DTC 62: 📦 The most under-leveraged marketing channel
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

And guess what… you can sit with us.

Especially our new readers from Euka, Canada Goose, Unreal, Proactiv, and Coca-Cola. Welcome!

In this newsletter, you’ll find:

🙅‍♀️ The top five things people get wrong on their creatives.

📝 The survey tool you need to deliver the right data at the right time.

🚪 A behind-the-scenes look at a rare door-to-door sales strategy.

✨ Email and TikTok Ad inspo.

🤳 The tool you need to ace your UGC game.

Read to the end to discover the most under-leveraged marketing channel in DTC.

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We asked the Pilothouse creative team about the biggest mistake brands make with their Facebook ad creative.

Their answer?

Being too brand-oriented in your ad creative.

Oftentimes marketers approach FB creative the same way they approach their organic social content.

Ads that are too "on-brand" can lead to overly-polished content that doesn’t perform.

In many cases, the ads that perform well would rarely be featured on your brand’s organic social feed.

You have to get scrappy.

Differentiate your paid from your organic content and recognize that they have different goals.

Nike is a perfect example. Check out their product-focused ads compared to their social feed:

Social feed:

Different goals require different content.

If you’re running conversion objective ads, Facebook doesn’t care about your brand or the lifestyle you’re trying to sell.

Facebook cares about finding the people most likely to buy your product.

Your creative needs to increase motivation or decrease friction.

If your content doesn't do either of those things, it's likely going to fail. 🥴

We’re not saying that strong branding is a redundancy. In fact, we’d stress the opposite.  However a hyper-reliance on branding in DTC media buying won’t allow for scale.

We’re also not saying that your Facebook Ads have to be scrappy UGC and your organic has to be aesthetically pristine lifestyle images.

It isn’t a zero-sum game and scrappy isn’t synonymous with shitty. It’s possible to diversify your library in a branded way.

Hims is an excellent example of balancing branded and lifestyle aesthetics with scrappy UGC in their Facebook Ads library:

Bottom line: don’t put your brand in a box, and don’t be afraid to experiment and diversify your library.


Sometimes understanding your consumers can feel like an unsolvable mystery. 🧐

But we have good news: Attest is just the detective you need to grow your business with data, and without the guesswork.

Attest is more than just a survey tool. It lets you deliver the right data, at the right time, to make the right decisions.

It can help identify new personas and uncover the next big opportunity with rich, comprehensive insights on changing consumers and competitors.

That means no more making decisions based on assumptions and keeping your fingers crossed.

Instead, you can:

✅ Measure your brand health and awareness.

🚀 Track campaign performance.

💰 Watch your ROI go to the moon.

Dissolve the doubt around your marketing decisions and use consumer research to build your next campaign with confidence.

👉 Get started with Attest today.


Hannya Boulos is the Head of Growth at Modern Milkman.

This Manchester-based business delivers convenient groceries from independent and local suppliers directly to customers’ doorsteps in returnable and reusable packaging.

This brand checks all the boxes for us at DTC:

✅ Disrupting a space.

✅ Great brand & product.

✅ Supports local businesses.

✅ Sustainably minded.

Here are some takeaways from our chat with Hannya:

🚪Going old school

Modern Milkman’s most successful marketing tactics have been direct mail and face-to-face sales.

"Because it’s a doorstep delivery service and the customer has an element of nostalgia about having someone knock on their door to deliver, acquiring customers in that way is a natural fit, and has made for an easy sale and entry point."

Geographic precision is super important in all of Modern Milkman’s marketing channels.

The efficacy and profitability of their program relies on delivering to folks within a certain radius.

The lesson here?

Don’t discount old-school, personal sales strategies – especially if they’re a fit for your brand.

🎧 Listen to the full podcast for:

🚪 How they’re testing non-digital sales tactics (plus some of their findings).

📍 Inside baseball on their niche geo targeting Facebook Ads.

🚀 Hannya’s approach to LTV.

🤝 Modern Milkman’s three-prong strategy for warming up new neighbourhoods.

Creative of the Day

This 15-second TikTok ad for Current (the modern banking app) by Josh Zilberberg has us tickled pink!

👍Why We Like It

It’s a hilarious ad that delivers the information potential customers need in a quick and creative fashion.

🤩 Why It Works

This ad is totally on-brand for Josh Zilberberg and the best part is that this doesn’t look like an ad!

His snarky and sarcastic comedic style is present which allows it to easily fit in with the rest of the content on his page.

This ad is all about the comedic aspect and is a perfect example of a short and sweet ad that captivates an audience.

It’s the perfect example of a short and sweet ad captivating the audience.

Just look at the comments and you’ll see for yourself.


Need high-quality UGC?

👋 With minisocial you can produce beautiful, authentic user-generated content featuring your products that are fully licensed to your brand.

DTC brands love working with minisocial as a way to populate their organic social, acquisition channels, website, and beyond while also competing dollar for dollar with traditional influencer activations on Instagram and TikTok.

Campaigns are fully managed and start at $2k ($1.7k after your special DTC reader discount). 😜

Some of the fastest-growing DTC brands have thrived thanks to UGC from minisocial campaigns.

Personal care brand Native uses minisocial to create share-worthy content at scale. By refreshing their recurring campaign brief monthly for over two years, the brand always has new content on-hand for their social media accounts, acquisition channels, email campaigns, and even their website.

Don't take our word for it, check out minisocial case studies here. 👀

Want to give it a try?

DTC Newsletter readers get 15% off their first campaign, just mention this ad. 👉 Get started by building your campaign brief or schedule a free intro/strategycall.


🔥 Upsell Tip!

If you’re struggling with upsell results, analyze your funnels and how they’re structured.

Your first upsell should always be the same item that consumers are already purchasing, but for a discount.

The second item is a similar product but maybe a different color or flavor.

This can be used as a way to introduce consumers to new items in your product line.

Swag items (hats, water bottles, etc) make great downsells!


Check out this email inspiration from Verb Energy:

Why we love this email:

  • Super clean and pleasing design – easy to look at.
  • The product is above the fold, which is especially effective for mobile.
  • They’ve created a sense of urgency at the top of the fold and at the bottom near-final CTA.

DTC Macbook Pro Giveaway

Quick Hits

🤷🏻‍♀️ Twitter thread: what’s the most under-leveraged marketing channel in DTC?

📦 24 lessons from Jeff Bezos' annual letters to shareholders.

🤝 Partnerships are becoming a consistent part of startups’ marketing playbooks.

📌 With new commerce features, Pinterest is continuing to court DTC brands.

🛒 Shopify is testing a customer acquisition solution with select merchants.

🪥 As covid restrictions lift, deodorant, teeth whitener fly off the shelves.

🥴 Google’s opaque practices to restrict fingerprinting create confusion among its ad tech partners.

🗣 TikTok just gave itself permission to collect biometric data on US users, including ‘faceprints and voiceprints.’

🐦 Twitter launches its first subscription service.

📱 Google is making it harder for Android apps to track you once you’ve opted out.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🍽 Trifecta Nutrition’s VP of Marketing chats TikTok and E-sports.


🤩 Three Ships' Lillie Sun on Clean Beauty, Agile Bundling, and Aging Up Your Brand.

🛒 Olipop's Eli Weiss Goes Deep on Customer Experience.

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Eric Dyck, and Sadie Evans.

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📥 Work for the DTC Newsletter (Writer + Editor).

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