📦 - Pawsitively Fetching Results
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Azuna, Campus Protein, Boutique Tag, Stila Cosmetics, and Just Spices. 🌶️

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Pet health comes home with MySimplePetLab's Jen Hagness

📦 Steps for creating a brand with AdRoll’s Ultimate Brand Building Guide

📦 Three tests to try on Meta

📦 How to increase views and conversions with UGC

📦 2023 customer retention strategies

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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


🎧 On today’s episode of the DTC pod, we’re talking transformation (of the animal health industry, that is) with Jen Hagness, President & CEO of MySimplePetLab.

Nowadays, pet parents are looking for more high-quality care options for their furbabies. Jen and her team at MySimplePetLab meet this need by providing new tools—including testing kits that can be done outside of a clinic, improved logistical strategies, and a focus on customer retention and experience.

‍The takeaways 👇

🐾 Paw-sitive expansion

Jen and her all-star team at MySimplePetLab have been working their tails off to boost their presence on Amazon, making it easier for pet parents to find home-based pet testing and other products. And to cast an even wider net, they're whipping up informative, SEO-optimized articles that answer pet parents’ burning pet health questions.

By offering reliable and educational content, MySimplePetLab aims to position themselves as trusted experts in the industry. This strategic approach is central to their business model, as it helps establish long-lasting relationships with pet parents who value their expertise and continue to purchase more products and seek advice over time.

🎯 Loyalty-driven success

In the highly competitive DTC space, customer loyalty and retention play a pivotal role in a brand's long-term success. MySimplePetLab understands this and has made it a priority to nurture customer relationships. The fact that nearly 40% of their customers are repeat purchasers speaks volumes about the quality of their products and the convenience they provide, particularly in pet testing and retesting. On the pod, Jen talks about a few ways in creating a loyal customer base:

  • Catering to diverse pet owner needs: MySimplePetLab cleverly packages products for multi-pet households, such as two-packs on Amazon, and meets the unique demands of their target audience.
  • Providing a seamless and integrated pet-care experience: Sharing test results with veterinarians further strengthens their position in the DTC market as they continue to innovate and launch new products that complement their testing services.

💰 What Jen would do with an extra $50K:

Jen is two steps ahead.

“I would probably put the $50K towards our [Q2] launch. It’s first-to-market, super unique, and it all delivers on access to better pet care from home.”

She mentions that the launch would include a digital play, along with micro-events in key markets where pet owners face pricing and access challenges.

👉 Listen to the full episode with Jen Hagness here!


Don’t be just another brand in the D-T-Sea.

Building a brand isn’t just about colors, fonts, and logos.

You have to understand your audience, what problems they have, who your competitors are, and what makes you different.

🤔 If only there was some kind of manual to follow.

Well, there is!

The Ultimate Brand Building Guide by AdRoll walks you through every step of creating a brand.

  1. Identifying Your Values, Customers & Goals
  2. Creating a Unified Customer Experience
  3. Engaging Customers Wherever They Are
  4. Measuring, Optimizing, and Scaling Your Brand Awareness Strategies

➕ PLUS bonus worksheets help make your vision a reality.

Whether you’re starting a new brand or you’re refreshing your existing biz, this guide helps you navigate the waters—without an expensive branding agency.

Because memorable brands don’t just happen. You have to spend time creating a brand worth remembering.

Otherwise, you’re just another brand in the D-T-Sea. 🐠

👉 Create a brand that stands out (for $0).


Proof from the Pods

The Pilothouse Meta team pods recently ran tests for three hypotheses on Meta ad accounts.

But first, what is the pod structure? Pilothouse social teams work in smaller groups (pods) with an assigned pod lead. Each pod works with multiple brands/accounts and meets weekly to create a space for shared and transferred knowledge and support.

On with the hypotheses!

1️⃣ Hypothesis one: Whitelisting regular vs. branded content checkbox

Have you noticed the branded content checkbox on Meta at the ad level? If not, read up here!

The new branded content feature is a reinvented way of whitelisting/dark posting.

The team wanted to know, in what use cases is the branded content feature more valuable?

The results: After testing across multiple accounts, the team found that branded content did stronger in a board, top-of-funnel environment, and whitelisting/dark posting looked stronger in retargeting.

Test everything you’re comfortable with to see what works best for your brand.

2️⃣ Hypothesis two: Ad copy and URL test

For this test, the team wanted to know if adding a URL to the ad copy would increase or decrease CPA. Spoiler alert, it was a decrease and it was drastic!

They tested adding the URL at both the top (above the fold) and bottom (below the fold) of the copy, but here’s the kicker—while we know when cross-posting on Instagram the ad copy doesn’t hyperlink, it still was a value add there too! Moreover, a brand that does better on Instagram saw a 46% decrease in cost per action from the ads with the URL in the copy!

The team ran the test for multiple brands with standardized variables and the same audience and campaign structures. Each brand saw a 10-50% lift in click-based ROAS (return on ad spend).

The variables of success on the placement of the URL were brand-to-brand. Some do better at top, some do better at the bottom. Test, test, test.

3️⃣ Hypothesis three: Replacing adjectives with verbs

The last test was a short vs. mid-form copy test answering the age-old question, ‘does copy length matter?’

The short ad copy was direct and to the point. All copy remained above the fold and contained 1-2 descriptors.

The long ad copy took a mindmap of all the adjectives that describe your product and spammed them into the text.

We know we’re in an attention economy, but the long form and adjective-infused ad copy gave brands anywhere from an average of 20% to multiple X lift.

For more on testing, the spend the Pilothouse Meta team has put behind it, and details to get you started, listen to the full episode of All Killer No Filler here!


The search for authentic UGC stops here

The star of the social media content show, ⭐️ UGC ⭐️, is outperforming traditional media by miles.

But not all UGC is created equal.

Some UGC stands out like a gaggle of grannies wearing purple power suits, 🙋‍♀️ and other UGC is drab, boring, and unconvincing.

Brands that partner with minisocial have put UGC to the test and have found...

92% increase in views: Corkcicle created content featuring authentic customer experiences, seeing a 92% increase in views.

Top 1% conversions: Plant People created TikTok ads performing in the top 1% of industry average conversions.

👉 Join hundreds of other top brands and work with outstanding micro-influencers!


Coming back for more

♥️ Simply irresistible

Ask any successful DTC brand about what it takes to stay ahead in today’s competitive market and we bet that customer retention is at the top of their list. Acquiring new customers is expensive. Not every business has the budget to maintain those high acquisition costs when every other business is vying for people’s attention.

So, what are the best ways to keep people coming back to your brand? Well, it’s what you would expect from a brand when you purchase something! Put yourself in a customer's shoes and you’ll likely understand what their expectations are. To retain customers, a brand should:

  • Support customer accounts
  • Empower customer support teams
  • Leverage loyalty and referral programs
  • Implement customer feedback
  • Craft an unbeatable return policy

Using these strategies will lead to higher average order values (AOVs) and increased customer loyalty backed by a flexible budget to adapt with your business’ immediate needs. If some extra money was involved in your latest daydream, dream no more!

🧠 Leverage customer accounts

Instant access to order history, saved payment information, and personalized communication are all benefits of having customer accounts enabled in your store. These benefits serve both you and your customers.

Customers who automatically receive information and products relevant to their interests are more likely to be repeat purchasers. That means improved customer retention.

Customer accounts are meant to reduce friction at every touchpoint to help increase conversions and make your customer feel special.

🙌 Make it or break it with support teams

Support teams are the backbone of your customer’s experience. With a support team that’s aligned with your short-term goals and overall vision, customers receive the full support of your brand.

If your team can resolve problems efficiently, maintain communication throughout the resolution process, and further incentivize customers to invest in your brand, those are three solid reasons why a customer would choose your brand over a competitor.

It’s not easy, but providing resources for your team like FAQ pages and access to general support procedures like style guides and basic troubleshooting documents are wonderful ways to start.

🎁 Retention is loyalty

Loyalty programs can be implemented with third-party software installed on your ecommerce host like Shopify or Squarespace. Initiatives like Shop apply to all Shopify stores, but third-party loyalty programs offer more customization and better offers for your audience. Check out the ecommerce platforms below and search for “loyalty program” to see what’s available:

Squarespace Extensions

Shopify App Store

Woo Marketplace

Implement offers like a discount on a customer’s third purchase or a free item when a new customer is referred to your store and creates an account. The more actions a customer will take on your store, the more value you should promise.

📣 Feedback from those who care

Where would we be as creatives without feedback? Knowing how your brand is perceived is crucial to understanding what’s working and what’s not.

It’s impossible to appease everyone. However, aligning your goals and values with your target audience ensures that you are retaining the most valuable customers. Surveys and feedback forms can be created using Typeform, Google Forms, or built right into the footer of your marketing emails or blog posts.

🤝 Return the favor

No one really wants to return anything. A purchase is a display of trust from your consumer and a promise from your brand. In a perfect world, sizes would be universal and AR would be so advanced that it would let anyone touch, taste, or smell any product right from the comfort of their home.

We’re not quite there yet, so every brand needs to deal with returns at some point. Show your customers empathy to ensure they feel understood. Your support team should be working in the best interest of your brand and the customer at the same time.

Finding common ground is difficult but when everybody wins, you retain a valued customer and that customer becomes a pal for life with recommendations to all of their friends and family.

🚀 Retention is growth

Retention is about delighting your customers and exceeding their expectations of what a DTC brand can do. Increased loyalty and repeat business is nothing to scoff at in today’s competitive market. Treat your customers like the valuable partners they are, and they'll keep coming back for more. Have you developed a unique retention strategy? Let us know what’s working in a reply!

Quick Hits

🪟 Microsoft recently overhauled Teams. The new update promises a new look and some performance improvements.

🍎 Apple releases iOS 16.4 for select users. This new update contains new emojis, performance updates, and bug fixes which will eventually be available to all devices at a later date.

👐 Open Source AI’s latest development is Dolly. This ChatGPT clone touts a smaller but higher quality dataset over the larger OpenAI service run by a third-party provider separate from larger corporate bodies.

🎵 TikTok’s CEO appears before the US government to solidify the future of the platform. While the future is still uncertain, you can now read up on statements from CEO Shou Zi Chew.

🐥 Twitter’s source code has been leaked. As the source code highlights potential security vulnerabilities, Twitter is now pursuing legal action against the malicious parties.

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

☠️ Liquid Death Mountain Water: Hamid Saify - Death, Beverages, and the Attention Economy.

🟥 Mid-Day Squares: Jake Karls and Nick Saltarelli - Rainmaking, Fundraising and "One word: F&%^ng Crazy."

🧖‍♀️ Bushbalm's David Gaylord goes B2B, Enters US retail bigly, and rides the Vajacial wave on DTC.

👀 Ronak Shah - Obvi Collagen - Obvi's biggest blunders (and how you can avoid them) - C-Suite Mentor Preview.

🚀 BattlBox John Roman - The Subscription with the ~$1000 LTV and the Netflix Rocket Ship.

💡 Listen to the Biggest Marketing News Stories Today.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Kate Gullett, and Michael Venditti. Edited by Eric Dyck.

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