The Challenge

Silverback was challenged to prove that an SEO campaign can drive membership growth and incremental orders for a member’s only online retailer that relies on ‘Flash Sales’, or selling products with limited inventory over a very short period of time (usually just 48 hours). These products are generally related to popular consumer apparel and accessories. Challenges included:

  • How do we create a campaign that pulls just enough information outside of the membership wall to make the site compelling enough to drive membership growth?
  • How do we avoid over emphasizing the brands that are being sold? One of the difficulties in liquidating inventory from major brands is after the Flash sales have completed the brands don’t want records of their sales publicized.

The Solution

Silverback developed a test plan to target target fifty keywords related to discounted consumer apparel and fifty keywords that were related to general consumer apparel. We took seasonality into consideration and including a mix of summer and fall related keywords in our list so that we could learn about the fluctuations of seasonality within the campaign, making potential scaling easier in future.

The Results

At the end of the test period we were able to generate the following ranking percentages:

  • 27% of our targeted keywords ranked on the 1st page
  • 19% of our targeted keywords ranked on the 2nd page
  • 43% of our targeted keywords ranked on the 3rd page
  • 11% of our targeted keywords ranked on the 4th or 5th page

The campaign was also successful in generating new memberships and turning those memberships into sales. The campaign saw thousands of new members join the site and over 6% of those members made a purchase during the 90-day test period.


Silverback Marketing took the time to understand the elements of our business model that pose a unique challenge for traditional SEO tactics. In a short time they were able to demonstrate SEO as a viable, high quality channel for member acquisition.
David Sobie- Vice President of Business Development for HauteLook