Boosting Your Ecommerce Sales With Direct-Response Ads: Top Strategies


Andrew Case, Co-founder of NoonBrew

Andrew Case is the Co-founder of NoonBrew, which creates superfood teas for improving sleep and energy. Launched in 2021, NoonBrew has shipped over 100,000 packages of tea to customers in all 50 states. Before his venture into ecommerce, Andrew worked as an account executive selling enterprise SaaS at several product-led companies. A graduate of International Business at Webster University, he leverages his sales background and passion for entrepreneurship to scale NoonBrew, growing the company to seven figures within two years.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Andrew Case shares insights on winning with direct-response style ads
  • Lessons Andrew learned scaling NoonBrew
  • Creative ad strategies for a supplement brand
  • The value of metrics in scaling direct-response ads
  • How can subscription-based business models maximize their ad spend?
  • Andrew highlights the importance of testing and optimizing ads to unlock growth
  • What would Andrew change if he had to do it all over?

In this episode…

Direct-response advertising is all about enticing leads to take a specific action. However, for ecommerce supplement brands, scaling with ads is no easy feat. It takes more than having a quality product and foundational knowledge of creating online ads. What can you learn from a brand that scaled by employing advanced tactics in its direct-response ads?  

For ecommerce entrepreneur Andrew Case, winning at direct-response advertising requires a blend of creativity and metrics, where understanding the secrets of top-performing brands and prioritizing data become crucial for success. Andrew’s approach entails studying competitors' and top-performing landing pages to spark inspiration. He emphasizes the value of using data analytics tools to review the revenue amounts of top-performing ads to unravel their successful components. As the narrative unfolds, Andrew shares intricate strategies he employs to generate seven-figure sales. He highlights the power of improving the product Net Promoter Score (NPS) through consistent product improvements and testing different landing page styles to optimize conversion rates.

In this episode of the Minds of Ecommerce podcast, Raphael Paulin-Daigle hosts Andrew Case, the Co-Founder of NoonBrew, as he guides listeners through high-level direct-response ad strategies. He discusses the value of looking to other brands for inspiration, creative hacks for supplement brands, common mistakes to avoid when developing direct-response ads, and other proven conversion techniques that grew his brand to millions of dollars in revenue.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by SplitBase.

At SplitBase, we design, test, and manage high-converting landing pages and on-site experiences for fashion, luxury, and lifestyle e-commerce brands. Our optimization program pinpoints exactly where your store is losing money most, and then we help you fix that.

The result? Increased conversions and profits for our clients.

With our team of conversion optimization specialists, performance marketers, and conversion-focused designers, we've got your back when it comes to testing and optimization.

Request a proposal on SplitBase.com today, and learn how we can help you get the most out of your marketing spend.

You can find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Don’t miss out on our exclusive podcasts at Minds of Ecommerce.

Episode Transcript

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  0:06  

Welcome to the Minds of Ecommerce podcast, where you'll learn one key strategy that made leading ecommerce companies grow exponentially. We cut the bullshit and keep the meat in a 15 minute episode, founders and executives take us through a deep dive of a strategy, so you'll get to learn and grow your online sales. In the last episode, you heard from Diego Comejo, the Founder and CEO of She's Waisted and we talked about how to win with UGC at scale. Now, today on episode number 36, get ready. Andrew Case is the Co-founder of NoonBrew, which creates superfood teas for improving sleep and energy. Now, I'm super excited about this episode because we're going to be talking about one of the topics that I'd love to talk about, which is how to win with direct-response style arts. Now, I'm your host, Raphael Paulin-Daigle, and I'm the Founder of SplitBase. Now, this is Minds of Ecommerce. Now this episode is brought to you by well split base that SplitBase we help leading direct consumer brands such as Dr. Squatch, Hyperice and Amica, AB test, design, build and manage high-converting landing pages and on site experiences. Turns out we've generated a combined 100 million dollars in additional revenue per year for our clients. And that's because our optimization programs pinpoints exactly where your store is losing money most. And then we help you fix it. The result, increased conversions, ao V and of course, improved marketing efficiency. So if you want to scale your ecommerce brand profitably, were the ones to call and you can do so by requesting a proposal on splitbase.com today, so get more out of your marketing spend and go to splitbase.com to request your proposal. Right. Andrew, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here. Yeah, super excited. So you know, this podcast is all about going deep, right and dissecting one or two key growth strategies, so our listeners can get as much value as possible. Right away. Now, just for some context for how long have you been working on NoonBrew?

Andrew Case  2:08  

So we started doing brew about three years ago, we had the idea three years ago, and then we launched two and a half years ago. So it took us about six months to launch. Fantastic.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  2:16  

What are some highlights that you've had over the past couple years that you're willing to share?

Andrew Case  2:22  

Yeah,so we launched in September 2021. Scale to seven figures pretty pretty quickly, within that launched our nighttime tea MoonBrew, in October of 2022, and have like a really great six figure launch within that within our first 24 hours. So it was a massive, massive win for us, especially being such a young company. And then recently, past few months, we we got funding from a great, great VC, and amazing, they've really leveled up the the company, I would say like the all the different things we had to go through within due diligence really helps to understand how we can build this company to scale and also how do we build a company that in the end is going to be sellable.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  3:06

That's fantastic. Now, we don't have a ton of time. So I want to make sure we talk about direct-response style ads as much as possible in the time that we've got. So but just because not everyone might be familiar with this. Um, I would love if you could just maybe give us a little primer on what's the direct-response style, especially for you guys in your context?

Andrew Case  3:27

Yeah, I mean, I think that I don't know the definition of direct-response ads. But I would just say like ads that are made to convert within that and have like a very, very pointed conversion pathway, and the direct-response. So as we create a NoonBrew really come from a lot of different sources of inspiration. We're always looking for different ads that are doing well from our competitors, or different people within the ecommerce marketplace. We studied the different funnels, the top five landing pages, or whatever it might be a lot of people run whitelisted traffic. So we're always on the lookout for what people are doing to convert visitors into customers. And right now, there's a lot of different things that are exciting that people are doing. And I think that is a huge, huge opportunity to really scale companies efficiently. Right.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  4:15

And I think it's worth noting and correct me if I'm wrong, but generally a direct-response ad and it might be in your case, right if you're really trying to make the sale from the ad. Right. So it's more than just capturing attention. It's really how can I get people from a tension hook and actually sale within the ad itself?

Andrew Case  4:33  

Yeah, I mean, a lot of that is definitely true. I think that like there's different styles of direct-response ads, like you'll have direct-response ads like VSL is that can be up to an hour long where after you click out of it or after you click on the ad like you just get thrown to a landing page that has a purchase form. There's nothing else there. So Dr. Gundry, and there's a ton of different direct-response ones that are that are really good. We don't do that long. Nevada, I have friends that do and they do very, very well. But, um, but yeah, our ads can be, I would say, probably like, a minute to two minutes in length. So it's not like super direct-response, but they normally have a very good conversion rate off of it. Awesome.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  5:15  

Now, what's been some of the things that obviously you've been trying was for a little while and I know this is this has been key for you guys to grow the brand. What are some of the pro tips or things that you've learned that really made those ads successful for you guys?

Andrew Case  5:30  

Yeah, I mean, I think that the pro tips are one, you know, you have to have a really good hook within there. I think that even taking a step back, you have to know what converts for people. Right now we're getting a lot of our inspiration from tick tock, because it's very tough to get people's attention on tick tock, and if you can get their attention on tick tock, that means it's going to probably translate over to Facebook because like a really good testing ground, and then you're gonna get a lot of scale on Facebook, you can get scale on Tik Tok too, but like the the real scale can come from, I would say Facebook, right, so we find a lot of ad creatives on Tik Tok. And we can see all the different metrics within it, we can see the comments we can see the amount of staves we can see how many people liked it, which Facebook sometimes hide set information, it makes it a lot more difficult. But yes, we look on tick tock. And then whenever we're, we have these different content Sprint's every single week. So we have a content for an hour, we have an ad sprint, within their content sprint, we'll get a lot of content together and talk through what are the different types of ads that we want to use as inspiration. So myself or marketing guy, content guy will get into a room and we'll we'll discuss it and marketing, our VP of marketing leads. And he's incredible within that. And then we'll break down the different layers of the ad. So like the hook is something that's super important. We transcribe the ads. So look into all the different components of a successful ad, like, what are they doing within the first part, the second part, the third part, how do they close people? That's really important within there, what's the call to action? And then there's different sites like que lo data, for instance, que lo data, it's a really good one on tick tock, where you can see what different brands are producing for tick tock shop, tick tock shops, a big one right now. But you can actually see like, what are the different revenue amounts that people are making within there? And like, what are the top performing ads for these different brands? So we'll use that as an inspiration. We'll definitely study a lot within that. So Kayla data we use for play as well for play saves all of our different ad ideas Facebook ads library, and then tick

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  7:40  

tock, awesome. I love how you guys don't just say you reverse engineer it, but like, like you said, you transcribe it, you really really study it to understand what are those triggers all along? You know, the funnel? I think that's super interesting. Exactly. Now, are all your ads videos? Do you use a lot of static content as well? How many creatives are you testing at any given time,

Andrew Case  8:03  

we're testing a lot of creatives, we use a combination of video and statics. So statics are great videos are great. Both them serve different purposes. I think that or I mean, they serve the same purpose. We want to convert people but like, Yeah, some people are going to convert off of video, some people are going to convert off the static. And I think that you need to have like a full funnel type of approach within there. Because some people just are not going to listen to a video. And some people want to see a static image. Or some people want to hear about a journey within there and like or they'll listen to the video, watch the video and then get retargeted with a static ad. And then that's the one that that will get them. So I think that you need to have a full funnel approach where you have different types of videos for people in different buying stages. So top of funnel could be a hero's journey type of video, where it's the founder, talking about how they built the product, or the different pain points that they went through. And then bobbin funnel, you can have a reply to comment testimonial from an influencer whitelisted. So you see that a lot with like synbiotic or seed. They do very, very, very well. So you have all these different layers within your your full funnel strategy. And you're just trying to get people at different stages of the buying cycle. When you think of answering your question, we probably test around like 30 to 50 different ads per week.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  9:22

Awesome. Now, when you think of those layers from top, middle to bottom of funnel, do you actually set different targeting for those? Or do you generally just take the broad approach and let Facebook figure out who's where

Andrew Case  9:34  

broad? Yeah, I mean, Facebook's smarter than any of us. So yeah, we normally go we're, we're fully broad right now within a mixture of CBO, abo, ASC and then we have different interest stacks where we'll scale horizontally within there.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  9:47

Awesome. Now, obviously you guys have been doing this for a while. The ad landscape keeps changing, let alone year over year. I mean, I think it is changing on a weekly basis at this point. But what are maybe some The big challenges that you guys faced when it comes to scaling through the response ads, and how have you guys been able to overcome them? Is there anything that comes to mind?

Andrew Case  10:09  

I think that like as you scale, you just need to be more creative. So constantly having new creatives is really important. I think that just like, knowing your metrics, is the biggest thing, which sounds obvious. But it's something where you need to have a really good handle on your margins on your retention profile. If you're not profitable first purchase, which it's getting harder and harder to be, especially for a supplement brand, where our AOP is not as high, you know, be tough to be profitable first purchase within within hours. So if you're not profitable first purchase, like what's your payback period? And that's like a big thing that our investors have really harped on. And it's something that like, has changed, the way that I've really looked at our funnel is just like, what's your payback period within this? And like, what are our guardrails for us to scale? Based off of you know, what funnel? We're driving traffic to? What's the subscription rate within there? And then what are the LTV is and or, you know, we look at lifetime contribution margins, like what's their lifetime contribution margin? And how quickly do we get back to payback? Um, what are your thoughts? This

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  11:14

is something I love to ask to every business, it's got a subscription aspect to it, when you run these ads, do you try to get people to subscribe right away? Or do you try to get them into a one time purchase? First?

Andrew Case  11:25

Subscribe? Yeah, I mean, it's very tough to change people's buying habits after they have already committed to one buying habit with you. Harry's did a really good study where they showed that doesn't matter how many discounts you throw at someone, what types of email funnels or whatever it might be, it's way better to get someone to subscribe the first time around, then to try and get them to subscribe after and they could be a subscriber to Netflix, but a one time purchaser for you and they are not going to subscribe without like a massive discount and like, Yeah, I mean, I think that that's why you see the most successful, some of the most successful direct-response companies just forced people to move subscription.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  12:07

I love it. And the reason I ask that is because I feel like every time I ask that question, everybody's got their own philosophy around it, right? Like, hey, well, if we have a very high conversion rate for the first time purchase, and there's a very low barrier to entry, well, we might have a very high chance of converting them, and then they'll become a customer for life. Or as there's many brands that we work with that are saying the exact same thing as you, which is, hey, even my conversion rate is going to be a little lower over time, right? It's better off to have subscribers. And I think there's no right or wrong answer in the sense that you're probably right in the sense that, you know, if you can have your subscribers right away, better go for that than one time. But every brand is going to have their different economics as well, right. And what works for one brand might be a bit different for the others. So just a note for listeners to base yourself off.

Andrew Case  12:56  

But it depends on your product. And I think that like if you can create your product to be ultimately you want lifetime customers. And you know, sometimes you have to throw people into a subscription, because you don't have that great of a product. Like you have to force them into it. But other brands like they have it where you know, they don't need to force people into subscription. I mean, I think that like our product is really, really good. And we don't have to force people into subscription. But like, we know that if you are a subscriber, your LTV is a lot higher than if you're a one time purchaser, which, you know, you want to ultimately just try and nudge people into this subscription way. More and more.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  13:39  

I want to go back to the ads, because we talked about, you know, trying to convert people directly off the ads, you have a lot of creatives, but what happens after people click on the ads, you drop people into a specific funnel, do you have landing pages? Do they go to PDPs? What's your strategy? And I'm sure that's always evolving, and you're always testing it. But what does it look like

Andrew Case  14:00

so far? Yeah, so we're always testing. We drive it to landing pages, for the most part. Sometimes we'll drive to a PDP but our PDP is like landing page. So we tested out a lot of different styles. We've tested out five reasons why in the past, we've tested out listicles, we've tested out whitelisting different publishers and websites. So yeah, I think that like, you just have to really test, test test and get to also understand like how to get, you know, a high conversion rate, but also, you know, a good revenue per session or like a good subscription amount. So there's all these different things you can optimize. And right now actually, I have a meeting this afternoon with our VP of marketing, and it's how to get our AOP up top funnel. But if you can't our ao V up 10 to 20%. Then we can unlock even more scale within there. If we can get our subscription rate up. 10 and 20%. We can unlock CL so how can how can we do these different tests that really can unlock growth. And that's the beauty of E commerce, you unlock these different tests, you could double your business overnight, totally.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  15:09  

Um, you talked about a lot of examples of things that you like, and dissecting successful campaigns and brands that you think are doing well. But what are some mistakes you think that a lot of brands are making, when it comes to building direct-response ads,

Andrew Case  15:24

I think that the mistakes a lot of brands are making, it's not necessarily I mean, there's different mistakes on like, ads, just not being that good, you know, not making enough of them. That's just content. And generally go, a lot of it is like you, at the end of the day, or are a content company, you come in a lot of different ways, because you're trying to attract eyeballs. So you have to like be able to turn out a lot of content. And you have to find like a really good team that will help you to do that. So I think that like, whenever we've stopped producing content on a weekly basis, that's normally when our CPA will steadily creep up. So you have to be producing a lot of content, especially as you're scaling, which, you know, that's something that needs to happen. But I think that also just like within the the marketing sphere, and ad sphere, it's just like, you need to know your numbers. And a lot of people just don't know their numbers. And like, they might think that they know their numbers. But when they actually get into it, like we thought we knew our numbers, but until we went through due diligence, and like we had to go through every single line item and understand what like the interest rates we're paying within there. And like how does that impact, like our payback periods, everything of that sort? Like, we definitely know our numbers. And I just think that a lot of people just don't know their numbers.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  16:42  

Yeah, that's, that's great advice. Andrew, we're pretty much running out of time. But there's one question I always want to ask, which is, you know, outside of ads and marketing, right, like, just if you think of NoonBrew in general, if you had to start this company all over again, what would you do differently? Um,

Andrew Case  16:57

no, my numbers a lot better. And I think that measuring NPS, that was something that also through due diligence we, we started doing, and now we have a really good handle on it. But measuring NPS and consistently improving our product, I think it's very easy to think that like your, your first product is going to be the best product. But if you don't consistently improve your product, then eventually, you know, you're you have to you know, measuring retention, all that type of stuff like just like consistent improvement of product is a massive, massive one. And I think that those, those few things, NPs obviously fits in with that. But just understanding your numbers from an NPS view from a margin view from a payback period view, runway view, that's extremely important, not scaling that fast, until you realize until you know that you have really good products and good customer cohorts is really important. And then consistent product improvement. Amazing.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  18:01  

Love this. Now, we've been talking to Andrew Case, who's the co-founder of NoonBrew. Now, Andrew, if people want to learn more about you, where should they go?

Andrew Case  18:10

That's where it's probably Twitter. I'm not as active as I want to be. But I'm going to get better at that. But um, yeah, are also noonbrew.co. Otherwise TikTok. Yeah, we just really, really peach which tastes incredible. And we're about to come up with a new formula for our hot cocoa. Alright. That was a little bit of a Freudian slip; we're launching hot cocoa next month. It's amazing. And that tastes incredible. So it's a new formula for NoonBrew cocoa. It's amazing. So yeah, check that out once it's available in late March. Awesome.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle  18:45

Well, guys, you know where to go check that out. Go ahead and subscribe. And yes, Andrew, thank you so much. That was a pleasure. Appreciate it.

All right. Well, that's it for today's episode. And thank you so much for tuning in. Now, if you like what you've heard, and you don't want to miss any of the new episodes that are about to come out, make sure you subscribe to the podcast. And well bonus points if you also leave a review in the iTunes Store, or wherever you're listening to this. Now, if you're working on an ecommerce store that has over a million dollars in revenue, and you need help with conversion optimization, or landing pages, well, I've got some good news because there's a pretty good chance we can help with that. Go to splitbase.com To learn more, or even to request a proposal. If you have any guest requests, questions or comments, tweet me at Rpaulindaigle, and I'll be super happy to hear from you. And again, thanks again for listening. This is Minds of Ecommerce.