Episode 43 – An Amazon Advertising Specialist Gives Advice On Launching Products On Amazon Using PPC

Episode 43 of Serious Sellers Podcast hosts Mike Zagare, an Amazon advertising specialist who gives advice on launching products on Amazon using PPC.

Ever wondered if you could launch a product on Amazon using PPC alone? Are you looking for alternatives to discount promotions? In this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Customer Success, Bradley Sutton speaks with Mike Zagare, founder of PPC Entourage and an Amazon advertising specialist, about creating a broad advertising base that will lead to a highly targeted Amazon PPC ad campaign.

In episode 43 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Mike discuss:

  • 00:50 – The Trend Towards Amazon PPC is Continuing
  • 02:58 – Mike Breaks it Down – Launching Thru PPC Alone
  • 04:15 – Only Paying for the PPC Clicks That Count
  • 06:25 – The Threshold for Verified Reviews
  • 08:40 – Limiting Coupon Code Abuse
  • 09:41 – 1st Step – Building A Broad Base of Reviews with Long-Tail Keywords
  • 13:00 – Focusing on Products that Offer A Competitive Advantage
  • 14:25 – Bradley – “What’s the Budget?”
  • 16:26 – 2nd Step – Highly Targeted Keywords
  • 18:35 – Sales Velocity is King
  • 22:12 – Cat Cave – A Case Study
  • 23:50 – 3rd Step – A Sponsored Brand Campaign
  • 25:00 – Search, Find, Buy, for the Win
  • 28:08 – 2 Ways to Pick Low-Hanging E-Commerce Fruit
  • 31:10 – Here’s How to Contact Mike for PPC Advice

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.

Transcript

Bradley Sutton: Are you looking for alternatives to discount promotions for launching a product? Well, Mike from PPC Entourage is going to talk to us today about how you can launch exclusively just by utilizing PPC.

Bradley Sutton: How is it going, everybody? Welcome to The Serious Sellers Podcast. Now, this is the podcast where we go over serious strategies for Amazon sellers, and it’s completely unrehearsed. Mike here has no idea what I’m going to ask him today. I have no idea what he’s going to say, but without further ado, Mike, how’s it going?

Mike Zagare: I have no idea what my name is. No, I’m just kidding. Brad, how are you, man? I’m excited to be here.

Bradley Sutton: I’m excited to have you. You are a savant. Let’s just say that when it comes to a PPC and that’s something that’s always on the mind of people, and nowadays, especially with regards to PPC, it seems like there’s more and more of a trend for Amazon to go over PPC. Nowadays, I’ve noticed a lot in, as far as the PPC, like Amazon, the last six months has really been expanding the possibilities of PPC, about dynamic bidding here or there. Are you seeing a similar trend where it just really seems like Amazon is trying to make PPC a focus of 2019?

Mike Zagare: Absolutely. They’ve made it so towards the end of 2018 and continued it in 2019 it has continued to be the trend, and there are so many different updates and features. It’s become a little bit more confusing for Amazon sellers. So, that’s what I’m here to try to break down some of that confusion and shed some light on it.

Bradley Sutton: Cool. The one thing I especially want to talk about today, because it’s something that’s been controversial for forever, and it’s about launching products. There are obviously so many different ways to launch a product. Kevin King, on an earlier episode, talked about how he launched a calendar with no PPC, no discount giveaway, no anything, just really optimized listing and in a perfect niche, and boom, he was doing six figures on this product over the end of last year. Other people use the discount or giveaway method. There are people who use rebate method, but you, unless I’m mistaken, have a lot of experience about launching a product and being able to scale and get some sales just by leveraging PPC. Is that correct?

Mike Zagare: Yeah. We’re leveraging PPC. Now, we do it with PPC, but you can also do it in conjunction with some of the other methods that you just mentioned. And sometimes, when you combine two or three of them, it works like gangbusters. But you could also do some of the strategies that I’m going to list out on this podcast today.

Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Let’s just see it. This might be what the whole episode is going to be about. We’ll see how much time we have, but I really want to make sure we cover this in-depth. Can you talk first of all about let’s say that somebody was not going to do one of those other methods that I used? Of course, an optimized listing is a must regardless, but as far as no giveaways, no rebates, nothing fancy like that, but can you break it down how somebody could launch just by leveraging PPC?

Mike Zagare: Absolutely. You said in your first statement though that optimizing your listing is the number one most important thing and critical to spend the time doing that—using a tool like Scribbles to make sure that you have all the pertinent keywords. Now the reason why it’s so important, especially with PPC, is because we’re going to target two or three keywords to really go after, and given the fact that you don’t have a lot of reviews, especially when you’re first launching a product, you want to go after keywords and search terms that are less competitive, at least initially, and keywords and search terms that you have a bit of a better chance to get ranked for earlier on. To make sure you do that, you want to have these keywords in search terms in the more prominent locations in your listing, including your title, bullet points, a subject matter, and backend and of course your description.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. And have you noticed a difference when you have it in phrase form as opposed to a three-word phrase and the first word is in the title, the second word is in the bullet point, the third word’s in the description?

Mike Zagare: Yeah, absolutely. And we recommend definitely doing it in phrase form, and we actually have it in phrase form in the backend as well and also in the subject matter when we’re doing the launch. We keep it in phrase form as much as possible throughout the listing if we can.

Bradley Sutton: All right, one quick question. Rewind it a little bit. A couple of minutes ago you mentioned something about how when we have a new product, we don’t have many reviews. In PPC though, I think that’s one of the advantages of PPC. We can get tons of impressions and maybe we don’t get the clicks, but we’re not paying for it. There is a portion of the population I imagine where they don’t really care if one has a thousand reviews or it has three reviews. And so, in that case, that’s where PPC would come in handy because then it just allows you to really make sure that you’re only paying for those people who are willing to click on a listing with only three reviews. Is that correct logic or no? 

Mike Zagare: Yeah. So, there are people that really don’t care, maybe the price is a little bit lower than your competitors and they’re willing to give you a shot. The other thing that we’ve been doing really with a lot of success is putting in a coupon code earlier on. Let’s say you have no reviews, but your top competitor has hundreds of reviews. We actually started with a promotion—sorry a coupon code, not a promotion code. A 50% off. And then we started making it—as we got more reviews—we went to 25% off and then 20% off. And then eventually, we got rid of that coupon code altogether. That sort of got over that initial barrier of not having any reviews. Now, you don’t have to do that. You can test it with or without it. But we found that conversions, were much, much better with the promotional code earlier on to overcome the fact that you don’t have those reviews earlier on.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. And then it’s like you said, use 50% off. When you say coupon, that’s that little green bar that comes up in the search and on the page?

Mike Zagare: Right. Yeah. A coupon is orange actually. When you go to the Amazon listing, you’ll see an orange coupon where it says like 25% off or 50% off. We actually started the first week with a 50% off coupon code, and it worked really well. We had ACoS (Amazon cost of Sale) of 30% or less on all of the products that we launched using this method. And it really just helped to overcome that initial barrier. So, people would click on it, use the coupon code and then you get those nice natural organic sales. It just helped me get the ball rolling right off from the start.

Bradley Sutton: Now, I might have known the answer to this, but I can’t think of it right now. But isn’t there a certain threshold where depending on what the discount is? I know on a promotional discount code, which is different than the coupon. I want to say it was 30% or something like that where you’re not able to get verified reviews if you’re giving a discount code that’s in addition to that. But on a 50% coupon, which is a little bit something different that I don’t have experience with, can you still get a verified review on one of those sales or no?

 Mike Zagare: Yeah. We did that for all of our products, and we got verified reviews, and we didn’t do the earlier reviewer program. We didn’t do any of that. And we got sales—natural sales—from PPC and we got reviews from that as well. From our experience, absolutely. Yes, you can.

Bradley Sutton: Okay, that’s great to know. So here we go. The first step is we’re probably going to use Cerebro to maybe check what keyword phrases we think doesn’t have too much competition but does definitely seem relevant to other products that are very similar to the one that we’re planning. Now we make sure that we’ve got that in the title or bullet points and duplicate it in the subject matter. And then we’re going to have a 50% off coupon if we’re just starting out just to be able to get some traction. And then I believe at this point basically it’s like we start an exact manual campaign on these two or three words. Or what’s the next step?

 Mike Zagare: Yeah. Before we actually start any campaigns, there’s a couple of things that we need to do. We want to make sure that we’re tracking all the keywords from the very beginning. A lot of people, they forget to track keywords from the very start of launching their campaigns, and they don’t really know how much progress they are actually making. Once you do your research inside of Helium 10, you can also use the Keyword Tracker and track those keywords right from the beginning. Really, really super important thing to do there. And just keep in mind that these campaigns maybe a little bit higher ACoS from the very beginning. And as you get campaign history and as you start to get sales and get reviews and as you start to optimize, that ACoS is going to be a little bit better. Yes. Bradley, we’re going to start going over some of the campaigns. I actually have three different steps you can take, and it includes—I believe—four different campaigns if you’d like to go over them one by one.

Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. But actually, just something. This is how my mind works but I jump all over the place, but I just thought of something right now, 50% off coupon code on the page. Like how do you limit abuse of that? On coupon codes, is there a way to make it only one coupon per customer or how do you make sure that somebody just doesn’t try and clean you out and then just resell it on your listing later on?

 Mike Zagare: When you set up a coupon code, I believe you’re allowed to say only one per customer, or we can do it to prime members. There’s a way that you can set it up. And you know, as I said before, you could do it with 50% or you could do a 25%. You could test this out. You can do like $2 off, $3 off, and you can really test it out. But the point is to do some kind of promotional discount just to overcome that has no reviews and it seems to work really, really well initially.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Then, so now we’ve got three for whatever keywords that we’re going to really focus on. We’ve got it up in keyword tracker, we’re ready to go. Under your scenario one, what’s the next step?

 Mike Zagare:  All right, guys, the first step is we want to set up a campaign that’s going to build a base of reviews and get general keyword rank with a manual and an automatic campaign. The first manual campaign is going to be more like a broader campaign. We’re going to take those three keywords that we found from Cerebro and Magnet. We’re actually going to find the best eight to 10 keywords and we’re going to work with those to start. These are going to be the most relevant keywords; the ones that are highly relevant to your product, but also the keywords that we’re going to target for that launch, right? The ones that you have an opportunity to get ranked on. Let’s say it has a CPR of 8 to 10. You only have to give away 10 to start to get the rank. We’re going to mix those in with the highly relevant keywords, the ones that have a lot of visibility and a lot of traffic on Amazon. And we’re going to make a campaign with just those 8 to 10 keywords. That’s going to be a broad match and a phrase match—two separate ad groups. Once again, the goal of this is to start to get visibility. We want visibility; we want to start to connect our keywords with the broad match and the phrase match to other search terms and start to gain some traction, gain some reviews, and get the ball rolling with this first couple ad groups inside of the first campaign.

Bradley Sutton: And then, how do you pick these eight or 10 keywords? Are these eight or 10 keywords longtail versions of those three main ones? How did you go from the three to the eight?

 Mike Zagare: Really good point. So, actually, this morning, I went through Helium 10, and I was actually doing this, and I found keywords that were super highly relevant that had a lot of search volume. So, the best of the best keywords. And then I use those as my foundation and then I searched based on those keywords. So, let’s say, we sell cat litter mats. The best keyword would be cat litter mat and then a keyword. We wouldn’t go after that right from the very beginning because we probably wouldn’t stick the landing on a launch. We would go after a long tail version of a keyword, so maybe like cat litter mat with woven fibers or cat little mat catcher or something of that nature. That’s the keyword we were targeting in the actual launch, but we want eight to 10 keywords to put into our first second ad group as a broad and phrase match type, and we’re going to choose the keywords we’re targeting in the launch and we’re also going to choose our super highly relevant keywords because the broad match and the phrase match is going to connect us with all sorts of different search terms. Right? Because that’s the actual match type and that will connect to the search terms that customers are actually searching for.

Bradley Sutton: Okay, that makes sense.

Mike Zagare: All right, so now that’s the first two ad groups, and guys, keep in mind that we’re also going to go after with a high bid price just to overcome some of the obstacles with not having any campaign history. Amazon loves campaign history. You have to overcome that by bidding a little bit higher at least initially. The third ad group is going to be product targeting. Product targeting is fairly new; it came out late in 2018, and it has a lot of opportunities really to just start to gain some exposure on your competitors’ listings and get some sales and your competitor’s listings now because you have no reviews early on we’re going to start going after products that you have a competitive advantage on, right?

 Mike Zagare: You don’t want to just throw your listing up to somebody who has a thousand reviews. We’re going to use tools to help find the best products to target, and there are five or six different things you can look for. And we found this inside of the Black Box tool—five or six different things that you can look for in order to home in on some of the products where you have a competitive advantage. So, Brad, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go over some of those things they can go look for sure.

Bradley Sutton: Sure, sounds good.

Mike Zagare: All right, cool. First off, the price, so you can search for higher-priced items, which gives you some sort of an advantage there. You can go for review counts like 15 or less, even though you have no reviews, you can look for products that have 15 or less reviews. Review star rating of three or less. Another thing you can look for is if it’s fulfilled by merchant and not prime. The other thing, if it has a number of images of two or less, it’s probably a pretty crappy listing, so you can target those. And also, variations. If a product has like three or more color variations or size variations, you can actually go after the main competitor but go after their off variations and target those ASINs because the sponsored ads that show up on that listing change as a user goes from one variation to the other variation. So those are five things you can target to niche it down a little bit.

Bradley Sutton: Alright, now, what kind of budget are we talking about? It looks like it’s almost like a three-prong campaign. We’ve got an exact match. Did you say there’s auto campaign going on in there as well?

Mike Zagare: Yeah. So actually, this first campaign has a broad match, a phrase match and now we have a product targeting campaign.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. A broad phrase and product targeting. For that, what kind of budget would you suggest setting when you’re starting?

Mike Zagare: If you can handle $30 a day, I would suggest not going much lower than that, but between $30 and $50 a would be good for this campaign.

Bradley Sutton: Okay, sounds good. As this is going, what’s happening? What’s happening with the keywords or what should be happening? What’s your goal? What do you want to see?

 Mike Zagare: Okay, so the goal here guys is to start gaining visibility on Amazon’s platform for a bunch of keywords and search terms. We’re doing broad phrase and product targeting to do that and also to get reviews. While that’s going on, we’re also going set up an automatic campaign, and here’s the trick with an automatic campaign. You want to make sure for that automatic campaign that you set up your negatives right from the very beginning because we want to give Amazon some direction in what to target and go after. I highly recommend using a negative phrase match and coming up with eight to 10 negative phrase words. You can do more than that. I would try not to overcomplicate this, but eight to 10 negative phrase match words. These are words that you know are not connected to your product. This way you give Amazon a little bit more direction in terms of where to show your product and who to show it to. That makes sense, Brad?

Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Got It.

Mike Zagare: You can also use the Cerebro tool for that, I think, and also Magnet because you guys have the word frequency count, and you can go through that and you can see which words show up a lot of times and which one of those words are not even close to related it to what you’re selling. And then use those as negative phrase match to give that direction. Now that’s the first step. You’ve got the manual and the auto campaign. Remember guys, the goal of that is to get the broad visibility and to get broad indexing for a bunch of keywords on Amazon.

 Mike Zagare: The next step is to go after your highly targeted keywords. And those are going to be the two to three keywords that we chose before—the ones where you have some opportunity. It’s kind of like a lower search volume, so you can give away less to get some good visibility on Amazon and get some ranking on Amazon. These are going to be a highly targeted exact match campaign. Let’s say, the example I gave before, cat litter mat, catcher or trapper, you can go after that with a highly aggressive bid under exact match and make that its own campaign. This way you have ultimate control and then each one of the keywords that you’re targeting for the launch, it would get its own campaign. And we recommend doing two to three at a time and getting the ranking that you want and then going to the next two to three. And as you build reviews and get a base of reviews, you can start to go after more aggressive keywords where there’s more competition.

Bradley Sutton: All right? Now, for example, obviously, the CPR formula that Manny came up with and that we have in Helium 10 that’s designed for people using the discounted giveaways or discounted promotion launch method. But have you noticed any correlation as far as, let’s say, the CPR number is 50 and you’re doing that at 80% off and you do 50 over 8 days, you have a good chance to get to page one? But let’s say if you see a keyword like that, but if you’re just doing PPC, I would assume it’s of much less than you would have to do overtime. But have you found any kind of correlation where you can say, “Hey yeah it’s actually instead of a week, it takes a month and it takes this many sales that you convert via PPC to get to page one” or have you done any kind of studies to give people something that they can gauge as to what they need in order to get to page one with PPC?

 Mike Zagare: Oh well we haven’t done any studies, but we have done it based on our own experience. And we use those numbers as a guideline, and we use them as a general guideline to tell us which ones are a little bit less competitive and which ones we should go after, which ones that we have a general shot to go after. And then, we’ll take those, and we’ll put them into a campaign. And in general, the sales velocity is king. If you can get sales for those keywords over at least an eight to 10 period of days, then you’re more likely to get keyword ranking for those keywords. The more sales you can get over that period of time, the more aggressive you can be over that period of time, the more likely you are to get the ranking. And obviously the goal is to get the page one, so the more the merrier. But it does help that it’s a PPC sale as opposed to a giveaway sale. I can tell you that we’ve had great success with combining that with the coupon to get the sales velocity we need to get to the very top and sticking the landing is where it’s at. I mean that’s what you want to do afterward. You want to make sure that you also stick the landing, which requires you to still spend some more money after this initial launch phase.

Bradley Sutton: All right. You probably can’t tell me anything that you’re doing right now because people could reverse engineer and figure out who you’re talking about, but something you did maybe five months ago or six months ago. Can you give any actual specific keyword where you used this strategy and then you noticed that hey, after x amount of time you got to page one and then kind of stuck the landing or do you have any cases that you remember off hand?

 Mike Zagare: Absolutely. We stuck the landing on multiple keywords and then we lost the landing on several other keywords. And I can tell you from experience that the worst thing that we did was we had a listing that really wasn’t well optimized. We got all the way up there. We’re there for like a week and it was a very competitive keyword. Well, what we did was we combined PPC with a Search Find Buy. And I was talking with Paul Harvey the other day about that and he was telling us that in his opinion that is the best combination where people are actually searching using that keyword. Plus, you’re combining that with PPC and the combination of doing those two things work really, really well. We did that, but unfortunately, this was our own mistake. We had a discrepancy in the listing, and we got negative reviews and as soon as we got that negative review, we lost all of our ranks. The products where we didn’t mess upon in terms of the listing, which is why I go back to saying that listings are the most important thing.

 Mike Zagare: We were able to stick the landing without any problem and then slowly start to build our reviews. Yeah, we did go back a little bit and then come back up. We had to be a little bit more aggressive at times because we lost and slipped some on the ranking a little bit. But then you know, that’s kind of a natural thing with this whole process.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Is there any specific one, like you’ve mentioned, cat litter or something, but is there something else? Could you actually say, “Hey, for collagen peptides, we did a launch and we were putting in $30 a day to this keyword and we got like one or two sales a day, and hey guess what, after a month we got on page one.”  I know that’s a pretty vague question, but do you remember anything off-hand, as a success story, that you can give us?

Mike Zagare: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. We did this exact process with the term cat scratcher, which, as you know, probably gets a ton of views, a lot of traffic. We’re able to do this exact strategy with catch scratcher, which is a really, really competitive search term and keyword. This is the one where we weren’t able to stick the landing, unfortunately. But the other products we were able to stick the landing. Things like cat cave and stuff like that, we were able to take the landing, which are fairly aggressive keywords, a lot of volumes.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. So how long did it take for the cat scratcher? Or was that the one that you had also combined using a Search Find Buy?

Mike Zagare: The cat scratcher we combined with the Search Find Buy.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Can you think of one where you just went the PPC route?

Mike Zagare: Absolutely, yes. So, the cat cave, that one we did with just PPC.

Bradley Sutton: What’s a cat cave?

Mike Zagare: Oh, it’s when they just go in and hang out in a little cave. We actually have this Ikea cat cave where people put it into their Ikea shelves and the cats go in and hang out. It’s pretty cool.

Bradley Sutton: We need to talk after this. I think my son would like that for his cats because that sounds pretty interesting. But anyway so you did cat cave. You didn’t do Search Find Buy, you just did PPC. And then what was the process like? You started off, I’m assuming, either on page 10 or unranked at all. And then what did that campaign look like?

 Mike Zagare: Yeah, so the process was very much like what we said. We set up a manual campaign; we set up an automatic campaign and then we found the top two to three keywords that we wanted to go after based on what we felt we had a chance to rank for earlier on. I think it was a cat cave or I’m not exactly sure of the exact search term. But we were able to rank for those search terms within seven, eight, nine days. We were able to start to get some good ranking on those search terms. And then we did get to the number two or three positions on the top, and then we ran out of stock with that particular product. We’re in the process of getting back that ranking as we speak.

Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. All right. What else? You had mentioned that there’s another strategy that we could use or a different scenario apart from what we just detailed here.

Mike Zagare: Absolutely. Yeah. So just to recap, step one was to get the broad visibility and the broad reach. Step two was the highly targeted campaign with the two to three keywords that we’re going after; that’s going to be two to three different keywords. Each one is going to get their own campaign. Step three is a sponsored brand campaign. So, basically, if you find the keywords that you’re going after, and you set them up into sponsored brand as an exact match type; you want to make sure that you also put them into your title.

 Mike Zagare: You use those keywords in that actual headline of your sponsored brand ad. And this is just another layer to try to get more visibility. If somebody’s searching for a particular search term, and they see it in your sponsored brand ad, they may or may not click onto that. Then they’re going to go and see the list page with your coupons. And if they don’t click on the sponsor brand ad, they may go down the page and hopefully see your sponsored ad. And if not, hopefully, they’ll start to see you organically as well. The third step to all this is to set up a sponsored brand campaign. And to really have a good headline that has your search term or your keyword in it and then also make sure that it has like a catchy headline. I have a couple written down here—like introducing our latest waterproof case or the all-new stainless steel five-blade razor, something like that where you had your search term in there but it’s catchy and then it goes to the list page.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Alright. You have different methods here. Between these two and others, what has traditionally worked the best for you? Of course, nothing on Amazon is a hundred percent foolproof. Things work differently in different situations, but what methodology has given you the best results overall or you think has given you the best chance to get to page one for a new product?

 Mike Zagare: I think it’s a combination of the two strategies that we mentioned before with the Search, Find, Buy and also the PPC. I think that’s a winning strategy to get ranked on Amazon because it’s sending outside traffic and it’s leveraging internal traffic. And when you get external and internal traffic on Amazon, and you’re all going after the same search term or keyword, I think that’s winning, winning strategy. The initial strategy that we talked about in terms of setting the campaign up from the very beginning the right way, doing a broad phrase match and also set it up with the negatives right away. This way you don’t overspend money and you’re laser-focused even within the research campaign. Now that research campaign is building up a base of reviews, you’re building the search term report, you’re going to get a lot of information from that search term report and then laser-focused exact match on those keywords. I think that’s a total winning strategy. One that’s really been good for us.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. And for just those people who are not familiar with Search, Find, Buy, can you briefly explain what you do there?

 Mike Zagare: Absolutely. Search, Find, Buy is like you choose the same set of keywords and the same ones that you’re going after with PPC. And basically, what you’re doing is you’re them up in some sort of way that people can go out and find your product with that keyword. It might be an email that tells people to search for your keyword, find it on Amazon, whether that be on the first page, second page, 10th page or whatever it is, and then go ahead and buy it.  I know Paul Harvey’s doing this with chatbots where he basically starts a conversation and then tells people what to do through the conversation on the chatbot. And then they go over to Amazon and they actually go ahead and do it. We did it through email, which was really cool. We made a landing page with a video saying exactly what to do. And don’t be afraid if they actually click on your sponsored ad. Yeah, that’s going to cost you a little bit of money, but that’s actually going to help you in the long run because Amazon is going to see that your conversion percentage is really good. Your CTR percentage is really good. That actually could give you a huge advantage in the long run. I wouldn’t be worried about that, but that’s what we did, and we did it through email and just told people what to do on a landing page. They went over to Amazon, they searched for let’s say a cat cave. They found our product; they put it in their cart, and they purchased it. Of course, they saw the coupon code we had attached to it. We attached the 50% off coupon code. We didn’t have to give them a promotional code or anything like that. They saw the coupon code; they purchased it. And we also had that with the PPC campaign. And the combination was just fantastic.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Real cool. All right. Any other tips or things that you see trending right now? It doesn’t have to be with regard to launches but something—maybe one or two things that are really easy to do that you see is a big pain point or you see it as one of the big mistakes or one of the lowest hanging fruit, I guess is the correct term that sellers are or are not doing in regards to PPC. What is Mike’s two best ways that can help Amazon sellers out there in 2019?

 Mike Zagare: I want to start with one and maybe number two will come to me, but I think number one is that not a lot of sellers are leveraging the power of sponsored brand ads.

Bradley Sutton: Do you have to have a brand registry for that?

 Mike Zagare: Yes, you do. Yes, you do. So maybe that’s why, but I don’t see a lot of sellers really diving deep into that and that’s a big mistake, I think. Possibly it’s because Amazon has a clunky system where they don’t really give you the search term report. It’s hard to optimize the whole thing. It’s a little bit more expensive than sponsored ads mainly because you can’t really optimize it. But I think it’s a massive opportunity because you’re at the very top of Amazon; there are so many things you can do up there. You can build your brand, you can announce a new product, you can announce a line of products. You can really get some massive exposure and it’s not really being taken advantage of.  I would say really crafting some amazing headlines and then working on your sponsored brand ad game is something that sellers are not doing. And it’s definitely a low hanging fruit.

Bradley Sutton: Okay. Anything else that you see? It could be something maybe that people are doing that you think they shouldn’t or something that they’re not, that you think they should.

 Mike Zagare: Optimizing the right way. I think that’s critical. I think all sellers are going to have to improve their optimization game. Right? There are really only four or five ways to really optimize. When you really break it down, you have your negative match types, keyword bid optimizations; we call it SKU optimization, where you get rid of the SKUs that are underperforming in this day and age with a lot of competition and everyone going after PPC. If you’re not upping your optimization game, I think you’re going to get left in the dust or you’re going to end up spending a ton of money on PPC. The other thing people are doing is they’re spending too much money on PPC, and it’s eating away at their margins. And a killer stat that I like to follow is six to 10%.

 Mike Zagare: So six to 10% of your ad spend on your margins should be impacted by your ad spend, right? If it starts to get too much more than that, then you’re probably spending too much money on PPC or losing too much money in margins on your PPC. Let me just rephrase that. Like our ad spend, margin impact should be between six and 10%, and we like to stay around 7%, and we’ll be aggressive in that 7% but we don’t want to go too far past that because then you have the FBA fees, you have all sorts of other fees that are impacting your margins, and you want to make sure you have some money at the end of the day.

Bradley Sutton: All right, cool. Well, this has been very insightful especially in regard to the launches, so I appreciate you coming on here. Now we could go on for hours and talk about PPC, so I’m sure plenty of our listeners have other questions. If they want to reach out to you or see about getting help with their PPC campaigns, how can they find you?

Mike Zagare: Sure. We have a Facebook group called the Entourage Seller Community. You can find me on there. I’ll answer any questions at any time unless I’m sleeping, and then you could also email me at mike@ppcentourage.com.

Bradley Sutton: All right. Well, Mike, thank you very much for your help, and right after this call, we got to talk about those cat caves.

Mike Zagare: All right, sounds good, Bradley. Thank you so much.

Bradley Sutton: I’ll see you later.

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