DTC 86: 📦Smells like updog in here
May 21, 2023
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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Apologies to any of our readers over at Apple. 😬😅

Come on though. Ya gotta shake it up. Maybe add a fourth camera lense?

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Pure Heavenly, Chemical Guys, Xlash Cosmetics, Love Cocoa, Hamama, Smoothie Box, and Pact Coffee. 🚀

In this newsletter you’ll find:

💬 How to improve your SMS conversions.

🤑 How Bushbalm grew 1000% in one year with David Gaylord.

📈 Improving your Facebook custom reporting.

👀 Amazon ads and store tips!

🪒 How Harry’s is utilizing UGC.

New referral prize! (Free Amazon course) Read till the end to access. 🔥

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

How to Improve SMS Conversions

SMS marketing can be used for various purposes ranging from promotions, important announcements, order details, and even collecting feedback.

Ways to boost conversions: 👇

🛒 Send Abandoned Cart Reminders

Some shoppers need that extra nudge to finalize their order. While email is the typical channel for this, SMS provides an even better opportunity.

Make it super easy by adding their cart link with the message to help them finish.

Check out this example from Supergoop. They should throw in a discount to make it more enticing to complete the purchase!

Coupon Codes for Special Occasions

Treat your customers like royalty on their special days, such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Not only does it make them feel special, but it also gives you an opportunity to delight a customer with online store creditor discounts.

Also take advantage of SMS around BFCM… which is coming up SOON!

Customer service GOLD:

Text is a great platform to answer complicated customer questions that require a human response.

Treat your SMS list as VIPs. Let them know they’ll be receiving exclusive promotions AND that you’re there to answer any questions

WellWell crushes this!

📣 Announce New Product & Restock

SMS is a great medium for announcing time-sensitive information such as new product arrivals or restocks.

To improve conversions, create segments of customers based on past purchases and send them hyper-targeted messages.

Check out these examples from Not Pot and Blume. 👇

📬 Send Reorder Reminders

Depending on your product lifecycle, set up well-timed reminder messages to prompt another purchase.

SMS is sensitive so don’t go overboard with multiple reminders.

🤑 Promote Ongoing Sales

On average, text messages are opened within 2 minutes of delivery. So messages can be used to drive urgency during ongoing flash sales or special offers.

Again, these can be hyper-targeted based on customer segments and purchase history.

💬 Get Referrals via SMS

Create a segment of your loyal customers and turn them into brand advocates.

Referral discounts are great ways to incentivize your advocates and gain new customers at the same time.

Consumers trust recommendations from friends and family, which increases the chance of purchase.

PLUS it’s super easy for them to invite friends and family via text especially when you’ve got a kick-ass offer.

TIP: When building your list, let your existing channels do the work. Add a spot on your pop-up.

Check out this KILLER pop-up from Omsom.

Only thing we’d suggest is testing a two-step process. The first step is for email and the second is for phone number.

TEST both routes and let us know what worked best for your brand.


Perplexed by SMS? 🤔

We know it may seem daunting to decide what message should go out on what channel.

But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating a text message marketing strategy that wows your customers and works alongside your email program.

Trust us – once you understand how to create an SMS strategy that compliments your email sends, you’ll be sliding into your subscribers’ email and text inboxes in no time. 😎

And the best part?

You probably have marketing automations already in place that you can add text messages to – you just need to be strategic about who you send your messages to and when.

Learn ways to incorporate both SMS and email marketing –without saying the same thing twice.

👉 Check out Klaviyo’s guide here.

Facebook Custom Reporting

Ready, set, PIVOT!

Back in June 2020 Facebook removed the standard breakdown options to filter creative.

A similar version is BACK but this time in custom reports.

It includes a parameter to pull performance data based on the creative asset used.This means no more sorting only by audience, gender, country, device, etc.

You’ll get better insights into your creative performance and an opportunity to improve your creative department.

Check it out. 👇

Amazon Sponsored Ads and Brand Store

The Pilothouse Amazon team shared one of the biggest mistakes brands make when building landing pages and running ads.

The Problem: Most sponsored brand ads on Amazon use extremely generic headlines like "Check out our great X" or "Save money on a new X." Users click on the ad (hopefully) and it leads to an even more generic Amazon store page.

Most sellers on Amazon create sponsored brand ads and store pages that aren’t specific enough. It not only doesn’t convert well but makes for a horrible customer experience.

Example: Let’s say your company sells vitamins.

Most sellers would develop a boring and general headline like "Best vitamins for staying healthy" or "Most complete multivitamins."

Don’t do that! 👎

Get specific.

Utilize data from your Facebook ads to determine a distinct angle. This could mean targeting certain types of customers or focusing on key value propositions.

Once that’s determined, bid on specific keywords that align with that angle and create a headline.

For example, Smarty Pants vitamins targets pregnant women with the headline "Premium Vitamins from Bump to Birth."

The final step is creating a page that links to your ads.

Think of this as a landing page similar to the one you’d create for a Facebook campaign.

For this example, SmartyPants vitamins have built a landing page that focuses solely on why pregnant women should buy their products.

The copy, pictures, and value props are all targeted to this specific audience.


📣 Boost your marketing with UGC!

UGC is the best type of content for breaking through the noise on your marketing channels. But how do DTC brands manage high-performing UGC campaigns at scale?

Enter: minisocial. 👋

minisocial scales your micro influencer strategy while generating hundreds of beautiful, fully-licensed UGC assets for you to use across all of your brand’s marketing channels.

DTC brands like Native, Olipop, and Hydrant use minisocial campaigns to populate their organic social, ads, email, and beyond by working with Instagram and TikTok micro influencers.

Campaigns are fully managed, assets are fully licensed, and start at just $2k. But as a DTC Newsletter reader, you get 15% off your first campaign—just mention this ad. 😉

Ready to scale your brand’s next UGC strategy?

👉 Get started with minisocial here!


This week on the pod, we talked all things growth with David Gaylord, CEO of Bushbalm.

Bushbalm makes "skincare for everywhere" 🍑 and is currently one of Canada’s fastest-growing DTC brands.

‍The Takeaways: 👇

🚀 How Bushbalm grew over 1000% in one year:

"For the most part, we found our unique value proposition and how to position the product."

Simple, right?

Well, it took about 3 years to nail it.

But once they did, they grew their sales from ~$150K to $1.8M in just one year. Now in 2021, they’re on track to do ~$10M.

"We’re kind of recession-proof when it comes to pubes. They just never go out of style; you’re trimming them, you’re grooming them, or you’re waxing them. Whatever you’re doing, we’ve got products for you."

🔎 A unique way to increase search volume:

Put search terms in your product names!

"...we’ve actually gone with solution-based names, which has helped on other parts of the business we didn’t even realize, like SEO."

For Bushbalm, these terms are things like "ingrown hairs," "razor burn," and "dark spots."

Plus, this makes the benefits of their products loud and clear to customers.

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 The importance of customer service when growing a brand:

In order to cut costs, many brands will outsource CS when they’re starting out.

David took a different approach, and it’s paid dividends… Especially when it comes to new product development.

The Bushbalm CS team is constantly engaging with customers, asking for feedback, and gathering ideas for new products.

In fact, one of their SKUs wasn’t even on their product roadmap until customers started asking for it!

That’s one killer way to create brand loyalty. 💛

David’s Twitter thread talks more about the value they get from customer service and the beauty of having it so close to the team.

📈 The 80/20 rule for ads:

Bushbalm is all about ad velocity. They shoot for 10 new ad variations every week.

🤯 How do they keep up with it?

The 80/20 rule:

  • 80% are iterations on ads that are already running (changes to copy or new creative).
  • 20% are brand new ideas.

And the ads that hit? They’re usually the 2nd or 3rd iteration.

In other words, ABI: Always be iterating. 👊

💀 The death of a DTC brand:

Why do most DTC brands fail to grow?


"As a DTC brand, you have to innovate a lot. You have to bring out new products. You have to nurture your audience and keep them engaged."

David’s Numero Uno strategy for scaling revenue: Constantly launch new products *that customers want.*

If you’re still in the testing phase, consider budgeting out smaller short-term product launches, like exclusives or limited-time offerings.

If the product sells well, bring it back as a full-time SKU.

To learn more about how David is crushing the growth game (and why Bushbalm doesn’t actually sell any balms?!?! 😂) listen to the full pod here!


Wondering how one of the original DTC brands is crushing their ads in 2021?

UGC plays a huge role and it better be a priority for your brand too!

Checkout this great UGC ad and peep the copy: "Over 50,000 5-Star Reviews 👀"

Social proof on social proof. Love it!

📈 What if your corporate card could help you make smarter marketing investments? Trust is the community powered corporate card designed to help DTC brands grow smarter.

🤑 TikTok rolls out quick 'promote' ad option to all business accounts.

👀 Instagram outlines how its search algorithms work, and how you can optimize your presence.

📕 Clubhouse Launches 'Creator Commons' Resource Hub to Help Guide Your Platform Strategy.

💸 Ikea is piloting a limited buy back and resell service in the U.S.

🌮 Taco Bell names Lil Nas X 'chief impact officer' in latest pop culture activation.

🎮 Netflix Turns to ‘Stranger Things’ for First Test of Gaming Strategy.

🪐 Clubhouse is adding spatial audio effects to make users feel like they’re really in the room.

🌎 Snapchat’s new AR features can identify the world around you.

🤔 All the most popular posts on Facebook are plagiarized.

🎂 Asking people for their birthday on Instagram.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🤑 How This DTC Brand Grew 1000% in one year with David Gaylord, CEO of Bushbalm.

📫 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.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Nupura Ughade, Kelsey Hess, and RebeccaKnight.

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