DTC 48: 📦 Crushing email pop-ups
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

This week Pilothouse reports that Facebook Ads’ CPMs seem to be up substantially. Not on all accounts, but increases seems to vary from 25% to 75%.

MacRumors has set the date for iOS14.5’s rollout to be this coming Monday, so it’s possible that these increases are tremors preceding the earthquake.

Here’s a live shot of our team checking CPMs yesterday morning (4/20).

If tremors are a problem, we know Snoop’s got the antidote, so inhale deeply and let’s jump into DTC #48 by welcoming new friends from Bayer, Thermos, Goldilocks Wraps, iRobot, Cheesies, The Good Kitchen, Billion Dollar Brows, S’well and Soko.

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

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

📦 Our top three tips for capturing conversions with your email pop-ups.

📦 A webinar covering the three secrets to selling your eCommerce store.

📦 Our convo with Trade Coffee, a subscription service hailed as "the Spotify of coffee."

📦 A day-by-day breakdown of performance on Facebook Ads.

📦 Why an accountability coach is your answer to consistently executing big goals.

📦 New updates on Amazon and what they mean for advertisers.

Stick around to the end for the DTC sunscreen updates you need in your life. 😎☀️


Our top three tips:👇  

1) Determine your offer

We see brands with offers like "Don’t miss out. Stay updated about our new products!" and it’s NOT effective.

Asking a visitor to "stay updated" when they’ve just landed on your site for the first time isn’t compelling.

Consider what your brand is willing to give. It could be:  

  • Free shipping.
  • A percentage or dollar amount off of purchase (10% off is standard).
  • Entry into a giveaway (this makes sense for brands with lower price point goods – they don’t have to sacrifice their margin for every person going through the pop-up).

The offer must appeal to customers so that they’re willing to exchange their contact information.

Use wording like "Unlock $100 off" or "Win a year of Free immi Ramen" for better conversion rates.

TIP: your offer should be the star of the show! Make sure it’s bolded in your popup creative. The example below is perfect. "$20 Off" is front and center.

2) Two-step Pop-ups

The Pilothouse team has seen HUGE success implementing two-step pop-ups.

The initial pop-up asks for the user’s email and nothing else. No first name, last name or anything like that.

The second step asks for their phone number and again no other information.

Breaking these asks into separate steps makes it easier and less daunting for users. Keep it simple and easy. One ask per step!

Make sure the copy varies from step 1 (email) to step 2 (phone number).

Encourage users to complete the final step of entering their phone number. For example: "You’re so close! Enter your phone number for free shipping!"

3) Establish the frequency of your pop-up

Poor frequency/targeting parameters is the number one mistake the Pilothouse team sees.

Every brand is unique, but for most websites, pop-ups appear once a day. Test your frequency and keep an eye on bounce rates while doing so.

Four kinds of pop-ups the Pilothouse team uses:

  • Welcome.
  • Cross sell/upsell.
  • Abandoned cart saver.
  • Dynamic free shipping (add to the top of the screen to show what order value you need to get free shipping).

🚨The biggest thing to avoid is repeating a pop-up offer to customers who’ve already given their information 🚨

Test these strategies out and let us know how they go!


Hey DTC Crew,

Greg Elfrink, head of marketing over at Empire Flippers here. We partnered with the DTC Newsletter this weekend to let you know we have a webinar happening on April 30th 2PM EST.

We're going to be covering the 3 secrets to selling your eCommerce store. You might have zero interest in this though… after all, your business might be skyrocketing and going to the moon.

I get it. Why sell now?

Well, in my opinion, you don't really start your entrepreneurial career until you sell your business. When you're bootstrapping your brand to that next level of success, your brand demands all of your capital. It’s a hamster wheel of stress with high revenues but often little net profit as you order more inventory and increase marketing spend. When you learn to sell your business though, you get to demand your capital.

You get a lump sum of money, likely the largest amount of money you've ever gotten in your life, that is free of algorithms, supply chain disruptions, and increasing cost/competition in ad spend. If the game of business was a game of chess, your net profit is the king that must always be protected. Net profit might be king, but liquidity is queen.

In the game of chess, it is always the queen that can make the winning moves.

Join me for a short presentation on how to sell your business, how to value it, and how to make sure you get a buyer that pays you what you're worth using these three secrets I've learned after helping literally hundreds of entrepreneurs exit their businesses.  

At the end of the webinar I will also be doing a live Q&A, so bring any questions you have as I show you just why right now more than ever the M&A space for eCommerce stores is booming in 2021.

Click here to register

🎙 Podcast

This week on the pod we have guest Mike Lackman, CEO of Trade Coffee, a subscription service offering fresh coffee from the nation’s best roasters. Think of them as Spotify or Netflix for coffee. ☕️  

Let’s Jump in:

😎 Personalization is everything:

Trade’s platform connects coffee drinkers with roasters all over the country through personalized data.

"We believe that data-driven personalization is very much the future of web merchandising."

The more personal you can be with customers, the better your LTV’s will be.

❓ How do they find that perfect match?

"Through some very basic questions that aren’t about ‘do you want marzipan, or jam, or lemon peel,’ but more about accessible language that’s meaningful to you as a coffee drinker."

Example questions:

  • What is your coffee experience level?
  • How do you usually make coffee at home?
  • Do you add anything to your coffee?
  • What roast level do you typically enjoy?

Trade gathers these answers and crafts the perfect experience for each customer.

📈 Let the data do the talking!

The trade team shares data with roasters on what particular roasts customers are wanting more of.

Roasters use that data to roast beans that are in-demand and as a result, they make more money.

Trade is empowering small, local roasters across the country to incredible heights because of their data and willingness to share it.

💪 Subscription fees

They don’t exist. 😱

"Disney had to be Disney, then buy Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox for billions of dollars to charge $8 a month... we’re probably not going to charge $5/month for the privilege of shopping at Trade."

Mike goes on to say..

"I don’t think that there’s a large market for us charging people a fee to be able to pay full price for a coffee."

👀 Customer experience as a service:  

Trade uses AI for transactional conversations to get fast answers to consumers, but they rely on humans to answer more detailed questions. This is a great way to learn more about your customers and your products.

"We guarantee that if you aren’t perfectly matched, one of our white glove employees will take time to marry you to a better profile, and we can do all of that sustainably because we know a lot about how each coffee tastes and how that relates to what each customer tells us"  

❤️ What stat is Mike most proud of?

One in four people find Trade by organic referral.

After a consumer has a couple of orders under their belt, Trade offers them free bags of coffee to send to friends.

When someone only has a couple free bags to give away, they make thoughtful choices. As a result, the referral program is extremely strong.

Exhibit A 👇

There’s even more subscription and coffee talk in the podcast – listen to the full convo here.

Facebook Insights

Senior Media buyer Stu Mason conducted a day-by-day breakdown of one of his clients.  

While we can’t disclose the name of the brand, we can disclose that their AOV (average order value) is around $500 so it’s a high consideration product.

The results so far in 2021:

  • Cheapest day to advertise: TUESDAY (lowest CPC, lowest CPM and highest CTR).
  • Most expensive day to advertise: FRIDAY (highest spend, highest CPA, highest CPC, highest CPM, lowest CVR).
  • Best converting day: WEDNESDAY (lowest CPA, highest CVR).
  • Second-best day to advertise: SUNDAY (2nd highest CTR, 2nd lowest CPA, 2nd lowest CPC, lowest CP(ATC).
  • Worst converting day: FRIDAY (see above).
  • Second-worst day to advertise: SATURDAY (lowest CTR, 2nd highest CPA, 2nd highest CPC, 2nd highest CPM, 2nd lowest CVR, 2nd highest CP(ATC).
  • Variance range of CPA between days of the week: 42% ($177.77 - $271.73).

Takeaways: Wednesday is by far the best day to advertise, with Sunday following in 2nd.

This is despite Tuesday actually being the cheapest.

Friday and Saturday are the worst and most expensive days to advertise.

This data aligns well with perceived consumer behaviour. They're busy and want to get away from the computer on Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday is a mid-week chance for them to spend a little and have a break (it's called hump day for a reason). And Sunday is the day to catch up on things, do some computer work, and shop a bit while they're riding the weekend high.

The numbers 👇

Tool Spotlight

Why top DTC entrepreneurs are hiring "Accountability Coaches"


There's oceans of valuable information online. And that's great.

But all that opportunity, all those things you should be doing, can be mega-overwhelming.

And if you've got dozens of ideas you desperately want to execute, but keep putting them off, then you've probably asked yourself:

"How far could my business go if I were more focused, organized, and consistent?"

Recently many founders are answering that question... by hiring an accountability coach.

What's that?

Well, companies like Commit Action will pair you with a dedicated coach to act as your second brain, helping you to break down big goals, prioritize, and execute consistently.

The idea is to have someone on your team keeping you focused on the high-leverage stuff, carving out time for those big projects, and giving you the accountability to get it done.

That way you spend more time working on your business, moving forward, rather than working in it, stuck in reactive mode.

And with reviews like these you can see why this accountability coaching is really catching on.

Want to give it a try yourself?

DTC Newsletter readers get $50 off their first month of coaching!

Click here to learn more about how Commit Action works and then use codeDTC50 at checkout when you sign up.

Amazon Updates!

Last week Amazon released a BIG update for advertisers.

The Pilothouse team is stoked! Let’s break it down. 👇

There are three types of ads on Amazon: sponsored product, sponsored brand, and sponsored display ads.  

With this update, Sponsored display ads now have the ability to reach additional audiences like never before. 🙌

This is the first time advertisers will have the ability to target based on Amazon’s data without going through the company's display network (DSP).

Advantages of this update:

  • Registered advertisers can now segment at extremely granular levels, similar to Facebook (i.e. Jeep owners, iPhone users, Shoppers at Wholefoods, New parents, etc).
  • The change makes it easier for smaller advertisers to access TONS of new audiences & segments.
  • The update will assist TOF (top of funnel) ads and increase brands’ awareness levels.

"If you were already running Amazon’s display network, this isn’t as big of a deal, but for smaller accounts and testing purposes, having access to these audiences is big," says Rob Russell, head of Amazon at Pilothouse.

Utilizing Data from other platforms:

With this update, targeting on Amazon becomes similar to Facebook and Google.

The Pilothouse Amazon team is taking the best performing angles, audiences, and interest sets from Facebook and Google to build similar sets on Amazon.

From there, they’re building headlines that match that particular angle/audience.

Be Aware: You can’t stack segments.

For example,"Jeep owners who recently had a child" isn’t possible.

It’s either "Jeep owners" OR "New parents" but not both 😔

"You can change bids for each one individually, but you can’t combine them," says Senior Amazon Media buyer Clifford Donovan.

We expect Amazon to grant buyers this ability at some point in the future, but for now it’s a no-go.  

We’ll keep you updated on these changes, but as always, TEST, TEST, AND more TESTS

And make sure you’re signed up for the FREE DTC+ Amazon Growth Guide Workshop!

Don’t miss your chance to get the real-world tips, tricks, and strategies you need to earnconsistently bigger profits with your DTC products on Amazon in 2021.

Quick Hits

👍 Zuckerberg says Facebook is working on Clubhouse-style audio features that will be released in the next few months.

🧐 Retail Wire: are DTC brands still primed for growth?

🕵🏻‍♀️ Google updates search ranking for product reviews.

🤳🏻 How eos skincare rode a TikTok trend to increase sales.

🎮 GameStop CEO to Step Down, Shares Soar Again.

🧴 Web radio station Poolside FM launches new "leisure-enhancing" sunscreen.

🥓 Bloomberg: Impossible and Beyond Slash Prices as Fake-Meat Market Heats Up.

👩‍🌾 WSJ: Why high-tech garden tools are the next tech frontier.

☀️ Native launches DTC sunscreen line.

📱 TikTok adds new "Business Creative Hub" to highlight relevant trends.

♻️ Glossy: zero-waste moves from niche to mainstream.

🍽 Forbes: DTC comes of age for F&B.

📺 The hidden ingenuity of Netflix’s registration process.

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