How Dollar Shave Club Got Their Sales Pitch in Front of 5 Million+ People

For anyone who’s been involved in sales and pitching processes, you’ll appreciate how much work it can take to win new customers. Not to mention the advertising and marketing that goes behind it to get into that position in the first place.

So if you haven’t got enough time to pitch to more than 5 million potential customers – maybe there’s an easier way to go about this instead!

If you’re a start-up and competing in a competitive industry, there’s no way you can compete with the budgets required at that level. So what better way than to market yourself than on YouTube!

This year’s great example of video marketing is Dollar Shave Club – selling razor blades for $1 each.

For a UK equivalent, check out one pound fish. Now I don’t know how many fish were sold as a result of this – but I would imagine quite a few people have made the trip down to Queens Market just to see the “One Pound Fish Man”! And for the sake of a 2 minute video – I think it’s safe to say that was time very well spent.

Dollar Shave Club in Detail

Firstly, it’s a transactional site targeted toward paying customers. So what they’ve done here is take an average product and to quote Seth Godin, they are still being remarkable. However, they’ve achieved this by creating a very funny viral video, spinning the fact that it’s an average product as a key selling point instead.

Their USP is that razor blades don’t need to be overly complicated, so as a result there’s are much cheaper and still do a great job. Bang! Where do I signup? Oh, it’s here at the end of the video.

In terms of revenue – it got off to a flying start, enlisting “12,000 customers in just the first two days its e-doors were open.”

How Much Would This Coverage Have Cost in Media Spend?

Let’s look at how much this coverage was worth to them in terms of potential advertising costs if they went down the more traditional and less creative ways of competing within the market.

As of this writing, 5,160,291 people have watched this video. The average CPC for a group of “shave” related keywords is currently around $1.

If you’re a start-up, you don’t really want to be spending $5,140,887 in PPC within your first month. You’re unlikely to make it past the end of your first week at that rate!

But what Dollar Shave Club has achieved is to get in-front of just as many people/eyeballs, but without the associated costs that come with each click.

How Did This Impact Rankings?

They now rank on page 1 of for “shave” – albeit this is currently at number 7, but this is a term which generates 12,100 exact match global searches per month.

Just for this term alone – the estimated CPC in AdWords is $5.68 (much higher than I would have expected!) so the market value for that keyword alone is worth $68,728 per month!

By ranking at number 7 they’re only likely to be seeing something like a 1 percent CTR, so the actual value of the traffic at those rates would be $687.28 per month right now. But even so, it shows that potentially this could be a valuable source of traffic to them if they can maintain and build on these results long-term.

And the real value is when you get down to the long-tail – the broad match variation of “shave” generates 3,350,000 searches per month!

How Many Links/Social Signals Did This Generate?


  • 12,456 external backlinks
  • From 1,483 referring domains

I don’t know how much the video production cost for this was. But let’s estimate and say it was $10,000 – that works out as $0.80 per link – or $6.74 per domain. Not a bad return for any content marketing campaign!

Then there’s social signals – just looking at, it generated:

  • Facebook: 12,445 likes, 31,700 shares, 9,717 comments
  • Twitter: 16,807 tweets
  • LinkedIn: 2,688 shares
So those social signals alone total 59,238 – or a $0.16 per social engagement cost!


Be creative – it’s worth it!

If you can stand out by creating great content like this and essentially pitch to over 5 million potential customers with a single online video, surely that’s far more efficient than any other sales activity is likely to be – you certainly don’t want to speak to them all individually!

And the long-term value is huge – especially in this case where you can generate sales from day one of the campaign and then incrementally build upon it. It’s definitely one of the best integrated social/content campaigns I’ve seen in a long-time.

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