DTC 107: 📦 Customer listening to the max
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Saturday, November 13, 2021

A great example of why it’s crucial to actively interact and understand what your customers are wanting.

The Airbnb Co-founder:

Don’t fall so in love with your product/company that you forget to talk with the most important people… the customers.

In this newsletter you’ll find: 👇

🌅 Re-engaging your email list – sunset flows.

✅ SEO for Amazon listings.

🎨 Offer first creative.

DTC Scale School is in session. Keep reading to learn more. :)

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Your friendly neighborhood Amazon team is here to remind you not to sleep on SEO on your listings!

Amazon indexes every word in your title, bullet, backend search terms, and some say it even affects A + content.

How to ace SEO in critical parts of your listing: 👇

Number 1: Title

Crafting your title is arguably the most critical part of your listing, and it’s what shoppers will see first and what reels them into your product from the search results page.

You have about ~130 characters to accomplish your masterfully enticing title. You can go up to around ~200 characters, but it’s those first ~130 that will have the most significant impact on your shopper.

Incorporate your highest-value keywords and describe the principal selling features of your product.

Amazon’s best practice is to have your brand as the first word of your title. However, we recommend moving it back and pushing your highest-value keyword forward. In theory, Amazon will prioritize words further up in your title in your indexing and ranking.

Organize your title so that it’s easy to read using text separators. We prefer using a vertical bar (|) over (,) or (.).

Ex. Shampoo and Conditioner for Hair Growth | Thickening Anti Hair Loss Shampoo Treatment | Regrowth Shampoo & Conditioner for Dry Normal Oily & Color Treated Hair

Number 2: Bullet points  

🧍 STANDALONE | portray all the product’s features and don’t assume the shopper has seen any other product information.

📏 LONG BUT NOT COMPLEX | Fill the space given with relevant keywords without sacrificing readability, brand voice, or selling features/benefits.

🔁 REPEAT SOME KEYWORDS | We like to repeat some high-value keywords in the bullets and title – and then expand beyond them, using synonyms

📣 USE TITLES AND SEPARATORS | We like to use titles and separators to help categorize each bullet and push forward the main value propositions.

👮‍♀️ TO EMOJI OR NOT TO EMOJI? | Although against Amazon’s best practices, emojis spice up a listing and draw attention to the bullets.

^ In case you didn’t figure it out already, the above is how we like to organize our bullets. 😉

Number 3: A+ Content

Some research suggests that text in the A+ content will index in Amazon’s search engine (but it will look terrible, so don’t just use text, use images).

Once you have images in your A+ content, click edit on the photos, a field will appear that says ‘image keywords."

In that field, all the words you enter will index. Image keywords are a great place to put common misspellings and different languages as they aren’t customer-facing.

Number 4: Backend Search Terms

These are hidden keywords that only the sellers can see. They allow you to add more detailed search terms not included on your product page.

Every word, and every combination of words, you put in your backend keywords indexes for SEO.

For example, a backend search term field, done well, looks like this:

"dog treat puppy large food healthy big treat healthy…"

No separators between the words, only spaces – Amazon will index for all combinations of those.

So in this example – it would index for "dog," "dog treat," and even "healthy dog treats for large dogs."

Backend search terms are another prime location to include misspellings and different languages.

Number 6: Variations

You can combine a whole bunch of different products into one listing.

Check out this Poppi listing as an example:

Using variations will usually result in products "sharing" reviews, ranking and relevance, boosting traffic for lesser-searched products.

Showing the wide range of your offerings is a great upsell opportunity!

However, be thoughtful when combining products into variations, as only one product within that variation can display in search results.

In some cases it's a better strategy to leave listings separate to own more previous search real estate.

Thanks to the Pilothouse Amazon team for the tips!


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This is the final part of our series on re-engaging email subscribers.

If you’ve sent a re-engagement campaign and/or winback flow, and still have email subscribers that haven’t engaged with your brand…

It may be time to "let the sun go down" on these subs (cue the Elton John 🎵).

This is when Sunset Flows come into play: a last-ditch effort to re-engage – or phase out – customers who are no longer engaging with your brand.

So grab your picnic basket and bottle of wine. We’re going on a walk into the Sunset. 🌞

⏲️ When to send a Sunset Flow:

Unlike Winback Flows, the trigger for a Sunset Flow is purely based on engagement.

If a user hasn’t engaged1 with your emails for a period of time2, before you take them off your list, the best practice is to add them to a Sunset Flow.

  1. Remember: Email engagement post-iOS 15 = Clicks, not opens.
  2. The "period of time" to trigger a Sunset Flow can vary for each brand. 👇

Klaviyo recommends basing the trigger on how regularly you email your list. For example, if you send daily emails, 90 days of inactivity is a good indicator that someone is unengaged.

If you email more infrequently, such as monthly, consider a 120–180 day trigger.*

*Brownie Points: Send your Sunsets to the largest segment of unengaged subs 🥰  

Our Email Team at Pilothouse Agency suggests having your Sunset Flow fire on whichever unengaged segment  – 30, 60, 90, or 120 days – tends to have the most volume.  

In other words, if you have the ability to get granular with your data, focus your Sunset on where the bulk of your less-engaged audience lives.

This will allow you to get the most data, revenue, and retention from your efforts.

📓 The structure of a Sunset Flow:

Sunset Flows basically serve as a "breakup" or "goodbye" message to checked-out subscribers (ugh, depressing, we know 💔).

More tactically speaking, they allow you to:

  1. Give subscribers one final opportunity to stay on your list.
  2. Easily manage subscribers who still don’t engage (BUT don’t suppress them yet, we’ll explain why).

So you want your message to be crystal clear: If they don’t take action, they’ll no longer hear from you. 🔇

Here are some best practices from our Email Team at Pilothouse:

  • Limit to 1–2 emails: 3+ risk hurting deliverability even more.
  • Keep it simple and personal: Plain text emails from "real people" tend to work well.
  • CTA should promote engagement: "If you want to stay on the list, click here" or "What do you want more of? Respond and let us know" (the latter also improves deliverability).
  • Clear unsubscribe/manage preference links: Allow them to update their settings manually rather than be removed from your list.

Also, make sure to filter out anyone who engages with an email in the Sunset Flow. Once they’ve engaged, they should be automatically removed from the flow and put back into an engaged segment.


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💡 Sunset Flows IRL:

This Sunset email from Animoto is perfectly simple. If the user wants to stay on their list, they can update their email preferences to make sure they’re only getting relevant content. If not, they can unsubscribe.

The question is, what will happen if they do nothing? 🤔

Maybe adding a note that they’ll be taken off the list if they don’t respond would prompt better engagement.

😻 Besides the adorable kitten that’s sure to get your attention… Buzzfeed’s email reminds their subscribers of what they’ll get if they click the button to stay on the newsletter (recipes 2x/week).

And if no action is taken, it’s clear they’ll be removed from the list.

We’re also digging this creative Sunset email from Framebridge. On the user end, it’s clear and engaging, giving the subscriber details as to what will happen next.

It’s also smart from the brand’s perspective.

Allowing the user to self-select their response option ("stay," "go," "I don’t know") will give them more data to further segment this subscriber – as long as they’re using the data strategically!

😥 And if they still don’t engage… Segment, don’t suppress (yet)!

Now, this is where our thoughts may differ from other advice you’ve been given.

⚠️ The Email Team at Pilothouse Agency suggests further segmenting unengaged profiles into a "super unengaged" list, instead of immediately suppressing them.

"Just because these people haven’t engaged recently, doesn’t mean they won’t be viable customers for banger sales, Black Friday, or any other special one-time email blast" notes the team.

In other words, segment the unengaged subs from your Sunset Flow into a list that you ONLY email once every three months or so. This will still protect your list, but also give you the opportunity to win them back during an epic campaign.

However, if they STILL don’t engage after 12 months, then it’s probably time to say goodbye. 👋

Once a year – ideally in January after BFCM – consider going into full list clean mode. Officially suppress profiles that haven’t engaged in 12 months.

This will help maintain a healthy list, keep your sender reputation and email deliverability high, and ESP costs low.

That’s a wrap on re-engaging your email list!

Did you enjoy this three-part series? Was it helpful and informative?

Reply and let us know! Pleaseeee!


What we’re digging:

  1. Hits with offer first (very clear that you get 20% off).
  2. Within the first second to a second and a half they incorporate movement which makes it more engaging.
  3. It’s apparent that this is a sock brand, very clear what you’re getting 20% off of.

Areas to explore:

  1. It feels a bit repetitive. We were waiting for something new to happen after the 3-second mark.
  2. Maybe try and find a way to up the urgency somehow. For example "Limited edition holiday socks available now".


💎 Supreme x Tiffany & Co. gives both brands some shine.

🤑 Level Home acquires fellow smart home startup Dwelo, raises $100M.

🎅 Coke partners with Cameo to gift personalized videos from Santa.

📋 Microsoft and Meta partner to integrate Teams and Workplace enterprise collaboration tools.

💰 Medium snatches up Projector and beefs up management team.

🚨 New to subscriptions? Read Ordergroove’s Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce Subscriptions for a step-by-step guide on how to get started.*


🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🤵‍♂️ 3X to 10X ROAS and managing your customer lifecycle with Suit Shop's Kristen Jones.

🧲 Wildstorming the Beauty Space – Glamnetic's Head of Growth Margaret Fortner Returns!

♻️ Learn how Fussy Deodorant Lowers Blended CaC with Cofounder Matt Kennedy.

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

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Kelsey Hess, Sadie Evans, and Rebecca Knight.

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