Did you know that it is becoming so lucrative to sell on Amazon that traditional businesses are finding that selling their products there are increasing their profit margins? What does that mean for the future of brick and mortar stores? How do those businesses adapt to the ecommerce wave? On this episode you’ll hear from business leader, Jason Bear has he dives into his company’s move to start selling and really leveraging their presence on Amazon. Jason also has a ton of great tips and insights that will benefit ecommerce sellers like YOU – don’t miss it!
The Lowest Price Point Doesn’t ALWAYS Win
Many Amazon sellers seem to be under the impression that the lower the price the higher the volume of sales. Is that really the best way to run your ecommerce business? What about quality and building a brand? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Jason Bear as he explains how he has seen product quality and brand dependability beat out low prices. Jason isn’t just your average ecommerce seller, he has a fully staffed and thriving business with multiple products with a great reputation. Learn from Jason and his knowledge of selling and marketing quality products on this episode!
Optimize Your Product Listing
You’ve heard Scott talk about this topic at length but it bears repeating – you’ve got to make sure you optimize your product listing! Don’t skip this step! Seriously, go back and take a look at your product listing and really scrutinize it. Does it live up to the standards you have learned from Scott by listening to his teachings? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear Jason Bear goes over how he has optimized his company’s product listings and how ensuring that this step is done with a high level of focus and attention to detail has led to increased traffic and sales. If you are looking for that one lesson or piece of insight that could make the difference for your business, this might just be it. Make sure you listen to this episode!
Build Your Email List
How do you communicate with your customer base? What method do you use to test and determine if a new product will be successful for your brand? What if you had a tool that would help you get KEY input from people who have purchased from your brand before? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from business leader Jason Bear as he shares how his company has leveraged the use of their email list to drive traffic, test products, and more! You’ve heard Scott’s rants on why you should use an email list – take a moment to hear from Jason’s perspective and how he has seen it make a HUGE difference in how his brand engages with customers. To hear Jason, Scott, and Chris dive deeper into this topic listen to this episode!
Know Your Audience!
Don’t you hate it when a brand totally gets you wrong? You get a piece of marketing that doesn’t’ apply to you or you get that email that is totally out of left field – it’s annoying and irritating. What would it look like for a brand to “get you?” What would it take for you to understand your audience? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from business leader Jason Bear as he shares how his company has honed in on their efforts to effectively communicate with their audience in a way that matters. Jason goes over key steps they have taken to bring value and worth to their customers where they are in the digital space if that’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or other spaces. To hear more from Jason on this topic, make sure you catch this episode.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [2:30] Jason Bear and Chris join the podcast.
- [3:30] Jason gives a bit about his background as a business leader.
- [6:00] The decision to expand and sell products on Amazon.
- [12:00] Jason talks about how he set up is first batch of products for success.
- [17:30] It’s not about the lowest price point. Brand and quality matter!
- [21:00] Amazon’s performance metrics.
- [23:00] Optimizing the product listing.
- [26:30] Jason talks about some current projects he is working on.
- [30:00] Addressing PPC issues.
- [35:00] When to move on from a failing product.
- [38:00] Jason talks about driving traffic to his product listing.
- [42:00] Know your audience and adjust your email offers.
- [50:00] The best traffic source. Facebook? Instagram?
- [52:30] Jason talks about how to utilize Amazon Prime Day.
- [1:01:00] Participating in Amazon’s Lightning Deals.
- [1:04:00] Preparing for Amazon Prime Day.
- [1:07:00] Jason talks about running product promotions.
- [1:11:00] Parting thoughts from Jason.
- [1:14:00] Start where you are.
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TRANSCRIPT TAS 386
TAS 386: How 7 Figure Brands Grow and Scale + Promotion Strategies
[00:00:02] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 386 and today I am super fired up, not just fired up, I’m super fired up because…
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…I met a guy at Seller Summit his name is Jason Bear and I’m going to have him on the show. What blew me away is that, well number one he is a podcast listener, he is like, “Hey Scott, big fan, I’ve been listening to your podcast. I actually take your podcast and I hand it out to people that are within our brand but team members and I have them learn this one thing just from listening to your podcast and we’ve done that and it’s made improvements to the brand.” It’s actually scaled the brand on Amazon and helped them to do that which blew me away.
Now obviously they have to do the work but what also blew me away is that the stuff that we talk about it works really good with small businesses, startups in a sense but it also works with brands that are already seven figure brands. And that’s what he does, he runs seven figure brands and he gets them to grow to scale, build out teams, all of that stuff. That’s why I’m super excited to have him on. I don’t really want to waste a lot of time here in the beginning because we talk for a little while here and we dig deep into promotional strategies, what they’ve done in the past, what has worked, what hasn’t worked, what they are going to do for prime day coming up which if you are listening to this after prime day it doesn’t matter you are still going to understand these strategies.
He also talks about a way to drive external traffic to a page in the middle that’s on Amazon but not directly to their listing which is a pretty cool thing that he introduced to me which I’m going to be trying. So again guys you can tell I’m fired up I want you guys to listen to this episode all the way through. We are probably going to have to do another update with him because he’s doing a lot of cool things that he’s going to share with us. This episode is 386 so the show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/386 and like I said there is going to be a lot of meat here so you are going to probably want to definitely download those, the transcripts, the show notes all that stuff will be found at the amazingseller.com/386.
[00:02:05] Scott: Guys I’m going to stop talking so you guys can start listening to this conversation that I had with Jason Bear. I also had Chris Schaffer on because he was there at the launch that we had together and that we talked and you are going to hear his take on all this stuff too. It’s always nice to have Chris there to pick apart someone’s business and that’s why I wanted to have him on this call as well. So guys sit back, relax and enjoy and get ready to be blown away.
[00:02:28] Scott: Well hey Jason thank you so much for coming on the podcast man. How are you doing?
[00:02:33] Jason: I’m doing pretty well, very well.
[00:02:36] Scott: Yeah man I’ll tell you what, when we got back from Seller Summit I was pretty fired up that we had finally got to meet in person. You have got a ton going on here as far as different tests and different things that you guys are doing inside of the businesses that you are working with and I just got to say I am fired up to be here today with you and really dig into that. We also have Chris Schaffer on. Chris how is it going man?
[00:03:00] Chris: Good, man finally recovered from the little trip that we have and ready to jump back in and be back at it.
[00:03:08] Scott: Yeah I’m excited, obviously here to talk about this stuff with Jason because there’s a lot Jason is doing so Jason why don’t you fill people in on a little bit about how you even got into this Amazon game and maybe even a little bit of our conversation and how we hooked up in Fort Lauderdale at Seller Summit.
[00:03:29] Jason: Yeah, no problem. So I’ve been in Amazon business now for probably about eight years. I work with a pretty established direct consumer ecommerce business and we’ve been on Amazon for eight years and we just had this product fee going and seeing what’s going on there. And then I would say about a year ago I really jumped into listening to your podcast and I was like, “There is something bigger here than what we are doing.
There’s driving traffic, there’s optimizing it, there’s really understanding how to play in the Amazon space.” I would say you guys have been the ones have really motivated myself and my team to really push the envelope and really explore the opportunities of Amazon be it sponsored products, be it building a list, be it driving some traffic to Amazon and really playing in the Amazon space and really understanding what they are doing there and playing by their terms and service and really understanding how to maximize the Amazon opportunity that’s out there.
[00:04:30] Scott: Yeah and you are no small player either by the way. Let’s give people just a little bit of what we are talking about here. I mean your numbers are crazy and share whenever you think you can share but just so people understand, we are not talking about one little rinky dink company. We are talking, and I was blown away by some of your numbers but just blown away that the podcast has actually helped you in a sense to open your eyes up to these other things. But then also you hand off the podcast episodes to people that are on your team now which I thought was pretty cool. Can you give us an idea of what we are talking about as far as like a business size?
[00:05:10] Jason: Yeah we’ve been a Fortune 500 company for the past number of years so we are a pretty established company and we have four brands. I’ve really been working with my team to really understand how are we going to play in the Amazon space and are they friend or foe? Right now they are definitely are friends and we are definitely knowing what that opportunity is and trying to capitalize on it.
[00:05:35] Scott: Now I think when I was talking to you, you also mentioned that there’s a little bit of maybe I don’t want to say friction but a little bit of should we even be doing this over here like should we spending time over there? Can you speak to that a little bit because I guess in the traditional mindset of like you already had an established business how is this putting our products on Amazon and focusing more time there going to do other than like you said just put the feed up and let the products be displayed there?
[00:06:05] Jason: Yeah and I think the proof is in the pudding there. So you start testing small, you start putting some products up there and the feedback comes back from the team, “Why you are doing it, you are not making money off of it?” Or when the results come in and the finance guy says, “Hey wait, we are making quite a bit more money per unit per product on Amazon than what we are doing on our own site. What’s going on there? How is that working?” So then start building a business model and really explaining the financial implication of what’s going on here and the organic traffic that Amazon can produce if you know how to start that fire real going is pretty cool.
[00:06:45] Scott: Yeah so why don’t you go over like what was the first thing that you guys did other than just list your products that you go, “Alright, I’m going to go ahead and test something here. I’m going to go ahead,” because I’m sure you didn’t test it on all of your products. You probably picked some top products or maybe ones that you felt were going to do well. Is that how it worked?
[00:07:04] Jason: Yeah we picked top products, we picked ten products that really weren’t our core product line that we were selling. They were extensions of our site, of what we were doing and thought that there might be opportunity there and we really optimized the listings, did some sponsored products and saw that you know what, there is some legs here that is beyond what we normally can do. That’s really what got us thinking that there’s some opportunity and then couple that with it was a different selling experience buying on Amazon versus what we were doing on our site so we realized that there was actually not just a cannibalization of people jumping from our site to Amazon but that there is a different experience and a different opportunity to buy on Amazon.
So we tested very small but we actually were telling our customers to go shop on Amazon so that really helped that fire real going and starting to drive some of that traffic to Amazon.
[00:08:07] Chris: That point I think is very important and for a lot of the people who are listening to the podcast it’s like you have a couple private label products but one of the big resistance points in larger and more established companies like yours Jason is, “Are we going to cannibalize our own site? Are we going to drive our customers away and make them Amazon’s customers?” And it sounds like you were able to do that fairly successfully without impacting some of the stuff that you guys are doing on your own site which is kind of cool.
[00:08:35] Jason: Yeah we were able to do that and the other thing that I think is a myth that I I’d like debunk is after they shop on Amazon we can get them to repeat. We know who that customer is, we know that they bought our product and since we originally had that customer, we can continue to market to that customer and they will repeat from us. So once they jump over to Amazon and they are always an Amazon customer, that’s not true. So thinking of ecommerce metrics of the lifetime value of a customer, the repeat rate, those metrics are still very valid when pushing traffic to Amazon. You just need to know how to measure that.
[00:09:14] Scott: Okay so that’s going to be the next question, how do you measure that? I mean without getting too techy and all the geeky stuff that I know that we love to talk about, how do you do that? How do you do that on a small scale? Would it be just use a tracking link or how would you do that?
[00:09:31] Jason: Yeah we are using some tracking links, we are using some promotion codes when we are pushing some traffic there but then in Amazon you do have that name and address if it’s an FBA customer or if we are shipping that package out ourselves via fulfillment by merchant or seller fulfilled prime. So we can do that customer match-back to really understand was that original customer from us now they are ordering on Amazon? What does their behavior look like on Amazon?
[00:10:01] Scott: Okay because what I’m hearing is you are actually saying, “Okay, what we are going to do here is we are going to drive our own traffic that we already currently have over to Amazon to then spike the algorithm to get that flywheel started and then from there we can start to rank and then we are going to start to get some organic traffic from Amazon. Is that what I’m hearing?
[00:10:23] Jason: That’s exactly right.
[00:10:26] Scott: Yeah and since a lot of people would be afraid to do that they’d be like, “Why I’m I going to push all of our traffic over there or some of our traffic?” It doesn’t even have to be all of it right?
[00:10:32] Jason: Yeah and here’s a key differential that works for my businesses versus some other people is we are private label so it’s our own products and we did not have wholesale distribution in competing with that other supply chain where our distributes were already on Amazon selling our products so we completely own the buy box where we are brand registered. We don’t have other people competing against us so we can control that listing and we’ve stuck with being a third party seller on Amazon and not going the vendor route so we do feel like we can control the listing, the pricing, all the optimization of that product. So it is different than some other people who need to first figure that piece out of how to control their pricing on Amazon.
[00:11:23] Scott: Got you, okay. Now let’s just talk about this really quickly. So you said you already had the feed up there in a sense but you weren’t doing anything with it so you said, “Okay we are going to take ten products, we are going to use this test products to see if we can actually get this thing to work.” What was the difference like what did you do differently with those ten products rather than just putting them up there and getting exposure? Was it just driving traffic to those ten? Was it optimization? What was those steps that you said this is what we are getting to do to make an attempt at making this work?
[00:11:15] Jason: We did the best practice of Amazon, we did our keyword research, we wrote the titles, we wrote the descriptions, we put opt images up. So it’s really optimizing that listing feeling like you have a clean listing there and that once you start driving traffic that we are really paying attention to that session conversion rate making sure that it’s not 1% that it’s 6% up to 15% conversion rates on our listings. That’s really Amazon says that something is going on cool here, something’s going on exciting with that product I’m going to help keep promoting that up.
[00:12:32] Scott: Yeah got you.
[00:12:34] Chris: So Jason a quick question for you because this is a question that we get all the time if you are able to share the information. We typically say a double digit conversion rate on Amazon is what you would want to see and you are saying you are seeing 6% to 15%. Is that higher than what you see on your own site?
[00:12:50] Jason: By far. It’s definitely. So once you get going on Amazon you know what that quality traffic is, it is definitely a higher conversion rate on Amazon.
[00:13:01] Chris: That’s been my experience as well and I’m typically seeing double if not more even on a well optimized site because Amazon is a place where people go to buy stuff.
[00:13:13] Scott: That’s a great point Chris because I know that we get that question all the time like, “What a good conversion rate?” A lot of people want double digits all the time and we are like, “You’ve never doubled on your own ecommerce site before.” And we’ve talked about it. Some are happy with 1%, 2%, 3% and here we are talking 6% to 15% percent and you are seeing that to be successful and I agree with that. Now are there situations where you could be 20%? Yeah there are different categories just different situations but I want to drive that point home because your conversion rate is really good. 6% to 15% percent is definitely good.
Now so you get the products up there, you get optimized, what was the first thing that you did there? Was it drive your own traffic or was is it to turn on pay-per-click or was it both?
[00:14:03] Jason: It was both, it was turn on pay-per-click, it was drive some of our own traffic and tell a few of our customers that we are there.
[00:14:16] Scott: Okay and so you segmented your list I’m assuming?
[00:14:18] Jason: Exactly.
[00:14:20] Scott: You said, “We are going to take a chunk of our list and send it over and we’ll see if we can drive some traffic to get some sales.” Now what did you do to drive sales was it coupon codes, was it a discount, what was that?
[00:14:31] Jason: It was neither of those. We were in the season and we basically said, “Shop Amazon, if you are Amazon prime member get two days free shipping.” And that was enough for them to realize that, “Why not? I was planning to buy anyways.” And for most of our products we don’t need to be doing any significant discounting to our house file especially when we are in season so the offer was Amazon prime.
[00:15:13] Chris: So Jason do you guys typically charge for shipping?
[00:15:07] Jason: We do charge for shipping on our site and again it’s a different experience of what they are getting on our side versus what they are doing on Amazon.
[00:15:10] Chris: And that I think is an interesting point because you guys aren’t offering a discount per se but you actually are and that’s something that people can think about. You are saying it’s a way of discounting the product or the entire experience without having to give away value. You are saying, “Go get free shipping from Amazon Prime if you have Prime,” so they save a little bit of money there but you are not actually discounting the product which is cool.
[00:15:40] Jason: Exactly.
[00:15:41] Chris: The other thing I wanted to point to people is house files just means the email list guys.
[00:15:44] Jason: Yeah, correct.
[00:15:47] Scott: Now I’m looking at the notes that you sent over and I don’t want to skip over anything because you’ve got a ton of meat here that I want to cover and it’s all important. We can do probably a three part thing here which we’ll probably have you come back on because we are going to do some testing stuff you are going to be doing here for Prime Day and when people are listening to this it’s going to be after Prime Day but I want people to hear and understand how a bigger brand is thinking but also how you can do that on a smaller brand. It’s all the same to me, it works all the same but you did mention something here in your notes about key strategies and how to grow business and one of them was product development.
I want to talk about that, I don’t want to skip over that because even like a company your size you guys are probably always thinking of new things. So can you just talk about that product development. What does that actually mean for you in your company?
[00:16:34] Jason: Yeah I guess we knew what we were good at, we knew that category we were good at so we went on Amazon, we used different tools on Amazon. We used the search and we understood where the traffic volume was for different I would say sub-segments of our categories and said, “That’s where the volume is, let’s now go reverse engineer from the search terms to develop product to address the traffic that is already on Amazon.” We went the reverse way versus developing the product first and saying, “Now let’s go market it.” We really understood where the volume was on Amazon and said, “We know how to go develop products in that market.” We saw who the competition was, what their volume was, how deep the SKUs were in those basis and we said, “We can compete there.”
And competing interestingly, the other thing I would say debunked the myth on Amazon is it’s not all about the lowest price point. My company is not the lowest price point and there is a lot of competition out there for our products and people want to search variety. They want to have selection. Think if it’s a t-shirt there is $5 t-shirts and there is $50 t-shirts and it’s about the branding, the marketing of it and why someone is going to pay $50 for a t-shirt versus $5. That’s part of what I would say we really needed to pay attention to is we are not just looking for the lowest price point and competing there, we are really making sure that we can talk to the quality of our product, the reliability of our product and understand that there’s value there because we want to be a margin player versus a volume player.
[00:18:25] Scott: It makes a lot of sense actually for anyone that’s even just thinking you have to go out there and develop a product from scratch. What you are looking at now and you are in that space because you have the resources to do that. You are now seeing what’s selling if you guys can roll something out that’s as good if not better, preferably better and then from there you just add another product to your product line. Is that pretty much what you are doing then?
[00:18:54] Jason: Exactly, we know what our core strengths are, we know what vendors and relationships we have and we say, “What are they good at? What can we go develop that already has volume?”
[00:19:00] Scott: Is there a certain number though you guys look at as far as how many that you want to roll out in a quarter or is it the year? How do you guys base that as a bigger company?
[00:19:13] Jason: It is based on a yearly basis because we develop up to a year ahead of time so it really depends on how much we are willing to push the envelope and how much I can convince the team and how many new SKUs that we can develop and what enough of the line is to be able to test into, to be able to scale that the next year, how much a risk we are willing to take.
[00:19:39] Scott: Okay, yeah that makes total sense. You guys have almost like a year out plan for products that are going to be in development that are approved by the team and all that stuff and then that’s pretty much being worked on from this year or following year actually and then you also have another year probably where you are starting to fill the pipeline with what’s going to come up next.
[00:20:02] Jason: Exactly and then when we launch a product we are seeing that immediately is it working, isn’t it working, what are we going to do with that and our product development team is in Amazon everyday looking at those sales and looking at why one color, why our one variance selling and the other ones aren’t to really start thinking about what we are going to continue to develop.
[00:20:22] Scott: Okay, yeah that makes perfect sense. That’s pretty helpful. The other thing that you pointed out here was, again I’m going through what you have. You have like five points here for growing a business and basically growing the business in the next year. One of them is product development. The next one is really your performance metrics and a lot of people wouldn’t think that this is part of the growth. Can you speak to that like Amazon’s performance metrics and really why you think that that’s important?
[00:20:52] Jason: Yeah Amazon’s very clear and they have their green, yellow, red big banners there of are you within their metrics for if it’s defects rates, if it’s cancelation rates, if it’s late shipment rates, valid tracking and those metrics I think are critical for Amazon to say, “You are a good seller, I’m going to continue to promote you.” Just like if it’s star rating or if it’s number of reviews, if you can stay within the metrics and beat the metrics. Amazon is going to say, “This is a good seller, I’m going to continue to help this seller drive traffic,” because Amazon has a reliability that you are going to fulfil their needs, you are going to fulfil the customer needs and that’s what Amazon cares about.
They want to sell product and they want to satisfy customers so they are very clear on what their thresholds are and metrics are and I want to exceed every one of those because that shows that we have a healthy account and when we introduce new products, when we grow and expand that Amazon is going to reward us for that.
[00:22:05] Scott: Got you and that makes total sense and then we’ve talked about that a lot is that people don’t realize your seller’s account is a huge part of Amazon wanting to help you. If you have a really poor account meaning your metrics are poor, your feedback is poor, all of those things, it’s also going to come into play as far as how much they want to help you or promote you or maybe even not have you sell anymore. It can literally kick you off of Amazon so I think that stuff is important. We’ve always talked about that. It’s like customer service, all of the basic stuff that we know that you have to do it and this is just as important as having a great product.
You have to actually have all those other things in place but it does start with a good product and then your support team and all that stuff. Moving on to the next part of the list is optimizing listings and all of the best practices and the strategies. Maybe we’ll just cover those really quickly because I do want to get into some of the cool things that you guys have done with getting attention to an offer, a sale and those things. But as far as optimizing listings and all of the best practices, what do you feel is the main things that you guys paid attention to with the listings?
[00:23:20] Jason: Good images and multiple images, alt images are super important. The customer looks there, the customer is definitely looking at all the images that you have and then tying that with I would say the rest of the content and don’t overextend it. Don’t go too deep and then make it show the features, the benefits that are there and make it clear. Don’t try and be gimmicky, don’t try and fool the system in terms of adding crazy amount of keywords or driving the traffic that is in that grey area. Be very, very clear of what you are selling and what the benefits there and why you are “better than the competition” and that’s part of what we say is we are selling a brand, we are selling an experience, we are selling a product that has reliability, that is backed by a seller that has good feedback and that has an established brand off Amazon.
So we have seen a little bit of that confusion that they are shopping on Amazon and then they are calling our call center asking for support so there is that. It gets a little confusing but that’s a good piece. That means that we are selling the brand and people are caring about that.
[00:24:40] Scott: Okay, yeah totally agree with that. Chris, do you want to talk about anything on optimization before we move to the traffic?
[00:24:50] Chris: Yeah and I think it’s interesting Jason that you guys, and I’m just taking a look at your space here one of the brands that I know you guys operate and it’s interesting and you talked about selling the brand. You guys are actually leading with the brand which is technically the way that you are supposed to write your title. Not a lot of private labelers do that because it’s not necessarily something that people would search for. In your case I would tend to think and you may have data to back this up or to shut me up that your brand may actually lead to some direct purchases by people doing that.
You guys are also doing all the stuff that Scott and I talk about based on what I can see. It’s your brand, your main keywords, a little bit of a description about it and then you are actually putting a value proposition in the title at the very end by telling people, “Hey, this is where it was made or this is what it’s made it out of,” and that does really help you stand apart so I think that that’s really cool that you guys are encompassing all of those things as well as some best practices that not a lot of other people would think about like that value prop in the title.
[00:25:56] Scott: Yeah that’s good stuff and again sometimes it’s the simple stuff that people think it has to be overcomplicated but you are leading with the brand but then from there you are also giving the benefits, the features and everything in there and you are putting a value on that. I think that’s important and anyone listening it’s sometimes those simple subtle things that make a big difference. Obviously you want keywords that are going to be searched for as well. If you have keywords that are not searched for you are not getting traffic and that’s not good either.
But moving on to the driving traffic that’s the next part of your five steps here that you guys you are working on or your five phases that you guys are working on all the time to really build the business and grow it is driving traffic. Can you talk about what is some things that you are currently doing and then also maybe things that you have planned to do?
[00:26:44] Jason: Yeah so we break our traffic into two parts, what does Amazon offer and what can we do on Amazon to help drive that traffic? And that’s with sponsored products, that’s with AMS, the additional headline search ads and product display ads and that’s with our testing into Amazon media group. You really need to understand what your ad cost specials are, your A cost to understand how much traffic you can drive and really what I look at too is the total percentage of paid traffic I’m driving versus then the organic left because some people think that every single sale they need to get that what’s my break even return on.
There really is a thought process there of what’s your investment you are willing to make that you are willing to put into sponsored products, that you are willing to put into driving your own traffic there because then it gets the flywheel going then you get the organic traffic.
I’ve seen some of my products where I pushed it hard in sponsored products or driving my own traffic and the organic never takes off. That means there’s something wrong with my product. The customer doesn’t like it, Amazon’s not recognizing it as a valuable product so that means I need to move on. If I can start with a product, do a little bit of paid advertising and then the organic takes off, then I’m like, “I got a winner,” and that’s something really to identify.
[00:28:10] Scott: Now that’s a great point and that’s actually what we do as well. It’s like you drive the pay-per-click ads, you can almost get your product in front of your people almost instantly and then from there we can start to get some sales and that can lift our organic. But when do you make that decision? Is it when you know that your ranking page won for those keywords or is there another thought process that I’m missing?
[00:28:36] Jason: Yeah it’s in the my category page one’s hard. My categories are deep and I don’t really look for that page one ranking. I look for how many sales do we feel we need to drive that we are adding value to our business? So if it’s ten a day, 30 a day up to 100 a week whatever that number is that we forecasted that we say, “Here is how much product we ordered here’s what our return is and our investment in it. Is that working for us or not?” Because Amazon definitely is a unique engine in terms of how customers find their product and they find it in multiple ways especially when you are in a pretty broad category that people do browse and they scroll and they scroll and they scroll and they’ll find your product.
[00:29:25] Scott: So you would basically look at, “Okay I drove five sales through pay-per-click but I had twenty sales for the day,” so you know organically that sales are being made.
[00:29:36] Jason: Exactly.
[00:29:40] Chris: So Jason just a quick question because you say, “Hey if we are driving it through PPC and let’s say we are hitting our sales goal it’s all coming from ppc so that means we are not ranking appropriately or there’s something wrong with the product.” If you have a quick question or a quick minute to run it down, what’s your troubleshooting process for that because that’s something that Scott you and I get asked a lot?
So I’m just curious Jason, what’s kind of your troubleshooting process for that is. Do you guys go look at the listing first? If you can break that process down for us, I think that would be really cool for everybody that’s listening.
[00:30:14] Jason: Yeah we go to the listing first and see, “Are there the right images there? Or is there the right copy? Do we need to change the description and really the benefit of what this product might be?” If we’re talking a colorway and the colorway is not important to them, and it’s really about the fit, we might need to go rewrite that and change it. The other interesting thing that we do have a capacity to do, is understand how to group products together in varying groups and play off some of the sales history you have off of other products that you’ve already had there.
So kind of understanding when you can make a variance group of, say three or four colorways or three or four styles or sizes of our products, and group that together and really get one product going, and really helping the other products grow as well. So we kind of play with that a little bit too and be like, “Okay, now we’ve gotten some traffic help from a historical product that we had that maybe we were discontinuing but we had it on sale, we were liquidating it, but then they saw the new one and that got it going to really say, “Okay, now it can stand alone on its own legs.” So that’s an interesting one that I haven’t heard many people really look at. But it works in my space it doesn’t work in everybody’s space.
[00:31:33] Chris: So, what you’re kind of getting out there is let’s say you had a red color, right? A red color product and you guys were kind of going to just get rid of it or you’re going to liquidate it. You launch a blue one and after you launch the blue one, you see the sales the red one pick back up, and you end up not killing that product. Is that where you’re going with that?
[00:31:50] Jason: Exactly. Or the red one that was last year’s colorway and we’re introducing a new colorway, and we got to put that one on sale because we’re moving through that inventory but we already were using that sales history, and almost that halo effect of a lower price point item to really help see that, “Oh, there’s another option here as well and I like the new style better or the new colorway better and we’ll kind of upgrade to that one.” And using that product listing to really help promote our new product.”
[00:32:25] Scott: Cool. That makes 100% sense and I think it’s a different way of looking at it, right? You have more than SKU. So if someone only has two SKUs it might be different. But, in the same breath, you are taking an existing product and trying to get it going by maybe another product that is doing better by kind of showing it to that audience. It’s kind of something that we talked about Chris, actually, that we’ve been playing around with is using that promotion area now that’s right below the price which is nice to basically drive traffic to another related product. It’s another way to kind of cross promote your own traffic and stuff which is good.
[00:33:10] Jason: And I say if the product has been struggling, we’re going to play with price. We’re going to say, “Here is the MSRP, we are trying to sell it at that we’re going to work hard to get it back up there but we need to drive traffic and we need to drive get that session conversion rate higher.” So, let’s first lower price see if we can stimulate that demand be like, “Okay, we got it. We got the reviews that we needed and we got a conversion rate, we’re driving traffic there. Now, let’s slowly move that price back up to where we thought what our original goals were.”
[00:33:44] Scott: Okay. That makes sense too because now you’re trying to kind of get it going by lowering the price some but then you’re slowly bringing it back up. And then you’re probably going to find that sweet spot by doing that. If your conversion drops as you start to raise that price, after a certain amount of time, then you can be like, “All right. Well, maybe have to lower it. And is it still worth it to sell it if we lower it.”
[00:34:05] Jason: Exactly.
[00:34:06] Chris: That’s something we’ve been playing a lot with lately Scott, is price testing and Jason, I don’t know if you guys are doing that manually or if you’re using some of the tools that are out there. But one of the things that we’ve been playing with, and it speaks to a point you brought up earlier, is the Splitly price testing tool and what we found is quite often a higher price point actually ends up being the thing that is the most beneficial one because it increases our margin. But two, because you have that perception of that higher value.
Like we have that one product right now Scott, the one that we launched most recently that’s double the price of the nearest competitor in the market and we’re selling more than anybody else in the market right now. But you don’t necessarily know that unless you’re testing that price. A lot of people come into the market and assume just like with their title and their images and their bullet points that the first whack at it, is the best whack at it and usually that’s not the case. So I’m glad to hear that you guys are testing that. Are you also testing your titles and your descriptions Jason? Or is that more of like a passive process for you since you have so many SKUs?
[00:35:07] Jason: Yeah, there’s a little bit more passive there that if we see a problem or see something going on we’ll change that title or change that description. But another piece of what I would say is critical is when you’re launching a product when you’re developing a product, you need to have the margin to know when the product’s not working and to be able to liquidate it and move on to another product. That’s critical because… And that Amazon has the traffic, has the volume that unlike some other businesses, that when you try and liquidate and you get stuck with a ton of inventory you have a problem. We’ve been very successful of being able to raise our hand and say, “This product’s not working for us, we’re going to give up. We’re going to basically sell it at cost, be able to clear it out and move on to the next product.” Because moving on to the next product is critical.
[00:36:00] Scott: Yeah, great point. I agree. The big question always comes in and you probably won’t have an exact answer but the question is always like, when do you throw your hands up and say, “This product isn’t working?” Is there a certain time? Do you have to get through your highest traffic time, a certain season? Is or a certain thing that you guys go, “Okay, we’ve tried this, we’ve tried this, we’ve tried this, and in work, so now it’s time or is it just like I guess kind of like a gut feel? Because you’ve seen other things in the past?
[00:36:33] Jason: Yeah, I would say two fold of that. One, the seasonality. When is the peak season for you that you’ve done everything you can? You play with your price point, you play with your title, and the season is coming to an end and it’s still not working. It’s before the season is over, it’s time to move through this inventory. Couple that with Amazon’s pushing you with long term storage fees and additional fees that are there and I have quarterly numbers that I’m looking at and I was like, “I have inventory positions that I want to be responsible for of how much inventory I have at Amazon I’m saying, “It’s time to move through this because I don’t want to have this quarter end and year end coming in because I need to move through this, and right now I can do it at cost.”
[00:37:23] Scott: Yeah, okay. Again like some people are like, “Well, when do I give up?” It’s like you kind of have to look at your numbers but you also have to know if you’re just coming out of fourth quarter, and you have a product that’s in fourth quarter and it didn’t really maybe get all the fourth quarter… Generally, a lot of people say, “If I can get my product to fourth quarter that’s going to kind of validate it for me in a sense.” But maybe your fourth quarter is in January because you sell a fitness product. Like there’s different times of the year that might be your time to say, “Hey, did this thing even have a chance?”
I also get some people that say, “Well, I haven’t really drove a lot of traffic,” or, “I haven’t done a lot pay-per-click.” You have to have traffic in order to really have it be validated that it wasn’t successful. I think is a big one. Speaking about traffic, let’s kind of stay on this one here for a little bit. You’ve done some really cool things and I know we’ve talked about the email list and Facebook traffic, and all that stuff. Can you give us like one thing that you guys have done to drive traffic that really kind of worked well?
[00:38:23] Jason: Yes. One that I would say some people think isn’t as exciting as some of the immediate returns is a giveaway. A contest that you’re doing on Facebook and you’re collecting email addresses. It takes some time to do it but once you collect those email addresses, you have them for a while. We’ve been doing this for a year now and this was before we were even driving traffic to Amazon per se, is we were doing a giveaway and people like food. I think that’s one thing is let’s say if it’s a year of cookies, a year of whatever it is, and people will on Facebook people be like, “I’ll sign up for that. I’ll sign up for that.” And we collected tons and tons of email addresses through giveaways, through contests.
And you really need to understand what your acquisition cost can be and how qualified of a segment you’re pulling in from. But once you have those emails, you can talk to them for years. We have we have these names that are now a year plus old that when we’re launching a new product, we’re going to talk to them and they’re going to respond to us about the new product launch it’s coming out for July 4th or whatever that time period is. And right now, it feels free to us. Because we did that acquisition back a year ago with those email names and they do need an offer. But you’re launching that product and you’re stimulating that demand. So if it’s 30%, 40% off, it’s kind of our range to drive that initial sale it really adds some value and that takes some time to understand.
[00:40:11] Scott: So what does that look like though, as far as like I guess the process, the funnel, whatever you want to call it. Like what is the process like? Okay, you put up the offer and people are attracted to it. We always say you’ve got to come up with a killer offer. It’s got to be a good offer that people are actually going to want to enter their name and an email address for. But what’s the next step in that? And also before we move on, how long do you go for your contest? Is it a week, two weeks, a month before you pick a winner?
[00:40:42] Jason: Yeah, for the contests, a lot of the contests we’re doing a short contest because we do want to collect, we want to create that buzz, we want to create that excitement that you’re winning something very soon for something that’s seasonally relevant, right? If it’s the July 4th bash like here is what that offer is, sign up now. The goal there is to collect a lot of emails pretty quickly. You get one winner and after that what we call a loser email. Sorry, you didn’t win, but here’s 30% off something else something else in our store the right now.” And that’s pretty similar to doing an offer out of the gate but you’re collecting all these email addresses that you’re going to have in perpetuity to continue to market to. So we get that stimulus off of that whole loser email and then can continue to market them for the next offer, the next offer, the next offer.
[00:41:39] Scott: And how has that been working? I know you said it’s doing pretty well. But I mean, it must be working okay for you guys to keep repeating this, right?
[00:41:48] Jason: It does. You need to still understand your audience, right? We went a little too crazy I would say last, we had a Mother’s Day campaign that we did, and we were over the moon excited with how many email names we collected, and they did not respond. The offer got out in the deal sites and the people who enter everything. And we were over the moon that we got within a couple of days we had 15,000 emails and it was a problem.
So they came into our email system and we started emailing them and they were not opening, not clicking, not responding so we had bad email addresses. So we need to know how to cleanse that out and really say, “What is our audience that we want to target because our product line is still relevant to them?” So that’s where there is some hesitation is you can’t just mass blast it to no segmentation, you really need to still know who your audience is, and who is going to respond, and who is a quality email address.
[00:43:03] Scott: Yeah, that’s a great point. And we talk a lot about that like knowing your market, where they are, where they’re hanging out. And you know not just like free seekers. It’s like people that are genuinely interested. But what’s the cleanse process? Do you send out an email? Well, okay let’s do this real quick. You have your offer, they enter the name and email address, they go to a, thank you page, I’m imagining, and then from there you probably have some ways for them to share it. Is that true so far? Is that how it works?
[00:43:31] Jason: Yeah, we are using a tool called Rafflecopter. So they’re coming in through rafflecopter and they can they can share it, they can like it. If tweet it, if they get five friends to sign up they get additional entries into the contest. There is a little viral component that they can do as well.
[00:43:48] Scott: And then from there they probably get a follow-up email I’m assuming that says, “Hey, thank you and by the way here’s another way to share it.” Would that be okay?
[00:43:57] Jason: Exactly. They get another follow-up email and then whenever the contest is over, they get an email 99.9% of them get the email that says, “Sorry you did not win but here’s another offer. Here’s something else that could appease you.”
[00:44:14] Chris: Does this process unfamiliar to you Scott?
[00:44:16] Scott: It sounds very familiar that’s why I love going through this. And we didn’t even pre-talk about this. But…
[00:44:20] Chris: Well, so Jason one of the ways that we found and I don’t know if you guys are doing this now to kind of segment that list a little bit upfront so that you can kind of get rid of some of those freebies is an addition to that thank you email, like the freebie seekers, in addition to that thank you email, and I don’t know what the exact time period is that you guys have that you’re running these contests for. But like two days after we send the thank you email, we do send like a survey segmentation email, and then we can see if they opened and interact with that at all. So that maybe something that you guys can try and in your next go around and let us know how that works.
[00:44:56] Jason: Yeah, definitely good advice. Because we are looking at that opening click rate and seeing who’s paying attention to us.
[00:45:02] Scott: Yeah. So then that part of it, you do that. Now, what would do you feel you guys are happy with for an open rate number one? Not even a click through rate yet?
[00:45:12] Jason: If it’s a new list that we just acquired, we should be seeing up to 20% open rate. Most people want to know, “Did I win?” What’s going on? So a 20% open rate is very healthy with a new list that you acquired.
[00:45:30] Scott: I agree. I think standard like industry standard is like 15% something like that, maybe even a little bit less. You’re getting 20% that’s above. But if you’re getting even more than that which we are in most instances, and also we were just at our workshop this past weekend in North Carolina, we did a little one day workshop basically showing this entire process. And we had a couple that was there that had been doing exactly this.
They got about 8,500 emails and we were looking at some of their follow-ups and they’re getting like 40% to 50% percent open rate. I’m like, “That is amazing.” They’re like, “Oh, I thought it could be better.” I’m like, “No, that is amazing. Like you got to understand this, right? So I just love it that you said 20% because that is normal, like that’s good. You’re getting more than that you’re doing really well and you have a really engaged audience.
[00:46:18] Chris: And that’s something that I think a lot of people get hung up on and the couple you’re talking about are like 40% to 50% open rate. That’s like the thank you, email you sent after the contest you’ll typically see. Like, “Thanks for entering.” That’s where you’ll see a 40%, 50% open rate. And a lot of people are like, “Okay, well…” And Scott, we sent an email like literally one minute before this interview started today. And people are like, “Okay.” And I’m looking at it right now and it’s at 10.4% open rate in 40 minutes or so. And people are saying, “Okay, we have 11,000 people on that list, what about the other 10,000 people?” Well, one, they’re going to continue to open that email. You guys will be surprised and Jason, you guys probably see this like three months after you send an email you’ll get a response to it in some cases.
But the other thing is unlike with an ad, where you’re running an ad to say, 11,000 people, if you don’t get them on that first instance, you still have them on the list. The same 1,500 people don’t open every single email that you send. So you have additional chances to get to them and that’s one of the things that’s significantly more powerful about email in my opinion than something like just running a Facebook ad to that same list. Because as long as they’re on that list, I still have a chance of getting in contact with them. And Jason, you said earlier it’s kind of like playing for free. Because once you have them, there on that list and you get as many chances as you’re willing to take.
[00:47:40] Jason: Exactly.
[00:47:41] Scott: Well, that’s true. But I’d also say this. But you’re also looking at what the ROI was at that point. Like has the list been paid for? And I guess that would be the next question. Again, then it could be just the offer. I know we’ve done that where we’ve sent out the loser email and we didn’t get as much of a response than we did with a different product. So it could just be a product that could be too. Generally, Jason, to a specific product or are you doing it to products that are in your store or something like that? Or they have more variety?
[00:48:15] Jason: It’s both. It definitely depends what the initiative is at the time. Sometimes it’s the entire store, sometimes it’s about a very specific product that we’re trying to launch.
[00:48:23] Scott: Do you find with sending it to more of a variety that you get more of an uptake?
[00:48:28] Jason: No, we don’t. Sometimes it’s we need to be very clear of what the product is and what the offer is.
[00:48:35] Scott: Interesting.
[00:48:36] Chris: And that to me actually makes sense Scott. And you know I had this conversation before. You don’t want to overwhelm people with choices. And I said that to at the workshop this weekend. People hate being told what to do, but people love being told what to do. They hate thinking that someone is telling them what to do but when you give them limited direction, you’re going to see more people take action on that stuff. And there’s a case study out there and Jason, you’ve probably heard this.
It was like in front of a Whole Foods or something. They set up a table with 300 different bottles of I think it was olive oil. And they measured two things. How many people stopped, and how many people bought a bottle. And then the next week they measured the same thing but they only set out like three bottles or five bottles of olive oil.
More people stopped with more choices but fewer people bought. So they actually had more people buy when there was only three or five choices because they got to see the exact thing that they were tasting, and they knew exactly what they were trying to buy. So a lot of times if you do limit that choice, even if it’s not necessarily the best choice for everyone on the list, you’re going to see a bigger uptake. So that makes sense to me.
[00:49:42] Scott: Yeah, yeah totally. All right, so contests and giveaways and all this stuff clearly works. We’ve proven it ourselves but now we’re talking to a Fortune 500 company here that you’re using this exact same strategy. Like nothing’s really different than what we’re doing, it’s the same process. What are you finding, and I know this is going to depend on the market, but what are you finding is the best traffic source that your… I know you’re dabbling in a little bit of everything. What has been the best traffic source?
[00:50:16] Jason: Right now though. I would say the biggest volume is on Facebook. That’s where probably it’s the most advanced in terms of figuring out how to segment an audience and how to get target an audience, and I heard an interesting comment about Facebook. And people who are on Facebook, it is similar if people think of the mindset of display advertising and being at the Display Network. But when you’re on another website and you see a banner ad, you’re distracted, you are on a website to do something very specific. When you are on Facebook, you’re usually going to Facebook because you want to be distracted. You want to waste time, you want to be doing…
You want to see what’s out there. So when you see an ad, you want to see ads, you want to see what your friends are doing and you’re willing to kind of click through because you want to basically waste time. So it’s very different experience. And we do see Facebook really working well for us there. But beyond Facebook, we’re testing with Pinterest and we’re testing at Instagram, right? Those are two developing spaces that have opportunity to not just build your own organic list enough followers there but really to do some more of the paid ads spend it with lookalike type of campaigns.
[00:51:31] Scott: Yeah. So as far is Instagram for you, I’m assuming you’re just running ads, you’re not like reaching out to influencers or stuff like that, you’re just running ads right directly in Instagram?
[00:51:41] Jason: We are right now. And you’ve talked about influencers a few times and I’m intrigued and we have a few campaigns planning to figure out how to reach out to some influencers to test into that.
[00:51:55] Scott: Nice. Yeah, let me know how that goes. I think that will work well for your brands for sure. Yeah, that will be interesting. Okay, a lot we can talk about in the driving of traffic and all that stuff. But I do want to keep moving on because I want to definitely let people know kind of like this little, Amazon Prime Day thing that we’re that we’re coming up on and if you listen to this after the fact, which you probably will be, at least you can understand the mindset and also maybe some strategies that you can do whether it’s Prime Day, whether it’s Black Friday, whether it’s any of the other big days, Fourth Quarter or even a lightning deal for that matter. What are you guys doing and what do you… I guess what do you think about like days like Prime Day?
[00:52:38] Jason: I think it’s very cool. I’m thinking of Prime Day as Amazon is marketing for me. They are stimulating the demand, they are going to be stimulating the traffic. People are going to be looking for deals and offers and they want to buy. So I want to be a partner with Amazon and play in that space and I’m going to tell my customers, “Hey, it’s Prime Day, shop my products as well and you’ll be rewarded for that.” So I’m using it as kind of a co-promoting opportunity because, for our businesses July is not in season.
So any incremental traffic I can drive, incremental sales I can drive now, I can learn a lot, I can test a lot, and I can really understand how that might play out later on. And couple that with if I’m playing by Amazon’s rules and strategies there, they’re going to see my spike in sales for Prime Day and that’s going to help continue on. And hopefully, if the people who aren’t playing in the Prime Day space being that I’ve just got a significant bump ahead of them with in terms of how much our revenue, traffic, session conversion rates that I drove that they were unable to.
[00:53:53] Scott: So, let me ask you this though. So, let’s say that you have… Because I want to make this useful for everyone listening too not just you because you have a lot maybe all of these things that your disposal because you’re a bigger company. But let’s say, for example you did not get a lightning deal for Prime Day, what would you do? I’ve got your list here you are doing some things even without just running a lighting deal. What are you doing to test and to take advantage of Prime Day?
[00:54:24] Jason: Here’s one interesting one that knowing that customers probably are looking for deals, and have most likely products in their carts already from browsing our products for the past few months, whatever is the day before Prime Day or that Monday, we’re going to lower all of our prices by five bucks. And it’s relatively small discount actually overall for some of our products and thought process being twofold. One, I’ve heard that if people have products in their carts, they’re going to get an email from the Amazon that’s saying, the price has changed.
So that will help stimulate some sales and it’s going to be right there in Prime Day to help to start up. And couple that with, I’ve also heard that once you start changing things on your product listings page, Amazon sees that as… They like that, they like change. They would say, “Oh, I want to see if that’s going to help and stimulate some…” And move that up in the algorithm a little bit to give it a few days to see if your change really helped improve the sales velocity of that product.
So that’s one thing on Amazon that I’m testing, seeing if it moves the needle at all but I think that’s something everybody could do. It’s play with your price knowing that people are looking for deals. If you’re at full price you might be hurting yourself during this two day time period or week long time period that Prime Day is going on and really need to be cognizant of that.
[00:55:58] Scott: So even if you’re lowering your price you’re not mentioning in there that it’s a Prime Day special or anything like that because technically you’re not supposed to change the title and say, Prime Day special, or anything like that, but you’re just going to lower it because that day they’re going to assume that it’s lower because of Prime Day.
[00:56:15] Jason: Exactly. I’m not looking to drive people who are searching for Prime Day traffic at all, that I think would be a bust I would drive a ton of traffic and have very, very low conversion rates. Just the people who are already interested in my products or my category who are searching for that and seeing it’s a couple bucks cheaper today.
[00:56:33] Scott: Got you.
[00:56:33] Chris: Now Jason, do you kind of feel the same way about sending an email to that list, to your house file? Or are you going to mention that we have some deals for Prime Day?
[00:56:43] Jason: No, I’m very much talking to my house file, my email list about Prime Day and saying, “Here’s exclusive deals because it’s Prime Day that we’ve co-partnered with Amazon, and here’s the key offers that we’re pushing for Prime Day. Come and shop these specific products.”
[00:57:02] Scott: I like that.
[00:57:03] Jason: We’re doing that in our email. And just one of the other off Amazon Facebook advertising things which Scott, I’m just going to be interested to hear your comment because you’ve said not to do this before is we are doing prospecting on Amazon with ads, and we are driving them directly to Amazon saying, “It’s Prime Day, here’s this offer it’s 30% off because it’s a Prime Day exclusive product.”
But what we are doing, we’re not driving them directly to the product listing page because I don’t want to drive that ton of traffic, that’s unqualified, I’m actually building a search results page. I put in specific keywords or for the specific products I want to show up in a search results page. So I’m clicking from a Facebook ad to an Amazon search results page, so they see the three or four products I’m offering. Then from there that hopefully will prequalify it to say, “Do I want to now click to the product page to convert?” And hopefully that product page still has a high conversion rate.
[00:58:07] Scott: Okay, and I’m going to kind of unpack what you just said there I think that’s actually a pretty cool strategy. You’re not driving them directly to a listing page, you’re driving them to a results page if they search for stainless steel garlic press, and maybe your brand name after that. So then they would just see three of your products that are those, they’re going to land on that results page. And then from there if they click down on of your listings, that is where, if all that traffic went to that listing page that could hurt your conversion, but you’re already creating a layer there that’s not going to be immediately hitting your listing page. Is that right? Is that what I’m saying?
[00:58:43] Jason: Exactly.
[00:58:44] Scott: Now, I think that’s brilliant man, I think that’s a great way. The reason why we’ve said it before is because we don’t drive all the traffic to a listing page and then have only a small portion of it actually buy. But you’re intercepting that with a results page. It’s the same difference as just going to a landing page. I mean it’s a kind of like the same thing if you just drove them to a landing page not even on Amazon but on your own page they had three of your products there, and then they clicked on one that would take them. That’s basically the same thing you’re just shortcutting it, you don’t need a landing page you’re just driving them to Amazon with those results and then they can decide which one they want to click on.
[00:59:15] Jason: Yeah.
[00:59:16] Chris: And Jason, you’re doing that because, and I think you mention in the notes, you’re trying to stay at a minimum of like that 6% conversion rate. And if you’re driving people straight to that sales page, straight to that product page, you are going to drop that conversion rate most cases. What you’re doing there is you’re inserting a barrier to entry and it’s typically something we wouldn’t do in advertising if we wanted them to buy. If you were driving the traffic straight to your own site, you would either drive them to a very specific landing page built around the product or directly to a product page in the case of something like a Google shopping ad, right?
But here what you’re doing is you’re inserting that landing page and forcing people to make a decision. Normally, we want to remove decisions. But in this exact case, you’re doing it so that they have to click. And if they click, then they have then qualified themselves. Now the question that I have for you is are you targeting that to that house list, to that email list? Or are you targeting that you cold traffic?
[01:00:12] Jason: I am targeting to both. I have definitely my email list but I’m also doing it… I would say cold traffic it’s prospecting audience that we’ve built up off of the lookalike campaigns and groups that we know are in markets for us. But it is a prospecting…
[01:00:31] Scott: But it’s warm it’s not really cold. Cold would be like they’ve never heard of you before. This here they’ve landed on a page or retargeting or you’ve created a lookalike from them landing on a certain page. Or even uploading an email list including a lookalike, something like that.
[01:00:45] Jason: Yeah.
[01:00:46] Scott: Now, that makes total sense, man. I’m excited to hear what those results will be. So we’re definitely going to have you back on and kind of talk about some of these things that you’re putting into the motion. Now, Lightning Deals, I’m assuming you have some of those that are going to be running.
[01:01:01] Jason: Yep. We had two that were accepted for Prime Day, so those were the ones that were a little pricier at $500 a piece and I’ll be interested to see if the amount that they’re charging on top of what they normally charge is going to get that increase response. But again, I think even if it doesn’t, I think playing again by Amazon rules they’re going to give you a value for participating. If it’s a longer-term goal too. So I’m excited to see what’s going to happen there for the two ones that will fall on Prime Day, and then I have eight other ones that are falling within the week. So it’ll be interesting to see if that… Because they offered the option for the week instead of just the individual day, if you didn’t get the day, and we’ll see if they can really extend their increased traffic from a day to a week.
[01:01:55] Scott: Now, that will be interesting definitely. And as far as the lightning deal, how deep do you go for the discount?
[01:02:05] Jason: 25%.
[01:02:07] Scott: 25%. That’s good.
[01:02:08] Jason: So I’m still making good margin off of it. Knowing my history on some of these deals it should… It will definitely cover the cost of the expense of doing the lightning deal, but it is that one time burst of traffic. So I don’t know how much it will last in the future, but I think just Amazon especially for this time period I think will give us some credits for participating.
[01:02:33] Scott: I hear you saying a bunch and I agree with that and it’s something that we’ve talked about even with like sponsored product ads. Like even though you might not… Your ACOS might not be where it needs to be, there’s a couple things that are happening. Number one, Amazon know if you’re spending money with them to be seen so that’s number one. So I think they’re going to give you a bit more love for that. And then organically obviously, if people are clicking and going through they’re going to start to be able to see you and start ranking as long as we get some sales made. But like you said as long as you are investing, in a sense, into their services which is lightning deals or sponsored product ads, there probably is going to be a little bit of extra love given. That’s just my opinion. And from what I’m hearing, you kind of feel the same way.
[01:03:17] Jason: I do, I do. And I would say, why I feel that way is in sponsored product ads. We start spending some money, we started seeing it working, and we got the eyes of Amazon’s attention. They called us up and said, “Hey, we have a rep for you to help you with sponsored products. And we have some tricks and tools that we want to teach you to help you grow your Amazon sponsored product business.” And we’re like, “That makes sense, let’s play with that.” Yeah. So I think they do pay attention to you and they do care, and again they want us to spend more money on sponsored products so they want that to work out for both of us.
[01:03:59] Scott: Cool yeah, I agree. All right. So speaking of sponsored product ads, another thing during Prime Day, what’s going to happen there with sponsored product ads? You’re going to stop them? You’re I’m going to slow them down? What are you going to do there?
[01:04:13] Jason: For the majority of them, I’m going to keep them exactly as is because again I couple that with that little pricing reduction I took for my whole product listings during that time period. If I was doing nothing, I probably would be very cautious and potentially pause them because I don’t want that unqualified conversion traffic going there, if people are clicking around for deals. But then I am creating a couple of new campaigns for the products I’m specifically marketing as Prime Day exclusives that we’re pushing to our audiences. So it’s basically trying to couple it with the email traffic I’m driving, the prospecting traffic I’m driving, sponsored products traffic. So if they search on my brand name or the top-level keywords, that these will be the products that show up on top. So that will drive the additional traffic.
[01:05:05] Scott: Got you. Now, that makes total sense too. Chris, did you want to speak to anything there or do you want to move on to the promotions?
[01:05:11] Chris: It’s interesting, I’m also curious Jason to see how the Prime week stuff goes. Scott I know we have at least one lightning deal going live during that week assuming we decide we still want to continue with it. So, Jason, I’m really curious to see how that happens. The other thing is you know, just going back to using sponsored products to drive those listings, I think it does make sense that Amazon is going to give you better treatment. And I don’t think it’s just because…
It’s not just because you’re spending money, it’s because those listings are then showing all of the signs of a product that people are interested in. There’s people coming to the listing, there’s people buying, and Amazon also knows that you actually care about the products that you’re selling. So you’re kind of hitting all of those green lights and I think that’s really cool. As far as Prime Day products or Prime Day sponsored products goes, I’m still kind of on the fence Scott, and I’m curious what your opinion is on that.
I know last year I just turned it off because I didn’t want to just spend through my budget first thing in the morning. I’m still kind of on the fence about that, so I am curious how Jason’s results pan out. But with the massive increase in traffic that we saw previously, we did see a decrease in conversion rate, and a decrease in the effectiveness of those sponsored product ads, but I’m curious to see what happens this year.
[01:06:29] Scott: Yeah, and well I think also it depends on how much you’re discounting your product that day. I mean, if it’s a deeper discount that maybe a different story, and it might be something that you only run for three hours or six hours. You know what I mean? Like you can play around with the time you want it to start and stop it as well which would be another idea. So, okay cool. So let’s move on to promotions. Now, you have here that you’re going to be running some different promotions. And what we’re talking about is kind of like how you can set up promotions to show up like, buy two and get 25% off or something like that. So what are you guys doing there?
[01:07:04] Jason: Yeah, we are doing a couple of promotions that is ‘Buy more and save’ concept. And we’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked for us. And I have always been flustered by the promotions because it was historically not very prominent on the product pages, and it was confusing of how customers even saw it or got it or understood it. So we had very poor results from it and in the past month or few months, I’m not exactly sure when it became much more prominent.
The promotions listing so we are going back to test some of our strategies of really buy more and save of products that make sense in that product listing. And part of that strategy there is again, Amazon is going to reward you for a higher session conversion rate. And a lot of their conversion rate traffic is not based off the order, it’s based off the units that you sell. So if I can sell two units instead of one, I’m going to get double the conversion rate.
[01:08:10] Chris: Yeah, and I think that’s interesting. And that’s something we’ve been playing with as well. For those of you guys who are familiar with the changes to promotions, Jason, I think that was the understatement of the century they didn’t use to get prominent placement. They were buried. Like completely buried on the page. To the point where Scott, you and I tested for a while putting, ‘buy this get this percentage off,’ in one of the supporting images to get people to even know that it existed. And what Amazon did is, they moved it on the listing directly underneath, is it underneath Scott or right above the price now?
[01:08:41] Scott: No, it’s right below it.
[01:08:43] Chris: So it’s right below it and it says, ‘Buy one get a discount on selected products’ if you’re doing a cross-listing promo or buy one, buy two get 25% off, whatever that promotion actually is, will show up directly underneath that price. Jason, I don’t know if you guys have started testing it since they made that change. We have and we’re actually doing some cross-listing promos. So, complimentary products. Buy this garlic press, get the garlic saver for 25% off and I’m seeing like, three, four, five, times more people taking it up. Which it’s still not 5% or 10% of people but if 1% of people buy my garlic press with my garlic saver, that is a huge boost to that conversion rate and it also…
I’ve noticed and this is completely anecdotal, I don’t have you know total numbers to back it up. But within a few of those purchases, you’ll start to see them show up in the frequently bought together, and when that happens, I see my units per sale go up because people will actually see that in two different places than on the listing. They’ll see it in the promotion, but they’ll also see in the frequently bought together. So, I think that’s going to be a big test for you guys.
[01:09:54] Scott: I was going to say, I think it’s definitely something to play around with. But it’s definitely another option and that’s… I don’t know when that actually happened, I just kind of noticed it. I’m not sure when they actually implemented that but it’s definitely a cool feature now because it’s not buried down below, it’s right below the pricing. So, we have a buddy of ours that has a pretty well… His product is selling really well I mean like 35,000 sessions a month. So over a thousand per day and I’m like, “We’ve got to get other products lined up here for those people because it’s free traffic really that’s coming through that listing.”
So Jason, I know we’ve went on longer than we probably expected here but man, your list is not even done. So what we’re got to do here, let’s do this, let’s stop here and what we’ll do is we’ll come back and we will do an update on the Prime Day stuff, and we’ll go and dig into your off Amazon campaign because I really want to talk about that with you as well. But we’ll do that maybe in the next session which we’ll have to hook up again after you get back from, I know you’re going to be traveling a little bit, and take a little time off. But I’m sure you’re going to have some data to share with us. So is there any other thing that you wanted to add to this segment before we wrap this up?
[01:11:08] Jason: Yeah, I guess the one thing I would want to say is some of the success I would say I’m having and moving the some of the shifting that we’ve been doing within our company to understand why Amazon is working for us, is building a team and really understand getting them excited and involved and really motivating them to know why Amazon’s exciting, where there’s growth, where there’s opportunity and what success looks like. So I think it’s having the right people behind you, having the right people supporting you and making sure that you have that structure built is how you can grow and develop and having really people understanding and learning it and listening to podcasts like you guys are producing is critical, I would say, if I’m part of my strategy in terms of getting people aligned with why this is exciting, what the movement, what the opportunity is here.
So I want to thank you guys a lot for teaching people. I share your podcast weekly with my teams. Listen to this, here is a key segment I was trying to talk about that we were talking about in the last meeting, and how it applies to not just the startup individual who is starting to sell out that first unit, but it applies to us who’s trying to sell thousands of units.
[01:12:38] Scott: That’s awesome and it’s amazing and it’s funny when we heard that. We actually lunch together and it was like… It was interesting to hear that on such a large business these same principles apply, just at scale. And like you said, you have a team in place now and it’s like everyone kind of has their role. Once they learn that role now it’s just a matter of like, “All right, we got a new product, now you’ve got to kind of just take it through the process and now you have people in place.”
Now, if you’re a one man show you’re going to be doing all of those different proponents but when you get to the point where you can hire out, it might be someone that builds your listings and optimizes it and does all that stuff for you. You may have another person that just focuses on pay-per-click and really learns how to really move the needle there. Maybe an email list builder or any of that stuff but I agree with you. Once you get to that point to have a team in place that shares the same vision and can actually take this thing and kind of push it forward, and get excited about it, it’s game over when you get to that level.
And I guess, we could probably do a whole another episode on how to build a great team, and get them motivated and get all that stuff. So we might have to do another one with you, Jason, because you’ve got a lot of different aspects here that I think could help a lot of people on startup but also growing and scaling a bigger business. Chris, is there anything you wanted to wrap up with before we say goodbye to Jason?
[01:13:58] Chris: I think the big thing and I know we’re going to do it here at the end. But the big thing is, start where you are. There’s some really cool thing is that Jason is doing and I think we all can take some lessons away from some of the stuff that they’re doing because they are doing it at scale. But don’t let that get you bogged down. If you’re launching a product, focus on building that launch list and you guys know that Scott and I have been kind of hammering on that giveaway strategy recently because it works really, really well for us.
In fact, Scott, since we’ve been on here in the hour that we’ve been on here, we’ve sold twenty units of the new product, from that giveaway email that we sent right as we got on here. So guys that does work. If you’re looking to launch a product, start there. If you have launched and you’re looking to do some testing like we’re talking about with Jason earlier, you’re running PPC and PPC is working but it’s not ranking organically, focus on that section go back and listen to it again, and he dropped some golden nuggets in there about their process and some of those kinds of things. So start where you are and focus on that particular section and go from there.
[01:14:58] Scott: Yeah, love it. Jason, I want to thank you man for taking time out of your day. I know you are just a very giving person, I really appreciate that and I definitely can’t wait to follow up with you and hear some of those results from Prime Day. And even just some of these off Amazon campaigns and stuff like that. So we’re definitely going to have you back on. Again, I want to say, thank you so much for taking time out of your day brother.
[01:15:22] Jason: No problem.
[01:15:24] Scott: Okay. So like I said, I wasn’t kidding. That thing was packed with information and lots of takeaways, action steps, things that you can actually do right now. It’s interesting to listen to a business of that size and listen to the small things that they’re doing to grow the entire business. It’s not that just because they’re bigger doesn’t make it even more complicated in the sense other than their fulfillment side of things, but a lot of that is being done by Amazon and stuff, but they do have their own fulfillment.
But the tactics, the strategies, the things that they’re doing, can be used on a small business or a large business which they proved. And again, I think you guys are going to probably want to grab the show notes and the transcripts to this one. I’m going to give you guys that link and then we’re going to wrap this up. So theamazingseller.com/386 and you can download everything right there.
I want to thank Jason one more time here publicly. He’s an awesome guy and we’re going to have him back on for sure, we’re going to do an update with him and get some of those results back from what he’s testing and we’ll probably be updating ours as well because we’re going to be doing something similar to what he’s doing. So, guys, that’s it. That’s going to wrap up this episode. I know it was kind of a marathon but Jason is known for doing marathons by the way, and he didn’t even mention that. He did 100-mile marathon. Insane! I guess it’s not even a marathon, it’s just 100-mile death run, and I don’t even know what it’s called.
But he literally ran a 100 miles. Good side note there on Jason. The guy likes to run. All right guys, that’s it. That’s going to officially wrap up this episode. Remember as always I’m here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you back here on the next episode.
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