DTC 70: 📦 Grow your email list with TikTok 🤯
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Saturday, July 7, 2021

We hope our U.S. readers enjoyed their 4th of July just as much as Mark Zuckerberg did!


If you’re new to the DTC Newsletter, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Kohler, When Life Gives You Lemons, Birkenstock, Teepublic, and NOOMA Drinks.

In this newsletter, you’ll find:

📦 Five best practices to enhance your subscription strategy.

🤳 A TikTok tip that will help grow your email list.

👀 A look at the new NCAA NIL opportunity.

🦈 How an appearance on Shark Tank changed everything for DTC brand Dreamland Baby Co.

✍️ Copy tips from the Pilothouse team.


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


McKinsey reported that the subscription eCommerce market has been growing at more than 100% year over year since 2013.

Businesses are embracing subscriptions because of the sustainable revenue opportunity.


Today, we see subscriptions across multiple niches in DTC, from shaving accessories to pet supplies.

Regardless of niche, there are some challenges that DTC subscriptions are facing, such as difficulty differentiating and increasing churn.


Five Best Practices for DTC Subscriptions 👇


Give customers the flexibility to make one-time purchases.

While businesses find long-term subscriptions more advantageous, subscribing to a product or service for six months or annually can intimidate customers. 🥵

Existing customers might want to add a non-recurring one-time purchase along with the regular subscription.

🚨 For these scenarios, it’s helpful to give customers the option to make one-time purchases at checkout along with subscriptions.


Notice how Superfoods Company offers both these options at their checkout:

Build exclusive communities:


Today’s DTC consumers choose brands that treat them as people, not buyers.

DTC businesses that do this well offer lifestyle content and concierge shopping services to make the brand a go-to resource in the niche.

Online communities are an excellent vehicle for achieving this.

Besides creating a feeling of belonging, communities also offer a space for users to discover more about the product and how others are using it.

Further still, it’s a quick way to solve their questions and set your brand up for customer success.


For example, check out this private Facebook group exclusively created by BARK.


Superior customer experience:

A positive and memorable customer experience plays a MASSIVE role in acquiring and retaining customers.


👉 Because of the convenience of the subscription model, customers often ‘subscribe and forget.’ 👈


To keep customers hooked, find ways to keep the warm and fuzzy feelings alive by making their subscription experience memorable.


Provide exclusive samples or sneak peeks of upcoming products, or even include a surprise element in each shipment.


Olipop is one of the BEST at this. Check out what they did for a customer whose house flooded… talk about going the extra mile. :)


Tie your products to recurring behavior:


Subscriptions are very convenient for customers, and the recurring nature of subscriptions lends itself to your product as well.


For habit formation with your product, tie it with a recurring behavior in a customer’s life.


Trade Coffee and Dropps are two great examples of brands capitalizing on a recurring behavior.


😴 Don’t sleep on site speed!

Did you know that website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time! (between seconds 0-5)


Yet the majority of websites have SERIOUS speed issues that continue to hamper growth.


With that in mind, Oddit has launched their Site Speed Optimization service to help DTC sites dramatically increase their site speed and boost conversions.


They can optimize the speed of ANY size Shopify site, and as always, if you’re not satisfied they’ll refund your money, no questions asked.


Want to know how your site performs? 👉Test your site speed here.


Your Speed Optimization will result in:

✅ Quicker user experience

✅ Better Google rankings

✅ Decreased bounce rate

✅ Increased conversion rate

… all in a two week turnaround!


Oddit is giving all DTC Newsletter subscribers 10% off their Site Speed Optimization service.


Simply enter DTCSPEED10 at checkout to receive the discount. Just a heads up, this code expires on July 15th!


After years of advocacy, the NCAA will now allow its athletes to profit off their own personas – a huge monetization opportunity for college athletes previously excluded from the ability to have endorsement deals.

The change went into effect July 1st following Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's executive order allowing college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness, or "NIL."

The new rule will allow athletes to make money for things like endorsement deals, signing autographs, and social media content.

This shift will allow college or "amateur" athletes to:
  • Sponsor social media posts or advertisements
  • Sponsor videos on Twitter and YouTube
  • Coach lessons and summer camps
  • Sell autographs and merchandise
  • Hire agents to help them negotiate the new NIL world

Here’s what some of the deals look like so far:
  • Unilever has committed to spending $5 million over the next five years signing marketing deals with college athletes to promote Degree deodorant
  • Arkansas wide receiver Trey Knox (and his husky) signed with PetSmart
  • Haley and Hanna Cavinder, twin basketball players at Fresno State, have signed with Boost Mobile and Six Star nutrition.
  • GoPuff offered a small social media sponsorship deal to every single college athlete – and already, hundreds have participated.
  • Nebraska volleyball player Lexi Sun launched an apparel collaboration with REN Athletics.

This opens up a whole new category of branding, sponsoring, and influencer relationships.

There's a HUGE opportunity here for brands!


Monica Grohne, founder of Marea shared this tip with us in an upcoming DTC podcast.

🚨 Make the link in your TikTok bio a sign-up for a giveaway 🚨

It’s helped grow her brand’s email list massively!

Test this out for your own brand!


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 social, ads, 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 working with minisocial on dozens of campaigns, the brand always has new content on hand for their social media accounts, ads, 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/strategy call.

Copy Tips

Even the big boys like American Express can improve their copywriting.

The Pilothouse creative team broke down one of their ads and offered a killer new headline. 🚀

What we like about it:
  • The layout is clean – it presents the product clearly and effectively.
  • It uses numbers in the copy to increase credibility (spend this much, get this much).

What we would change about it:

There’s nothing "gripping" about this offer. It doesn’t make you jump out of your seat and apply for an Amex card.

People make decisions based on emotion, not logic. Highlight the benefits of owning this credit card.

How does this fit into people’s lives? Why should they care?


Instant rebates – Highlight the opportunity for customers to put money back in their pocket when they spend "x" amount.


Greater Flexibility – People get credit cards to increase their flexibility.


They want to buy now and pay later – trips, dinners, furniture, etc. – these are all luxuries that come with owning an Amex.

Suggested copy:

H1: "Earn while you spend"




H2: "AMEX – The intelligent way to shop"


SubHead:  "Why not earn when you spend? Amex makes earning cash back simple."


On this week's episode we have Tara Williams, founder and CEO of Dreamland Baby Co., a DTC brand making safety-certified weighted blankets for babies and toddlers.

They’re on a mission to help parents and children get more, better sleep.

🦈 The Shark Tank effect.

After their appearance on last year’s season finale of Shark Tank, Dreamland was overwhelmed by the positive response that changed the course of their business.

Over 7M watched the episode, resulting in a subsequent boost of sales and a massive UGC surge.


Dreamland did more sales the weekend after the show aired than they had in that whole year to date. 🤑


Tara credits Shark Tank as the jumping-off point that facilitated their current scaling efforts.


Listen to the full pod for more on Tara’s journey!

Quick Hits

📲 Sliding into your customers' DMs just got easier. With Gorgias you can now receive and respond to Instagram DMs. Start now and get two months free.  


👀 Instagram will start prioritizing video over photos in an effort to compete with TikTok.


📦  All retailers win as biggest Prime Day ever pushes US eCommerce above $11B.


🤳 Reminder: Don’t make ads, make TikToks.


🌎 WooCommerce payments now available in six countries – with new features included.


📰 Facebook’s newsletter platform Bulletin is now live.


🤳 Gap is crowdsourcing its next hoodie rerelease via a TikTok competition


😎 Urban Outfitters enters the men's makeup category in partnership with Hims and Hers.


📺 Car brands are promoting heavily on platforms like Twitch and IG.


✅ New Amazon CEO Andy Jassy officially takes over.


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Share DTC With Friends & Win Prizes

Have friends who'd love DTC newsletter too? Give them your unique referral link (below) and get an awesome reward when they subscribe.



See how many referrals you have!


🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

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

👀 Top 3 UGC mistakes with the Pilothouse team

🌴 Product/market fit with Canopy Humidifiers' Eric Neher and Michael De Santis

🧻 Battling big TP with Goodwipes CEO Sam Nebel

💥 Building a bold brand with Ugly's CEO Hugh Thomas


Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)


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


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