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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

We all know our phones are listening… Time to use it to our advantage! 🤣

P.S. Did you know that for just one DTC referral, you can get access to our new LinkedIn group? Read until the end for your unique referral link. See you on the inside! 👀

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from SEMRush, Ink Box, Sonix, and Rosy Soil. 🪴

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Darkposting to increase your ROAS

📦 How to kickstart Q1 with content that converts

📦 Ju Rhyu: Reversing the DTC playbook and the $630M Hero CPG needs

📦 Reaching customers with personalized messages without infringing on their privacy

📦 Your cheatsheet for holiday email campaigns

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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We’ve talked about gifting, but we haven't ventured into gifting through darkposted ads.

People are scrambling for last-minute holiday gifts which means intent is sky-high. If you haven't explored darkposting gifting creative for your brand, now's the time to jump on the bandwagon.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • A dark post is a targeted ad that appears in the news feeds of only a selected set of users and nowhere else (aka the post doesn’t show when you visit the creator/posters page).
  • Content is run through a creator’s handle as if they’d posted it themselves, but the post does not live on their feeds or profiles.
  • Dark posting allows you to capitalize on the social proof the creator’s handle and profile offers, run multiple ad iterations, and test different audiences with different copy, etc.

The Pilothouse Meta and Studios team collabed to create this UGC style ad that was darkposted on a staff account.

What does this mean? You can should darkpost on your business account too!

It doesn't matter how big or small your audience is (aka. you don’t need to be an influencer). What’s important is that your audience gets this message from a third-party.

Not sure darkposting on a non-influencers account works? Here's the stats that prove otherwise:

  • Prospecting - darkposted from an individual's account: 11 ROAS (last 7 days)
  • Retargeting - darkposted from an individual's account: 5 ROAS (last 7 days)

The proof is in the ROAS. 🤷‍♀️ The Pilothouse Meta team has lots more tricks up their sleeves, but test this one for yourself to get started!


💥 Kickstart Q1 with content that converts! 💥

What kind of content, you ask? It’s UGC, where real customers, and in this case, micro-influencers, brag about your products!

minisocial is the leading user-generated content platform to partner your brand with micro-influencers who create and share fully-licensed, scroll-stopping content.

The best DTC brands already use minisocial, so get in on the ACTION:

🐶 Nom Nom created KILLER ads by focusing their campaign on testimonial-style videos with creator voiceovers and showing their pup's chowing down on Nom Nom!

🧴 Native used minisocial to create GORGEOUS UGC for use across their organic social channels, emails, website, and even paid ads.

💐 Urban Stems created VIVID unboxing videos with creators reacting to their beautiful arrangements, perfect for use across ads and organic social

👉Get started now for our deepest discount of the year - 25% off!


🎧 Today on the DTC pod, we’re sitting down with Hero Cosmetics cofounder and CEO Ju Rhyu. Ju recently sold the company for $630M after bootstrapping it from zero in just five years. 🤯

Hero Cosmetics, creators of the Mighty Patch, is an affordable acne and skincare brand that provides consumers with a real, consciously-clinical solution for any and all pimple emergencies.

‍The takeaways 👇

🛡️ Protecting the brand

CEOs are often seen as the face of a company. These days, it’s common to see CEOs at the forefront of marketing materials, making a conscious effort to create a more direct line to the consumer. However, Ju has a different personal philosophy on being the face of her own brand that includes wanting to share the story, not be the story.

“The founder story is important. It gives [a] brand more soul and history, but when you are the brand, it actually increases the risk for the actual products in the brand that you are marketing. You do need to advocate for your brand and really tell the story, but you're not going to be the face of the brand forever… When I see brands so intertwined with one person, I just question the longevity of that brand because what happens if that person goes away? Does the business suffer? I just prefer to share the story and tell the story but I don't want to be the brand.”

💄 The Lipstick Effect

With Q4 in full swing, the thought that’s on everyone's mind boils down to one word: Recession. When asked about how she feels Hero Cosmetics will be affected by this looming downturn, Ju talks about how the company may be spared by the “Lipstick Effect,” a term coined by Estée Lauder in 2001. The Lipstick Effect is essentially the rise of consumer spending on small luxury goods (like lipstick) during times of economic downturn.

“I think what we have going for us is that people see our products as a need-to-have versus a nice-to-have. It really is a necessity because when you have that pimple, you really want it to go away and people will spend a lot of money even in a recession, I think, to buy the products they need to have clear skin. So I think we're going to be pretty durable during any sort of economic headwinds.”

💰 What Ju would do with an extra $100K:

Ju discusses a few scenarios, but ultimately would hone one channel specifically.

“I [would] probably put it towards Amazon because that's the channel where we see the highest ROAS every time we put more money into it. We tend to see really great returns and there's still a lot that we can do and want to do on that channel.”

👉 Listen to the full episode with Ju Rhyu here!


Personalization in a Privacy-First Landscape

Consumer sentiment reflects a lack of trust when it comes to privacy. In fact, recent data shows:

  • 62% of U.S. adults feel they can’t go a day without sharing personal data online.
  • 91% of browsers are off limits for cookies.
  • 96% of iPhone users have opted out of tracking.

But here’s the kicker! Consumers want personalized experiences from brandswhich often requires brands to capture consumers' data.

So, what is an honest brand to do in this Catch-22? 🤷🏻‍♂️

Thankfully, Wunderkind has the answer, and it lies in customer identity solutions.

Wunderkind provides an out-of-the-box, privacy-compliant solution that delivers the experience your customers desire and the revenue you need – all without relying on cookies. 🍪

👉 If you’re ready to reach customers with personalized messages without infringing on their privacy, it’s time to meet Wunderkind.


Your Cheatsheet for Holiday Email Campaigns

Hey, fam – are you burnt out from BFCM and struggling to keep the momentum going into the holidays? 😵

We hear ya loud and clear.

So we’re gonna do you a solid and give you three ideas for quick and easy campaigns to send over the next few weeks! Check it out.  👇

🎁 Gifting guides

Let’s face it, finding the 👌 perfect 👌 gift can be hard work. That’s why gift guides are so clutch this time of year – your customers want ideas for presents.

So, give the people what they want! Curate your best gift guide and send it out as a campaign – just like these brands below:

Source: Really Good Emails

P&Co’s email is a solid example of a basic gift guide campaign. Their hero image takes you to a gift guide they’ve curated with some of their best-selling products. We also love how they’ve grouped gifts into gender and price categories for easy shopping directly in the email. FYI: Highlighting “under $X” is a great strategy for gifting!

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your gift guide email! This email from Four Sigmatic is a great example of how to go above and beyond to make your customers smile. “Here’s Some Inspo” takes you to a curated gift guide on their site with holiday bundles and samples for stocking stuffers. Love it! 🍄

Source: Really Good Emails

Check out the addition of “Create & Share a Wishlist” in this email from NoBull, which is a genius idea to entice gifting. Wishlists make it easy to tell people exactly what you want without *telling* them what you want…Ya know? 😉 This would be a great strategy to test out over the holidays!

📦 Shipping deadlines

POV: You’ve found THE perfect gift, but at checkout, you spot the dreaded words…

“Delivery: December 26.” 😖😖😖

The best way to keep this from happening to your customers? Send out shipping deadline emails!

Not only will these emails prompt shoppers to get their gifts on time, but they also add a built-in sense of urgency to encourage sales.

Source: Chase Dimond Newsletter

These don’t have to be fancy, folks. This simple text-based message from Cadence gets the job done! Consider sending an email like this a few days before your shipping deadline.

Source: Smartr Mail

This is another straightforward but effective shipping deadline email from Vuori. We love the sense of urgency and the addition of gift guides further down in the email. The only thing we would add is to make the deadline of “tomorrow at 9 AM PST” bolder so it stands out more in the text block. You could send something like this a day or two before your deadline as a simple reminder.

Source: Smartr Mail

TeePublic really nails this “last chance” email. We LOVE the strategic use of a dynamic countdown timer to add an immediate sense of urgency (here’s how to create your own in Klaviyo). Plus, there’s a clear, compelling offer and CTA above the fold, aaaaand a summary of when shoppers need to order their gifts to get them by Christmas for different shipping methods. Killer. 👏

💡 Pro Tip: All three of these emails would make for one fabulous shipping deadline campaign!

  1. Text-based email 1-2 weeks before shipping deadline.
  2. Simple graphic email 1 day before deadline.
  3. Conversion-focused email with live countdown of the day of deadline.

⌛ Last-minute shoppers

Soooo, what about all those shoppers that inevitably ignore your shipping deadline emails (We’ve all been there on December 23 and still have NO clue what to get so-and-so. 🤷)?

"Cut them some slack with a last-minute email campaign", we say! Here’s your inspo. 👇

Source: Drip

Promoting gift cards as a last-minute gift is a tried-and-true strategy that can work well during the holidays – especially if you pair it with hilarious copy like Chubbies.

Source: Chase Dimond Newsletter

Discounting your gift cards like this email from Winc is another amazing way to incentivize last-minute gifting. The gift-giver feels like they’re getting a great deal, and brands will often make back the discounted amount later on the purchase (shoppers tend to spend 20-50% more with gift cards).

Source: Drip

This offer from BarkBox is, indeed, crazy. But if you can swing something like free rush shipping, it could be a solid way to reach those last-minute shoppers!

Here's your inspo for holiday campaigns! We hope these help you convert new leads from Black Friday, capitalize on this gifting season, and end Q4 on a high note. 🚀


🚨 Are the creatives in your Meta ads, Amazon store, or Shopify site falling flat? Claim your free content today from the newly launched Pilothouse Studios! *

🐥 Twitter updates community notes to be visible for all.

🎶 The fifth annual “Year on TikTok” event.

⚖️ The FTC probes several firms over crypto ads.

💵 81% of people are reducing holiday spending this year.

💪 Advanced data protection for iCloud begins rolling out in 2023.

🔎 Marginal behaviors and early adopters.



💵 EcomCFO.co - Sam Hill: Make Your Finances Anti-Fragile.

⚔️ Mini Katana's Isaac Medeiros: The Path to a Billion Monthly Views and Eight Figures in Sales.

😴 Plufl, Yuki Kinoshita: Seven Figures TikToking Dog Beds For Humans.

💰 Wealthsimple, Harry Hothi - Marketing Wealth-Tech in a Downturn.

🐶 Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream: Jason Kutasi - Performance Marketing Children’s Books (To 8 Figures).

💡 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, Kelsey Hess, Kate Gullett, and Michael Venditti. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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