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May 21, 2023
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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

We’re keen to hear your responses on this one. Reply to this email and let us know! 👀

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Weatherman Umbrella, The Cuddle Company, Salvo Health, Audwell, and X-Chair. 🪑

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 BattlBox’s John Roman, the subscription with the ~$1000 lifetime value, and the Netflix rocket ship

📦 C-Suite Las Vegas – A legendary event with a DTC reader surprise

📦 Have you experimented with different creative types for top-of-funnel?

📦 18 trends you need to know to survive (and thrive) this year

📦 The ABCs of A/B testing

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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


🎧 Today on the DTC pod, we're diving into the world of BattlBox with their very own John Roman. BattlBox is a monthly subscription box that provides a variety of camping, survival, EDC, and epic outdoor gear!

As the driving force behind one of the most successful subscription services on the market, John has helped propel BattlBox to an impressive high-8-figure revenue and an even more astonishing subscription LTV that approaches a whopping $1,000 per customer.

We take a deep dive into BattlBox's unique and successful content strategy and how they leveraged one YouTube creator's influence to become a crucial team member, generating a whopping 500K subscribers and almost 200 million video views. 👀

You’ll also hear about their lucrative Netflix deal and how completion rates can determine the fate of a company's success on the streaming platform. You don’t want to miss this!

‍The takeaways 👇

🤝🏻 Keep your friends close

Brandon Currin, the bearded face of BattlBox, started as a paying customer who was shelling out $150 a month for their top-tier box. BattlBox noticed that a significant number of their survey respondents said they found out about BattlBox from "CURRIN1776."

After a quick YouTube search, they discovered that "CURRIN1776" was actually Brandon Currin, who was already a paying customer.

BattlBox decided to comp Brandon's box in exchange for his continued reviews and content creation. A few months down the line, they offered him $500 a month to keep making videos, and eventually, they asked him to move to Georgia and work for BattlBox full-time. Talk about a success story!

📺 Navigating Netflix

Initially, BattlBox was shopping around a sizzle reel to secure funding for a pilot. However, they soon heard from none other than the powerhouse of streamers that is Netflix.

Even though John noted that working with Netflix was not enjoyable, as they viewed BattlBox more like talent rather than a business, BattlBox's show “Southern Survival” remains on Netflix today and is still bringing in new site visitors monthly.

John also explained how Netflix determines the success of its shows: the completion rate metric. 📊

Essentially, a season completion rate of 25% or higher indicates success, while rates below 20% are considered a miss, and between 20-25% leaves a show in what John calls "Netflix purgatory." BattlBox's show falls within this range, so they remain unsure if a second season will be greenlit.

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

He had a pretty interesting idea. 💡

Instead of using the money for traditional business expenses, John would want something that would benefit the community and make for great content. Specifically, he suggested organizing an outdoor festival, like a big camping trip to Yosemite, with core activities that would help people connect and build camaraderie. 🏕️

Half of the grant money would go towards the event itself, and the other half would be used to create content about the event to share on the BattlBox channels.

👉 Listen to the full episode with John Roman here!


Legend… Wait For It…

Dary. That’s right, C-Suite Las Vegas will be nothing short of legendary. 🎲

If you're ready to hit the jackpot with your growing brand, join us on March 23-24th for an event that's sure to go down in Vegas history. 🌆

Don't roll the dice on missing out - click here and use discount code TRAVEL to score $1000 off your C-Suite Las Vegas ticket! (FOR DTC READERS ONLY)

Over two days, you'll have the opportunity to learn from 100 like-minded individuals whose goals are the same as yours: making 2023 the biggest year yet.

C-Suite Mastermind is more than just an event. It's a chance to expand your network and learn from those who are 10, or even 100, steps ahead of you. This is your chance to ask a room of entrepreneurs how they would solve your biggest business challenge!

👉 But don't wait too long to ante up - tickets are going faster than a hot hand in blackjack. Secure your spot today and get ready to cash in on the biggest event of the year - Vegas style!


Not all content is created equal. 🚨 If your content doesn't change for each new impression further down the buyer's journey, how can you expect the outcomes to change?

To ensure your content is tailored to the different stages of the buyer’s journey, divide your content strategy into these two parts:



Prospecting, top-of-funnel (TOF)    

• First and foremost, the goal of the first impression is to stand out and get your audience's attention.    

• Relentlessly test new images and and new hooks (first 3 seconds of video content) to increase CTR


Retargeting, bottom-of-funnel (BOF)    

• You have their attention, now what?    

• If a shopper sees an initial prospecting/TOF ad, clicks through to your site, and decides not to buy, the next ad they see should do something the last ad didn’t to help encourage a purchase

Different content serves different purposes, so don’t just follow the masses without knowing (and testing) what works best to bring in customers.

When it comes to awareness plays, many brands choose to put creator content front and center at TOF; however, depending on your product, another type of creative might take the cake. 🎂

If you’ve been solely focused on one type of content for TOF, it’s time to shake things up!

The Pilothouse Meta team recently hopped into the creative studio to get some fresh product shots of jewelry client Llume's merchandise. 📸

Remember that with high average-order-value (AOV) products, shoppers need to see the quality up front and picture how the purchase fits into their life. Having static images highlights the product features and allows the brand to contrast test different backgrounds, ad copy, etc to improve performance on Meta.

💡 The result?

Not only does the brand now have brilliant (and evergreen) images of their product, they saw:

  • Their account return-on-ad-spend increase from 1.5 to 2.09
  • Their average-order-value increased from $55.86 to $95.33

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your brand is to get back to the test kitchen and chef up some new creative styles.

As the Pilothouse Meta team always says, test, test, test. You never know what might take off. 🚀

Speaking of testing, keep scrolling for all you need to know to get started. 👇


This 3-minute read could save you thousands in 2023.

43% of consumers say they plan on buying fewer things in 2023. 😬

Want to prepare your brand to weather the storm ahead? >>> Read this (3 min).

This highly-awaited Annual Consumer Trends Report is one you don’t want to miss. Attest has outlined 18 trends you need to know to survive – and even thrive – this year.

You’ll learn:

  • Which demographic LOVES email marketing
  • The impact of rising food costs on consumer behavior
  • Why funny ads might be down-trending with consumers

…and many more valuable insights that will impact your business.

🛑 Seriously, don’t do any marketing planning without scoping this free report first!

👉 Check out the Top Consumer Trends for 2023.

A/B Testing

The ABCs of A/B Testing

🧪 Test, test, test

We can’t say it enough. If you’re new to this whole testing thing, try out a quick A/B test to get your feet wet!

A/B testing consists of two groups each receiving a unique variation of your ad creative, and responses are then evaluated to find the winning design strategy.

Take it from us, it’s the best scavenger hunt you’ll ever complete! A simple A/B test looks like this: 👇

Group A > receives ad version A

Group B > receives ad version B

🏁 Set your goal

Every successful A/B test starts with a goal and adds a variable.

Your goal could be pretty much anything. Let’s say your brand wants to improve the number of users who click on your ad, known as your click-through rate (CTR). You can calculate this by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.

For example:

Impressions = People who see the ad

Clicks = People who click on the ad

2 clicks / 100 impressions = 2% click-through rate

A single objective like improving CTR gives your team a metric to focus on and accurately measure over time.

🎨 Pick your variable

Equally as important is the variable. Unless you’re into more advanced multivariate A/B testing campaigns, testing more than one element of your ad while learning the ropes could lead to inconclusive results.

So choose one variable, like the style of font for your copy, and change only that element between the two variations. For example, one ad could use a bold font while the other uses a monospace font. The copy should remain exactly the same.

With one goal and one variable, your data presents a direct correlation between these two items. Your collection of data could look something like this:

Goal: Improve the click-through rate (CTR) of Ad 1

Variable: Font style

January 2023

Group A CTR = 2% (bold font)

Group B CTR = 1.5% (stylized font)

February 2023

Group A CTR = 2% (bold font)

Group B CTR = 2.4% (monospace font)

🤔 Evaluate and start again

The above example shows us a winner in February! The ad with the monospace font produced a .4% increase in CTR, and that’s the kind of improvement we’re looking for.

With gradual improvements like this from consistent testing, you can watch your brand grow right before your eyes.

If you want to change a new variable, you need a new test. For example, don’t compare the CTR of an ad with a bold font to an ad with a different picture. It’s like mixing oil and water. 🤢

Once you feel like your results flatten, that’s your sign to start a new test with a new variable. Finding that winning combination is the way to keep growing! 💪

What design element are you always eager to try and change? We find that adding one or two words to your copy can make a huge difference. Tell us about one of your tests and what works for you!

Quick Hits

🚨 Want exclusive access to content made for some of the top DTC brands in January 2023? Click here. *

Meta Verified to help creators establish their presence.

🎤 Youtube’s new podcast management tools.

🙅‍♀️ Microsoft limits its new chatbot.

🎨 TikTok’s Creativity Program beta info.

🍿 Netflix begins password crackdown this week.


🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

👟 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.

⚔️ Mini Katana: Karly McFarland on $100M in Email Sales and Why She Sold Her Agency and Turned to the Brand Side (C-Suite Mentor Preview).

🤑 The Oodie - Davie Fogarty: Lessons From a Fast $400M.

💡 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 Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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