DTC 3: 📈 Grow w/ chatbots
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

2020 just keeps getting weirder. Queue the alien invasion 👾😅

As UFO sightings spike during Covid times, and more media, military, and government sources are acknowledging the reality of UFOs sharing our skies, we’re excited to see what’s next. 

While we don’t have anti-gravitic technology that defies modern physics, we do have some high tech insights into the evolution of ChatBots and how to best use them in 2020. 

We like to think that the marketing insights in this 3rd edition of DTC would impress even the most jaded grey 👽

In the direct to consumer universe, we are definitely not alone -- Over 1500 DTC badasses have subscribed since our launch last week.

Today we’re covering:

📦The Second Invasion of the Chatbots: How to Maximally Leverage Chat in 2020

📦One Chatbot Strategy you Should Steal TODAY for Q4

📦3 Insights from the Most Useful Free Chatbot Resource

📦Gorgias Rolls Out Shark Tank for DTC Founders (apply free now)

📦Acquiring Affiliate Content Sites and Mastering Google Shopping

📦Facebook Sneaking Up on Zoom to Reclaim Meeting Supremacy

📦One Simple Amazon Hack to Maximize your Real Estate

Come for the advanced marketing insights, but read to the end for the wildest thing a Canadian politician has ever said about Alien life on earth (in a government hearing). 

Ready to get Beamed the F*&^ Up? Read on, and let’s boldly go where few marketers have gone before. 🛸.

P.S. Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe right here.

Why might DTC brands want to focus on messenger marketing? Here’s the data.

In 2019, Mark Zuckerberg said, ‘the future is private’. And while he was hot on the heels of a privacy scandal 😅, we couldn’t agree more.

(Afterall, this newsletter exists to help your DTC marketing be leaner, faster, and more personal)

If you’re unsure whether investing in chatbots is worthwhile, check this out: 

  • 2.36 billion active users on Facebook every 👏 single 👏 day!
  • According to GlobalWebIndex, 63% of people say they’re most comfortable sharing and talking about content in messaging apps.
  • A survey conducted by Richard Edelman found that 81% of consumers say trust is an important factor in their buying decision, yet only 33.33% of consumers say they trust brands. What better way to build a trusting relationship than in private one-on-one conversations?
  • MobileMonkey research shows that messenger boasts an average open rate of 70-80% and clickthrough rate of 20% (compare this to email’s 5-10% open rates, and 1% clickthrough rates).
  • Here’s a tweet from Vladimer Botsvadze that really drives it home:

Takeaway: messaging platforms have 3.5 billion users -- and most marketers are totally ignoring these channels. Aka huge opportunity for you.

(Facebook could be announcing WhatsApp ads sometime this year)

Just getting started with Messenger Marketing? Here are the two leading tools to consider

Based on our research the two leaders are ManyChat and ChatFuel. But don’t spend more than 5 minutes researching which one is right for you (#NoOverThink).

If you want to see a comparison, go check out ThinkTuitive’s in-depth review and comparison here.

(Spoiler alert: they come out about even)

Our recommendation? Just pick one and go.

Inspiring Ad of The Week: 

Text Style Animations: NHL Announces New Team

We swear that not all Canadians love hockey (Eric does). But all marketers can learn something from this newly released Instagram ad about the new expansion team, The Seattle Kraken 🐙. 

It’s funny without being cheesy and really captures the excitement around the new season, and the new team on the block from every team’s unique personality perspective.

Bonus: This animated text style draws you in, and won’t trigger Facebook’s 20% text rule.

Messenger Growth Hacking

It’s time to think about Black Friday 👉 Steal this ChatBot growth strategy from Charley Tichenor (@Charleythedisruptor)

What it is, high-level: Run a huge-ass giveaway (Charley calls it a Million Dollar Giveaway). Could be a motorcycle, Tesla, or better yet, a whole lot of gift cards.

Most folks run a giveaway like this through email -- the chance to win is the lead-gen incentive, and the rest is carried out through email.

This strategy uses Facebook Live, a post-engagement ad campaign (for opt-ins), and chatbots (for nurturing). 

Charley’s results using this strategy

✅ 3-4x ROAS spending 5 figures per week

✅ Opt-ins for less than $0.10 (versus $1.25 for an email via landing page)

✅ Open rates around 80% 

Intrigued? Here’s how you do it (7 easy steps):

Step 1: Run a big giveaway promotion on Facebook live. Ask your audience to tag a friend for a chance to win prizes.

Step 2: Use the comment to opt-in growth tool that’s available via most industry-standard chatbots. It’s just like it sounds -- users comment on a post or an ad and a chatbot automation is triggered.

Step 3: Use your Facebook live video and run a post-engagement campaign with it.

Step 4: Now that you’ve built up momentum with this giveaway, engage your list on Messenger one day before Black Friday letting them know about your Black Friday promotion.

At this point, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you about ⚠ Facebook’s 24+1 Rule ⚠: In the first 24 hours of a user opting in to messaging, you can send as much promotional or non-promotional stuff as you want. After 24 hours are up, you can send as much non-promotional stuff as you want, and one promotional follow up. This is the 24+1 Rule.

Want to hack this rule? Try this same strategy in collaboration with influencers.

Now bring the heat with more traditional tactics...

Step 5: Depending on how long you’ve been priming your list for this promotion, you’ve likely already made a ton of sales. On Black Friday, go ahead and email your list (as much as you want, of course)

Step 6: Run a retargeting campaign to engagers (be sure to exclude purchasers).

Step 7: Extend this promotion from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, to Cyber Week.

Hidden advantages of this strategy:

  • Offsets your ad / media spend → Think about it, if you’re about to run a campaign, you’ll usually go straight to ads and email, right? When you’ve built a substantial list via messenger, you can run promotions to that list for a fraction of the cost. Charley’s actually achieved campaign goals using chatbot marketing alone, and was able to avoid ad spend altogether!
  • This strategy is self-liquidating → Charley says many of the giveaways are $10 gift cards for customers to spend at least $70. This significantly increases average order value, absorbs ad costs, and can even generate profit from customer acquisition.
  • Easier Opt-Ins → FB Messenger enables you to get a prospect’s personal ID in 1 click. The low barrier to entry makes it easier to get their info AND makes it easier for Facebook to optimize your campaign’s performance. Win win 🙌.
  • Grow your retargeting audience → People may opt-in and not buy, but that’s okay because you get to not only send messages to them, you can also retarget them 😈

Don’t want to do this by yourself? Share this strategy with your media buying team.

Best Facebook Group to keep learning about chatbots: ManyChat FB Group

We asked around for the best chatbot resources and the unanimous winner was the ManyChat Community FB group.

Sage advice! Here are 3 insights we pulled from the group (within 5 minutes):

You can use chatbots to improve your SMS game

A video outlining a use case for ManyChat’s user input for SMS feature reveals that 90% of SMS messages are opened within 5 minutes of receipt. Eat your heart out, email.

Folks tend to overcomplicate their chatbot customer journeys

Members of the group suggest avoiding the temptation to create complicated flows and to keep it simple. If your customer journey starts to look like a crazy spider web, consider breaking it up so that you have blocks of simple and linear paths.

Crazy networking tool: Combine QR codes with chatbots 

While not specific to DTC brands, everyone can benefit from some networking magic. Check out this unique business card bot flow for yourself.

Want more? Join the ManyChat community.


Apply to Gorgias Shark Tank Style Show -- Get Matched with Investors

Our partners over at Gorgias are putting a "Shark Tank"-like show together for eCommerce brands to help scale their businesses, and they’re looking for fast-growing companies to participate. 

Brands will have a chance to pitch their company to investors, and will be questioned based on their pitch. 


It's called Vested Interest, and you can apply here. Participating brands will be chosen based how well their investment profile matches with the ones from the investors looking to invest. If you are currently looking to raise capital, then you’re a good candidate to apply! 

Being on the show gives you an opportunity to:

  • Get advice and feedback directly from seasoned investors
  • Obtain a second conversation in private with any or all of the investors
  • Market your brand to viewers of the show
  • Win 3 months free in credit to Gorgias
  • Perks from Top Partners of Gorgias


If you’d like to tune in to view the first episode on August 6th at 1:30pm EST, please register here. 


If you have any questions about the application, please reach out to Gorgias Partner Manager for Private Equity and Venture Capital firms, Rohan Kapoor at rohan@gorgias.com. If selected to participate, you can expect him to reach out with more details. 

Does Facebook want to take out Zoom? A new (less scary) way to go live on Facebook 📺

Now that Facebook has their conference call game dialed with Messenger Rooms, they’ve unveiled the ability to take Messenger Rooms LIVE

(Previously this was only possible through third party applications such as Zoom)

Why this is awesome: Remember Charley’s chatbot strategy above? Consider what’s possible with a live staff party announcing a million-dollar giveaway via a live Messenger Room 💡

Facebook’s algorithms will reward you for keeping the action on their platform. Live Messenger Rooms is a way you can promote conversations on the FB platform, and you’ll bring home more bacon, as a result 🥓.

Slack Comic Strip

Slack is critical infrastructure for any DTC company. You can tell the health of an agency by the frequency, and depth of their conversations. 

That being said, with Slack Culture you need to balance critical business communication with straight up trolling. 

We love Josh Elizetxe. He’s a friend and a client, but he’s also a high profile public figure in our space, which means he’s fair game for Slack tomfoolery.

Did someone say TEETH? 🦷😁

How to get the Food & Beverage industry on the DTC train

We’ve talked to a few high profile food and beverage founders and not all of them are enamoured with DTC marketing. Manny Lubin, Co-founder of Slate Milk states

“The food/bev industry really doesn't believe in it yet. Even the Chairman of my board who was at Unilever for a while said he 'never really thought it mattered until he joined Slate’ '’

At scale, Manny sees an 80/20 mix for retail/dtc but as the marketing founder in a duo, he’s not afraid to push the DTC agenda. He thinks improvements to warehousing could open the doors for more DTC Food and Beverage companies.

“With the weight of beverages we're also starting to see micro-warehouses pop up in major cities. Long term, I think that's the solution. Tons of mini warehouses all over the country and brands like GrubHub and Postmates leasing out their drivers.”

We believe in you Manny! Keep grinding on DTC and as we discussed in the cast, you NEED to turn your Shark Tank Experience into GOLD.

(Looking for your Own Shark Tank experience? Join Gorgias’ Vested Interest and Get Matched Up with Funding) 

Manny Lubin’s Full Interview about DTC for Food and Beverage is here

Things We Loved This Week ❤️

🐦 Tweet: @andrewjfaris wins the week with a great thread about great expectations, falling short, the weakness of projections, and finding silver linings 

📸Instagram: [Design Style] Give any video subject superpowers with this guy’s style. We love this Dragon Ball Z style animation

🎙Podcast:  My First Million (yes again) Craig Clemmens from Golden Hippo Lays out the 10 things he learned spending a billion dollars. 

🛠Resources: Check out MarketingExamples.com for high quality inspiration (you can rip off) for things like upsell funnels, giveaway contests, referrals, cold emails and more. 

🐦 Tweet: @allenthird shares some dubious results driven by a legacy agency and asks “is 1.15 ROAS on $18K spend worth this $30K agency fee.” The always brilliant @social_savannah chimes in “this reveals the biggest problem with "big" agencies. They have too much overhead to be able to charge competitive/fair rates.”

🧵FB Thread: Friend of DTC, Josh Elizetxe invites all to share “Shopify Apps You Can’t Live Without.” The answers might surprise you!

✏️Article: Wouldn’t be a DTC without a reference to Jobs To Be Done. This blog post from JustinJackson.ca is awesome, filled with exact examples of how to talk to your customers. Never forget:  “People want their lives to be better. They have a vision of where they want to go. But there are obstacles in their path. Customers hire products to help them move forward; to make progress towards their vision of a better life.”

🐦 Tweet: The legend @RyanDeiss description of customers’ post-covid buying habits “Graze and Hoard” Customers are buying more lower priced items, as well as more higher priced items, but mid-tier items have fallen off a cliff. 

📺TV Show: Have you watched Alone? This shit is nuts. 10 people get sent into wilderness, ALONE, with a couple items of their choice and cameras to film. Last one to be rescued wins. But they don’t know when others are dropping out. Watch them all on Daily Motion.

👽Aliens Still here? Did you know Canada’s former Minister of Defense went on the record about Aliens in 2013? 

🇨🇦🙊Canadians don’t lie, keep your eyes on the sky! 

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