📦 - Get All Geared Up (Literally)
May 21, 2023
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Friday, December 23, 2022

Anyone already started planning for BF/CM 2023? 🤣

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Planning for success on the biggest shopping day of the year

📦 Get flexible content packages tailored to your specific needs and goals

📦 What RUX learned from their Summer, Fall, and Halloween sales

📦 365 day eye masks, specialty nut butters, and getting organized

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe, so you never miss out.

Welcome back to part two of Campaign Confidential. In case you missed part one, here’s the deal:

Campaign Confidential is a new series where we open the campaign case files of real businesses working with Pilothouse’s Pilot Program – a service that helps brands who don’t quite meet the typical agency criteria scale affordably. 💸

In part one, we introduced you to RUX – a Pilothouse client that gives their shoppers a faster and more convenient way to pack, carry, and store their gear. This week, we’re moving onto RUX’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BF/CM) pre-launch strategy.

But first, all good strategies start with a plan…

✍️ The outline

From the pilot testing outlined in part one, the team was confident they had determined RUX’s winning audiences and angles through their month of testing. Next up? Getting prepped for Q4.

Gearing up for RUX’s first-ever Q4 meant building the foundation for success from scratch. Being aligned on goals, plans, and contingencies for the quarter was the first of many steps.

The team used their first Q4 planning call to focus on:

🎯 Lead generation to build a solid list of leads to target in the sale

The goal here was to run a BF/CM early access lead generation campaign to ensure the right eyes were on the account when the sale went live.

This started with two campaigns:

  1. A conversion event optimizing for leads
  2. A conversion event optimizing for purchases

After running both, the Pilot Program team found that the campaign optimized for purchases significantly outperformed the one for leads. The winning campaign was then scaled to get those sweet, sweet leads.

To generate even more leads, the team launched a giveaway. Giveaways are a fabulous (and cost effective) way to get people interested in your product and increase the size of your list.

🤝 Internal strategy

Okay, leads generated. ✅ So what now?

To effectively convert the leads in the list, the team had to optimize their content strategy for the weeks leading up to BF/CM.

This meant discussing a strategy and direction for:

  • Website optimization
  • Banners
  • Social posts
  • Working with RUX’s ‘Storytellers’ (ambassador program)

🧐 Targets and inventory

It’s rudimentary, but whether your brand is big or small, it’s crucial that you set goals and define benchmarks for things like expected budgets and ROAS, but don’t forget to build in some wiggle room.

If you’re a company like RUX that sells a product and not a service, chances are you’ve come across inventory/supply challenges. It was important the team knew what inventory was available, what products to focus on (profit margins), and what campaigns and angles were most likely to drive performance.

Now that we had a clear direction, it was time to get back to testing… 👇


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Because it was RUX’s first Black Friday ever, the Pilot Program team took the months leading up to November to test:

  • Different sales messaging
  • What offers best resonated with their customers

Don’t forget, these tests aren’t just to drive incremental scale, they also prove what creatives and copy angles were winning for RUX and refine creative strategy for BF/CM. In case you couldn’t tell, we’re BIG advocates for testing around here. 🧠

From October 1st to November 16th, RUX’s account averages were:

CPA: $140.37

AOV: $395.16

ROAS: 2.82

Here’s a breakdown of what the team tested (don’t be afraid to steal these for your accounts too):

🏝 Sale 1: End of summer sale

One of the first tests run for messaging and lead gen was the end-of-summer sale – the perfect opportunity to show shoppers that a waterproof gear-carrier for their outdoor adventures was a must-buy for the rainy fall season.

The end-of-summer sale offered 10% off sitewide and crushed using the creatives below!

CPA: $138.49

AOV: $387.98

ROAS: 2.80

🍁 Sale 2: Fall sale

Next on the docket was the fall sale which also offered shoppers 10% off sitewide and saw fabulous results:

CPA: $45.66

AOV: $312.46

ROAS: 6.84

The intention of this sale was originally to run both a quantity and a sitewide offer. However, the team quickly found that the website would not allow the auto-applied discount code to work when purchasing multiples.

A pivot to fully sitewide was in order, but this bug also served as an important reminder that testing before big sale days is not optional. You should know that everything works as intended before launching on days like Black Friday!

Need some creative inspo? Here are the top performers:

🎃 Sale 3: Halloween sale

The Fall sale allowed the RUX team and the Pilot Program to get everything up and running as intended. With the site issue fixed, the Halloween sale was the perfect time to test their quantity discount assumptions.

Shoppers were offered: “Up to 20% off and FREE SHIPPING when buying multiple RUX 70Ls/Essentials Sets,” and certainly took advantage of the deal:

CPA: $93.47

AOV: $396.38

ROAS: 4.24

And here’s what they saw:

Through these sales, the Pilot Program was able to determine what kind of creative and messaging worked best for RUX.

One common pattern? In both the copy and creative, the simpler, the better.  ✅

Want to know if simple copy and creatives are right for your brand? Here’s what we tested for RUX that you can test too:

  1. Creatives that display the offer compared to just “SALE” or “Hey! You found our sale!”
  2. Busier lifestyle images of the product outdoors/being used compared to using the RUX as the background or showing parts of the RUX in detail.

🎨 Getting crafty

In addition to running campaigns on Meta, the team also kept busy by strategizing on various other fronts with RUX. They continued to develop strategies around:

Pages: Leading up to Black Friday, the Pilothouse pages team created a new landing page to test against RUX’s old page. It was optimized by removing dead spaces, adding a sticky header, simplifying the copy in sections, etc. The team then used our own in-house CRO tool to split-test the two to find that the newly optimized page was the top performer.

UGC/Storytellers: One of the biggest wins for RUX in regards to getting new content is their Storyteller program. Their Storytellers create UGC with a RUX that the Pilot Program then darkposts under RUX’s ‘Storytellers’ handles.

The UGC/Storyteller videos have shown great preliminary results in both prospecting and retargeting campaigns! 👇

🏆 The outcome

The Pilot Program and RUX teams certainly made the most of their testing promos, not only learning valuable insights on what works best but also growing their BF/CM lead generation list to a whopping 600 people. And boy, did that list pay off!

With targeted messaging and an exclusive deal, the team smashed a single-day revenue record. Talk about gearing up for success!

See you next week, where you’ll get all the deets on how the Pilot Program team navigated RUX through the biggest shopping days of the year – BF/CM. 🚨


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