This week's guest, Daniel Snow, is the founder of The Snow Agency, a performance and social media marketing agency that is disrupting the ecommerce landscape for DTC brands.
Discover how Daniel scaled his DTC brands to $50 million in 3.5 years and how that lead to him starting his own SEM agency.
Since beginning the Snow Agency 18 months ago, Daniel and his brother John have been able to grow the agency to 80 employees. His secret? Getting results for his clients. Learn what he is doing and how you can use these methods to grow your own eCommerce businesses.
This episode includes tips to use with Facebook and Instagram Ads as well as tips to increase your conversion rates on your own website.
Episode Action Items:
To learn more about Daniel Snow and the servies they provide, you can visit The Snow Agency at https://thesnowagency.com. You can also follow Daniel on twitter at iamdansnow or instagram at dapper.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:02
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast this is your host Andy Splichal. And today we are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic which is Driving Results With Your Marketing For Direct To Consumer eCommerce Brands. This week's guest is the founder of The Snow Agency, a performance and social media marketing agency that is disrupting the Ecommerce landscape for DTC brands. He's a proven expert having launched and scaled numerous viral ecommerce brands himself over the course of three and a half years, generating over $50 million in revenue without ever receiving funding or alone. Say hello to Daniel Snow. Hi, Daniel.
Daniel Snow 1:35
How's it going? Great. Great to have. Thank you for having me on today.
Andy Splichal 1:40
You bet we're glad to have you. Now before we dive into today's topic, let's first hear your backstory. And what ultimately led you to do what you're doing now? Now I assume there's no relation to Jon Snow.
Daniel Snow 1:55
Jon, belive it or not Jon Snow was actually my brother and my business partner on the agency.
Andy Splichal 2:00
Oh, wow. That's a joke. That just backfired. Because my, my Jon Snow I was referencing was Game of Thrones, but but that's your brother's name as well.
Daniel Snow 2:12
It is it is yeah. And he believe me. You can imagine how much he he gets made fun of with that?
Andy Splichal 2:18
I'm sure I'm sure. Well, you know, the good thing is that's probably the coolest actor ever, ever on a series. So. So let's, let's hear about your agency. How'd you get started? And what are you guys up to?
Daniel Snow 2:31
Yeah, so we are a full service marketing agency. And that specifically for direct consumer brands is where we focus on. We have some clients outside of that. But that's primarily our focus. We got started at first, which is kind of the reverse of what most agencies do now by creating and scaling our own brands kind of like wait, where are you just set. So before the agency, we had a portfolio of brands that we owned, operated, scaled, and eventually sold. We were focused on this for three and a half years. So where we eventually after having our brand sold, we had built a large name for ourselves in the space. And as really, you know, leaders in the space of people who really knew what they're doing. And we constantly had people reaching out to us to see if we can help with their advertising campaigns. So after we sold our brands, we we were able to start taking on clients and fast forward you know, 18 months later here we are today we have 80 employees 100 clients, we're lucky enough like I said we do have full service or creative studio email, SMS marketing, you know, ad buyers on platforms creative strategist. So it's really awesome to see and even before the brand's I got started in this space in the organic side when I was in college nine years ago, creating large organic followings on social media and then eventually monetizing it so I've created large Twitter accounts eventually moved to Instagram create large Instagram accounts to date have had have generated 50 about 50 million followers organically from my own accounts I'm using three female accounts so it's uh you know we right now is we have the largest still have the largest rap fan base in the world on social media with over 25 million followers. And then in the past, I've created niche based audiences like fitness, luxury accounts, sport accounts, stuff like that, and eventually created a self serve advertising platform called caffeine digital where we took advertisers create landing pages and gave these these offers to influencers and other people with large followings like myself on social media, who were able to monetize their accounts. So we had a lot of success in this we have 4000 influencers using the platform from 2014 to 15. And and then that's why allowed us to start rapidly scaling brands fully when we pivoted to that, because we had already seen at least on the organic side work with influencers, how to how to do it for the most efficient way possible.
Andy Splichal 5:13
Yeah. Wow, you got a lot of stuff doing that. I mean, I, I love your story how you started doing it before you began an agency that's similar similar to mine, although the company I worked for only got to about 10 million, that it took about 5 6 7 years, 6 years. And you did it in three and what were you selling that you got to 50 million in three and a half years?
Daniel Snow 5:37
Um, we were our viewers, we had a phone case brand called goat case. That's what we started with. And then we also launched a large women's shapewear company called the
Perfect Sculpt. And then we have created many other brands along the way to toothbrush company called autobrush. A gun cleaning accessory company called trigger fanatics and and other kinds of cool, cool gadgets and whatnot along the way.
Andy Splichal 6:09
And what were you selling that just on your own website or on your website, Amazon combination,
Daniel Snow 6:14
That's all on our website
Andy Splichal 6:17
Wow. It's fantastic. Now, in your bio, I read it says disrupting the Ecommerce landscape for DTC brands. In case someone isn't familiar, can you define a DTC brand? And that let listeners know a really exciting part? How are you saying you're disrupting the Ecommerce landscape?
Daniel Snow 6:40
So DTC stands for direct consumer. And as we see it, we are taking the you know, the approach of the brand owner, and putting together everything that ultimately leads to growth for brands. We're extremely involved in the creatives involved in funnels and microsites optimizing websites, leveraging influencers and user generated content, to build our market, and leveraging market research and customer research, to allow us to build creatives and landing pages that resonate with the customers. And that's ultimately, truly our playbook, tailored towards growing brands and doing it consistently. And the disruption is referring to how quickly we've grown brands in the space, you know, we're confident that we can take small brands and make them to very large brands rather quickly. If they work, you know, of course, they do the right things along the way. But you know, at this point, we've taken 18 Different companies who are doing 50k a month and under and revenue to do between 500,000 and 4 million a month in revenue. So and many of those were not were not funded companies, many of them were bootstrapped companies, for first time founders. And yeah.
Andy Splichal 8:05
It was great. Now I see where you're growing. I mean, you said what you have 80 people now working in your agency in about 18 months. What is it like to manage that many people in and how have you done it? How how's your agency been able to grow so quickly?
Daniel Snow 8:25
I was it's been able to grow so quickly number of primarily because we've gotten great results for our clients. And when you get great results for clients, they're all, our performance base, we charge percentage of adspend, we see upside when our clients grow, we grow as a direct correlation. This allows us to invest in other aspects of our business, like retention, like I mentioned, the creative studio. So it gives us the ability to land more clients, the ability to offer different offerings, and the ability to to to, to build our team. And with great leadership. The way we've managed to grow the team so quickly is that we've put we put tons of processes in place along the way, and allowed. And we've done a great job of growing our people internally and turning them into managers and leaders, because you can't manage over 80 people by yourself. So we're very focused on our training processes, and constantly giving our team the ability to grow. And this allows them to become leaders and really enjoy what they're doing. So yeah.
Andy Splichal 9:36
Now I think you might have answered it, but I'm always curious because a lot of search engine marketing agencies kind of get into the trap as as you know, it's great service when when the founders running it and you and your brother running it, but as you get bigger, you know you have to branch out and you're hiring people who don't have experience and you're trying to train them as you're trying to grow. How have you been able to avoid that trap? When you've been expanding or agency?
Daniel Snow 10:11
Avoid which trap specifically?
Andy Splichal 10:13
Well, just the trap of not providing as good a service is when you did it yourself, when you've hired out and you keep growing, how are you training people to, you know, be still provide the type of service that you are getting great results with when you first started?
Daniel Snow 10:31
Yeah, well, if anything, we're, it's even better better. I truly believe that we're in a position to achieve better results now than we were in servicing our own brands. We increase our training processes, drastically, every every single training class we get, which is typically once a quarter. And we've been building that for, you know, four years now we had our brands, there was a work in progress mainly and everyone was kind of working on, you know, more so active management training. And now we have a very detailed and thorough database of knowledge and trainings that we now we've been building for the last six years. So once again, we invest a ton into training and management. And that's the number one way, the second way is that we invest a ton into the creatives for our clients, because we know that creatives are, you know, levergized as so to speak on digital these days. So we invest a lot into the creative support for all accounts that we work with.
Andy Splichal 11:34
Now, the Snow Agency, it offers a ton of services looking at it, I see you have Facebook and Instagram ads, Google ads, Snapchat ads, SMS marketing, email marketing, etc. When where do you find that new clients should start? And which marketing channel do you typically see the highest profitability the highest ROAS?
Daniel Snow 12:02
I think we recommend clients to start on Facebook. Facebook has been the the still is the dominant force for customer acquisition on digital. And if you can prove prove results on Facebook. It allows you to then scale SAP on Facebook and Instagram to see on the other platforms, Facebook and Instagram, obviously have the most users of any platform, which is another large reason. So you know, as the most the big largest ability to bring in the most amount of customers. But and the greatest return on adspend is what we're seeing definitely SMS marketing. It's really crazy what you can you know, with the open rates of engagement that are happening on SMS, and we've been doubling and tripling down on our team and our clients on this platform.
Andy Splichal 12:52
Well, let's let's talk about Facebook for a few minutes. How have you seen the new privacy changes affect your clients Facebook ads or have they?
Daniel Snow 13:04
I've seen it affected drastically. It's not for me. And I've talked to other agency owners other large brands, it's it's consistent with literally every advertiser on the internet right now, iOS 14 has impacted the advertising landscape in a dramatic way. It's caused a massive lack of attribution, which with lack of attribution, we're not you know, we don't have the same Facebook is not getting the machine learning system which is how you take that $20 budget and put it in an audience of 100 million people and still be able to identify which customers are the most in market to buy your products. And now this lack of attribution and data that's not passing back from a lot of these iOS devices is really disrupting the ability for proper targeting is good as it as it's been in the past. So in turn, conversion rates are notoriously lower than they've been and this is what's causing this drop in return on adspend so it's definitely impacted the advertising landscape for everyone. And you know, the things in our control are trying to optimize the the conversion funnel the on site, try to create the best creatives possible and try to own the customer and the customer I mean, you know, get there have a great retention funnel for email and SMS marketing.
Andy Splichal 14:34
What what did you brands need to do to get Facebook and Instagram right? Is that it they need to creative the conversion on their website? What do they need to do? Where would you recommend they start?
Daniel Snow 14:47
I would start doing market research pulling your customers have a post purchase survey in place. Read your reviews on Facebook on the site, um, customer service. See what the you know, customers are loving about your brand, but they're eating about their brand. But what are the the traits of your product they love or hate the ingredients if relevant and materials. And once you have all that data, you can put that in your marketing materials on your website and in your content.
Andy Splichal 15:19
Now, we touched a little bit on privacy. You know, I mean, COVID is ending. How should ecommerce brands be thinking about marketing their products, the rest of 2021, and going into 2022?
Daniel Snow 15:35
How I see is, especially if your scale are in trying to put all of your eggs in one basket, and in many cases, Facebook and Instagram. People have been saying this for years, and no one has taken much action. So I think now is like a true you know, a real inflection point where brands realize they need to go Omnichannel. So I think that Omnichannel marketing is more important now than ever, and always will be, and trying to get your products in as many different marketplaces and potentially even in retail, where your customers are shopping. is the best way to capture all of the reach your your achieving through your digital ads.
Andy Splichal 16:19
Can you share a success story, I'd love to hear one of your favorite success stories from from a client, what you were able to do for him?
Daniel Snow 16:28
I would say our largest success story to date has definitely been a brand called Hollywood Hair Bar. They were what literally one of our first clients, she came to us doing 20 to 30,000 a month in revenue. Fast forward a year later, her brand and she I believe was 25 million in revenue directly on her on her shop five store. And this is due in part to you know, she she would always had listened to advice was constantly eager to learn, constantly working with with her customers, constantly getting content from them, and ultimately building a very strong community. And although many brands can achieve revenue quickly, she did a great job and focus on trying to turn her customers into a community. And that's why we worked so well together and ultimately, the brand blew up very quickly. And that was even without having to hire a huge celebrity or influencer. It was really just mainly the ads that drove it all.
Andy Splichal 17:37
Now, I guess my next question would be I mean, it's a great story. I'm sure you've like I have I've taken clients who have come from from other agencies, how should they avoid this mistake? What do you think that ecommerce companies get wrong when looking to hire an agency to to handle their marketing?
Daniel Snow 18:03
Um, I think most companies get wrong is that they just from especially for IC, you know, trying to like, like if if companies are just completely hands off, and I says every time it like you, I feel like you need you need to treat your agency like your internal team, and work with them and manage them and set expectations on what you want for the brands that I've seen that are like, I don't want to be involved at all. Like, I don't want to learn what's going on. Those are typically the clients that don't get as much success. It's the clients that work with us want to learn from us want to grow with us and become a collaborative effort and work with our team. You know, we're a true extension of each brand new work with those levels that get the most success. So that's what I see.
Andy Splichal 18:56
Now you personally, have there been any business books out there that you can attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?
Daniel Snow 19:07
I would say there's not one specifically, but I would say Shoe Dog was really inspirational to me. And another really great one was the book is true story of Nike, by Phil Knight. Another great one was Stephen Schwarzman the book was it was the Pursuit of Excellence. He built black stone and that book was just really resonated with me on many levels and was filled with golden nuggets that I use in my business to that.
Andy Splichal 19:45
It's great. You know, I love that question. I get so many. Almost hardly anybody gives the same answer to that I guess. It I have a stack of like 50 books to read. So I'll add those to the list. Now that COVID is in where where do you see ecommerce going here in a post COVID world?
Daniel Snow 20:09
I see ecommerce as the CEO of Shopify, Tobi said, you know, we got word 23rd. We expected the a large percentage of the world to use Ecommerce regularly we're in 2030. So obviously ecommerce is sticky. It's easy, it makes everyone's life easier, you know, why do you have to go to the grocery store take 30 minutes out of your day to buy a tube of toothpaste, you can do that online on your favorite brand on Amazon. You don't have to no longer go do a lot of these mundane tasks in person. So I think that ecommerce is only going to continue growing domestically and internationally, in a post COVID world.
Andy Splichal 20:55
Now let's switch gears and talk a little bit more about your agency, the Snow Agency for you guys, what makes your perfect client?
Daniel Snow 21:08
I would say what makes the perfect client is we talk about content a ton. I would say someone who has a strong either they are an influencer or work with influencers regularly makes our lives so much easier. I think that if you're strong at influencer marketing, it puts your brand at such an advantage because now you have a constant influx of content. You have your building awareness in the market for your premier brands. And it just makes our lives so much easier as advertisers. So brands that get this ultimately have a huge advantage when it's time to grow them on advise. And if you're if you don't get this, I would say you start to put a huge precedence on influencer marketing. UGC marketing doesn't always have to be influencer, being able to get content from customers or customers who look like or people who look like your customers and talk to your customers.
Andy Splichal 22:03
Now, in addition, is there any I know your Ecommerce? Is there any specific vertical that you guys like to concentrate? Or does that not really matter?
Daniel Snow 22:16
They're not a specific vertical, in my opinion, you know, the way you sell a t shirt is the same way you sell a water bottle is the fundamental market research we do for all products. And you know, understanding how to make content to resonate with and customer. So for that reason, and I never understand people that spoke specialize in a vertical doesn't make more sense to me. It's it's always understanding the consumer psychology for each brand or product that you work with. So yeah.
Andy Splichal 22:44
Let me ask what problems do you solve for your client? So in other words, how, how does your agency stand out from the competition?
Daniel Snow 22:54
I would say we stand out from the competition. Number one for how much of an emphasis we put into the content we make for customers. So we we include creatives and landing pages and microsites. We include that in our service fees for all clients, and not many agencies, do your other running traffic to product pages? And then they wonder why they can't get their ad ad profitable. So we're constantly trying to diagnose what if an ad is not profitable? How does it do it? Is it the conversion rate? Is it the average order value, which is on site? Is it the you know, the bounce rate for creative is the click through rate to average watch time to and because we we're controlling all aspects that ultimately go into return on adspend. It gives us the ability to move quickly, diagnose problems, fix problems, and ultimately fix the return on adspend and scale. So yeah.
Andy Splichal 23:49
And if somebody out there is interested in learning more about you or or snow agency, what is the best way for them to contact you?
Daniel Snow 23:59
Our best way if you want to follow me on Twitter, @iamdansnow from the following Instagrams, dapper, d a p p e r Other than that, you want to shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or website is snowagency.com. So yeah.
Andy Splichal 24:16
Great. Well, is there anything I've been really enjoyed our conversation? Is there anything that I maybe missed? I didn't ask you that you'd like to add before we wrap it up?
Daniel Snow 24:26
Um, no, not necessarily. I think you covered it all.
Andy Splichal 24:30
Great. Well, thanks for joining us. Now that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding Daniel or connecting with the Snow Agency, I will put the links into the show notes. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business using Google paid ads request to join the Make Each Click Count Facebook group I've been releasing some all new free live trainings and more will be happening soon. In the meantime, remember to stay safe keep healthy In happy marketing, and I will talk to you in the next episode.