DTC Hot goss’. Happy spying 👀

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Using Amazon’s algorithm – the new product effect

📦 Why your DTC brand SHOULD be blogging

📦 How to manage influencers with Impact

📦 Wordle fever to stop the scroll with Huel

📦 Creating mutually beneficial relationships with Aspire

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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One of the most annoying things about working inside Amazon’s walled garden is the limited amount of information they release on how the platform works.

The lack of information has agencies, brands, and sellers on the platform sharing individual learnings about what’s working (and what’s not) for getting your products to rank.

There was, however, one time when Amazon actually explained how their algorithm worked… 😱

This little known video from a machine learning conference in 2016, where Daria Sorokina, a Machine learning researcher that worked on the Search Relevance team at Amazon’s secretive “A9” research arm.

Daria explains the problem of a new Harry Potter book hitting the market.

“How do we program the algorithm to ensure that when people search ‘Harry Potter,’ it gives the customer the newest book they want, rather than hundreds of Harry Potter related products that already have relevance to the keyword?

How was it solved? By assigning a relevance score to a product, based on how many customers bought that product on a given day, divided by the total number of customers that bought anything on Amazon in that category, on that day.

So when J.K Rowling released a new book, the purchases would spike relative to other products on Amazon in the book category, and that new book would be given a high relevance score to keep it there.

How can we use the relevance score to our advantage?

At Pilothouse, we’ve seen excellent results from what we call “The New Product Effect.”

Basically, the idea is to make your product look totally new to Amazon in your category, and then you launch your listing, your keywords and your ads all at once.

By going from zero to a coordinated push, you send a signal for Amazon to increase your relevance score, which means higher organic ranking for your keywords, and lower CPCs in the auction.

Start by removing all relevant keywords, so you don’t index on any until you’re ready to push.

If you’re releasing a new running shoe, and your main keyword is “running shoe,” then ensure the word “running shoe” is nowhere to be found in your title, bullets, backend search terms, or PPC campaign.

*This includes all combinations, so you need to fully omit the word ‘running.’

Then slowly add in each keyword as you’re fully ready to push into it with ad spend.

Don’t ever set your product live until you’re ready to push hard to every keyword you’re going to index for.

Finally, if you really want to be absolutely sure you’re taking advantage of this effect, don’t even build the product listing at all until the latest possible time.

By blitzing Amazon with a NEW, highly targeted, and ad spend backed listing and keywords, you’ll be more likely to get a higher relevance score, see increased scale and decreased costs because of it.

If you’re looking for an extra push on your Amazon listings, reach out to the Pilothouse Amazon  team! 🚀


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.


To blog or not to blog? An age-old question for DTC brands

There’s no doubt about it: blogging takes time, and it’s never an immediate payoff.

But if you play the long game and have a solid content strategy, you can drive so much traffic to your eCom store. 💸

Look no further than The Farmer’s Dog, who generates almost 180,000 new visitors a month on the Farmer’s Dog Digest.

“I think any brand can benefit from having a blog. You're considered an expert no matter what field of work you’re in. Tell people what you know, educate them, and share your story,” said Jessica Fried, Founder of Dainty Diamond.

The inspiration behind Dainty Diamond’s blog

Before launching Dainty Diamond, Jessica’s background was in content marketing and SEO, writing long-form content for all sorts of brands. She already knew how much power there is in blogging.

“Besides having this previous knowledge and experience, writing blogs was always a passion of mine, so it was definitely something I knew I was going to include on my website either way,” she explained.

While Jessica has successfully driven new traffic to her website through blogging, should all DTC brands be doing it? 🤔

🚨 Survey says: most brands should be blogging 🚨

We turned to Twitter to find out what the DTC community thinks about starting a blog. The response we got was a massive yes…

But! Only if your blog:

  • Has a clear goal ✅
  • Adds value to readers ✅
  • Has a strategy that you’re consistent with ✅

“Education for newer product categories (or innovated existing ones) + establishing brand trust lose their effectiveness on platforms with copy + character limits [like social media],” said Jessi Sanfilippo, VP of Marketing at House of Wise.

Killer tips for starting your eCommerce store’s blog 👇

Now that you know why you should start a blog, let’s talk about how to manage it properly.

1️⃣ Set yourself clear goals

Every marketing strategy starts with a goal, and blogging is no different.  

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you expect increased website traffic?
  • More conversions?
  • More email sign-ups?
  • How much of an increase do you want?
  • When do you expect this increase to happen?

Outline the results you expect from your blog before diving into your strategies and tactics. And keep your goal realistic! Remember, you may not see results from blogging for 6+ months.

2️⃣ Make sure your website is optimized technically

A whole lotta people don’t realize that there are two main parts to SEO: technical and on-page.

The technical side comes down to how your website is built, structured, the code you use, and other back-end factors.  

According to Tyler Macke, Founder of SendAFriend, your website has to be optimized for technical SEO before you start blogging.

Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

“It might not make sense to start a blog if your website isn’t set up well from a technical perspective or if the main conversion pages of your site are not optimized for SEO. This includes your meta titles, descriptions, and H1s,” he said.

3️⃣ Drive blog traffic to lower-funnel pages

Here’s a common mistake eCom brands make with their blog: promoting it in their navigation bar.

Why? Jon MacDonald, Founder of The Good, explains it here:

So rather than drive potential customers back up the funnel, make sure your blogs are working as a tool to drive people to the decision stage by ranking in organic listings..

“Throughout the blogs, I direct users to product pages and email signup forms that incentivize users to sign up for a coupon code. I’ve definitely noticed an increase in email sign-ups from blogging that often lead to sales,” said Jessica.

Looking for more tips and tricks to get your blog up and running? Check out the rest of the post here! 🔥


Make influencer marketing a win/win

Like Beyonce and Jay-Z, the brand and influencer relationship is a power couple anyone in the DTC space can get behind. Knowing how to create a mutually beneficial relationship with influencers is a must! 🤝

The best way to do that is through influencer whitelisting: a strategy that helps creators grow their audience while helping brands reach highly targeted audiences.

That’s why the influencer marketing pros at Aspire have put together a must-see on-demand webinar where they break down how you can leverage whitelisting in your brand’s influencer strategy.

You’ll discover:

  • What influencer whitelisting is and the how-to-do-it
  • How to onboard influencers for successful campaigns
  • Learn best practices for running authentic ads

And so much more!

👉 Watch the webinar to learn how to use influencer marketing and accelerate growth.


We all know that (for the most part) less copy is more. The faster you can show potential buyers the benefits of your product, the better!

Take a note out of Huel’s book.

Here’s why we love this ad 👇

  • Uses popular Wordle format to stop or slow the scroll
  • The use of short snappy words to describe what you get when you buy Huel
  • Shows a hand in the shot, which personifies the image which might otherwise be too cold

It doesn’t always have to be an elaborate campaign to hit the mark. Do you use scrappy creative ? Reply to this email and let us know!


✏️ With Pencil , the ads literally create themselves. It's as easy as connecting your store and ad account then let the AI generate ad ideas that 2x ROAS. *

🏆 Yotpo accepting applicants for black-owned business accelerator.

⚽️ Spotify buys naming rights on FC Barcelona’s massive stadium.

💰 Consortium including Elliott in advanced talks to buy Nielsen Holdings.

🙊 NFT megamerger between Bored Apes and Cryptopunks.


💄The Fast Road to 8 Figures with Jones Road Beauty's Cody Plofker.

❣️ 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.

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

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Tina Donati, and Jordan Gillis. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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