How I'd grow Pluto

June 2, 2021

Pluto is a pillow with a foam inner core and an outer plush cover, custom-made for you to provide the support you need.

To get your very own custom-made pillow, you need to complete a survey about: your sleeping position, current mattress, heat preferences, etc.

I really like the Pluto homepage. Good copy, descriptive CTA, link to social proof and a hero image that shows the product while communicating the USP (it’s for everyone).

I’d tweak the header to include a benefit. E.g. “Sleep better with a pillow custom-made for you.”

This isn’t your regular pillow. They interviewed sleep experts, customers, chiropractors, and physical therapists to create the perfect design. 

They mention this in the about page. But it’d be worth mentioning on the homepage (few visitors visit their about page).

In addition to the homepage, I’d create multiple landing pages - each addressing a specific pain point that custom pillows solve.

Although a pillow is a product for everyone, there are definitely different customer personas: people who snore, struggle with neck pain, etc.

Pluto needs a strategy to maximize LTV. Selling a one-off $95 physical product doesn’t leave much room to spend on customer acquisition.

Instead of hoping for returning customers, they could introduce a subscription where you get a new pillow every year at a special price.

Pro tip: eCommerce stores that want to minimize their customer acquisition spend need to reduce their cart abandonment rates (they can be as high as 75%).

They can start using SMS instead of email. In fact, abandoned cart texts get 3x higher open rates than emails.

Pluto has a flywheel that could help them make better products and increase word of mouth over time.

As they sell pillows to more people, they get more data on what they prefer. They can use this data to make pillows even more customizable and sell more.

But they can’t wait years for organic word of mouth growth. They need to kickstart it with a good referral program.

I have an opinion on referral programs. I think they work better when all the benefits go to the referred person (generosity is the real reason people share).

Collaborating with other D2C mattress brands (as affiliates) would be a good way to spread the word.

People buying a new mattress have intent; a pillow upsell at checkout would convert them. Brands would get a cut with 0 effort, and Pluto would reach new audiences.

Search could be a huge traffic driver, but Pluto isn't leveraging it properly.

Remember the landing pages I suggested? They could optimize each one to target a commercial keyword.

A page that targets “pillow for neck pain,” another one for “pillow for snoring,” etc.

They need to focus on their content marketing strategy. I couldn’t even find their blog until I saw a link hidden in the footer.

Their 500-word posts aren’t going to cut it. It’s not about the word count but, for their topic, they have to go in-depth to rank.

I insist on search because they got a lot of press recently. This gives them a big advantage over the competition in terms of links.

Unlike other sites (that start from 0 and need to wait months), they have the opportunity to start ranking in weeks with the right content.

I’d also leverage performance marketing. All those targeted landing pages would be useful here, too.

Pluto could create multiple ads matching different landing pages with different hooks (an ad for a pillow that reduces snoring, a pillow that reduces neck pain, etc.).

The hard part of advertising is going after cold audiences (people who’ve never heard of you). That’s where acquisition costs rise.

But Pluto’s recently been on Shark Tank. They could use it for a prospecting campaign to spark interest and get an instant credibility boost.

Retargeting is becoming harder with all the privacy updates, but retargeting video viewers still works (no cookies or websites needed).

So if that Shark Tank ad creative was a video, Pluto could retarget interested people who watched more than a certain percentage of it.

Learn marketing from case studies

Every month I pick a new website and write a marketing case study explaining exactly how I’d grow it