Episode 19 – The Scoop On Promotions (AKA “Giveaways”) As An Amazon Launch Strategy
If you’ve been wondering if it’s okay (in other words, within Amazon Terms of Service) to do promotions (AKA “giveaways”) as a part of your Amazon product launch strategy, you’re definitely not alone. This has been a hotly debated topic for some time now amongst Amazon sellers.
And speaking of product launches, considering the inconsistency of ranking results that started to arise beginning in July/August of 2018 and other burning questions that Amazon sellers had about URL’s and the best launch methods for 2019, Helium 10 is super excited to welcome our next podcast guest, Anthony Lee of Zonblast (SixLeaf) to talk about all the Amazon product launch questions that sellers are asking. And finally, if you’re wondering what product launch methods work and which don’t, stay tuned because…
In episode 19 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Success Manager, Bradley Sutton and Anthony Lee talk about:
- 01:30 – Why Anthony Moved To Taiwan
- 04:05 – ZonBlast (SixLeaf) And The “Giveaway” Method For Product Launches
- 06:40 – The Original Dynamic Super URL
- 08:35 – Storefront URL’s Losing Their Effectiveness – Other Solutions
- 11:00 – Super URL’s and “Giveaways” (AKA Promotions)
- 13:05 – Inconsistent Ranking Results Starting In July 2018
- 18:00 – Promotions and TOS Compliance
- 20:00 – How Amazon Has Reacted To Promotions
- 22:01 – How Amazon Has Reacted To URL’s
- 23:10 – Product Launches On Walmart
- 25:15 – 2019 Promotional Methods For Amazon Product Launches – Best Practices
- 27:35 – Amazon’s Seeming Rewards Of Organic Transactions
- 29:10 – Structuring Promotions To Mimic Organic Transactions
- 32:55 – Amazon’s Algorithm and Promotional “Giveaways”
- 34:15 – The Importance Of Relevance – Amazon’s Ultimate Goal
- 36:05 – How Well Does The CPR Launch Method Work?
- 37:40 – Creating And Targeting Facebook Audiences For Retargeting Purposes
- 43:15 – How To Contact Anthony
Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:
- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
- Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
- Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
- Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation.
- SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
Bradley Sutton: We’ve got Anthony Lee who worked for the first company that ever started doing discount promotional giveaway launches and he’s going to tell us what’s working today, what’s not working, and even going to give us some insight onto ranking on Walmart.com
Bradley Sutton: How’s it going everybody, this is Bradley Sutton and this is The Serious Sellers Podcast. I’ve got one of my longtime friends, Anthony Lee from SixLeaf with me today. Tony, how’s it going?
Anthony Lee: It is going great. Thank you so much for having me.
Bradley Sutton: Thank you for coming on and though we got a little bit of a time difference here. You actually do not live in the USA correct?
Anthony Lee: That’s right. I’m in Taiwan. It is 10:00 AM right now.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. Is it true, the rumors around the water cooler have said that you’re moving back home in a little bit. Is that true or is that just a scuttle?
Anthony Lee: No, no, we are actually coming back to the States in August.
Bradley Sutton: Alright, everybody, all the cool people keep telling me you got to move to Austin and I guess you’re one of those. I’m not cool enough yet. But we got Manny, Gui, of course, Kevin is there and a bunch of people I met at the Prosper Show in Vegas, where you come from? I’m from Austin. So I’ll jump on that bandwagon later. Yeah. So just out of curiosity, what brought you to Taiwan?
Anthony Lee: I wanted to be close to the action. I mean, before I got fully wrapped up and all this SaS business, I was an importer and a brand owner and I still am. But, I really wanted to follow through with kind of taken that as far as I could. So I thought I’d get closer to the suppliers, get to a place where I can actually, more easily meet, face to face, factories and agents and just kind of everybody that’s involved in that side of the business and see if I can’t create some good relationships. And that was the whole point.
Bradley Sutton: Cool, did it work out for the most part?
Anthony Lee: Yeah. Actually, I found a supplier here in Taiwan and then I made really good friends. Like my best friend here in Taiwan is actually a factory owner. So I’m helping them with their Amazon stuff. Hopefully going to get them some business over in the West because right now they’re exclusively in Asia. And I’ve also been able to do a whole bunch of cool stuff in China including, speaking in events and stuff like that in Shenzhen which, I think it only–has only been able to happen because I’m located over here.
Bradley Sutton: Great. That’s awesome. I think that a lot of people are afraid of making a move like that, but they could probably see, definitely see the obvious benefits of being over there. So that’s pretty cool. Now the reason why I had you on here was not to talk just about Taiwan, but about launches and about giveaways and that some ManyChat and I’m going to see how much we can cram in here into this 30 minutes. But as people know, like my specialty used to be launches and that was what I did for the most part as an Amazon consultant, I would optimize listings to the keyword research and then my specialty was doing these launches and actually the company that I used to work for was the company that Anthony works with. And that’s how I met him. And so I always am a student of the numbers. I just love watching the numbers than people do marketing, techniques and spread misinformation. But at the end of the day, it’s cliche but the numbers don’t lie. And I’ve been sharing my limited access to numbers. I did a 40 or so launches December and January that I show the results in a couple of blogs, but 40 sounds like a lot, but you are looking at over a hundred a day potentially and you could see different trends, and you have a unique insight into the history of this whole method and what’s working and not working. So I was hoping we could, we could talk a little about–a little bit about that today. That sound good?
Anthony Lee: Yeah, that’s fantastic. My favorite topic.
Bradley Sutton: Awesome. So how did you work for SixLeaf now before it was called ZonBlast? And how did ZonBlast first get into this game of, or not really a game, but this space I guess you could say of product launches? Like what, how did you guys develop this? Because if I’m not mistaken, you guys were the first ones to come out with the giveaway method of launches, and like a platform for it.
Anthony Lee: Yeah. So it was entirely born of need, entirely born of need. Our CEO, Joe is actually his brainchild, had been building his own email list literally because he came from the Internet marketing world and that’s like 101, right? You always build your email list. And, he got into the physical product space. It was building his own email list and then he realized, I got to offer these people something. I don’t have enough products to give them. So I started going to his network, little group of us that all knew each other and said, we know that just because some other stuff that people were doing with like what Ryan Moran was teaching, like built this huge Facebook page and then do a coupon discount, contests, and giveaways on the page. And it was like, well, because of what Ryan and other people are doing, we know that sales seem to positively impact ranking. Let’s test this out. It’ll keep my audience happy and we should be able to get you guys ranked on page one. So everybody started doing that and it was like ridiculous how easy it was back then. Every, all of us.
Bradley Sutton: When was this?
Anthony Lee: This was back in 2014.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, wow.
Anthony Lee: And all of us were, I mean, it was just, it was silly, it was like 30 units later, I’m on page one for a major keyword and go from zero to like 20 sales a day, $70 product. Like it was insane. And, so that only had to happen a few times before. Somebody pull Joe aside and said, Hey, I think you should charge for this. And he was like, yeah, I was thinking the same thing. So he started it like two months later. He was like, oh my gosh, this is growing way too fast. And then he came to me, it was like, I could use some help. Do you want to replace your day job? And I was like, yes, absolutely. And the rest is history.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. So like in those days, what kind of URLs were being used by you guys?
Anthony Lee: So back in those days was actually when the Super URL was a thing, the real super URL, which is, a dynamic QID URL. So back then, that was cutting edge, right? It was a URL with the keyword and then a fake timestamp added into it. And that was the original and that was what we used for the longest time. I mean we probably got a solid year, year and a half out of that before people started saying, Hey, it might not be working as well as it used to. And then obviously we upgraded shortly thereafter.
Bradley Sutton: Cool, and then before a lot of people have been using for years the storefront URL, and if I’m not mistaken, that was one that you guys had used for many years as well as a kind of like entry URL that you could use because in order to use heat seeker you kind of have to be ranking already. So the one that people would use to get ranking, it would be the storefront. But then I noticed on my own test, and I’m guessing you guys know sometime around last year the storefront URL just kind of became less effective than before. Like some people still found successful, but a lot of people, it wasn’t working like before. Is that what you guys found out too?
Anthony Lee: So for a little while that’s what it is. It is what it looked like. It looked like it was going the same way as a dynamic super URL, it’s the brand to you are like all the URLs kind of go through these phases where it seems like, they’re working like crazy and then they lose effectiveness. I have a couple of thoughts and theories on that though that might be a little different from what everybody else thinks.
Bradley Sutton: Hey, I’d be interested in that. I don’t know if anybody else’s as nerdy as I am on this stuff, but hey, by any means, you guys don’t use a storefront anymore. Is that correct?
Anthony Lee: Yeah, well, that was primarily because, we are a service and as a service we want to give our customers what they want and our customers made it very clear that they were no longer interested in the storefront URL because whether or not it really was losing effectiveness or there was anything else going wrong with it. We heard it loud and clear, hey, this isn’t something we feel comfortable with anymore. So we changed. And we’ve actually changed URL structures a couple of times due to that. But the thing about Amazon is it’s really hard to ever actually get consistent data when it comes to stuff like that. Like it’d be one thing if it was clear cut and dry, like, oh look, this no longer works. And sometimes that does happen, but it’s rare. Most of the time, it’s up in the air because Amazon is just, I don’t know. Like whenever they make changes, it’s all over the place. It’s category specific. Sometimes it’s subcategory specific, sometimes it’s account specific. It’s crazy, right? So it’s like the data’s never truly consistent. So we try to look and see if there’s enough supporting evidence. If there isn’t, then that’s when I’ll usually make a post then we’ll say, we want to keep our customers happy. So, if enough people are having a problem with this, we might as well find a new solution. Just in case something is wrong because that’s the thing about Amazon, right? Like it could totally, it could totally be nothing or it could totally be like the conspiracies are true and they’re out to get you. It’s alright, well it’s not going to hurt, right?
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. So– a lot of people are completely following us, I think, but there might be some newer sellers out there who might not know what we’re talking about. Super URLs, giveaways and, and what ZonBlast did. So just briefly, can you explain what we’ve been talking about the last 10 minutes?
Anthony Lee: In a nutshell, we’ve been talking about. Okay. So you refer to them as giveaways. I actually, I mean, I don’t want you to take this as me like getting going into, but I usually correct people when they call it a giveaway.
Bradley Sutton: It’s true it’s not a giveaway. We’re not giving it away. I don’t know why people use that term, I actually don’t like that term myself. What term do you use?
Anthony Lee: It’s a promotion. It’s just a promotion. And that’s exactly what it’s called inside of Amazon to when you set up a promotion, create your coupon or your promo code is not even a coupon because the coupon is specifically that orange thing on your listing. So Promo Code that goes with your promotion. So, we’ve been talking about running promotions because that is a great way to increase sales. Velocity and volume, which are two huge factors in Amazon’s decision to rank a product listing higher for keywords searches and how years ago, how we figured out you can actually hone in on specific keywords, was through using special URLs that almost directed all the traffic that are all the velocity that you are gaining through these promotions to that one URL or to that one keyword or key phrase so that you could rank for it. So that as we were talking about super URLs was one of the many URLs that have been used to direct that velocity towards a specific keyword. And promotions is the avenue through which to velocity was achieved.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Now, everybody’s on the same page as us. Now we can get back to the regularly scheduled program. So let’s talk a little bit about around August or September, at least for me, things seem to change a little bit for a while and then they kind of normalize. Did you guys see overall some like strange things that were happened around the July, August, September in regards to promotional discounts?
Anthony Lee: Yeah, actually. And not just through our customers, but like I was launching a product at that time personally and I was experiencing via the earthquake, the tremors, ranking.
Bradley Sutton: We called it the Amazon Search Shuffle.
Anthony Lee: Right. It was very brutal, completely threw me off some of my strategies for a product there.
Bradley Sutton: By the way, side note, middle of March, I’ve seen a small comeback, not on the scale it was, but I don’t know if you’ve been monitoring lately, but it kind of leveled off for a while, but then middle of March, all of a sudden Richter Scale is back, like on 10% of the keywords I’m tracking. So I don’t know what’s going on there.
Anthony Lee: Yeah, yeah. That’s unfortunately, that kind of signaled the beginning of, I guess, a slew of random and sporadic non-consistent changes. And again, that’s also Amazon giving us non-consistent data and non-consistent results. I mean by and large the strategies, that we share. We at SixLeaf of course, you and Helium 10 like by and large, the testing that we do in the strategies that we share are kind of like these are what we see working the majority of the time. But just like I mentioned before we started recording, unfortunately, the rule that’s consistent all the time in Amazon is some things work for some people some of the time. So like, there’s always going to be people who kind of get caught up and that consistency and those are like the outliers that were constantly trying to solve for like, how do you correct that? And, that’s where I guess,
Bradley Sutton: So there’s, there’s no way, people ask me, hey, what’s going on? How do I stop this? How do I stop my ranking from going from page one to page 10 every single hour or from different browsing locations and things like that? But I mean, as far as I know, there’s, it’s just kind of like wait until Amazon has done whatever, throwing their algorithm tantrum or whatever. Right?
Anthony Lee: Usually, yeah, usually, that is precisely what has to happen. I don’t know if it has any effect or maybe it’s just something that you can do to take your mind off of it while it’s happening until it’s over. But typically I tell people, if you’re trying to do stuff on Amazon and Amazon’s acting crazy, then this is a good time to focus on, like, you know, dabbling in that off Amazon stuff or that driving traffic, external traffic stuff that you’ve been thinking about that maybe you haven’t gotten into yet. Yeah, just because like, you know, if Amazon is going to sit there and mess around, then, you know, I mean, what are you going to do? Pull all your inventory out of FBA. That’s like, I happened. So instead of just sitting there waiting like let’s focus on building the brand as a whole and trying not to rely so much on the eyeballs of Amazon’s getting.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. So a couple of things I wanted to talk about. You know, we had Barker’s, I don’t know if you remember back on the AM/PM Podcasts, we had them like on a kind of a round table discussion about, you know, state of launches and, and promotions. So we went over some of these things. But this is, you know, a different podcast – Series Sellers Podcast. So there’s a lot of newer users who might not have heard that episode. So one of the things we had talked about on that round table was the misconceptions out there. And number one is people who spread these fake news that you get penalized for using this promotional or giveaways, however people want it to call it. They say you’re going to get penalized by Amazon. You can get suspended, but please give us the number of verified suspensions that you have heard about from the tens of thousands of launches that you guys have handled.
Anthony Lee: So that’s a really good question. The number of verified suspensions as a result of either URL, or promotion, or as it’s actually listed in the TOS as a manipulation of the bestseller rank, approximately zero.
Bradley Sutton: Exactly, and that guys, you guys have to be able to have your Bradley Sutton meter. In other words, the BS meter on when you’re reading Facebook groups sometimes because all it takes is one person to say it and it starts spreading to groups. But you know, SixLeaf is doing tons of launches. There are other companies out there that are doing tons of launches. It wouldn’t be just one person saying, oh yeah, something’s happened with launches. I mean there would be if ever it did come down where it’s against TOS or Amazon shuts it down or people saw just penalizing there. It’d be like a mass outcry like you guys have never seen before and we’re just not having that because like Tony said, zero suspensions and penalizations have come as a result of this. And, going back to what you said, I have a theory about what I do and some of it you explained to me when I first showed that snippet of the TOS to you, the Terms of Service. So it says that you cannot try to manipulate the bestseller ranking. And my opinion or what I tell people is that, well nobody is doing these promotions or launches to manipulate the bestseller rating because we, most of us know that really, Hey, what is the best outsource so I can get in the top 100 big whoops. Right. Is that correct? So it’s not referring to this structure of doing a promotion or a giveaway. Correct?
Anthony Lee: Yeah, yeah. I definitely, I know that the terms are written very vaguely so that they can make broad sweeping actions in the events as they feel like they need to. But, I would say that that’s a fair assessment of the interpretation. It’s just the number one thing I try to tell people when they start getting concerned about that kind of stuff is if Amazon was actually concerned that you’re abusing promotions, that they wouldn’t give you the ability to create them. Like yeah, there was a time when people were abusing them by giving, by doing $0 dollar promotions and ranking without any dollar transactions. And Amazon had a problem with that. And then they did away with that newbies would have no idea this was the case. But once upon a time you could do dollar off coupons and those coupons made you be able–users be able to buy your product for $0. And there was a guy who used to work for Amazon actually that helped kind of set up FBA. That was on another podcast. I mean this is almost a lifetime ago in Amazon years now. And he straight up said Amazon has a problem with all of this massive ranking coming from zero transnational dollars. And then 6 months later they did away was the ability to create $0 coupons. And I was like, okay, this is obviously the easier way to handle it. Right? So yeah, think about it in terms like that. Like is it’s going to make sense for Amazon to turnaround and do mass suspensions for everybody that they think might be trying something shady was coupons or maybe they’ll just stop letting you use them, but they don’t stop you from using them because Amazon recognizes the fact that like having promotional avenues is a great way to spike sales velocity and spiking sales velocity is good, not just for you, but also for Amazon and the customer. The customers get a good deal. Amazon’s getting more traffic to their website. It’s a win, win, win situation. So long as you know, black hat stuff isn’t involved, which means that you’re not like sending fake orders or sending empty boxes and you know, sending them to accounts that are all owned by the same person. Like that’s manipulation. What’s not manipulation is taking an email list and sending them all a deal because that’s just normal marketing. Everybody does that. And then in the retail space.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, I agree. Now, what about like if Amazon, in my opinion, I’m not a programmer, I’m not a developer, I’m not sure, but in my opinion things like, you know, storefront URL brand, URL field, ASIN URL, all those two step URLs could be just done away within a second. If Amazon closes the visibility of the URL like I remember I actually checked recently and Walmart has it now, but unless I’m mistaken, you’re pretty familiar with Walmart. So this is like a couple of years ago, but when I searched for something at Walmart, it did not show me the URL of my search, like on the results page.
Anthony Lee: That’s right, that’s right.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, so I’m not making that up. So good. So like, I mean, I would think that hey, if Amazon doesn’t want people knowing what URL is generated so that people can’t use the system, they just literally have to turn off a switch. Hey, we’re just going to put a fake URL here and now nobody is going to be able to duplicate this. Right?
Anthony Lee: Yeah, it seems, I mean it seems like that would be an easy fix for them. Like if they really were concerned, another way for them to fix it if they didn’t feel like devoting a lot of time to it would be to actually put anything about your URLs in their terms of service, which they have never done.
Bradley Sutton: A very true point. I mean it doesn’t take a couple of lines of code. I mean, did they love having pages of terms and you know, they have no space to talk about URL, so yeah, that’s a good point too. I never even thought about it that way. Speaking of Walmart, I’m gonna have you on the podcast in six months or a year or something, talking about Walmart, but do you see Walmart as kind of that potential of using something like this as it, Amazon was in 2014 or 2015 when you started?
Anthony Lee: Yeah. No, so Walmart, I’ve actually done launches on Walmart very successfully. I know that none of these platforms use exactly the same technology, but they seem to follow a logical trajectory. So we’re constantly comparing Amazon and its search functions to Google even though they have completely different intentions. Still, Google is a robust, the probably most robust search engine in the world, and it’s a logical kind of trajectory to be going in that direction for Amazon. Walmart is on the same trajectory, but years behind Amazon. So yeah, it’s actually pretty fascinating to see the ways that you can, you know, manage to rank, as of six months ago, I don’t know if they’ve changed this, but as of six months ago, just getting reviews would rank here listing on Walmart. So there’s gonna be a lot of potentials there if people start seeing the value if the buyers keep growing and they keep shopping, and Walmart keeps finding ways to make it easier for sellers to interact with their platform, then we will see that potential kind of flourish. I think in the future.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah and another way to kind of diversify your income streams as you alluded to earlier for when strange things are going on. Amazon, It’s just, it’s a good way to protect yourself or these changes. Now, moving back to Amazon, what are some current trends or best practices that you can see? Like we’ve always talked about, you know, not we, but Manny, you know, even before I came here as always talking about, you know, like 8-day promotional period, 8-day giveaway period if you’re going to use that term that has worked the best. And in my personal experience, it went back and forth. You know, like last year, like over a year ago, 1 and 2 day launches we’re working like ridiculously well. And then it kind of went back to the longer ones. But, what’s 2019, looking at all the data that you have access to what your customers are doing, what is a good SOP for a launch strategy using the promotional discount method?
Anthony Lee: Okay. So here’s the promotional discount method, as you had just said, you’re absolutely correct. I went back and forth, back and forth and it was probably just as recently as six months ago, that single day, you know, big spike launches was still working or working like gangbusters. It has, I mean, and I’m sure it’ll change more, but right now what I’m seeing is a more successful launch, appear to be taking place over longer periods of time. And it’s, I wouldn’t say there’s a magic number, although some people swear by, 10 days. But I really do think it depends on the competitiveness of the keyword you’re targeting and your niche. But longer periods of time to kind of establish, you know, a routine and then being either fully consistent or somewhat growing, the number of the volume over the days, appears to have a positive impact. And strangely enough, people who actually can manage to get the uptake like the number, the volume, but have lower discounts. And what this is telling me. Okay. What this is kind of a clear sign of is in support of a lot of the changes people are constantly alluding to within Amazon in their algorithm it does appear, not that I’m crying about it, you know, that the sky’s falling or anything. But it does appear that Amazon prefers a more organic-looking transaction, I think they’re trying to make it easier for organic transactions to occur and for organic transactions to be rewarded. And as such, we have changed our promotion strategies to more closely mimic organic behavior. So that’s the reason why, you know, search and find URL, methods are working more. That’s the reason why lower discounts and more transactional dollars is working better. And that’s the reason why consistent sales are consistently growing sales over a longer period of time is working more as because of all of that kind of leads to what it would look like if, you know, this product was growing in popularity organically. That’s also the reason why people have been experimenting with external traffic and seeing great results. Because again, that, you know, in that organic process that shows Amazon, Hey, I’m a business owner and I’m actually trying to get people to come and buy my product from anywhere that I can, and all that seems to be rewarded. So right now that’s kind of how we’re structuring, or we’re advising people to structure their promotion strategies.
Bradley Sutton: So again in that show, how many days would you suggest doing the upward trajectory of numbers over that day? Or just summarize, kind of like what you just mentioned.
Anthony Lee: Try, try, try at first, try 10-day launch. I would say, try–if you can get it within a reasonable number, try somewhere between 65 and 85% off. Don’t go all the way up to 90 something. So like if 65% off would be less than $5 for your product still, I would try that. Right? So much lower discount and then push either at the top end of your estimated number of daily sales for the whole 10 days or if you want to try and conserve some of your inventory, started like a mid-range number and then slowly increase it until you reach the top end towards the last maybe 3 days of that 10-day period, if that makes sense.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, yeah makes sense. So now, after the 10 day period, just sit back and watch or do you suggest running every other day pulse as you guys call it? Or is it just case by case basis?
Anthony Lee: I would say it’s case by case. Like pulses are probably really good in highly competitive markets. If, like maybe 10 days won’t cut it because it’s, you know, your keywords you’re going after is 150,000 plus searches a month. Right? That’s like insane. So you’re going to have to probably push something like that for more like 14 to 20 days. And then you want to maintain with something like a pulse. But if you’re going after like 10 to 15,000 searches a month, maybe only one keyword, you could probably hang back and see what happens and then adjust course after maybe 3 or 4 days,
Bradley Sutton: Okay, almost switching topics here but I just thought of something that, here’s another theory, another Bradley Sutton theory of mine that I haven’t really confirmed with you, but in my opinion over the last few months, organic conversion at the end of the launch after on page one is way more important than it was before. Like before it seemed like you were given the benefit of the doubt. You get to page one and maybe you’re not converting right away. Like they’ll still let you stay there for a little bit. But then like if it’s just obvious that you’re not going to make it there, you start dropping off. But it seems like now, regardless of how you get to page one with us from PPC or whatever, but once you get there if you’re not converting organically for that keyword, as it falls off a cliff. Is that anything like you’ve seen?
Anthony Lee: I’m a 100% agree. And again, this goes back to Amazon appears to really prefer and reward that organic buying experience. And I think that is highly evident, in any promotion strategy that you use. Any marketing strategy that you use that pushes velocity as close to full price as possible. And then of course, regardless of what method do you use after you get to page one, being able to sustain a velocity at full price purchases. Yeah, you will see amazing results. And then on the converse side of that, absolutely. If you don’t convert, you’ll be, you won’t be there anymore. And you go, what happened? Like it all failed. How did that, so yeah, that’s a huge thing.
Bradley Sutton: And I think that’s another reason why we don’t have, I mean again, things could change. They could say that discount promotions are against TOS tomorrow. You know, Amazon does that a one day incentivize reviews. That’s okay, the next day wasn’t. So, of course, that could change at any time. But you know, one of the signs that to me point that it might be a while before anything like that happens is Amazon probably figures, hey, you know, yeah, people can get to page one, you know, through this method. But so what it’s going to fix itself organically because if it doesn’t perform well, that product is going to fall right off. So, and if it does perform what well great. Now I’m glad that that item got on page one. That’s gives us a little bit more of our 15% opportunities.
Anthony Lee: Yeah, no, I totally agree with that assessment too. I mean I’ve been preaching for years now that the algorithm is almost self-correcting in many ways. And that’s one of the ways that you know, that it is, it’s the products, I mean back when they changed all the backend keyword stuff too and people were kind of freaking out like we lost all of these characters. And you know, it was because they were trying to clean up listings, ranking for or indexing for keywords that were completely irrelevant. And that’s also when the push to kind of a more heavily focused on, on relevance happened so that they could fix that. And that way, you know, it wasn’t about, you know, hunting down the bad actors that were pushing, you know, traffic and sales to irrelevant keywords. It was, you know, the system will self-correct. Products won’t make it if it’s deemed irrelevant or if, you know, if they do rank for something, they won’t stay there because of the conversions for that keyword will be too low. So it’s a smart machine. We may not fully understand how it works, but we can definitely see, you know, the end result, what Amazon wants. It’s pretty obvious they want, they want an organic buying experience and happy customers that bought popular products farther up pages with their dollars. I mean, it’s simple, really.
Bradley Sutton: Makes sense. Going back to about, you know, the actual launch strategy. Now I know back in the day at least, you know, tons of your customers were using Helium 10 for the CPR number. Because, you know, before it was just kind of like, well how many, how much do we give away? He was kind of like, before I use Helium 10, I was using you guys and I just had to like kind of guess, you know, sometimes I get it right, but you know, CPR while not being a perfect method because of course different, there’s probably different conversion rates, different sales numbers for different keywords. But do a lot of your customers still use CPR, we’d love to get some insight on if you think the formula needs tweaking at all or something. Now that, for example, 10 days is better. Does that mean we need to add to our CPR number, you think or spread out that CPR just to the 10 days, or what’s your take?
Anthony Lee: Well, so I made an attempt to reverse engineer the CPR. And I know that it’s not a hundred percent accurate with the method that I came up with to reverse engineer. But for the most part, they seem to be on par with the same numbers that I would come up with. So I would say that probably, you know, 80% of the time it works.
Bradley Sutton: That’s almost exactly my analysis too, is like it was like 75 to 85% of the time.
Anthony Lee: And then, and yes, a lot of people still follow that. As far as the number of days, again, I don’t know that there’s a perfect number because that part has to be more dynamic. I think at one time it was easy to say, look, 8 days we’ll get you there because there was a time we came up with the wave 7 because there was a time when 7 days is all you need. You need a solid week and then it doesn’t matter what category you’re in. Those days are over though. Now that really has to be dynamic. Like 8 will work for some keywords, but it won’t for others. It just can’t. So it’s kind of hard to, you know, it’s kind of hard to say like if you guys wanted to update it, you would have–it would probably take more work than just tweaking it so that the number came out differently. Like, you’d have to make it more dynamic based on keyword competition in the category because, those are the factors, right? The conversion rates on page one, the number of searches, Like, these are all factors now that affects that.
Bradley Sutton: Alright. A couple of things just came to my mind that I’ve heard you say over the last 10, 15 minutes was, you know, Amazon liking diverse or outside traffic from different sources. And also you had talked about, you know, lower discounts actually working better. And so one of the ways that I’ve been telling people that is a great way to do this is if you are not launching a brand new brand. A brand new brand, I didn’t mean to say that, but a completely new brand that means, let’s say you’re launching a different product under the same brand. Like in the same niche, you know, like maybe you had a dog collar was your first product, now you have a dog leash. Well, the method that I’ve been telling people to use is, hey, you’ve got maybe 10,000 customers, 20,000 customers who bought your dog collar at full price, and now you’re coming out with a dog leash or vice versa. Well, you need to retarget those customers and then you don’t have to give it away for like 80% off or 90% off or 70% off because that’s what you have to do for people who are trying to show your product to people who might not want it, but they figure, hey, it’s a dollar or $2 off, so I just get it anyways. But–and then the way to do that, you guys came up with a year ago, or sometime in 2018 I believe, a way to create Facebook audiences based on customer list and then actually target them directly through integration in your service. So, can you talk a little bit about that?
Anthony Lee: Yeah. So, the service that we have is a bridge, but the cool part is like you can do this with or without the surface, right? The whole thing is we just kind of automated for you. But the whole idea is, the way Facebook takes custom audience information is through, it’s very simple. It’s just through a text file and all it needs is first and last name and the city, state and zip code. This solid information that you’re given for your Amazon buyers. So as long as you can put that into Facebook, Facebook will try to match those at a pretty high accuracy to given the fact that it’s using address information, which is typically pretty reliable. And then once it matches those, then you can run advertising to that matched audience. And, that’s a really great, like that’s a great rate of return target. And obviously, Amazon already pays for retargeting on Facebook. That’s a great way for you to re-target specifically your products, especially if you have a decent size list of past buyers. There’s so much you can do with that. Like you could bring them back in for a new product, you can appeal to them to leave a review if they haven’t yet. There are just tons of things that you can do with that. With that data integration, which is fantastic.
Bradley Sutton: And it potentially saves a lot of money too. It’s like, let’s say you’re targeting a really high volume keyword that you’re going to have to give, you know, 500 to a thousand promotions on, well, if you’re doing that at 80% off compared to doing it at 40% off while you’re talking potentially the savings of thousands of dollars on the life of a promotion. So that’s definitely a way that I would suggest. So we’ve actually gone longer than I think we’ve gone on any guests, just because I’m such a nerd about this whole area of Amazon. And I think it’s so important. A lot of people aren’t using it. You know, people say, oh, everybody uses the discount or promotion method, or everybody uses Facebook to promote. But actually, it’s, I don’t know, in my opinion, is actually a small percentage of people are using these techniques.
Anthony Lee: Well yeah, because what they’re getting from Amazon and what they’re getting from the purists, and our industry is you know, PPC is a huge and important part of any, you know, growth on the platform. But by no means is it the only avenue and even Amazon knows that which is why they offer social discounts with influencers and coupon codes and buy one, get one offer. And you know, they give you all these other avenues because they want you to go out and grow your business and send all the traffic back to them.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, exactly. One last thing, I know you guys, you and Marcus over there, I’ve seen your blogs. You use a Helium 10 for some keyword tracking and different things, but do you use any other Helium 10 tools for your businesses or your research?
Anthony Lee: Oh yeah. So aside from tracking also really for me personally, I think, Magnet and then, Cerebro doing Reverse ASIN like for competitive research is crucial, right? Like, it’s just hands down probably the most reliable, the information you’ll get on keywords, which is critical. Like proper keyword research is a cornerstone. So it definitely–
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. You can get the best launch method, even using your service, but it’s not going to mean anything if it’s the wrong keywords.
Anthony Lee: Exactly. And then, I personally also happen to use an Xray a lot. It’s reliable, it doesn’t log me out all the time. So yeah, I’m a huge fan of Helium 10. I think it’s probably one of the most valuable, robust software’s out there.
Bradley Sutton: So guys, if you guys want to know more about what SixLeaf does, you can just go to Sixleaf.com. But also, how can people reach out to you? I know you have a really cool Facebook page where you give some, nuggets every now and then, so how can people find you on Facebook?
Anthony Lee: Yeah so, actually have my own Facebook page, the unofficial Anthony Lee, and typically the easiest way to contact me is through Messenger on that. However, because of my obsession with Messenger, it’s very possible that I’m going to be taking over SixLeaf’s Messenger too. So, very well, probably the easiest way to communicate with me. It’s just through some pages, Facebook Messenger. Just find a way to communicate with something. SixLeaf or Anthony Lee related in Facebook Messenger and you will get, to me directly. And then the benefit of any concept that I put out because those are messengers like my new number one channel for everything.
Bradley Sutton: Cool, alright, well thanks Tony for coming on here and we’ll definitely have you back and thanks for all the value that you’ve given us and, will have to meet up once you come back to Austin. I’ll have to make a flight over there and see you and Manny and everybody else.
- #265 – New Seller Recap – They’re Not Beginners Anymore - July 24, 2021
- #264 – Introducing the Serious Sellers Club, and More! - July 20, 2021
- #263 – Have a Great Amazon Product? Here’s How to Protect Your Intellectual Property - July 17, 2021