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May 21, 2023
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Friday, March 24, 2023


Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days. 🤣


In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 How to do SMS marketing the right way

📦 Decoding Meta's newest ad innovation

📦 Developing a brand voice in 2023

📦 Embracing creator content for your brand

📦 Plastic-free razors, coffeeless energy, and a new game for game night


Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎


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

SMS

*You Have One New Text Message*


“Can I have your number? Can I? Can I have it?”


It’s a valid question in the marketing world. In fact, it may just be the best question a brand can ask a customer.


Why? Because when SMS marketing is done correctly, customers will opt in and reward you with their loyalty (And loyalty = $$$.)


SimpleTexting reports that eCommerce businesses see 98% open rates and 36% click-through rates with text messaging.


With stats like these, every marketer should grow curious at the mention of SMS and see what all the fuss is about.


Let’s dig into the five commandments of SMS marketing.


1. Create an enticing opt-in offer


First things first. Don’t ever add a number to your subscriber list without permission. It’s bad form. It makes customers mad. Plus, it’s expensive to market to people who don’t want to hear from you.


Instead of trying to slide into a customer's SMS unannounced, create an offer they can’t refuse.


Here are some examples of great SMS opt-in bait:

  • Discount codes
  • Free shipping
  • Exclusive content
  • Contests or giveaways
  • Birthday deals
  • Early access to sales
  • Exclusive access to content
  • Loyalty rewards

Hook, line, sinker – you now have a new subscriber.


2. Allow customers to opt out


Make it abundantly clear how customers can opt out of your SMS messages.


While SMS marketing has high open and conversion rates, it will only upset customers if you don’t allow them to opt out of your messages.


SMS marketing is an incentive for customers, not jail.


3. Keep your messages short


Young millennials and Gen Z have given the world several gifts. Among them are the art of quick messages and short replies.


Take a page from Gen Z’s texting playbook and keep those messages brief and simple. Your customers should be able to quickly glance at their phones and identify your brand’s SMS offer.


Not to mention, SMS messages have a character limit, so you’ll be forced to keep it short and sweet.


I like this example from Aurate:



In two short sentences, customers know who the brand is, what the offer is, and how to unlock the offer. Plus, it’s cute and relates to the holiday. Win!


4. Engage your customers


The coolest thing about SMS marketing is your message doesn’t have to be a one-way advertisement. It can be a conversation.


There’s a unique person on the other end of the line and they can answer questions to lead them down a specific and personalized path.


Inkbox does a great job of engaging their customers to send personalized messages. See:



Instead of just sending a generic welcome message, Inkbox messages with an option to reply with an answer to a specific question, “what are you looking for today?”


Customers can enter a number and Inkbox sends them down a custom path to help customize the content based on the number they enter.


It’s brilliant. And the best part? It’s all automated.


5. Use images


It’s been said that pictures are worth a thousand words, and it’s true. It takes milliseconds for our brains to process an image and understand it.


Don’t believe it? Here’s a quick test:




When you see the image above, you immediately think of purple cows… Of course not. No, you think of Nike, shoes, exercising, Michael Jordan, and you’re 100% ready to “just do it.”


Use the power of images and branding to your advantage in your text messages. We like how Olly does this in their SMS messaging. Check it out:



In one quick glance on the phone, Olly is offering a promotion. Based on the image, it’s probably a holiday promo.


SMS is advanced and it’s easy peasy to send an SMS with an image. Do it. Just do it.

Sponsor

Decoding Meta's Newest Ad Innovation


If you want to lower ad costs and make your influencer content go wayyyy further, you should know about Meta’s latest addition:


✨ Branded content ads. ✨


Trust us. This new innovation makes the entire process of running influencer ads So. Much. Smoother.


Wanna know more?


▶️ Just click here, sit back, and tune in.


In this free, on-demand webinar co-hosted with Meta, you’ll learn how to use branded content ads to reduce ad costs, drive more sales, and ultimately get more out of your existing partnerships.


From a time, cost, and regulatory perspective, influencer ads can be super tricky.


Now there’s a better way to do things.


👉 Hear directly from Meta and Aspire on how to make your influencer ads perform the best!


(PS: Stay tuned to the Q&A at the end for insider tips, like the “sweet spot” for ad length.)

Brand Voice

Developing a Brand Voice in 2023


🦋 Social butterflies


Marketing your brand is all about connecting with your audience. As DTC marketers, we use email campaigns, newsletters, blogs, and social feeds all the time—but no matter how we communicate, it should be through our brand’s voice.  


The brand voice is the core of your relationship with your audience. And just like any other relationship, it needs trust and reliability for it to work.


With a strong brand voice, we can spend less time on acquisition and more time building LTV (lifetime value). So, how do you keep people coming back? We’ve got some sweet tips to help you refine your brand voice and stand out from the competition! 👇


👀 Look around you


Shopify’s VP of Marketing Morgan Brown says that customers are looking for different voices, experiences, and visions with each brand they invest in. If you have a target audience and a list of competitors, look into how those brands are speaking to the audience you want.


Scroll through brands’ social feeds, sign up for their newsletters, and check out their Meta Ads library. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, you can identify gaps in the market that your brand can fit into.


Let’s say your brand is eco-conscious. You may notice that your eco-friendly competition is speaking to your audience like a know-it-all scientist. This is a huge opportunity for you to develop a relatable voice that speaks to people like a friend.


You can also pull influence from brands who are not directly competing with you! You might want to blend Wendy’s and Nike for something sassy yet aspirational. Whatever voice you decide to pursue, keep it consistent and check your facts. The last thing your brand needs is a voice that no one takes seriously.


🎵 Say what you need to say


Now that you have a voice, you need a vision. Vision statements summarize the ideal future your brand is working toward. Contrary to popular belief, this future doesn’t have to be achievable. They’re called ideals for a reason. As long as your vision proposes a just cause that benefits your community, you will find an audience that supports what you're doing and why you’re doing it.


Practice writing out your vision statement in a neutral voice, and then your brand voice. Try to change the length of your statement. Develop one full page for your website, a tweet for your socials, and an image with some copy for Instagram.


🤝 Your brand, your person


Imagine your brand as a person:

  • What would they wear?
  • Who would they hang out with?
  • What would they eat?
  • What social platforms would they use?
  • What music do they listen to?
  • Who’s their favorite artist?
  • Where were they born?

This is a valuable exercise because not only do we practice writing as a brand, but we also generate creative for marketing campaigns. The brand voice is embodied in your music, colors, and origin story to further develop the relationship with your audience.


🤵 Do it in style


Let's face it, keeping your content consistent and top-notch is tough. Creating a style guide is your knight in shining armor, and it should include:

  • The tone you're going for (informed, casual, etc.)
  • Who your brand is as a person
  • How the voice embodies your vision

Outline rules to customize your messaging for each of your social channels and platforms. Your writing on Twitter shouldn’t be a carbon copy of your blog posts. Catering to each platform means catering to your audience’s preferences.


Let’s be real, Twitter followers are looking for bite-sized info while newsletter readers have the time to work through a more detailed drop.


Don’t let anyone miss out on important information just because of their platform of choice.


Don’t forget the boring stuff. Grammar and syntax rules should always be available in case anyone needs a refresher! For example, anyone who writes for our newsletter should always use “ecommerce” instead of the other variants (Ecommerce, eCommerce). Ground rules help keep your voice consistent and will save you a ton of headaches in the future.


💪 Do it your way


We know it’s a lot to think about, but all of this organization and prep work will pay off in time. With a confident and reliable brand voice, people will listen to and trust your brand.


If you’ve ever thought of yourself as a people person, think about why that may be and ensure that your brand’s voice embodies that same vibe. It’s an easy way to introduce the idea of brand voicing and put your social skills into practice.


Do you have a favorite brand voice that clicked with you right away? Why do you think that is and what can you take away from their work? Let us know in a reply!

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Brands

🪒 Leaf: Question. If you’re still using plastic razors, why haven’t you made the switch yet?! Leaf’s plastic-free razors are designed to be used on all body parts. Not sure which one is right for you? Try their quiz for recommendations!


Gorgie: Want the energy from coffee but aren’t a coffee lover? Gorgie’s founder believes “that wellness, energy, supplements and good for you products should no longer be a sacrifice in taste, vibe or aesthetic.” And we couldn’t agree more! Try their watermelon, peach, or berry drinks—whatever suits your palate!


💬 Blabbi: Tired or family Monopoly or Uno nights? Add Blabbi into your game night mix! You earn points for coming up with convincing definitions for made-up words. Sounds like a hoot!

🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🟥 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.


👟 Kuru Footwear’s Turnaround Playbook: Sean McGinnis on the CRO Tactics That Doubled Revenue (C-Suite Mentor Preview).


🧑‍🦲 iRestore Hair Growth System: Kevin Chen - The True Impact of Costco.


💡 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, Ashley R. Cummings, and Michael Venditti. Edited by Eric Dyck.


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