DTC 57: 📦 Win a Macbook Pro 🚀
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Saturday, May 22, 2021

👆Us showing off our new DTC sneakers.

Today we’re delivering the last leg of our DTC Sneaker Diagnostic, focussed on Google Ads. Thanks for reading along with our sneaker series, and stay tuned for more DTC Diagnostics coming your way! 👟💥

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

📦 A breakdown of Cariuma, Atoms, and Vessi’s Google Ads.

📦 Eighteen SMS Strategies from Yotpo you can use to craft a winning SMS strategy.

📦 The two-step opt-in tactic our email team loves.

📦 If you’re looking to scale your brand with Sponsored Display on Amazon, have we got a webinar for you!

📦 Determine where in the funnel your Facebook Ads will perform best with this killer strategy.

Share DTC Newsletter with your referral link, and you AND the friend you refer are automatically entered to win a brand new Macbook Pro. 🥳💻

Your unique referral code: http://directtoconsumer.co?utm_source=sparkloop&utm_medium=newsletterplacement&rh_ref=1ed4b700

DTC Diagnostic

Welcome to the final part of our deep dive into the marketing strategies of DTC sneaker brands Atoms, Vessi, and Cariuma.

If you haven’t read last weekend’s website analysis, you can catch up here. 👀

Today we’re focusing on Google strategy with the help of Pilothouse’s Google Team!

Retargeted ads:

After visiting Vessi’s site and adding a product to cart, we were retargeted with the dynamic ads below.  

The creative isn’t anything to write home about. We assume it’s from the Facebook network, which explains why it looks a bit bland. This is definitely an area to improve on.

Branded Search & Shopping:

Vessi utilizes a great range of Google text ad extensions including callouts, site links, and structured snippets.

For brand search, a Vessi shopping ad is the first to appear at the top of the page. However, there are four competitor ads featured in the same section. 😢


Google is picking up 1,000+  reviews from Vessi’s product pages. The brand sports a 4.5-star rating - nice work! ⭐️

Generic Search:

Vessi places first for the search term "waterproof shoes," which is great since it’s their main USP.

You’d be surprised how many brands DON’T display first when searching their main value proposition. It’s harder than it looks. 👀

The brand displays product ads for "men’s waterproof shoes" and "women’s waterproof shoes," but both terms rank significantly lower when organically searching.

Of course, this could be a result of budget constraints, bidding strategies, etc.

Final Note:

The brand is doing a stellar job with its GA strategy; however, we suggest utilizing retargeting ads on YouTube.

The Pilothouse team has had HUGE success on YT.


Build an SMS program that drives ROI with Yotpo’s SMS Examples

SMS marketing is helping DTC brands engage mobile consumers like never before. But with so many creative ways to use the channel, it can be tricky to narrow down a messaging strategy that will get results fast.

Yotpo makes it easy with SMS Examples.

SMS Examples is the tool you need to craft a winning SMS strategy from the ground up. It’s an interactive and shareable library, where you can discover the top messages for engaging subscribers at every stage of their journey — from the very first welcome message to product cross-sells — so you don’t have to guess what works.

Simply choose your goal and the type of message you’d like to send.

Based on your selections, the library will produce a tailored list of top-performing SMS marketing strategies, complete with examples, best practices, and industry benchmarks.

For example:

  • Trying to increase conversion rates? Explore the Abandoned Cart strategy to re-engage shoppers who left items behind with clear calls to action and incentives.
  • Interested in maximizing social proof with user-generated content? Yotpo has a strategy for that too. Learn how to collect reviews with SMS, with examples to help guide you.

SMS marketing has over 25x ROI. So what are you waiting for?

Build the best SMS program for your brand with Yotpo’s SMS Examples.

We recommend bookmarking it!

DTC Diagnostic

Retargeted Ads:

Unfortunately, Atoms doesn’t have any retargeted ads. 😥

Branded Search & Shopping:

Atoms takes up the first three slots and utilizes callout and link extensions to enhance the overall listing.

The Pilothouse team noticed there’s another shoe brand bidding on "atoms shoes."

After following the link, it appears that a European shoe brand named one of their shoes "atoms." This might confuse searchers and hurt Atoms.

Notice the number of reviews each shoe has - over 800 for the middle pair and almost five stars on all three. Awesome!


Searching "most comfortable shoes," the title tag on the Atoms home page, brings up a product ad but no text ad in the search results.

Final Notes:

Atoms is doing exceptionally well with their Google strategy. The only thing we’d suggest is to focus on retargeting ads.

Retargeted Ads:

Similar to Atoms, Cariuma, unfortunately, doesn’t have any retargeted ads. 😔

Branded Search & Shopping:

They’re crushing the branded search with the first two spots.

Further, the brand occupies all five shopping spots and has hundreds of reviews with close to a 5-star rating. Heck yeah!

Cariuma is number one for the search team "sustainable shoes," which is their main USP. Check it out 👇👇

Generic Search:  

A search for "canvas sneakers" brought up a Cariuma product ad but no text ad at the top of the page.

As you scroll down to the bottom, there’s a Cariuma ad. We’d suggest adjusting the bid strategy, so the ad ranks higher up.


A search on YouTube for "sustainable shoes" didn’t show an ad for Cariuma, but when searching "green canvas shoes," a product and text ad appeared. 👊

Final Note:

Cariuma is doing really well on the brand and shopping side.

We’d suggest the brand focuses on retargeting ads and making sure ads are closer to the top of page.

That’s all the breakdown we’ve got for now! If there’s a category or brand you’d like to see us analyze, reply to this email and let us know!

Tool Spotlight

📢 Calling all Amazon advertisers!

Amazon is making big moves on Sponsored Display, and Perpetua is here to break it down for you.

Join Perpetua's VP of Growth, Adam Epstein, and a panel of senior advertising leaders as they discuss strategies and tactics you can employ with Sponsored Display to help you serve the right ad, to the right customer, at the right time, while driving incremental growth.

Learn directly from Amazon Senior Managers how to scale your brand with Sponsored Display, as well as:

  • How and when to leverage Sponsored Display's two targeting types.
  • The introduction and impact of in-market audiences.
  • How to integrate Sponsored Display into your overall media mix.
  • Moving up the funnel with Sponsored Display
  • Key metrics advertisers should focus on beyond ACOS and ROAS

📈Don't miss out. Sign up today to learn how to scale your brand with Amazon Sponsored Display.


Last week on All Killer No Filler, we caught up with Pilothouse’s Head of Email Julien Norman and Design Lead Robin Holdsworth.

We chatted all things SMS and email. 😎

TIP: drive leads with SMS using this two-step process.👇

Using a standard pop-up incentivizes the customer to share their email address.

After they submit that information, gatekeep the incentive behind a second step which requires the user to enter their phone number.

Customers want that incentive. By the time they’ve already entered their email, they’ll want to see it through and share their SMS to unlock the reward.

🎧Take a listen for more email and SMS hot tips, including:

  • Where email CTAs should go, how they should look, and how many you should have
  • Why folks are hesitant to implement an SMS strategy (and why they should reconsider)
  • An inside look a DTC’s win back sequence

Facebook Tip

If you’ve got new ads and you're unsure where in the funnel they’ll perform best, the ALL campaign is a killer strategy.

How it works:

Build a new campaign with three separate ad sets: TOF, MOF, and BOF.

Place the new ads into each ad set for testing.

Top of Funnel: Prospecting audiences could include lookalikes, interests, open, etc.

Middle of Funnel: MOF audiences are consumers who have touched your brand but not made a purchase. These could include website visitors, video viewers, FB & IG engagers, etc.

Bottom of Funnel: Retargeting audiences could include add to cart, initiate checkout, add payment info, etc.

The data from this ALL campaign will tell you which ads belong in specific funnels. 🚀

Brand Spotlight

Launched in 2015, Neuro makes functional gum and mints to energize, calm and focus you.

The Rundown:

Product: One piece of Neuro gum contains 40mg of caffeine (a cup of coffee has around 100mg or more).

The product’s combination of green tea caffeine, L-theanine, and vitamin B, delivers energy to your system ten times faster than a traditional cup of coffee or tea.

Price: 6 pack of gum (72 pcs) = $21

Wellness: The gum and mints are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and aspartame-free, too, fitting within most dietary restrictions.

Here’s a breakdown: 👇

DTC Macbook Pro Giveaway


It’s the DTC MacBook Pro Giveaway!

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One referral = one entry to win. More referrals = more entries!

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Grab your referral link below.

Step 2: Share DTC newsletter with your friends/colleagues, and anyone you think might enjoy DTC! 🌍


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M + A

🎥 MGM looks to Amazon as the Hollywood studio tries to find a buyer.

PayPal acquires returns logistics business, Happy Returns.

🥡 New York Times reports that Goldbelly, an eCommerce platform for restaurant food, has raised $100 million in new funding.

🎦 YouTube takes aim at TikTok, Snap with $100M creator fund.

🥛Oprah-backed Oatly seeks $10 billion valuation in US IPO.

🍫 Hershey to acquire Lily's confectionery brand.

🎹Piano raises $88M for analytics, subscription and personalization tools for publishers, adds LinkedIn as investor.

🗞Squarespace buys tech startup tock for $400 Million Plus.

🕺ByteDance (owner of TikTok) is headed for a $250B+ IPO.

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