📦 Must haves on every DTC homepage
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Q1 is here and hopefully with the lowering of CPM’s 😅

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from HueDrum, Ozone Coffee, Yellow Beauty, fiid, droplet adaptogen drinks, and Freshly. 😋

In this newsletter you’ll find: 👇

🤑 What you NEED to have on your DTC homepage.

❌ Top 3 UGC mistakes to avoid.

🍫 Muddy Bites CEO Jarod Steffes on growing 1000% YOY by delivering delight and mastering memes.

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.


Must-haves on every DTC homepage

You’ve heard it a million times.  

Your homepage is your digital storefront. It’s the first impression of your brand.

The homepage is one of your most significant customer digital touchpoints, and it’s integral to the success of your brand.

What you need to make your homepage shine.

🌄 A killer headline and complementary header image:

Customers shouldn’t have to do more than take a quick glance at your site to understand what you sell.

Most website visitors will give you ~15 seconds of their attention.

You’re in a race with the human attention span and you need to swiftly show your visitors who you are and how to get to your product pages in seconds.

Write a short, descriptive headline and include a header image that does most of the talking.

Here’s another outstanding example from IPSY.

Oh! One glance and you know IPSY sends curated beauty boxes based on personal preferences.

And here’s one more example from Recess for good measure.

So, you’re saying if you drink Recess, you’ll feel chill? We bet it has hemp in it (it does).

🎞 Explainer animation or video:

Let’s face it.

There are some products that we might not know we need until we see how they work.

If you want to sell an audience on Full Tilt ski boots, for example, show them why your boots are the best (the pic below is a video).

Here’s another nice example from the tech device brand, Native Union.

The brand includes a short 4-step animation that shows how its product works.

If your product is difficult to understand or if your audience would benefit from instruction – slap a video right on your home page.


What DTC brands need to know going into 2022

What if you could have access to the behind-closed-doors, executive strategies for dealing with the effects of the global pandemic, supply chain crisis, and hard-hit economy? 🤔

Well, DTC'ers, get ready to take notes. ✏️

The DTC Collective is a community that brings together influential, global voices to realize the potential of digital retail.

During the most recent forum, industry executives aligned on three key areas all DTC brands should focus on going into 2022:

  • Aligning marketing and tech KPIs with the shopper at the core.
  • Delivering hyper-relevant and personalized experiences for customers.
  • Understanding customer preferences and where they are in the customer lifecycle.

And ultimately sought to answer the question: Who owns the customer experience?

📝 Get all the insights in Bluecore’s latest report.


📣 A clear call-to-action (CTA):

Remember, you only have about 15 seconds (maybe even shorter) of your audience’s attention.

You want to direct them to the next section of your website as fast as humanly possible.

Do this by including CTAs that tell your website, visitors, exactly what it is you want them to do.

Check out how Industry West does this with a twofold approach.

As you know, furniture brands have a ton of products, and where a consumer could end up depends on what they want.

Industry West first addresses this by asking consumers right away to keep browsing.

It’s a subtle reminder that Industry West has a lot of content and if you keep looking, you’ll find what you need.

If you scroll down a bit, Industry West offers two clear CTAs.

It’s clear Industry West wants its audience to either shop lounge chairs or join the trade program.

Remember: Whatever you want your audience to do – tell them. Encase powerful action words in an obvious, clickable, rectangle button.

🟡 Highlight your deals:

During Cyber Monday we saw a lot of brands, temporarily switched up their home page content to show off their deals.
This is an absolute must for DTC brands. It’s a strategic way to boost sales around the biggest holiday shopping seasons.

How do we know?

Well, for starters, we purchased some new Allbirds. ;)

If you have a crackin’ deal, showcase it on your homepage.

📸 User-generated content (UGC)

The best way to gain consumers’ trust is to show them that other customers and popular influencers love your brand.

Stats show that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they don’t even know over branded content.

Ninety-two percent is basically everyone (if you round up), so do yourself a favor and put some UGC on your home page.

This can include pulling in social how-tos from influencers as Il Makiage does.

Another idea is to add user reviews to your home page. FacesCanada does this perfectly.

As you redesign your home page for optimal engagement, make sure you include UGC. You’ll be glad you did.


🎧 This week on the pod we chatted with Jarod Steffes, founder and CEO of Muddy Bites, and learned how he helped the snacking sensation go from a Kickstarter campaign to 1000x YOY growth.

Muddy Bites takes the best part of an ice cream cone (y’know, the chocolate-filled goodness at the end), packages them as bite-sized snacks, and ships ‘em right to you.  

This episode is choc-full of velvety insights, delicately wrapped in a tiny Belgian waffle cone. 🍦  We hope you find it as delicious as we did.

‍The Takeaways: 👇

📦 The Kickstarter origin story:

The origin of Muddy Bites started as an “aha moment” to create something that everyone loves but no one could buy.

“The idea of the bottom part of a sundae cone… the idea just kinda sells itself.”

So Jarod and his partner did what any broke college kids with an idea would do in the year 2019: they started a Kickstarter campaign.

Their campaign was a success, allowed them to fund their initial production run, and also confirmed that the world was definitely hungry for Muddy Bites.😋

The magic of memes:

Muddy Bites has found memes to be one of their keys to organic growth – especially when it comes to partnerships.

In fact, one campaign with the FuckJerry meme page garnered almost 1M likes, blew up their traffic and revenue, and helped them skyrocket from #5000 to the top 50 listing on Amazon within just weeks of launching their store. 🚀

“The thing we’ve learned with meme pages and influencer marketing is, the more organic-looking [the post is], the better it does for us. The more we make it a sponsor-y, ad-y type thing, the worse it does.”

🏬 Rebranding for retail:

With a goal to expand into retail over the next several years, Jarod realized Muddy Bites needed a facelift to enhance shelf appeal.

“If we want to get to where we wanna be, we needed to rebrand.”

As part of their rebrand, they sought out to create a brand that elicited the nostalgia of old-school ice cream parlors:

  1. A cleaner logo.
  2. Fun, bright colors.
  3. Ice cream parlor-esque fonts.
  4. A “brand character” named Buddy the Bite.

[Buddy the Bite] gives us this fun personality character to the brand. We introduce him in emails and memes… and you can literally buy Buddy the Bite as a stuffed animal.”

Having a brand character also gives them the opportunity to create Buddy merch for upsells, holiday campaigns, and enhances brand affinity.

👉 Listen to the full convo with Jarod Steffes here!


3 UGC Mistakes To Avoid

#1 Not setting performance goals for UGC campaigns

Not all UGC is going to perform the same way. It’s important to set clear intentions for this content and measure the results.

Things to consider:

Do you need top of funnel or bottom of funnel content?

The messages and the way the content is created should reflect where in the customer journey the audience is.

Are you wanting to attract new customers or increase customer loyalty?

Which marketing channels will you use this content in and how can you get the value from it?

Are you looking for engagement with your brand or strictly a revenue focus – select your messages and CTA in accordance with this.

#2 Not setting clear expectations and content direction

Making a creative brief with detailed information about the brand, the direction you want the content to take (ie. an unboxing video VS. a tutorial) and a well-developed message and tone will be extremely helpful.  

This is also where you can mention things like the dos and don’ts of what creators can say when they make content.

If you’re worried about what the content will look like, ask for a sample! Especially if you’ve haven’t worked with them before.

#3 Not getting permission to use content

Just because someone posts a picture or video of themselves using your product/service doesn’t mean you automatically have permission to use it.  

Before using any UGC content make sure you have the contributor’s permission to use it on every channel it will be seen.

This will save a lot of time and headaches down the line.

Thanks to the Pilothouse UGC team for the tips :)


👉 22 emerging direct-to-consumer brands you have to try in 2022.

👩‍💻 Why DTC Twitter pivoted to Web3.

🥗 Sweetgreen is testing a $10 subscription membership program.

🔑 Instagram's Chief outlines the key areas of focus for the app in 2022

🌎 Here’s how Meta is changing Facebook ads targeting For 2022.

📚 Google Ads now has asset library.


🍫 Muddy Bites CEO Jarod Steffes on Growing 1000% YOY By Delivering Delight and Mastering Memes.

🍽 The New Non-Profit Growth Model: Wellfare CEO Cole Riley on Food Security and $12 Million Economic Impact.

🤰 Paul Singh from Bump Health on Becoming a Distribution Company and the Road to $200B.

🐶 Chippin Pet CEO Haley Russell on Crickets, Carp, and Global Warming.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Thomas Schreiber, Ashley Cummings, and Rebecca Knight.

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