.

Step 4: Focus on SEO

Loop Earplugs pays huge attention to search engine optimization (SEO), which is crucial for driving organic traffic and establishing market dominance. 

At the heart of Loop Earplugs’ SEO strategy lies their blog, brimming with articles covering a myriad of topics that are relevant to their audience. 

Loop Earplugs blog

From “tips to sleep better” to “what to wear to a club” and even “phonophobia,” they leave no stone unturned in providing valuable, informative content that addresses the needs and interests of their audience. 

Within these articles, they seamlessly integrate promotional elements such as Johnson boxes:

Loop Earplugs article with Johnson box

…compelling call-to-action buttons:

Loop Earplugs article with call-to-action button

…and embedded product recommendations:

Loop Earplugs article with embedded product recommendation

All of these are guiding readers towards their products and encouraging purchases. 

Here’s more evidence of how effective their SEO efforts are: together with Re:signal, an ecommerce SEO agency, they won The Drum Awards for Search in the Consumer Goods category.

In 2022, with their sights set on boosting organic revenue and asserting market leadership in the US and UK, they devised a comprehensive strategy centered around analyzing the customer buying cycle and targeting high-traffic keywords such as “ear plugs for…”. 

The results speak for themselves: from January to December 2022, they achieved a 25.64% increase in sessions and a 34.02% rise in revenue. 

But the momentum didn’t stop there. From June 2022 to May 2023, they witnessed even more impressive figures, with a 60.3% increase in sessions and a 106.9% growth in revenue.

You can read more about how they achieved this here

Step 5: Build a community

Through loyalty and referral programs, brand ambassadors, and influencer partnerships, Loop Earplugs has built up a tribe who share a passion for ear protection solutions.

The main part of their community-building plan is their affiliate program.

Loop Earplugs affiliate program

Through the Loop Affiliate Program, people are incentivized to create content and share referral links using their unique code. 

When someone buys from their link, they get 15% of the sale. Each person has their own special code and gets help with tracking their sales.

In an interview with Shopify, the founders shed light on the core principle behind their successful ambassador marketing program: 

“The bigger the positive impact you can generate in people’s lives, the more vocal they’re going to be. And the easier it is to get influencers and brand ambassadors because you don’t even have to facilitate it. It just happens organically.” 

They believe that if a product genuinely improves a user’s life, they will naturally become vocal advocates, spreading the word.

They also put a big emphasis on their loyalty program: Loop Circle

Loop Earplugs loyalty program

Through challenges and referrals, members can earn credits, unlock new challenges, and receive perks ranging from birthday rewards to free earplugs and free shipping. 

Loop Earplugs loyalty program

Step 6: Optimize your website for conversions

One standout feature of Loop Earplugs’ website is their interactive quiz. It’s designed to simplify the product selection process and guide users towards the perfect solution for them.

They highlight this quiz above the fold on the homepage, both as a secondary CTA and in the menu. 

Loop Earplugs homepage promoting their quiz as a secondary CTA

This quiz asks targeted questions about the user’s situation and preferences…

Loop Earplugs quiz

…and produces a tailored product recommendation based on the answers, reducing the time to purchase and instilling confidence in the user’s choice. 

Loop Earplugs quiz with product recommendation

The results speak for themselves: a 5.9% uplift in conversions for new users. (If you’re interested, you can read the full case study on the Swanky website.)

Want to try quizzes on your website? You can get started with our conversational popup templates below, which are really easy to set up.

In addition to the interactive quiz, Loop Earplugs’ website features a comprehensive comparison page. 

This also helps users to make informed decisions by comparing the features and benefits of different product models. 

This side-by-side comparison empowers users to evaluate their options and select the solution that best aligns with their needs and preferences, fostering confidence and trust in the brand.

Loop Earplugs comparison page

The quiz is great for visitors who have no idea about how to get started, and the comparison page is perfect for visitors who know exactly what they’re looking for and want to compare features. 

Besides these, Loop Earplugs offers a range of value-added incentives on their website to increase conversions. 

From free shipping on orders above $44 to a generous 100-day return policy, they prioritize customer satisfaction and peace of mind. 

Loop Earplugs website highlighting incentives

Implementing dynamic free shipping bars that update as customers add items to their cart could further boost Loop Earplugs’ conversion rates by actively encouraging larger purchases to qualify for free shipping.

If you’d prefer dynamic free shipping bars instead of static shipping bars, try this pre-made template: 

Loop Earplugs also offers enticing bundles, allowing users to enjoy greater value and convenience when purchasing multiple products together.

Wrapping up

What began as a simple solution to a common problem turned into a thriving business empire for Loop Earplugs.

From their strategic shift to a DTC model to their focus on design, marketing, and website optimization, every move they made paved the way for their remarkable ascent to a valuation of €126.5 million. 

If you emulate Loop Earplugs’ strategies, like crafting targeted ads, optimizing your website for search engines, and cultivating a devoted community of brand enthusiasts, you’ll surely attract a larger customer base.

Good luck on your journey! 

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