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…launch your products on Amazon, actually how to find and launch your products on Amazon and this is our private label roadmap series that we’ve been going through now and this is part four and it's actually phase three in the five phases for launching a product. So what we are going to do today is we are going to talk all about the prelaunch which is really your listing creation, optimization, all of that fun stuff and choosing the right launch strategy and getting prepped for the big day and that is your launch day.
And again I have my good friend Chris Shaffer on to walk through this with me. Chris how is it going?
[00:00:51] Chris: It is going fantastic. It’s a little cloudy outside but other than that I cannot complain. Scott you and I both moved south I’m from Pennsylvania, you are from New York and its getting here into the middle of November at the time that we are recording this and it’s like 70 degrees outside. It still gets dark here at 4:15 but at least it’s not 20 and snowing. My mom just called me yesterday and said that it was 30 and that it was cold and I got to admit I don’t miss that at all. I like snow. I just don’t like the stuff that comes with it.
[00:01:28] Scott: All the salt and the sand on the roads and that fun stuff.
[00:01:32] Chris: The temperature and all that stuff, if it could snow and be 70 that would be amazing. I’ll take 70 and no snow.
[00:01:38] Scott: Exactly, alright cool you’ve got cloudy weather there but it’s still 70 degrees so that’s cool and I just want to let people know it’s not going to be a cloudy here or on this podcast today because we are going to be diving into some stuff that should bring a little sunshine into your life. Because once you get through this process, really you are going to understand exactly what it takes. And we are really going back and retracing our steps on what we’ve recently done because a lot of people Chris say, “Well is this stuff that you talked about in the podcast still relevant?”
And for the most part yes with some exceptions to maybe reviews or maybe even picking products because maybe you don’t go after the products that sell more than ten a day like we are doing now. Maybe before we would go as high as 50 a day but we have changed a few things and that’s why we've wanted to do the series. Now if you guys are just tuning in and you’ve missed the other parts, I would recommend going to the show notes to this episode which I’ll have all of the episodes in links below that you can go ahead and you can go back and make sure that you start from the beginning.
If you want to go through this entire process that we are going through in this series in a workshop form actually like looking over our shoulder, we are going to actually be taking you through this in about 90 minutes versus taking it over five or six episodes in the podcast.
You can always go to theamazingseller.com/workshop, register for an upcoming workshop. It’s where we break down the five phases. Pretty much what we are doing here. This is an audio version that will be more of a visual version and we do Q&A and all that fun stuff. But what we are going to talk about today and I think it’s really, really important once you get to this part is understanding what you are doing in this phase and I want to go back a little bit too and say you can see how we are breaking things down.
We are chunking things down. Whenever something gets overwhelming or complicated it’s always a good idea to chunk things down. I just talked to my wife the other day because we are having my father come in and spending a couple of weeks with us and she’s stressing out a little bit wanting to get the house ready and their room ready and all this stuff. I’m like, “Listen, just chunk it down. That’s what we have to do. Chunk it down, one thing at a time.”
[00:03:49] Scott: And that’s what we have to do here so that’s why while you are following through this, even though you might not be in the prelaunch phase, go through this. Listen to it, this will be here for you when you get to this phase. If you are in phase one which is the product research phase, don’t leave that phase until you are done with that phase really, really important. What I want to do today though is really dig into the pre-launch which is super important. Chris why would you say that the prelaunch is really important?
[00:04:18] Chris: Scott the prelaunch is important and we talked back I guess it was two episodes ago or two sections ago in this about how important product selection is because it’s setting the stage for everything. This is that next big chunk for me that sets the stage for everything. It’s getting that best guess as to getting the listing up, getting our foundation in and set. Product selection is picking where we are going to build the house and the prelaunch phase is really building the foundation. It sets us up for success. It’s the other thing that we need before we can build a house and make it pretty and live happily ever after inside of it.
[00:05:00] Scott: Yeah okay so let’s dig in to… There’s two parts to the prelaunch that we talk about and that we teach and number one I want people to understand this, I’m going to be saying this a lot guys so get used to it and the reason why I’m doing it is because I really want it to sink in. I want you guys to understand this. When we are creating our listing which we need to do right now at this point, if you’ve been following along and if you are in this stage now you’ve already found your product, you found the sourcing, you’ve ordered your samples, you have already placed an order, you are ready to go.
You are waiting for that product. That could be 30 days that could be 40 days, it could be 60 days before you get that. While we are waiting we are doing this. What you need to understand is we have to create that listing. Now we are going to be optimizing our listing. Now what do I mean by optimization? What I mean is we want to give Amazon what they want and we also want to give people searching for our products what they want and ultimately that’s what Amazon wants. Amazon wants us to be relevant. If someone is searching for a stainless steel garlic press they want that to show up that is relevant to that search so it’s just like Google, it’s just like YouTube, it’s just like any search engine.
They want to bring back the most relevant results. Now a lot of people say, “But Scott, how do I rank and get in that spot?” It all starts with optimization. If you do not tell Amazon what you are or what your product is, they don’t know. They aren’t going to be able to see that just by you creating a listing and just filling in a couple of spots on that listing. It’s really important that you tell Amazon what you are selling in detail and there’s going to be some components here which are really important while you are building this.
Now let me just say this, it doesn’t have to be perfect. A lot of people say, “Well Scott I don’t want to send my images in yet because they are not 100% what I want to send in.” You have to fill this out, we are building structure in a sense. We are building the framework for your listing.
[00:07:01] Scott: You can always go back and update. I know myself and Chris and our partner we are always going in there and seeing where we can maybe add or we can tweak or maybe make an image better. Maybe we did it in a hurry because we wanted to get the listing up, whatever. You can always go back and do that but understand, hold on Chris, so understand that if you get this right then when you start to get into the second part of this which is the launch phase then it will help you and benefit you and you’ll see why here in a second. Go ahead Chris.
[00:07:31] Chris: And I think that’s something that a lot of people miss Scott. The prelaunch phase is our best guess, it’s an informed guess and you don’t have to get it perfect. The cool thing about this is as we learn, as we grow, the listing is going to change a little bit but this is setting ourselves up for success as best as we can in the beginning. As we start to get more information we might change the images, we might change the bullet points, we might change the title but we are trying to get it as good as we possibly can with the information we have right now so that when we launch the product we set ourselves up for success as best as possible.
You and I go in and tweak this stuff and it’s going to change and that’s something that a lot of people miss. They just think that this is it, this is done and it's up but even you and I guess wrong sometimes and that’s okay we just have to learn from that. We go back through the process that we are going to talk about, pick some different keywords like we’ll talk about here today and republish that listing and see what happens. So we are really laying the foundation, we are setting up this framework like you just called it to give ourselves that success. We are going to make some changes just know that upfront.
[00:08:40] Scott: Yeah absolutely and again a lot of people they get stuck because they want it to be perfect.
[00:08:46] Chris: It has to be perfect and it doesn’t, done is better than perfect.
[00:08:50] Scott: Yeah 100%. I did want to go back here, I mentioned that you guys can go to the show notes page to get these links and I don’t even think I mentioned the show notes. A lot of you know that it’s the episode number but it’s at theamazingseller.com/443 and that will take you there and the reason why I am calling that out right now is because everything we talk about is going to be there but also additional resources that we’ve talked about on other podcast episodes like optimization with Karon Thaxton. I will put that in this episode so when you go here, and again going back to the other episodes 440, 441, 442, those, every single one, I will be adding the resources that I feel are relevant that we have talked about in the past in other episodes.
This way here you don’t have to go through all four hundred plus episodes. I get a lot of people they start from the beginning and work themselves through. What I’m trying to do here is create a series so this way here everything is in certain sections and I can always keep that up to date. So I will be dropping in some optimization, tips, best practices, all that stuff. I will be talking about it here but I’m going to be throwing in those other links there so episode 443 is where you’ll find all the show notes and transcripts theamazingseller.com/443 go there, check that out if you are interested in getting those additional resources.
So let’s dig in. Your listing, where do you start? Number one you have to go in and you have to create that listing. Now I’m not going to be able to do that here and tell you all of the nuances as far as setting it up. It’s pretty straightforward I mean number one you have to have an account. I think we all know that so you are going to sign up an account but then from there you are going to go and list your product. You are going to go ahead and start to fill out the form for the product. There’s going to be some things that you need in that listing.
Number one is you need images. Images are to me what is going to ultimately help sell your product so I have a note here to remind you guys they need to be high quality images.
[00:10:53] Scott: Now the question I get asked a lot is, “Scott wait a minute here, I don’t have my finished product I have my samples. What do I do? How do I get high quality images?” Well, take a picture of your sample and put it in that place. No one is going to see it until you are live and like Chris said it’s better to have something there than nothing there. So put something there but once you get your product you want to make sure you have high quality images and this is something I would not chance on, I would not take shortcuts here.
I would definitely make sure that you invest in high quality images or take them yourself and at least have high quality lighting, have them well-lit because one thing that can make a picture really look bad is bad lighting, poor lighting. And you want to make sure that they are clean and I like lifestyle pictures too on the additional images showing how the product is being used, all of that stuff. Now does that help you rank as far as optimization? Not necessarily as far as Amazon sees and they are going to rank you better but what it could do two different things.
Number one if its high quality images, Amazon knows if it’s a low quality or high quality image so that could give you a little bit of a boost because it gives you what they call a zoom-over feature where you can hover over the imaging you’ll see the image in detail and people want to be able to see that stuff. So that’s one thing that could give you a little bit of a bump. But the other thing is, when people can see the product up-close and in their face and they can see different angles or see how it’s being used, that could convert that to a sale and we’ll talk about this, why that sale is important because now that helped you turn someone that’s just looking at your product into a buyer.
And that will signal that your product after being searched is something that someone had found useful and they bought and we’ll talk about that on how that all that works. But I just want to say images are really, really super important. They are the attention grabber in a sense. The next thing is a title, your subject or your title of your listing.
[00:12:54] Scott: And we say use a strong title and what we mean by that is using keywords. Chris why don’t you go into how would someone if they are just starting, they have no idea what keywords to put in there? Talk a little bit about what to put in there but also why it’s important to use that space and how it’s weighted and all that stuff.
[00:13:14] Chris: For the title itself Scott the question that you and I get all the time is, “Where do I even start with this?” And if you want to know the real ninja trick it's take a look at what some of the other competitors are doing and see what keywords they are using. That’s where I would start. I would take a look and see what other people are calling the product but what we are really looking for in the title in terms of the keywords are the generic ways that most people are going to describe the product. It doesn’t need to be blue steel stainless garlic long-handled garlic press with garlic pressing capabilities. What we are looking for are the main chunks so garlic press, maybe lemon press, ginger press.
There are different ways that people can describe that product and I would start by looking at what the competitors are doing to get those keywords. I would also use a tool like Google Display Planner tool or even something like Google Trends to see what other things people are using. The other tool that I think gets overlooked a lot that’s absolutely free is Amazon’s Autosuggest or Google Autosuggest. Let’s say we are selling a garlic press we are trying to figure out what the title is. I'm going to type in garlic in the Amazon search engine, not hit anything, and just let it tell me what’s on the backend of that that other people are using to describe those products. And Scott I see you are pulling it up as we go.
[00:14:37] Scott: Yeah I just typed in garlic press like you said there is a bunch of different ones. There is a couple of name it looks like name brand ones would they be and then there is one that’s garlic press stainless steel, garlic press OXO which is a brand, Reisley?
[00:14:56] Chris: Garlic presser which is interesting and then garlic press and slicer.
[00:15:01] Scott: Garlic press pampered chef, so again people are searching for that you wouldn’t necessarily do that. You would use the ones like garlic presser or stainless steel garlic press, that’s one garlic press and slicer if you have a slicer. So those are ways like you say Chris. That’s Amazon’s algorithm telling you what people are searching for so use that it’s free. Why not? Or you can even start it differently. If I start with stainless steel and I just keep typing let’s see, stainless steel and then I put garlic and it’s going to say stainless steel garlic press professional, stainless steel garlic rocker, stainless steel garlic slicer, stainless steel garlic press and peeler set, stainless steel garlic press rocker, stainless steel garlic press Amazon fan or Amaze fan, stainless steel garlic onion, stainless steel garlic smell, stainless steel garlic cleaner.
And all I’m doing guys I’m just typing stainless steel garlic and then that came all up. The top one is stainless steel garlic press.
[00:16:04] Chris: So Scott taking these what I would do is I would jot these down. So we would jot down stainless steel garlic press, we would jot down stainless steel garlic press cleaner, the other one that I think came up was slicer and then professional. And then what we would is we would take a look at those different words and phrases and we would make it into a human readable sentence that actually describes the product. A lot of people miss this and they just type in ‘stainless steel garlic press with cleaner and professional presser capabilities’ and something like that. What I might do is restructure this to say, ‘professional quality stainless steel garlic press with cleaner’.
Now I probably wouldn’t put professional at the front. I might work that a different way so that we have garlic press at the front because that’s the most generic way to describe the product.
[00:16:55] Scott: I was going to ask you… Let’s talk about this really quickly. When you are looking at a keyword and just so people understand, we are just expecting everyone knows what a keyword is and it’s funny I was at a meetup last year I think it was and somebody came up to me and they are like, “In the beginning you were talking about keyword. I had no idea what that was and then you broke it down and it made a lot of sense.” So sometimes I have to know that sometimes people are listening for the first time they don’t know what that is. So basically the keyword that we are talking about is the thing that people could be searching for or a search term.
And that could be garlic press or stainless steel garlic press. That is the main keyword or a longtail keyword as we call it. Now talk a little bit about this Chris because you are the guy that knows a little bit about SEO and about how all that stuff works. Well on Amazon we are talking about really search engine optimization for Amazon, their optimization. Do you feel that the main title is weighted the most in search?
[00:18:01] Chris: Yes.
[00:18:03] Scott: Okay and it's very similar to a blog post or a website address or something like that. It’s like that all is the same idea. It’s weighted the most from what we’ve seen true?
[00:18:14] Chris: Right and the reason for that is it’s the thing that actively describes the product and if you think about the way that an Amazon search results page which is if you search for something on Amazon and hit enter they take you to a search results page. The SEO nerds would call it a serp S-E-R-P search engine results page and when you look at that when you are searching for a product on Amazon, there is three things that you see. You see the photos, you see the price and you see the listing title. So Amazon is going to pay a lot of attention to that listing title because any time Amazon shows anything in a search results page they want to show the most relevant product.
Unlike Google who is looking to give people the right answer, Amazon is trying to give people the products that they are most likely to buy for any given search and the better fit we are for each individual search that somebody runs, the more juice we get to that. And then if we sell well for that then we get more juice. Does that make sense?
[00:19:18] Scott: Yeah it does and we’ll get into that. Guys what we are talking about right now is these are the things you need to think about when you are creating that listing. Again and I think the big thing I want to highlight here is in that title if you are selling a stainless steel garlic press that is exactly how that should be in your title because it’s the way that people would search. So you are not going to be able to use all the combinations in the title, just use the one that is like if you could rank for one keyword what would it be. And I mean keyword it could be a string of words.
It could be stainless steel garlic press. That could be your golden search term. That could be it. If it is lead with that and then you can fill in after that and also keep in mind depending on the category you could be limited to 100 characters, 200 characters, 250 it just depends and they are changing this stuff all the time. So you want to stick within that. I would definitely not go over that because then you could get slapped for that and all that fun stuff. And stay away from doing anything grey hat or black hat by putting in brand names of other competitors. Don’t do that stuff, just don’t do that. So that’s the… Go ahead Chris.
[00:20:30] Chris: Something I wanted to throw out on that Scott, first of all if you guys don’t understand grey hat, white hat, black hat, that’s a reference to cowboys. If you watch the old western the bad guys are always wearing black hats, the good guys always wear white hats and I don’t know that anybody wears grey hats but obviously that would fall in between black and white stuff that isn’t explicitly bad but isn’t explicitly good here, that would be grey. You are the guy that starts the possy but doesn’t join in.
The mistake that a lot of people make is they hear us talk about keywords and they hear us talk about how Amazon looks at that title and it has so much weight so they try as much as they can in there and they miss out on the second thing that I glazed over when I was talking about that which is yes being relevant for a search in terms of having that search term in your title is important for ranking. But you can’t write for Amazon, you have to write for the buyer so the title has to actually make sense and it has to actually describe the product. You don’t just want to load it full of keywords because then people will go, “What the heck is this? It makes no sense I’m not going to buy it.” And you lose out on one of the things that I would argue is probably even more important in the long term which is the relevance from sales for that.
[00:21:49] Scott: Yeah that’s 100% and just to understand too we are going to be going now into the bullet points which is next. If you have something that’s really like a keyword that you want to put there but you don’t know if you should put in the title we have bullet points, we have description, we have backend search terms. Those are different areas we can plug those in and they still have weight. They just might now have as much weight but you’ll see here once we get into the second part of the pre-launch and you’ll see why this is important and why we want to get sales out of the gate, because once we are optimized then the sales will fuel the ranking.
Let’s move on, now that you understand the keyword how it's built and how you are going to be using this stuff and we are talking about the title only, you are going to take that same strategy in a sense and you are going to move that into your bullet points. Now again not just stuffing keywords to put keywords in there. Bullet points to me are a really easy scannable list of benefits and features. That’s what’s going to be there so if you have, if it just so happens that you have benefits and features that talk about your product and they are going to be obviously related to your product and then they are going to help when people search for other variations of that keyword.
So if it's stainless steel garlic press and it’s in your title and then you talk about a certain length or something in the benefits, that could then also help you and Amazon will pick and choose where they see these different keywords as long as we are driving sales through the listing. So just with the bullet points I’m not going to spend too much time here because we have a bunch more stuff we have to cover in the pre-launch but your bullet points generally there is five. Sometimes there’s more depending on the categories. I would use them all, why not? But I would lead with benefits then I would also sprinkle in some features.
[00:23:47] Scott: People want to know why they are buying the product and how it’s going to benefit them. If I’m buying a scrubber for the pool, which we talked about, I’m buying it because I want to remove algae or I want to remove scaling. So you would say on there what it’s going to do and then that would make me say, “Oh I’m, buying the right one.” I just was looking at muriatic acid the other day Chris, I know this is random but I was looking at muriatic acid the other day to lower the PH in the pool and literary you can go and buy muriatic acid in Lowes or Home Depot and it doesn’t say for pools. It just says for concrete. It just says it’s to basically help with grout lines or mortar lines or that stuff on brick, helps to clean it yadi yadi yada.
Has nothing to do with pools but it’s the same stuff but when I see it if it says on there that it's also used for pools it makes me feel as though I got the right one even though it’s the same thing. Does that make sense Chris?
[00:24:40] Chris: It does and you see that all over the place with products. You see Tylenol marketed as three or four different things or ibuprofen or ibuprofen it's pain relief for sports injuries and you look at it and 200mg of ibuprofen and some caffeine, well I guess what else that is, that’s excedrin and also there is three or four other brands that are marketed for different things.
They have all kinds of stuff like that. So it's just a matter of marketing it. You see the same thing with razors. Razors is a great example there. It's a razor with a handle and five razor blades. And it's pink. Same exact razor with five razor blades and it's blue and different ones, usually the women's razor for whatever reason is $1 more. Because it's specifically for women but it's the same razor. It's the same exact razor, the handle is just pink not blue.
[00:25:43] Scott: So again guys. Just understand that the bullet points to me are really to call out the benefits, the features as well. Then that way there also you're telling Amazon what your product is, what it does, what it's for and once you do that remember once we start getting sales which we are going to talk about in the next part of the pre-launch and then in the launch eventually in the next podcast episode in the series you're telling Amazon and you're also telling your customers what your product is and what it does and who it's for. So just think of the bullet points of that right there in a really like detailed list. You're also again being able to be indexed by Amazon because you're again, telling them what you have for sale and what your product is and does.
Same thing with the description. Now the description to me has less weight but it's an area where you can still elaborate more on the bullet points. So it's almost like taking your bullet points and then like really explaining them in detail. You're also able to… In some cases some people have said that they have found that they are indexed, some people have said that they are not or they are indexed but they are not in search like… So there's all this like does it really matter? To me it does matter. Just pretend like your customer is going to read that. Even though we all probably know and Chris I know you agree with this, most people don't read the description.
But if they do it's there and we are telling Amazon what we are selling in a lot more detail. So if for some reason it does matter, it's going to basically going to scrape our listing, their little robot is going to scrape it, their little bot. Then from there we are going to be able to possibly rank or when we start doing sponsored product ads and pay-per-click and all that fun stuff that will also help us because again, they're scraping our listing. They are like scraping and saying, “What is this all about. I want to make sure that we're going t be targeting the right… Making sure that the keywords are right and all that stuff and we're relevant.”
[00:27:45] Scott: That's where that will come in. So your bullet points is like a scannable… I think the bullet points are more important than the description but the description is there again to give your product and to really tell more about your product to Amazon internally but then also if people actually read that that's what I would do. Then I would again, I would include the benefits, the features, give more details and I would even throw a little more call to action there at the end. Something like, “If you want to start pressing garlic this holiday season and make amazing meals that your family will love go ahead and click the ‘buy now' button above,” or whatever. Something like that. You get the idea.
Chris is there anything else you want to talk about the bullets and the description before we move on to the second part?
[00:28:28] Chris: Yeah, I want to echo what you said and the reason that I think the bullets are so important and again Scott, like you mentioned like some people say the bullets are indexed but they are not actually used by Amazon for like ranking like we talked about with the title or the description but they are there for that second component that we talked about which is converting people into sales. So they are extremely important for that because if we don't fill out those properly, we don't give people benefits and let them know exactly how the product's going to help them with whatever their problem is.
Then we lose the opportunity to convert those people because they'd be relying on buying the product basically from the images and from the title. They don't necessarily have a good understanding of that. It's not like the store where you can pick up the garlic press, play with it, squish your finger in it, see how sharp it is. Do all those kinds of things. You're relying on the images and the description of the product which on Amazon really isn't the description section. It's the bullets section. So I would spend a lot of time there. Amazon actually renamed this section recently. It used to be the details section. Now they've actually renamed it in the listing to the description section.
So they have a product, description and the key product features in that section now. It's always been there, just was called something different and I think that's important to understand because that's really where you're selling the product. If you don't fill that out properly and completely you can miss out on a lot of sales.
[00:29:59] Scott: Yeah. And actually on our workshop we generally show like screen shots of optimization and we go through that. So I'm not going to do that here. But hopefully you can get a visual of what we're talking about like your images are really important as far as grabbing the attention also showing the quality. That's like thinking about like having a customer come into your store and be able to touch it and see it and inspect it. That's where your images do. It also allows you to show people how it's being used and then from there they can imagine themselves using it. Images are really, really important for that.
Then from there your title. Like I said, that is weighted for search and for getting yourself ranked so you definitely want to explain what your product is as much as possible there without stuffing it. Then your bullets very important for describing the benefits and the features and again I'm just going to back to what I had said before. I kind of go back to what was just recent for me. If I was looking at muriatic acid and which I was, and if I didn't see it said ‘also used for pools' I wouldn't have bought it. I was looking for that. I was scanning for that. And once I seen that, I'm like okay, there it is. I got the one. It's the same stuff, the same amount, all that stuff. So really important that you understand that if you're targeting a certain customer and you know that they're looking for it for that use then definitely make sure that you put that in there.
That could be the difference between someone buying it and not buying it. So benefits and features inside the bullets, your description, do the same exact thing just more detail. Maybe a call to action and then the other thing is and we'll just touch on this really quickly is on the back end of your listing, you have a spot there where you can put in search terms. They just changed this back to 250 characters. Go ahead, put in there maybe what you couldn't put in on the front end or maybe even just some of it you can repeat here. You don't have to not repeat. I don't think you're going to be hurt by it. But a lot of people said instead of repeating use other ones that you wouldn't put on the front end for whatever reason.
[00:32:02] Scott: I don't know. I would just put, if you're going to really try to go after a certain keyword or two or three, put those back there. Make sure that you're optimized back on the back end. No one's going to see them. It's really you telling Amazon again what your product is and who it's for. So again, just make sure that you use them wisely. Let me just go through this really quickly as far as and we'll wrap up this part of the pre-launch and then we're going to move into how to get ourselves ready for launch day and get sales out of the gate because that's what's going to fuel everything. Okay, so listing optimization plus sales equals keyword ranking.
I'm going to say that one more time. Listing optimization, what we just talked about, that's fine. That's not going to just rank you automatically. You're not just going to appear because in most cases you have competition, you have other people that are competing for those keywords, in most cases. Now, what will happen once we give Amazon some sales through our listing? Well, we start to get noticed. This is where it comes down that formula. We'll talk about that in the promotions phase and the launch phase is like how many sales do I need to potentially rank? I say potentially because you never know.
If we're going after products that follow the ten by ten by one strategy, that is ten units per day. So they are ranking on page one because they are getting ten sales per day. We have to match that. But if we match it and we're not optimized for those keywords we won't rank. It's just the way it works. Okay, so we need to make sure number one we do the listing optimization correctly. If we get ranked we need to make sure that we sell our product through our images or we get attention through the images. That's why they are important. So you can see how everything is tied back to the listing optimization. Once we get that done, which we just talked about now we need to drive sales. Once we drive sales, then we can start ranking for keywords.
So Chris, did I illustrate that good here through the audio version of this versus the workshop?
[00:34:08] Chris: You did and the sales side of that is second part that I've been talking about. We need to set ourselves up to get sales success because the listing optimization part plus the sales is what's going to drive us, the long term success.
[00:34:21] Scott: Yeah, okay. Cool. So let's move on. Let's move on to the second part of the prelaunch phase. So in this phase or in this phase we have two parts so this is step two. This is the time when you're going to be either building your email list and you guys have been listening for the past six to eight months, we've been really talking a lot about this because this is kind of like the new approach that we we've been using for the new brand that we're working in. If I was to talk to you about a year and a half maybe two years ago, I would say go out there and find a deal site and maybe give a promotion in that deal site.
They've already done the work for you. Now, because they made these changes to having reviews being done by people that have committed to these deal sites or that have raised their hand we want to stay away from those now and just even my background, I know the power of having your own email list and being able to leverage that to boost sales whenever you want. So, I would say, number one think about how you are going to build your list. Now, this could be your own email list. This could be a deal site that you may want to use that you trust. Now there's a couple of them out there. There's Sleek Deals, there's Fat Wallet. Those are a couple of big ones out there. Those are the ones that I would use if I was going to use them but again the deal sites they are going to serve one purpose.
They are going to serve a purpose for you to get a sale. That's it. What I want to do is I want to build an email list or a social medial list of some kind and I want to be able to use that and I want to be able to use it again and again and again and I want to build a little bit of awareness for our brand. I want to be able to use it for Facebook. I want to use it for all of that stuff. Again, I don't want to overwhelm you in this section but we do a really good job if I don't say so myself in our workshop where we talk all about building that email list. And a lot of people say Chris, like, “Well if I don't' have my product yet, should I start building my list?”
[00:36:24] Scott: And the answer is yes. You should. Now if you are not going to be committed to this market then maybe not. Maybe what you want to do then is you want to reach out to other influencers in your market. Maybe you want to go to YouTube or Instagram or even Facebook and reach out to someone that's already built a following that you can reach out to and go hey, listen. I've got a product, I think your audience would love. I would love to give you and your audience a deal. I'd like to run a promotion for 40% off for the weekend or something like that.
That's going to take you reaching out to a bunch of different influencers. This isn't something you're going to reach out to one they are going to go, “Yeah, sure.” You have to do the work. So that is this part of the prelaunch phase. This is where you're going to do outreach maybe. You're going to reach out to these bloggers or these Instagrammers or these YouTubers and a lot of people say, “Well, Scott where do I find them?” You go to those platforms. You search those different groups. If you're on Facebook search for a fly fishing group. If you're selling fly fishing gear. If you're selling a garlic press, probably look for cooking sites of some kind or cooking groups. Something like that. Instagram, same thing.
So you want to just go there and start doing this research. You're going to spend some time digging through this. Now, if you're going to build your own email list because you know you're going to be in this market for the long haul and you want to build an asset, then I suggest building that email list and again I would go through that workshop. We'll include that link the show notes to this episode which will be theamazingseller.com/443 or you can just go to theamazingseller.com/buildlist and we'll show you exactly what we're doing currently and how it's working and why we're so passionate about it because it's working so well and we just actually wrapped up a contest that we did to build our email list and we were able to get just under 6,000 emails for about $900. Years ago Chris and back in the day, actually a year and a half ago, two years ago people would spend that much money to just rent the list in a sense.
[00:38:29] Scott: They would pay a review group to give away their product at a discount and they would pay $900 or they would spend more because they are also discounting their product.
[00:38:41] Chris: So that's a question, Scott. How much did you spend on first launch? Do you remember?
[00:38:44] Scott: Yeah, I actually… Well, I've got a rough idea. I believe I spent over $2,000 and that was for just 140 units I gave away. I say I gave away, gave away for like $1 because that was the thing to do and I only wanted to give away like 20 a day but I screwed up and I gave all 140 of them away in like 45 minutes because it was a list that someone had built for people that wanted to get discounts on products in exchange for an honest review. That's what we were doing back in the day. We're not doing that anymore. Now, there's still groups out there that say, well we've kind of cleaned the list. They know that they can't leave a review any more. I don't want to go down that road anymore.
So that's why we do the email list. That's what we do or reach out to an influencer that isn't doing it because it's an Amazon seller and that's what they've been trained to do. We're not doing that. I don't suggest that you do that. I say either reach out to someone else that has a list that is in your market or build your own list. While you're doing this, while your product is coming, you can still be contacting the list and talking to the list and giving away a price like all that stuff that we talk about in that workshop for building your email list and a lot of people want to know like what do I email them. All that stuff we talk about in the workshop.
So I'm not going to go into detail there. But that's what you need to be focusing on. In these two parts of the prelaunch, in these two steps it's really optimizing your listing, getting your listing created. That's number one. Number two is building this list or reaching out and finding out where your launch is going to take place. Where are you going to be getting an influx of sales like day one? Because on day one we want sales and pretty much I think for the last five products that we've launched we've had a minimum of 100 sales per email that we've sent out for that launch of that initial product. Every single time it boosts us up in the rankings because we've optimized and we start to get organic sales. It's just the way it works. We're giving Amazon what they want. Sales. We've already optimized like we talked about.
[00:40:44] Scott: We have a good product. That's the other thing we should probably know here, Chris. You got to have a good product. Then you can start ranking, you can start getting organic sales and then we can also go into and we'll talk about this in the launch phase, in the promotion phase is really what to do next. So this way here you keep those sales coming in, organically and paid. So Chris what else do you want to talk about in the prelaunch as far as the building of a list or outreach?
[00:41:11] Chris: I think the biggest thing in the second half of the prelaunch phase is picking a strategy. You can do it a whole bunch of different ways. We like to build an email list whether that's using influencers or just Facebook ads. But you don't have to have that list yourself. What you're really trying to do here is find a way to get sales on day one. Pick it and then move into the next phase. If you're going to do it the way we do it it's going to take up some of your time and a little bit of energy and effort while you're waiting on that product. If you're just going to use a deal site it's going to take up a little less time but you're also going to get not as good of a result generally speaking because you're putting in less time, energy and effort.
What's kind of cool about this Scott is you can revisit this phase any time you want. You can come back to part two of prelaunch phase and if on day one whatever you chose to do didn't work well you can use one of these other strategies when you're in the launch phase, it just takes a little bit of time to get it up and running. So become familiar with all of the different ways that you can do it and then pick the one that's fit for you. And move forward with that.
Just like in the first half of this phase Scott. We said, getting the list up is our best good faith effort in the beginning and we're going to come back and make some changes. Same thing with the pre-launch list or influencers or any of those kinds of things. Put in your best faith effort, put in the time and energy into the method that you think is going to work best and then if you need to come back and make some tweaks and some changes you can always do that.
[00:42:45] Scott: Yeah, I agree. Pick one and do it and again you're going to be putting in time here. Some gurus out there might be saying, “Oh, you can do this stuff in like three weeks and everything is going to be…” No, I'm not going to tell you that because it's not true. This is going to require work but understand this. The work that you're putting in now could pay you time and time again because once you get either a list built or you make a connection with influencer, even if it takes you 100 emails to 100 different influencers people in that space if you land two or three of them they are always there in your back pocket for when you do a launch or if you want all of the control you build that yourself.
Or you can do both. Let's face it. What you want is you want the power and the leverage of being able to send an email and push sales whenever you want. We've ran out inventory a couple of different times. Once that happens, we got to get things going again. So what do we do? We send a little promo to our list and say, “Hey we just got back in stock because we ran out we want to apologize and we want to give you guys a discount.” Then boom, we get some sales and then once we do that, guess what. We get back in the algorithm quicker that if were to let things slowly our happen. I know our good friend Dom says typically if you don't have a launch list and if you don't have a way to get sales like that, it can take four to six weeks before you gain your rank back, depending on how competitive your space is.
We found that we're able to rank like almost back to where we were in like two or three days. And that's the power and the leverage of a list. To me it's about putting in the work and the time now, building that asset that you can leverage time and time again and then from there you always have it. Especially if you're going to stay in this market. The other cool thing is with this and we'll wrap up this soon because I want to go on a tangent here but the cool thing about building that list also is you get a lot of insight on the market.
[00:44:45] Scott: It also doesn't just help you get sales, it also helps you when you're trying to create content, what content to create, what content that they can share and help you grow your brand by sharing your band by with others. Like all of that stuff comes back to you building that email list and not just going after a sale but actually going after them being able to share it and help you even with a new product. Like we've launched new products or we've told the list that we're going to be launching new products and wanted to do opinions on different styles and then they vote on what they want.
How awesome is that? So again guys, I can't stress enough. It is work but it's not hard. It's just you have to do it. You have to allocate some time and then once you do that, it's going to be something that to me will reward you time and time again. So guys, that is going to wrap up the prelaunch. Again, if you guys want the visual and like our workshop view because we do go through this in all five phases during one of our workshops, you can always head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop and Chris and I will be there. We'll take you through all five phases in one session. So we'll break it all down.
We'll also do Q&A so if you're a visual learner and you want to go through it or if you just want to go through it again to let this stuff sink in and actually we do also show different examples and stuff. Definitely go check that out and register for an upcoming workshop. You can get all the details on that page. So just to wrap up here, in this pre-launch phase, you have two things you're going to be doing. Number one optimizing your listing, well creating your listing and then optimizing it. Then number two is preparing for the launch and that is by doing outreach or building your own list so this way here we can give Amazon what they want. An optimized listing and sales and that will generally lead to organic ranking and sales. That's what we want.
[00:46:38] Scott: The next session in this series, or the next part in this series will be part five and that will be the launch and promotions phase and that is where we're going to be talking about getting your sales, what to do and then from there how to rank and to really continue to push the algorithm and continue to push sales. Also we'll talk about reviews and that type of stuff as far as like how we're going to go about getting those. That will all be in the launch and promotions phase and that will be in part five, the next one so look forward to that one. If you have any questions you can always let us know whether it's on social or if it's through email. You can just send a question at email@example.com and we'll do our best to answer those or even include them on an upcoming Facebook Live or something like that.
So Chris, is there anything you want to say before we wrap up the prelaunch?
[00:47:32] Chris: I just want to reiterate. I don't think we can say this enough Scott. Again, going back to good is better than perfect and done is better than perfect. These things do set the foundation. Both of these things, picking our launch strategy that we're going to use here in the next phase and creating that foundation of the listing really do set us up for long term success even if they are not perfect. It's setting a good foundation for those things. So don't glaze this over this section. A lot of people will just kind of throw a bones listing and move on. spend some time and energy and effort like you said, it is going to take some time to get these things dialed in, to be happy with them.
Don't stress out about it for the next two months but do actually invest some time into both of these things right and it's going to be absolutely worth it once you get to the launch phase.
[00:48:29] Scott: Yeah, 100% agree. So let's officially wrap this up. This is episode 443. This is part four of our five part series. So again, I'll include everything in the show notes, all the past episodes. You can go to theamazingseller.com/443 Again I will put additional resources and podcasts episodes that we've talked about optimization and launching and all that stuff will be in the show notes to this episode as well. So again theamazingseller.com/443.
So that's it. That's going to wrap up this session, get out there. Make it happen and remember as always guys, 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, say it with a little energy. Chris are you going with some energy today?
[00:49:16] Chris: I'll say it with some energy.
[00:49:18] Scott: All right let's do it. Let's do it on the count of three. What do you say? One, two, three, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day guys and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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