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…talk publicly and openly with you guys- you guys can listen in- about reviews. What we should be doing moving forward, what we should be looking out for and all of that stuff. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today and I’m really excited about it. I think you’re going to really enjoy this. Again, think about just sitting in on a conversation of me and Danny talking about this. That’s really what I wanted to do when … Or that’s what I want to do in general anyway when I talk to people is I want to that to pretend that it’s just him and I talking in a sense. Then we’re recording it and then bringing it to you. I think it’s more open and honest by doing that. I’m really, really excited for you to hear this.
One little reminder before we go ahead and jump in. Recently we started adding transcripts to the podcast. If you guys wanted to download the transcripts or just read them on the blog, the show notes, all of that stuff, you can always head over to the episode. In this case you can head over to theamazingseller.com/167 and you’ll find the transcripts and the show notes. A lot of people said, “Scott, would you do the transcripts for us?” Up until now it’s been a whole process number one of me I’m not going to be transcribing so I have to find a good transcriber. Someone that could also work with my show notes guy and all of that logistical stuff was an issue. Plus it does cost money to actually create these. I really wanted to make sure that everyone was going to want them. We’re going to use this as a test. I’m going to see how many people actually want them and comment and say that they enjoy them or maybe that they download them. I can kind of see that stuff. We’ll see if we’re going to keep moving forward. Right now I plan on doing it so yeah, they’re there for you. If you want to go check them out, head over to the blog and download them or just go ahead and read them on the blog. That’s theamazingseller.com/167 for this episode.
All right. I’m going to stop talking now because Danny and I do quite a bit of talking during this conversation that we had all about review groups and are they hurting your business? Also what to look out for and the best practices when doing a promo and going after reviews or just going after a BSR boost. All right, enjoy this discussion with me and Danny Brewer.
[00:02:56] SV: All right, Danny Brewer. What is up, my friend? How are you doing, man?
[00:03:00] DB: I’m doing real well, Scott. How’s it going?
[00:03:02] SV: It’s going good. I wanted to have you on today to really dig into something that I know that you’re pretty good and that is knowing the review game. Seeing a lot of these bigger review groups, I guess, and these review companies, there are some out there that I do think are really, really good but there are some out there that they’re publicly putting out products for everyone to see. I think that that could be hurtful to a business. That’s kind of what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to get your take on that and I wanted to go through some maybe preventative things and some things to make people aware of when they’re getting ready to get reviews. Does that sound cool?
[00:03:47] DB: Yeah, sure. Pick my brain.
[00:03:49] SV: All right, cool. We both know that reviews are pretty important when it comes to launching a product. When I get people that say, “Scott, I’ve got nine reviews but I’m not converting. Why?” They’re up against someone that has 300 or 400 reviews and they’re wondering why that’s not converting. We both know that reviews help you convert. I think the other thing that people should be aware of is that reviews don’t necessarily help you rank per se but they do help you get sales and sales help you rank. Would you agree with that, Danny?
[00:04:25] DB: I do. It’s sort of like, if you want to put in perspective a little bit, you’ve seen sales pages. Everybody’s been on the internet seeing sales pages. There are short ones and then there are long ones. A lot of people believe in these long sales pages because they can get a longer message out. Basically that’s what your reviews become: your message.
[00:04:43] SV: Yeah, exactly. It’s your social proof that people are buying and that people are happy or satisfied or not satisfied if you’re looking at the three star and the two star and the one star. I do that when I’m looking at a product. I want to look through those to see what people are complaining about. Sometimes you see those reviews and you’re like, “That’s just someone that’s a complainer.” You see that, right? If someone’s just not reading or being overly, I guess —
[00:05:14] DB: That’s either a five star or one star. There are really emotional people out there.
[00:05:18] SV: Yeah, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. You just don’t know. Anyway, what I wanted to do here though is I wanted to discuss with you. I’ve listed out five things that I want to address here. I think it’s important for people to understand, especially new people but even people that have been doing this a little while. I want people to understand these five different aspects of reviews. Why we need to pay attention to this and what we need to look for and the reasoning in why we want reviews in the first place. There are different reasons for getting the reviews or not even getting the reviews. We’re talking about promotions, right? Let’s, I guess, break that down. We’re talking about promotions. What we mean by that is if you’re giving away the product for free, if you’re giving it away at a dollar, $1.95, whatever you’re doing you’re doing that to spike sales and get reviews. Sometimes you might think, “I just want to do this to get reviews.” Let’s break this down though really quickly here.
Number one I want to talk about is reviewers when you’re going into a group or whatever and you’re going to do this, first and foremost … and because we’ve been hearing a lot about this buzz out there that reviews are being deleted. One of the big reasons I believe, and Danny tell me if I’m wrong, that the reviews are being deleted is because they’re not putting in the disclaimer in there.
[00:06:42] DB: Yeah. Yeah, that’s one of the main reasons is that disclaimer. You have to put it in there. It’s right in Amazon’s terms of service that says if you do a review for a trade or for free or a discount product you have to plainly write that out there for everybody that’s looking at that detail page to know that that’s exactly what happened.
[00:07:03] SV: Yeah, and if it’s not in there … I believe that Amazon is also having some type of filter in their algorithm that can see this and then from there they’ll just delete them. That doesn’t mean everyone’s getting hit but it means that some are. That’s why when some people ask me “Scott, how come 10 of my reviews got deleted but someone else’s didn’t?” It could just be because they were attacking people in that particular category or that particular item or … We just don’t know.
[00:07:34] DB: Right.
[00:07:34] SV: I can say that if the disclaimer is not in there there’s a chance it could be deleted. In the beginning when you’re doing these- I’ve always said this too- I’m not going after the review that’s going to be there forever. I would love it to be but really for me it’s the foundation to get everything else going. Whether it sticks or whether it doesn’t I’m not going to lose any sleep over it when some people they bank everything on getting those reviews and making sure that they stick. Yes, it would be disappointing but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. That’s just a conversion mechanism to then allow you to start getting organic sales. If you have things in place like Salesbacker or whatever you use for a third party follow-up sequence, that will help you continue to get organic reviews as well.
[00:08:15] DB: Yeah. I’ve seen a listing, Scott, go from 1100 to 700 reviews. 1100 to 700, you still have 700 reviews. You’re shopping on Amazon and you’re looking at a listing and you’re just a customer, you’re thinking, “Wow, he lost 300 reviews?” Were they even there the day before to see that he lost 300 reviews? Everybody cleans house. We do it every spring or every fall, whatever. Every once in a while Amazon just throws some code in there and says, “Let’s condense this a little bit,” and that’s what happens. I don’t have a problem with it but some people do worry about it and they do bank on it. They shouldn’t really fret too much over that. Some of the reviewers are probably the ones that are getting more upset at the whole thing because then their reviews aren’t getting shown and they like their profile and ranking and stuff. A lot of times their stuff gets eliminated for … They may have a Prime account and they’ve allowed somebody else on that Prime account and they’ve reviewed the same item. That’s considered to Amazon a no-no. The reviewer themselves could lose reviews and get their whole accounts wiped out by sharing their Prime account with somebody else in their house or their roommate on the same IP and they’re both reviewers. Amazon sweeps them just like they do sellers. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just if people have the knowledge to know that Amazon don’t want 10 reviews coming out of the same household. It looks phony to them and they clean it. I don’t have a problem with that myself.
[00:09:58] SV: Yeah. I think that when they do clean house, just like Google slap and all that stuff, it’s like the people that were playing by the rules usually rise to the top. To me it’s not a huge deal. When you’re doing a promotion or a review promotion, whatever, you have to understand that the reasoning, at least my reasoning is to really get the ball going, right?
[00:10:19] DB: Yeah.
[00:10:19] SV: Then from there trying to get the organic sales. That’s the money right there. That’s what we’re going after. That’s like … Pay day is when you get organic. When you get ranked page one for your keyword and you’re starting to get organic sales. Then you start getting organic reviews naturally, organic feedback, all that stuff that’s when it starts to take in my opinion. Do you agree with that?
[00:10:39] DB: Oh, yeah. Organic that’s what we all want. We wish we didn’t have to buy pay-per-click. We wish we didn’t have to buy advertising. We wish we didn’t have to market. We wish we could just get to page one and start that organic day one page one, right? That’s what we’re fighting for. You’ve just got to put the tools in place that you talk about. What episode is this? 150, ‘60 or whatever that you’re going to be on now. You talk about this every week.
[00:11:05] SV: Right.
[00:11:06] DB: You have to work at it. Page ones just don’t come as you’re sitting around doing nothing. You have to do something.
[00:11:15] SV: It’s sales driven. I think everyone needs to realize that reviews are not the mechanism that’s going to get you to rank. What is is it’s going to help you create a sale. That sale will turn into rank. That’s what people need to understand. It’s that simple, it really is.
[00:11:34] DB: Yeah, it is.
[00:11:36] SV: Okay, so let’s move on to number two here. That’s what I want to talk about next is review groups attracting sellers that are spying on their competition. I want to talk about this because there’s a lot of review groups out there that are publicly posting products. These products are being displayed for everyone to see. Once you become a member of this particular group or if you’re just on the email list you’ll get an email that you get sent directly to this particular product, let’s say. That could be your product or someone else’s product. Then you can visit that Amazon listing and then from there you can decide to buy it or not. Or if you’re a competitor you can also start to see publicly what people are starting to promote and that could be yours. They can also then … I’ve heard this and I’ve seen this where then they’ll have other people go in and buy your product and leave nasty reviews. They’re sabotaging your listing to leave negative reviews, maybe even vote it down, all of that stuff. Why don’t you talk briefly about that part of some of these more public review groups or review systems?
[00:12:48] DB: Yeah. That’s a big subject for me. When I first started I got on some big public things. Some of my first reviews came across and I was like, “Oh my goodness.” The first 10 were negative and I was like … I honestly believed that a competitor may have bought them all. At the time when I started they didn’t have these individual codes either. They just had that one super code, the master code and you had to do the reserve the inventory and all of that stuff. People would go in with that master code and they’d have all kinds of buyer accounts. They’d be going in there and I’d read these reviews and next thing you know, these reviews were left by fake names. The only review on the profile was mine. It evidently came from a competitor that had buyer accounts or had somebody out there spying for them and did say, “Hey, you want me to buy 10 of these? They’re free. I’ll have 10 of them for myself,” or whoever these buyer accounts are set up for. Then they’d leave 10 nasty reviews.
That’s the problem with having things shown publicly for everybody to see. A lot of sellers … everybody is in product research phase. There are so many people in product research phase. If you’re in a product research phase and you’re part of a spy tool or something like that. Then they’re allowing you access to different things other than just buying, their main customer is somebody doing product research. Then the next thing you know they just click this link and there’s a whole page of product research for free.
I look at that as a frowned upon for me. I don’t use those review groups. I might use their spy tools but I do not use their review groups. I just won’t do it. That’s just me.
[00:14:55] SV: Again, I haven’t used any of those. I’ve used a few other ones and I’ve had pretty good luck with them, I’ve got to be honest but again I also know that there’s risk in using them. Again, I’m not here to say they’re all bad because there is some out there that are good and they have some precautionary things in place. I just want people to be aware that when you are researching any review company or review group or anything, think about this stuff and see how they do operate. Maybe they don’t publicly post for everyone to see then I would say that’s better, right?
[00:15:31] DB: Yes.
[00:15:31] SV: They’re not allowing you to be able to see everything at random. Again, there’s a ton of them out there now. It’s just, like I said, I’m not going to go through and review all of them and then give everybody my opinion. I don’t think that that’s necessary. What I wanted to do here though is give you guys a checklist in a sense to where you guys could be aware of these different aspects of review groups and reviews and getting your BSR to be spiked and all of that. I want you to be aware of how it works but then also what to look out for so when you do go ahead and start needing these and wanting these, to be aware of this stuff.
The solution to that right off the bat is you can use a private group if you can find a private group. I don’t mean a private group just on Facebook. There are some Facebook groups out there but a lot of times they’ll publicly post it for all to see. Even though they might not be linking directly to the listing, they’re still showing the product, the brand and all that stuff and that’s … I don’t know. I’ve always felt with the Facebook groups it’s a little too open for me. I’ve never used one openly like that, an open one. I know there’s a bunch of them out there and I know some people have used them and they’ve had success and that’s great.
The other option is to build your own. I actually did this. I have a small list, maybe about 500 people right now on that list. I built that from the very beginning. Also a Facebook fan page. I’ve done that where I have about 3 thousand people on that page so I have that at my disposal. I think the other thing to realize here is there isn’t one thing that you would do and say that’s it. By having these different channels you can mix it up. Instead of promoting your product to one list you could promote it to two or three or four different sources over time depending on how many times you need to do that. I think the best scenario would be to either use a private group or build your own. Those are the two solutions that I would say and I would recommend.
Let’s move into number three. This is pretty important. Low quality reviewers that write short reviews. Why is this an issue, Danny?
[00:17:38] DB: If you ever got into Amazon and they show you how to write reviews and what they really like, they like to see over 100 characters or 100 words and no more than 5 thousand. 5 thousand is long but they like to see things right around 300 words, which is nice. They don’t want short, non-descriptive, you didn’t take any time, sloppy reviews. They really don’t help anybody. Amazon has their own review group, if people haven’t learned. You could get invited for it if you’re a reviewer. It’s called the Vine. It was really set up for vendors. The original review group was Amazon’s and you had to be invited. You know what they scored them on? How many characters, how thought out it was, did they follow the way that Amazon wanted you to portray a review and portray a product? Did you leave pricing out? Did you talk about the way Amazon boxes or something like that? They didn’t want things like that in there. Those are things you should leave out.
Anybody that’s leaving reviews should go to Amazon’s review policy and look at how to write a good review. Amazon really don’t like one star reviews unless you have a real legitimate reason for that to be a one star review really but they don’t like them. They leave them on there but they don’t like them so much because there’s a lot of products out there that are based off of, like we talked earlier about emotional response. Just like it’s either a five or a one. You would never get invited to the Vine that way. They wanted to help their vendors which means they sell directly to Amazon. This review group is for vendors, it’s not for just third party sellers. Review groups came in after that once some savvy sellers figured out “Hey, man. We need to get some reviews. Look at these vendors cranking.” It was a copycat thing.
Amazon likes good, well-written reviews. Go in there, look the way they say. You should do a review, leave a video review and all these things. When you see that you find a review group, you look at maybe some of the reviews that these people have left. You’ll see that well-written reviews whether good, bad or poor are still portrayed better than non thought out reviews.
[00:20:13] SV: Yeah.
[00:20:14] DB: Just “This lasts” and then it’s over.
[00:20:16] SV: Yeah. That makes total sense. Amazon knows the power of the reviews and they want good quality reviews. When they see a one-liner or something that’s not really adding value they don’t like that. The solution again to this problem would be to only use quality sources like we talked about. That would be people that understand the process. There’s people out there right now that want to review products. They want to review products. There’s people right now … There’s a list posted, “the top 10 thousand reviewers” that Amazon is giving these people badges saying that they’re high quality reviewers. That’s whole other game in itself. There’s a whole other thing going on out there with these reviewers. They’re catty. They’re fighting to be in the top 10 thousand and they want to get in the top 500. They want to be a quality reviewer and they want to get really good product That’s their overall thing. They get kind of pumped up about getting these badges and stuff like that.
A solution would be, number one- you can go and do this manually- you can go out there and search “top 10 thousand Amazon reviewers” and you’ll find that list. You can go and start contacting people if you want to. You can totally do that and that would work well as long as you have a good product. These people know what it takes to review but they’re going to be honest too, guys. They’re going to be honest. If your product sucks they’re going to tell you it sucks and they’re going to post it. That’s their job and —
[00:21:53] DB: It’s going to be well-written.
[00:21:54] SV: Yeah. It’ll be well-written that your product sucks but it’s true.
[00:21:58] DB: Yeah.
[00:22:01] SV: The other thing that you could do is you could reach out to people like this. Then here’s the other thing that you could do with that. If you did that you could also then start making a list of everyone that had left a review or offered to leave that review and you could create your own little list of 50 reviewers, let’s say. You’re kind of making your own email list with the top 10 thousand reviewers. I know Chris Guthrie has a tool out there, AmaSuite and he has a review module in there that will pull from that. That’s a really good resource as well but again it takes work. You’ve got to go out there. You’ve got to recruit these. You’ve got to go and do the emailing back and forth and all of that stuff. Once you do that work if you can go ahead and build this internal list that’s your list. Or you can find someone else that’s already done it and have them do it but on the down low. That’s really what I think is probably the best thing to do then you wouldn’t have to do all the work to make that happen.
Bottom line is when you get low quality reviewers, and that could be from low quality Facebook groups that are doing reviews or even groups that are charging for it and all of that stuff, you run the risk of low quality reviewers. I believe that will hurt your listing not just by Amazon but by your customers coming there and potentially buying it. It’s going to not allow people to really get a full feel of what the product is like. Not to mention the low quality reviewers a lot of times they won’t put the disclaimer in there. Then that could be again something in the future that you’d have be an issue.
All right, let’s move on to number four here. Number four is understanding that there is two different types of promotions/reviews. What I mean by that is there’s one that is done for reviews by itself. Let’s just say you’re brand new and you’re starting. You’re launching a product. You want to get reviews and you want to get sales so there’s two different things happening there. You’re getting a sales boost in the BSR and then you’re also getting reviews. In your launch phase you want both of those. Now as you’re going … Danny, I want you to expand on this a little bit and talk a little about boosting your BSR and what you call kind of like a maintenance thing. Deciding maybe if you want to attack another keyword down the line. Maybe we can talk about the two different ones there. We’ve got the reviews and BSR boost or just the BSR boost. Why don’t you talk a little bit about those?
[00:24:32] DB: Sure. Everybody wants to stay on page one. We do pay-per-click and sometimes you could be overpaying for pay-per-click and not getting conversions or whatever. You have to look at it when you’re slipping down the page a little bit maybe it’s time for you to do another promotion. I set out about maybe 10% of my gross for promotions of my product. I just have that number in my head before I even buy a product that I have to be able to give away 10% for promotions. There’s blast groups out there that you can use to help boost it up. They’re rather expensive but you can help boost your BSR and hopefully move back up the page. There’s nothing wrong with those groups. I like those groups. Actually, they don’t even try to sell a review. They don’t claim to do reviews but you’ll probably get reviewers out of that group that would buy.
There’s times they’ll go in there and do a review for your launch and you get your review going. Then you can follow up with a Salesbacker campaign for new buyers, organic buyers and try to get the organic reviews to stick a little bit. Then if you’re still feeling like new people have come into the market and they start promoting more than you then you start falling down the list because you’ve got some other people that just came into your market and you start falling down the list. To hold your position you’re going to have to maintain your position or you will fall off the page. New people coming in you’ve got to fight them back and you’ve got to put them back. We all want to be on page one and unfortunately there’s only 12 spots so you’ve got to fight to stay there.
[00:26:34] SV: Yeah. Let me ask you this then. Let’s go off the beaten path there for a second a little bit and let’s talk about that real quick. If you are trying to rank a product on page one for your golden keyword, let’s call it, how are you going to determine how many you want to give away and how rapidly you want to give them away? I know you like to spread them out over time as I do. I have a thought process on how I gauge how many I need to give away. How do you look at the front page and say, “How many do I have to actually sell to get first page or possibly get first page?”
[00:27:10] DB: I’ll advertise out as … If somebody is selling 30 today that’s how many I’m going to give away over a period of five days if I can. I don’t necessarily have to get a review on all of those but I would like to get feedback whether it’s through email or something like that if possible or at least a thank you if I could. It’s not necessarily always just about getting the quality review but when I start out I definitely do that. Let’s just say for the maintenance down the road you’re already there. You’re already selling five a day and the people on page one are selling 10 a day. You want to promote at least five a day to 10 a day to move up a little bit more. Hopefully you can do that through an advertising group that has reviews and you can do that. You can also do, if you’ve already got your primary set reviews in and you’re really not caring so much about the review count, is because your organic reviews look great. They’re already on there so let your organic reviews be read and well-received. I would just give out products to people to try. Just try it out.
[00:28:35] SV: Yeah. I think for people to understand this, if you’re … Again, you can pretty much get the numbers here either by yourself. If you’re already doing sales now you know what the BSR is so you can kind of gauge what your competition is doing. You can still use tools like Jungle Scout and stuff to see. If you really want to get most accurate you’re going to now look at your own listing and go, “Okay. I’m ranking at a thousand and I’m selling 30 a day. My competitor is ranked 500. They’re selling more than that and people below are selling a little bit less than me. I know that I’m selling 30. Maybe now I want to bump that to 35 or 40. Now I might give five or 10 away per day for five days.” I think that’s what you’re saying, right Danny?
[00:29:18] DB: Yeah. The truth is the longer you can stay on page one and have a solid number, your listing will grow roots. Amazon will leave you there for tenure. It’s like, “Hey. You’ve done a good job over time. We’re not going to take you off page one. You’ve done a great job over time.” Not yesterday you did a great job and now you’re gone, right?
[00:29:45] SV: Yeah.
[00:29:45] DB: All your sales are gone. You’ve done a great job over time. It’s harder to get knocked off of page one if you maintain your status on page one and do your marketing. Amazon does a great job marketing product already if people are searching for it. They retarget people on Facebook, they retarget people on Google. They do marketing but you also have to help yourself in a way too. If that means you have to market your product and do giveaways. You go to the grocery store and Oscar Mayer will still giving their weenies and smoked sausage out on the weekend, right?
[00:30:23] SV: That’s right. I never heard it said like that but, yeah, I like that.
[00:30:28] DB: Yeah. Oscar Mayer everybody knows who they are and everybody knows who Hillshire Farms is but every time I walk into Costco I still get a taste.
[00:30:35] SV: Sure. Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I think you have to decide at this particular stage what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re just launching … Well, we want both. We want BSR boost and we want some reviews. We want to get that base structure set and ready to rock and roll. Then, like you said, once you see that you’re at a certain position and you’re not moving in that position then you want to decide how many you need to give away additionally to what you’re already currently selling and supplement that with another giveaway that may not be necessarily targeted just for reviews. They’ll come but you’re not necessarily targeting just the reviews. You just want the sales and then the rank that comes from those sales.
One question here quickly that I know people have asked me and probably you can give your take on this. Let’s say for example you run out of stock and you were ranking page one. What is Danny’s strategy to get back to that position? What’s Danny’s next move?
[00:31:36] DB: First of all, this is what I don’t do. I don’t raise my price just because I’m low on product. Some people say, “Hey, you don’t want to run out. You don’t want to run out. You don’t want to run out.” I’m sitting here telling you conversions are more important than running out. It just is. Amazon says, “Hey, I just showed you 100 times and you didn’t sell nothing.” Guess what? They’re taking you off the page just because you put your price from 19 dollars to 79 dollars because you were afraid to run out. People have seen those impressions, Amazon knows they gave you those impressions and you didn’t do a good enough job to make a sale so we’re going to punish you for it. They’d rather you not be on the page than be on the page taking up their valuable real estate and not selling nothing.
[00:32:21] SV: Yeah. I’ve got a little bit of a different take on that. I agree with you. I totally agree. I think what you could is you could slowly inch up your price to slow it down a little.
[00:32:32] DB: Sure.
[00:32:32] SV: Like you said, I wouldn’t do it so much to where you slow it down to where you’re hardly making any sales. You’re right. That will hurt you and I would never suggest that. I think I just did I think it was a Q&A about this topic about what should I do? I know what it was. It was actually on of our hangouts for the class. We had a gentleman ask, “I’m probably going to run out in the next 30 days. I won’t be able to order because of the holiday in China and all that. What should I do? I’m selling about 10 or 15 a day.” My answer was first off I would try to raise it by a dollar and see what happens. If you can just maintain there … He was afraid he was going to start selling even more. If you start to see that then, yeah, you can try to toggle that. What you don’t want to do is raise your price and then go to where you’re selling one a day, right?
[00:33:25] DB: Right.
[00:33:25] SV: I think what you’re saying is you’ve got to have that balance. You want to keep that … If you think that you can sell 10 a day and keep your inventory but if you start selling 20 a day … Then you might want to gauge that and try to adjust that to where you can stay selling but not where you’re going to oversell so you can keep that position.
[00:33:45] DB: I kind of look at it like that too. Let’s just say he raised it two dollars and he said, “Oh, man. I just doubled my sales.” That’s good news first of all —
[00:33:53] SV: Right, and that’s happened.
[00:33:55] DB: Yeah. It’s happened for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve cheapened my product up where it killed the sales and I’ve raised the price where I’m like, “Why are people buying this?” So yeah, it can go both ways no doubt. It’s perceived value.
[00:34:13] SV: Right, exactly. Okay, let’s say that for example, you ran out of stock. Now what does Danny do to get himself back up and running? Do you just fulfill it back in and you’re all set ready to go or do you run a little promotion? Do you turn on pay-per-click? What do you do?
[00:34:27] DB: I’ll throw it back in there and I’ll look at my position first. If I’m still right on page one then what do I have to do? Maybe nothing.
[00:34:33] SV: What if you’re not on page one?
[00:34:35] DB: If I’m not on page one then I’ll do a promotion giveaway to help increase sales. I get an email almost every day because I’ve got like 50 ASINs. I’ll get an email every day about something that’s slow and Amazon will come out there, “Here, this is how you create sales. Do a promotion.” I do exactly what Amazon says. I do a promotion.
[00:35:00] SV: Yeah, follow what they want and it should work.
[00:35:03] DB: Yeah, I do a promotion.
[00:35:04] SV: Okay. All right, cool. Let’s move on here. Again just to let people know, two types of promotions that you’re going after you have a BSR boost, reviews or both. Just understand that. At different times in the launch or in you running your product you’re going to run through different parts of needing to do these certain things. You just need to understand what your main goal is. What are you trying to achieve and then decide what type of promotion you want to do, if you want to do one at all.
[00:35:36] DB: Yeah. Sometimes on that promotion to get back is what you’re just grabbing on that. I didn’t necessarily need the reviews. I just needed to get my BSR back to where we get back to page one and I would give away whatever it took to start watching me climb the page. As soon as I started climbing the page I might take my foot off the gas a little bit because Amazon’s usually about four days behind. As soon as I start seeing the climb I’ll take my foot off the gas and see how it shakes out in five days.
[00:36:07] SV: Yeah. What are you thinking as far as seeing the movement in rank? How long does it normally take for you to see that? I know myself personally. I’m asking as the audience asking this question but why don’t you answer that?
[00:36:21] DB: Yeah. Usually as long as you’re doing conversions properly and not getting over clicked through public people just clicking on the Amazon site and just seeing what’s up but you run your promotion through a nice closed group, your conversions will be good. You’ll see a climb usually do a pretty well two, three … If he was back on page 10, two to three pages after five days. Then especially on launch if you … two to three pages a few days and then five days to 10 days later your reviews start coming in. That gets figured in the page rank a little bit because I’ve watched once my reviews come in that I really get a boost when Amazon starts seeing social proof themselves. It’s got to be in their algorithm somewhere. I couldn’t tell you. I didn’t write it.
[00:37:20] SV: Yeah. I don’t think it has ranking ranking. I think it has more to do with the listing being seasoned, it’s getting touched more, those types of things. I want to address this really quick because you brought up a really good point that I should address. When you’re running also in a public group where people are able to go click on the listing and go over and see if they want to take you up on that offer, that acts as an impression and that actually acts as a page view. If they don’t buy that is actually bad because now your conversion goes down. People need to understand that too. If you’re doing a public type group giveaway and you let everyone go to your listing and then they go to that listing but they … Let’s say 100 people go to that listing and you only have five people that take you up on it, that’s not good. That’s 5%. From there Amazon also takes that into consideration when they’re doing their algorithm type stuff. You need to be aware of that.
The best way is for you to be in a group that doesn’t publicly put the listing in there but allows you to see the product or know what the product is. Then if you’re interested then you get to send the link with the code and then from there you’re able to go ahead and buy. That way there your conversion will be higher because you’re only sending people to the listing that said, “Yes, I want this product and I want to review it.”
[00:38:45] DB: I’ve got experience on that, Scott, just what you’re talking about. When I first started, like my second product that I launched I still didn’t know all this stuff about conversions and all this stuff. I launched my second product and I was on page three after day one. I launched out like 100 products the first day so I really got a boost. I was really, really, really aggressive then. I launched out 100 of them and it was on a public site and they were gone within 10 minutes and they were gone. If they were gone in 10 minutes can you imagine how many clicks I got after that 10 minutes? You know what I’m saying?
[00:39:30] SV: Yeah.
[00:39:31] DB: Then I went back the next day and I was running it again because I’m trying to get to page one. I said, “Oh, I’ll just give out another 100.” The next day I was on page eight. I was on page three after day one then I was on page eight. I was like, “What happened?” Then the next day I was on page 11. Then the next thing I was in automotive. I was in sports and fitness and I was just showing up with all this automotive stuff like trash cans and everything else. I was like, “What in the world’s going on here?” Amazon took my listing and they buried it because they way they looked at it is you’ve got 10 thousand page views but only 500 people bought your product in five minutes. Even though I sold a crap load for them and they made a lot of money, they did look at it like that. Their algorithm … A human being could have looked at it but their computer didn’t look at it like that. Their computer is making 95% of the decisions.
[00:40:26] SV: Sure. Yeah, I agree with that. Cool, that’s a good story there. Okay, let’s move on. Number five here, and this will be the last one that I want to cover here, is don’t over-promote with giveaways. I don’t think it’s necessary. I think you need to do it in the launch phase. That’s a given. I think you might need to do a maintenance one every now and then like you said but other than that, really start worrying about getting more organic sales and then running pay-per-click. The pay-per-click stuff, if people are clicking on your keyword that you’re advertising for it and they buy your product you’re going to start ranking for that. All of this kind of works together.
Me personally, my simple launch strategy is find the product, launch the product, do a promotion for five days. While that’s happening turn on pay-per-click for some of the obvious keywords and then let that run. Then from there see what happens. Then that will dictate what your next move is going to be. You need to give it some time. You need to give it at least seven to 14 days depending and then see where you’re at. If you’re still not ranking then we’ve got to dial up pay-per-click or we’ve got to run another mini promotion. I see so many people saying … In some spaces you have to do them every single month because other competitors are doing them every month. That’s another thing that I would steer away from is markets that you see that they’re constantly running these promotions so it’s almost got to be part of your strategy. Every single month you’ve got run X amount in order to compete because everyone else is getting 15, 20 new reviews a day .
[00:42:00] DB: Better be buying your stuff right if you’re doing that.
[00:42:02] SV: Yeah, exactly. I know supplements is a big market where this is happening all the time.
[00:42:07] DB: Yeah.
[00:42:07] SV: It’s part of their … In order to play in that game you’ve got to have the budget for that and you’ve also got to have the mindset for that. To me then you’re also into a whole other market where people then are hiring other … There’s underground groups that are also going out there and writing negative reviews and downvoting and upvoting and doing all of this stuff. To me I don’t even want to enter that world. That’s why I always tell people, “Go to the other side where no one else is going, in a sense, but where there’s still sales.” Then you can do these simple launches, you can do these simple promotions and giveaways and do the pay-per-click and it can take care of itself. Just understand that you don’t have to over promote. Again, like you said, Danny, every order that you get in or every new batch you might allow up to 10%. That doesn’t mean you’re going to give 10%, it just means you allow for that.
[00:43:00] DB: No, but I had my spreadsheet out and I allow for that in my spreadsheet for my profitability. You know what I mean?
[00:43:08] SV: Yeah.
[00:43:08] DB: It’s like, okay, this is what it’s cost. This is Amazon’s fees. This is 10% in pay-per-click and 10% for promotions. Then see if there’s a net there. I even put in a little bit for reviews, a history of reviews especially on something that you’ve had for a while. Or I mean returns. You will get returns. I’ll even throw a little bit in there for returns off of the history of returns. Some items have higher return rates so you have to make sure that you include that. A lot of items have a very low return rate but a lot of items like shoes and clothing when it comes to sizes. First of all, people don’t know their sizes. Manufacturers don’t make things by the same size. You get so many returns on clothing and shoes. You better have that in your spreadsheet as well. I do include those in my spreadsheet.
Then the other thing just to go off of what you said about getting your listing on pay-per-click and not having to over-promote. If you’ve done your promotion, you’ve done your pay-per-click and you’re still not getting conversions, there’s more than those two phases in the business. You go over them a lot. You’ve got the five phases. That means you either have to improve your copy, you’ve got to improve your price or you have to —
[00:44:35] SV: Images.
[00:44:36] DB: Images. Those things … I’ll tell you what, I did some images one time, Scott. This product was already selling pretty good so I said, “This is really going to take off once I get some really, really, really good images.” Come to find out that a really, really, really good image took my sales in half. I put the old stinking one back up.
[00:44:59] SV: Again though, that —
[00:44:59] DB: The one I hated.
[00:45:01] SV: That comes down to testing, right?
[00:45:03] DB: Yeah, but there’s more to it than just these two things like we’re saying.
[00:45:06] SV: Yeah. I get a lot of people that say, “Scott, I ran a promotion. I’ve got a set of reviews. I got 20 reviews. I’m getting a bunch of impressions and I’m getting a bunch of clicks but I’m not getting sales.” Then I’m like, “We’ve got a conversion problem now,” right?
[00:45:21] DB: Right.
[00:45:21] SV: If you’re getting the traffic to the listing and it’s not converting, we’ve got an issue inside of there. It’s either (a), the reviews. There’s not enough reviews competing against the other people that are selling the similar product. Or it’s the copy or it’s the bullets or it’s the images. It could be any of those different things. It could be price. Those are the other things we’re going to start looking at. First thing is you’ve got to go through the launch phase and then you have to go through the promotion phase. Then once you get through there then we can start analyzing especially through pay-per-click because that’s giving the data. How many impressions, how many clicks, how many sales. That’s huge. Then the numbers don’t lie.
Anyway, let’s just recap here real quick. These are the things that we all should know about this whole review/promotion phase and these groups. Number one, reviewers need to follow the guidelines. Make sure whatever group you’re using they follow the guidelines. Really important. Two, review groups do attract sellers spying on you and other people that are selling similar products. That could be bad because they could sabotage your listing so just be careful of being public about your giveaway. Three, low quality reviewers write short reviews. Again, we want to try to have better quality. Again, the top 10 thousand reviewers or a reviewer group that has quality already inside of that small group. Four, two types of reviews. There is a BSR boost style or there’s a review style or both so there’s actually three types. Those are different things that you need to consider when you’re deciding what you need to do, whether it’s maintenance or whether it’s a launch. Five, don’t over-promote with giveaways. You don’t have to. It’s just, again, run through the process. Don’t think that you have to keep giving, keep giving, keep giving. Do other things.
One little tip here again is to lower the price for one day, just one day and spike your sales organically and see what happens. These are different points that you can test to see if you can start spiking the sales all on its own without having to giveaway product. You can take a product that’s selling for $19.95 and reduce it down to $11.95 and increase your sales without doing anything other than just lowering that price for a day. Then from there you’re going to spike your sales. You’re going to start getting more reviews because you’ve probably got Salesbacker in line and you have your follow-up sequence in place. Then from there if that doesn’t work now go back to the drawing board. Okay, do we have to do another small promotion to get to first page? Then it’s really just that process, following that process.
That’s what I wanted to share with you. That’s why I wanted Danny on today. I did want to also say that there’s really two options here for all of us. Number one is you can build your own list. I think that that is probably the best way but it takes work, it takes time, it takes the know-how. How to set up a landing page, how to run Facebook ads, how to build a Facebook fan page, however you’re going to create this list. That is probably one of the best ways in the long term strategy, which I think that people should do once you get to that point. Option two is to use private groups that don’t post on a website publicly for people to see or even email people and say, “Hey, we’ve got this product. Go check it out if you want it. Here’s the coupon code.” Finding groups that are more private, more on the down low. Maybe even connect with someone that you know that’s already built their own list and then be able to capitalize on that and maybe use their review group.
I know Danny, you’ve taken this upon yourself going through this and now selling for almost … Going on what? Almost two years.
[00:48:54] DB: A year and a half.
[00:48:54] SV: Is it a year and a half? So —
[00:48:55] DB: I started literally like seven days when you did so October 2014 was when I opened up my account.
[00:49:02] SV: Yeah. You’ve seen right from the beginning that this was something that you were going to need and that you were going to want but not wanting to go out there and build it from scratch. You’ve aligned yourself with a few of these really … I don’t want to call them underground groups but they kind of are where they’re pretty strict on who they review and how they review and their process and everything.
[00:49:27] DB: Yes.
[00:49:27] SV: I know that there’s certain types. There’s a VIP, there’s an elite, there’s all of that stuff. You haven’t publicly put that out there and right now you decided … I came to you and I said if we can do this where we can offer it to the TAS community but yet only the ones that qualify because the group isn’t going to accept them anyway, but to put it out there. If people wanted to check this out where they have access to a list that you’ve approved but also on the process. Maybe you can speak a little bit how that process works. The name of that if you guys want to know is getbsr.com. It’s also on the resource page as well. It’ll also be in the show notes to this but that is getbsr.com. Let me just say upfront not everyone will qualify, all right? Don’t think that you can go there and you can sign up like any other review group. Not everyone is accepted so just to let you know that. If there’s a certain number of reviews that are going through or promotions that are going through, Danny’s group they pretty much put a stop to it and they hold off. They close the doors until they have enough in the pipeline to be able to deliver this. Danny, why don’t you speak a little bit about the background on it and how that process works?
[00:50:42] DB: Sure. What happens … and just a recap. I used the public groups and then I’m on page garbage later. I found a few reviewers that had contacted me and that were even on that public site that I did. I was like, okay. All right. Through trial and error I found a list of about four of those that really were good and then we’ve all come together. Now it’s just like an advent team. Those lists now work and so when people sign up on our group first of all, the reviewers aren’t sellers. We don’t want any sellers on there. We don’t want any spies. If one sneaks in, they sneak in. I don’t know the reviewers personally. I never built the list like Scott has built a list of 500 people. On this review group I think it might be a list of 1100 people but they’re all well-written and well quality. The admins all get together and they keep track of these folks and make sure that they’re living up to Amazon standards and leaving their disclaimers and all that stuff.
I was a type that I didn’t have time to be building that list for myself. I was an A-Z type mentality. “Where can I get these now?” type of guy. I’m still like that. I don’t have the patience to wait.
[00:52:15] SV: Right. Yeah, I know. I’m a lot like you too in that.
[00:52:18] DB: Yeah. I’ve just got to go. If it’s something that I can outsource quickly then that’s what I do. The third month in I outsourced a VA in China because I got tired of talking to people on Alibaba. Now I talk to one person. I try to take things off my plate as fast as I can. The review process was the easiest thing I’ve ever done to take off my plate. I wanted it to be controlled. When I say controlled I don’t mean manipulated by saying, “Hey, you’ve got to give me a positive review. You’ve got to …” What I say is I want it to be high quality written reviews. When I send you the money to advertise to your list, I want to make sure that your list doesn’t share my information with the world and —
[00:53:13] SV: Right. Yeah, that’s huge.
[00:53:15] DB: That was killing me. The roundabout of it is after talking with you for a long time and you started your private label classroom, I decided to share that with them for a while and got great reviews from all the people in the class. They’re just outstanding people. I started it in there. They have a VIP group that’s special to them. I also have the other group with all the other admins in that expanded a little bit of nothing but well-rounded people that will write well-written reviews. It’s closed door. We don’t let any reviewer in. I’ve seen one review group that bragged about how they had 30 thousand reviewers. How do you maintain quality control that way? How are they going in there and looking at every one of those type of reviews to make sure they’re leaving a quality review? Whether good or bad I want some thought going into it.
One of the things I’ve found out, people that don’t put thought into their reviews, that leave real short ones you’ll see a lot of one star or two star reviews. When people put thought into it they will point out the negatives but very rarely do you see whether it’s through the Vine, through any other review group. If you see well-written reviews very rarely do you see a one star review. Very rare. That’s not even on a giveaway. I’m talking about any review that you read, verified or otherwise, if it’s well-written you will rarely see a one star review that’s well-written.
[00:55:06] SV: Yeah, that’s true.
[00:55:09] DB: That’s what I was after. I was after people that gave it thought.
[00:55:12] SV: Yeah. Again, you and I have been talking a while about this and it was always on the hush-hush because you wanted to make sure that you maintained that. You do have a couple of admins in there now that do manage and you’ve even told me they kick people out every day, right?
[00:55:30] DB: Yeah.
[00:55:29] SV: It’s like if they either are suspicious or if they just see that they’re not living up to what they agreed upon, which was really just reviewing products and doing it ethically and making sure that they aren’t just taking advantage. That’s the key. These admins take it very seriously that they’re protecting the welfare of the group and of the people that are receiving products and the sellers that are giving product. Again, I like it that they’re not accepting everyone that comes through because it’s — They have enough work with what they’re doing right now. To me it cleans things up. I —
[00:56:16] DB: First of all, they love the reviewers. They love the reviewers. They don’t want a tarnation. They feel like if they allow a bunch of people in there that leave poor written or just take advantage and keep the product, at least in this list review group that we’re talking about, the Get BSR one, if they’re not leaving reviews and they’re taking, say, 10 products a month and they’re not leaving reviews on them too they’re not going to stay in there. They want to keep that pipeline for the reviewers as well.
[00:56:49] SV: Yeah. I love it. You and I, like I said, we’ve been talking privately about this. Now I’m happy that there’s a couple additional groups that you’ve acquired that are the same as far as the VIP one that we have. The VIP one is a little bit different because it’s a little bit more of the top 10 thousand but in the same breath, the other one is still very high quality. If anyone is interested definitely check that out. You can either head to the resource page at theamazingseller.com/resources or just go straight to getbsr.com. 100% disclosure here, I am not an affiliate for it. Danny is not paying me anything and I don’t want him to. I believe in the group. I use the group. I know other people, I know Chris Shaffer uses the group. A lot of us use the group and his services that he’s been so kind to allow us to use. I also love it that he doesn’t accept everyone.
Again, I just want to put this out there to you guys. If you guys go over there and you check it out and for some reason it’s not available anymore, that could be because he’s just had enough and … You know what I mean? You’re just going to close the door on anyone else. Once you get people too, Danny, in that group that are sellers like myself, you get enough of those people you might be running promotions with those people continuously for maintenance or for new products. As that group does get bigger as well as sellers that may close down as well. Just letting people know that we’re talking about this here today. Getbsr.com, go there. If it’s not open there’ll be a wait list. Go over and check it out. That’s what I would say here. Again, I know Danny provides great value so that’s why I wanted to have him on here as well to talk about his experience with everything that’s happened since the beginning and what brought him to where he is today.
Danny, is there anything else you wanted to add to what we’ve discussed today?
[00:58:47] DB: No, except that Amazon is still the best place in the world to start a business on low funds, low capital.
[00:58:56] SV: Yeah. We could have a whole other conversation on that because there’s so many people out there still saying it’s too saturated, there’s not enough people for the demand of people coming in and all of that kind of stuff. I think people are going to believe what they want to believe and that’s fine. Maybe it’s not for you because it does take work. It does take work. We’re not going to lie to you here. It does take work to create any solid business but there’s ways to make it a little bit easier. If you follow a simple launch process and you do the research well, I think that’s really what it lies into as well. Then from there like we said, the launch and then getting solid reviews and BSR spikes and all that stuff that’s going to help you build that solid foundation.
[00:59:45] DB: Yeah.
[00:59:45] SV: Danny, this has been awesome. I appreciate it. You know I love talking about this stuff. I know that you and I are going to be talking in Denver actually.
[00:59:51] DB: Yeah.
[00:59:52] SV: Live in Denver in person. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of these conversations at night at the mixer. I’m really excited to have you there at the Denver event on May 1st. For anyone else that’s listening if you’re brand new, we are doing a live event. It’s totally booked right now so you can’t even get access to it but we may do other ones in the future so yeah, definitely check out theamazingseller.com/live and you can find out more —
[01:00:16] DB: Yeah. Watch out, folks. You’re about to dive into the brain of a guy that’s holding back when he’s on these live podcasts. When you see me there you’re going to get a whole different Danny Brewer, I’ll tell you.
[01:00:29] SV: Yeah. Sometimes we’ve got to contain Danny.
[01:00:31] DB: Yeah. They’ve got to put the reins on which me sometimes, which isn’t a bad thing.
[01:00:36] SV: No. We’ll just let Danny run wild there in Denver. All right, Danny. Thank you so much, bud. I appreciate it. Yeah, if anybody wants to hear more or has any questions just go to getbsr.com. You can contact Danny through there as well. All right, Danny. Thank you so much, bud. I’ll talk to you soon.
[01:00:53] DB: All right. Cheers, Scott. Later.
[01:00:56] SV: Okay. There you have it. What a great conversation with Danny Brewer. Him and I can talk for hours, which we have. We met up in Texas. We’re going to be meeting up in Denver again for our TAS Live Breakthrough which is going to be amazing. Yeah, him and I can talk about this stuff for days. I hope that you got value from that. I hope that you can see that it is still part of the process. It is part of the conversion process as well as far as getting your listing or your products to convert. Reviews are a pretty valuable thing plus getting a spike in your sales, which is a BSR boost in a sense, will also get you ranking. This way here you can show up on page one or page two, whichever one is going to give you the traffic, preferably obviously page one because that’s where most of the traffic will be.
Hopefully you enjoyed this. Again, you can download all of the show notes and all of the transcripts, the entire transcript of me and Danny talking over at the blog. You can visit this URL which is theamazingseller.com/167. Once again, that’s theamazingseller.com/167.
That’s it. That’s going to wrap up this episode. Remember guys, I’m here for you. I believe in you. I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to- come on, say it with me. Say it loud. Say it proud. Let’s do it, guys. Come on- take action. Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you in the next episode.
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