📦 Creative Fatigue Who?
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A nap, a good cup of coffee, and a tall glass of water. Three steps to combat the tiredness 💤

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Neubria, Flooret, Simpler Hair Color, Poseidon Equine, and The WOD Life. 💪

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Growing 20-30% month over month with stem cell skincare brand CLEARSTEM

📦 The subs market is projected to hit $478 billion by 2025 – jump aboard with Ordergroove

📦 What does Apple’s new ‘pay-later’ strategy mean for your brand?

📦 The UGC tools you need to boost conversions with Minisocial

📦 How to create fresh, intentional, data-driven creative

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe , so you never miss out.


🎧 In the latest DTC pod episode, we got more than skin deep with Danielle Gronich "The Acne Guru" and Kayleigh Christina, founders of CLEARSTEM Skincare.

CLEARSTEM is a next-generation anti-aging and anti-acne skincare line that utilizes the power of stem cells with no hormone disruptors or toxins. This fast-growing brand has also won multiple beauty awards and been featured in Forbes, Poosh, Entrepreneur, Buzzfeed, The Zoe Report, Refinery 29, and more.

In this podcast, you’ll learn why doing things that don’t scale in the beginning can make you more successful later and the power of podcast appearances for building a cult following.

‍The Takeaways 👇

📈 Education: start scrappy, then scale:

Since the beginning, Danielle and Kayleigh have focused on growing the brand with free value.

Even their original influencer strategy was focused on education, offering one-on-one skincare advice and free products–without asking for anything in return.

“We truly just exchanged value for products. Those early-day influencers [have] ended up being our biggest ambassadors now.

But as they’ve grown, they’ve had to scale past one-on-one efforts. Here’s what they do now to continue to offer free value:

  • Purely educational email flows
  • IG Lives where customers can ask questions
  • Free masterclasses/webinars on a topic, end with a Q&A

They’ve also built an educational course, called Ditch Your Acne, that they often use as a cross-sell, upsell, discounted offer, or even as a free gift (no overhead! 👌).

“I would highly suggest to any brand out there that has education around your product…build some type of a course.”

🎙️ Building a cult following with podcasts:

Podcast appearances have become a major part of their marketing strategy.

“We would see a massive increase in sales every time we were on a podcast.”

Makes sense. It’s a platform where they can share their story, educate, and provide immediate value to listeners – which has helped them grow quite the cult following.

💡 Danielle and Kayleigh also dropped one gold nugget of podcasting advice you should know about:

Running ads on a podcast that you haven’t been interviewed on might be a waste of money.

Podcast ads are notoriously tricky and take time and money before they pay off (if they ever do). When you run your ads on a show you’ve been on, the audience is more familiar with your brand and thus, the ads are often much more successful.

Solid advice!

💰 What Danielle & Kayleigh would do with an extra $50K:

They would devote the $ to booking two major “perfect fit” podcasts, as well as scaling Pinterest and TikTok.

Aaaaand they might also spend some of it figuring out how to party with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

👉 Listen to the full episode with this dynamic co-founder duo of CLEARSTEM here !

PS: CLEARSTEAM is looking for a Head of Growth, as well as a role for Projections/Supply Chain. If you think you’re a good fit, shoot them an email at hello@clearsteamskincare.com!


🎵 What a sub wants, what a sub needs… 🎵

Shopper demand for subscriptions is at an all-time high – and growing.

Just under one out of two consumers subscribe to at least one product, and that number could explode in just a few years. The subs market is projected to hit $478 billion by 2025. 🚀

Now that's a ride you don’t wanna miss out on.

Whether you have a successful subscription program already or are just getting started, we’ve got the definitive resource that's sure to help.

In this latest consumer report, you’ll get an inside look into what makes subscribers tick:

  • How age and gender impact subscription behaviour
  • What products consumers are most likely to subscribe to
  • What drives subscriptions: discounts, convenience, or something else?

…plus four actionable strategies you can implement today to get more subscribers AND make sure they stick around.

(Bonus: it'll only take a few minutes to read.)

👉 Learn what your subscribers really want, and how to give it to them.


Prep For The Dark Days

Being a part of the DTC Team means that we're given access to some top-secret strategies from the depths of Slack groups belonging to one of the most creative and successful marketing agencies in Canada.

So to say we have some JUICY knowledge is an understatement… We got a creative strategy coming in hot from one of our personal favorite Slack groups, Pilothouse Content Management, that will help your brand find winning creatives for the slower months.

🧃The squeeze🧃

Pilothouse hit a stride on an account – let's call the brand Tepco. Their performance was unmatched and resembled a prime Barcelona circa 2009 (niche reference, but we swear it's worth a Google).

Tepco riding the wave of success was just not enough… As Barca fans know, everything comes to an inevitable slump. Knowing that the slump is unavoidable, Pilothouse took its recent success on Tepco as an opportunity to prepare for the slower, less creative times.

The preparation consisted of gathered learnings and a strong data foundation from incremental testing that they felt confident and comfortable relying on when the going got tough.

🧱How Pilothouse found the foundation

Knowing that Tepco was about to be primed for some solid scale and spend – Pilothouse prepped for much bigger pushes. But then Tepco confessed that they were concerned about the projections for June (client transparency is important, folks).

Historically, June has been the second-worst month for consumption. So Pilothouse set out to optimize higher spend/increased traffic period rather than just maximizing spend to avoid a future creative slump in a month that already isn’t projecting well.

📝 Side note:

For some context, when Pilothouse is approaching optimization vs. maximization, they look at it like running a marathon:

  • Slowly but strategically letting bursts of energy go = optimization


  • Givin' er all you got for a short period of time = maximization

In the face of a crappier month, the content team wanted to crank out sure winners – by optimizing high-quality ideas/concepts for Tepco, all while they still could TEST content for upcoming June.

When your brand has success, mine the data points! Mining and collecting data from successful campaigns ensures you have the tools you need to replicate in the slower months. This means noting and saving your top performing creatives!

Give your team the time to create new FRESH, INTENTIONAL, and DATA DRIVEN creatives while having a strong base of winners to rely on during the slow summer blues.

Summer should be a time of sunshine and smiles, not creative fatigue and sadness. If your brand needs a hand with some creative strategy, don't be shy and reach out to our friends at Pilothouse!


The UGC tool that successful brands have been using to boost conversions

Is your ad strategy in need of User Generated Content that actually converts?

If so, you gotta try out minisocial 👋

minisocial works with leading brands like Imperfect Foods, KRAVE Jerky, Care/Of, and Native to produce high-quality UGC while activating dozens of micro-influencer posts on TikTok or Instagram.

Why do brands love working with minisocial?

  1. All the content from their campaigns is fully licensed right out of the box.
  2. Campaigns are fully managed and designed to take 10 minutes or less to spin up.
  3. Activations on Instagram or TikTok match or beat traditional influencer activations in terms of reach and engagement.
  4. minisocial is accessibly priced, starting at just $1.7k, thanks to your DTC discount 😉

👉 Click here to access UGC that can turn content into conversions.


🍏 Apple Pay Later 🍏

Not sure if you've heard of this lil tech boutique based out of Cupertino, California, called Apple Inc.

Recently at their World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) Apple revealed a new service that lets consumers pay for Apple Pay purchases in installments over time. Apple Pay looks to rival the "buy now, pay later" industry, and take out companies including Paypal, Klarna, and Affirm.

Getting your customers to hit that "buy" button is your ultimate goal as an online retailer. But it's much easier said than done (especially in today's economy), and consumers may hesitate to part with their hard-earned cash and think twice before racking up their credit card bill.

Apple Pay Later gives consumers the option to pay for high ticket items over a longer period, making those larger purchases much more achievable and approachable.

⚙️ How it works

No need to jump through hoops. Apple’s got everything in-house. Users who want to use the Apple Pay Later service will be approved through an iPhone Wallet app. Then, they can connect a credit card and make payments for both online and in-store purchases.

When an Apple Pay user makes a purchase using their mobile, they’ll be given the option to pay through four interest-free payments made every two weeks "Apple Pay in 4", or a few months with interest "Apple Pay Monthly Installments".

🕰 What does this mean for the future?

We're sure "buy now, pay later" is a phrase that all marketing and advertisers are familiar with—brands have been using this option at the bottom of the funnel for a while now.

Companies like Klarna have been implementing this with micro-credit checks (that essentially approve most) to split up price tags into payments and have seen massive benefits in long-term payment plans.

From the eyes of an advertiser, buying now and paying later can be an interesting approach to a product purchase. But you're now targeting Apple-specific users. If your audience doesn't have Apple Pay, then your brand is just wasting ad spend.

So take the possible Apple Pay release as an over-encompassing message: this is the dawn of something much bigger in the future.

This recent release opens up other opportunities for you to offer a very similar option like Apple Pay and proves that your brand needs to be ready for a world of people spending on borrowed credit.

Please reply to this email and let us know what tech you see being pivotal in the future of product consumption!


🚨 Brands like JBL, UGG, and Ghostbed eliminated buyer hesitation and increased their conversion rate by 7% by adding THIS to their checkout page! *

🌕 Last Chance to RSVP: Full Moon Party in NYC on 6/16. Enjoy Skyline Views, DJ, Tarot Readings, On-Site Makeovers, Gifts & More. Marketers Only - Request to Attend. *

📸 Adobe releases open source toolkit to counter visual misinformation.

🛍 Walmart looks for sellers to join new third-party online marketplace.

🛠 Meta launches new assistance tools for LGBTQ+ small owned businesses.

💰 Google extends requirements for ads relating to certain financial products and services.



🧴 Growing 20-30% Month Over Month with Stem Cell Skincare Brand CLEARSTEM.

🤑 Aviator Nation Drives Over $10 Million in Apparel Sales with their Tapcart App with Curtis Ulrich and Eric Netsch.

🦴 Greasy Affiliate SEO with Connor Meakin rom Bluebird Provisions Bone Broth.

🤖 Put Machine Learning and AI to work for your brand with Black Crow AI.

🛋 $50K to $21 Million: How Noa Home Scales Furniture Globally (and 4x ROAS Profitably).

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Jordan Gillis, and Kelsey Hess. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.


🚀 Advertise in DTC Newsletter.

💰Check out our course on Facebook and Instagram ads!

📥 Work for The DTC Newsletter: Send an email to Rebecca, rebecca@directtoconsumer.co, if you’re interested in writing for us!

Get Exclusive Digital Marketing Content From DTC

By signing up you agree to our terms of use