DTC 95: 📦 Q4 MUST DOs
May 21, 2023
Content Tag

Saturday, October 2, 2021

DTC powerhouse, Super Coffee, released the world's first "open source coffee code."

They revealed exactly what’s in their drinks and challenged massive brands such as Dunkin and Starbucks to change their ingredients -- specifically reducing the amounts of sugar.

Super Coffee calls it a "peace and assist"

The CEO and oldest brother, Jim, was one of our first guests on the DTC podcast. Check it out here!

In this newsletter you’ll find:

✅ Facebook Q4 planning tips.

👥 How Olipop has crafted the best customer experience.

🏬 Getting your DTC brand in retail.

🎙 Podcast advertising with Podcorn’s Todd Gallet.

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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


Q4 is here and that means big growth. The Pilothouse team has you covered from every angle.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll share tips to ensure you’re prepped up for a killer Q4.

We’re kicking things off with Facebook. 🎉🎁

Tip 1: Increase prospecting budgets RIGHT NOW to build your retargeting and email audiences. Ad costs are going to start increasing parallel with buyer intent, leading up to the middle of December – before nose-diving again – so build audiences now to take advantage of that.

Tip 2: Get your email capture popping off with early bird savings for BFCM. If your flows for the holiday season aren’t already built, you’re losing money every day from here to the new year.

Tip 3: Get your offer calendar ready – be crystal clear on your exact plan, and ensure your buyers are working lockstep with your creatives on that plan.

Tip 4: Take all your winning creative from the last two years and add holiday season promos on top of them. Use what has worked already to save time.

Tip 5. Test your promo structures before BFCM (flash sales, Halloween, etc). The windows for each promo are small and frequent so make sure this is all done ahead of time.

Doing so will help put your best offers forward when peak buyer intent hits at BFCM.

Tip 6. Make sure your ad account payment methods are ready to handle more spend and have backup ready. Call your banks and have them increase limits if needed. Don’t get caught without the ability to spend if you need to.

Tip 7. People will likely be doing more retail shopping this year compared to last, so develop angles that incentivize shopping online.

For example, add "This deal is only available on our website!"

Tip 8. Cycle in new iterations of working ads and landing pages so that you’ve always got a new potential winner in the ranks. Avoid creative burnout!

🚨📦 Finally, here’s a new feature from Facebook to help you improve your Quality Score when shipping times are slow… which they likely are.

FYI: The higher your quality score, the less your traffic costs.

According to Facebook "The Feedback score provides an indication of the business's ability to set and meet customer expectations."

One of the main ways your feedback score is calculated is from post-purchase surveys.

As we enter the final quarter, supply chain and shipping times continue to be horrible.

Sometimes surveys are sent out before the customer receives the product which is NOT good because it can hurt your score.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go into "Account Quality section"
  2. Choose the Facebook page promoting your ads
  3. Increase the time length for your post-purchase surveys to 8+ weeks (to account for crazy supply chain delays).

For our visual peeps 👇

We recommend checking the page score every month or so. If it dips below 2, your ads get a delivery penalty (higher CPMs or worse delivery).

We’ll be back next week with Q4 prep tips for Email, Google, Amazon, and more!


October is here, which means that Halloween will be here faster than you can say "Hocus pocus!" 👻

Halloween brings the opportunity to be anyone or anything, you can dream up – you just need the right attire.

Creating a Halloween email flow is much like conjuring up a spectacular costume: It takes a bunch of brainstorming, a dash of artistry, and a sprinkle of guts to produce an email marketing campaign that’s hauntingly click-worthy.

Plus, when brewed successfully, these spooky emails can help you ensnare new customers and spellbind your existing ones as you prepare to head into the busiest time of the retail year.

Don't know where to start?

🎃 Get Klaviyo's tried-and-true Halloween email marketing ideas –plus top examples from brands that are bewitching us all.


We talked to one of the best in customer experience – Eli Weiss, Director of CX at Olipop – about what it really means to work in the space, how to create a CX strategy, and the personality traits needed to be a CX marketer.

Let’s dive in: 🤿

What it means to work in Customer Experience (CX)

With CX, you're not just supporting customers, you're thinking about their experience with the brand at every interaction.

"I like customer experience because I like blowing people's minds and making things right. I enjoy somebody going from a frown to a smile," said Eli.

Here’s an example:

If a customer has a problem with their shipping and delivery, CX isn’t just about saying sorry, it’s about thinking creatively about how you can fix the issue with memorable, out of the box solutions.

The approach Eli takes is definitely customer-centric.

When one of Olipop’s customers shared how their mother (who recently passed away) loved Olipop’s sodas, the Olipop team sent flowers with a personal letter:

The difference between CX and customer service (CS)

While often mistaken as the same thing, there is a difference between working in CX and CS.

Support is more about answering common questions and putting out fires. CX is about zooming out and understanding how to manage expectations at every single part of the customer journey.

"I'm constantly the voice of the customer in every conversation. I'm making sure that the customer gets a seat at the table and is heard, so it’s a much more proactive approach," said Eli.

The CX buzzword: building community

When it comes to customer experience marketing, a lot of people will say the answer is to build a community.

But for Eli, community isn’t just about opening a Facebook group and adding 7,000 people to it – an approach that a lot of eCom marketers take.

Rather, building community is cultivating a space for people that want to feel like they're heard by like-minded people. It’s about understanding…

  • What are your customers like?
  • What do they talk about?
  • Where do they like to hang out?
  • How can you support them?

The foundations of a CX Strategy

Eli views a proper CX strategy in phases:

First, it’s key to listen to customer feedback and collect every single data point and take that feedback and incorporate it. Second, actively remove friction from every part of the customer journey.

And truthfully, right now the bar is so low when it comes to giving customers a good shopping experience, so Eli breaks CX down between 1.0 and 2.0.

CX 1.0: The minimum, which is about collecting data, responding to customers quickly, and making sure you're responding in a way that you'd want to be responded to.

CX 2.0: It’s thinking of creative ways to set the pace and asking yourself questions like

  • How can I put our customers first?
  • What are some out-of-the-box ways to give them a memorable experience?
  • How can I be the voice of the customer in every conversation? So in every marketing call, weekly ops call, etc.
  • What products should be launched according to our customers’ needs?
  • Is the website clear enough?
  • Is the box that customers receive what they expected?
  • Is there something more I can do with this customer’s order to surprise them?

CX 2.0 gets responses exactly like this (a screenshot from Eli’s team):

In Wednesday’s edition, we’ll dive into part two of our conversation with Eli and breakdown:

  1. Bringing CX across the customer journey
  2. CX best practices
  3. The qualities of a CX marketer
  4. The future of CX

Don’t miss out!


You may be back to enjoying IRL office happy hours – but virtual events are here to stay. 💻

That’s why hybrid events – ones that bring together virtual and in-person attendees – are on the rise. In fact, over half of event organizers are planning a hybrid event in 2021 and beyond.

Yet, hybrid remains a brand new format. Even the most seasoned event pros will need to master it.

That’s why Hopin created a playbook to show you how to plan and execute memorable hybrid events that’ll be sure to make you the talk of the town.

It’s a comprehensive guide complete with actionable strategies, a step-by-step event checklist, and a breakdown of the experience for each and every stakeholder involved – no matter if they’re dressed in a suit or in PJs.

👉 Download the guide here.


For small DTC brands, it can be a challenge to get into retail.

DTC and now retail (ha!) brand, OffLimits took things into their own hands by placing boxes into CVS, Wholefoods, and Wawa.

They call it reverse stealing and their videos have gone viral on TikTok.

They even successfully bought their own cereal.

If you’re lucky to go viral on TT, don’t let the moment pass without squeezing everything out of it.

Most email subscribers probably don’t follow you on TikTok, so feature the content in an email.

Check out the OffLimits example.


This week on DTC Podcast, we welcomed Todd Gallet from Podcorn to the hot seat to search for the answer to: When should you start advertising on podcasts?

☝️ Bottom-Up Approach

We all dream big, but sometimes our dreams and our budgets don’t quite align.

Sure, Joe Rogan seems like a great host to tell his massive audience about your product, but Podcorn has seen success with smaller budgets using the bottom-up approach.

Todd suggests starting by advertising on mid-tail and long-tail shows with a dedicated audience.

This is your chance to tighten up your messaging, see what resonates with your niche, and scale up!

📚 Authentic ad reads

Finding your niche is important, but finding a host that genuinely loves your product can leverage the relationship with their audience to push your product.

A script is not the only way to get all your points across.

Send the podcast host your product and have them talk about what they love about it; they may even include angles you wouldn't have thought to include!

Podcorn created a marketplace platform to easily allow brands to connect with hosts and manage deliveries, payments, and impressions.

🎙 Getting in the scene

If you’re an avid podcast listener, it may seem like the market is already built up and running.

But honestly, podcast advertising is just getting started. DTC brands are seeing success testing in their niches.

The beauty of testing now is the opportunity to get exclusivity in shows or categories.

Testing out a few shows gives you the chance to find the sweet spot of ROI.

Want to learn more about the world of podcasting and Podcorn’s managed VS. DIY approach to ads? Listen to the full pod here!

Interested in Podcorn’s platform? Check them out here!


🎁 Reachdesk wraps up $43M to expand its B2B gifting marketplace.

🎬 Sony buys remake and remaster studio Bluepoint Games.

🎶 Twitch enters first record label partnership with Warner Music Group.

💰 There’s an easier way for global startups to manage expenses. Apply for Jeeves today and receive 3% cashback on all ad spend.*

🍠 Spudsy bags $3.3M to turn ‘ugly’ sweet potatoes into snacks.

▶️ Netflix acquires Oxenfree developer Night School Studio.

🦷 Toothfairy’s virtual dentist appraises £3M seed round led by ADA Ventures and Slingshot.

🛍 Gamitee becomes Joyned as it secures $4M for social shopping platform.

*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, Tina Donati, and Rebecca Knight.

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