📦 The Retention Issue
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Or at least for 7 days…thanks again iOS14!

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from OWYN, Blue Farm, Christie Cookie Co., Thread Beauty, Hismile, and Kendra Scott. 💎

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

👀 Why you should prioritize retention in 2022

🤳 How to manage a portfolio of influencers

❣️ Molly Garraway on growing a CX team to 100, and then starting from scratch with LoveSeen

📸 Generating engaging TikTok content with minisocial

🧐 Finding the ‘why’ to elevate your copy

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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5 trends driving retention in 2022

Instead of thinking about all the ways you can reduce your churn rate, flip the narrative.

Focus on retention. Sure, it’s part of the same journey—poor retention equals higher churn. For me, it’s the mentality: do you see the glass half full (keeping customers) or half empty (reducing the number who leave),” said Kiersten Hanly, COO and President of skincare brand Scrub Inspired.

Why should you be focused on retention? According to SEMRush…

  • Companies lose on average 20-30% of their customers each year from a lack of loyalty. 🤯
  • Your existing customers are 31% more likely to have a higher AOV. 🤑
  • Only 18% of businesses make customer retention a priority, and this is your chance to be one of them! 😉

Here are a few trends in 2022 that will impact your retention rate.

💬 Brands will spend more time talking to customers

No more guessing what your customers want and care about.

You have to talk to your audience frequently to know if you’re:

  • Marketing to them in the best way
  • Innovating the right products
  • Offering the best shopping experience

Not every conversation has to be a virtual call.

DTC brands we love use every available channel to have “real talk” with customers. This means email, Instagram DM’s, TikTok comments, and more. Huron, the men’s hygiene brand, took it a step further and created a Slack group for their best customers so they always have a sounding board when they need one. 👂

“If you have a business that’s seen a lot of growth, ask yourself when the last time you spoke to a customer was. With our world adapting so heavily to digital communication, the community is more important than ever. If you can create that with your customers and actually listen, I believe loyalty comes naturally,” said Kiersten.

👩‍🏫 Deeper customer education will help brands stand apart

In a world where there are so many competitors in every niche, customers aren’t sure who to trust. 👀

So it’s key to make sure customers know why your products are worthwhile and educate them on usage to see the best results.

According to Kiersten, education and trust are tied together.

“So much of what we do is about awareness in skincare; do people know what they’re putting on their skin? Do they understand what they’re made of and how they’re made sustainably? To do that effectively, we have to keep trust with our customers high,” she said.

This year, more brands should invest in blog content, educational email flows, and more education on social media (instead of just the standard salesy content).

🏆 Customer experience becomes a priority (finally)

Historically, customer service has been outsourced with cheap budgets, or companies hire small teams and expect them to manage hundreds of customer service tickets in a short time period.

It’s never been prioritized—until recently.

“Let’s be real, shit happens. Things can break, something doesn't get delivered on time—regardless of what happens, as a brand owner, I always put my customers first. Even if they’re disappointed at the time of the first email they send, by the end of the process I’m ensuring there’s a smile on their face,” said Jessica Fried, Founder of the affordable jewelry brand Dainty Diamond.

Now, founders are noticing the impact CS has on their retention when they can put time into helping customers and go above and beyond with their shopping experience.

There’s a reason 86% of buyers will pay for a better customer experience (SmartKarrot).

“I’ve noticed a direct correlation between those I’ve dealt with for customer service reasons who have purchased more than once or made a point to influence their friends and family to purchase because of our customer service,” explained Jessica.

🪞 Customers will expect more personalization

Jessica believes a big driver of customer retention comes from building relationships with customers and ensuring they’re well taken care of.

Because of this, she’s spending more time segmenting customers based on information like purchase history to send special deals, educational blog content, tips and tricks, and more.

This kind of personalization is a must for brands today, and it’s something Kiersten is spending more time with as well this year:

“Really effective email marketing is something we want to step up this year for Scrub Inspired. If an email is timed properly and addresses me as an existing customer—rather than something generic, which includes 10% off my first order (oh great, glad I made my first order last week!)—then I’m more likely to engage.”

🤑 Founders will invest in adding trust builders across their eCom site

It’s clear that 2022 is the year of trust. But everyone knows trust is earned, not given.

That’s why, this year, there will be a bigger focus on adding trust builders across various pages on eCommerce websites.

To build trust with audiences, brands need to:

  • Add more reviews and UGC to PDPs and emails ✅
  • Share the brand’s benefits (e.g., excellent customer service) ✅
  • Share product benefits ✅
  • Explain the story and mission behind the brand ✅
  • Prove that you have good customer service by making it easy to contact the brand ✅

“When customers shop online, they have to trust the brand they’re purchasing from (especially if that brand doesn’t have a brick and mortar store). So, you have to make sure your product quality and price are reasonable and always take care of your customers,” said Jessica.

To summarize, if you want to stay ahead of the curve on retention this year it’s time to prioritize your customers. Talk to them, educate them, understand them, and make an effort to personalize your comms.

How are you showing your customers you hear them this year? Reply to this email and let us know! 👂


4 types of influencers and how to manage them

Marketers know that working with influencers can take a brand to new heights 🚀

And many have dipped their toe into influencer marketing—perhaps recruiting a celebrity and a couple of large influencers.

Yet few marketers have looked at the landscape and asked, "What's the best way to manage a portfolio of influencers, both large and small?" 🧐

We'll tell you: it takes agility and expertise. Wanna know more?

At impact.com, the team has put together a must-read guide to managing influencers. You'll learn:

  • Best practices for engaging and managing influencers
  • Dive into different types of influencers and understand how to work with them best
  • Determine what type of influencer will yield the best ROI for your program

Ready to take your influencer game to the next level?

👉 Download your copy of Managing different types of influencers ebook to get started today.


🎧 This week on the pod, we had Molly Garaway, Head of CX at LoveSeen , tell us a true story about fake lashes.

LoveSeen creates cruelty-free, natural-looking fake lakes for those seeking to amplify their natural beauty. The company was co-founded by the one and only Jenna Lyons, American fashion designer dubbed “The Woman Who Dresses America.” Now, she lashes us.

This episode with Molly was full of CX truth bombs, loyalty insights, and advice on building a customer-centric brand.

‍The takeaways 👇

💬 Talk to your customers

Running a one-woman CX Team is certainly a challenge, but Molly let us know it also has its advantages.

Because she’s so in touch with customers and hears directly from them every day, she easily communicates their needs, wants, and desires to the rest of the company, helping the business make better customer-focused decisions.

“The one thing I would now recommend to any manager, VP, no matter where you are in leadership at a company, spend a few hours a week or month just getting into your inbox and talking to customers...

It’s a really great way to build any business, to not necessarily think about changing the world, but changing your customer’s world that day.” 🙌

🔘 Pop quiz

LoveSeen offers a “Find My Lash Quiz” on their homepage that prompts visitors to select their coloring, eye shape, and beauty style, then pairs them with the best lash based on the results.

This quiz not only helps shoppers find a product they’ll love but also gives the company essential insights into their customer’s desires and pain points. 🔮

“We really thought people were going to want more glam, [but] actually 90% of our customers are responding that they want something more natural, which also just solidified what we started out thinking.

In other words, product quizzes can be a win-win for customers and brands alike!

💰 What Molly would do with an extra $50K

First, she would invest in a clean, well-integrated tech stack.

“[I would want to] create a more cohesive and integrated customer experience. A lot of what we’re doing is still manual…while I’m happy to do that as a one-person team, obviously still thinking about scaling a CX team and scaling a business.”

And second, Molly would take the remainder and spend it on a few “surprise-and-delights” for loyal customers, like free lashes or a personalized video from LoveSeen founder Jenna Lyons.

Now that’s how you build a loyal customer base. 💕

👉 Listen to the full convo with Molly here !


Jumpstart your TikTok with UGC

How are brands like Spotlight Oral Care, Loops, and Jot powering their TikTok channels? With content from minisocial, of course!

With a minisocial campaign, you can generate engaging TikTok content that you can repurpose while partnering with dozens of micro-influencers on TikTok!

👀 The proof is in the pudding

Spotlight Oral Care scaled their TikTok micro-influencer campaign with minisocial and saw a single post generate over 5 million views.

Loops viral masks can be spotted from a mile away, their campaign had creators sport them IRL and share why they incorporate Loops into their beauty routine. The campaign generated over 150 assets which they repurpose as organic TikTok's and Instagram Reels.

Jot worked with minisocial creators to produce TikTok-style content to build out a library of organic posts for their social channels.

👉 Get started and get 15% off your first campaign!


Unlock the reasons why people buy to help drive more business for your clients

Finding “the why” is the single most important job of a copywriter. Without it, you’ll be slamming your head against the wall trying to figure out why your copy isn’t selling any products. 🤷‍♂️

To avoid unnecessary neck and head injuries, we’ve put together some information to help you on your quest to write better copy.

So how do you find the why?

It all starts with research. Research helps you get into the buyer's brain and find what makes them tick.

When researching, look in unexpected places where your target customer might hang out: forums like Reddit, social media sites like Instagram or Facebook, reviews of competitor products on Amazon, etc.

You mustn’t skip this data mining stage as this is where you‘ll find the language people use and the reasons why shoppers with similar interests buy.

Eg. “I bought this food processor for my wife because she loves her morning smoothie—but hates waiting for it to blend, how hard it is to clean, and how noisy it is.”

Extracting this juicy intel from customers can help you quickly hone in on the features and benefits of a product. And when you discover the why— “I need a quiet blender that’s fast and easy to clean” you can use it to pre-handle objections.
Everyone’s “why” is different, but at the end of the day, people usually want to save time, save money, or show off their fancy new blender to the neighbors. People rarely buy things for logical reasons. They buy based on emotion. And once you understand this, everything starts to fall into place.

Pro tip: See Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs for a full breakdown of the reasons people buy.

🔚 Summary
Customers can smell a salesperson from a mile away. You have to show them that you understand audience pain points before selling to them.

It’s like dating. You can’t just go in for a kiss immediately (unless you’re European 💏). You have to start with a date or two to establish rapport before making any moves.

By using your customers' lingo and proving that you’re picking up what they’re putting down, you can disarm their shield and secure the W.

If you’re looking for new ways to spruce up your copy, reach out to the Pilothouse Creative  Team! 🚀


💰 Work smarter, not harder. Learn about flexible working capital to tame your cash flow workflow with Settle.*

🎞 TikTok expands the maximum video length to 10 minutes.

Instagram announces closure of separate IGTV app, removal of in-stream video ads.

📊 LinkedIn previews new post analytics, as well as a new reaction emoji.

😎 App Store Small Business Program no longer prohibits app transfers.

💬 Videos on Instagram will now have auto-generated captions.


❣️ Molly Garraway on Growing a CX Team to 100, and Then Starting from Scratch with LoveSeen.

👟 Restructuring Google Ads for Customer Avatars with Sean McGinnis from Kuru Footwear.

🐶 40% Repeat Purchase Rate (Without Email) and True Meaning of Product-Market Fit with James Petrellis from Mighty Munch.

🥣 Mascots in the Metaverse: How to Make NFTs Work for Your DTC Brand with OffLimits CEO Emily Elyse Miller.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Tina Donati and Rebecca Knight. Edited by Claire Beveridge.

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