📦 - Your SMS Needs Some Seasoning
May 21, 2023
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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

There is no amount of multi-touch attribution that can account for the way some shoppers be shoppin’. 🤦‍♀️ Data who??

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Gage Diamonds, Nestlé, Morningcider, Klei, and FITLIGHT. 💡

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Building your Q4 early access email list on Meta.

📦 Developing an informed holiday strategy with data from over 1,000 US consumers.

📦 Crafting user personas to inform design decisions.

📦 Identify key demographics within your customer base and run hyper-targeted marketing experiments with Peelinsights

📦 High performance, nutritionally complete marketing to $150M with Huel's Ben Bokaie.

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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


Building Your Q4 Early Access Email List

Q4 is here but have no fear, the fun has just begun.

One topic that comes up again and again within Meta teams? Email & SMS list building.

But why is the Meta team talking about email? 🤔 Because email lists drive a TON of value for brands. And Meta traffic can help fuel those lists. So…

Meta traffic + email opt-in = 💰

First, consider the different opt-in methods for capturing subscribers on your landing pages:

  • Pop-up
  • Mid-page (embed)
  • Footer

The most under-utilized method is often the mid-page embed form, which is less distracting and invasive than a pop-up. Especially top of funnel when intent is at its lowest point, that extra action of closing a pop-up can decrease your conversion rates.

Next, it’s time to…

  • Get an email list set up, ideally segmented by UTM parameters so you can measure results by channel.
  • Build your opt-in form A/B tests to find the method that works best for your brand.
  • Get Meta campaigns built.
  • Start sending traffic to landing pages.

🛍️ Here are the best practices for setting up your Meta campaigns for email list building:

1️⃣ Use the “sales” campaign objective and the purchase conversion event for your campaign

This will help drive quality leads who have purchase intent. We generally find that the “lead” campaign objective drives lower quality leads.

2️⃣ Verify tracking

Ensure your lead event is properly tracking and that the opt-in form is directing traffic to the correct list.  📈

You’ll also want to connect with whoever manages email for your brand to check that users on the list are being engaged (welcome series, upcoming campaigns, etc).

3️⃣ Keep the copy short and to the point

Less is more here. ✍️ Let the audience know something big is coming and that they’ll be the first to know. Let email sell users with offers and unique selling points!

Once your campaigns are spending and you’re receiving data back, optimize down to the top ads based on the lowest CPL. 🙌

To measure the full results of lead gen efforts, your Meta team should work with your email team to understand how much revenue the Meta list drove during Q4 and compare that to ad spend. 💸

If you know the LTV of an email subscriber, take that into account as well!


36% of people intend to shop earlier this holiday season!

That means DTC brands don’t have time to waste during the holidays. Shift your focus to what really matters:

🎯 Engaging your consumers in a targeted and authentic way.

What better way to learn how than by going straight to the source? LTK has done the heavy lifting and is here to help you develop an informed holiday strategy with data from over 1,000 US consumers.

LTK’s Holiday Shopping Predictions whitepaper contains:

  • Insights from LTK’s National 2022 Shopper Study.
  • Informed predictions backed by historical data.
  • How to connect with influencers to level up your holiday strategy.

⬇️ Download the Holiday 2022 Shopping Predictions Report to set your business up for a successful holiday season.

User Personas 101

👨👩👧👦 A Personalized Persona

A user persona is one of the most useful tools a marketing team can leverage. It can:

  • Accurately target a specific demographic. 🎯
  • Maximize the impact of an advertising campaign. 💥

Predicting who a product or service is intended for can help make informed design choices and communicate effectively with your audience.

When creating a persona for your product, ask yourself the following:

1️⃣ Who will use the product?

2️⃣ How will the product be used?

3️⃣ What problem(s) or pain points will it solve?

📝The nitty gritty

With those out of the way, you can generate more specific details like customers’ potential age, occupation, and income.

A persona can be as vague or specific as you need it to be, from generic age ranges right down to specific day-to-day activities and habits! These details will be assumptions, but you can support these predictions by hosting interviews and gathering solid data from real people.

Offering some sort of incentive for participation – like a free drink at a local cafe, gift card, or discount code – will encourage enthusiastic and genuine answers from participants. The good stuff comes from asking about their daily routines or watching them use a competitor’s product.

It’s important to ensure all interviewees fit the criteria of your intended market. You wouldn’t be asking a child to navigate a banking application — unless education is your thing!

👔 Just business

A persona is usually organized like a business card. Adobe provides tons of information on personas and user-centric design with some killer examples.

Free design programs like Miro or Figma lets you easily craft professional, simple, and useful personas. Consider a simple table in any spreadsheet or text program to organize data as well!

📚 A very short case study

A persona can greatly influence your marketing strategy. Let’s brainstorm a hypothetical mobile app:

  • It will highlight the relationship between our dietary habits and how they influence our overall well-being.
  • It will have a simple, well-organized interface.
  • Our market will consist of people aged 25-40 years old and with a steady income.
  • Our competitors are Apple Health and Google Fit.

Upon interviewing several people about their habits and motivations, we find that our app simply isn’t engaging enough. It’s not as rewarding as watching a “calories burned” statistic or tracking steps.

Seeing this may help your brand in deciding whether to pivot the design to be more dynamic or competitive in nature. You may discover that your initial design needs some work. These observations would only be revealed to us through our interviews with people who would actually be using the application.

🔊 Communication and culture

After gathering all the interview info, it’s time for one last piece of the puzzle – how your future customers communicate.

Communication is integral to the perception of a brand. Effective communication encourages trust, empathy, and meaningful interactions between the brand and its customers.

It improves retention, generates new leads, and supports the best customer service experience possible.

Culture is crucial in developing a reputation. Understanding the culture of a target market provides insight into their values. With that information, businesses can give a unique perspective on those values and craft something wholly distinctive for people to enjoy.

Tell us about your research process and how it influences your business goals. What did you learn about your potential customers that shocked you? Respond to this email and let us know!


Supercharge your retention in Q4

BFCM brings you a TON of new and potential customers, but this doesn’t mean they are loyal... yet!

👉 Make it happen with Peel’s latest retention solution, Audiences.

Audiences identifies key demographics within your customer base, allowing you to run hyper-targeted marketing experiments through SMS, email, and Facebook campaigns. This is the first step in developing meaningful, long-term relationships with your customers.

🤯 On average, customers who use Audiences are seeing a +30% increase in revenue generated across each Audience they build!

Jones Road, Ministry of Supply, and Kitsch use Peel to accelerate their growth by developing meaningful relationships with their customers.

🙌 Start your free trial now and get 20% off the first three months!


🎧 In this episode of the DTC Podcast, we ‘fuel up’ with Ben Bokaie, Head of Performance Marketing at Huel.

Huel is leading the charge in providing plant-based, vegan, and nutritionally complete meals using a fraction of the packaging and waste of its competitors (or co-opetition! 😉)

Today’s podcast is a conversation about:

1️⃣ How creativity generates success.

2️⃣ Developing an international strategy.

3️⃣ Learning from your mistakes.

‍The Takeaways 👇

⛽️ Huel fuel!

In 2015, Huel posted their first ad on Facebook. The ad was a single image ad with two bags of Huel on a blank background – oh how simple the time before iOS14 was.

Since, Huel has invested heavily in creativity. “We’ve built an in-house creative hub of designers, strategists, and content creators who are responsible for making all of our content consistent.”

🎭 Co-opetition

Looking to break into new markets? Cater ads for international markets to enhance their appeal!

Huel saw that a successful competitor was on the market in Japan and realized there was market viability for them. However, running the same ads wasn’t going to cut it.

Research on cultural differences to show how your product best fits into their lives. For example, Huel ads in the US involve using a microwave to heat water for Hot and Savory, whereas in the UK, kettles are used!

Pictured: Huel’s Japanese and UK product line (Japanese source) (UK source)

Huel has expanded into Germany, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and France. It just goes to show that doing cultural research for brand growth is an integral part of global success.

🤧 A Huel lot of mistakes

During the pandemic, “Everyone was panic-buying Huel,” says Ben. When conversion rates eventually slowed, CPAs remained high. Huel was slow to react when the demand simply wasn’t there, assuming that rate of growth was the new normal.

Since then, Ben’s dialed in his omni channel growth and has Huel burning to $150 million in revenue in 2022. 😳

The full podcast features:

  • Unique eCommerce strategies.
  • ‘Left field’ marketing on Reddit.
  • How to invest in the right people.

👉 Listen to the full episode with Ben Bokaie here!

Quick Hits

🚨 Looking for more ROAS? Preflect helps Shopify brands run ads in-house on Meta, Google, and TikTok. *

👀 Need to generate more leads in Q4? We’ve got the secret recipe to hook ’em. If you want to advertise to the 140,000 marketing leaders and operators that read DTC Newsletter, fill out this form and the DTC sales team will reach out to you. Only a few spots are left - don’t miss your chance!

👥 YouTube to broadly support the @username format with launch of YouTube handles.

🔎 What they don't tell you about Apple Search Ads and ASO.

😳 Meta detects 400 apps that are stealing users’ Facebook and Instagram log-in info.

✍️ Google Meet gets automatic meeting transcriptions.


🔊 Have you heard our latest podcasts?

🥦 High Performance, Nutritionally Complete Marketing to $150M with Huel's Ben Bokaie.

⭕️ Turn Your Returns into Exchanges with Aaron Schwartz from Loop.

🧦 Making a 5X Return on Affiliate Sales with Rob Fraser from Outway Socks.

🔋 Two Hacks to Increase Subscriber Conversion by 50% with Tea Drops and Recharge.

🦷 Thinking in Billions with Josh Elizetxe, Founder of Snow Oral Care.

👟 Retail Giant Steve Madden on Retention at Scale with Hannah Sinclair and Bluecore's Sarah Cascone.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight and Michael Venditti. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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📥 Work for The DTC Newsletter: Send an email to Rebecca, rebecca@directtoconsumer.co, if you’re interested in writing for us!

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