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May 21, 2023
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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Are you an early bird or a night owl? 🐦🦉If you could choose, what would be your perfect working hours?

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If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Pentland Aromatics, Certified Angus Beef, Salty Crew, SurfStitch, and The Bay. 🍁

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Liquid Death Mountain Water: Hamid Saify – Death, beverages, and the attention economy

📦 Are you texting your customers?

📦 The three-step testing method to decrease CPCs and increase CTR

📦 The ultimate tactic for bringing website visitors back to buy

📦 Subscription models in 2023

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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🎧 Today on the DTC pod, we’re tempting fate with THE Hamid Saify from the one and only… Liquid Death ☠️

Liquid Death has taken the CPG industry by storm with its unconventional approach to branding and customer engagement. Their focus on attention-grabbing marketing strategies and customer touchpoints that make them laugh in the face of death has earned them a loyal following and a valuation of $700M. 🤯

In today’s episode, we'll dig further into Liquid Death's unique tactics and how they’ve made an impact in a crowded market through controversial branding, handling hatred, reinventing unique tactics, and so much more.

Tune in to learn a thing or two about Liquid Death’s unique journey to success!

‍The takeaways 👇

😤 Handling haters

The Liquid Death team has embraced controversy as an integral part of their brand identity. They’re not afraid to push boundaries and be a little bit controversial, even if it may result in negativity from some people.

Traditional brands may try to pivot and listen to everyone, but Hamid and his team understand that they can’t make everyone happy. Instead, they focus on staying true to their brand's vision and product while using hate in a way that still serves the brand and pushes it forward.

“If everyone loves you, then you’re probably not pushing it enough, you’re not really pushing boundaries or being controversial enough.

🌟 Standing out in a crowd

Liquid Death's approach to marketing is anything but boring.

Hamid discusses how the company wants to give its customers a unique and memorable experience by using unconventional tactics. Everything from their approach to product design, down to the way they conduct promotions is distinctive and atypical.

Their willingness to look at the most stagnant areas of their marketing strategy and find ways to put a unique spin on it and make it memorable is what sets them apart.

From calling their review section “opinions from internet randos,” charging your soul to join the mailing list, and to their significant revenue merch program where they’ve sold customized vending machines and wrapped Lamborghinis, Liquid Death prioritizes risk-taking and pushing boundaries to differentiate from its competitors.

👉 Listen to the full episode with Hamid Saify here!


Only one communication channel can guarantee your sales message gets read.

There isn’t a more effective way to get your customer’s attention than a text message. It’s the only channel with a 98% open rate. 📈

It doesn’t stop there. With SMS you can expect 36% click-through rates and 45% conversion rates.

That’s better than email. That’s better than phone calls. It’s probably even better than writing your message in the sky. 🤔

It’s time to take your communication strategy up a notch. Supplement brand, Eu Natural did and earned a 563% ROI with just one SMS campaign.

Here's how. 👇

They partnered with SimpleTexting to use SMS for:

  • Promotions
  • Order updates
  • Abandoned cart texts
  • And even provide customer support

SimpleTexting has free tools available to create keyword graphics, add click-to-text buttons and mobile sign-up widgets to your website, and even a FREE (BETA) SMS generator to craft your messages in seconds.

👉 Start texting your customers today and skyrocket your brand.


Testing Testing, One Two Three

If you haven’t heard us preach the importance of creative testing, then you must be new here. 👋

The message we’re sharing over and over: test your creatives! Your testing efforts don’t have to be a sequence of fancy new images or mind-blowing new discoveries.

Some of the biggest needle-moving tests focus on small controlled variables to see what lands for your shoppers!

The Pilothouse Meta team recently ran a test for jewelry client Hillberg & Berk that you should be replicating for your brand. 💎

Follow these steps to find what copy, headlines, and creative types compel your audience to click and buy.

1️⃣ The one where you test copy

First, create one control headline for your brand. The headline, in this case, was: “Upgrade your jewelry collection with Hillberg and Berk”.

Next, identify the five angles you’d like to test. Angles could include:

  • Reviews and social proof
  • Branded unique selling points
  • Gifting
  • Etc.

For each angle, test 10 different copy options (50 total creatives). Your creative tests don’t need ample time or spend behind them. Think $5-10 and 24-48 hours. ⌛

From this first test, you will identify the top three of your five tested angles. The team found that the top-performing angle (when compared to the lowest-performing) had a 64% increase in click-through-rate (CTR) and a 30% decrease in cost-per-click (CPC).

2️⃣ The one where you test headlines

Now that you know your top creative angles, it’s time to carry on the learnings and start testing your headlines.

For each angle, again develop 5-10 headlines for testing. Follow the same process as outlined in the copy test to find your top-performing headlines. ✍️

From this test, the team found that the top-performing headline had a 500% increase in CTR and a 71% decrease in CPC.

Again, the goal is to carry your learnings through each test and eliminate angles, wording, headlines, and copy that doesn’t click with your potential shoppers.

3️⃣ The one where you test creative

After determining your winning angles, copy, and headlines, it’s time to start testing creative styles.

In this stage, test different mediums, not just different images. 🏆

Testing styles like:

  • User/creator generated content
  • Video
  • Images
  • Branded
  • Scrappy
  • Box shots
  • Product focused
  • Text overlays, etc.

Make them specific to each of the three winning angles, this will help inform the future creative direction for each unique angle moving forward.


When testing, be intentional. The Pilothouse team has found that finding your winning angles, copy, and creative has the ability to shift your click-through rate and cost-per-click dramatically.

No more leaving money on the table in 2023 — Get testing!


Ultimate tactic for bringing website visitors back to buy.

You’ve heard that retargeting drives more sales – but every time you hear “cookie” you just crave sweets. 🍪🤷

If ad retargeting still makes you scratch your head, we’ve got the perfect quick-start guide for you!

The Adroll Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting gives you a simplified breakdown of this must-have marketing tool, including:

  • What it is and how it works
  • How to launch your retargeting campaigns
  • What makes a good retargeting ad, including real-life examples

➕ You also get a bonus "Ultimate Retargeting Metrics Worksheet" with KPIs to measure your success. ➕

Learn how to use retargeting to bring your website visitors back to buy in droves!

👉 Grab a cookie (the edible kind) and check it out!


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💪 Making the most of it

Over the last couple of years, subscription models have been booming for eCommerce businesses. From a consumer’s perspective, what’s not to love?

Subscriptions provide shoppers with consistent access to their favorite products and services, automatically replenish, and are available right to or from the safety of their homes.

So, what’s in it for businesses? Only one of the best retention strategies you can imagine that impacts nearly every aspect of your marketing funnel (how customers interact with your brand). You’ll see the benefits of:

  • Steady income
  • More investment opportunities
  • More brand loyalty
  • More opportunities to cross-sell and upsell

If your product needs to be replenished or requires remote access and can offer a modest price that is beneficial over a one-time purchase for that same product elsewhere, we think it’s time you consider one of these subscription models.

  1. Curatorial: Let your customers choose from your products or services. You can also offer customized packages for them, but letting your customers choose offers more opportunities to upsell later! This model is most suited to the health, food, and fashion industries.
  2. Supplemental: Ensure your customers are always stocked up on your products by delivering them at specific dates every month. If you sell necessities, this model is for you.
  3. Accessible: Selling access to digital services like apps promises incredible return-on-investment (ROI). It is essential that you deliver product updates and receive feedback to ensure that your service evolves with your consumers.

💰 Going steady

With the ability to predict your income from consumers, it’s way easier to allocate your budget each month. Typically, businesses forecast sales throughout the year – but how in the world is a brand supposed to do that without a history to base on for their guesses?

If you are just starting out, subscriptions can make your financial planning much less of a nightmare. And for those who are experienced, budgeting becomes a walk in the park.

🦸♀️ Invest in yourself

With predictable income, you are likely to have more money on hand to reinvest in your business. On the DTC podcast, we always ask our guests, “What would you do with an extra $50K?” We’ve heard some really creative ideas – but let’s not start at $50K. What would your business do with an extra $500 or $1K? If you have a goal that can be accomplished within this budget, a subscription model could provide these opportunities for you.

👑 Loyalty is royalty

With detailed consumer profiles, businesses can provide tailored services that would be impossible with one-time purchasers. Retention and lifetime value (LTV) are so important to any business’ longevity they minimize the need for recurring acquisition costs and broadly targeted advertising.

Loyalty also presents sweet upsell opportunities more tailored to a consumer’s needs. You can implement product recommendation software (check out the Shopify App Store for some options!) within your checkout or email strategies to skyrocket your average order value!  

🛠️ Let’s get to work!

There are a ton of benefits to converting your business into a subscription model. The real challenge is right at the initial stages. If your product or service can reasonably fit into a subscription model at a competitive price point, you are sitting on a goldmine of opportunity.

Have you considered how your business can implement a subscription model? You might even have an amazing idea that would be perfect for a subscriber! Let us know your thoughts in a reply.

Quick Hits

✂️ Ready to cut your paid socials CPAs by 20%+? Whitelisting authentic creator content from a third party gets you optimized assets and landing pages that help convert at scale! Explore GrapevineAI! *

Pump your Shopify conversion rates and average order value in minutes with Slide Cart. Try For Free. *

☕ Inspired by a trip to Indonesia, Snoop Dogg launches a new coffee line. Snoop is partnering with Indonesian coffee entrepreneur Michael Riady to launch a premium coffee brand called INDOxyz, featuring beans sourced locally from Indonesia's Gayo region.

⚙️ How to structure a marketing dream team for any size company. Evaluate which of the three marketing department structures is right for your brand.

⛈️ The cloud backlash has begun: Why big data is pulling compute back on premises. After years of working on a cloud-focused data structure, companies are looking to implement a hybrid structure to support data science initiatives.


🔊 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, Kate Gullett, and Michael Venditti. Edited by Eric Dyck.

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