How Warby Parker’s Marketing Strategy Fueled Its $6.8 Billion Valuation

close up shot of a pair of eyeglasses on top of a notebook

Warby Parker went public in 2021, nearly doubling its valuation to $6.8 billion by the close of its first trading day.

Not too shabby for a prescription eyeglass company that many said was doomed to fail.

When the company was founded over a decade ago, it set out to disrupt the eyewear industry, which, at the time, was largely monopolized by a company named Luxottica. Now, Warby Parker has become a household name for its trendy eyewear at affordable prices.

The secret to Warby Parker’s success has been a clever and human-centric marketing strategy. The company connects with its audience through digital marketing channels like social media and email-as well as off-the-cuff ways like building award-winning apps and contributing to social justice issues.

Warby Parker Built Its Company Ethos Around Social Good

Warby Parker’s brand philosophy includes the idea that brands can and should contribute to social good.

Studies show that 70% of consumers want the brands they support to be vocal about environmental and social issues. And 46% of consumers consider a brand’s “social responsibility efforts” when they buy a product.

Warby Parker knows its customers are drawn to brands that support a social mission, including climate change, class inequities, and fighting systemic racism.

Co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal says, “Purpose-driven impact continues to be a big priority for both our employees and customers, especially over the past year.” In other words, Warby Parker’s customers want stylish eyewear, but they also want to make the world a better place.

That’s why, on top of a traditional referral program, it built its Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program into the business model since the company’s founding in 2010.


For every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold, the company gives a pair to one of the 2.5 billion people on the planet who lack access to proper vision care. This program is like a BOGO deal with a social justice twist.

On top of this program, Warby Parker works hard to maintain its carbon-neutral status. It also built partnerships with public schools in Baltimore and New York City to provide free vision screenings and glasses to kids. Plus, the company works throughout the year to support social justice causes, from advocating for legislative issues to leaving fresh food in community fridges around major cities, like the LES Community Fridge in New York City.


To emphasize its commitment to social causes, Warby Parker releases an annual impact report that highlights the many actions it takes toward social good.

Warby Parker’s Welcome Emails Start the Customer Journey on a High Note

Warby Parker sends everyone who subscribes to its email list a really strong welcome email to teach them about the company. Studies show that just sending any kind of welcome email is a great way to set the first impression with potential customers.

Welcome emails see higher-than-average open rates and conversion rates than standard email marketing campaigns. For example, welcome emails for apparel and accessories brands see a 46% open rate as opposed to a 23% open rate for standard email campaigns.

Right off the bat, its welcome email gives readers the chance to start shopping. Then, it gives readers access to non-salesy, branded content to get to know Warby Parker better. This helps potential customers learn that Warby Parker is the eyewear expert, ready to help the reader find their perfect frames.

Source: Really Good Emails

The email also walks readers through how Warby Parker sources materials for its glasses and gives you the inside scoop on how they’re made.

Source: Really Good Emails

Of course, it’ll help you find the closest physical store to you in order to shop for frames or get an eye exam in person.

Source: Really Good Emails

But if you’d rather shop from the comfort of home, Warby Parker highlights its Virtual Try-On app with a link to download.

Source: Really Good Emails

Finally, the company showcases its biggest effort to make a positive impact on the planet: the Buy-A-Pair, Give-A-Pair program to give new glasses to people in need around the world.

Source: Really Good Emails

If you’re creating a welcome email, follow Warby Parker’s lead and give new subscribers something to do besides simply shop. Show off your best assets, like your company’s unique history, a link to your blog or to company-made Spotify playlists, and out-of-this-world positive reviews. It also never hurts to thank your readers for subscribing.

Put Your Retail Marketing Into High Gear With Referrals

To be competitive, retailers should include referral strategies that transform their best customers into valuable advocates.

Get the Guide

Warby Parker Focuses on a Mobile-First Customer Experience

Warby Parker also leads the charge when it comes to creating mobile-friendly shopping experiences for customers.

The radical shift to favor mobile over an in-store or online shopping experience makes sense when you consider that 79% of consumers use their phones to shop online.

The company boasts two apps that give its customers a personalized shopping experience without having to physically visit a store: the Webby-award winning Virtual Try-On experience and the Virtual Vision Test.

The Warby Parker Virtual Try-On App

The Virtual Try-On app has revolutionized the way people shop for eyewear. Warby Parker has always offered alternative ways to get frames beyond stepping inside a brick-and-mortar store-for years, the company has offered to send five pairs of eyeglasses to your door for free. You can try them all on from the comfort of home and keep only the ones you love.


With the app, though, potential customers can see what they’d look like in any Warby Parker frame, thanks to a little help from AI. No need to physically go to a store or wait for frames to ship to your home. Try on anything you like using just your smartphone.

If you decide to buy a pair, the app uses Apple Play integration and package tracking, so you’ll stay up-to-date with your order’s details.

The Virtual Vision Test

Like its popular Try-On app, the Virtual Vision Test is an app that eliminates the need to leave your home to get a vision prescription updated. It’s a quicker process at a more affordable price point than going to the eye doctor.


All you need to do is take a quick, five-minute test directly through the app. Your results are sent to a qualified doctor to review, and within 48-hours, you’ll hear back with an appropriate course of action. If you do need to update your prescription, the cost is only $15 instead of an expensive and time-consuming doctor’s visit.

You don’t need to invest in an expensive app to create a great mobile-first experience. Simply ensure your website is optimized for mobile by making it responsive to different screen sizes. Luckily, most website-building tools come with responsive templates, so you won’t need to pay extra. And if you haven’t already, set up an online payment option and easily integrate an ecommerce storefront into your existing website.

Warby Parker Built a Community-Focused Social Media Presence

Warby Parker is deeply committed to using social media to communicate with customers, and it pays off.

Studies show that of all the ways customers could get in touch with a brand, social media remains at the top. Brands that invest in communicating with their audience via social media see higher levels of customer loyalty. Plus, 76% of consumers will choose a brand they follow on social media over a competitor because of brand familiarity.

What makes Warby Parker’s strategy strongest, though, is that it asks customers to share videos and photos of their eyewear journey on social media multiple times throughout the buyer’s journey. Warby Parker encourages user-generated content (UGC) as much as possible because it knows that people who post on social are 50% more likely to make a purchase.

If you search the hashtag #WarbyHomeTryOn on Instagram or TikTok, you’ll find tens of thousands of customers around the world sharing their favorite frames. All that UGC doesn’t happen by accident. Warby Parker reminds customers to share videos of their home try-on experiences via social media.


With over 68,000 videos, Warby Parker’s success makes a compelling case for any commerce brand on the fence about investing in a UGC strategy.

In addition to UGC content, the company launched its Wearing Warby series, profiling real customers about their eyewear journey. This content is then shared on its social media channels.


The goal of this series is to focus on sharing average customers’ backgrounds and stories. This takes the opposite approach to more popular promotions like celebrity-backed campaigns and influencer marketing. Instead, Warby Parker’s customers connect to these stories of real people and see themselves represented by the brand.

Copy Warby Parker’s Marketing Strategy with Extole as Your Growth Marketing Tool

Warby Parker’s marketing tactics are so effective because it has a detailed understanding of who its audience is and what they want out of a pair of glasses. It has incentivized customers to help grow the brand quickly by sharing on social media and hyping its glasses to their friends and family.

With a growth marketing tool like Extole, you can manage campaigns that target your most loyal audience pockets using a referral program. You’ll also unlock the power of word-of-mouth with special friends and family discounts, so customers can share your brand with their network. Or use our influencer tool to manage contracts and payouts with content creators.

Request a demo to get started.

Most Recent Articles