For very long time Scott has recommended a specific approach to launching new products on the Amazon platform. But he's making some adjustments based on the feedback and input he's received from some of his friends who are selling products on Amazon as well. On this episode of the podcast Scott is outlining the specifics of these tweaks and telling you why they work as well as they do. On future product launches he's going to be trying the suggestions and will report back to you in the future about the success he's he's on his personal products.
Have you gone through Scott’s free 10 day course?
If you are brand new to the world of Amazon private label sales, you don't have to reinvent the wheel or start from square one. Scott has put together a tremendous resource for you to help you understand and apply the principles behind everything from finding a great private label products to getting it listed on Amazon and making sales. You can find out how to get Scott's free 10-day course by listen to this episode of the podcast. Be sure you do so that you don't have to learn all of the hard learned lessons the hard way.
An adjustment to using promotions to launch a product.
So far when Scott has launched a new private label product he has done a very large promotion at the beginning to get quite a few reviews on the product listing so that the social proof for the product will be higher and therefore spawn more sales. But he's taking a new approach now based on the feedback from some friends. He's going to be doing a smaller promotion at first to get the ball rolling and wait for a bit to see if it prompts organic sales. If it does he will wait before he does any further promotions if it doesn't then is when he will put together his larger promotional strategy. You can hear all the details of this new approach on this episode of the podcast.
Do you understand WHY product reviews are so important?
One of the key components to a good product launch strategy on Amazon is facilitating a way for your buyers to give you reviews on the product. Reviews are vitally important, not because they cause your products to rank higher in the Amazon search results, but because when people do search on Amazon and find your product there is more social proof behind your product that will prompt him to become a purchaser. It is those purchases that rank your product higher in organic search. On this episode of the podcast Scott walks you through the new approach he is taking to his product launch so that you can understand the benefits of the adjustments.
The Amazing Seller Facebook Community is ready to welcome you!
If you have not joined The Amazing Seller Facebook Community you are missing out. It is filled with Amazon private label sellers who are there to share their successes, failures, and encouragement for those who are just getting started. It's a great place to hang around like-minded people and get the boost you need to keep going in your private label sales business. You can find out how to become a part of that community, and it’s FREE, on this episode of the podcast.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
- [1:23] How you can get involved with Scott on Periscope.
- [2:24] Scott’s 10 day free course.
- [2:55] A shout out to Nathan, a TAS community member.
- [5:00] What is a product launch?
- [6:40] Why reviews are so important to a product launch.
- [12:17] Rich Kimball’s “test” to see if he’s found a good product.
- [13:00] Small product promos followed by larger promos.
- [16:36] The role Pay Per Click (PPC) plays in this strategy.
- [18:20] The use of a small but powerful email list.
- [21:41] The results of these tweaks.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 178
TAS 178 : Ask Scott Session #51 – Amazon FBA Questions
[00:00:02] SV: Hey, hey what's up everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the amazing seller podcast. This is episode number 185 and I am really pumped up today, I am really excited today because … Well because I just got down taking a walk with my dog and my wife and we are enjoying the beautiful day. Yeah that’s why I’m excited and also because I want to share with you some tweaks that we are actually starting to implement inside of a product launch, not me personally yet, very, very soon but I’ve learned of these from listening to a couple of people that are in my class but also hearing how people are just being able to take the launch process, tweak it just a little bit and…
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…get really good results. I’m going to be talking about the short term and the long term advantages of doing it this way and again like I said I’m going to be doing this myself and I wanted to share it with you today because I think it's really, really important to understand that not every way is the exact way you have to do something. You can always modify it, tweak it, test it, try different things and then from there you can build that into your own little system or your own process. Really excited to share this with you guys today and I really think that you guys are going to get a lot out of this, alright?
Now before I do jump into the discussion of today I wanted to do two things. First of if you are brand new I wanted to say welcome and thank you so much for listening whether on a run or in the car, in the plane, wherever you are thank you so much and all of the loyal listeners out there that are also catching me on Periscope. By the way if you guys are not connected to Periscope go over and find me on Periscope. Go over to periscope.tv on your phone, download the app, search for @ScottVolker, find me and we can hang out over there when I’m not podcasting. It's just a bunch of fun, we had well over four hundred and I think it was like fifty people on my las Periscope and it was just awesome to be to connect and communicate.
A lot of times I’ll go ahead and I’ll just randomly talk about whatever’s happening that particular day or something that I’m either struggling with or something that I just discovered and it's just really, really awesome to be there in real time. Definitely go check me out on Periscope. Alright. What I did want to do is I wanted to give you guys that are brand spanking new to this thing, maybe you got turned on by a friend or whatever, I want to give you guys a free resource, okay? That’s my ten day free course and I actually walk you through all of the different steps and phases for picking up products, sourcing a product, launching a product and then promoting that product and I do that in like I said a ten day free course. You can sign up to receive that totally free by heading over to freeprivatelabelcourse.com once again that’s freeprivatelabelcourse.com, alright.
[00:03:00] SV: Now the other thing I want to do is give a quick shout out to one of our TASers, one of our TAS peeps out there because I think it's pretty awesome that they posted this and it just gives me goose bumps. It just gives me chills being able to read this to you guys because it's just so awesome. Alright? This here was submitted by Nathan Philip so Nathan you rock man, you rock. Here is what Nathan wrote on the Facebook page for the TAS community, alright? “Sitting here at magic mountain and having a test between rides truly appreciating my business in FBA. I went from zero knowledge in December of last year about retail arbitrage and Amazon selling today. Having my own PL brand, Private Label brand, another brand launching soon and ten SKUs selling, what's special about today that makes me really appreciate all this?
Having my best days sales ever while enjoying time with my family and screaming like a madman on a rollercoaster after rollercoaster. Awesome. Stop second-guessing yourself. Pull the trigger and make it happen for yourself. No one else will do it for you. The screenshot isn’t some monster number but it’s a reflection of three months of grinding my beep softly, sorry and finally seeing sales trending up the graph at steady pace. Today it continued to work while I played with my family, smily faced with the sunglasses, emoji, feeling fabulous at six flags magic mountain.”
Nathan thank you so much for posting this, by the way the screenshot says fifty two units today so far and $961 sales today so far so really awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that and a ton of people liked it, a ton of people commented. Go over and get involved and be inspired motivated and learn from each other inside of the TAS Facebook group well over twenty five thousand in their current now. Go over, go ahead and request to join, usually within a couple of hours you’ll be accepted and you can go ahead and dive right in. Again that’s theamazingseller.com/fb so go check it out. Alright, great job too Nathan and glad you were yelling like a mad man, love it.
[00:05:18] SV: Alright. Let's go ahead and dive into this discussion here, right. Let's talk about these different tweaks. Before I do let's talk about the traditional launch. Why do we want to launch a product and what does that exactly mean? Alright. First of what I want to do is give you some resources that you can get caught up if you have not but you can listen to this episode if you haven’t listened to these other two but just understand there is going to be in more detail that I go into in each of these episodes. There is episode 101 and episode number 8 so if you go to each one of those, again I’ll leave all this in the show notes, but you can check those out and get caught up really, really fast even on episode number 8. Even though I did that long time ago that launch process is pretty much identical to what you can do to launch a product.
Okay. Here is basically how it looks and why we want to do this, alright? You get a product that is released and it is sent into Amazon FBA. It's live, it's ready to go, we want to instantly start getting reviews, we want to start getting sales. Actually let's reverse that, we want to get sales and then reviews okay. When we get the sales that triggers Amazon to know that we are there it gets us noticed and then we start ranking for certain keywords because people are finding us through keywords or maybe we ran a promotion using a keyword loaded URL or maybe we are using pay-per-click to start driving sales to that, alright?
It's also going to get us a base set of reviews so this way here when people to land on our listing we are going to start converting. You need to understand that, that even though you can rank page one by doing a big promo, a big blast let's say you give away a hundred units in a day and you can rank on page one but if you rank on page one and you don’t have a lot of reviews the chances of you making additional sales after that promo dies out after a couple of days. You are not going to stay there. Okay. You’d have to then run another launch to try to get back there after you get a set of reviews. This is where that tweak comes in but that’s it in a nutshell.
Anyone that’s brand new and they are wondering, “Why would I want to give some of my units for free or a dollar or two dollars or whatever, why would I want to do that?” The reason is because you need to almost get into the system. You need to get on the radar of Amazon. You need to start getting yourself into the algorithm of Amazon. Remember Amazon is a search engine for buyers looking to buy products, right? It’s a search engine lets listen to this guys okay and pay attention to this part right here. It’s a search engine for buyers. People go there to buy an item. They are not going there to learn how to cook a certain meal or how to tie a certain knot. It's not meant for that, okay. It's meant to go there and find a product and buy so really, really important that we understand that.
[00:08:15] SV: Now we’ve talked about this before but I’m going to talk about it again here real quick. When you are on Amazon and you want to start ranking you have to get sales. Amazon ranks by sales meaning if you start to sell your product you are going to start ranking but it's not just that easy. You have to start ranking or you have to getting sales through keywords so you can start ranking for those keywords. Everything that Amazon does to rank a product is basically done by sales. The more sales you start to get the more you are going to rank for keywords, okay? An example, if someone is searching for a garlic press they go to Amazon they don’t go to a category in kitchen. Right. They go there with a blank search field or search box and they type in garlic press or stainless steel garlic press.
They are going to see the top listings, okay the top sixteen listings, they are going to see them. Now they are going to look at the pictures probably they are going to scan by thumbnail images and then from there they are going to probably look at reviews even who has the more reviews and then they are going to click in. Once they make that decision to click in now you are not there yet. You haven’t converted them to a sale. You got the click, that’s the first step. The second step is to get them to buy but if you only have one review it's going to be hard to convert. You will convert some but you are going to convert a lot more if you have more reviews. If you have 25 reviews versus having one it just makes sense. That’s how we need to think about this. It’s a system as far as that they haven’t placed, not necessarily a system but it’s the process that they go by as far as those different key points, those different match recs are what they gauge the ranking from okay?
[00:10:05] SV: Reviews don’t necessarily rank you, what they do do is they help you convert to a sale. That is what ranks you. Let's say that again real quick. Reviews don’t rank you but they do help convert to a sale which then that sale helps you rank. Okay. Really, really important that we understand that in the beginning when we are doing our first phase here and I’m calling these two different phases we have phase one which is getting on the radar, getting some sales but then also getting some reviews. Then from there what we want to do and this is again this one here was from Rich Kibble. Rich Kibble shared this on a hangout that we do. Inside of our private label classroom we do a hangout where we meet, we get to share ideas of what we are doing. This is something Rich just shared a couple of weeks ago and this is what he is doing a little bit differently than when he first started.
When he first started he was doing a blast of let's say 75 units or a hundred units and trying to spike the algorithm getting maybe page one and then from there having to redo that again because he started to slip because he didn’t have the reviews in yet. What he’s done is he has on phase one now of his promotional strategy of his launch strategy is he gives away a small amount of units okay a small quantity. Let’s just say he starts out with between 20 and 50 for that first phase. Okay. Then from there he lets those reviews come in. He’s patient, he’s patient in this. Now, he does in step two while he is waiting for those reviews to come in, he turns on his Amazon pay-per-click okay and he starts to target those keywords that he wants to rank for.
Now some people would say, including myself, is I would like to have at least five reviews before I turn on pay per click but here is Rich Kibble’s philosophy here and his test. If he can start converting even just one or two sales with very little reviews he is on the gold, he is on a good product and then he knows once he gets more reviews he’s going to probably be able to knock it out of the park. That’s like his little test in a sense so you can either say that you would want to do that or you don’t have to do that but that’s what he does okay? I’m a fan of that now because it does give you a good idea of how you’ll do even if you don’t have a lot of reviews but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to. That’s just, again I’m giving you the play by play that Rich has done and that he shared with our group okay?
Then he turns on the paper click almost immediately but he waits again maybe two weeks, maybe three weeks, as long as it takes for those reviews to come in and he feels like he’s got a good solid base of reviews let's say twenty five to thirty five reviews then what he does is he does his major blast. Okay. That’s phase two here where he’s going to then give away maybe seventy five or a hundred and fifty units depending on how competitive his space is that’s going to determine how many he wants to give away. Now he’s not going to give those away all at once he’s going to spread them out over the course of five days or maybe seven days because if he knows that he needs to sell fifteen units a day or twenty units a day in order to get page one because that’s page one results that’s what they are getting so he needs to match that if he wants that to be on page one.
Now he’ll use a super URL, at least the last I knew he was, or you can also now if you send out that email to people that take you up on your offer, you can direct them on how to search for your product. I’ve heard of other people doing that so this way here you are not giving them a URL that has the keyword in it you are actually saying ‘go to Amazon, type in the keyword stainless steel garlic press, find XYZ kitchens and then click on that listing and then buy through there and use this code.’ You can do it that way too, a little bit harder for the person doing it but it definitely is going to be effective because it's like they did the search on their own without using a keyword loaded URL.
[00:14:19] SV: Now do keyword loaded URL still work? For me they do. Does it mean that it always will? No but in the meantime I’ll probably continue to use them but that’s what he is doing here. Again let's repeat that, phase one he is doing a small promo really just to get the reviews and didn't even really need to get the sales. Yes the sales is going to be a bi-product of that but he is really going after getting the twenty five, thirty five reviews so this way here when he does that bigger blast of phase two blast three or four weeks later now when he shows up on page one guess what? He’s got a nice set, a nice base set of reviews. He doesn’t just have three reviews. Like we said it's one thing to get to page one but if you don’t convert to a sale it's not going to make a difference.
You want to make sure that you capitalize on that traffic that you are going to be getting there because here is the thing, if you can start getting your own ten or fifteen sales a day when you are on page one guess what, you stay on page one. Right? That is the goal. This is just for this one keyword. This can start to happen for multiple keywords or maybe you found a second keyword that you want to rank for. Does that mean that you’ve got to wait now and do phase one and then phase two? No because you’ve got the base reviews already in place so now you can jump right to phase two and do another blast maybe three or four weeks later for another targeted keyword or a long tail keyword.
That is again, that's Rich’s strategy and I love it because it is a little bit of a tweak. You are not going out there and giving away a hundred units right off the bat and you are spreading them out over five days. What you are doing is you are saying, “I’m going after the reviews right now, I’m going after to get my base set of reviews and then I can do phase two which is running the bigger promotion so I can then land page one and then get organic sales and stay on page one.” Now in the future maybe you slip to page two and you might have to do a little bit of a boost, a little bit of a promo boost. You just got to jump into phase two here. Maybe you are going to give an additional fifty or seventy five units away because you slipped down and now you want to nudge yourself back on page one. That’s an option. Again you need to think of this as advertising budget, it's part of the process, alright?
[00:16:37] SV: He also is continuing the run pay-per-click doing this. Okay. If you are targeting stainless steel garlic press and you are running a promotion for stainless steel garlic press you should be running pay-per-click especially in phase two for that keyword. At least in the exact, not the exact, you can also run it in the phrase match because then you can get everything else that's related to that but you could take a small budget and then just run direct exact match keyword traffic through Amazon pay-per-click. Okay. Now, if you to page on in this process, you got there, you made it but now what you need to do is stay there and how do you stay there? You need to keep getting sales through that keyword and if that is your keyword that gets a lot of the sales, that should naturally happen.
Again you always want to be running pay-per-click that's going to help bump that and keep you on top so this way here you can stay on page one. Just remember okay, the one thing that you need to understand is if you got page one on day three of you launching, you are probably not going to stay there that long. Why? Because you are not going to get organic sales there because you don’t have the social proof of the reviews in place. What Rich is really doing here, what I’m going to be doing is exactly this. It's going to be a little bit more of a delay because you are going to have that base setter reviews, get your base setter reviews thirty five or twenty five to thirty five reviews maybe over the course of three weeks and then from there you are going to run phase two which is going to be the bigger blast which then you are really trying to get one page one. Then you ahead and run your paper click heavy at that time to try to really get yourself rooted on page one.
[00:18:19] SV: Now the same exact strategy Allen shared with us just last week we did one the week before, no two weeks before and Rich shared that and then it just happened that Allen shared his and it was very, very similar. The difference is Allen has created his own internal list through social media, his website and past promos. He was really smart about having this really hardcore small but powerful list and I say small I think it's about three hundred or four hundred people on here. Now how did he build that list? Well one way is he went out to find the top ten thousand reviewers. Again this can be done in your pre-launch phase where now what you are doing is really going out and building your own list. If you have this own list it doesn’t mean you are not going to use some of these other groups like Thomason and getBSR.com, Review-kick and any of these different ones you can still use them and you should mix it up but this one here is really how he gets his base.
Okay. For him he is able to build this list over time of the top ten thousand reviewers. He handpicks them because what he does is he blasts this out in a regular email that you would write to someone and then if that person reviews this product or wants to review his product he makes a note in a spreadsheet that that person accepted and then they’ll also say what they gave him as a review. Obviously if you gave out a promo code to someone they come back but it’s a one star review. Okay you got to deal with it, you got to accept that you, you can't make them change that you can ask them why they gave you a one star. Maybe you can help fix the problem but you can't tell them to change it, right. What you can do is if you handpick these reviewers in the future you are only going to make that really solid list out of people that gave you some really good reviews so you can use them as leverage. All right.
That’s what he’s done and he’s called that his secret source in a sense because he now has that list that he can go to any time when he launches new product and sometimes he doesn’t have to discount it as heavy as he would so he doesn’t lose any of that money upfront because he can maybe get 50% off because they are on his list when he launches that product. Then from there, again in phase one if he doesn’t get his twenty or thirty five reviews from his internal list after a week let's say, then he’ll go into phase one which is phase one point one I guess. It will be a second part of phase one is where then he would go ahead and reach out to another list or another group to get his twenty five or thirty five reviews. Okay.
Then he would go ahead and wait four weeks and then go out and really do a hard core blast of a hundred to a hundred and fifty units spread out over time and over a week or whatever so this way here he’s doing exactly what we just said Rich has done which is getting the base set of reviews. That’s the number one thing to do at first and then once that’s in place then blast it out with a bigger promotion so this way here when you land on page one you have a better chance of sticking because you are going to convert higher.
[00:21:41] SV: Now, let me just say one thing here, Allen did exactly that. Mind you Rich Kibble right now I think the last we talked I think he’s doing $60,000 plus a month in revenue. He's got I think four products, maybe five launched couple more in queue. Allen Haden also has right now I believe two products he is doing just about $30,000 in revenue a month. Here's the funny thing and the cool thing, Allen did this with his I believe it was his first product, maybe it was his second product but he did it. He did exactly what I shared with you but he left one thing out and he still had great success. Want to know what that is? Yeah you are shaking your head, of course you do. He didn’t turn on any pay-per-click. He turned on nothing. We were all flabbergasted, we were like, “Really? No.”
He didn’t turn on any pay-per-click and he didn’t do it because he didn’t think it was necessary. He did because he was selling enough organically through this process because he has like a small test order like maybe five, six hundred units and then from there he was selling that he knew he was going to run out of stock so if you ramped it up with pay-per-click that would have then made him run out of stock quicker so he just assumed leave off the pay-per-click, get it up to speed with the organic order more inventory, then when he gets enough then he’s going to really dial it up. He’s in a great spot because if he is already doing what he is doing without running any pay-per-click I mean heck when he starts running pay-per-click he should be able to almost I would say at least double that depending as far as how big the market is that he is in but he’s got a good chance that he could I mean at least he can add 20%, 25% more sales to what he is already currently doing.
He could do probably as much as 50% more. But anyway so that is the two different people that I wanted to share with you but there are tweaks and again like Allen has his own little internal list so he’s got a little of a leverage point there than he can use but then he does follow exactly what Rich was saying was getting the base setter reviews then doing the heavy promotion after three or four weeks and they both said that they waited. They waited so they got to that certain twenty five, thirty five so this way here they knew that when they landed on page one they were going to have a better chance. They were going to have a better chance of getting more sales through the organic search now which then will help them stay on page one.
This is something that I’m going to be doing a little bit differently myself. Always in the past what I’ve done is I’ve started right out at the gate giving away seventy five or a hundred waiting to see what happens and then from there I would go ahead and then do another mini promotion, after that I’m going to flip it on its head. I’m going to do the smaller promotion upfront, get the base set, let it really marinade, let it sit there and then from there I’m going to ramp it up with the bigger launch and getting really aggressive with that. Probably even playing around with turning on pay-per-click in the beginning to see if I can get any sales without any reviews. That’s just a good test I think and it's exciting and for people like me that a little bit impatient it will at least give me something to look at so I can play around with something while I’m waiting for the three or four weeks to take place for those reviews to come in.
[00:24:54] SV: Some people ask me, “Scott when you are going after reviews and stuff how many reviews should I plan to receive or can I plan to receive by running a promotion?” It really does vary, it depends on the quality of the different review groups that you are using. Me personally I’m saying probably around seventy five to eighty five percent is what I’m getting and I talk about the different resources that I use and different groups that I use over on the resources page. I’ll also drop a link to the resources page on the show notes if you guys haven’t been there head over to theamazingseller.com/resources and just go to reviews and you’ll see the ones that I recommend.
I definitely think that no matter what you use make sure that it’s a quality, quality group because you can get some crappy ones out there too and then you’ll get reviews and then a month later they are going to get wiped out because all of those accounts that were on that group got banned and then all the reviews get wiped out as well. Just be careful with that but again this year again a little bit of a launch strategy tweak I love it, I’m going to be playing around with this, I’ll report back as usual. I’m getting excited here because I’m going to be really close to launching a few new products and I’m going to definitely play with this model and see how it works.
That’s it guys. That is pretty much what I wanted to share with you. You guys can tell I haven’t stopped talking because I’m excited this is cool, this stuff works. Alright and for those of you guys that are brand spanking new and you are, “Oh my gosh Scott I just felt like a drank out a garden hose that’s going about a hundred and fifty miles an hour.“ Yeah I know how that can feel but what you need to do is really focus on getting started #juststart or #takeaction. The way that you can do that if you are brand new I’ve created a free resource for you, the ten day course it will actually walk you through everything to get up and running so you can get to this part of the process.
That can be found at freeprivatelabelcourse.com. You’ll have to register your first name and your email address. You’ll immediately get the outline sent to you and then the next day you’ll immediately get lesson one. If you are using gmail make sure you check your promotions tab. Sometimes my mail will go in there you’ll need to drag it out of the promotions tab and drag it into your inbox and then you will get all of the other lessons in those first ten days of delivering that content to you so freeprivatelabelcourse.com check it out if you are brand new and then you can get caught up to speed really, really quickly and getting yourself ready to launch your product.
Alright guys that is going to wrap it up I want to again say thank you so much for taking time out of your day to listen. You guys all know that I love hearing from you guys and drop something in the comments if you want to or over on the Facebook group. Go ahead and just be active, help other people, I’m telling you it feels good and it’ll also help you stay connected so this way here you guys can share your stories as far as what's working and what's not working and helping each other along the way. I can't stress that enough, when you surround yourself with like-minded people, good things happen and I want that to happen for you. Definitely get connected inside of the Facebook group. Alright guys that’s it, that’s going to wrap it up remember I’m here for you, I believe in you, I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to … Come one say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, ‘Take Action.’ Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- http://Periscope.tv – and search for @ScottVoelker
- www.FreePrivateLabelCourse.com – get the free course.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/fb – get into the Facebook Community
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/8 and www.TheAmazingSeller.com/101 – episodes mentioned.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/Resources – find a great review group
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