DTC 44: 📦 Master your ads dashboard
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

If you’ve ever looked at the iconic Easter marshmallow treat Peeps and thought, “man, I would just LOVE to drink that!” then Pepsi has the sugary collab of your dreams: 

How do you get your hands on this sweet monstrosity, that in a bizarre turn is not named Peepsi

Well, you had to participate in Pepsi’s sweepstakes by submitting socially-distanced springtime activities featuring Peeps marshmallow chicks and bunnies, tagging @Pepsi, and using the hashtag #HangingWithMyPeeps (hello cute UGC!). 

New to the DTC community? Welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Santevia, Iconic Protein, Vodafone, Peels, Clearly, L’Oreal, and Sleeman Breweries. 

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

In this edition of the DTC Newsletter, you’ll find:  

📦 The Pilothouse Senior Media Buyers’ guide to creating a powerhouse ads dashboard.

📦 Oddit is here to improve your website (for free!) with a quick-hit audit.

📦 Your reminder to get your Mother’s Day campaign up and running.

📦 Why Amazon reviews are copy gold.

📦 We talk data management with the team at Rumpl.

📦 Ad creative of the day.

Stick around to the end to find out why beauty and personal care brands are investing in their loyalty programs. 💅

How To Build An eCommerce Ads Dashboard: Key Metrics

Ever heard of Pearson’s Law? It states that "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates."

(In other words, reporting is Peter Drucker on steroids. 🦾)

And a central piece of performance reporting is having a universal dashboard that everyone on your team can efficiently access to get on the same page.

Pilothouse media buyer, Dustin “Dashboard Specialist” Dobravsky, shares some insights into what he includes in his dashboards and how he builds them.

Here are the basic metrics Dustin includes on all dashboards and a high-level view of how he looks at them:

  • CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions) 👉 Shows the supply and demand of an audience and how competitive it is. A high CPM is not necessarily a bad thing, as it can indicate a high-quality converting audience. Monitoring it in relation to audience size can signal saturation or, in relation to conversion rate, indicates audience quality.
  • Link Click CPC (Cost Per Click) 👉 CPC shows the relationship between CPM and Ad CTR. It’s a particularly important metric early on to find efficient CPCs to gather data without breaking the bank. Once conversions are coming in and ROAS is achieved, CPC doesn't really matter, as it’s all about the right blend of audience quality and conversion rate. For example, you can have high quality audiences AND high converters, which will yield a high CPC – but that’s okay, because it’s working.
  • Link CTR (Click Through Rate) 👉 Shows the efficiency of an ad in relation to the targeted audience. High CTRs indicate that the ad is relevant and well-matched to the targeted audience. As ads mature and get saturated, CTR decreases.
  • CPA 👉 Most important metric, as ads can have super cheap clicks with good CTR, but if they don’t convert within your funnel, there is a problem. Naturally, the FB algorithm allocates spend towards the best converting ads, however, cheap CPCs and high CTRs may alter that allocation of budget towards specific ads. So it’s very important to check which ads actually convert. 
  • Funnel CVR (Conversion rate) 👉 Very important metric to check full-funnel efficiency. Click bait aside, if you have cheap clicks and high CTRs, the ad is efficient. If the ad is efficient with low CVR, then the landing page is NOT efficient and needs to be improved or more user friendly. We want to see a 2%+ CVR for eCommerce landing pages.

Here are metrics specific to eCommerce dashboards:

“ECommerce dashboards are a bit more complicated,” Dustin says. “We have to account for delayed purchases, full-funnel optimizations, and where users may bounce off the ads or landing pages.” 

(Additionally, key metrics such as AOV and ROAS must be accounted for given the account’s goal.)

Here are all the columns we include in an eCommerce dashboard:

Here’s more detail about these metrics:

  • Same-Day Sales vs Total Sales 👉 Important differentiation to understand user behaviour. Is this purchase an impulse buy, or a multi-day decision? This helps us understand our customers’ journeys.
  • Same-Day CPA vs Total CPA vs CPA Difference 👉 Essential differentiation in metrics. CPA oftentimes is the most important metric within your account. A low CPA generally means a high ROAS, which translates to positive cashflow for your account. 
  • Same-Day ROAS vs Total ROAS 👉 Generally considered the most important metric: what return are you getting on your ad dollars? A high ROAS generally means a low CPA and good account health/efficiency. 
  • AOV 👉 The Average Order Value is an important metric to help optimize upsells and cross-sells. Are customers taking you up on your post-purchase offers, or is there more work to be done?

Remember how we mentioned we’d tell you HOW to build a dashboard? Dustin kindly did that for you. Access it and make a copy for yourself.

Website Audit

A few weeks back we published a website audit of Healthy Soda Brands Ollypop, Ugly, and Poppi. This was done in partnership with Oddit.co, a team of brand-building industry veterans who’ve productized high-value website audits for eCommerce brands. 

They’ve conducted over 50 “Quick Win” website audits for DTC Newsletter readers (for free), where they give one easy way to improve your website’s conversion rates. 

We asked Oddit to distill the top three most common Quick Wins they’ve seen from our readers’ DTC Brand websites. 

🔵 Get your free Quick Win from Oddit after you finish reading this week’s newsie.

Kan Kan: Lack of Information & Hierarchy on Product Cards

When displaying product cards, most sites assume their users have been there before (or at least that’s how their cards look). 

Remember: Tell users everything you can about your products to help convert sales 💰

Avec Drinks: Not Communicating Key Positioning on Homepage Header. 

When it comes to converting, great products and great design don’t always cut it. That’s why clear messaging is crucial.  

The homepage is likely the first touchpoint your brand has with a new customer. It’s a welcome sign – it must clearly communicate what you do and offer a CTA to purchase/convert. 

Dr. KellyAnn: Missing Opportunities to Upsell

Your shopping cart isn’t just a checkout tool, it’s a sales tool. When users have an empty cart, give them somewhere to go!

If you like what the Oddit team had to say, and want personalized insights to enhance your brand’s website, you can start your own Oddit today to get one free quick win to improve your UX instantly.  

Mother’s Day is only a month away. This is your friendly reminder to plan a treat for the moms in your life, and to get your Mother’s Day promotional campaign up and running. 

We asked our new head of DTC+ Raven Dixon about her tips for crushing your promotional Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) campaigns. Here are some quick-hits to keep in mind this Mother’s Day season:

  • Appeal to emotions – Alexa, play “So Emotional” by Whitney Houston. Employing copy that has an emotional angle will perform best for Mother’s Day.
  • Gift cards – Your product may not be something customers want to buy for their mothers, but that doesn’t mean they won’t buy a gift card! That way, shoppers can buy for their moms without selecting items on their behalf. 
  • A promotion is a promotion – Don’t look past the opportunity to appeal to folks buying for themselves. If someone is interested in your brand, they’ll be interested in your Mother’s Day promotional code. Similarly, if your product doesn’t feel like something a customer would buy for their Mother, don’t despair – mothers like shopping for themselves too! Ultimately, this is an excuse for a promotion – just find a way to frame it that works for your brand. 
  • Target parents – Raven has seen success on Father’s Day campaigns targeting women with young kids under the age of three. With children too young to buy Father’s Day gifts for their parents, it's often partners who buy gifts for their significant other. This could also work for empty nesters!
  • Be consistent – If you run a Mother’s Day campaign at the ad level but not on the landing-page level, you’ll lose the sense of urgency and customers could bounce off your page. Your ad should scream urgency, and that same messaging should continue onto the landing page. 
  • Align your testimonials – Make sure your testimonials match your copy! If you’re using testimonials for a Mother’s Day promotion, make sure the testimonial says “I bought this for my Mom.” If the ad copy is for a Mother’s Day promo, and the testimonial doesn’t mention that angle, the ad will be disjointed and ineffective. 
  • Match your promo code to the campaign – If you’re just running one promo code, it needs to match your promotion to increase your sense of urgency. If you’re running a promotion for Mother’s Day, your code can’t be “WELCOME10” – consumers are smarter than that and know they can use it any time. “MOTHERSDAY10” is far stronger and indicates a briefer window of availability for that code. 

Amazon Reviews = Copy Gold

If you’re ever experiencing a case of ‘copy block’ for your product, just head over to your Amazon reviews (or even a competitor’s Amazon reviews). Look for the one-star and five-star reviews.

  • The five-star reviews will have language that you can include in your ad copy. 
  • The one-star reviews will have objections – stuff people hate – that you can overcome with your ad copy.

Here are a couple of other ideas the Pilothouse team had for how you can use Amazon reviews to fuel your creative:

Looking to enhance your brand’s Amazon expertise? 

The Amazon team at Pilothouse has seen growth as high as 5.71x in Amazon sales and 4.86 growth in Ad Spend all while hitting a 3.60 ROAS. 

Get a peek behind the curtain and join DTC+ for a three-day FREE workshop covering the art (creative) and the science (ad buying) of profitably scaling brands on Amazon. 🔥

Grab a hot cup of cocoa and cozy up because this week's poddy features Wylie Robinson, CEO and founder of Rumpl Blankets, and his head of eComm, Shane Roach. 

Shane and Wylie sat down to talk about how Rumpl turned high-performance materials into usable works of art that have been a game-changer in the blanket space.

You can listen to the full pod here, or check out our takeaways below. 👇

📦 Look to your life for inspiration

Time and time again we hear founders talking about how their product ideation came from a real-life experience. Rumpl is no different.

Wylie and a friend were on a Ski trip in 2012 when they were forced to sleep overnight in their car. They crawled into their sleeping bags and waited for morning. Overnight, Wylie became really acquainted with the bag for the first time. He realized he felt very comfortable and safe, and actually enjoyed the texture of the performance materials more than his home blankets. A company was born!

Wylie and his partner realized that performance materials hadn’t yet been introduced to the blanket space, which focussed on cottons and natural fibers. A night in a cold car generated an idea that could disrupt an entire industry. 

📦 At the start, focus on one product 

Originally, Wylie's Co-Founder wanted to quickly expand outside of blankets into household products using the same performance technology. Wylie insisted they focus on blankets, instead of broadening their product offering. 

Expansion is key, but early on it's important to niche down.

Conquer one space before you move to others.

📦 Make your data easily accessible

Their head of eCommerce, Shane, quickly realized that Rumpl needed to make better use of their data.

All of Rumpl’s reporting was siloed in-platform within their many channels. Shane hired an analytics manager to pipe all the data into one place so the company could see the full story. 

Shane also focused on building lots of internal dashboards so that, at any second, team-members can glace at the data and understand the performance of a particular business segment. It is important to create a culture of checking the numbers, and an easy interface helps make that happen.

📦 Partner with artists

Rumpl collaborates with established and up-and-coming artists to create limited-edition prints. 

The artists get to showcase their work, and Rumpl leverages the artists’ fan bases to sell gorgeous gear. Win-win.

📦 Careful with SMS

Shane reiterated a point we’ve heard over and over on the pod: Don’t go overboard with SMS. 

People are far more protective of their text messages than their email. 

Focus on using SMS for high-value, loyal customers, where the connection is genuine and not spammy. If you go overboard with SMS you’ll make money up front, but likely lose customer respect in the long run.

📦 Don’t bash platform reporting too hard

When Shane took over eComm he did a deep dive into attribution. After building a custom attribution model, he realized that it aligned pretty well with platform reporting. 

Shane still advocates for taking a good look at your attribution, but he encourages you to not discount platform reporting completely. While it's not 100% the truth, it’s still directional, and can often be discounted at a certain rate to provide pretty accurate data.

📦 The Beer Blanket add-on 

Rumpl uses their beer blankets mainly as a giveaway item at tradeshows, events, etc., but they’ve also seen it makes for a great add-on. 

“Since we added the beer blanket, our UTP’s (unit per transaction) went up about 25%” 


📦 Rumpl’s 2021 growth strategies 

1) Expand into new sales channels 

  • Merchandising with the NFL and select NCAA teams. Hello tailgate blanket! 
  • Custom corporate logo blankets.

2) Focus on “in-home” products

  • Launching a wool blanket with an exclusive retailer. 🤫
  • Become customers’ go-to blanket while in bed or on the couch. 

📦 If Rumpl was granted 50K for marketing, what would they do with it? 

Shane and Wylie agreed they’d spend the money on in-person events and activations. These are HUGE for Rumpl, and ever since covid hit they’ve been extremely limited. 

Pre-covid, Rumpl gave away beer blankets as a novelty trade show item, and they were a hit. People wouldn’t stop talking about them and it generated an unreal brand experience that is now their go-to in person event swag, and also a high performing up-sell/gift with purchase item on their online storefront. Never forget that DTC and brick and mortar compliment each other!

In real life, experiences are a priority for Rumpl once restrictions loosen.  

That’s it for this week’s recap. If you want to hear more about the genesis of Rumpl, Shane’s marketing stack, and their growth plans for 2021 and beyond, listen to the full poddy here.

P.S. – use promo code “DTC” at checkout for a discount off your Rumpl blanket. 😎

Ad Creative of the Day

Why it works, according to Pilothouse media buyer Stu Mason. 

Scroll stopper: It’s bold, bright, eye-catching and takes a second to absorb.

Off the wall: The caption and graphic is funny, and obviously designed to be shared. This will help increase brand awareness

DTC Editor in Chief Eric Dyck says:

Alcohol companies form a scarce vertical that hardly ever shows its products in full use. Sure, you see people drinking, but you’ve never seen someone acting drunk (at all) in any beer ad. 

This is a rare alcohol ad that hints at the wilder side of intoxication in a fun way. 

😤 533 million Facebook users' phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online.

😎 Brands turn to loyalty programs to ease into a post-cookie world.

🚀 Snapchat launches new back-to-school resource center for marketers. 

💧 How coconut water brand Vita Coco turns social listening into TikTok fandom.

😅 Retail Dive: The omnichannel age is here – and it’s expensive. 

🚨 Spotify acquires Locker Room and announces plans for a new live audio experience.

📹 Pinterest launches first B2B ad campaign and an update to ad account management.

😱 Wowwwwww, Owen Wilson is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


✏️ Burger King CMO resigns.

📦 Amazon explored opening discount stores for home goods and electronics.

🥊 Easily create native video ads in your browser with TikTok Video Editor.

🤩 Working with DTC brands inspired former agency director to found a DTC skincare brand amid the pandemic.

🎧 Slack getting new audio features.

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