The market has already been growing rapidly for several years. However, it is now projected to reach an impressive further 19.2 per cent growth in 2021.
One of the reasons for the growth in the DTC industry was brands having to pivot their business during lockdown. No longer able to rely on high street store sales, brands began to compensate by rolling out DTC offerings. Fast. With brands such as Beavertown Brewery going from an 85 per cent drop in business to a 1,000 per cent increase.
But to compete with long-established brands, the DTC industry has had to act differently. And fulfil all of the expectations of modern-day consumers in a way that more established brands aren’t managing.
Due to this, DTC brands are showing that they are smarter and more innovative than their predecessors, creating some seriously fantastic marketing in the process.
What is a DTC brand?
First, let’s begin by clarifying what a DTC brand is.
DTC refers to “direct to consumer”.
And DTC brands do exactly that, sell directly to their consumers. Meaning they bypass the “middlemen” in the form of third-party retailers or wholesalers, such as Sainsbury’s, ASOS, or Argos, for instance.
The reason why many brands are choosing this model is that buying behaviour is changing. Consumers are buying more online and less from physical retail stores. And are demanding a more personalised, inclusive experience from the brands they purchase from.
By having more control of their own sales and marketing, DTC brands can disrupt industries and achieve all of the above. Without relying on others.
So, let’s take a closer look at how DTC brands are nailing email marketing.
Many DTC brands are starting from scratch. They don’t have a loyal customer base nor a well-known brand name.
So they know they have to stand out from the crowd.
That’s why one thing that all DTC brands seem to have in common is the irresistible design of their emails.
Unlike more established brands who can become too dependent on their brand awareness and get a little complacent with their design, DTC brands pull out all the stops to grab the recipient’s attention.
We are frequently seeing bold colours, striking images, and continuous brand consistency in all of their emails. Not only perfect for grabbing attention, but also great for embedding a brand in new customers’ minds.
To build up relationships with new customers, or to introduce a new DTC offering to current customers, DTC brands know they have to get their first communication spot on.
That’s why DTC brands are already experts at the welcome email.
They don’t expect their recipients to know about their brand, understand how their process works, or be following them on social media.
Instead, they consistently include all of this useful and essential information in their welcome emails alongside the eye-catching design we previously mentioned, and often a discount to encourage their recipients to try out their DTC offering, and start the process of purchase, brand loyalty, and trust.
DTC brands are always on the ball.
They regularly connect their offering to what is going on in the lives of their recipients, increasing their relevance, whilst also providing genuinely useful content and product suggestions.
And of course, there has been a lot of change over the past 18 months. The smartest DTC brands have been communicating at every stage of lockdown. Promoting products and messaging that supports their recipients’ current situations, and consistently maintaining relevance in their recipients’ lives.
A sense of community
After being disconnected from our friends and family for so long, the world is craving community in everything we do.
For some, being part of an online community has been essential during lockdown. Something that DTC brands seem well aware of.
For that reason, they avoid becoming a faceless, emotionless, unrelatable brand.
Instead, DTC brands utilise social media channels, social proof in the form of ratings and reviews, and live events to build a community through email.
Not only is this beneficial for building community, but it also helps to reassure recipients who may not be so familiar with the brand because 84 per cent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from a friend. By viewing content from others in the brand community, this will help to increase trust, and give them a nudge to make their first purchase.
Lastly, the DTC industry is one of the most progressive when it comes to email marketing strategy.
And we’re not just talking about segmentation. DTC brands incorporate dynamic content within their emails to ensure they are always promoting tailored, relevant products and promotions to their audience, whether that be through abandoned basket reminders, cross-sell promotions, or replenishment campaigns.
Are you a DTC brand?
Or maybe you’re considering launching a DTC offering?
Email marketing is the ideal way to increase your brand awareness, communicate with new and potential customers, and generate a positive ROI.