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Direct-to-consumer supplement brands are bypassing retail stores and middlemen like Amazon. They sell direct to consumers online.
Allow the brand to increase its margins and control everything.
Including brand experience, visitor traffic and most importantly all marketing.
Some interesting digital-native direct-to-consumer dietary supplement brands for the dietary supplements we monitor include:
One of the advantages of digitally driven brands like these and others like them is a one-lens-only approach.
When each of these brands started, they were forced out of necessity to focus on one product.
Adopt the principle of this focus initiated, is part of what made them successful.
Concentration is the key.
But not just focus on one singular product.
Rather a series of ones.
A funnel strategy. (so you can s
A source of traffic. (so you can keep the attribution data super clean.)
A customer avatar. (so you can speak directly to a specific person.)
With just one product. (So you can test different offers with the same product.)
Every brand of direct-to-consumer supplements starts somewhere
As marketers, we envy companies like Ritual vitamins.
We are amazed by the clean design of the packaging.And think that if our brand had only the modern look of the Elysium website that we would be a top too.
But that’s not the case at all.
What many don’t realize is that when Ritual first launched, there was only one product, a multivitamin.
And he focused on one market, women.
They kept it very simple and very focused.
Fat15 goes even further and has only one ingredient.
Focusing on a very narrow but deep vertical gives direct-to-consumer supplement brands huge potential when compared to marketing.
Retail stores and online big box distributors, like Amazon, all limit how brands can market and sell to consumers.
Direct-to-consumer marketing allows brands to write their own ticket to faster growth.
That is, as long as they have the budget to test enough to learn how to acquire customers for less than the lifetime value of those buyers.
Because customer acquisition is the key.
And the best way for DTC brands to gain this customer acquisition advantage is through direct response marketing.
But direct response marketing is where most brands struggle.
The main problem with the direct response for those more polite supplement brands it is because they resist kissing it.
Mainly because they see the market as two-sided.
On the one hand, there is private label marketing.
And the other, there is the muscular and slimy sale. (At least that’s their opinion.)
But there is a happy medium between the two.
In other words, if you choose your marketing tactics carefully.
Direct-to-consumer supplement brand and direct response marketing
There are many direct response marketing tactics that work.
One of those tactics is storytelling.
Direct response writing has used storytelling in the form of leads for years.
Leads come from the phrase “introduction” or “main paragraph,” which is the first 300 to 500 words of a long sales letter.
The lead’s job is to get the reader into the letter.
It’s an extension of the title and makes them read.
Unlike just focusing on the features and benefits like big brands like Garden of Life Supplements do.
The direct response marketing approach here is to put the customer at the heart of the story.
Many supplement brands focus too much on the founder’s story.
Or they lead with the science or the mechanism and the unique ingredients behind the product first.
With a direct response storytelling approach, you drive the customer journey.
Meet them where they are in their set of values and belief system.
Here is an example that leads with the values of the target market.
Notice how ambitious the start, or the lead, is.
Here is the title and the main copy.
ALL PROGRESS IS OUTSIDE THE COMFORT ZONE
When the voice in your head says you can’t do it… it’s lying.
Reach your full potential.
Push beyond your comfort zone.
Comfort zones are becoming the norm… the enemy. The only thing stopping you from progressing.
Because progress is never in the comfort zone.
It is reserved for the fierce … the ferocious …
the few that reach MORE.
How about you climb this mountain?
How about pushing further?
What if greatness is yours?
You will emerge a champion.
Victory is no small feat when miserable excuses creep in.
You can smile and put up with it or give up and crawl to bed.
Above is the primary copy of a hybrid direct response / branding landing page.
This example straddles brand marketing and direct response marketing.
You can see where this introductory approach comes first in the conversation with the customer.
Not the product like traditional e-commerce.
It also focuses on selling to a specific customer avatar. The fit and motivated cross-country weekend athlete.
This ambitious approach doesn’t start with the product or the ingredients like typical supplement brand marketing would.
The product and the call to action aren’t even above the fold.
This is a good thing. Most would see this as a violation of best practice.
And it is, but it works because selling a supplement is a complex sale.
Remember that people don’t buy supplements like they buy other products.
The supplement buying forces of desire, hope, confidence, and belief are at play here and, as with any complex sale, they often trump best practice.
This direct response approach is uncomfortable for companies like Garden of Life.
And this is the opportunity here.
It’s a chance for the smaller direct-to-consumer brands to shine.
That is if they can overcome their own blockages and embrace some direct response marketing.
For some supplement brands, that means embracing the idea of stories.
Stories are what sells.
The resistance is really around the idea of selling.
For some reason, selling is a bad word for many big branded supplement companies.
Even for the direct-to-consumer supplement brands mentioned earlier.
Many marketing managers think they can only sell with science.
And the compliance guidelines put them in a state of fear.
The real act of selling is helping someone.
That’s why stories are at the heart of the sale.
Stories inspire an emotional response that leads to a sale.
If your marketing team is ready to embrace stories and introductions, they should embrace the idea of longer pages as well.
More words and text that most marketers consider friction is what makes these pages work.
I don’t know why they are so resistant to it.
Maybe it’s because they feel it conflicts with the brand.
What is the next sacred cow that must be killed.
The thought that “it’s off-brand for us.”
One way to get around this line of thinking is to separate a landing page like this from the main website.
By creating a single page for customer acquisition advertising campaigns.
This way your product detail page is always “on the brand”
As you may know, the way a supplement business wins is through customer acquisition.
Whoever can afford to spend the most to acquire a customer wins.
If a hybrid direct response / branded page or mini-site can accomplish this better than an ecommerce product detail page, then let the best tool for the job win.
In the end, isn’t it really about helping change people’s lives?
Offer an alternative to the big pharmaceutical companies and promote a healthy lifestyle?
Any brand can do it better when it gets more customers.
In fact, it’s the only way a brand can do it.