DTC 82: 📦 🥴Biggest Split Testing Mistakes
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

What it feels like to wake up on Wednesday morning with DTC in your inbox. 👆

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Disco, Guru, Lovevery, Mindbodygreen, Amazon, Apotheke Co, Enviroscent, and TikTok. 🤯

In this newsletter you’ll find:

💰 How to get 3% cash back on all ad spend!

✅ How to ace your Amazon bullet points.

🔑 Key tips for audience split testing.

📈 Growth strategy with Little Spoon’s Simon Wool.

🌊 A new aesthetic DTC brand we’re loving.

Read till the end for the DTC basket giveaway!

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

🚨Job opportunity: DTC is hiring a freelance social media lead (it’s remote)!

If you’re interested, send a note to Thomas (thomas@directtoconsumer.co) with your resume and why you’d be a good fit!

Audience Split Testing

Split testing audiences can be a challenge.

We asked the senior media buyers at Pilothouse three big mistakes brands MUST avoid when testing audiences.

Here’s what they said. 👇

🚨 ABO not CBO:

ABO = Ad Set Budget Optimization (you tell Facebook to spend X amount for every ad set in a campaign).

CBO = Campaign Budget Optimization (you tell Facebook to spend X amount on this campaign and Facebook can decide which ad sets to spend your budget on).

The best way to split test audiences is to have one campaign wherein each ad set is a new audience that you want to test with its own budget.

This will allow for even spending, so that you can compare your audiences and their data – apples to apples.

CBO campaigns will push most of the budget into whichever audience FB thinks has the most potential.

Usually the key is to take these winners from ABO tests and look for ways to scale them out into a CBO campaign.

👊 Don’t Stack Too Many Audiences:

If you're running very large broad audiences when testing, don't stack them unless they’re all similar in interests or intent.

Keep audiences separate so you can see from your results which audience was driving your results.

If you have a smaller audience you may need to stack to get the audience size you need – that's okay.

Just make sure that your scale campaigns also have the same audiences stacked.

🦾 Detailed Targeting Expansion turned off:

At the ad set level you can select "Reach people beyond your detailed targeting selections when it's likely to improve performance."

In scale campaigns this should always be selected, but for testing purposes you need to leave this turned off.

While testing you’re looking for data, not purchases, and if Facebook is going outside of your selected audience then you’re not getting clean data.

You may think that audience is great and move it into scale campaigns, when in reality it was users outside of that audience that were driving the data you saw.  

Look for early indicators of success and then move those audiences into your scale campaigns.


Breakups can be hard. 😣

But upcoming changes in third-party cookie rules shouldn’t leave marketers blindsighted.

The good news: Klaviyo asked a panel of experts how marketers should adapt to the iminent data privacy changes, and spun up the definitive guide to help you through the split.

You’ll learn how DTC brands like Crossnet and Nomad are shifting their strategy to sell more effectively in a privacy-first world, including:

  • Tips for acquisition and retention
  • Tips for conversion and and optimization
  • What flipping the funnel means

Don’t let data privacy updates mess with your marketing strategy.

👉 Explore the full guide here.

Acing your Amazon Bullet Points

We hate to break it to you, but most Amazon shoppers won’t read all your bullet points.

We know. It hurts our feelings too. 😢

The main goals of bullets are to incorporate brand personality while hitting your keywords and selling products’ features.

🚨 REMEMBER: Bullet points index for SEO, so naturally you’d want to  pack each point full of keywords.

However, don’t do that. The points won’t be readable and will likely do more harm than good.

Strike a balance between putting in strong keywords while selling the product’s features in a way that makes sense for a scanning customer.

Keyword = SCANNING.

Use your bullet space to identify pain points and position your product as the solution.

👉 Bullet points are a great venue to set expectations and combat issues cited in your negative reviews. 👈

For example: If you’re selling an energy supplement that requires different dosages for different people, call that out in your bullets so there’s no confusion.

TIP: Brands often get too short with their bullet copy.

Amazon’s official recommendation is to use short bullets.

Like the pet product below 👇

The Pilothouse Amazon team recommends going a bit deeper with your bullet copy.

Take full advantage of the space without being too generic or wordy!

TIP: Technically, using emojis and all caps to title your bullets is against Amazon’s terms of service – but there’s some wiggle room. 😬

The rules are worth breaking, particularly when it comes to capitalization, so that each of your bullets has a clear section header to help provide structure.

Worst case scenario, your listing will be taken down until you remove the caps/emojis, and they’ll go back up as soon as you edit!

Check out the gorgeous bullet organization from Olipop. 👇


On this week’s podcast we’ve got Simon Wool, the Growth Manager at Little Spoon

Little Spoon is an organic baby and kids food subscription brand with massive traction and a cool $44 million Series B.

The Takeaways: 👇

Strategies for adapting to iOS14.5

Before iOS 14.5 Simon felt more comfortable handing more budget control to Facebook Ads, but since then he’s finding more success with "moving money manually."

Here he’s got multiple ad sets with similar sizes, and he’s actively moving budgets to the winning sets and pausing others manually.

It’s a high-touch approach, but it’s paying dividends for Little Spoon.

🚨 Little Spoon’s recent tactical wins:

  • Moving off of CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization) and onto ABO (Adset Budget Optimization)
  • Shortening the number of ads per adset
  • Experimenting with different conversion windows
  • Moving aggressively to scale non-branded Google Search

Little Spoon’s Golden Metric = Blended CaC

Blended CaC is all sales and marketing expenses (excluding salaries and overheads) divided by total new customers acquired.

Pre iOS 14.5, if Facebook Ads reported a cost per conversion of $75, the blended CaC would look roughly the same.

This is because Facebook would be claiming any user within your conversion window who either clicked or saw an ad as a Facebook conversion.

But since the change, Simon’s seeing a 60-70% reduction in reported conversion events.

This means that a $200 Facebook conversion, might net out to $75 blended CaC.

This is why it’s so important to zoom out to ecosystem reporting and blended CaC.

Paper products for the win (and crazy margins)

Little Spoon recently created its own card game for new parents called "Is This Normal?"  

It’s a play on the classic card game Cards Against Humanity.  

They launched the card game exclusively with influencers for a very profitable return.

Paper products have a notoriously high margin.

Gamified side products like this are a great way to build even more traction with customers, as well as your network of creators and influencers.

For more growth marketing stories, trying out new marketing channels, and the ever-changing world of Facebook, listen to the full pod here!


🤑 What would you do with an extra three percent cash back?

If you’re building a business and spending on social ads, you know that it can be a hassle to manage credit cards for monthly billing.

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Brand Spotlight

Ready to reconnect with the great outdoors?

Meet Maddle 😍

This DTC inflatable paddle board brand is bringing functional, convenient, and aesthetic right to your door.

Don’t believe us?

If you thought stuffing a mattress in a box was impressive….

Check out their delivery process 👇

ALSO – watch this hilarious Facebook ad they’re running.

🚨 Loving a DTC brand and think it deserves its own spotlight? Let us know!

Quick Hits

🔎 Ever wanted to know a DTC brand’s sales, pricing strategies, or tech stack? Store Leads is your must-have eCommerce intelligence tool.

🎤 Instagram Adds New 'Audio' Tab to its Search Options to Boost Reels Engagement.

🤘 Reddit is quietly rolling out a TikTok-like video feed button on iOS.

DTC legend Glossier opens its first brick and mortar store in Seattle.

🔐 Facebook rolls out end-to-end encryption for Messenger, the next step in its messaging integration plan.

🛍 Instagram tests ads in Shop tab, further building out eCommerce potential.

🤫 Facebook outlines new, privacy-focused approach to advertising, inline with industry shifts.

🦾 7/11 announced alcohol delivery program.

🎨 TikTok Launches 'Creative Solutions' guide to building effective TikTok campaigns.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

📈 Geeking out on growth with Little Spoon's Simon Wool.

🤯 Slashing customer acquisition costs with Nik Sharma.

👩‍💻 Marea Wellness scales menstrual health organically on TikTok and Reddit with Monica Grohne.

🍼 Organic influencers for the win with Co-founder and CMO of Lalo, Michael Weider.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Eric Dyck, Sadie Evans, Raven Dixon, and Rebecca Knight.

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