📦 Referrals + Oprah
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Pick up the phone and call YO CUSTOMERS!

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Sony Music, Bedfolk, CROSSIP, Saucony, Native Shoes, and Gainful. 💪

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

🤑 How to push more customers to your referral programs.

🏆 Driving Facebook post-holiday performance.

☕️ Supplementing your life with Beam.

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 LinkedIn.


7 ways to drive more customers to use your referral programs

1. Create an email for your post-purchase flow 📬

Look, we know this sounds simple enough. Yet, many brands aren’t promoting their referral program in their email campaigns.

There are two ways to approach this:

  1. Create a dedicated email that’s part of your flow. Whether it’s email #6 or #7 in your sequence, explain to new customers how they can join your program, how they can refer friends, and the benefits they get for doing it.
  2. Add a block in one of your other emails to promote your referral program. This is great for brands that don’t want to send a dedicated email about it, and you can highlight your program in more than one email.

If you’re going with option two, add your referral program to some of your transactional emails. These have extremely high open rates, so it’s a good way to capture customers’ attention about the program.

2. Turn referrals into a contest to gamify the experience 🎲

For some customers, a 10% off discount isn’t an enticing offer. But the opportunity to win a contest with a big reward? Now you’ve got people’s attention.

If you find your referral offer isn’t engaging your audience, it might be a good idea to switch it up and try something new.

Instead, gamify your referral program by putting customers into a pool to win a big prize. Every time they make a referral, they get more chances to win.

Here’s an example from Scott’s Cheap Flights.

3. Add a link in your website footer to call out your program 🗣

Over the years, online shoppers have been trained to look at your footer to find important links on your site. When they’re searching for something, that’s one of the first places they’ll go.

Want to have an immediate impact on your referral program engagement rate?

Add it to your footer and categorize it under a related section, like how EyeBuyDirect does in the example below.

4. Build an ambassador program to give your top referral candidates status 🎩

Take inspiration from Lululemon’s ambassador program page and highlight your ambassadors. This can be a level up for customers who do consistent referrals.

Lululemon has built an ambassador community that feels extremely human and inviting by featuring the top customers who promote the brand.

Also, featuring your top referral customers helps drive other enthusiastic shoppers to want to be featured on your ambassador page, too.

The fun doesn’t stop here, keep reading for part 2! 👇


How are you preparing for the new reality of retail?

⚠️ Big changes are coming to retail in 2022. ⚠️

Foot traffic will keep declining and consumer behavior will continue to shift…

Do you have the information and resources you need to stay ahead of the curve?

If you’re feeling less-than-prepared, never fear retail industry expert Lexer is here to the rescue.

After reading their guide, “How to Prepare for Retail’s Future”, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to know to succeed this year, including:

  • Insights on new customer segments to target
  • Data-informed predictions for the future of retail
  • The best technology and data investments to make for your business

👉 Download the guide to stay on the cutting edge of retail in 2022 (and beyond)!


5. Tie it in with another campaign 🔁

Sometimes, the best way to raise awareness of your referral program and get customers excited is to tie it in with bigger campaigns that customers are already paying attention to.

For example, if you’re launching a new product or running a big sale, this is an excellent opportunity to use the attention you already have from customers to promote things like referrals.

Also, referrals and loyalty naturally go together, so build it into your loyalty program like Dr. Squatch did.

6. Run a bonus rewards referral campaign 💰

What better way to get customers excited about giving and receiving referrals than even more benefits?

This is exactly what EyeBuyDirect did, offering customers 2X the rewards for one full month for every referral they made.

While you don’t want to run these campaigns too often, they are good to re-engage previous shoppers and build up your word-of-mouth engine.

EyeBuyDirect also promoted this event on their homepage via their banner, so visitors could clearly see the event every time they visited the website.

7. Make it as easy and efficient as possible for customers to refer 🤝

If your program has too many steps for customers to make a referral, they’re not going to want to participate.

Think about it the same way you would with a checkout experience: a difficult process leads to customers abandoning their cart.

Two pieces of advice:

  1. Let customers refer with one click. In this example, the visitor can click one button and easily share their referral link on social media.

  1. Let customers send referral emails and texts right from their account page. When logged into a MeUndies account, customers can easily visit the referrals page and send their peers an email or text message with a referral link.


Struggling to drive performance post-holidays?

We’re seeing signals that shoppers are a bit burned out—not a huge surprise in Q1.

To combat this, the Pilothouse team recommends testing organic dark posted ads with an offer that has added perceived value.

An example headline: “Add a toothbrush to your cart for $25 OFF a bonus toothbrush”

We’d also suggest testing the angle “Look at this gift I got” and using UGC in your creative.

Additional opportunities to take for a spin: 👇

Problem vs solution style ads: This ad style is able to address people's new needs after holiday shopping.

Consider outlining what your product or service can provide during the winter (or in general) that other products can’t.

Remember that people often get a wave of motivation after the holidays before settling back into the swing of things.

Think outside the box: If you haven't been already, you’re probably about to be bombarded with ‘New Year, New __’ ads.

Trying out a branded meme or interesting callout that draws attention and speaks to the advantages of having your product. Anything that makes you stand out from the crowd!

Compare your data: Look back on your historical data (from last year or comparable time periods) and consider the timing of your messaging and when you can best engage someone with your ad.

NOTE: Gift givers who have received great feedback from gifting your product may be making their way back to get one from themselves.


Elevated UGC ✨

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Bite partners with minisocial around product launches and strategic initiatives to generate timely content with micro-influencer creators that comes fully licensed right out of the box.

Soylent needed to create testimonial-style UGC for ad assets and turned to minisocial to produce dozens of fully-licensed videos.

Native has run dozens of campaigns with minisocial and utilizes content from their campaigns everywhere from email marketing, ad assets, and organic social.

👉 Want to learn more? Find a time to connect with their team or check out their case studies here.

💥 DTC Newsletter readers get 15% off their first campaign, just mention this ad.


New year, new you, new habits…

Is your new year's resolution to catch more z’s, or maybe even just feel better?

Say hello to Beam. Supplements formulated to help you sleep better and reset, energize, and recover. 🧘‍♀️

Their high-quality hemp products are effective, natural, and non-toxic.

Beams products include:

  • Dream powder
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  • The one (hemp tincture)
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  • Energy, balance, and elevate hydration packs
  • Clarity powder

Check out some of the Beam family of products: 👇

With over 90k Instagram followers, Beams' page is filled with reviews, informational posts, and a whole lot of UGC (seriously, check out their ‘tagged’ tab).


💄 P&G takes the first step into the metaverse with BeautySphere.

👥 TikTok's testing a new option to invite your connections in other apps to view your clips and follow your profile.

👀 Yeezy Gap announces 'Engineered by Balenciaga' collab.

👉 Spotify introduces a new ad format for podcasts that puts clickable cards inside shows.

🤷‍♀️ Trying to add exact match keywords to Google Ads? Google says nope, we're adding broad match keywords.


🍫 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, Tina Donati, and Rebecca Knight.

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