DTC 85: 📦 Skyrocket your CTR
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Legendary pro skater Tony Hawk is selling skateboards infused with his blood as part of a campaign with DTC water brand Liquid Death.

The skateboards 👀👇

DTC Newsletter is filled with the blood, sweat, AND tears of our team so pretty much the same thing. 😁

In this newsletter you’ll find:

🤑 How to improve your CTR.

✅ Custom Facebook reporting.

📱 Instagram Shop – platform update.

🌳 An olive branch to Unilever.

🚀 Why you should be bidding on your own Amazon branded terms.

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

Improve CTR

With Apple’s recent iOS 15 update, email marketers are shouting "CTR!" from the rooftops. 📣

🚨ICYMI: Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection eliminated email pixel tracking, which threw accurate open rate tracking out the window.

It’s crucial to start focusing on your click-through-rate (CTR) instead of opens.

Creative ways to improve your CTR:👇

💡CTR Tip 1: Make ‘em curious.

Chief email marketing nerd, Chase Dimond, says improving CTR comes down to the basic principles of curiosity.

Be cryptic. Be vague. Be mysterious. 😎

It’s crucial especially when launching new products, running sales, and special offers.

Curiosity starts with the subject line (and preview text). A curious subject line can be intriguing, funny, or just make someone go "huh?"

These brands nailed it:

  • "It’s Arrived."  — Huckberry
  • "for your eyes only 👀" — Chairist
  • "Quick favor?" — Jon Morrow
  • "10/10 would not wormhole again" — Recess

Once you’ve piqued their curiosity with the subject line, keep it going within the body of the email.

Examples ⤵️

A "mystery sale" email like this one from Charlotte’s Web is a great way to get people curious and clickin.

Will you get 15% off? Or 30%?... There’s only one way to find out!

Apple’s cryptic email about an upcoming "shopping event" crushes.

What’s happening on Friday? Are we invited? Can we bring friends?

Don’t include all the details… leave some out so they want to click!

This Tom Raffield email about a "secret project" with hidden clues gets us all kinds of murder-mystery excited. 🕵️

However, "In the Meantime, Explore Our Range" isn’t the strongest CTA for such a strong email.

We’d suggest hiding the clues behind a click for better CTR on this one.

💡 CTR Tip 2: Click to learn more:

Utilize this when sending content or directing to a landing page with more information.

It’s a classic move, but only works IF your copy is compelling and interesting.

Share a small portion of the content, or a summary of the top points, and ask the reader to click to read/learn more.

Examples ⤵️

Copyblogger’s email combines curiosity with the "click to learn more" tactic.

They start with a subject line that gets you intrigued. Even the way it’s formatted is interesting.

Once you open the email, they hook you with a personal message and just enough detail to leave you wanting more.

BOOM! by Cindy Joseph uses a straightforward summary approach.

They tell you exactly what you’ll learn in their post.

It doesn’t invoke a ton of mystery, but it could lead to a better CTR if it’s content the reader wants. Which it should be – if they’re segmenting their emails based on interest!

💡 CTR Tip 3: Ask for engagement.

Utilize this especially in post-purchase flows and welcome emails.

Improve CTR by asking your reader to engage.

  • Leave a review.
  • Fill out a survey.
  • Give feedback.
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Confess your deepest darkest secret.

Not only will these improve your CTR, but they’ll also equip you with valuable information about your customers. Win-win!

Example ⤵️

Outdoor brand, Wildist, asks for a review.

It’s beautiful, simple, and explains why your review is so valuable.

They also sweeten the deal with a chance to be featured on their Instagram if you leave a review. #instafamous 🤳

💥Other quick CTR wins:

  • Include a top navigation bar with site links, and a social share footer. This gives readers other opportunities to click without detracting from your main CTA.
  • Hyperlink all images. People ❤️ clicking photos.
  • Make your CTAs obvious (think big juicy buttons that scream "click me!")
  • Send. Segmented. Emails. Sending the right people the right content makes them more likely to engage.

Want more email tips? Reply to this email and let us know. 😬


Transactional emails may not seem like the most exciting customer touchpoint, but don’t be fooled.

Order and shipping confirmation emails receive open rates as high as 85 percent (compare this to the 20-25 percent average open rate of marketing emails).

Luckily, Klaviyo is here to show you how some of the best DTC brands, like Quip, Ritual, and Native, use these transactional emails to their advantage.

In these examples, you’ll learn how these brands are maximizing transactional emails to:

  • Help build customer loyalty.
  • Improve the post-purchase experience.
  • And establish a unique voice for their brand.

Ready to make the most of every transaction?

👉 Explore Klaviyo's shipping confirmation email examples here.

Facebook Tip from Pilothouse

Not many buyers know this so buckle up! It’s simple but very helpful.

If you don’t have the ability to look at ad set and ad level data on Google Analytics for your custom Facebook reports, do the following:

Step 1: Go to Customization/Custom Reports

Step 2: Click Edit

Step 3: Add these parameters!

Boom! Now you’re in business.

Facebook Update!

A quick platform update regarding Instagram shop: 👇

Automatic Placement campaigns with Website Conversions, Product Catalog Sales, and Link Click objectives will be automatically opted-in to Facebook’s new placement: Instagram Shop.

This placement reaches users in Shop tab, the app’s destination for people to browse and shop a wide range of brands.

NOTE: This new ad placement is still in early stages, so expect delivery to be minimal.

Standalone campaigns for only the Instagram Shop placement are not yet available.

If you don’t want your Automatic Placement ads to deliver on Instagram Shop, you can opt-out via Manual Placements.


More > less.

More buying power. More time to pay. More data. More growth.

👋 Say hello to Trust! They’re the community corporate card built for your marketing investments.

Their team spent years building Snap’s ad platform.

Now, they’ve launched Trust to help your DTC business grow smarter.

Here’s how:

  • Use your Trust card on the major ad platforms like Google, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.
  • As you’re making those marketing investments, Trust shows you the latest investment trends across the major platforms so you invest with more confidence.
  • Payment terms are 45 days to improve cash flow, credit limits are up to 20x higher, and they’re free.

Right now, they’re extending a special offer to the DTC Newsletter community: 60 day payment terms for your first statement period AND a $500 credit after you spend $25K during that period.

Grow your business in good company with Trust.

👉 Apply now.

Brand Spotlight

Want to make your deodorant buying experience a little bit more posh and a lot more sustainable?

Meet Fussy. 👇

With customizable deodorant cases and scents, we’re sure you’ll find something that fits your aesthetic.

Check out Fussy’s public apology and olive branch to Unilever here. 🚨

Forget about how sleek and environmentally friendly the product is; we’d buy based on ‘Operation Olive Branch’ alone. 🌳


This week on All Killer No Filler we have Saul, Head of Pilothouse's Google Ads team to discuss:

🚨 Why you MUST bid on your own branded terms.

"More than likely, your competitor is bidding on your brand’s terms. It’s a dog eat dog world.

If they’re bidding and you’re not, potential customers will have to scroll for your organic listing. Or worse: they’ll land, and purchase from a competitor.

The majority of people, unless they're looking for a specific brand logo, will opt for the sponsored posts – so this is crucial."

After hearing this, we put together a plan to bid on the DTC Newsletter since other newsletters were bidding on us. We won’t say who. 😬👀

The good news is, if you’re bidding on your organic terms along with competitors, you make it more expensive for them!

So get bidding!

For more on all things Google, listen to the full pod here!


👋 DTC Newsletter, Alibaba, Amazon, Vessi, and Patagonia are all attending Ecom World. We recommend that you do, too! Take $870 off your ticket now (price increases in 24hrs!)

🍃 Cannabis eCommerce startup Jane Technologies raises $100M after stellar growth.

💎 Tiffany taps Beyoncé and Jay-Z for a new spin on its iconic history.

💳 Ramp raises $300M at a $3.9B valuation, makes its first acquisition.

♻️ Coca-Cola serves free Lime rides to encourage recycling plastic bottles.

🛍 TikTok expands Shopify partnership, pilots TikTok Shopping in US, UK, and Canada.

👓 Eyeglass retailer Warby Parker in IPO filing reveals rising sales – but also widening losses.

⚾️ ESPN: NFLPA, Fanatics agree to 20-year contract for trading cards; joining NBA, MLB.

📱 Liftoff, Vungle merge to form broad mobile app growth platform.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

📫 Chase Dimond on iOS 15 changes and this one simple hack to raise your email open rates by 20%.

📈 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.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Kelsey Hess, and Rebecca Knight.

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📥 Work for The DTC Newsletter: Send an email to Thomas, thomas@directtoconsumer.co, if you’re interested in writing or working on our social media team!

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