DTC 101: 📦 Metaverse shmetaverse it’s Q4 in the real world! 🌎
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Facebook is reportedly planning to change it’s name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse…

Mark, can we just focus on fixing attribution, please.

In this newsletter you’ll find: 👇

🔥 Adapting your 1x1 Facebook and Instagram Ads.

🤯 10 ways to explode your AOV – Part 2.

🚀 Omnichannel Q4 checklist – Part 1.

✅ Using multiple UGC assets in video ads.

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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Creating Effective Ads for Stories

If you’re an agency or a brand owner, you should be adapting your 1x1 Facebook and Instagram Ads for 9x16 placements.

If you’re using automatic placements in Facebook ad campaigns and don’t provide story-specific creative, Facebook will take your 1x1 creative and put it in a story ad.

Facebook has taken measures to make this type of ad non-disruptive, like pulling copy and a color code to fill the ad space.

However, when people see 1x1 creative in a story-sized placement, they immediately register it as an ad and are likely to swipe past.

Take these two ads for example. One is a 1x1 ad converted to 9x16.

The other was created specifically for story format:

Feed VS. story ads offer different experiences. A feed ad is comparable to a billboard, whereas a story ad is a multidimensional interaction.

Different experiences require different creatives.

But don’t reinvent the wheel. Modify your existing 1x1 creatives to fit a 9x16 format.

Here’s an example of a 1x1 and 9x16 from Breda, using the same creative. Perfectly executed. 🚀

TIP: You’ll have extra room at the top and bottom when converting to a story size. Activate that extra space with gifs, additional copy, stickers, etc.


What’s 40 characters or less…

Yet powerful enough to make or break an entire email?

That’s right: The small but mighty subject line. 💪

After all, an unopened email makes your business exactly $0 – no matter how killer your copy.

But how do you craft a subject line that actually stands out in an increasingly crowded inbox? 🤔

There are seven proven subject line strategies that top DTC brands are using today… and our friends at Klaviyo are here to break 'em all down for you.

👉 Check out Klaviyo's guide to creating eye-catching email subject lines here.

Explode your AOV – Part 2

We’re back with Part 2 of upselling and cross-selling. Buckle in and join us for the ride. 👇

🚨 This week we’re diving into programs and partners to work with.

Partner up with relevant brands:

Not only is partnering with other brands a great way to get in front of a new audience, but you can also cross-sell each other’s products on your website or in marketing campaigns.

For example, Skinny Mixes has a complimentary products section on the customer’s cart page. This promotes various brands they’re partnered with that follow the same mission of healthy beverages and snacks.

Be strategic about the products you have partners promote for you, like bundles or upgraded versions of your products, to drive up your AOV.

Upsell customers into a personalized membership program:

If a membership program suits your brand well, then don’t forget about the opportunity to upsell customers into it.

Highlight it on your homepage, product pages, and in your post-purchase emails.

Rather than just a "subscribe and save," make the membership offer something really worthwhile.

Free shipping, free trial products, a birthday discount, access to sales first, brand merch, a community, and exclusive event invites are all good reasons for a customer to pay a yearly membership fee.

💌 Email & SMS strategies:

Cross-sell personalized products in your post-purchase emails:

Even after customers make a purchase, there’s still a chance to cross-sell complementary products.

Consider adding product blocks with personalized recommendations in the following emails:

  • Thank you emails.
  • Welcome emails (also with product education and info about your brand).
  • Transactional emails (Shipping notification and delivery updates).
  • A personalized note from the founder asking the customer for feedback on the product and recommending other products.

Here’s an example from Rigby, which includes a welcome discount, a note from the founder, and recommends product categories to look at. 👀

✅ Best practices for upselling and cross-selling:

Make sure what you’re offering is actually relevant: If a customer is buying a moisturizer, cross-selling another moisturizer isn’t going to be useful to them.

Instead, show them complementary products, like a cleanser and toner.

Take this one step further and actually recommend items based on their skin concerns. If their moisturizer is for oily skin, it’s safe to assume a cleanser for oily skin is a good choice too.

Segment your customers for your upsells/cross-sells: Then you can personalize your emails and website experience to promote the best options based on each customer’s needs.

Add social proof to make it more convincing: A lot of customers will ignore your extra recommendations, but if you can tie in social proof with ratings, testimonials, and even UGC, that will help your recommendations stand out.

Upsell and cross-sell in more places than one: The trick is to make sure you’re upselling and cross-selling in a variety of places to catch as much traffic as you can.

Add an offer customers can’t refuse—with urgency: It’s never good practice to run deep discounts too often, but if you offer customers a deal with the upsell/cross-sell, it’s more likely they’ll make the purchase.

Put a deadline to add urgency.

Test different offers with your customers to see what works best: What works for some brands won’t work for others.

Test different offers and recommendations to figure out what works best for your business.

Don’t overdo it: The goal isn’t to slap promotions and product recommendations everywhere the customer goes. Make sure you’re smart about where you’re placing recommendations.

Make the upsell price increase make sense: If you’re trying to convince customers to purchase an upgraded version of the product, it can be shocking if the price jumps from $50 to $250.

It’s unlikely someone will upsell that way, so make sure the price increases make sense.

Reply to this email if you want us to cover more upsell/cross-sell strategies!


Are coupon extensions like Honey and CapitalOne Shopping good for your eCommerce business?

DTC brand Caraway Home used coupon codes to track the performance of their diverse marketing channels, but their team quickly realized that coupon leakage was a big problem that needed to be addressed.

After spending countless hours over the course of their workweeks manually searching for coupon code leaks, they discovered CleanCART.

And the results were nothing short of impressive:

  • 5.6% increase in AOV
  • .13% increase in cart conversions
  • and a 1,567% return on investment

...all in the first 90 days! 🤯

CleanCART is helping DTC brands increase revenue, reduce affiliate commissions, and save hours per week by blocking those pesky coupon extensions.

👉 Try CleanCART today to reclaim control of your discount strategy and see BIG ROI, fast.


Check out these ads from Flow Alkaline Spring Water: 👇

While this may be a scroll stopper because of the bright colors, it’s difficult to know where to look.

The box blends in with the background and between the box, bottles, headline, background, and discount code it’s a bit overwhelming.

Let the data do the talking, but potentially try simplifying things.

This influencer mashup is a great use of multiple UGC assets.

The video maintains some branding recognition while utilizing the scrappy elements that make UGC killer. We highly suggest testing a similar style ad for your own brand.

Check out the entire video here and the rest of Flows ads. They’ve got a great mix of things.


Welcome to Part 1 of Q4 Omnichannel Planning. This series is truly the definition of All Killer No Filler.

Join us as we chat with Pilothouse powerhouses on their top tips to make this year the biggest Q4 of all time!

This week we’re hearing from creative and Facebook: 👇

🔥 Creative:

For creative, the proof is in the planning. Using a calendar, spend time plotting and understanding your promo schedule.

Understanding and visualizing your promo schedule gives you the opportunity to reverse engineer your content schedule.


Diversity: Remember that you’re fighting with brands pushing amazing deals. Your content has to have the potential to break the scroll and having a diverse library of content increases your chances.

Consider scrappy content: Viewers love content that provides value and is entertaining (think UGC). Performance is skewing to scrappier content, think outside the box!

Reuse creative assets: If you have tried and tested creative (backed up by historical data of course) reuse it. Bring old ideas back to life.

Create awareness: We all know shipping delays are the theme of 2021… get ahead of them. Make customers aware.

🔥 Facebook Tips:

Be flexible and pivot: Having an established content calendar means no surprises.

Knowing what needs to be built in advance for the buying and creative side provides flexibility later down the line.

Gifting: Create offers that are well-tailored to gifting.

Make it easy for people to understand why your product is a great gift, and test early. Gifting ramps up very quickly as the quarter goes on.

Increase prospect budget: Increasing your prospect budget creates an opportunity to retarget in your email audiences in the months to come.

Increasing ad costs: Don’t forget that ad costs and buyer intent go hand-in-hand. The closer we are to the holidays, the higher they’ll be!

This series is packed with tips, tricks, and planning advice from the Pilothouse team. Tune into part one of the series here!


💬 What do 6,000 consumers have to say about their online shopping experience? Check out Aircall’s latest report to find out.*

💰 Blackstone buys majority stake in Spanx, valuing it at $1.2B.

🤝 Spotify partners with Shopify to add merch to artists’ profiles.

☕️ Flash-frozen coffee company Cometeer raises $35M in Series B round.

🤑 ​​Shop Latinx Raises $1M in pre-seed funding.

🧑‍💻 With customers like Coinbase and Shopify, remote hiring startup Deel raises $425M at a $5.5B valuation.

* Sponsored

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🦷 Spotlight Oral Care Goes Viral on TikTok with Co-founder Dr. Lisa Creaven and VP Marketing Siobhan Nolan.

🧵 Cornering the $4.2B Quilting Market, with David Mifsud from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

🚽 Why Youtube is the Secret Behind this DTC Bidet Brand’s Success, with Thomas Lotrecchiano from Omigo.

👨‍🎓 Retention for Consumables, with Troy Petrunoff from Every Man Jack.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Tina Donati, and Rebecca Knight.

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