TAS 432 Building a Rock Solid Foundation to CRUSH your Next Product Launch (Key Components)

Are you ready to get started down the path to launch your very first product? Are you considering taking the steps to launch your next product? Either way, this is an episode you don’t want to miss! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris break down the components for a holistic and healthy pre-launch strategy. They cover the use of keywords, email launch lists, if it’s a good idea to use a review group, product listing optimization, and much more! You don’t want to miss this informative and helpful episode!

Utilizing Keywords

Do you have a good handle on how to utilize keywords in your product listing? When was the last time you evaluated your approach? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott and Chris as they break down all the info you need regarding keywords and how to use them effectively. According to Scott, the best place to put your researched keywords is in your title, that is where Amazon is placing a lot of their attention and focus. He goes on to explain that after you’ve optimized your keywords in the title, the next place to include those keywords is in the bullet points and in the listing’s back end. To hear Scott and Chris expand on this topic and more, make sure to listen to this episode!

Why You Need an Email Launch List

Is taking the time to build an email launch list really worth the investment? Are there other ways to accomplish what an email list can do for ecommerce sellers? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris go over why they remain convinced that building an email launch list should be at the top of your priority list. The guys explain that building an email list will help you not only drive sales for the product you are launching, it will help you expand your brand presence and position you for future product launches. If you feel intimidated by the whole email list topic, make sure to check out the workshop that Scott and Chris put together located in the resources section at the end of this post.

Should You Use a Review Group?

Is it a good idea, give the recent Amazon changes regarding reviews to utilize a review group? Are there other, more effective methods out there to elicit reviews? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris share their thoughts on review groups and if they are still worth your time. While the guys don’t completely disavow the use of review groups, they do encourage sellers like you to allocate your resources toward building your own email list which will encourage buyers to leave reviews. They also touch on the option of connecting with social media influencers to leverage their followers to drive sales to your listing which will, in turn, increase your chance for building up reviews. To hear more on this topic from Scott and Chris, make sure to listen to this episode!

Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Listing!

Do you have a good system in place to optimize and review your product listing? When was the last time you evaluated your checklist? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris cover essential steps they cover when running through a new product listing for their brand. If you’ve covered your keyword use, you have a good PPC strategy, and you’ve built a solid email list, the next step may be to take a look at the photos you are using for your product listing. This sounds like a basic and simple step but you’d be surprised at how many sellers miss this crucial aspect. Don’t skimp on product photos! Spend the money to get high-quality photos of your product, you won’t regret it. Learn more about this subject by listening to this episode!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:30] Chris goes over an email from a TAS follower.
  • [6:30] How do you use your keywords in your product listing?
  • [9:30] Where to start with identifying your keywords.
  • [13:30] Getting started with an email launch list.
  • [16:30] Using review groups, a good idea?  
  • [18:30] Why you should build your own email list.
  • [25:30] What should you do if your numbers change during the pre-launch phase?
  • [28:00] A two pronged approach to launching your product; PPC and Email List.
  • [33:00] Make sure you have high quality pictures for your product listing!
  • [36:30] Scott recaps a good pre-launch strategy.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 432

TAS 432: Building a Rock Solid Foundation to CRUSH your Next Product Launch (Key Components)

 

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 432 and today I've got Chris Shaffer on again and we are going to be talking about…

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…building a rock solid foundation to crush your next product launch and we are going to be going over these key components that I believe are huge when you are launching and this is what we also call the pre-launch in our workshops and that's what we are going to be going over. Chris are you ready to crush this next launch?

[00:00:35] Chris: I am. I'm absolutely ready… And Scott we have a couple of products coming in and so we are going to be implementing exactly what we are talking about here again over the next few weeks so this is actually… I didn't even think about this before we jumped on. This is actually probably timely advice for us as well to make sure that we're all on the same page for this stuff.

[00:00:54] Scott: It goes back to the fundamentals. You have to understand what you are doing as far as like when you get ready to launch but then from there you have to get prepped, you have to pre-do this stuff so this way here you are ready and you're not doing it when you're launching. That's why we call it the pre-launch because these are the things that you really need to be focusing on and doing. A lot of people say, “Well I've ordered my product and now I'm waiting for it and now what do I do?” This is what you do. I really wanted to go over these because number one we did receive an email from a listener and they wanted to know a little bit about this and I want to make sure that we set them on the right track. Chris, why don't you go ahead and start by reading part of that email that is about the pre-launch and then we can dig into that.

[00:01:42] Chris: Yeah, so let's just kind of start at the top Scott. This email came in from Miriam. Basically there were a couple of different questions and it's actually different questions about each of the different chunks inside of the prelaunch phase which was kind of interesting. The first question related to the new change to like the backend keywords and search terms and Miriam just let us know, she said, “My understanding is that keywords are very important so that your product is visible,” That's accurate Scott. We know that you need to be plugging in those backend keywords and search terms but Amazon has changed this a couple of different times.

If you're preparing your listing the concern in the email Scott is that the correct way of doing this is to fill out 250 characters completely which is totally bad. Miriam had only put in 16 words. Now I'm not going to share the words that were put in there but they do accurately describe the product. The question that it really comes down to here Scott with those search terms, those keywords and also the title is should I take advantage of all of that space or should I take advantage of as much of that space as possible without being spammy or repeating myself or just repeating myself for the sake of filling it out.

[00:02:52] Scott: Well, first off let's clarify something. There's characters and there's words. Well, words are made up of characters. So for anybody who is listening we are not talking about 250 words we are talking about characters. So if you're talking of a word that has four or five characters, that's going to count as those four or five characters. I just want to be clear on that it's not words she has or he has, the listener has six words in there or there abouts. But we don't know exactly if that's 150, if that's 175 or they are long and they are more than that. That's the first thing you need to understand. Number two is you do not want to stuff just to stuff keywords in there. You want to be relevant and you want to really help yourself get found for search terms and keywords that are relevant to you product.

First off, the back end to me is the secondary place. The first place would be your most important words would go in title. While we are talking about this too, this is like the first part of the pre-launch. The pre-launch is where we talk about, and we talk a lot about this on our workshops and actually I should probably go ahead and mention that if you guys have not attended one of our workshops you probably want to do that because we probably go over the five phases and this is the third phase is the prelaunch. If you guys want to go and register for one of those head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop and go check that out.

But the one that we're going to be talking about today is the pre-launch and the pre-launch to me is there's two parts to it. Number one it is doing exactly this. It's figuring out your keywords and then building your listing and creating that listing so this way here when our inventory is ready we have a place to send it. We can start that process before we even have our product in hand. So that's number one in the prelaunch phase is getting this built out, doing your research, figuring out what keywords you want to put in there, your search terms and which ones you want to fill out the back end, which ones do you want to put in the front end as far as like your title, your bullets, your description and then your back end.

[00:04:57] Scott: Then there's images. We'll talk a little bit about all of this stuff. But it's really, really important you guys understand that this is the first part of the prelaunch phase. So Chris, I just wanted to clarify that.

[00:05:07] Chris: Yeah and I think that makes a lot of sense. For me unless one of your keywords is, what is it… auto-establishmentarianism, the one that's 52 characters long. It's one of the longer words in English, you're going to have plenty of room to describe your product. There's only so many ways to talk about a garlic press. It might be a garlic press but it might also be a ginger press. If you only have like 15, 20, 16 words in this case that might be enough. Actually it might be enough to fill out the whole 250 characters. I would look for the ones that are going to be the more generic way of describing things. Inside of our backend search terms and even in our title we are not necessarily going to go out after those longer tail words.

It's not going to be ‘stainless steel long handled rubber hinge garlic press'. It's going to be ‘garlic press' and maybe ‘stainless steel' as different sets of words. We need to remember that just like in Amazon's PPC if you're running broad stuff, that's how they look at the listing. They look at each word individually in the most broad sense possible. So garlic, does it make sense, does the user search the thing that the customer typed in, does it contain garlic. Yes, if so you're irrelevant. That's the level we're looking at here. Now, Scott when you're looking at those keywords, there's a couple of questions that come up. Do you look at keyword volume when you make those choices? How do you actually determine which keywords go into your title, your bullets and your search terms, upfront?

[00:06:36] Scott: You're asking me this question?

[00:06:37] Chris: Yes.

[00:06:40] Scott: I think the most important place to put them in the beginning, your most relevant ones, the ones that you are know are the obvious ones, the garlic press, the stainless steel garlic press. Like if those are in your title like to me that's the most weighted. At least right now that's the one that Amazon is paying the most attention to. They are going to weight the highest. Then from there I would say bullets and then from there I would say back end. What's your thoughts?

[00:07:11] Chris: I would say bullets seem to be indexed but they don't really appear to play a major role in getting found. To me even if it was in my bullets, if it's a keyword that's important, I would have in my search terms as well.

[00:07:27] Scott: Okay, I was just going to actually say that is some people ask, “Should we put our keyword in the back end if we've already put it in the front end?” and the answer is yes, you can. If it's a really important keyword, then I would. Number one because it doesn't hurt anything but are you going to take up space if you have more keywords that you can put in there that you could drive more traffic then you might want to think about that. But exactly what you said, the bullets if you are putting them in a bullet there's no reason not to put one of those in the back end as well. So I would probably do both myself unless I was trying to figure out a way to get more keywords in. Which generally isn't the case Chris, I got to be honest.  We've got probably what, nine or ten SKUs now in the new brand and it's really hard to find more than ten that are really driving traffic.

I say ten, we're talking like phrases in a sense where it could be a stainless steel garlic press. Like that's one of our keywords let's say. Or black handle rubber garlic press, or plastic garlic press, whatever it is. Those are keywords but they are phrases. I agree with that. If you're still putting them in your bullets and they are that important put them in the backend as well. But you just don't know which one is going to be number like you said. Indexed doesn't mean that you're going to be found, it just means you're indexed.

[00:08:59] Chris: It just means that Amazon understands that that's a word in your listing. It doesn't mean that they are using it to rank you which is really what you care about. Now to say that they are not using that at all I wouldn't say that but to me it's weighted like title, backend, everything else. If you can't put it in your title and have it make sense, make sure it's in your backend even if you're using in your bullet points. If you think it's one of those words that's going to make sense for you. Now, Scott, do you have any quick tips on like how to find these words? Are you just looking at competitors' titles, there are thirty different tools out there that give you keyword volume and all of these things or do you just go with your guy feel upfront and then use PPC to back fill it.

[00:09:41] Scott: I think everything you just said and I think you know that. All of the above in a sense. Here's where I would start. I would always start and look at the competition and see where they are ranking and then see what seems to be like a common thread. Like if I notice that the top five that are ranking they are using ‘garlic press' then I'm going to want to use garlic press. It's like a no brainer. But then where it really starts to come in like tools and stuff is where you want to start mining for new keywords or opportunities that you might not be aware of. So you can either use a tool for that or you can use sponsored product ads. Because that will also give you some really solid data because it's digging into your campaigns that you're running and it's real live data.

For example if we are going to run an auto campaign or not even an auto, let's just say we just do a manual campaign in the broad match and we go ahead and we do garlic press and that's our broad. We're going to show up for things that related to garlic press and in those search terms we're going to see which ones people actually typed in and that were triggered by that particular keyword. So the thing is though if you are brand spanking new you don't have that upfront. So we're not going to have that data until after we launch. So are talking pre-launch. If we're talking pre-launch I would do what we just mentioned, look at your competition, maybe even do a keyword tool, the planner tool. Look at that stuff if you want to.

Merchant Words, that gives you an idea and these are just ways for you to think a little bit outside of the box without you coming up with these different terms. The other thing you can do is go to Scope. That's a great tool put out by Seller Labs and we use it and what it does is you really go on your competition's page, you click on a little button and it will populate, almost like it's doing a reverse ASIN search but in real time and then we can look at the top keywords. We can look at the estimated sales per keyword. Not quite sure if all of that is 100% accurate but it does give me a good understanding of some of those top keywords.

[00:11:48] Scott: Guys I have that on the resources page. You can go to theamazingseller.com/resources or just go to theamazingseller.com/scope and you can learn more about that tool. But again, I don't want to push tools on your right now. I think they are great and I think that they do come in handy and I use them but right now when you're doing the pre-launch you either want to do what we just said, do like the free method, go out there and just do the hard work and just start digging. Then if you did want to use a tool, I use something like Scope that can give me some of that Amazon data if you will. That's pretty much what I would do.

[00:12:21] Chris: I would say the keywords are one of the biggest things. Backend keywords, title and writing your bullets in the listing creation side of this is something that a lot of people gloss over Scott but I think in the pre-launch phase this is one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success it's making sure that you're actually researching these things and taking a look. Not just writing it. Take a look, write it, let it sit for a day or two and then come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. Maybe show it to somebody else who doesn't know everything about the product, hasn't done all the research and see if they might describe it differently.

This is one of those things where it is a little bit of going back to what we always say in PPC, it's a little bit of the art than the science. We have to take our best whack in it. Looking at our competitors and what they are putting in their titles, their bullets and their description is really a good way to set up that solid foundation. The next big thing that's actually, the second thing in the email here from Miriam, Scott in the pre-launch phase outside of getting those backend search terms really dialed in, making sure that that listing is solid during the prelaunch phase while you're waiting for that product the second thing that Miriam was asking us about is the launch list.

I'm just going to read off the whole big chunk here. Then we'll kind of digest it. Miriam said, “My understanding is that I need to get potential customers on a list from scratch before I launch my products using social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. I gotta confess, I'm totally ignorant on how to do this. I understand that I should probably create a Facebook fan page for my niche so that I can get some likes and followers but I don't understand how to use that to actually get emails and then to launch the product. I thought that getting emails was to show my product and benefits and advertising to offer discount. Basically I don't understand where to go. I get that I need to be like building a Facebook fan page or an email list or something like this but I don't know where to start.” For those of you guys who don't have a launch list at this point Scott, where would you suggest that they start?

[00:14:20] Scott: Well I would say to go to our free resource. It's totally free, no strings attached and I would go and I would sit through that, I think it's maybe 90 minutes long. I would go through that training and I would start there. It really breaks down exactly what we have done and what we continue to do and actually currently, right now… And I was going to ask you this morning, so maybe you can tell us here live on the podcast, the last I checked we were just under 2,000 emails on a brand new contest that we started less than a week ago. Where are we at right now?

[00:14:52] Chris: It's funny that you ask. 2440

[00:14:57] Scott: We've added almost 500 since the last time I talked to you which was about a day, day and a half ago and I think you said we're averaging 300 new leads a day.

[00:15:05] Chris: Yeah, and actually I did the math about ten minutes before we jumped on and it's exactly 300 leads a day. Assuming today ended right now which we are recording this in the morning. We're actually doing a little better than that. We're spending $20 a day on Facebook ads to get that. It's not unreasonable to do that. The free workshop that you were talking about there Scott is actually two and a half hours from beginning to end. That includes all the Q&A.

[00:15:38] Scott: The content portion is about probably little less than 90 minutes. Then we do live Q&A so you can listen to all those questions. But again, the link to that is theamazingseller.com/buildlist. That will take you right there. There's no, you don't even have to give your email address or anything like that. It just basically takes you to replay, you go ahead and you watch it, we left that up because we want you to get that training because it's that important to be able to build these. We go exactly what we are doing and exactly how we've done it in a brand new market and we're doing it pretty much about every other month now. Right now we are doing it because we're gearing up for fourth quarter and we build our list even bigger.

So this way here we have a bigger launch when we launch these new products and some of our past products. It's totally, totally doable and to me it's part of the prelaunch phase. So if you're launching or if you're thinking launching or you're going to relaunch or if you just want to sell more of your products, a launch list is huge. I get this one though a lot Chris. It's like, “What should I do if I just want to go out there and I want to use like the old fashioned review groups?” Or, “I want to go out there and give my product away at 50% or 60% discount or even more. Where do I go?”

My suggestion was, well number one I think you should build your own list. Number two if you are going to do that you can go to sites like Slick Deals, you can go to Fat Wallet, Jumpsend is probably my best recommendation if you want to go to one that was targeted towards Amazon sellers. But again still, my thing is when you're going to a list that people were recruited to basically get discounts on Amazon products it can be looked at as a little bit of a negative light from Amazon. Because of that I like to go if I was to use it would Slick Deals or Fat Wallet because that's just a deal site in general. It's not saying it's targeting Amazon sellers specifically. But your best bet is to either launch using your own list or I think going out and finding someone that has a list in your market like an influencer or a YouTube channel, Instagrammer, one of those.

[00:17:42] Scott: Then that way there that can really ramp up your sales that way. Building your list is to me the best way. That's the best way and it's going to build the asset that you're going to have forever.

[00:17:51] Chris: Scott, it's funny that you brought that up because one of the questions that we get all the time whether it's on workshops, whether it's through email is like “Why do I need to build a list?” The answer there is twofold. One, you control that traffic then and sometimes we talk about it in the list building workshop. If you guys haven't gone through that, make sure that you do go through that because I think this is important. It's an asset that you control for the long term. All these other groups are like Fat Wallet, Slick Deals, Jump Send are lists. They are email lists. It's just something that you have less control over and there people who are less interested in your products.

Yes, you do spend some money to use some of the methods that you and I talk about on the list building stuff but you actually save money in the long term because you can launch at a significantly lower percentage off or even at no percentage off, which we have done to that list. And it's not kind of a onetime thing. You can go back to that list at any time you need a boost. One of the things we did when we ran out of stock was we went back to that list and let them we were in stock. Because a whole bunch of them had tried to buy our product while we were out of stock, they were emailing us and so we sent them all an email and said, “Hey, we're back in stock.” Guess what that did. At full retail price that skyrocketed our sales and got us our stuff back.

We didn't have to go back and offer a big discount off our stuff because we had that list and we had that property so building those things is extremely important not just for launching the product but for the long term in your business. Now, if you're just trying launch a product and with the intent of selling the business in six months that's probably not something that you need to do. By all means go to your Jump Send, your Slickdeals, your Fat Wallets but if this is something you want to use to really help you build long term stability or you're going to be in it for the long haul and this is something you want to build as a brand and as a business, it's absolutely something you are going to want to have and the rewards that you get back from spending the time and effort to do this right  in the pre-launch phase if you can are exponential even if you can't do it in the pre-launch phase, do it now.

[00:19:51] Chris: if you have a product up, you are not in the pre-launch phase right now, go through the steps, it's super easy. It's something that literally anyone can do and it's going to bring anyone exponential rewards back into the business. I think that's another big thing that people and I still see it even though we have talked about it Scott where people will have a really great listing from where we look at, we say where did you do the launch, they say, nothing. That's why we call it pre-launch phase because we can't just… It's not 2009, we can't just put up a product on Amazon and expect it to sell. In some cases it will and we've seen that but in most cases you have to give it a little nudge. You gotta push that snowball down the hill and watch it get bigger.

A launch list that you build during the prelaunch phase is absolutely in my opinion the best way to do that.

[00:20:39] Scott: I'm not going to make this podcast episode into a full list building one which we could, which we probably should do even one on how to then follow up with your list and how to make offers and stuff like that which we probably will do. But just so you understand like when we are building this pre-launch list a lot of people think that you're just building it to launch the product. That's kind of true but not fully because what we are also doing is we are able to then build a Facebook fan page in the process generally when we're doing this almost automatically because we're creating a Facebook fan page so this way here we can Facebook ads because you need a Facebook fan page to run Facebook ads and then it just naturally starts to build up your likes on that page which also will give you more reach.

The other cool thing is when  you share a piece of content that you might have created which we talk a lot about, we talk about that on the workshop is really where now you give them some value and then they want to share that. So let's say that you create a piece of content that's really awesome and you show someone how to catch the biggest bass in their lake or whatever or whatever. You're going to get people to pay attention to that and then from there  they are going to say, “Oh wow, they showed me  how to do this thing and they are using this special lure so I want to but that special lure.”

You're not directly asking them to buy but it's going to make them want to buy regardless because you're giving that piece of content that's wrapped around the product. So what I like to look at it is you're building this email list to not just buy tuff but to also help share it and also engage with it and get more reach on that content so it reaches more people which can potentially come back and join your email list, your Facebook page and eventually buy which I think is huge.

[00:22:29] Chris: I think that's monstrous for a lot of people. It's one of those things and I've said it twice now. It's exponential inside your business like even if your only intent up front is to use it for the launch phase, it's worth having. Then the side benefit of that is it's a list that you can test for new products. It's a list that you can go out and reach out to all of these people and get tons of different feedback on things for your business. And sell additional stuff. Which is something that every business wants to have. On top of that is something that, again we say this. Amazon could change, Amazon could go away, they could just shut down all third party sales. Now that's not going to happen but in theory they could. Now we have a source of traffic that we can point to whatever other channel is open for us.

Does that make sense?

[00:23:16] Scott: Yeah, yeah. It does. It's funny I'm going to say, it makes total sense. Chris that was funny the other day… I got to go on a little side note here. I see that you put up a poll to ask what kind of shirts that we should put out with what kind of sayings and you gave a list and someone had said that ‘it depends' would be a shirt. Another one would be ‘Does that make sense?' That's one of your sayings. Then the other one was from me, it says, ‘It makes total sense'. I thought that was very funny. I just wanted to share that. I got a chuckle out of that. We'll have to work on those shirts. Stay tuned for those.

[00:23:50] Chris: The reason that I posted that poll is because I saw somebody in the TAS group, and if you guys aren't a member of that group go join that now. It's theamazingseller.com/fb, head posted ‘can we please get Chris Shaffer ‘it depends t-shirt”. Not it was, ‘can we please get Chris Shaffer ‘does that make sense t-shirt?” So I posted that with some of the options and it took off from there. It cracked me up a little bit but if we do that it has to say ‘yes, yes it does', on the back. It's funny because it's… We're talking to a vacuum here and we're just talking to each other but we consciously know that we're talking to you who are listening right now and so I have to constantly check in to make sure that I'm not just sounding off.

If Scott gives me a little bit of confirmation, at least it makes me feel a little bit better that somebody else might potentially understand it. So Scott we talked about making sure that that listing is built on a solid foundation by going out and getting those keywords, setting up those search terms. Not really stuffing those things but making sure that they are filled out as completely as you can. The second big thing for building out that rock solid pre-launch phase is going to be making sure you build that list. You have a list or at least a strategy. Even if you're not going to go through the list building stuff, know what we are going to do when the product lands. If that's go to Fat Wallet, Slick Deals, Jump Send by all means but set  up that launch strategy which for us is going to be building that list and knowing what's going to go on from there.

The third thing Scott and it was kind of on a side to all of this was what happens if the numbers change during the pre-launch phase? If I go back and I've already ordered my product do I need to do anything different during the prelaunch phase if I see that the number of competitors has increased or the number of reviews has increased. Does that impact the foundation that I'm setting?

[00:25:51] Chris: Do I need to change anything if that happens or should I just cancel the order immediately?

[00:25:59] Scott: You're going to see that happen no matter what market you're in generally. No, I say what you need to do is number one the only thing that may change is you may have like this target in your mind that says, “I've done the math, they are selling 300 units a month, I've got to sell 10 units a day to match what they are doing because they're showing up on page one.” To think about this a little bit clear it's like we're reverse engineering what is selling on page one so we can model that when we launch. So if they are selling ten a day we want to sell at least ten a day and we want to do that consistently for probably like four to five, even seven days.

So that's what we want to do. Now, if that changes and it went from 300 to 600 well now we say to ourselves we might have to sell 20 a day. The only thing it really does for me really is say how many more units do I need to sell in order to get the eyeballs of Amazon in rank. Again, making sure that my keywords that I want to target are there and my listing is optimized. Really that's the biggest thing here. It's making sure you're optimized because if we drive traffic to a listing or to a product from our email list and we get sales we want to make sure we're getting credit through Amazon and that's why we want to be optimized and we want to be indexed and all of that stuff because we want to know that we are going to get the benefits of getting those sales.

The only thing that would change for me is really how aggressive I have to get with my email list or what I need to do to get those people to buy. It might be a bigger discount I might have thought to myself, I might have to do 25% off, maybe I'm going to do 50% now in order to get those sales. Maybe I try maybe just part of my list. Maybe I segment my list and I give half of them an offer for 50% off and the other half I give for 25% and I see the different… That's really the only thing that's going to change. I'm not going to bail out on now. I'm already invested, I'm already into it, I'm just going to go with it and I'm going to give everything I have but this is why and I'm glad you brought this up because the other component that we're really talking about is this is the pre-launch we're talking but once we jump into the launch phase it's really you're taking that list now, bringing it over to your launch phase, driving the sales.

[00:28:12] Scott: But at the same time we are going to start running Amazon pay-per-click pretty much out of the gate. So now we've got two places where we are driving. So if we're going to get sales from our list, we're also going to get some sales from pay-per-click and we're going to get some of that data right up front. Just for people to understand like that's what we're doing. We're trying to give this thing a huge push. We want to try to do it over the matter of a few days. Now what we've done and this is a big take away so you might want to write this one down or if you're driving just remember or go back and listen or go to the show notes.

What you want to do here is when you set up this campaign and we call it a campaign, it's like a three email sequence. When you do this during the launch you want to make sure that you tell them specifically what the offer is and then you also want to let them know that there's a deadline. It's like anything. You've seen, we're going to do a present day sale for the car dealership. It's going to end by Monday. You need that there for a couple of different reasons. Number one we all are kind of lazy when it comes to getting a deal or going there and cashing in our chips. We have to be pushed. We are busy. We're going to email them on day one and maybe on day two we are going to email them reminding them and also giving them a little bit of a piece of content that's going to obviously give them a little bit of value.

Then the third one it's going to be maybe another little bit of value but then also reminding them that the deal is going to expire. So if you do those things, I'm telling you you'll get a bigger bump in sales than if you just send one email. I get a lot of people Chris that say, “I sent out one email and I got mediocre results.” The reason is because you didn't structure it properly and you didn't send out those emails. So there's my take on that. Was that helpful? Did that make sense?

[00:29:51] Chris: Yes, it absolutely makes sense. That's another thing that people miss and that's more in the launch phase than in the pre-launch phase but it's something you have to understand. It's something you have to know in this phase that you're going to be doing. Scott, kind of going back to the competition question, that is always going to change. Now for me, the only thing that might shift whatever already done is if I see somebody knew that's selling really well and that they sell consistently through the pre-launch phase and going back to the title, the bullets, the description, the photos, really creating that solid listing.

I might pull them in the mix to see if they are doing something different than the competition. Then everybody else that I already analyzed but I wouldn't worry too much if your sales volume changes slightly. In Miriam's case her review count changed. The number of reviews went up which is going to happen. This is going to happen over time. Now, if you see big jumps and Miriam saw a big jump in reviews, it means that somebody in there is probably exploiting the system a little bit. If they go from 50 to 500 in a week, they are doing something a little shady and one you may want to take a step back and double check their sales volume.

Two, they may not be around all that long so there might be some additional sales up for grabs for you if they get knocked out. So definitely factor that into consideration but the place that competition changes, changes the competition would make the biggest impact formed it's going to be in that listing creation and that listing optimization, the best guess ever that we're going to put to it upfront. It wouldn't stop me from continuing on with the product especially if we did our stuff correctly upfront. The place that we have to avoid those issues is in the product selection phase and we do that by looking at the sales history and the trends and the volume and all of those kinds of things to make sure that it's being consistent and that we're not hitting some sort of a bubble. Does that make sense?

[00:31:47] Scott: It does make sense.

[00:31:49] Chris: I caught myself halfway through haha.

[00:31:53] Scott: Oh, here we go. I'm going to say it again. Yes, it makes perfect sense Chris. Yes, I don't want to keep going over exactly the same things because it just seems like we just keep repeating ourselves but it's that important. It really totally is. It's like if you think about it, it's like you're going to have a better chance of winning at the game here when I always talk about business to me is like a game in a sense in a fun way. It's like what does Amazon want? They want sales. What else do they want that they recognize for ranking? They want your listing to be relevant and they want it to be optimized. So give them what they want and you will rank.

Now, you have to have a good product. If you don't have a good product and you get ranked guess what, ain't going to get any sales. It might not work. The other thing is and we didn't really touch on this but we should is in the pre-launch definitely, definitely make sure you have really awesome pictures because your pictures are going to sell your product. It's the closest thing to touching your product. I see some people put an image in there that isn't number one the right size meaning it's not big enough. So it won't engage the roll over feature which if you've ever rolled over and image and you can see how it can kind of zoom in that is because the image is big enough.

It's in HD so you can actually do that. Well if you have an image that's small and it's under optimized as far as size wise it's not going to show that way and Amazon I believe will give you like a point off from that. They will give you a negative effect on that because it's not optimized. It's under optimized. So definitely take time with the pictures, make sure and the next question, Chris we'll get is where do I get my pictures? The place that I'd go is local. I would seek out your local photographer and I would ask them if they would do product photography and I'm going to be willing to bet pretty much that they will want to do it because they are used to doing weddings, they are used to doing the portrait photography and that's a lot of work compared to setting up their studio and having you come in with your garlic press and they just have to take maybe a couple of lifestyle shots.

[00:34:10] Scott: Maybe they are going to do some just free standing shots, whatever on a white background. They will be able to help you and I'm sure they are going to want to do it because it's easier for them. So that's what I would do. I would definitely invest in that and I guess the next question a lot of times is well, how much should I be willing to spend? I would say generally between $200 and $300 is probably the going rate for good photography and as our good friend Jared says, spend the money on the pictures because he believes that's what really has taken his business from zero to almost a million in sales now.

[00:34:43] Chris: If you find somebody good hold onto him. That's one of those things. Local is almost the way to go for that and there's two reasons for that Scott. One, local photographers you're going to have virtually everywhere. And I live in the middle of nowhere in Texas. I'm two and half hours from the nearest city. I live in the country now but there's hundred different photographers here that I could go to. So I'm going to have choice. I'm also going to have choice and pricing which is always good but $200 to $300 is probably fair to get a handful of different product and lifestyle photos for yourself. But the photographers are also going to enjoy doing that because brides and babies cry but products don't.

As long it's not something that's going to spoil by them having it under the photo lights it's something that they are going to have a problem shooting and generally they are going to be more than happy to do so. The other thing is you're going to have more control over it. If you send your product off to a product photographer that you don't have communication with in an easy fashion, if you go to a local photographer you can take them the product and stand there while they take the photos and say, “Well, I don't like that one. Here's why, here's what I'm going for.” If you just send it off to somebody, you have to wait till and edit it and then they are going t have to go back and totally reshoot if it's something that you needed a different angle or you needed something else.

I don't know about you but if I was the one taking those pictures that would drive me a little bonkers as a photographer and it would drive me bonkers on the other side of that because if I have a timeline for when I'm getting stuff and I don't get my photos that I need in that timeline that can be a little bit of a pain too. So local gives you that little bit of control that you need and it also helps make sure that you don't miss any of those things upfront.

[00:36:24] Scott: Cool. Let's wrap this up, let's do a little recap here for building a rock solid foundation. You can crush your next product launch. Let's go through these little quick Chris and wrap this baby up. Number one is in the prelaunch phase is your listing. Your listing is really important to have that built out. Now, don't panic and think you have to have everything perfect but you have to have it built out and one of the things is Keyword research. Take the time, look through your competition, look in Google keyword planner, look at like I said, Scope if you want to use a tool and start getting some of that information and then start plugging that stuff in. Do pictures as far as like do high quality pictures. Use those.

If you don't have, that's the other question I get asked Chris. What happens if I don't have my product yet, I don't have my sample? Take pictures right now yourself and then once you get the product as soon as you do try to get that lined up but contact the photographer and get a date set now. Then the other part of the prelaunch is building your list. So this way here you are ready out of the gate to start pushing sales and that's where you are going to build your own email list or reaching out to influencers wherever you want to spend your time. You might want to do both but I would definitely go over to our workshop, our free workshop and that is up right now. You guys can go check that out theamazingseller.com/buildlist and that will give you all the information there.

If you want to see all five phases we also do a workshop on that where we touch on all of those five phases, give you actually a blueprint and you can go check that out at theamazingseller.com/workshop. Chris, if I missed anything fill in the gaps. If not, let's go ahead and wrap this baby up.

[00:38:09] Chris: I don't think you did but I'm going to recap it just for myself to make sure that I didn't miss anything. The first thing is going to be building that rock solid listing. That's going to be dialing in those photos. Researching through your competitors and potentially through a tool, something like Scope or Merchant Words or even the adwords display planner. Not the keyword planner buys. The display planner is where you can take your competitors' listing and copy and paste that in and see all the keywords that they are potentially using that Google has indexed them for. That can be a really handy tool but getting those photos, getting the keywords and the copy so the title, your bullets, your description really dialed in.

I think those two things are going to be the thing that sets the real foundation. They are the rebar, right Scott? Then we are going to start to fill in that foundation and really start to strengthen it up so that we have a rock solid one by building that pre-launch list. Or at least, at the very least setting ourselves up with a launch strategy and starting to get my legs under us for that. Whether that's using the strategies that we use to build a list, whether that's going out to influencers like you just said, or whether that's deciding on a platform like your Jump Sends, your Fat Wallets, your Slickdeals that you are going to us to launch. That's going to be the thing that finalizes and solidifies the rest of that pre-launch phase.

[00:39:21] Scott: Cool. That's a wrap. That's really good and I really think that if you guys are at this part in the process you definitely have to do this. To me it's like so, so important and so critical. So you have no excuse now. You got all of the info that you need for this phase and I'm telling you that you will have a better launch if you go through this. And you know what if for some reason it doesn't turn out the way that you thought it was going to you just have to readjust. Out of the gate it's not always going to work and that means you might have to have a better offer, you may have to communicate with the list a little bit more before you actually make the offer. There's some things we can do there to tweak it but the one thing I do know is you have to get started and that is by building a list and then we can work backwards from there.

Definitely get to there and do it. The show notes to this episode can be found at theamazingseller.com/432 and all of the other links and workshops that we mentioned we'll throw those in the show notes as well with all the transcripts, the links, all those goodies will be over there. Chris, we're going to wrap this baby up together today. Are you ready?

[00:40:28] Chris: I am.

[00:40:29] Scott: Are you prepared?

[00:40:30] Chris: I am. Does that make sense?

[00:40:32] Scott: I think it makes sense. Totally it makes sense. All right guys, that is officially going to wrap this up, remember as always I'm here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, Chris is going to say it with me on the count of three, one, two three, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

[END]

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