DTC 94: 📦 Walk the Line
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Sometimes ya gotta test the limits to see what Facebook will ACTUALLY catch ya on.

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Gym+Coffee, Rumpl, Huel, El Rayo Tequila, Harry’s, Birkenstock, Purina, and Vice Reversa. 🎉

In this newsletter you’ll find:

🤑 The BEST Amazon image listing tips.

📈 Part 2 of organic ways to grow your email list!

👥 A masterclass in customer retention with Troy Petrunoff.

🍄 And Mushroom coffee?!

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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The Pilothouse Amazon team shared their BEST image listing tips that you must test.

Check’em out: 🤑

Listing images are the first point of contact. It’s essential to properly communicate your brand and develop trust ASAP.

Assume the customer hasn’t read the listing title or bullets (because let’s be honest, they probably haven’t).

🚨 The listing images should portray all the product’s selling features without relying on the other listing elements for support.

👉 Listing Image Tips:

1️⃣ All your images should follow your brand colors and themes, creating a seamless branded experience.

A majority of sellers have ZERO uniformity across each image.

2️⃣ Use eye-catching images with minimal, skimmable text. Don’t load up each image with text – you’ll lose the customer fast.

3️⃣ You’re allotted ten images – use that space! However, prioritize the first six images as those are featured. The customer must click through to access the rest.

4️⃣ Videos are highly encouraged. They’re a great way to guide people through the purchasing process and help further communicate your product and brand.

5️⃣ If your brand is lifestyle-focused, consider including lifestyle photos of people with your product.

Remember: For most categories, you aren’t allowed a lifestyle image on the FIRST listing image because you can’t include things that don’t come with the product.

6️⃣ For hero images, make sure it takes up as much of the square as possible otherwise you’ll have a lot unnecessary white space

7️⃣ If your product comes with accessories SHOW these in your photos! This can be seen as a value-add and lead to more conversions.

HOT TIP: Photoshop key selling points onto your images.

For example, if you sell a 12-pack of protein bars, photoshop "12-pack" onto the product image even if your packaging in real life doesn’t have "12-pack" written on the side.

It’s a key selling point as people click through your images, and will help conversions.

This toes the line with Amazon’s rules, BUT it’s worth testing.

Split Test your Images:

Amazon has a beta brand feature called "Manage your experiments" where you can split test different listing images.

It split-tests images over a 4-week period and provides killer insights. We HIGHLY recommend utilizing this killer tool.

Check out the example below!

Note: Not all brands will have this capability, but most should!


🤔 What do customers really want?

It's an age old question that has marketers racking their brains every single day.

We might have known some of the answers before, but then 2020 happened, and the way consumers discover, engage with, and buy from brands changed forever.

So as marketing leaders, how do we operate against a moving target? How do we predict success and deliver brand moments that resonate when consumer preferences are ever-changing? And how do we do this at scale?

Klaviyo set out to answer this by surveying over 5,000 online shoppers from around the world, and they're sharing these 2021 consumer insights with you in their report to end all reports.

You'll find out what today’s online shoppers actually think about the way brands use email, SMS, and social media, and learn what long-term strategies will help your business thrive, even if the future is unknown.

👉 Download the free report now.


We’re back with part 2 of KEY ways to grow your email list during these next two months before Black Friday Cyber Monday.

Let’s jump in: 👇

🗣 Encourage users refer your emails

Oftentimes when people are shopping, they’ll see things they know a friend or family member would like. They’ll open up the page, copy the URL, and send it directly to them.

There’s an easier way for customers to refer products: allow them to forward the email with the recommendations to friends or family with a referral subscribe link.

Then the person receiving the email can easily subscribe by clicking the link.

Tip: Reward both the referrer and referee with loyalty points, a discount, or similar.

One of the biggest DTC brands, Brooklinen, utilizes this strategy. 👇

📱 Add a QR code to your packages

Including a QR code with every shipment –whether it’s directly on the package or on a printed sheet inside the box –can drive more email or SMS sign ups.

Customers simply open their cameras, point it at the code, and they’re subscribed. Easy as pie.

Get creative with these codes too by including a short message from the founder or adding a discount to make sure customers see the code and understand what it is.

AKA, a code with no context likely won’t convert anyone.

👍 Leverage your other channels

Remind customers about your email newsletter from your social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.

This is what Co-Founder of Layer Origin Nutrition, Beau Berman, does on YouTube.

He suggests posting educational videos and then linking to a "subscribe to email list landing page" in the video description and comments.

"This strategy by far has the highest click-through rate and highest purchase rate of any other method for us. This is likely because people searching for ‘HMO Prebiotic’ on YouTube are closer to the bottom of the funnel, with higher buying intent," he said.

💬 Offer an opt-in during a live chat

As a way to close off your support chats, simply invite customers to join your mailing list by clicking a simple "yes" or "no" option.

This is low-hanging fruit and a great chance to collect more emails right before Black Friday –or during it!

Note: Only do this with positive support chats. If a customer had a negative experience, the last thing you should offer them is an option to opt-in to your email campaigns.

✅ Add an opt-in checkbox to your contact form

Some customers prefer to email your brand about questions or support inquiries, rather than use live chat.

Add an opt-in checkbox to your "contact us" form to give customers the option to also receive promotional emails after they contact you.

Tip: Don’t try to deceive customers into opting in.

Make the checkbox obvious, so customers can decide to unclick it if they don’t want your emails. Besides, it only harms your deliverability if you have unengaged contacts on your email list.

💰 Add an opt-in checkbox to your checkout

Customers are already sharing their email to receive transactional messages about their order.

Why not add a checkbox where they can choose to receive promotional messages as well?

With the purchases customers make between now and Black Friday, you’ll grow your email list and save data on each customer’s purchase history.

Use that info to recommend relevant products for Black Friday.

👋 End your articles with a newsletter opt-in

Articles & blogs should always have a call-to-action.

While many of your articles may have a CTA to a certain product, you can still end each post by directing customers to your email opt-in.

For articles that are geared more towards the top of the funnel, it’s more likely for those visitors to convert to your email list than to decide they’re purchasing a product right away.

Barkbox uses a CTA to their subscription program to end some of their articles, which would also grow their email list if customers subscribed.

You got the strategies now, go execute! And let us know if you’ve got any questions :)


With September coming to a close, it’s time to start ramping up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But do you know what the ecological cost of this big sales event typically equates to?

It’s estimated that a whopping 2,145,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide were emitted from online purchase deliveries in the US and UK alone on BFCM last year. 🤯

That's why EcoCart – along with their partners from Manifest Commerce, Project Verte, KickFurther, and AdQuadrant – thinks you should turn your Black Friday green this year.

Join their free webinar tomorrow, September 30th, for an in-depth discussion on how you can create sustainable solutions for your BFCM, including:

  • Sustainable inventory planning strategies
  • The greenest ways to plan your logistics and distribution
  • How to offset the remaining carbon emissions you simply can’t eliminate

♻️ Ready to turn your Black Friday green?

👉 Register for the webinar here.


Are you ready for a Masterclass in customer retention? 👨‍🎓

Then you’re gonna love this week’s podcast.

We were joined by Troy Petrunoff, the Retention Marketing Manager of Every Man Jack –men’s (and women’s!) grooming products inspired by the outdoors and powered by nature.

As one of the first-movers in the men’s natural grooming industry and successfully scaling from retail to DTC, this brand knows a thing or two about marketing.

‍The Takeaways: 👇

🛍️ How Bundles can boost customer acquisition:

Bundling popular products has helped Every Man Jack convert first-time buyers.

In fact, their "Body Wash Quad" continues to be one of their best-sellers for acquisition.

And during their recent Labor Day Sale, they found that first-time customers were more likely to click on Bundles (returning customers clicked on Best-Sellers instead.)

Bundling or sampling can make sense if your product comes in different scents, flavors, or variations. People love to try stuff before they commit! 🙋

📱 QR codes are making a comeback, and here’s how to use them:

Thinking about using QR codes for your brand?

Here are a few use cases to consider 🤔:


If you regularly sponsor or attend events, include a QR code on your tent/booth, packaging, or flyers. The code could link to a landing page, or send a text, with a unique offer for that event.

(Every Man Jack has found this successful at Tough Mudder races which they sponsor.)

Samples or New Products:

Create samples of a new product with a QR code on the package (or a sticker) that allows you to re-order or pre-fills your basket.

Retail → eComm Conversion:

If your product sells in stores, add a QR code to your retail packaging that gives an incentive to buy online.

👉 Want more retention tips? Listen to the full pod with Troy here (and find out what Ironman smells like).


Do you really know what's going into some of your pantry staples?

Maybe just looking to be more of a funguy? 🍄

This is your formal introduction to Four Sigmatic.

Their mushroom-based proteins, coffees, and cacao drinks bring you all your favorites with clean & crash-free plant-based ingredients.

Check out how easy it is to make! 👇

With over 20,000 5 star reviews, Four Signmatic can confirm their product definitely does NOT taste like mushrooms.

Four Sigmatic was spotted on Thingtesting, a place to read honest reviews of DTC brands!


❄️ What does it take to turn your brand into a POWERHOUSE? Learn from Josh Snow from Snow Oral Care at PowerHouse Brands Live in Austin, TX.

🎞 TikTok shares new research into how users respond to ads on the platform.

🔎 Matching the most relevant keyword to every search.

🤑 How 3 DTC brands are reallocating their advertising spendafter Apple’s iOS 14 update.

📍 TikTok tests new option to pin selected video clips to the top of your profile.

📓 Facebook: sharing our content distribution guidelines.

🙈 Bring performance and privacy together with Server-Side Tagging.

🎧 How are leading brands using data to bring more, deeply personalized experiences to market? Find out on Simon Data’s podcast - Data Unlocked.*

📊 Facebook outlines impacts of Apple's data tracking update, provides tips on how brands can improve ad performance.

🏠 Etsy debuts shoppable virtual house.

*Sponsored listing

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

👨‍🎓 Retention for Consumables with Troy Petrunoff from Every Man Jack.

🌎 Omsom’s Emily Chan shares the secret behind 90% of their growth and it’s NOT paid ads.

🛍 Building the future of online marketplaces with Matt Hayes, Co-Founder of The Fascination.

👩‍💻 Nestle's Orchid Bertelsen on strategies that scale across 30+ brands (and the metaverse).

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Sadie Evans, Kelsey Hess, Tina Donati, and Rebecca Knight.

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