Direct-to-consumer brands cut out the middlemen. Not only do they create their product, but they don’t enlist the help of someone to sell it. They advertise and sell directly to the consumer.
But this is a double-edged sword. Do-it-yourself brings advantages like total control of the product and messaging, and you save the resources needed to broker deals with middlemen like retailers. In the long run, it’s likely to bring a more profitable result.
At the same time, the work of building an audience from scratch (instead of capitalizing on a retailer’s connections) is incredibly difficult. It’s long, expensive, and requires expert strategy. That’s why DTC brands have to make every advertisement count. When a mediocre conversion rate doesn’t cut it, DTC brands focus on improving post-click experiences to acquire customers at optimal ad spend.
How direct-to-consumer brands use post-click experiences
After a user clicks an advertisement, they are transitioned from the pre-click stage to the post-click stage. In the post-click stage, everything that contributes to converting a user is called the “post-click experience.” This includes but is not limited to: brand equity, colors, design, headline, copy, page load times, form size, offer, etc.
Below, we examine some DTC post-click experiences to see what they did well to boost their conversion rate.
This Harry’s Gmail ad does a great job of drawing the eye with effective use of white space and color. The “Redeem Trial” button is highly clickable, and a high-quality close-up of the product stands center stage to showcase its design.
When visitors click through, they’ll see this post-click page:
With a mesmerizing video, it takes visitors through elements of product creation while never drawing attention from the CTA button. The page is simple and straightforward, and the headline conveys visitors will get something better than what they’re used to with shaving companies. The offer, a free trial, makes it easy to switch from the product visitors currently use by letting them try before they buy.
This ad makes some big promises. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long the product can deliver on those promises. For the search phrase “lose weight fast,” this is exactly what you’d expect to see. When you click through, you’ll find this post-click landing page:
The headline doesn’t waste any time, compelling visitors to enter their personal information in a quick and easy form. Below, the CTA button is written in the first person, which has been shown to increase conversions, and the text below promises a personalized offer: A fitness plan tailored specifically to you.
However, between the ad and landing page, message match could be better. The sentiment of this ad carries through the campaign: You will lose weight with this product. However, there are elements like the “Buy one month get one free” that you should see on the landing page, which you don’t.
Here’s a search ad from KetoCustomPlan, which you may find when searching “weight loss plan.” When you click through, you’ll find this landing page:
There’s no navigation menu, which keeps visitors focused on the page in front of them. The colorful header draws them in, and a headline emphasizes quick, easy, sustainable results. From the ad to the post-click experience, the story this campaign tells is: Other diets are ineffective compared to Keto, and when you try it, you’ll lose weight and keep it off. This offer for a custom plan uses personalization to make the product itself highly relevant and tailored to the lifestyle of the consumer, which is very appealing to prospects.
Here’s a display ad for airline FlexJet. Clicking through it takes the visitor to this post-click page:
With high-quality photos of a plane soaring over the ocean on both the ad and landing page, it’s clear the story FlexJet is trying to tell: You can explore new and exotic places when they switch to FlexJet. Like KetoCustomPlan, personalization is built into this product. With a fleet of private jets, they’re able to work around your schedule to fly when and where you want.
You may find this Gold’s Gym search ad when you search “fitness program.” Mainly, it advertises customized fitness programs from expert staff. When you click through, you’ll see this post-click experience:
This post-click page draws visitors in with a photo of models looking right at the camera. The navigation menu is free of distractions, which keeps visitors’ attention on the page. A short form doesn’t create much friction on the page, and below, small chunks of text about classes and features give visitors the info they to decide about converting.
However, the story this ad tells is focused on high-quality personalized fitness programs. You’ll get a personal plan from an expert when you sign up. But, the story of this landing page is focused more on the free 7-day pass. Both are valuable elements of the offer, but in this case, the way they’re arranged creates an inconsistent campaign. The ad offers personalized fitness plans from experts, and users clicked through looking for more details about them. What they’ll find is valuable information, but likely not the information they’re looking for.
Here’s a search ad for Nectar Mattresses you may see upon searching “Mattresses.” When you click through, you’ll find yourself on this post-click landing page:
When you land, you’re not distracted by navigation links in the header, and the CTA button is (as it should be) the most attention-grabbing element on the page. Benefits are laid out well in digestible chunks throughout the page, with plenty of white space to convey the quality of the product. The post-click landing page of this direct to consumer brand tells a story that matches the ad, which focuses on quality. The offer, a 365 risk-free trial, says to consumers: We believe in our product so much that we will let you try it for a full year. We know you’ll want to keep it.
Noom Weight Loss
Here’s an ad from Noom that you might see when searching the term “diet plan.” Clicking through it will bring you to this landing page:
Here, Noom takes a simple multi-step approach so as not to add friction to conversion. A navigation-free header keeps visitors focused on the page, which uses a high-quality food photo to communicate a message of health. The headline touts a psychology-based evaluation, which seems unique compared to other plans, but it doesn’t quite connect with the ad. The story of the campaign starts with the ad, the headline of which says: Lasing Weight Loss, Reset Your Diet Plan.
However, the page itself focuses more on personalization. These are both valuable elements of a weight loss plan, and should both be mentioned, but in a way that meets the expectations of the user clicking through.
This display ad from Peloton uses a hero shot to advertise the product, and advertises a calculator where visitors can see how much they can save on the product. When you click through, you’ll see this pricing calculator:
The first thing you’ll notice is the realistic hero shot that works the product into a modern home, as though it’s another piece of furniture. Without navigation links, visitors are forced to consume the page or click the “X” in the corner of the browser window. But, with such a reasonable offer, it’s not likely they’ll leave without at least seeing how much they can save. Clicking that button will drive visitors further down the page, where they can input data to see how much they’ll save. Then, another CTA attempts to move them further along the buyer’s journey.
Overall, the message between this ad and landing page is consistent. The story is: See how much you can save with our fitness product. And the landing page follows through, even though it attempts to drive the visitor to buy the product after their expectation has been met.
Here’s an ad you may find for NatureBox when you search “office snacks.” It advertises unlimited healthy snacks delivered to your office. When you click through, you’ll find this landing page:
It opens with a hero shot of healthy granola bars surrounded by bright ingredients, and then draws the eye with a bright headline that moves visitors to a CTA button with a visual cue. The CTA button expresses confidence with the phrase “Try Us Free,” which, like Nectar above, tells prospects that the brand knows its product is so good that you’ll want to buy after you try. Below, small chunks of copy make benefits and features easy to read, a video elaborates on the product, and reviews make the offer more appealing.
Overall, the story of this campaign is centered around convenience and health. The ad promises unlimited snacks delivered, and the post-click landing page continues the message of convenience with an offer for a free trial of a product that can be tailored to your employees and their diets, and delivered to your door.
Here’s an ad for Winc, a wine subscription box company, which you might see if you search “wine delivery.” It offers personalized wine delivery and a big discount on your first order. When you click through, you’ll land on this post-click page:
Here, Winc keeps visitors focused on the page with a header free of navigation links. Below, a hero shot of the product shows what a delivery might look like — the box and what might come inside. The headline, “Endless wine, delivered,” is one that emphasizes convenience. The entire story of this campaign is similar to the story of NatureBox above. The product is convenient and it can also be personalized to your tastes. To accomplish that, Winc offers a quiz you can take when you click “Get Started,” which will ultimately end in a profile that will be used to send your first delivery of wine. The subheaders “Discover the wine of your dreams,” and “Get more out of your glass” fit with the message of personalization, while the main headline emphasizes convenience.
The only suggestion for improvement here might be better highlighting the 35% discount on the post-click page here, the way it was highlighted in the ad.
Create post-click experiences like direct-to-consumer brands
Direct to consumer brands rely heavily on themselves: their own product, resources, messaging, and because of that, they can afford to make very few mistakes. They spend time creating post-click experiences like the one above because every ad needs its own post-click page to create a consistent campaign story and match the personalization of the ad. And the only way to accomplish that is with post-click automation.
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