#207 – PPC Talk – 1000 Campaigns for Just 3 Products? A PPC Expert Tells Why
As an Amazon seller, PPC is probably something that you spend a fair amount of time thinking about. It’s become an important part of Amazon product launches as well as everyday listing maintenance.
Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Brand Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes a pay per click advertising (PPC) pro who’s crushing it on Amazon and doing it the hard way! Selling supplements on Amazon has long been considered to be the realm of highly experienced and brave e-commerce specialists. Mina Elias has made it his personal Amazon playground.
Mina was born in Egypt and raised in Dubai. Later, he moved to Connecticut for college. He soon relocated to California and found what he considers paradise. An engineer at heart from a young age, he ended up with a master’s in industrial engineering. After graduating he went into new product development and soon was introduced to mixed martial arts (MMA) and fitness at a high level. Mina says that jumping into MMA was “one of the best decisions he ever made.” It was a Keto diet and training for MMA that kindled his interest in sports nutrition and ultimately selling on Amazon.
Mina says that he began the process of developing his own sports supplements after he studied the huge markup that existing supplement companies placed on their products. Now, he has a highly acclaimed supplement brand selling briskly on Amazon.
He’s got some great PPC strategies for Amazon sellers at all levels. Don’t miss this one!
In episode 207 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Mina discuss:
- 03:35 – An Engineer from a Young Age
- 04:42 – Mixed Martial Arts Came Next
- 06:25 – A Keto Diet Opened the Door to Selling Supplements
- 08:45 – A “Little” Lie Leads to Amazon
- 11:15 – What Are Mina’s Biggest E-Commerce Wins in 2020?
- 13:55 – Limiting Keywords in Ad Campaigns
- 17:00 – Mina’s Moving Target ACoS
- 19:52 – How the “New Arrivals” Campaign Works
- 24:40 – A Powerful Launch Strategy
- 27:12 – “Lower Your Bid, Not Your Budget”
- 29:58 – Helium 10’s Chrome Extension Makes the Process Easier
- 33:12 – Learning a Lesson from Turning Off His PPC
- 36:57 – Is Mina Using Off-Amazon Marketing?
- 38:45 – Building a Strong Team to Get to the Next Level
- 42:48 – How to Contact Mina
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: Today, we’ve got another episode of PPC talk where we dive deep into PPC strategy and today’s guest is going to give really great techniques on how he manages his campaigns, both for launch and maintenance mode. And we’re going to learn why he has a thousand campaigns for only three SKUs. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Bradley Sutton: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS, free unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the Amazon world. And we’ve got a serious seller who, if you look at him wrong, he might beat you up. We’re going to talk about why that’s the case in a little bit here. Mina, how’s it going man?
Mina Elias: Amazing, amazing. It’s Tuesday in California. It’s sunny. I love it.
Bradley Sutton: I love it too. It’s sunny always in California, but that takes me to my first question is, are you from California? Where are you from?
Mina Elias: No, I’m not. I was born in Egypt and then when I was two, raised in Dubai up until I was 18, then moved to Connecticut for college. So got my bachelors, masters, worked in the field for like five years. And then, December of 2019, I moved to California, which is the best move anyone can ever make.
Bradley Sutton: So other than Connecticut, you’re pretty much used to sunny climate.
Mina Elias: Yeah. I don’t know why I went to Connecticut. It was a mistake.
Bradley Sutton: You must have been freezing over there during the winter time.
Mina Elias: Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: So, when you were like eight, 10 years old, was that in Dubai then?
Mina Elias: Yes. Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So growing up over there in Dubai, what was your Hey, I want to be this when I grew up.
Mina Elias: Yeah. So, basically Dubai was incredible, but the thing is we don’t have over there the best education system. So they said, okay, the way to do it is you graduate. You go to America, Canada, UK, something like that, you get your bachelors you get your masters whatever, like higher education. And then, get a few years of experience and then come back to Dubai and you make a ton of money because you have like bachelor’s from outside and from like a foreign country and you have experience there. So that was kind of my plan is–
Bradley Sutton: So, even at an early age, your parents have kind of like plan for you to go overseas for a university?
Mina Elias: Yeah, correct. Yeah. So that was kind of the plan everyone’s plan was like that. Yep.
Bradley Sutton: Interesting. Okay. And then did you ever think about what kind of profession you wanted? Like when you were 10 years old, were you one of those ones who already was trying to sell lemonade and trade baseball cards and being an entrepreneur? Or what did you have in mind?
Mina Elias: No, actually it’s the opposite. I mean, I have a couple of entrepreneur moments where I was selling like Jawbreakers in school. I would buy– so these jawbreakers were in such high demand and you can only get them from Canada, but once I went to Egypt and I found that you can get them from Egypt. So what I did was so that no one knew that it was from Egypt. I would open them up and put them in these big bags, like big baggies. And then I take them to school and say, yeah, this is from Canada. I would buy them for like 10 cents and sell them for like a couple of dollars.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. I love it. So, entrepreneur from an early age. Now, when you came out here to the States, other than freezing in Connecticut, what was your major? Like, what were you studying?
Mina Elias: I studied chemical engineering and chemistry for my Bachelors, and then my Masters was in Industrial Engineering. So, from a young age, I knew I was going to be an engineer. Like that’s how my kind of my brain works. I was programmed to be like that. So very good with numbers, always good at Math and Physics and stuff like that. So from a young age, I knew I was going to be an engineer.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Interesting. So, upon graduating with your masters, like, did you go into that field initially? Or what was your first kind of like full-time employment?
Mina Elias: In 2014, I graduated with my bachelors and in 2013, I had already been working as an Engineer. I was a new product development in a massive surgical devices company. So kind of liked it. But there was a few elements that I can early on until I wasn’t going to like, I would work really hard and then people would be like, why you’re working so hard? Like, you know the work’s never going to finish. Right? And so that kind of turned me off.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now on the side, going back to the beating people up thing, you got into mixed martial arts, right?
Mina Elias: Yeah. Yeah. In 2013.
Bradley Sutton: When was that?
Mina Elias: 2013 is when I started, so my friend had hit me up and that was–
Bradley Sutton: Literally or figurative?
Mina Elias: He hit me up figuratively. He was in Texas and I was in Connecticut. He said, Hey, man, I just joined MMA. And it’s the coolest thing ever. And we’re doing all these things. And I was like, wow. And then I got jealous because I always wanted to do like Kung Fu or Kickboxing or some crazy stuff like that. So I was like, you know what, I’m going to do it too. I looked up MMA gyms near me. And there was one that was like a mile down my house. And it was a Renzo Gracie gym, which is pretty famous. And so I was like, okay, I’m going to go. And I called, I said, Hey, can I come? And they said, yeah, come, we’ll give you a trial. I went into wrestling as my first trial class, out of the three different martial arts. And after I got out, she’s like, how do you like it? I said, I want to sign up. She said, you want to do a year? I said, yeah, let’s do a full year. And so sign up for a year. And it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s bring it to Amazon now, like what got you into e-commerce? What was it, Amazon? And then if so, like, how did you even find out about the Amazon opportunity?
Mina Elias: So, my story is a little bit different than everyone else’s. So I had decided to start a supplement company and it just came about, I was on vacation and my dad was like what are you doing? We were talking about supplements. And he’s like, why don’t you start your own company? So I figured, why not? Let me look at how feasible it is. I looked at how feasible it was, it’s like the kind of a quick calculation said, Oh, I can buy these things for– make them for $5 and sell them for 20 or 25. That’s a huge markup. So started the, just decided I’m going to start a business October 10th of 2018, I incorporated. And then, I announced– before I announced anything. I kind of knew what I was going to make. I was on keto and I needed some electrolytes, like some serious electrolytes, not like the sugar pack, like 80 milligrams of sodium or potassium electrolytes. So I needed something serious because on keto, you’re flushing out a ton of electrolytes because of how your instance sensitivity and your blood sugars kind of like tanked and it’s very level. So your body can’t retain electrolytes. So I said, I’m going to make this for myself. I made it. And I brought ingredients from Amazon, mixed it in a big tub at home. And I said, okay, I’m going to give it to a few of my friends. So I bought golden bags and I sat down and brainstormed a good name with my girlfriend at the time.
Mina Elias: And we came up with Hydrolyte. So I didn’t tell anyone the name yet. I put the stuff in the bags and obviously chemical engineering and chemistry background help with getting things made pretty easily, put them in the bags and then gave them to my few friends at the gym. And I said, Hey, this company, they’re new. They trusted me with their new demo product. Don’t tell anyone I gave you this, blah, blah, blah. And I said, I want you guys to try it out. So they tried it out and they’re like, Hey man, like, I feel a big difference using this stuff. And I said, really, because I’ve been trying it and also feel a big difference, but it didn’t want to kind of be biased. And they said, yeah, we definitely feel a big difference. So I said, okay, cool. This is actually my product. And they said, yeah, stop playing. This is not your product, what you’re talking about. And so anyways, I went home and I announced on Facebook. I said, Hey guys, I started a supplement company and very happy and excited and someone hits me, hits me up. He’s a friend on Facebook, says, Hey, I got an MMA event on November 2nd. So like three weeks later, why don’t you come? And, uh, I’ll get you a table for free, a booth for free, just to bring a banner, bring your product and just show up and talk to people. I said, okay, done. So kind of in those three weeks, I made 40 products, got my website up and running. It wasn’t an e-commerce website. It was just kind of like a Squarespace, like two pages website. I didn’t know anything at the time, and I didn’t know anyone who did e-com. I didn’t even know what e-commerce was. And so when they’re with the products and I sold 25 out of the 40, and people kept asking me, where can I buy your products? And so I lied to everyone and I said, it’s going to be on Amazon soon. And that’s how I got into Amazon. So, because I lied, I went home and I said, okay, God, I got to figure out how I’m going to get on Amazon. Eventually, I couldn’t find any good information online. It was just too much clutter. So I called Seller Central and I said, I want to sell my supplements on your website. How do I do it? And they said, Oh, no problem. We’d love for you to sell on our website.
Mina Elias: We’re going to send you a package. They basically sent me like the, how to sign up for Seller Central email, signed up for Seller Central. And then I said, okay, I signed up like, what do I do next? They said, okay, you need to get on gated for supplements. So we need X, Y, and Z paperwork from you. So I said, okay, one second. Went to the manufacturer, just a random one, got the paperwork from them and then sent it in, gotten rejected a few times. But on like the fifth time they approved it and they’re like, okay, congratulations. You’re officially approved to sell on Amazon. So I said, okay, wow. Now, I got to figure out how to actually sell my product. So at that time I kind of was already talking to bulk ingredient manufacturers. I said, maybe I’m going to buy this stuff from bulk and make it at home. I’m going to hire one of my friends from the gym, pay him like 15 an hour to kind of fill up the bags and stuff like that. So, I hit him up and he said, yeah, we can do custom formulas, send me a formula. I sent it. And he sent me a quote that was like really good.
Bradley Sutton: Alright. Now, you’re pretty much known for– on in Facebook is a lot of your PPC strategies, so for the rest of the episode, we’re going to be talking about that. So let me just start off. First question is in 2020, what was your biggest mistake in PPC? Like maybe you tried something different or you got into something that should have worked and it was a complete bomb and lost a lot of money. What sticks out in your mind? Anything like that.
Mina Elias: For PPC? Really, nothing sticks out in my mind. I honestly, like my main mistakes were not PPC on Amazon. They were mainly like, not launching enough products, or diverting my attention from things that worked. And I should have probably doubled down on PPC more, if we’re going to look back, but 2020 in PPC, I didn’t make a lot of mistakes really.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So then what’s the opposite. What was your number one thing where you were just like, I’m going to give, sponsored videos to try, or I’m going to do this one campaign, or I’m going to try this other method. And it was just your ROI on, it was just ridiculous,
Mina Elias: Probably. So, I created a tool and the tool, this was just, it’s an Excel spreadsheet with a macro and it allowed me to launch more campaigns. And the second that I did that, I no longer dreaded using campaign manager to create campaigns. And the second that I started creating like a massive amount of campaigns and I kind of like got into the flow, the flow of things. That’s when I started seeing like a massive ROI, because now I was able to, like, I have like a thing I think, close to a thousand campaigns launched just for Hydrolyte. So, I was able to start launch.
Bradley Sutton: A thousand campaigns.
Mina Elias: Yeah. Thousand, yeah.
Bradley Sutton: For how many SKUs?
Mina Elias: Three.
Bradley Sutton: Wow, okay, hold on. We got to talk about this. Okay. So what came to your mind that says, I need this many campaigns for it, and then why is it working? Because obviously if it wasn’t working, you wouldn’t be having so many campaigns. So let’s talk about that for a little bit.
Mina Elias: Okay. So, a few things that I tested and it did not work. And so that’s where, like why I ended up where I am. So the first thing is I started doing multiple ad sets initially, or ad groups when I was doing that, I realized that I can’t really figure out where the money is going, but I have a budget of a hundred dollars set up. And then maybe $80 is going to one ad group, $20 going to another ad group. I had no control. So I said, okay, cancel ad groups. We’re just going to keep it linear one campaign, one ad group, and then the keywords. And so then I started off doing like a hundred keywords per campaign. And then I realized, I would look at the–
Bradley Sutton: Are we talking to exact manual here, campaigns?
Mina Elias: Yeah. A hundred keywords, whatever you want to broad phrase, exact keyword campaign. So, I will do a hundred keywords. And then I would notice that like 10, maybe five to 10 of them were getting impressions. And then everything else was getting like either zero impressions or like two, three impressions. And so then I realized, okay, what happens is when you do that, Amazon is going to say, okay, well, what’s actually working. Let’s funnel all the budget there. And all the ones with a lot lower search volume or whatever, let’s, let’s not even show them up because there’s a much higher chance that we’re going to convert into a sale with those higher keywords and Amazon, if you think about it, their highest ROI is when you convert into a sale. For me, in supplements, it cost me about $3 in PPC per one product that I sell. But if I bought one product I sell in Amazon fees alone is close to $7. So, that’s their highest ROI. So, they want you to sell it. It’s not that they don’t want you to sell. Sure. So then I realized, okay, let’s limit the ad groups to 10 keywords, because if I only have 10 keywords in there, then all of them are going to start getting some budget and some juice. And so I started limiting my campaigns to 10 keywords, and then what I’m doing is every single keyword that I have, I’m launching it as broad phrase and exact. So those are three campaigns for the same keyword. So let’s say I got 10 keywords. It’s 10 keywords are going to go abroad. And then in phrasing, then exact that’s three campaigns. And then those broaden phrase are discovering more and more keywords. And the auto is already discovering more and more keywords. So every time I look into the search term reports and there’s keywords that I haven’t already launched, I take them and I put them 10, 10 in broad, 10 in phrase, 10 in exact.
Bradley Sutton: Three separate campaigns?
Mina Elias: Three separate campaigns.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So then are you– so that you can make sure that your auto isn’t duplicating efforts, like, are you negative matching all of the ones that your exact targeting in your original auto campaigns? Or what are you doing there?
Mina Elias: No, I never negative match anything. That’s not working in my auto campaigns. I only negative match things that are really bad. So, if I have a lot of clicks and no sales or something that’s irrelevant or something that’s going to “bleeding me”, I’ll negative that, but if it’s working and it’s profitable, you might think that you can launch it as an exact keyword campaign and then negative and an auto. But a lot of people, anecdotally, I think will agree that sometimes it doesn’t work like that. Sometimes, a keyword that’s performing incredible in auto. I launch it as a broad phrase and exact, and those horrible and exact, I don’t know why but I’m just following the data. So I’ll net never negative anything that’s working well.
Bradley Sutton: What happens like when you have so many campaigns, of course, I’m sure that there are a lot of different keyword families out there, like electrolytes, you do a broad or phrase. I mean, there’s tons of different things. It would be completely different than the broader phrase on something like hydration. It’s a similar thing, but completely different keywords. So, but once, you have so many campaigns. I imagine that you have a lot of similar keywords in there and how do you make it so that the broad and phrase campaigns, they’re not trying to go for the same exact thing.
Mina Elias: I mean, why should I prevent them from doing that? Whoever is giving me the better return on investment. That’s the one that’s going to keep getting fed pretty much. So I don’t look at things and like evaluate them except with data. So let’s, this is what I do, a launch whatever, a hundred campaigns. And then I’ll go into the bulk sheets, I’ll download the bulk sheet. And I’ll sort everything by equals advertising, cost of sales largest to smallest. And then after that, I’ll sort everything by clicks and then anything under, like five clicks, all sorted by impression. And so we have those three tiers. In the top tier, we have the stuff that actually has an ACoS, anything that’s above my target ACoS. Now target equals is going to depend on where you are in your journey when I’m launching my target ACoS, double my profit margin. A few months later, it’s about 1.5 times. And then, later on maybe nine months later, it’s about a breakeven ACoS, breakeven profit margin. And then after that, I’ll go down to like 60% of the profit margin. And so the target ACoS is obviously changing depending on where I am in the journey, but if it’s higher than the target ACoS, I’ll lower the bid by 5 cents, if it’s lower, I’ll keep it the same. If it’s slower than like 20% ACoS, I’ll increase the bid by 3 cents, just to try and get a little bit more visibility, anything that’s getting clicks over five clicks and no sales in the last seven days, I’m going to lower the bid by 5 cents. And then anything that is getting under 300 impressions, increasing the bid by 10 cents, just to kind of give it a little bit more visibility.
Mina Elias: Now I talked to Vince recently with Helium 10 and he suggested to, instead of just bumping everything, that’s less than 300 impressions, bumping stuff. That’s less than 300 impressions and has a good click through rate. And I think I’m going to start applying that because having a good click through rate, kind of identifies that the keyword might be sure, but generally when I do those modifications or optimizations, it’s very data-driven, there’s no, I’m not looking at, are there close keywords? Is it doing well or is it not doing well? If it’s doing well, it’s going to keep getting fed. If it’s not doing well, the bit is going to keep going down until there’s no competition. One of it’s going to have a very low bid. The other one is going to have a good bid. And the one with the good bid is the one that’s going to get the impressions in the sales.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Interesting. By the way, guys, you might be listening to this and say, man, that’s going to be impossible for me to download my search term reports and have this kind of detail. And it’s not fair. He’s got some fancy Excel macro, but a lot of what he just said, those of you guys who already have Helium 10, the same, as long as you have the diamond plan. If you’re using ads, a lot of this functionality that Mina’s talking about here, you guys can already do and program those rules in like, Hey, if it gets this many clicks, raise it lower. If it’s this ACoS, et cetera, you guys all have the ability to do that. So don’t think that you have to be a genius as far as making macros in Excel, like Mina does. Mina can do that. That’s a specialty. We can do that work for you and ads. Now, let me ask you as part of those 1000 campaigns, is there a lot of a product targeting, ASIN targeting campaigns as well in there?
Mina Elias: Yeah, there’s a ton. A ton because there’s a lot of new products coming out every single day, especially with electrolytes. I’ve seen like an insane amount of products launched since 2018. And what the beautiful thing is. So there’s one type of a campaign that I run it’s called new arrivals, and I’ll go type in my keyword on the top right. Click sort by, and then new arrivals, you can sort by price and you can sort by reviews and things like that. And I remember I used to use that stuff when I was looking for like the cheapest stuff, but you can sort by new arrivals and then you can see all of your new competitors who just came in. And I target those a lot because those are the people that are probably running some random auto campaign or whatever. They don’t know what they’re doing. They’re showing up in all these different places. And then, I show up right under them, the Hydrolyte has close to 1600 reviews. The other ones have, between 500 to 700 reviews. So I’m getting under those products showing up there, right as they’re launching and I’m stealing all of their sales. So yeah, I do run a ton of product targeting campaign, especially, where I can win. So ones that have lower reviews, more expensive than me, all of that kind of stuff.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Quick break in the action for this episode’s BTS. Remember that could mean a number of things, Bradley’s 30 seconds or brainstorm technical supplements, behind the scenes, whatever you want it to mean. But here is my 30-second tip for the week. We’ve been talking about PPC in this episode. So one way for product targeting, that’s really cool. And this helped companies as big as Lego. They have been talking about how they use this is using ASIN Grabber in the Helium 10 Chrome Extension. So let’s say you just want to like try out a whole bunch of different ASINs to product targeted and then to see which ones stick. Well, you can enter your main keyword or other keywords, and then basically run ASIN Grabber. And it’s going to pull the top 100 results, right? The organically ranked top 100 results on that page. And then you can take the top 50, you can take the top 25 or take all 100 and put them into separate campaigns like Mina talks about in this episode. So again, use ASIN Grabber to just get an easy downloadable list of all your ASINs that are showing, or all your competitors’ ASINs that are showing up for keyword, instead of trying to like copy and paste each ASIN one by one download it to an Excel file and go ahead and create a product targeting campaign based off of that.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Do you use Market Tracker on Helium 10 at all?
Mina Elias: I do. I do. I love Market Tracker and Helium 10.
Bradley Sutton: Because it kind of finds some of those new ones for you. I would imagine, right?
Mina Elias: Yeah, it does. It does. It found, it finds a lot of new ones because every day or every few days I’ll go in and I’ll check what to add to my market, but I love that it tells me when people are changing their prices and when people got a certain number of reviews and whatnot, because it kind of notifies me, Hey, is all of my market lowering their prices? If so, I need to lower accordingly, adjust accordingly. So I’m not kind of left having a much higher price than everyone else. And my sales will drop.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. So we’ve talked about your basic campaign set up, your keyword targeting campaigns and your structure. We’ve talked about product targeting in your niche. Are you allowed to do sponsored brand and sponsored display as well? I know sometimes in supplements, there are certain ones that you’re not allowed to do, but yours, you can, right?
Mina Elias: Yeah, I can. Yeah. It’s not a fat burner or anything like that. So I definitely can.
Bradley Sutton: So which ones are, I mean, are you doing videos? Are you doing sponsored brands? You’re doing sponsored display all of the above?
Mina Elias: Yup. All of the above. So right now I can’t say that I am the best at sponsored brands and display. I just started using them, sponsored videos have been amazing. So, I’m using that. I have a few videos that I’m running, and the beautiful thing is, with one of the gyms that I’m sponsoring, they are producing one video a month for me. So I’m taking that video and I’m adding, like words into the video using, one of my video editors abroad costs me about $20 to do that. And I’m running new videos every single month. So that’s been good, a lot of very good ROI on that now, in terms of sponsored brands and sponsored display, I’ve just been running a lot of the same keywords. And I do retargeting– retarget the audience that has visited the products. And then I pick certain products that I think are very aligned to my product, and I re-target those audiences as well. But again, I don’t want to talk too much about sponsored brands and display because you can say, I have a lot of experience when it comes to sponsored products. Definitely I can, but not the other ones.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. So let’s just say, or when’s the last time you launched a new SKU?
Mina Elias: I just launched on right now, Hydrolyte Energizer.
Bradley Sutton: So, let’s talk about that for your launch or for anybody else out there who is about to launch, like, what’s your, obviously you don’t start with 400 campaigns for a brand new product. You build that up gradually. So, what’s your launch strategy as far as PPC goes?
Mina Elias: Okay, great. So I start with four auto campaigns, a close match, loose match compliments and substitutes. I’ll break up my auto campaigns into four because they have different performances. So close match can have a really good performance, loose match can have not such a good performance. So I break them up into the four different targeting groups, because this way, if one is doing well, I can scale the budget a lot bigger and not have to worry about the other ones.
Bradley Sutton: Can you quickly explain to people who might not be familiar. I mean, I know what that is, but, how do you find that inside of seller central, when you start an auto campaign, how can they isolate it like that?
Mina Elias: So when you create the, the auto campaign scroll down, and it’s going to say what your default bid is. Under default bid, it says set bid by targeting groups. So instead of clicking on the default bid, click on the little button under that, and it’s going to open up and show you the four targeting groups. There’s going to be a toggle button where you can turn on and off the targeting groups, and you can set a bid by based on each targeting group. So instead of setting a bid, you can toggle off a loose match, compliments and substitutes and keep close match only on. And that will result in having just the close match auto campaign. And then you can repeat the same process, but then turn off close match, turn on loose match, turn off the other two, and then you’ll have a loose match auto campaign. And so you can do that for all four.
Bradley Sutton: How do you set your bid? Like, how do you decide, like, Hey, I’m not going to put my default bid $1, I’m going to put a $2. How do you decide that?
Mina Elias: So that’s a very good question. I don’t think there’s really like a right answer because I don’t even know. So right now for me, I do $1, it’s kind of like a low number for supplements. And so I know that starting off at that number, I’m not going to get killed right away. I always recommend you can start low and then work your way up until you’re getting enough impressions and clicks. But it’s just an arbitrary number. I really there’s no calculation that I can do. I just look at what the suggested bids by Amazon is. And I kind of go like a little bit lower, but there’s no like exact number. I haven’t found like an equation where it’s like, Hey, plug this number in and you’re going to get a good starting point because it’s all about kind of iteration. So I start with a number and then based on the data, it’s like turning on the shower and I just turned on a few knobs. And if it’s too hot, turn it off, turn it lower and so on and so forth.
Bradley Sutton: What about daily budget for each of those four?
Mina Elias: Minimum of a hundred dollars? I never start anything lower than a hundred. Don’t worry about your budget being completely used up, start with a lower bid and prevent the budget from being used up through your bid, not through your budget, having such a low budget, Amazon will immediately detect, Hey, this person doesn’t have enough money to spend from what I’ve seen. And they’re basically not going to show you enough, but if you have a large budget and a small bid, Amazon’s going to be like, okay, this person has a lot of money to spend what we can show him right at the top. Obviously it’s bid, it’s too low. So show him kind of in the lower places. And then you can slowly work your way up to you until you hit a sweet spot, but you won’t be throttled by Amazon because they won’t think, Hey, this person doesn’t have enough money to spend. So yeah, so I have four auto campaigns and then I have three campaigns, broad phrase, and exact for my main keyword. Now, this is how I get my main keyword. You’re going to go in and you’re going to type in whatever you think your main keyword is. And you’re going to look at your top 10 competitors and go and look at their titles. It’s generally the keyword that is the closest, and you can do that in Helium 10, or you can do it just in the regular Amazon. It’s the first keyword they have. And technically if you know what a canonical is, it’s the first five keywords sort of thing. Look at the first keyword that they have. So hydrolyte electrolyte powder, electrolyte powder would be the main keyword. And by definition, it’s the most relevant high search volume keyword. So those are three more campaigns. And then do, I’ll do another broad phrase and exact keyword campaigns for the top 10. Now this is where Helium 10 comes in. I’ll go. And I’ll find in my top 10 competitors, I’ll go into Cerebro. I’ll do a reverse ASIN, lookup of all the top 10, which is going to give me a ton of keywords, obviously like 14,000, something like that. But then I’ll click advanced filters and I’ll go into minimum ranking competitors and I’ll do one minus the number of ASINs that I put in. So if I put in 10, I’ll put nine minimum ranking competitors. That’ll bring out the intersection of all of the keywords between those 10 ASINs, which will give me a very, very high quality list of keywords. I can sort by search volume and I’ll pick the top 10 keywords just to make sure sometimes weird keywords sneak in there. So make sure that those top 10 high search volume keywords all make sense. And those are my top 10 keywords. And so I use those keywords, those campaigns, the main keyword campaign, and top 10 keyword campaigns to give me a lot of like ranking dues, and basically helped me rank pretty quickly. After that I’ll have a category refined targeting campaign. Basically, it’s a product targeting campaign. I’ll look at all of my competitors categories, Helium 10 Chrome Extension, a hundred percent.
Mina Elias: You need it for this. It’ll save you a ton of time, but if you have the Helium 10 Chrome Extension, you can see all of the sub-categories of every single product and then list all the sub-categories going into Amazon campaign manager, create a campaign is going to be a product targeting campaign, and it’s going to be based on the category. And then don’t do all of the categories together, do one at a time and click refine on the category when you’re targeting it. And you can, and I usually set the price. The minimum price is higher than my product, and that the number of reviews is three stars or less. This way, I know that for a fact, if someone sees a three-star product and then sees my product, which is going to have at least like five stars or 10 five stars, I can get that in like the first week, then they’re going to probably opt in for mine, especially if mine is cheaper. So, that’s one thing that I’ll run and then I’ll get into the branded keywords. So anything that has the word, MMA nutrition or Hydrolyte in it. So MMA nutrition is the name of the company hydrolyte is the name of the brand of the product and anything that has that. So MMA nutrition, electrolytes, hydrolytes, electrolytes, all the misspellings of hydrolytes, all of that stuff. That’s all branded keywords. So if anyone searches that, like they see it on my Instagram, I promote my stuff a lot. If they see there and they go search on Amazon, I want them to see my product right away. So I’ll target a broad phrase and exact three separate campaigns, all the branded keywords, then I’ll create a product targeting campaign, targeting all of my own product. So I’ll have, for the new Energizer I’ll target the unflavored, the blue Raz and the mango pineapple with the Energizer. So, whenever someone clicks on one of my products, which I’m already running a ton, a thousand campaigns on this scroll down and they’re going to see the Energizer. So that’s going to be a very easy way to up sell my products, when I launch new products and new flavors and things like that. Then from there, I’ll also do the new arrivals just cause I know I get reviews way faster than my competition. And so I targeted the new arrivals cause it probably in two weeks, I’m going to have more reviews than them and that’s pretty much it for my launch strategy.
Bradley Sutton: So are all of this is almost sounds like what 20, 25 campaigns to start?
Mina Elias: Yeah, around 20 campaigns.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Are all of these you’re doing from day one or some people say, Hey, start from day one. That me personally, that’s what I do. Other people say, no, you know, wait a week or so just to get some reviews, but what’s your strategy as far as that?
Mina Elias: Yeah. From day one. Probably. Yeah. I mean in day two, day three, I’m already getting reviews. So, it’s not an issue.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. I probably should have asked this before so we can put things into perspective. Now that three SKUs, is that including the new one? So it was two SKUs for most of this year or now it’s four?
Mina Elias: Now, it’s four and this is just all for Hydrolyte. I have other brands too, but yeah, this is just for Hydrolyte.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So for the Hydrolyte brand that you mainly had three SKUs for the year, what’s your 2020 estimated gross revenue going to end up being?
Mina Elias: Probably like 1.2 million.
Bradley Sutton: 1.2 million from just those SKUs. Now, how much of that was generated by your PPC campaigns would you say?
Mina Elias: That’s hard to say, because I know for a fact that like campaign manager will say that maybe I made what like two, $300,000, but I know if I turn off my PPC, like I’m not going to make any sales. I made that mistake before in 2019. Never to make it again, but yeah, in 2019 I said, if I’m making most of my sales organically and my PPC looks like the ACoS crazy, what if I just turned off the PPC? I turned it off and my sales went to like one or two a day.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What’s your total ACoS about right now overall?
Mina Elias: Total ACoS is around 14, 15%. My campaign manager ACoS is like 88%.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, I’m assuming you have like subscribe and save turned on for your product.
Mina Elias: I have subscribe and save. I have about 750 on the G and maybe 300 on the other two.
Bradley Sutton: So then, like you said, you’re paying three, $4, sometimes a four for a purchase, but you’re more than making up for that spend on the long-term because you get somebody on subscribe and save, and now you’re never spending a cent on PPC for them and they’re automatically replenishing.
Mina Elias: Exactly, Yup.
Bradley Sutton: Is that strategy just because if this is for supplements and stuff or some of your other brands, if they’re not supplements, like, are you pretty much doing the same general strategy for everything?
Mina Elias: So generally I have the same strategy, except if it’s not supplements, if it’s not something that’s consumable or, or like a recurring purchase, I’ll probably be a lot less aggressive. So just low. I mean, I’m going to launch the same campaigns and I’m still going to launch a thousand campaigns. I’ll probably just be start with lower bids and be very careful working my way up. So with supplements, I’m okay blowing through some money because if you think about it, it’s massive brand awareness. I’m getting right now, like seven to 8 million impressions a month on my product. So, it’s a lot of impressions. A lot of people are seeing the brand hydrolyte. So for me, spending a little bit more money doing that is not a problem because people are going to know my products and then they’re going to come back later and buy them. But if it’s a one-time purchase thing, I would start more, not, not on the budget, on the bid level, more conservative, and then work my way up a little bit slower, to try and prevent any wasted spend. But I was, you still have to launch aggressively and you still have to get that the velocity and the volume, because remember when we started the honeymoon phase and I mean, you went to the Maldives for the honeymoon, right. So, I’m really trying to tell the Amazon algorithm, like this product is selling. So it’s an investment I’m willing to lose some money. But I’d just be a little bit more conservative after that launching so many more campaigns, just keep the bid slower and work my way up.
Bradley Sutton: Now, are you– because you’re so aggressive on your PPC at launch, is that pretty much all you do for launch or do you still do like things like search find buy or things like that?
Mina Elias: So, mainly PPC sometimes I do search find buy. So I did it once with the mango pineapple and it worked pretty well, so I’m probably going to continue to do it. But yeah, I mean, generally I fully rely on PPC for my other brands. I relied on PPC, so I didn’t do the search find buy, but search find buy does work. So ,the combination of both that does work.
Bradley Sutton: Last question is, is, are you doing any sponsored or paid ads off Amazon? Be it Google or be it Facebook or social media, or are you spending any money off of Amazon for advertising in other words?
Mina Elias: Okay. So I’m glad you asked me this question. I actually went through a phase where I was doing a ton of Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, all of this stuff. And then I read the book, the one thing, and I realized that I was spending way too much time worrying about a million different things when I should’ve been spending my time focusing on the one thing that was generating me the most money, which is Amazon PPC. So in August, 2019, I took a big step back and I said, I’m going to focus and go all in on PPC and not worry about this other stuff. So right now I’m working on slowly building an overall marketing strategy. So which will include Facebook, Instagram, everything, but I’m laying it out first, I’m building the entire funnel start to finish. I’m getting all the pixels in all the tags, everything like that. If someone visits my website, if someone goes to Amazon retargeting on YouTube, all of that kind of stuff, building it out first, having a very clear direction of what I’m going to do, and then running the stuff one channel at a time versus just kind of like messing around a little bit with Facebook, messing around with Instagram and then spending a lot of spend, ad spend and not getting a good ROI. So yeah, so far nothing just PPC, but for 2021, I’m going to have a really good strategy going into paid ads and I am definitely going to invest in it.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What else are your just overall general goals? So it doesn’t have to be necessarily only PPC related, but what’s 2021 have in store for you?
Mina Elias: So 2021, I really want to get hydrolyte to at least eight SKUs, if not 10. So I want to be a lot more aggressive. I want to grow the revenue to around 4 million a year total for hydrolyte. For my other brands, just working hard. Another big goal for me is to really build a strong team and culture. Right now I have four people and I wouldn’t say I’m the best person at hiring. I’m really good at standard operating procedures and systems. I’m sure a lot of people have seen my stuff, but I really want to get into a position where I have a strong team and a really good team culture. And because I know that having a really strong team is what’s going to take me to the next level. And so I really, my goal for 2021 is to have an incredibly strong team, everything kind of streamlined and optimized, and then be able to scale my businesses, relying on my team, and kind of implement, figuring new things out, implementing them, passing it onto the team, having them take over. And so, yeah, that’s kind of one of my biggest goals for 2021.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. Now you’ve been giving us a lot of amazing and really awesome strategies and tips throughout this episode. But we have this thing on the show that we call the TST, or the TST 30-second tip. So what’s something that you haven’t mentioned yet that you can say in 30 seconds or less, highly valuable, highly actionable for our listeners out there.
Mina Elias: Okay. So this is one thing that everyone turns away from, and I didn’t. Go to date range reports. So go to Amazon report payments, reports payments, and then the third, I think tab it’s date range reports downloaded for the last month. So probably like November and look at every single piece of it. It’s going to make your stomach turn. It’s a lot of Excel. It’s a lot of accounting, but you need to understand your numbers. It’s going to show you every single dollar that came, went in and came out of your Amazon account. It’s going to show you every unit you sold. It’s going to show you how much you spent on advertising, how much you spent on everything, and the better that you understand the date range reports and that you better, that you can identify all the different expenses. If you have a very solid accounting system, if you can understand your numbers, you see, okay, this is how much money is coming in. This is my cost of goods. This is my expenses. This is my net profit for the month. If you can understand your accounting, your P & L from an accrual basis, P & L based on a cash basis, balance sheet, all of that. It’s very difficult. You’re probably going to need to hire some people on the way as consultants. Don’t just try and outsource everything. Don’t pass things off that are incredibly important to the business. So hire these consultants, try and understand how the P & L work and how accounting works. And once you understand your numbers, you truly understand your numbers. It’s going to take you to the next level in your business, because without understanding your numbers, without seeing where everything is going, coming in and going out and everything, you kind of just blind. And you’re not really a good business owner. So that was one of the things that I always turned my eyes away from. I had messy books, different credit cards and stuff was all messed up. So once I really sat down with someone and they explained everything to me and I faced the– it’s really like the nasty trash that you have to kind of like dive in. And the once I dove in like fully dove in, I became like 10 times better as a business owner. So that’s the 30-second tip. It’s not something that you people want to hear because they want to hear, Oh, just go ahead and compress your images. And then your Amazon page is going to load faster and “hacks”. But this is the real business stuff. If you really want to build a business, uh, if you want your company valuation to be a lot better than it is, if you have messy books, understand your numbers, understand how to do accounting and P & Ls and the nasty stuff that no one wants to deal with.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. That’s a good, I mean, longer than 30 seconds, but Hey, it’s important stuff right there. I love it. Now, if people want to reach out to you, find you on the inter webs, ask you more information, possibly get your help on PPC and things. How can they find you out there?
Mina Elias: So, few ways, Mina Elias, Mina Elias on Facebook, at Egyptian_prescription_Elias on Instagram. If you want to kind of see how my life is, I have a free PPC one hour training. It’s on the PPC university.com. If you want to go check it out and yeah. Feel free to hit me up. I pretty much answer all of my DMS, I’m always happy to help people. We also have an Amazon seller meetup in LA. So if you’re in LA, Bradley, you got to come and support us.
Bradley Sutton: I’ve been to one so far.
Mina Elias: Yeah. You’ve been to one. And so we need to get you consistently, but it’s monthly, really want to bring the community together to help each other out. And, uh, you know, when I started out, I really struggled a lot and I’m trying to make sure that not everyone has to struggle the same way I did.
Bradley Sutton: Yep. All right. Sounds good. Well, Mina, thank you so much for coming on here and we definitely want to reach out to you next year. And let’s see if you were able to hit those goals and let’s see how your fighting career has gone to in the last year. Yeah. All right. Talk to you then.
- #266 – Here’s How TikTok and LinkedIn Can Power Your E-Commerce Business - July 27, 2021
- #265 – New Seller Recap – They’re Not Beginners Anymore - July 24, 2021
- #264 – Introducing the Serious Sellers Club, and More! - July 20, 2021