If you’re a DTC brand spending less than $50k/month on ads and are having trouble scaling, this article is for you.  

Growing and scaling a DTC brand from zero to profitability is hard.

Really hard. 

Competition is fierce, buying ads has never been more expensive and it’s becoming more challenging to cut through the noise, stop the scroll and drive a healthy ROAS (return on ad spend) from digital advertising on platforms like Meta and TikTok.

Gone are the days where you could throw up some Facebook ads and drive a return of 5x. 

The game has changed and to play, and win,  requires a very clear cut strategy. 

Thankfully there is a playbook on how to effectively drive sales for your ecommerce brand.

Let’s take a look at 5 reasons your DTC brand is not effectively scaling:

Retention – Email Marketing

With average CPA (cost per acquisition) rising, it’s paramount to develop an email retention strategy that constantly reminds your customers you exist, and convinces them to buy again.

Studies show that for every $1 spent on email, ecomm brands make $36-$40.That’s huge!

With email being so cheap relative to paid ads, there’s absolutely no reason to not use it.

The first step in leveraging email to scale is building out your core flows. 

At the very least, you’ll want to create the following:

Welcome Email:
An email thanking first-time customers for their purchase and introducing them to your brand is highly effective. It humanizes the shopping experience and allows you to speak to customers in your unique brand voice.

Abandoned Cart Email:
People who have added products to their carts without buying have shown great interest in your product. They have taken the time to move through your funnel and reach the very end, but for some reason didn’t pull the trigger. 

An abandoned cart series sends emails to remind shoppers of the items they left behind. This is highly effective for re-engagement and nudging people over the finish line.

Post Purchase Discount Email
Shoppers love feeling appreciated. They also love deals. A post purchase discount email is effective because it thanks the customer for their recent purchase while offering a discount on their next purchase. 

You can tie in FOMO or urgency with time-sensitive offers to encourage people to take advantage of the offer.

Not investing in creative

Driving sales via paid social media ads on Meta and TikTok  is the holy grail of DTC growth. 

The biggest and most profitable brands have perfected the art of leveraging ad creatives to drive targeting, interest, acquisition and scale. 

Social media is crowded and to stop thumbs and drive attention, your ads must do three things:

  • Grab attention / stop the scroll
  • Clearly communicate the value of your product
  • Convince people to take action

Producing top tier ad creative requires a seasoned growth marketer with a keen understanding of things like:

  • Your product (what value you deliver)
  • Your financials (profit margins, CAC, AOV, LTV)
  • Your ICP (who to target, and why)
  • Full-funnel marketing (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU)
  • Human psychology (frameworks, hooks, angles that grab attention)

Copywriting (how to tell your brand/product story in a way that drives sales)

  • UGC content (leveraging influencers / creators to promote your brand)
  • Video editing (putting it all together in a short but impactful ad)
  • Media Buying (ad account structures, budget and bid strategy)

Attribution Tracking (knowing which channels/ads are driving ROAS)

Landing / Product page optimization

Where you send your ad traffic matters.

It’s critical to assess the pages you’ll be driving traffic to and optimize them continuously. Test everything and never assume the work is done. 

We can cover conversion rate optimization tactics in another posts, but here are some general ideas for what to test:

  • Driving traffic to a collection page vs product detail page
  • Offers
  • Value props
  • Photos
  • Trust factors
  • Social proof
  • Reviews / testimonials

Poor media buying

No matter how good your creative is, poor media buying tactics will never lead to scaling. 

You need a marketing team who understands the nuances of modern marketing best practices and won’t waste your budget.

Some common mistakes are:

  • Poor targeting strategy (go broad and let Meta do the work)
  • Too many ad campaigns in the account (can create audience overlap and other issues)
  • Running too many ad sets and not enough events (you’ll never get out of the learning phase)
  • Tracking and CAPI issues (poor tracking will hinder META performance)

Bad Product

Even an incredible website, perfect ad creative and smart media buying won’t save you if your product isn’t good.

Consumers are smart, picky and love to let the world know when they feel duped, scammed, misled or even mildly disappointed. 

Inferior products result in returns, bad reviews, negative comments on social media and an inability to scale. 

In today’s DTC landscape there isn’t much room for products that don’t work. 

Wrapping Up

Scaling a DTC ecommerce brand is a challenging endeavor that requires a comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of your business, your customer and digital advertising strategy. 

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make on this journey is choosing the right growth marketing partner. Your agency must have mastery of everything discussed in this post, and more. 

If you are a DTC brand making less than $50,000 per month and looking to scale, please reach out to us. We’ll provide a complimentary audit and let you know what steps we would take to grow your business.

by Fuze April 7, 2024