As a business leader, you want to use every tool that’s available and learn from as many sources you can. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott welcomes Mike Jackness to the podcast. You’ll hear Mike share about his own journey as an ecommerce business leader, the importance of brand building, identifying a target audience, leveraging email lists, and so much more! Find out what lessons and insights you can learn from Mike’s story. This is a great opportunity to learn from a leader who has experienced the level of success you are striving for, don’t miss it!
Brand building works!
Have you struggled with getting your private label business off the ground? Are you still trying to figure out if creating and marketing a brand is the right move for you and your business? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from entrepreneur and business leader Mike Jackness. Mike breaks down why brand building works and how positioning products that work well together can make a huge difference in the profitability of your business. If you are ready to take your brand to the next level, make sure to catch this episode and learn as much as you can from Mike’s unique perspective!
Finding your ideal customer.
It won’t matter if you have the best product on the market if you haven’t put in the work and identified and targeted the right audience. How do you do that? Where do you even start? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott sits down with successful ecommerce seller Mike Jackness. Mike explains how he’s developed and built his brand to target specific audiences by creating a customer avatar so he knows what his audience needs. If you want to reach the right audience with the right product and message, make sure to listen to Mike’s story and the helpful advice he has to share with sellers like you!
Building an email list is the best way to connect with your audience!
Are you still trying to figure out how to grow your customer base and reach more people for your brand? Have you considered using email lists in the past but have never pulled the trigger? What are you waiting for? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and his guest, Mike Jackness go over the success they’ve both experienced by using email lists. Find out how they strategically use their email lists to drive sales, test new products, and grow their following. You don’t want to miss this fascinating episode that could change the way you build your business!
Why offers to your email list are better than Facebook Ads.
When you get to the point where you are ready to launch a product, you might be wondering if you should drive sales by sending promotions to your email list, running ads through Facebook, or both. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from ecommerce seller Mike Jackness as he shares why he starts with sending promotions to his email list to drive sales on a newly launched product. Mike doesn’t discourage sellers from running ads on Facebook to drive sales but he explains why sending offers to your email list is more effective especially when you try to drive sales in a given time period. Learn more about this topic from Mike on this informative episode!
Here's the Uber ride Scot talked about. Warning: It's a Crazy RIDE!
TAS WILD Uber Ride Experience – This is how you stand out from all the other UBER drivers. This was right after our TAS Un-Official Meetup in NC and we never expected this. But, it was a BLAST!
Posted by Scott Voelker on Wednesday, June 28, 2017
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [3:00] Scott welcomes Mike Jackness to the podcast.
- [5:00] Mike talks about the “Uber Game.”
- [8:00] Mike gives a run down of where his business is at right now.
- [11:30] Why brand building is so important.
- [15:00] What is Mike’s brand development strategy?
- [19:00] Finding a niche audience that works for you.
- [21:00] Creating a customer avatar and understanding your audience.
- [24:00] Mike talks about the formula he sticks by when launching a brand.
- [31:00] How to provide enticing offers to your list followers.
- [33:30] What is Mike’s product research process?
- [35:30] Pushing your offers to your audience.
- [39:30] What is a good success rate to look for?
- [42:30] Closing thoughts from Scott.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 464
TAS 464: (Part 1) 7 Figure Seller Reveals How to Launch Products and Build Brands in 2018
[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 464 and today we're going to be talking with a seven figure seller and he is going to reveal…
[read more=”Read full transcript…” less=”Read less”]
…how he is launching new products and building new brands in 2018. His name is Mike Jackness. You guys may or may not remember him. He was on episode 219. He's a good friend of mine now. I met him at Sellers Summit and that's going back about, actually the first one. So it's actually a couple of years ago now. We've stayed in touch. I've picked his brain a little bit here and there. Great guy and he has a ton of knowledge and he's got his hands in a bunch of different things.
He's building over three different brands right now. He'll tell us in this interview that I did with him but really was a conversation that him and I were just having because we haven't talked in a while. I wanted to get caught up on what he's been doing, what he's been doing with this original seven figure brand and building that and scaling that. But then also I knew he had some plans for a couple of knew brands that he was starting from scratch. That's what we go through here in this episode. So that's why I said we're going to be talking about like product selection a little bit but then also launching and building brands and what he feels is the secret sauce moving forward in 2018 and beyond.
Now, episode 219 I had him one, we talked about email list building and Facebook ads. If you want to check that out I'll link that up in the show notes. Speaking of show notes there will be some of those for you guys as well. If you want to head over to theamazingseller.com/464. Transcripts, show notes, links, all that stuff will be over there. One little reminder here if you guys are brand new especially listening to this episode it can seem a little overwhelming because there's a lot of different things that we're going to be talking about. What I've done here is I've actually broken this up into two parts because we covered so much. We covered launching, we discussed product selection, we talked about funnels, we talked about a lot of different things.
[00:02:07] Scott: What I wanted to do is break this up into two parts. We went on for about an hour and twenty minutes. So what I did is I broke this up into part one and then the following episode will be part two and we'll pick up where we left off in today's episode. I did want to remind you guys though, if you guys are starting from scratch, I would recommend that you head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop and there you will see the five step process. The road map that we've recently used to launch a six figure brand in under 12 months which is also heading towards seven figures. Definitely go check that out at theamazingseller.com/workshop.
Also look for a part two of this episode I did with Mike Jackness. Sit back, relax enjoy this two part podcast episode that I did with my good friend Mr. Mike Jackness. Enjoy.
[00:03:00] Scott: Well hey Mike what is up my man? How is it going?
[00:03:04] Mike: It's pretty good. We're recording this right before Black Friday so it's a little bit crazy. I'm not sure when this episode will go out but this is every marketer's or ecommerce guy's dream. This time of year or your biggest nightmare depending on how you look at it but I get excited and it's a fun time of year.
[00:03:23] Scott: It really is and I think that's one thing that a lot of people say too is though, to me anyway. They're like, “Scott I want to launch my business but I can't get in for fourth quarter,” and I'm like, “Well fourth quarter will be here next year,” but also business runs pretty much every day, every month.
[00:03:43] Mike: Exactly. I don't think you want to start in the fourth quarter anyway. I think that getting started in the first quarter is probably actually better to have you be more prepared for the fourth quarter.
[00:03:50] Scott: Again, there's a lot of stuff you can be doing during the fourth quarter to get yourself prepped and get yourself ready and all that stuff. What I want to do here is I want to really get you back on and really just catch up. Because I mean the last I actually was hanging out with you it was at Steve Chou's event. I think it was the Seller's Summit event. We both spoke at that event and you were talking about what you were doing with your one brand, ColorIt and I just want to get caught up on that stuff. I know you and I talked a little bit privately on the new brand that I recently launched and I kind of picked your brain there. And I just want to get caught up with what you're doing.
I know you've got multiple projects going on. Before we do that though, I want to ask a question or maybe you can give people the answer to this. This is on a total side note. But you had a pretty fun game at Seller's Summit if you recall Mike, you're probably thinking what's he talking about? The Uber game. Can you lead us through that fun party game. Let's just get through that and give people something they can take to the next party and be like a star at the next party. I thought that was a pretty incredible game. Can you just tell us a little bit about that game.
[00:05:00] Mike: I'm not sure how it even really totally got started. But we were taken in Uber to dinner and Greg Mercer was in the car and he had asked what my Uber rating was. I don't' even know why he asked that. Then I was like, I expected when I opened it up to be like a 5.0 because I'm like always super nice to the Uber Drivers and I try to make sure that I'm out there on time but I guess there's probably a couple of times where there were some drunken Uber rides and they probably don't appreciate that too much. I opened up my Uber ride was like 4.4. So then it became like…
Greg was like asking everyone all night if there's anyone with a lower Uber rating. And we could never find a lower Uber rating than mine. But then we started betting on trying to guess, a dutch auction style like everyone's Uber rating within the party, like the after party of Seller's Summit. It got a little bit extreme. I'm embarrassed to talk about the amounts we were betting at a certain point but it was a lot of fun. It worked out well for me because I was on the right side of the guessing game most of the time.
[00:06:02] Scott: It was funny because I got roped in because one of you hollored over to me because you wanted to know my Uber score and I didn't have an Uber score. So you guys were like pass, you're no good. Then I just followed you guys around because I thought it was so funny as heck to watch you guys battle it out and it was literally paypal to paypal.
[00:06:24] Mike: What was really funny was that there was a lot of people in the room that didn't really know us and we were just pointing to random people like let's pick this random person. We'd just walk up to them, not even say hello. We had been drinking and we were all intensely into this bet and just be like, we need you to come over here right now and get out your phone and show us your Uber rating. People were just like what the hell is going on right now. I wish we could have recorded like the look on people's faces because it was pretty darn funny.
[00:06:49] Scott: I think Steve will be okay with this but I think you guys went over to his wife and his wife was like, “Oh gosh I'm going to be fine.” You are like, I think we're going to be fine. I know exactly how she's going to be but then she had just gotten like a negative Uber score. Something. Wasn't that it was?
[00:07:05] Mike: She cost me like 500 bucks. It was real.
[00:07:10] Scott: All right. Onto more important things but guys, that's a fun game playing with Uber but you don't even have to necessarily take an Uber ride but if you have in the past and you have a history, it's a fun game to just hitting people up in the party but I thought that was a lot of fun.
[00:07:25] Mike: This is why you have to come to Seller's Summit, or to these live events and this is what you learn. Like the most important thing is how to bet on Uber ratings.
[00:07:30] Scott: It was hysterical. It was awesome. I had a blast. All right. On to more important things. So what's been happening man? Since we've last talked which I think you and I talked privately a little bit maybe around three months ago-ish. Something like that and I just want to get caught up. What's been happening? Even just in Seller's Summit, so what's been happening? I know you had another brand I think you were just getting ready to launch or doing this prelaunch thing and a contest to build up the audience. Just get me caught up like what's been happening?
[00:08:01] Mike: Forgive me for rambling here because this is going to take a while to get out. But going back I guess it's been a year and a month now when Amazon lowered the boom hammer with the review game. It was a big wake up call for me. I'd say that was probably one of the three most significant days of my ecommerce career. The reason for that is I have been in business for over 13 years myself doing various things. Previously I was doing affiliate marketing and SEO was a big part of that. I had been crashed by previous Google boom hammers in the past. Let me tell you, it is a really awful feeling when you wake up one morning and you're completely de-indexed from Google and a business that you had that's making you $100,000 a month in profit is completely like obliterated overnight.
It's a horrible feeling. I'm the type of person that doesn't let that really bother them for too long. I move on and reinvent myself but at the same time I feel like making the same mistakes over and over again is pretty stupid and there's ways to avoid that. I could have easily have avoided that by taking a little bit harder and longer road. There was never a day that was more clear to me than when Amazon came out and said, “We're going to put an end to this. We're capable of having white sweeping bans on people, getting rid of tens of thousands of sellers at a time because we decide today is the day we're going to stop whatever it is.”
I sat down with myself. It was a lonely conversation. I was just like, how can I position myself over the next year or two to not have to ever worry about this stuff. I'm going to hear a lot of interference with people that are going to try the new thing for today. How to game the review system today or how to game the rankings today or whatever that is. And largely just try to ignore that and not even listen to it because it is enticing. Especially when they are telling you that's working.
[00:10:02] Mike: You hear, I just did XYZ. It's one of these things again. It works until it doesn't. When it doesn't you go from 100% to 0%. That's what I really been up to and we can talk in detail about what that's meant.
[00:10:18] Scott: Yeah. I absolutely do and I mean I was intrigued just by your strategy in a pretty short while of time. Like when you started a new brand. We had you on and we talked about that and how you built that and really, correct me if I'm wrong but you really did build that from building up your email list and being able to in return market to that email list but then also if you want to you can push traffic to Amazon if you want to, if you have a new release if you want to get best seller badge, any of that stuff. You can still do that. Was that your thought process in the beginning of or is it still? Is that the thing you're kind of thinking to yourself I need a leverage point that I could push a button and then I could have an influx of sales which we know that Amazon wants that.
Some people would say that's kind of gaming the system. Now, it's you're giving them what they want. You're giving them still money for selling product through their platform. Let's talk to that real quick.
[00:11:20] Mike: Yeah, I mean basically my thought process was back when you could game the review system let's say, to remind people what that meant is you could throw something up on Snagshot or Jumpsend 99% off like just give us your honest review in exchange for again the discount and there was all those crappy reviews. Let me tell you man, that worked. It was incredible. I could launch anything and it was so easy. It was probably the easiest money I had ever really made. It was incredible how easy it was to launch products. When I decide to stop doing them I'm like I want to be able to do that again. I want to be in the same position but in a very white hat way. So that's what that's meant.
Yes, you're right. It's been building lists. It's not just that. To me it starts off with brand building. Having products that work well together and building an audience of people that are capable of buying more than one of your products. We stick with four different brands and all those things are related to each other and it's enticing and easy to find other products like I'm looking at a keyboard right now in front of me obviously. I could sell keyboards or I could sell a mouse or a mouse pad or whatever. But that doesn't really fit into other things that I'm doing. So I try to make sure I stick to products that the same audience is going to buy over and over because it is expensive to build a brand and to build an audience.
We've worked really hard on that and in addition to that we also work very hard to legitimately develop five star products. We go out of our way, spend whatever it takes or not launch a product if we feel like it can't be at least four star product but we really legitimately strive to have five-star products. Someone who gets it they’re wow’d by it immediately and are continued to be wow’d by it as they are using it and that also really helps generate buzz and develop that brand and also gets you to a point where when you launch a new product and you email them about it or give them a Facebook ad about it that they are going to pretty much buy it without doing any research or just like I want that product that so and so, let's just Color-It as an example, has their brand name on it. I trust them, I will buy whatever they release. No matter what it is.
[00:13:34] Mike: I think I could put chalk around poop at this point and they would buy it. It would only work once but we have that reputation now. As long as we can deliver that high quality product they are going to continue to buy from us. That's kind of our strategy in a nutshell.
[00:13:51] Scott: Okay, but going into the brand build, because that's one thing of saying that you can now do that but the lead up to that point and correct me if I'm wrong but that does take some time to get your products and your content in front of these people and that could be from them joining a giveaway or a contest of some kind or a lead magnet of some kind. Then you following up with more content, yes sprinkling on and off here and there but making them aware and that could be through retargeting on Facebook and all that stuff. So is there anything like that you could talk about like because again, you already have the momentum.
You already started, you already doing this stuff and so am I. So it's like it's hard to go back and say, all right, if I'm starting over, so if you're starting a fresh brand what is the strategy? Is there anything that I'm missing there as far as like getting people interested to raise their hand and then from there just giving them good content that makes them aware of your brand and then when they do see something that crosses their newsfeed or something they're going to be like, “Oh I know them. They delivered content to me or they've given me value before so I'm going to go with them.”
[00:14:53] Mike: That's a great question. It's something I can speak particularly to right now because we're actually launching two new brands right now. We're in the process of doing that right this minute. Mostly because we run out of products to develop for the two brands that we already have. Eventually you'll hit the end of the rainbow. There's only so many products for coloring as for instance. So we have hit that spot. We're still releasing some new products but looking forward as we want to continue to double our business every year because that's the pace we've been on, 200% to 300% growth per year. We had to look into the future and realize that if we want to continue to double next year, we need another brand.
We need more products. So we're launching two new products. One's in the tactical survival space. Other is in the baby space and we're in the process of building that list right now and we can definitely talk about that here. The strategy we've been taking for that real quick if you're interested in that.
[00:15:49] Scott: Yeah, I definitely would. Let me ask you this quick question because I'm asking myself this question. I'm sure other people will as well. When you're rolling out these other brands, are you trying to also have a brand that could support the next brand and the next brand or are these totally independent?
[00:16:05] Mike: They are totally independent. If you can do what you just said, it's much preferred. We weren't really able to come up with those things for ourselves in the niches that we're in. Coloring, we looked at how the associated industries, the problem is like a lot of the brands, things we're looking at doing they are low value products. You end up in that product where the price points were just too low for us to make it make sense. Your stuff like arts and crafts supplies and stuff typically things you'll see at Michael’s or something they were like $3, $4, $5 and that just doesn't work on Amazon.
[00:16:43] Scott: Okay, in the best of everything it would be great to do that but you're not doing that right now because again, it's going to require more work and the audience would actually have to definitely kind of like cross like promote each other but then have it make sense. The color you aren't going to send them a tactical knife.
[00:17:09] Mike: No, it's stuff that's completely disparate and free standing. Again, it's not preferred compared to what you were mentioning. If I could have had four brands that had an 80% audience overlap on each one that would have been awesome. It didn't work that way. The thing that we were most concerned about quite frankly over everything else was people that were passionate about the industry that we were going to get into and there's no more passionate people than people that just had a kid or that are in their like guns and survival. These are people that are incredibly passionate about those niches. That was something that was important to us.
And we wanted something ahead, Facebook audiences that we could easily target. Again, both of those things had that. So I was more concerned with that than even the audience overlap part which again would have been nice and we did look down that road and they did have the audience overlap and the passion just with the coloring, again all the related industries. There just wasn't one of our big rules is products that are over $10 and preferably over $25 and it just wasn't there.
[00:18:14] Scott: Let me ask you this because I mean you bring up a very great point. I can totally see this. So in the baby space if you're in the baby space like your passion or a mom and a dad are passionate, they just had a new baby. They want to do everything right, they want to make sure they get all the best stuff. They are going to do the research but they are very passionate about that, it's someone that they love and they care for, all that. It makes sense. The other one is tactical. A lot of times tactical people are in there, whether they’re a prepper or whether they think the work is going to come to an end. They are just so like crazy passionate about that because it's a hobby, whatever.
But sometimes it could be survival or any of that stuff. I see that. For coloring, I wouldn't necessarily think that. I can think someone's totally into coloring and like we're talking adult coloring like but I wouldn't think it would be like as much of a passion for people that were having a baby or people that were passionate that they think the world is going to come to an end, so I have to prep for that. Is that true or do you just think that there is a die hard fan base for coloring and they would just go out there and they like wake up and they think about it?
[00:19:16] Mike: It's shocking but there definitely is that passion in that space. People are sharing the stuff that they do like non-stop on social media for us and unfortunately, this is like one of the set ups of our business. Our average avatar customer is an older woman that's probably widowed or pretty lonely and I think that's where a lot of it comes from and we try to build that community to help with that them and it's actually. It's one of the several things that's awesome that makes me happy because we're able to provide that for people but in a lot of cases it sucks getting old. All of us are getting older and you get to a point where there's only so many activities you can do. You are not going to go out running or hiking or play tennis anymore when you're 70.
So being able to color when you're stuck at home or by yourself is something people get very passionate about. Again, it's a little bit sad, that's something we didn't really know going into it but we found that as we've gone on and there's definitely a huge amount of passion with these people with what they do.
[00:20:28] Scott: Let me ask you this really quick before we do move on. It's like, and I think this is important for people to understand as far as building your brand and who your market is but you talked about some pretty specific things that you found out about your market. Why don't you speak to that really quickly. Like how did that come to be? I'm asking you as the audience. I kind of know what you're going to say but like what is that process that you're going through that you're going to start pulling this stuff out and you call it your avatar. It's like our ideal customer that is going to be our customer that has a certain age they have, a certain like you said, most of them are probably either windowed or by themselves. How did you figure that stuff out?
[00:21:14] Mike: Just Facebook testing. That's like the amazing stuff about Facebook. Like let's just say it doesn't matter what you're selling. Let's just say you're selling a widget. We'll take coloring out of it. You're going to have some initial thoughts on who might want that product. Obviously there's audiences of like coloring or whatever people, let's say it's on the cooking space you can do an interesting type of cooking. If it's the tactical space, people that are in the camping or survivalism, there's obvious softball type audiences that you can always go after. But then, once you're going after those audiences you can then use something like Ad Espressor or even just Facebook ads manager and start split testing age groups and genders.
I think that's one of the first things you really want to test. I was definitely surprised that what ended up happening was just it was, no matter how much tried selling a coloring book to a 30 or 40 year old it just it doesn't work. So we end up realizing that it wasn’t an older audience and so when we were going to the same process now for the tactical niches that we are in and the baby niches but Facebook is definitely the way to get those answers and surprisingly cheap. If you were to go out and hire an agency to do this type of research for you could pay tens of thousands of dollars to get these answers.. You can find out these answers to your questions for $1,000 or less on Facebook.
Especially if you're patient and are willing to run ads with small amounts of budget over a longer period of time to make sure you're not getting any type of variance, you can get the answer to that stuff relatively cheaply.
[00:22:51] Scott: Yeah I know. I think Facebook makes it really easy for us to do that but like you said patience is key and you're going to start to see like you may even see that audience is something completely different than you thought it was and that's great. But again, it's by you putting out offers in front of these people but then also you're going to be able to see some of that demographic stuff just from them clicking through. So it's pretty powerful stuff. And now you're tailoring your messaging and your content towards that avatar that mostly fits your brand. Then your conversions bump and all that fun stuff.
I can't stress that enough. That's huge for anyone that is thinking about like their market, their brand and then from there how they can target them and it kind of really take the right message and align it those people. It's huge. So let's talk about this, like now you got a couple of new brands. We're kind of starting from scratch in a sense. Where do you just start and what's the plan moving forward. What's the template that you kind of are going by that anything that you plug in now is really going to follow a certain formula in a sense.
[00:24:07] Mike: At the end of the day and I've talked about this when I go present at various conferences, we wake up with our number one goal being to do one of three things. It's either get someone's email address to get them pixeled or to get them on one of our Facebook Messenger list. I call getting all three of those the tri-factor. If we can get all three of these pieces of information from somebody we really want. It's hard to get all three but we can typically get at least two of those things. It's a different approach because three years ago, four years ago when I was first getting started in the ecommerce the only thing I thought about was getting a sale. It's like how do I get a sale and now I've been able to back out realizing that the real objective that I have is to get one of those only three things done and the sales will come.
So now it's just a matter of okay now with these new brands, how do I get their email address or how do I get them on my Facebook chat bot. And we use a few different approaches to that. The one thing I will say here real quick I think it's really important to not just take a one size fits all approach. Where you hear someone like myself talking about this stuff and try to copy it verbatim because every niche is very different. That's the thing that I've also, kind of suspecitive but also definitely really learned over now doing a brand that's in the coloring, one that's in the baby, one that's in the tactical.
You have to take a completely different approach with every brand depending on what you're selling, what you have to offer. If you have repeat customer ability, what your margins are. You have to like sit down and think a little bit intelligently on your own about what your approach is going to be and make sure that you map out the whole puzzle and process before just like okay, I'm going to get people's email addresses and not thinking about what that means.
[00:26:05] Mike: Because certain emails are going to be way more valuable than others and if you don't have a plan to get them all the way through a funnel, then you're just wasting your money.
[00:26:17] Scott: Yeah, and I think, just correct me if I'm wrong but you're also probably looking at it as is the market that you're going after worthy of content? If it's not, then how do I give them resources? How do I create tutorials? How can I help them other than just showing them my product? So I think that's a big one that you have to understand and you have to decide if going into that market. Now let me ask you this though, before we do move on, are you at all thinking product at this point in time as you're coming up with this idea? Like you came up with like this a passionate group where there's buyers here but is there any thought at this point at what products were different products you're going to sell to this market?
[00:27:06] Mike: Yes, absolutely. The way that we do that it's actually pretty clever. I haven't heard a lot of people talking about this yet. Maybe you have. What we basically do is obviously we know we're going into one niche like just let's say it's a tactical as a for instance. So obviously as we're working on multiple pieces of the said time, a lot of things that are happening concurrently but like one of the things that we're working on is like what products are we going to develop as you're asking here. So at the same time as we're collecting email addresses and getting people subscribed and we're writing content in this niche, we're also we're like what products do we go after and it's a different approach that I used to take.
Because I used to take an approach to just go into Jungle Scout and doing that which works just fine but I also want to make sure that the emails that I'm collecting and the audience I'm building are going to respond to an eventual product that I bring out and I have a much higher chance of success. What I'll do is I'll just go like to Ali Express. I'll find a product that's 80% or 90% like the product I plan on developing and then marketing that product to my list at a price point that's close to what I envision launching a product at and just playing to get like a click funnels type scenario, where I'll market that product to them.
And then I just fulfill it through Ali Express and then I have my answer. It's like okay I put together an offer for this widget. I think they respond well to this tactical audience if I make a bunch of sales I know I'm on the right track and I can develop that product and have a very successful launch and if it completely crashes and burns I put nothing but a couple of my hours to it and I haven't brought in a $30,000/$50,000 first order of a product that's just going to sit around in my warehouse and not be successful.
[00:28:57] Scott: Okay, so help me understand this right. So you're actually creating like a little sales funnel. Are you driving then traffic to that for a product sale or are you getting the email address for some type of contest and then on the thank you page or something like that then you would make them an offer?
[00:29:13] Mike: I send it to the list that I build at that point, no matter how I have gotten them. So I get them from multiple different angles but I just want to see if I advertise this product again let's just say it's a widget that people might think it's worth 50 bucks you can buy it on Ali Express for $10. I can say, “Get it for 80% off today only for $15.” Or whatever it might be. I'm just throwing random numbers. And so it happens. So if they buy it and they buy it in volume then I know that I'm on the right track and then I can go develop that product.
[00:29:44] Scott: So do you buy a small order and have it shipped to you right off the bat or do you just wait till they buy and then you buy as many as you need on Ali Express?
[00:29:52] Mike: I literally just fulfill it through Ali Express. I go Click Funnels to Orderlitics and this does it automatically.
[00:29:59] Scott: Got you. I have heard that. I haven't heard it talked about much but I have heard that and it's a great strategy. I think it's great strategy because really the risk is really low. You can do that with like 10/15/20 different products until you find one that might hit.
[00:30:16] Mike: Yeah. We've heard pretty high success with finding ones that we think are going to be. But there have been a couple ones that just have flopped that I probably brought them in and it would have been… We've had a good success. We basically have been like at 85% through our journey here success rate which is phenomenal. I just say all you got to do is be 51% or better. As long as you're slowly incrementally adding more products but I think we can get that up to like 95% now and really minimize the failures and hitches as we continue to grow. Again, as we're doubling every year we'll do eight figures next year most likely. The stakes get higher and the cashflow game becomes just more strategic.
If we can get 95% success rate it just allows us to grow that much easier. Also the other thing that we've been working on is higher margin products. We've increased the margin that we're looking for across the board as well because that helps as well with the cash flow and growth.
[00:31:16] Scott: I'm just trying to think of the funnel that you would build for that like in click funnels whatever, whatever platform you want to use. But like so what does that look like for you to present them with an offer that you think they might be interested in and then like how basic is it or how elaborate is it?
[00:31:39] Mike: I would say it's kind of in the middle. It's basic from the perspective of… I would say it's in the middle. It's not elaborate. We just don't take a default click funnels page and throw one image in there and say we're done. We put some effort into the imagery and making sure it's a good looking page. We also put effort into some up-sells because we want to see what people buy more than once. One of the up-sells we offer is buy more of this widget for a little bit less, even bigger discounts, see if they'll take us up on that and also some cross sales. So widget B and C will be other up-sell offers we'll present. Again I'll Ali Express products.
When you're first getting started and seeing what products work well together because the reality is that where the real money is made is on up-sells. And we also want to make sure the whole strategy for all this is to have a way to launch products on Amazon as well. So that's where the whole thing came to begin with. So what we'll do once we do get the product instead of selling it directly in click funnels we'll send them to our Amazon page and see go buy this product over here.
[00:32:47] Scott: Okay, let me ask you this. I think I got two questions here. I got a lot of questions. I want to lead people through. I can kind of imagine this but I kind of want to lead people through this. So let's just say like I'm in the New Brand I think it's going to be great market, whatever now what we're going to do is we're building the list with just giveaways contest, lead magnets, however we're doing it. It doesn't really matter at this point. We have a list and now I'm ready to send them to a product that I think will work well in that space. First question how do I even get that one idea to possibly give them a product.
Am I just kind of like belonging to other groups and seeing what people are talking about, do I got to Amazon? Do I start there and see what are some of the hotter products? Where does that even idea come from?
[00:33:31] Mike: For us it's been the same research method as we've been doing for quite a while and a lot of it quite honestly stem from Jungle Scout. It is a great software. If it's a tactical niche you can start typing in obvious keywords and just hunting and pecking around and we do our research to find all the same things that you probably teach and talk about. I've definitely heard you talk about it. Like you want your products to have certain sales volume and they don't have a whole ton of reviews and they're listings kind of suck and all these things where you can…
But now we have this extra benefit of having this outside white hat traffic to also drive it as well. We're going to go out and find products that are fight for the taking kind of thing which gets harder and harder now because there' a lot of people that are doing the same kind of thing but we're getting a little bit more braisen and going into like more competitive things where people would normally stay away because we feel like we have an upper hand with all this extra traffic that we can send.
[00:34:31] Scott: Okay. That makes total sense. You do have some ideas of products and you're getting that from Amazon because eventually you will be launching products here. That was going to be one of my other questions. We want to make sure that if we do even launch there that there's a good demand there for the product even if there wasn't though we could, because who knows maybe it just hasn't been established there yet but for the most part if we can at least get some proof that if we get it here we rank it well we will be able to get some sales that's bonus as well.
So lead me through that then. Okay, we got this one product, we think we're going to try, we find it on Ali Express, even if we buy it on Ali Express for more than we're going to be able to source it for it doesn't matter at this point. We're just trying to test and validate. So what do you do then? You fire up a Facebook ad, you go ahead you target who you think is going to be your target because we don't know our avatar 100% yet because we haven't been in this market that long. So then we go ahead, we start running a Facebook ad, what kind of budget are we talking about to even get things started?
[00:35:27] Mike: One thing I just want to clear here, we don't run a Facebook ad to that product page that we're trying to sell. We only email, market to the people we've only gotten their email addresses from. That's always the first step. For us it's to get people's email address or to get them on a mini chat list. And then when we're ready to do that test we just email that list or message that list. We aren't running directly sponsored Facebook ads to the product, although we certainly could do that. I don't think there's anything like that just that for us we want to know that we have an email list that's going to respond at the time that we're going to need it.
Facebook ads don't necessarily provide that one to one relationship. You can't be sure that you can send Facebook traffic directly to a landing page with a coupon or directly to Amazon or however you end up doing that and knowing that at the moment that you need to get those sales that they are going t be there. To me the crucial part is like the first 21 days of when you first launch the product on Amazon. We're trying to drive a substantial amount of consistent sales over that time period and knowing that we can rely on that. To me the email and miniature list is where that comes from. I hope that got to make some sense.
[00:36:42] Scott: It totally does and I'm glad you clarified that because that's what I meant. You build that email list without driving anybody to sales at that point. We're just giving them whether it's a piece of content, whether it's a contest whatever it is and then from there once we're ready we can send them to an email that will then drive them to a little mini funnel that we have built which would be to that product and then we're trying to see what uptake we have on that offer and what kind of up-sells we have all that place. Is that correct?
[00:37:14] Mike: That's correct. That's 100% correct. There's one other thing that we do as well, we do run a Facebook ad for that short period of time just for people that are on that list. It's a small audience but we're… Because you're only going to get like at 30% at best open rate so you can also target them from a couple of days with a Facebook ad but just those people. It's like a very narrowly focused ad.
[00:37:38] Scott: So you're taking your email list, you're also then probably uploading that into Facebook and then you're running an ad to those people.
[00:37:44] Mike: Yep. But if you remember like I was saying like we have that three tier system of trying to get their email address, get them pixeled or get them on a mini chatbot. In some cases we can do all three but almost always like we're getting two of those things. It's usual email and pixel or mini chatbot and pixel and the way that we do that is like whatever, whether we're doing a contest or we have an article or we're giving away a lead magnet whatever it is, we can always get them to a page to deliver that content.
[00:38:21] Scott: And that page is where you pixel them. Anyone that's listening right now that that might be over your head what we're basically saying is there's a little piece of code, a little snippet you can put on your page and then this way here once someone hits that page they will automatically get added to a customer audience that's built inside of Facebook. Then from there you can decide when or if you want to put an ad in front of those people. Even though they are on your email list like Mike is saying like sometimes you're going to email that whole list and there's people that aren't email people.
They are not going to open their emails, maybe they do it once a week. But they are on Facebook two hours, three hours, six hours a day or more. So we're going to basically have two ways that we can get in front of them. Sometimes it's even get in front of them on both. They see the email and then later that night they see the ad. So that can do it. So I'm curious, on something like what is like a success rate for you that you see it you go all right we've got whatever, 1,000/3,000 or 5,000 emails we go ahead and we run something to a product. How many sales are you going to be like, “You know what, I think this is a go.”
[00:39:32] Mike: So anything above 1% we're pretty happy.
[00:39:36] Scott: So basically it's, that's some simple math. Guys just take your number of emails and then take 1% of that and then that would be the number that if you got that. Again, just keeping it simple but I agree with you and some people get, they get caught up in the conversion rates on Amazon. Like everyone is talking about like 10% or more which a lot of times I'm hearing 20s and 30s. People are almost conditioned now because they haven't been in the old online world or the normal online world where if you got someone to your sales page and you got a 1% conversion you're happy. Nowadays it's like everyone is thinking 10% is low. It's weird.
[00:40:18] Mike: We know that the list is going to perform better once we do launch on Amazon. That's always the thought process. I do come from the traditional marketing world where even if you had 0.5% conversion rate on a lot of things… I mean when I was an affiliate marketing a tenth of a percent was actually pretty good in some cases but we had $300 CPAs that were getting paid so that was fine but just depends on where you are at. You can convert 1% of your traffic but you build a list of people that are getting something for free. That's typically how you're getting their email address. You're doing a contest, you're giving something for free. You're giving them a piece of content. That's free.
You're giving them a lead magnet. It's all free. So you're converting people that initially came to you because they wanted something for free and if you can convert them at 1% at that point, you're doing really well. You're going to have a very successful product launch because what we do and we're trying to build tens of thousands or even get up to 100,000 email addresses that are, which we're scrubbing all the time and the people aren't opening our emails we delete them. So trying to get a huge batch of emails that we will then once a product launches drop out over a period of time because again when you launch a product on Amazon let's just say you have a 100 potential sales to get from your list.
You don't want to get 100 in one day. That does nothing for you. That just looks neat for one day. It's better to get three or four per day over twenty one days and sustain that. You'll get the ‘new best seller' tag, you'll start to really build some traction within Amazon, get ranking organically and we find that, that formula works so darn well that it's almost scary and again it's completely white hat. It's just a ton of upfront work and investment that a lot of people are just like that's too much and they just give up on it, which I think is a mistake. As I was saying, off the top the gimmicks of today are the gimmicks of today. I promise you that that's going to change and this is a much longer approach and going to have more value eventually when you go to resell your business anyway.
[00:42:22] Scott: All right. So there is part one of that conversation and we keep going, we keep digging into more of Mike's launch strategies but then also product selection and just a lot of stuff that is involved in building a six figure and a seven figure business and brand on Amazon. We talk a little bit about what the future looks like and what things we believe will be good today and good tomorrow. So that will be part two so that will be episode 465. So definitely check that out, the continuation of this conversation. That one there will be probably around 35/40 minutes.
I believe our whole conversation was about an hour and a half. I try to break it up into two parts. So this way here you guys could consume it and also not get overwhelmed because I think we can tend to get overwhelmed when you're going through all of this stuff that we're talking about here freely in this conversation. I will remind you that if you wanted to attend our workshop where we walk you through the five step process that we've recently used to launch a six figure business in under 12 months and it's heading towards seven figures as we speak, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop and you can register there and we'll take you through a case study of us building this brand in 2017 and what we're doing now in 2018 to continue to build that brand.
If you want to connect with Mike he has a podcast as well EcomCrew. Check that out on iTunes and will also link all his stuff up in the show notes to this episode at theamazingseller.com/464. Remember, there's going to be part two here, you're not going to want to miss that because again we go deeper into this conversation and Mike gives some really good insights and I think it's pretty interesting to listen to someone that has built multiple businesses, not even just on Amazon but just he's been on this space for a long time like I have and it's really interesting to hear the thought process and a lot of the similarities moving into physical products even when you started out as a digital products type person and his background is really in buying domains and all of that stuff as well.
[00:44:36] Scott: He's got a pretty good on his shoulder. You definitely want to listen to the continuation of this episode which will be on 465.
All right guys, so that is going to wrap up this episode. Remember #takeaction2018. That is going to be my thing here for 2018 to really get you guys geared up and ramped up and get out there to do something and to take action. All right, that's it guys. That's going to wrap it up. Remember as always, I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Seller’s Summit
- Facebook Ads Manager
- Ad Espresso
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