DTC 112: 📦 Fuel your UGC
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December is here… You already know what we’re bumpin’ over at DTC. 🎄

ALSO – if you couldn’t tell, the DTC brand got a makeover. 😎

After you’re done reading, reply to this email letting us know your thoughts on the new brand. Thank you!

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Omega Walk, Aether Diamonds, Wandering Bear, OffCourt, and Jones Road Beauty. 💄

In this newsletter you’ll find: 👇

📸 How to collect UGC.

🤑 Adding tips to your ecommerce site.

❄️ How Josh Elizetxe would build Snow Oral Care if he was starting today.

💻 The anatomy of a pre-sell page.

👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe so you never miss out. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


How to collect killer user generated content

When you think of brands like Gymshark and their fitness fandom, or Kylie Cosmetics and their beauty community, one thing holds true – the most successful brands build communities fueled by user-generated content (UGC).

User-generated content gives brands authentic credibility with consumers.

"We found that using UGC content has drastically cut down our CPCs and increased our CTRs at all stages of the funnel.  

In this current marketing climate, you need to cut costs where you can. And that starts with creating ads that are going to resonate more with your potential customer."

-Ash Melwani, CMO at Obvi, a health and beauty company.

12 ways to collect UGC

1. Create a branded hashtag

Inkbox uses #tattoosfornow, which customers quickly adopted to use themselves.

When you search for this on Instagram, you can see thousands of photos from Inkbox customers.

If customers tag Inkbox on these posts, Inkbox sometimes features them on their homepage or their own social channels.

As you can see, there are tons of varying styles of photos that Inkbox can pull from, and other customers get a clear idea of how Inkbox looks from real people.

2. Run an Instagram or TikTok contest:

Post organically, but don’t be afraid to run a contest on your social channels as well.

Contests can easily be used to mine great UGC content, and they provide a straightforward incentive.

One example is Xendurance, which did a $1,000 weekly giveaway around their XND In Motion and received submissions via Video Ask.

3. Always credit people for their UGC

If you reshare posts on Instagram, tag the original owner of the picture. Giving credit builds trust with other customers, especially influencers (micro and macro).

It builds excitement for people to share pictures of your products, and influencer-level customers will be more likely to organically promote your products if you properly credit them.

4. Show off other UGC in your post-purchase email flow

Send a post-purchase email thanking the customer for their order. In it, ask them to share UGC on social media and tag your business or use your hashtag.

You can also ask them to simply respond to your email or send them a link to upload content directly.

For example, regular purchasers of Three Ships get sent a post-purchase email about "joining the fleet."

In this email, customers can scroll down to see tons of UGC and hear about the benefits of becoming more involved in the Three Ships community.

The commission and perks for joining help encourage more UGC.

5. Send free products to micro-influencers

Here’s a great lesson from Kristen Jones, the director of marketing at Suit Shop: She spotted an Instagram influencer with a mission of making menswear more accessible to the average person.

Kristen reached out, offered to fit him, and he was so impressed with Suit Shop’s off-the-rack suiting that he made a video about five ways to wear a three-piece suit.

"He continues to wear our suit in his live streams, for photoshoots, and even recently used our suit to create some Halloween content as a Squid Game character," said Kristen.

Note: Don’t ask them outright to post sponsored content, but if you pick relevant influencers and offer them to try a free sample of your product based on a post they share, they may share it organically on their own.

"We run his video in ads from our brand as well as whitelisting from his account. We love working with him and are so happy to have found this partnership just through a simple DM!" Kristen shared.

The UGC fun doesn’t end here, look out for part 2 in Saturday’s newsletter! 🎉


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 is.

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.


🎧 On the pod this week, we brushed up with Josh Elizetxe, DTC icon and CEO of SNOW Oral Care.

SNOW delivers professional-level results at home with award-winning, best-in-class oral cosmetic products, including teeth whitening strips and systems.

Just like your pearly whites after using SNOW’s products. 😀 This episode shines with brilliant insights on everything from holiday strategies, novel customer acquisition methods, and thriving after iOS 14.

(Plus, you’ll get a priceless, detailed breakdown of EVERYTHING Josh would do differently if he were to recreate SNOW today. 🤯)

The Takeaways: 👇

🎁 AOV, Gifting, and Bundles for the Holidays:

Since subscriptions are technically difficult to "gift," SNOW is strategically changing tactics for the holidays.

Instead of pushing subs, they’ll be:

  • Focusing on messaging around gifting.
  • Running giveaways and doorbusters to increase excitement and engagement.
  • Foregoing sitewide discounts, and targeting higher AOV with bundles and upsells.

If you’re a subscription-focused brand, consider switching tactics this holiday season to focus on AOV and gift-friendly options! 🎀

The Magic of Try Before You Buy:

SNOW has seen huge success with running a "try before you buy" lead acquisition campaign using their most popular product, their whitening wand.

"It’s our best product. Why don’t we give it out for free? If it’s that good, they’ll come back for it."

And they clearly do. Of these customers, a whopping 70–80% return to make a purchase! 🚀

📱 How to Thrive in a Post-iOS 14.5 World:

"[The iOS update] affected us… But it also forced us to think about other things.

"It forced us to say, ‘wait a second, how do we pivot in terms of our strategy and not build on rented land where the landlord’s going to abuse us…’"

"In a post-iOS 14.5 world, the truth is you have to fill more holes in the bucket… you can’t just get away with turning the faucet on full blast."

A few ways that SNOW is fixing their personal "bucket holes" to become less reliant on Facebook include:

  • Focusing more on LTV.
  • Building out their CRM department.
  • Putting an emphasis on data analytics.
  • Paying more for highly skilled team members.

And a few more words of advice? 🤔

"It’s survival of the fittest. The prices went up. You either need to figure out a cheaper platform… Or, if you’re gonna compete on the Facebook marketplace, you need to increase AOV, do more upsells, offer subscriptions, increase your product selection… You need to sell more because the price for that click went up."

Well 👏 said. 👏

👉 Listen to the full pod here, and learn exactly what Josh would do differently if he were to rebuild SNOW today.


Video Case Study: Fiverr’s Performance-Driven TV Strategy Decreases CAC by 75%

📺 TV has always been an effective advertising channel and it can now be measured just like digital.

With digital ad costs rising, performance-focused brands like Fiverr are turning to television to reach new audiences at scale and drive customer acquisition.

In 2021, Fiverr scored big with a third-quarter Super Bowl commercial slot that allowed them to acquire customers at 75% less than their baseline CAC! 🏈

And while the creative was killer, Fiverr’s long-term success came down to a holistic TV strategy: Raising awareness during the big game, and driving conversions with weeks of additional high-reach linear and streaming retargeting placements.

"Retargeting was an important piece of this campaign. We had the ability to take that first Super Bowl impression, and then follow up with… additional Fiverr ads to bring [viewers] down the purchase funnel," says Matt Clunan, Director of Brand Marketing at Fiverr.

"Working with Tatari helped us be efficient, and optimize as much as possible post-Super Bowl."

👉 Watch the full case study to discover tactics you can apply to your own linear and streaming TV strategy in 2022.


Lately, we’ve seen brands adding tip jars to their website during check out.

Check out the example below from "Our Pet Card."

We’ve also seen DTC cereal brand Schoolyard Snacks include this feature in their checkout.

Has your brand tested this before? Reply to this email and let us know! :)


7 quick steps to writing effective long-form copy in pre-sell pages and advertorials

Every copywriter has a favorite long-form copy formula or ‘blueprint’ they use to knock out a page.

Here’s a brief look at one formula that’s been tried, tested, and proven to work.

1. Grab their attention with a big promise. A benefit-driven headline that tells prospects specifically what you are going to help them with.

Testing shows that a great headline message should be urgent, ultra-specific, unique, and user-friendly.

The more of these four "U" concepts you include, the better – use all four, and you’ll have a guaranteed winner.

2. Back up your big promise headline with more detail (sub-headline).

You want your opening statement to elaborate on the promise you made in the headline.

You could even use a raving user testimonial that backs up your promise.

3. Identify the problem – your prospect needs to know that you understand the problem he/she has, how it's affecting their lives, and the pain they feel as a result of it.

If you don’t connect with them, they’ll bounce in search of a brand that does.

Stories are KEY here. :)

4. Provide your solution – and prove that it’s the best option.

This is where you introduce the solution (your product or service) and explain why it is the best option for them.

Sell them on the USP, and all the benefits that set it apart from competitors.

5. Explain ease of use – your prospect is busy. They’re looking for a solution that makes their life easier in some tangible way.

Explain how your product is easy to use. For example, "A simple copy hack that could increase CTAs by as much as 51%."

6. Prove that you’re the expert (credibility) – people need to feel confident about their buying decision. Display real proof that positions you as an expert and builds social cred.

Hello UGC!

7. Detail the benefits – people like cool features, but we’re emotional, too, so lean into that.

When you’re writing, lean on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to help determine the real reason they’re buying, and leverage it.

If your pages aren’t converting, reach out to the Pilothouse team – they’ll get you that $$$.


📹 Instagram launches live test of longer videos in stories.

🔥 Hims & Hers taps Uber to deliver personal care, sexual wellness products.

✍️ TikTok has a new ‘Business Registration’ feature.

🤑 Twitter launches initial test of live-stream shopping broadcasts.

🌏 How DTC brands are investing more into logistics.

👍 Google: A mix of positive and negative reviews is more trustworthy.

🎞 Spotify tests a TikTok-like vertical video feed in its app.


❄️ How Josh Elizetxe Would Build Snow Oral Care if He Was Starting Today.

⚡️ Real Talk On The Supply Chain Crunch, Word's Best Checkout Experience, and the Future of NFTs with Bolt’s Ian Leslie.

👟 Vessi’s CEO Tony Yu’s Q4 Lead Generation Brilliance (40K+ New Leads in 24 Hours With THIS Contest Strategy).

🤵‍♂️ 3x to 10x ROAS and Managing Your Customer Lifecycle with Suit Shop's Kristen Jones.

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

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

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