Email Marketing And DTC Brands: Not Hard To Tame
February 11, 2023
4 mins read

Email Marketing And DTC Brands: Not Hard To Tame

Let’s rewind to 2012. Dollar Shave Club launched its “Our blades are f***ing Great” campaign. Garnering thousands of views overnight, the video blew both advertisers’ and consumers’ imaginations. 

Dollar Shave Club was among the pioneer DTC brands (along with Casper, Peloton and Warby Parker) to have creatively found a weakness in the marketing campaigns of incumbent brands. Over the past decade, a growing number of innovative brands like Glossier, Harry’s and Bonobos have shaped the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) business model. By selling directly to consumers, these companies have bypassed traditional wholesale and retail middlemen. 

In fact, as per Diffusion’s DTC Purchase Intent Index 2021, 69% of American consumers purchased atleast one DTC brand in 2020. This shows the DTC mindset isn’t likely to change anytime soon. 

However, the success of these DTC brands has inspired intense competition from both incumbents and new entrants. Let’s take the example of Casper, which was among the first brands to sell mattresses online in 2014. Today, it has more than 200 rivals. 

Let’s see some notable DTC brands you must’ve come across. 

Kylieskin (by Kylie Jenner) has over 5.8 million followers on Instagram. 
Kylieskin Instagram
Warby Parker on Facebook. 
Warby Parker Facebook
Or Sephora’s emails that give you an instant FOMO. 
Sephora Email
Or Homesick Candles Tik Tok account which covers all kinds of candle facts. 
Homesick Candles Tik Tok

While the trend towards DTC is undeniable, email marketing, when done strategically, can help you break through the clutter. 

Of all the numerous marketing channels, Email marketing is known to have the highest ROI ($44 earned for every $1 spent on email marketing). 

But, the bar is raised. Your shopper’s email inbox is the most crowded piece of digital real estate. 


Your shoppers are likely receiving dozen-plus emails from retailers and other DTC startups trying to wedge their way into their promotion tabs each day. And email marketing is only becoming more critical and complicated for any DTC brand, courtesy of privacy-focused changes in the digital landscape. 

Whilst you start using the proven email strategies to nurture customers throughout the buying cycle and even afterward, we’ve dug out some lesser-known insights worth giving a try. 

While these trends are not yet widely implemented, they could give you the first-movers advantage. 

#1. The impact of Apple’s iOS 15 rollout on email marketing 

A critical update in iOS 15, Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) enables users to make it hard for email senders to follow their marketing activity. This allows users to mask the IP address so that email senders do not know the recipient’s location. In addition, email senders would not know if an email was opened. What this means is that instead of blasting consumers with emails, brands would have to think of it as lifecycle marketing. 

Here’s what personalized haircare DTC brand Prose has to say about this in an interview on ModernRetail

ModernRetail Interview

Another great practice, to optimize your email marketing is to leverage your historical customer data. Analyze past reports, focus on past open rate data and see how your iOS users have interacted with your campaigns.

#2. Personalized emails will move beyond owned touchpoints 

As per Tina Donati, content marketing lead at Alloy Automation, 

Tina Donati Saying

Although personalized paid digital is hard to pull off on the privacy-first web, personalization is only moving down the funnel, to owned touchpoints. Consider using dynamic content in nurture emails and product recommendation quizzes on company websites. Lingerie brand Third Love has a quiz on the website to help customers find the right bra. 

Third Love Quiz

DTC makeup brand Ipsy uses quiz results to send subscribers bundles of 5 new products every month. They are tailored specifically to individual tastes. It is time to shift focus from third-party to first-party consumer data and put it to work.

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That’s all for this week.

The end

Stay tuned for more insights about the DTC ecosystem globally.

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