BabyList: Focus on the User and the Revenue Follows

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

BabyList makes creating a baby registry easy and fun. Expecting moms can add items from any store onto one registry, share their registry, and enable friends and family to buy those gifts. BabyList is dedicated to helping new moms figure out what they need. We caught up with Founder and CEO (and New Mom) Natalie Gordon to find out what’s driving their success.

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On Building the Brand

Like any successful site, BabyList addresses a real need. In Natalie’s case, it was a personal one:

“I was pregnant with my son, and looking to register online. I couldn’t find what I was looking for, and just the thought of going into Babies R Us with a price gun made me feel overwhelmed. I wanted to register for help & favors from my friends/family. In addition to onesies, and cloth diapers, I wanted help paying for a diaper service, walking our dog, and wanted my friends to bring over meals. I’m a software developer, so I built a site that could do this myself. This February, BabyList will be 3-years-old, and with 3 years under our belt I have seen how much a site like ours is needed. All moms-to-be are overwhelmed with the baby product options before them. We help them find what’s right for them – because everyone is unique and building a baby registry should be fun!”

While there are a few other universal registries out there, BabyList stands apart. The common thread is a true focus on the user. BabyList is the only online registry that caters to new moms and babies. They’ve built their brand around the idea that no two families are alike, and every new family needs their own unique package of baby products — regardless of where it’s sold. As Natalie puts it, “we don’t try to sell you stuff, we want you to be yourself.”

To make this promise a reality, BabyList is hyper-focused focused on beautiful, functional design. When it comes to great design, Natalie tells us that simplicity is the key. And it’s paying off — having built a site that is truly easy to use they are seeing more registries created and more purchases made.

To further grow awareness and build their user base, BabyList draws from a number of channels. First, they’ve developed important relationships with a network of influential bloggers. These bloggers drive lots of users, and in-turn, BabyList works hard to promote those blogs and their content. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement and it’s working. Second, it’s no surprise that BabyList do see a lot of users coming from Pinterest. After all, they do bear some resemblance to the way Pinterest works. Lastly, there’s the power of word of mouth and, of course, new moms talk. BabyList is often a topic of conversations online and off, in “due date” groups and baby showers.

On Building the Bond

By fulfilling a real need in an easy and fun way, BabyList finds that new moms naturally stick around. But there’s always more ways to engage users.

The BabyList community loves to hear about online deals and sales, even moms that now have their babies. Yet it’s style as much as substance that really matters. When engaging their audience, Natalie says BabyList uses the opportunity to bring their brand to life. “…we are always real, and always positive about pregnancy. We like mixing silly photos, with awesome DIY projects, useful tips, and inspiring stories. That mix is our sweet spot.”

We count BabyList amongst the growing number of sites that use their content, rather than the white space around their content, as the primary way to drive revenue. BabyList is a perfect example of a site that has sustained itself through truly native monetization – that is monetization so well integrated into the site experience that it essentially is the site experience.

Surprise, surprise, BabyList makes money through affiliate links. When users click and buy the items on the wishlist, BabyList earns a commission. And of course, users can add products to their registry from any store. While BabyList maintains some affiliate relationships themselves, they use VigLink to auto-monetize links to the rest of the retailers. Because VigLink Convert monetizes links to retailers around the world, Natalie has found VigLink to be especially helpful in expanding their monetization coverage as their user base expands around the world.

Meanwhile, is working to build brand-direct partnerships. As Natalie describes it, “we work with brands we love to get their products to our users that would love them too.” Making it easier to add great products to a registry only makes BabyList better and grows the number of new moms building registries, and, of course, revenue.

Focusing on the user from the site experience all the way through to the revenue model has really paid off. “When I started BabyList it was my side project. But after BabyList’s first year, I knew I needed to give it a shot and try to make it more than a side project.” BabyList now has a team of 6 full-time employees. We love what they’ve built and as the number of new moms and dads grows around the VigLink offices, we can’t wait to start building our own registries.

Posted by Oliver Deighton, VP Marketing

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