📦 - Chopping Up Creative Expectations
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, December 7, 2022

It’s almost that time of year where we make new years’ resolutions… What’s on your list? 👀

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If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Evelyn & Bobbie, Allure Bridals, Complement, Pepsi Co., and teapigs. 🫖

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Five reasons why direct mail should be a consideration in your marketing strategy

📦 Using industry-leading attribution to know what channels, campaigns, and creatives are actually driving revenue

📦 Mini Katana's Isaac Medeiros: The path to a billion monthly views and eight-figures in sales

📦 Transforming your customer service to realize the results of customer's experience

📦 Tips to refresh and recycle old content using CGC

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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Direct Mail

Five Reasons Why Direct Mail is the Comeback King of 2022

If you had gazed into a crystal ball this time last year and tried to predict one of the hottest eCommerce marketing trends in 2022, would you have picked direct mail? 🧐

Didn’t think so.

But much like high-waisted jeans, scrunchies, and platform shoes, this brushed-aside marketing channel has been making a major comeback.

Here are five quick reasons why:

1️⃣ Direct mail grabs attention in a way email does not

When a piece of mail arrives at your house, addressed to you, it makes a much bigger impression because there is far less competition for your attention (move aside, real estate flyers and pizza coupons).

And when that piece of mail is triggered against purchasing data in Klaviyo and features your first name in bold letters, it’s extremely hard to ignore.

2️⃣ Direct mail is more cost-effective than most paid ads

A quick Google search reveals that the average cost of a piece of printed mail is between $0.30 and $3.00.

When you compare that to the average cost of a Facebook retargeting ad or SEM campaign, for most brands it’s no contest.

3️⃣ It’s easy to DIY a direct mail test

Not sure direct mail is the right move for your DTC brand? You already have the addresses of all your customers, and you should know how long ago they placed an order.

Now all you have to do is:

  • Pick a customer segment that you want to retarget
  • Design a piece of direct mail with a QR code to a dedicated win-back landing page OR unique promo code for your customer to redeem next time they make a purchase
  • Visit your local printing center
  • Mail out your campaign
  • Watch the data roll in over the next few weeks
  • Scale up or walk away depending on the results

4️⃣ It’s even easier to outsource to professionals

If the steps above sounded like too much work, there are Shopify apps that will do the design work, printing and mailing for you.

PostPilot is an extremely popular choice used by DTC companies like TRUFF, Obvi, Run Gum, Jones Road Beauty, Bambu Earth, Pro Mix, Beardbrand, Orbit Baby, and CLEARSTEM.

5️⃣ Direct mail is not widely adopted in ecommerce (yet)

Remember reason #1 why direct mail has gotten a lot of interest from eCommerce brands this year? (Hint: It has to do with pizza coupons).

You may be facing a lack of competition now, but as more brands start running tests and scaling campaigns, mailboxes (much like all our digital inboxes) will become overcrowded.

As with most marketing channels, early adopters will have a huge advantage.


Direct mail in action: A brief interview with Nathan Woods, former COO at Run Gum

💬 How has Run Gum used direct mail to stay in touch with customers?

“Engaging frequent customers with postcards just saying thank you, and sending attention-grabbing notes to customers who haven't purchased in 90,180, 365, or 720 days.”

💬 How did you decide it was the right channel to invest in?

“Testing a batch and turning on automation if it’s successful. Most campaigns see ROI in the 3x, 8x, 12x range, and beyond.”  

💬 What was your creative strategy?

“To scream out the personalization.”

💬 Love that. And what’s the CTA on the postcards? Is there a unique promo code or offer? QR code?

“Unique code (20-30% off) depending on the segment, and there is a QR code, too.”

Has your brand already dove into testing with direct mail? Reply to this email and let us know how it’s going! Happy testing!


🟢 See more Christmas green this holiday season

Like decorating while drinking eggnog, BFCM can leave marketers feeling festive or stuck with a headache.

But regardless of how your BFCM went (or how much Tylenol you needed), it's not too late to have an amazing Q4.

It just takes a little holiday magic or, more importantly, some help from Northbeam.

Marketers know that accurate data is the key ingredient for impactful ads.

Northbeam’s industry-leading attribution helps you know what channels, campaigns and creatives are actually driving revenue.

Be like the hundreds of brands using Northbeam to grow profits this holiday season and -

  • 🛰 Track all your channels, touchpoints and conversions in one self-service platform
  • 🦾 Analyze your ad data with automated machine-learning models to identify growth opportunities
  • 🚀 Identify the KPIs and benchmark targets that will actually grow your business profitably

👉 Mention this newsletter, and you’ll get a free strategy brainstorm with Northbeam's in-house growth marketing experts!


🎧 On this week’s episode of the DTC pod, we gathered some sharp ecomm insight from MiniKatana founder Isaac Medeiros.

Founded in 2020, MiniKatana is a specialty eCommerce company focused on selling swords, letter openers, and other types of blades based in Los Angeles, CA.

‍The takeaways 👇

➡️ No option but forward

Due to the unfortunate combination of the nature of the product and the nature of Meta’s strict advertising guidelines, MiniKatana was banned from advertising on the platform. However, instead of being discouraged, Isaac took this as an opportunity to put his efforts into organic sales.

“I kind of knew that… if I posted a video [on TikTok], people would see it. The first video didn't really lead to anything, it just got a few thousand views, but the second video got a few thousand views and a sale. That's kind of all I needed. Everything I do now is just an extreme version of that first sale and first few thousand views.”

⚠️ Grabbing (and keeping) attention

At MiniKatana, Isaac has a methodology: entertain first and the sales will come.

Although companies are producing more content than ever before, we’ve seen that the volume of content doesn’t necessarily correlate with consumer retention. In fact, more often than not, the more content companies create, the more content people forget. Because of this, grabbing consumer attention is key.

“The form of attention capture that we're using… is so effective and entertaining right from the first touch point with the customer. We're building unimaginable affinity [that] it would take an ecommerce brand probably ten touch points to match us on Facebook ads or whatever we're doing… because we make them laugh, we're not selling them something, we're entertaining them. We're making them go, ‘Huh, this is interesting.’ We're making them rewatch the content, subscribe, [and] feel attached to us right from the get-go.”

💰 What Isaac would do with an extra $50K:

Isaac wants to invest in building up a space where they can capture the type of long-form content that will build super high affinity for the brand.

“I would probably invest it into our studio… we're getting a big studio in Alabama… and we're going to try to really make that big and nice, build out some sets, and go for bigger stuff.”

👉 Listen to the full episode with Isaac Medeiros here!


Don’t commit the customer service cardinal sin: “Hi! How can I help you?” on loop 20x

📞 💤 You know the feeling — the dread of being placed on hold for an hour and redirected to agent after agent (and still not having the problem solved).

Well, you’re not alone. A recent survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that a quarter of respondents would rather shave their heads than speak with customer service. 😮

Yeah, it’s that bad.

How many of your customers have experienced a similar dread? If you’re using some of the popular ticket-based platforms, the answer is — probably all of them.

Channels and tickets stand in the way of your customer service #1 goal: Helping people.

Let Gladly transform your customer service so you, too, can realize the results of our customer's experience, including:

  • 10% increase in contact center-generated revenue
  • 20% increase in agent efficiency
  • 40% reduction in contact center tools

👉 Ditch the tickets and start building customer loyalty today. Get your personalized demo here!


How to Refresh and Recycle Old Creative Using CGC

The milk in your fridge, old eggs you forgot in the back corner, and the questionable chicken from you can’t even remember how many dinners ago can’t be saved.

But ad creatives that once crushed and have since become stale? These can absolutely be saved.

If you’ve got some content, maybe product-centric videos that could use a personal element or killer Black Friday content that you wish was evergreen, it’s time to give it a facelift!

🤳 You can fix those problems and more using Creator Generated Content (CGC). Here’s what the Pilothouse Studios team suggests:

1️⃣ Use the green-screen effect

The Green Screen Effect is one of TikTok’s most popular filters. It allows content creators to add images (or videos) in the background of their content while they speak to the camera.

Here’s how it can help refresh your creative:

A product-centric video strategically plays in the background while the content creator uses the Green Screen Effect to offer viewers an engaging and authentic perspective.

Hot tip: Extract the creator’s voice-over and reuse it as the audio for another video in your inventory next.

Data: The Pilothouse Studios team tested this format and found that women selling products directly to women is more effective than women selling products to women buying for their significant other. Why? The more specific your angle is, the smaller audience subset your message will be relatable to!

2️⃣ Angle swap

Black Friday Sale CGC is crucial… but what do you do with it afterward?!

Use the body of the video where the creator is sharing product benefits and testimonials, but pair it with a new, ever-green introduction that doesn’t mention your sale.

If you’re looking for holiday-specific content, add a hook specific to the occasion and include any relevant holiday promotions!

Hot tip: The next time you’re sourcing CGC for a sale, plan ahead and request two intros and CTAs from your creator.

🧠 Bonus thoughts:

Reaction videos are a powerful tool that can refresh almost any past creative! Have a creator react to one of your brand’s previously filmed CGC videos or ads — just make sure they are authentic and expressive!

💡Hook ideas for your Next Reaction Video:

  • “This is the video that convinced me to try ___”
  • “I cannot believe the results this lady had by using ____”
  • “So many people are talking about this video. Today I’m having a look…”

Pilothouse Studios wants to know if CGC is part of your marketing roadmap and what CGC hacks work best for your brand. Reply to this email and let us know!

Quick Hits

😕 Shopify tracking and Google analytics not matching? Inaccurate data reporting is a headache. Littledata's guide on the issues (and solutions) of Shopify tracking can help unravel this mystery. *

🤑 Are you looking for an extra $15 to $100? Do you have 10mins? Join Wynter's research panel to give feedback on B2B market studies. Talk about a win-win! *

🐥 Twitter ‘2.0’ roadmap outlined in a slide deck.

📺 YouTube’s updated monetization.

🏆 TikTok awards the best ads in Europe.

🍎 Apple tells suppliers to plan for a manufacturing shift.

🎓 CAP University is taking on new students.


🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

😴 Plufl, Yuki Kinoshita: Seven Figures TikToking Dog Beds For Humans.

💰 Wealthsimple, Harry Hothi - Marketing Wealth-Tech in a Downturn.

🐶 Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream: Jason Kutasi - Performance Marketing Children’s Books (To 8 Figures).

🪄 MagicLinks, Aleks Chojnacka: Influencer Marketing State of the Union (Plus the future of Live Shopping)

👻 Every Man Jack, Troy Petrunoff - Spooky Retention, Segmenting Gift Buyers, and BOOGO Gamified Sales.

💡 Listen to the Biggest Marketing News Stories Today.

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Juliana Casale, and Michael Venditti. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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