Increase in click-through rate with tailored emails


Average increase in cold start conversion rate


Increase in conversion rate with website personalization


Increase in return
on ad sales

Inkbox sees 440% increase in conversion rate using Crossing Minds to tailor emails and recommendations for new users.

Meet Inkbox, a temporary tattoo company that uses a semi-permanent technology to make its product look authentic and last longer. Inkbox faces a unique challenge with its e-commerce store – not only is a tattoo (even semi-permanent) an extremely personal product to buy, making the shopping experience much more involved, but the store also offers more than 10,000 SKUs for customers to choose from. The result? Customers browsed the online store endlessly, but left the site before discovering the perfect tattoo design for them.

“There are so many nuances and characteristics of tattoos that have to be considered when recommending products – style, subject matter, size, placement. I can ask you what you like, but what you like doesn’t mean you’ll tattoo that onto your body. Our product is unique in that sense and we found a partner that understands this in Crossing Minds.” 

– Paul Kus, Senior Manager, Retention Marketing at Inkbox

Personalization has always been top of mind for Inkbox. However, implementing recommendations into its customer shopping experience was easier said than done. Delivering tailored experiences required too many resources and wasn't cost effective. The team previously spent hours hand-picking recommendations for emails, and integrating an algorithm was also a large technical challenge that would require both time and money.

Inkbox needed a recommendation service that could address its two biggest concerns: 

  1. How do we get more eyes on our products? Because Inkbox’s inventory is so vast — 10,000 SKUs — it was difficult for customers to identify the perfect style for them from all of the options available.
  2. How do we address the cold start problem for new and anonymized customers and deliver personalized experiences for even first-time visitors? Inkbox needed to engage new users and providing recommendations is challenging when you know nothing about a first-time visitor’s preferences.

Enter Crossing Minds.

In 2020, Inkbox first began working with Crossing Minds for personalization in email marketing. Crossing Minds understood how complex Inkbox’s challenges were as a tattoo e-commerce store, and helped the company discover the right questions to ask their customers. 

The Inkbox team was drawn to how flexible the Crossing Minds API was. The Crossing Minds recommendation platform was easy to set up and the Inkbox team faced no issues with integration.

“Most recommendation systems are built for the masses – but that doesn’t work for us. No one else has an e-commerce tattoo parlor. Crossing Minds truly partnered with us to adapt and adjust the recommendation platform for our needs. We were blown away by the algorithms, specifically the speed and scale in which they can create effective, quality recommendations. ” 

 –Tyler Handley, Cofounder & CEO of Inkbox

After initial tests with tailored emails saw great results (163% increase in email click-through-rate), the brand expanded to implement the algorithm for advertising and website personalization

Based on customers’ on-site actions, Crossing Minds helped Inbox create a section called “Picked for You.” The data from shoppers browsing the site helps decide which tattoos to show on this page. Inkbox also implemented a cross & upsell “You May Also Like” tray built into every product page. These are tattoos that are similar to that selected tattoo based off of certain attributes (style, design, subject matter) which Crossing Minds has identified and built into Inkbox’s unique algorithm.

Inkbox carousel tattoo recommendations.

Welcoming (and converting) new users

Crossing Minds and Inkbox collaborated on a “welcome quiz” as a way to acquire new customers and most importantly, acquire an email address to communicate with them. It was important for quiz takers to be able to get accurate, tailored recommendations after answering just a few questions. Prior to working with Crossing Minds, the company saw a lot of people taking its quiz, but very few converting. They needed an efficient, powerful solution to convert these first-time visitors.

“Crossing Minds transformed our experience for new users. With just four questions in our welcome quiz, we can make quality product recommendations. This quiz has directly converted brand new shoppers to purchases. The team is now constantly tweaking the quiz and algorithm to be as effective as possible.”

 – Paul Kus, Senior Manager, Retention Marketing at Inkbox

Now users take the quiz and are redirected to a “Quiz Results” page with completely personalized recommended tattoo choices, which the Crossing Minds algorithm selects based on their quiz answers. The quiz engaged new customers and drove conversions with them, effectively solving Inkbox’s cold start problem and providing session-based recommendations.

Using Crossing Minds’ recommendation platform, Inkbox has seen a 69% average increase in conversion rate from new customers taking the quiz.

Tailored emails using Crossing Minds for National Tattoo Week Sale:
  • 250% Increase in click-through rate 

  • 89% Increase in conversion rate

Tailored emails using Crossing Minds for Summer Kickoff Launch:
  • 44% Increase in click-through rate 

  • 73% Increase in conversion rate

Personalization for new Users
  • 348% increase in add to cart

  • 677% increase in checkout

  • 440% increase in conversion rate

  • 48% increase in return on ad sales 

Beyond massive quantifiable results, Crossing Minds has helped the Inkbox team time management and business operations function more efficiently. 

"Previously, our team had to focus on both strategy and execution – how are we going to get this done? Now, we can solely think about strategy and the Crossing Minds team handles the integration aspects. With Crossing Minds, we’re able to work at double the speed.” 

 –Tyler Handley, Cofounder & CEO of Inkbox

Crossing Minds and the Inkbox team plan to continue to work together and create new, innovative ways to serve customers with high-quality recommendations. One upcoming initiative is overhauling the customer onboarding experience through a custom-built recommendation tool that will immediately understand users' interests when they arrive on the site. With this tool, Inkbox will be able to give every customer a personalized experience from day one — not only providing a better experience but driving even more conversions and tattoo sales.