DTC 68: 📦 Open Rate is so 2008
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

We already knew we were the hottest newsletter in the game.

But with our headquarters in Victoria BC currently experiencing a "heat dome" – we’re taking our title a little too literally.😵🔥

We hope everyone experiencing hot weather is keeping cool and staying hydrated!

If you’re new to the DTC Newsletter, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Bossy Cosmetics, Levy & Frey, Nuut, Body Restore, Daily Crunch Snacks, Cheesies, and Ledge Loungers.

In this newsletter, you’ll find:

👩‍💻 The latest on Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection announcement (and what this means for your open rate)

🎨 The custom packaging solution of your dreams

🚀 Quick tips for Google Ads and email campaigns

💥 Our conversation with Canopy, and how they’ve perfected brand partnerships

Read till the end for our new referral program! 1 referral = access to our Facebook group.  

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What’s the deal with Mail Privacy Protection?

As a newsletter, you can imagine that Apple’s recent Mail Privacy Protection announcement had us shaking in our boots a little bit.

Ok, maybe not full-on shaking. But a little quiver for sure.

Here’s what we know so far:

Apple announced that after the iOS 15 update, inboxes using Apple Mail will eliminate pixel tracking.

Similar to the iOS 14.5 roll-out, users will be prompted to opt in to protect email information:

The move isn’t totally unexpected given Apple’s public commitment to privacy, and this isn’t the first time a platform has altered the email game.

In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection will make it impossible for email senders to track pixels and therefore track open rate (or at least to track it accurately.)

According to Litmus, 93.5% of all email opens on phones occur in Apple Mail, and Apple Mail on Mac is responsible for 58.4% of desktop email opens.

Brands rely heavily on open rate as the determining factor in an email’s success – with these changes, they’ll need to start focusing more on CTR.

Moving forward with CTR

Becca Sherman suggested a two-pronged response:

  1. Keep your subscriber list clean
  2. Optimize for clicks.

Protecting your deliverability rate means regularly "scrubbing" subscribers, removing those that will bounce or mark you as spam.

"If you don’t scrub your list (or "keep it clean") your emails will hit promo tabs, spam boxes, and – worst of all – you will be put on blocklists.

Before the update, open rate was a primary indicator for removing unengaged subscribers.

Now, clicks are the name of the game.

If a reader clicks on your links, it will register as both an open and a click.


Join the biggest DTC eCommerce Virtual Summit happening on July 15-16th, DTCx!

Brands such as BOOM! By Cindy Joseph, Beardbrand, and Hush Blankets will speak on how they’ve grown their brand past eight figures.

Learn how DTC brands must deliver excellent, valuable, and memorable journeys if they want customers to come back for more.

With an emphasis on Customer Experience, DTCx will focus on how it not only affects sales but also brand loyalty and retention. 👀

What are the best practices and trends that eCommerce brands are leveraging to improve sales, customer loyalty, and retention?

👉Join us on July 15th–16th to learn how top eCommerce brands, agencies, and technology apps are using CX to grow your business.

Email – Part 2

Tips on optimizing for clicks:

  • Optimize your emails for clicks by adding polls, asking questions that prompt a reply.
  • Try reducing the amount of content in your email, and ask readers to click through to your website to read the complete piece.
  • Send progressive profiling emails designed to segment.
  • Use social share links to encourage readers to click and share content.
  • Use link triggers and ask people whether they liked the content you sent them.
  • For newsletters, be strategic with your partners. Make sure they’re a fit with your audience. This will lead to more users clicking.
  • Brennan Dunn suggests setting an automation that fires whenever someone clicks one of your links so you can easily segment out subscribers who don’t engage.
  • Most importantly, send people valuable content that they’ll appreciate and want to click.


Check out these resources for more info:

  • Brennan Dunn’s excellent write-up, a highly suggested read.
  • You can read Becca Sherman’s full thread here.
  • Casey Newton on how the email economy will adapt.
  • Apple’s announcement.

iOS 14.5 updates

The latest update on iOS 14.5 from Pilothouse’s Facebook rep!

Question: Do all attribution settings now incorporate modeled conversions?

Answer : "1-day click through and 7-day click through attribution settings will both incorporate iOS 14.5+ modeled conversions starting June 30th BUT 1-day view through will not.

Where we don’t have enough data to make estimates for 1dCT or 7dCT, reported results won’t include modeled conversions.

For 1dVT conversions, results may not include all conversions from people using iOS 14.5+."

🚨Note: Keep a close eye on performance as the CAPI 2.0 rolls out along with new modelled attribution.

Refer to overall spend vs Shopify efficiency if you’re noticing anything strange!


What do DTC brands Everlane, Populum, and Knickey have in common?

They all rely on Packlane, the one-stop shop for making your custom packaging dreams a reality ✨📦

From concept to prototype to delivery, Packlane’s team of packaging pros helps personalize your order with custom solutions every step of the way.

You’ll have a dedicated account manager to offer cost-saving solutions for all your unique challenges including:

💰 Maximizing your budget.

💪 Tackling surprise deadlines.

👨‍🎨 Conceptual design.

🖨 Picking the perfect print method.

✨ And everything in between!

Their team is dedicated to saving you countless hours and money that can be invested back in your business.

👉 Design yours today


The Pilothouse Amazon team saw a big update this week.

The "See Insights" section of the Amazon store backend has now added an "Engagement" Section as a beta to some accounts.

This new feature is providing interesting metrics on each product advertised in the store.

What’s amazing is Amazon is actually providing the "add to cart" metric, which they don’t give in PPC.

The data seems to be delayed by 48 hours, but it’ll show the performance of Sponsored brand ads that direct to a specific store page when clicked on.

This will provide a nice idea of which products are actually converting from the store.

The layout 👇


This week on the pod we have Eric Neher and Mike De Santis from Canopy, a brand creating gorgeous humidifiers.

✅ Updating legacy products

"We took an ugly old appliance and turned it into something nice and approachable, and something you’ll actually want to display in your home"

Mike and Eric knew that skincare and beauty enthusiasts were using humidifiers regularly, but no one was talking about it or directly selling to them.

💪 Brand Partnerships  

Canopy has successful partnerships with the organizational brand Open Spaces and house-plant brand The Sill.

Canopy’s primary criteria in brand partnerships? Adding value for the customer.

"How can we add value, add something new, interesting, and different to the customer at the right time."

When strategizing around partnerships, think outside the box.

For example, a house plant brand doesn’t immediately pop to mind when considering partners for a humidifier company.  

BUT house plants receive lots of benefits from humidifiers. It's not only a great fit but an educational moment for Canopy’s customers.

👩‍🏫 Prioritize Education

Canopy seeks influencers who create educational content and have credibility within the skincare and wellness space.

They look for influencers with an engaged following with a track record of starting interesting conversations and offering their audience valuable information from a unique POV.

This commitment to informational content also translates to Canopy’s PR campaigns.

One of their biggest wins was partnering with a dermatologist to determine key talking points for the press, giving people real information, and framing where their product fits in this educational context.

As a result, Canopy received a great response from editors in the health and beauty space resulting in high-profile press that drove tons of meaningful traffic.

Listen to the entire pod here!

Email of the Day

Check out this VIP SMS sign-up email from Bev!

Why this works:

The check-marks are a gif (motion element!)

✅ Super catchy CTA

✅ The old-school Razr flip phones provides a retro-chic look while accentuating the whole point of the email which is to sign-up for their SMS list.

Quick Hits

🚨Major Platform Investments Unveiled at Shopify Unite 2021

💰 Email marketing tactics that convert subscribers into $$$.

😳 How Crumbl cookies took over TikTok.

👟 Nike plans for $50B in revenue next year with their DTC channel leading the way.

💥 Have you tried IG Reels Ads yet?

😎 Chewing gum is getting an eCommerce makeover.

💪 What's an appearance on Shark Tank worth to direct-to-consumer brands?

🚨 Instagram tests putting suggested posts ahead of your friends.

🥴 Snapchat wants you to make 6-second non-skippable commercials.

🌏 Facebook adds Shops to WhatsApp, among other eCommerce updates.

👀 Target to add DTC pet, homewares brands in stores.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

💇‍♂️ Beardbrand’s Eric Bandholz and the DTC Long Game.

👀 Top 3 UGC mistakes with the Pilothouse team.

💥 Building a Bold Brand with Ugly's CEO Hugh Thomas.

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

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