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DTC Lessons: Build a watertight customer journey with Pepped

Each week, we're chatting to an expert in the eCommerce space to share their wisdom on building a resilient DTC brand in 2022 and beyond.

This week we're handing the mic to Georgie Carter, CEO & Founder of lifecycle marketing agency Pepped. Pepped specialise in building waterwight email & SMS journeys for DTC brands that build revenue and scale.


Take it away Georgie...

Interview with Georgie Carter - CEO & Founder, Pepped

What's your role and what do you do day-to-day?

I’m the Founder of Pepped, half of my role is all about ensuring my team has what they need to succeed and the other half is focussed on business development.

Which area should DTC brands be focusing their time and efforts towards, and why?

Customer retention should be any DTC brand’s big focus right now. During an economic crisis, customers become more cautious when planning to buy products or services from businesses. The brands that will thrive will be those that focus on building strong relationships with their customers and provide them with a seamless customer experience that delivers true value for money. 

We all know that it’s much more expensive to acquire a new customer versus selling to an existing customer and that’s never been more true than it is now. DTC brands that focus their attention on encouraging their existing customers to come back time and time again will sail through the next few months. Whereas those that are only focussed on acquisition run the risk of stagnating with a whole load of one time buyers and very few repeat purchasers.

You specialise in email and SMS marketing - what piece of advice would you give to DTC brands who want to improve their deliverability? 

If your engagement rates have plummeted, you might have slipped right into the dreaded junk folder. We’d recommend scooping yourself back out by checking some basics in order to get back on track.

  1. Make sure you only send to people who actually opted in– and make it clear how they can unsubscribe.
  2. Clean out your email list to bin any disengaged or redundant subscribers.
  3. Check your subject lines aren’t misleading, suspicious or full of spam trigger words.
  4. Optimise your content: make sure you’re not using too many images, and use clear, concise copy and CTAs.

Can you give us two recent success story you've had helping DTC stores with their lifecycle marketing?

Success story 1

We recently worked with a well-known organic food brand, based in London. When we initially started working with them they had little clarity on their overall email and SMS marketing strategy. The brand wasn’t segmenting their database effectively and customers were slipping through the cracks due to the limited personalisation and relevancy of their messaging. 

The first thing we did was to overhaul their existing strategy and implement a watertight customer journey. This allowed them to break out of their current situation and move forward with a detailed and structured roadmap.

Within 4 months we had helped the team implement a much tighter, more personalised customer journey resulting in;

  • 40% YoY increase in email sessions generated 
  • 53% YoY increase in sessions converting to sale
  • 50% YoY increase in the value of sales 

Success story 2

We’ve also been working with a DTC sleep tech brand, based in the US. When they first approached us they had a vastly over complicated Klaviyo set up, leaving them in a muddle as to what was performing well. There were also significant gaps in their customer journey which resulted in reduced revenue and a lack of clarity and confidence in their current lifecycle marketing strategy.

We worked with the client to deliver a clear and actionable Strategic Roadmap which clearly identified where there were areas of opportunity and revenue being left on the table. We then worked with the client to overhaul their Abandoned Cart Flow and Welcome Series, before moving on to their Lapsed and Post Purchase strategy, resulting in;

  • 65% increase in revenue with our new Abandoned Cart Series 
  • 54% increase in revenue with our new Welcome Series
  • 1.53% increase in placed order rate from the Welcome Series

Which lifecycle marketing trends of these should DTC brands jump on right now?

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing at the moment is a huge rush towards SMS marketing and we’re here for it! The dramatic shift in how we communicate has made SMS one of the best ways to reach customers. SMS is a great way to send time-sensitive messages, reminders, and notifications, as well as have personalised conversations, and cultivate relationships with engaged customers. If you’re not already leveraging SMS, I’d strongly recommend you explore it as another great way to keep in touch with your customers.

If you could tell DTC brands to stop making one mistake, what would it be?

That’s an easy one, the mistake we see DTC brands making the most is not segmenting their databases enough (or at all!). Segmentation is the single most important lever that you can pull when it comes to lifecycle marketing. Brands often forget that each of their customers are at different stages of the customer journey which is why a blanket all approach to communication is ineffective. 

As a DTC brand it’s your responsibility to educate your customers about the value your brand provides and then translate that value into a message that’s appropriate based on where the customer is in their journey with you. Personalisation has now become a base case customer expectation which is why it’s hugely important to ensure your comms are timely and relevant throughout the entire customer journey.

Complete the sentence: DTC brands that survive and thrive in the recession will ____.

Focus their efforts on customer retention by growing strong customer relationships and building long term brand loyalty.

Who are 3 people in the eCommerce ecosystem you look up to and recommend everyone should follow?

Jaye Cowle at Launch.

Nathan Lomax at QuickFire Digital.

Adam Pearce at Blend Commerce.

Thanks Georgie! Where can we hear more from Pepped?

You can find out more about Pepped at our website, or follow me on Linkedin directly here.

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