#258 – A Month of Small Amazon Seller Tips and BIG Strategy Updates
Today on the Serious Seller Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Customer Success, Bradley Sutton presents another Best Of episode, covering everything from affiliate marketing to ASIN quantity limits and everything in between.
Plus a very special update on the CPR Ranking Method and the Maldives Honeymoon Method!
We’ve assembled the best podcast episodes and blog posts from the last month that you may have missed.
First, we talk with Ezra Firestone, the Founder of Smart Marketer, Co-Founder and CEO of Zipify Apps, and Boom by Cindy Joseph. As a multi-million dollar seller on Shopify, he’s got some words of wisdom for those looking to make the move to Amazon, or simply split time between the two platforms
However, your e-commerce platform of choice is only the beginning.
When it comes time to choose a supplier, which country should you be looking into first? Meghla Bhardwaj helps walk us through the major differences between manufacturing in China vs. manufacturing in India. They can both be perfect places to bring your product to life… It just depends on what that product is.
Not sure how you’re supposed to keep up with perhaps the fastest moving industry in the world? Digital marketing legend, Tink Taylor, who’s been at the forefront of the industry for the last 20 years, clues us in on how to stay afloat.
Changing gears, we’ll also be talking with none other than Tim Jordan about affiliate marketing. But this isn’t just another “5 reasons affiliate marketing is the hot new thing.” Tim is here with a special way to use affiliate marketing to your advantage when identifying trending Amazon products.
It wouldn’t be a “Best of” episode without a clip from TACoS Tuesday and Helium 10’s Vince Montero! In this deep dive look at listing optimization (and how it can drastically affect PPC costs), Vince and Brand Evangelist, Karyn Thomas speak about a real-world case study they conducted which a closer look at the way your Amazon listing can support your ad campaigns!
After you’ve perfected your listing and fine-tuned your PPC campaigns, you’ll want to construct an airtight marketing game plan. Cara Sayer, an experienced Amazon seller and marketing strategist is here to walk us through outsourcing, influencers, using smaller shipments, new Amazon strategies, and one very cool Shopify app.
Those of you who have been selling anywhere near Amazon in the last year have likely run into ASIN quantity limits, due to the worldwide shake-up of COVID-19. Bradley carves out some time to walk us through what happened, what’s changed since the Fall of 2020, and where we’re headed in the future with these Amazon hurdles.
Have we stressed you out enough yet with all this talk about Amazon quantity limits? Fear not, the Founder of WooCommerce, Adii Pienaar, highlights some interesting notes on happiness, money, and merging your personal and business lives effectively. Work/life balance? Yes, please.
If you thought we were finished with PPC, think again! As e-commerce blooms, becoming bigger and bigger each year, online sellers are having to make tougher decisions than ever. E-commerce pioneer, Casey Gauss, is here to discuss product launches with Google Ads, where PPC goes beyond Amazon, and finally some common mistakes he’s encountered with sellers preparing their Amazon business for acquisition.
As Amazon’s Terms of Services continue to evolve every week, it can be difficult to keep up with “what’s allowed” and “when you will get you punished.” Our featured blog excerpt this month lays it all out on the line: Just what in the world does a “good” product insert look like? And don’t worry if you’re not a designer, we have an easy way to get you started.
Lastly, we have a very special update regarding the Helium 10 ranking method many of you have come to know, love, and succeed with… the CPR Ranking Method. Bradley tells you what you need to know about this big update, along with how to incorporate the “Maldives Honeymoon Strategy” into the fold.
In episode 258, Bradley presents another “Best of” edition of the Serious Sellers Podcast:
- 01:40 – The Transition from Shopify to Amazon and Balancing Happiness Along the Way
- 04:25 – Should You Be Manufacturing Your Product in China or India?
- 07:20 – Keeping Up With the Fastest Changing Industry in the World
- 09:45 – Using Affiliate Marketing to Help Identify Trending Amazon Products
- 13:00 – A Good Looking Listing Might be More Impactful Than You Thought
- 16:15 – Brand Ambassadors and (and a Cool Shopify App)
- 19:25 – An Update on Amazon ASIN Quantity Limits
- 24:25 – Work/Life Balance… is it Possible?
- 27:10 – PPC: Not Just an “Amazon Thing” (Plus Preparing for an Acquisition)
- 29:35 – What is the RIGHT Way to Use Product Inserts?
- 32:55 – The Importance of the Title to Your Amazon Listing
- 34:40 – A Special Update on Helium 10’s Famous CPR Ranking Method!
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: On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about India sourcing tips, Google advertising, PPC strategies, Amazon breaking news, and more. 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 is our best of episode. Every couple months, we kind of take a look back, not just that the podcast here that you might have missed, but also some clips from things that you probably haven’t seen or heard yet from the AM/PM Podcast, from our PPC tips, from Vince, from our written blogs and more sources. We’re going to have the best strategies and the best kind of clips that maybe there’ll be something you’ll be interested in, strikes your fancy, and you want to go back and listen to the whole podcast or read the whole blog. Well, this is the episode to listen to get the best of the best of the last couple of months.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So, to start off now, I’m pretty sure that if you’re selling online, it doesn’t take very long before the name Ezra Firestone has come up in your studies or in your research. He sold tens of millions of dollars on Shopify. And now he’s made the jump to Amazon. Now in his first few months, selling on Amazon, how much did he make? He already grossed over half of a million dollars with only one product. He’s the founder of smart marketer and the co-founder and CEO of Zipify apps and Boom by Cindy Joseph. And so again, he’s recently made the move to Amazon, and here’s what he said about that.
Ezra: Amazon for me is not about being my biggest volume portal. It’s about giving people who won’t buy from me, otherwise, an opportunity to buy from me. And so people only buy on Amazon and get notoriety for my brand on that channel. But I probably won’t launch any other products there. If you want my other stuff, you can come to my site. And I think that it’s for me, it’s more of a customer acquisition play because as soon as you know about the Boomsticks, you’re going to start thinking about me. You might see me on Facebook. You might learn about my other products and I want you to have to come to my site to buy those. So it’s really not a– I’m not trying to build a giant Amazon brand. I’m just trying to capitalize. I’m trying to take away the opportunity for people parasitizing my brand and capitalize on the people who will only buy on Amazon.
Bradley Sutton: Are you doing anything different as far as packaging, or this is the exact same package, exact same UPC. Everything’s the same as what somebody would get on Shopify?
Ezra: On Amazon, it’s different UPC, it’s in a box versus not on the website, but I change the SKU and the UPC so that I could potentially change the price that I currently have at the same price. But I could though, because–
Bradley Sutton: That’s key. That’s one thing that was smart because Amazon is actively checking other websites. And let’s say you have a deal on Shopify where you’re going to have a $5 off. And now it seems that $30 is 25. Well, if your Amazon price is $30, guess what? You just lost the buy box. And it’s going to look like you’re out of stock and it’s a big hassle, right?
Bradley Sutton: Ezra is a thought leader in the online selling community and prides himself on balancing prosperity with a firmly held social conscience.
Ezra: You only have so much time on this planet. What are you doing? Are you having fun? Are you enjoying yourself? Are you showing up with a positive attitude? Are you taking care of your physical body, your mental body, your emotional body, are you investing in your relationships, in your hobbies outside of work? Or you’re just grinding and miserable? It’s like you get to choose how you show up in the world and the world could use one more happy person. So do what it takes to be happy, have fun, bring a positive attitude, be enthusiastic and make good stuff, stuff that truly serves the world. Stuff that truly serves the community. Keep making your products better and then be profitable and do it in that order. Have a good time, make good things and then worry about being profitable. And if you’ve done that, you’ve won the game we call business. I don’t care if you’re at $50,000 a year or $50 million a year, that’s the game. Have fun, make good stuff, be profitable.
Bradley Sutton: Next up is a blog post by Meghla entitled “Should you be manufacturing your product in China or India: Five Things to Help you Decide. If you’re finally ready to source your new Amazon product, should you be looking for a factory in China? Should you be looking at India? Which one? It’s probably a good idea to listen to this excerpt from Meghla’s posts before you decide.
Meghla: China and India have very different strengths and weaknesses. Here are the key differences Amazon sellers will find when sourcing from these countries. While China focuses on large scale mass production of products, India has the artisanship to create unique handcrafted products, China manufactures at scale. Whereas in India, most factories are small and midsize. The Indian government also favors SMEs and the country’s regulations are designed to protect them. There are a large number of big enterprises in India, and they are mostly in industry, such as apparel, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, electronic components, and auto parts. For most products relevant to global private label sellers, these manufacturers would be smaller factories, many factories are family-run businesses. So don’t be surprised to see two generations attend a meeting with you if you visit their factory or meet them at a trade show. India suppliers focus primarily on design development and regularly develop and launch in-house designed products. There’s also a wide range of indigenous handicrafts styles that are unique to the country. The advantage of selling handcrafted products is that they command higher prices and therefore have higher profit potential. Sourcing unique products from India is a strategy that will allow you to stay away from highly competitive, low margin products with cutthroat competition. One of the main product categories from India for Amazon sellers is home decor and gift items that are made from natural materials, such as wood metal, ceramic, glass, and the like. There’s also an increasing focus on eco-friendly sustainable and biodegradable products such as Jude, plant-based materials and up-cycled materials. It is safe to say that no other country in the world currently matches China’s combination of scale, skills, infrastructure, and costs that make it a production powerhouse. India is taking significant steps to improve its manufacturing prowess. Prime minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program aims to boost the manufacturing sector and has been showing results. While China is currently the world’s factory for most products, India has distinct advantages that Amazon sellers can tap into in order to differentiate their brands and create long term sustainable businesses.
Bradley Sutton: The landscape of digital marketing has changed substantially in the last 20 years. Still, when it comes time to sell your Amazon or other e-commerce product, it comes down to making sure that you’re connecting with your target audience. In this AM/PM Podcast, Tim Jordan speaks with a digital marketing expert who has been at the forefront of the industry for the last 20 years, Tink Taylor is a marketing legend. He’s the founder and president of the dot digital group with offices in London, Manchester, Bellaruse New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Amsterdam, and Cape town. Now here’s what Tink has to say about what’s necessary to keep up with a quickly changing industry.
Tink: The world has changed and we’ve needed to adapt and change everything about our business to the needs of merchants over time. So we’ve introduced so many features and functionality to make you be more segmented, more targeted over the years. And nowadays it’s across multiple channels. So, a few years back, we changed our name from dot mailer into dot digital. And that’s because we brought a number of other channels into the marketing mix. So they know we really offer an omni-channel solution now. So we offer things like SMS, push mobile, push web push, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger seemed to bring on We chat for Asia and we also have a live chat product as well. And they all linked together. So yeah, it’s constant innovation and change. And you can’t stand still in this industry.
Bradley Sutton: With all the talk about SMS and other messaging apps, is email still relevant?
Tink: I don’t think it’s the next big thing that’s coming. I think it’s already there. It’s people actually leveraging the ability. I mean, you can send a mass broadcast, but tailor it one to one, every single recipient. And I don’t think there’s another channel that can do that in such a sophisticated way in every product image of every price in the, talk about B2B commerce, you get pricing can change per customer. The subject line, literally everything can be automated. Also everything can be automated and integrated with other channels. So I can link into my e-com store and all the product pictures and prices. H’s putting automatic from there. Maybe I’m using someone like Cleaver, and site search where I can pull in those site searches and I can update the content of the email that it’s so tailored. Absolutely every buying line of it can really be driven to deliver that one-to-one communication quite effortlessly with the right technologies linked together.
Bradley Sutton: In this next Serious Sellers Podcast episode, Tim Jordan is going to step out from behind the mic and talk to me about affiliate marketing, but he’s not going to talk about how affiliate marketing has increasingly become one of the most popular ways to promote your e-commerce business. Instead, he’s going to let us in on a way that he uses to help him identify trending Amazon products.
Tim: The new thing that I’m excited about has to do with affiliate marketing, right? And the way affiliate marketing works is someone takes somebody else’s product and sells it to an audience. So the affiliate marketer is potentially the best digital marketer in the world, because a lot of times the margins are slim. They don’t have any control over the brand, but they’re experts in finding what people want and attaching them to a specific audience and sharing it to the audience and trying to get a sale for commission. So these are probably the best people in the world. And what I have found is that they are exceptionally good at finding products that are in demand with low competition, right? Products where they can make good margins and not just the product, but where are they going to sell them? What platforms, what avenues, how are they marketing them? So what I’ve started doing is hunting down some of the best affiliate marketers and backtracking, what they’re doing and letting them help me find products. Now, affiliate marketers have to use what’s called an affiliate network. It’s like the go-between that creates the connections to track these sales. So you guys have all seen it. If you use my Helium 10 code, right? My helium 10 code, I think it’s Legion10 for 10% off Helium 10, right? Not trying to pitch my code. But as an example, if you punch that in, then that will help Helium 10 realize, okay, Tim’s given this much traffic to Helium 10, like that’s where it’s coming from. There is a network behind the scenes that helped the Helium 10 system know that if somebody used this code or goes to the link, then it was coming from Tim as the traffic source, right?
Tim: Well, products work the same way too. And you guys will see this a lot in like Facebook ads, you’ll see a product and you click the link. And it goes through like this long link, which is an affiliate tracking link. And it ends up at a store if you buy anything it’s tracked to that traffic source, that Facebook ad. Amazon has a massive affiliate marketing system called Amazon associates. And where you see this isn’t a lot of social media and YouTube videos and blogs and gift guides, where if you click a link, it goes to Amazon with a referral code where Amazon knows, Hey, it came from this traffic source and they give a commission. Those commissions have reduced. They used to be five or 6% commissions for just the gross sales. Now in a lot of categories, it’s reduced down to like two or 3% in gross which is reduced down to 1%. But the people that are selling on Amazon making money as affiliates are doing so because they have found the product opportunities that have great margin, low competition, high conversion rate, high click through rate, all that good stuff. The Amazon short code for affiliate marketers is amzn.to. But I figured out I can go to different platforms where affiliate marketers might be lurking and I can type in a specific keyword to get to a niche or to get their category, and also type in amzn.to. And the search engine that is that platform will identify the content, the videos, the blogs, the gift guides that are also sharing that Amazon affiliate link.
Bradley Sutton: It wouldn’t be a best episode without a clip from TACoS Tuesday and Helium 10’s Vince Montero. This time Vince is accompanied by Helium 10 brand evangelist, Karyn Thomas, as they speak about a case study they conducted to take a closer look at the way that listing optimization can support a PPC campaign.
Vince: As a consultant, the first thing that I would do when I was talking to a client is look at their listing. I would do an audit of the listing first and foremost to make sure, Hey, did they do the correct keyword research? Is there additional information that they could have found that they didn’t find and didn’t incorporate into their listing? Because I learned very early on that it didn’t really matter how good I was at doing PPC for the user, for the client, I should say. If the listing was up to speed, up to where it should be, or as good as it could be, we were always going to lose out to a competitor with a better listing, better optimized, better indexing and so on. So I incorporated that into my processes with clients when I would talk to them about doing an audit first. That was always step one, phase one keyword research, listing optimization. I mean, I would give suggestions to the client, or I would make the updates myself depending on the contract and consistently, we saw improvements in the PPC performance.
Bradley Sutton: Karyn’s background in listing optimization gives her a strong insight into what it takes to get to the top of Amazon’s first page.
Karyn: So, one thing I want to think about though is they have these amazing images, but there’s so much more you can do. You know what I mean? A lot of times we think one image, but we don’t know all the cool stuff that you can do with one image, right. That space. And this is such valuable space. I think most big sellers would agree that your images and your title and your video are the most powerful parts of your listing. So when you think about listing optimization, these are the places where you want to start, because it’s there where you’re going to have the 80-20 principle, we’re going to get the most bank for your buck.
Bradley Sutton: But here’s where it gets really interesting. Vince points out how the listing optimization clearly positively affects both the sales and ACoS.
Vince: Again, I can all confirm that he completed this around the 19th of March. So, we’ll wait that month prior to this. And we can see almost 1400 in sales at a 57% ACoS, right? Again, then the 19th, the weekend of the 20th, these updates that we just went through with you guys were made on this particular listing. So, we’ll look at the 20th through yesterday, and over 2000 in sales at 29% ACoS. All right. So I almost gotten that it, yeah, the ACoS is, I mean, almost cut in half, right? It was 54, 55 and now it’s 29. And the sales doubled, more than doubled. So, again, that’s the power of what we’re sharing with you guys today is if you update your listing, you’re just alone, install, obviously maintain your campaign optimizations. But really what it, what it can do for your PPC results
Bradley Sutton: In this next Serious Sellers Podcast, Cara, a successful Amazon seller and experienced marketer tells us how she uses affiliate marketing and a cool Shopify app to help her continue to crush it in e-commerce.
Cara: All of last year was spent really building more of an army of influencers and brand ambassadors and my products, very popular with baby sleep consultants because they obviously help babies sleep. And so my team, I took on another member of the team whose sole job is to liaise with and manage all of the baby seat consultants. So, I reckon we now have probably maybe 300 worldwide, because we have quite, we have them in Australia, Canada, US, UK, Japan. I mean, we literally have sleep people, sleep consultants everywhere. One of the things we’ve also worked on over the last year, which is fabulous, is if you have a Shopify website, there’s a brilliant little app that you can plug in and there’s a free element to it, which does more than you need to be happy on a basic level. What we did is we set up an affiliate network. So every single baby sleep consultant we work with creates their own code. They can share that with their followers, their clients, and then they earn a commission on the back of it.
Bradley Sutton: All right, guys, really quick. I want to take a break from this best of episode to remind you guys that next week we will be at the Prosper Show in Las Vegas. All right. And if you can get to that Prosper show, great, you can get tickets at helium10.com/prosper, but if you’re in the area or in California, even if you don’t want to go to the Prosper show, guys, go to Vegas that week and come to our party. We have a party coming up at a Helium 10 social event, entitled Rock out on the Record is going to be like 2, 3, 400 Helium 10 users or influencers. People who have been on the podcast, Kevin King, Tim Jordan, I will be there, other Helium 10 brand evangelists. I mean, it is going to be huge. We’re going to have karaoke and drinks, and all kinds of fun stuff. So make sure to come. And now here’s the thing, if you are going to the Prosper show, or if you are going to our social either, or come find me, I’m going to have a recording device and I’m recording an episode with different clips. That is all going to be TST,s 30-second tips, not for me, but from you guys. All right. So I’m going to be going around. And if you have a 30-second tip, like an Amazon strategy that you’d like to share, we’ll get it on recording. And then it will be put into one episode. And then we’re probably going to have like a voting thing where people can vote for the top, their favorites, and we’ll have some cool prizes for those of you who went like a Helium 10 $70 podcast microphone, Helium 10 backpack. There’ll be different kinds of cool prizes that we’ll have. So again, go to the Prosper show and go to our social and then find me, and then let me know what your TST is.
Bradley Sutton: In this next blog, this was one that I actually wrote about the new kind of inventory limitations and restock limits that sellers were given. A lot of sellers were lamenting for a while. The inventory restrictions that were throughout COVID and how for new items, you could only do 200, but then Amazon rolled something out a couple of months ago. And so this was probably one of the most shared blogs that I’ve written in a while, and this one’s entitled Goodbye ASIN level quantity limits, Hello storage type level restock limits. Here’s some excerpts from that blog. Now, basically what started this all was in April there was a message on your seller central dashboard from Amazon that said FBA products will no longer be subject to ASIN level quantity limits. Instead, restock limits will be set at the storage type level, offering you more flexibility in managing your shipments. But the question that came up was at the time, but what does all this mean? So in a nutshell, your restock limits are at the account level now and at the storage size level, not the ASIN level. And again, thereby storage size or storage type. All right. Now, in the accounts that I manage, the different storage types that I have limitations are our standard sized storage, oversize storage, apparel storage, and footwear storage. So you can actually look at this in your own seller central in your shipping queue. That’s one of the places in Seller central, you scroll all the way to the bottom. And then you’re going to see some like little tabs that say restock limits and storage volume. And if that’s what’s going to like, let you know which limitations you might have yet to expand it out. Now in the Project X account, as you can see, we’ve got more than half of our capacity available for standard size.
Bradley Sutton: The last time that we checked. It said that we had a storage size of 3000, no problem. And we were only using about 1000. Now, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns though, because there are some negative implications of these changes. Some people were talking about in the Helium 10 Facebook groups on how Amazon is telling them that they need to restock some SKUs, but they’re maxed out on a certain storage quantity type. And so they can’t even replenish that because overall they were over the limit of 1000, right? So in this case, this could be very dangerous. So what we’re suggesting to do is make sure that you can kind of drip your inventory a little bit more and spread it out over all of this SKUs, especially utilizing a 3PL warehouse to do that. Instead of sending 12 weeks of inventory of one SKU, maybe you send only, you know, five or six weeks to Amazon, the other six weeks keep on hand in a third-party warehouse. And then drip that inventory to Amazon though, that’s six weeks of inventory a little bit later after some of the, your inventory already gets sold out. So again, sellers like the one who mentioned above were having a hard time with that, obviously not going to want to have to completely run out of stock before creating a new shipment from their supplier. So again, you’re going to have to send in your inventory to your warehouse or to a 3PL instead of the shipment going to Amazon. And then you’re just going to have to play the waiting game. And so you can get those units out the door of Amazon more so that your overall storage limitation will actually have some units that you’re going to be able to get in there. Now by creating a shipment from a domestic warehouse, the transit time should only be about one week in most cases, as opposed to one to two months from China.
Bradley Sutton: Keep in mind that whenever you create a new shipment now from China, a new shipping plan that is already counted against your storage limits. All right, it doesn’t matter that it hasn’t got to Amazon or might not get to Amazon for two months. It is counting against your storage limits. So, when you’re trying to ship stuff directly from China, it’s actually a hindrance now to do that in some cases, if you are near your limit. So guys, it’s not the end of the world, this new thing, but we’re going to definitely be keeping track of this as we go on and what sellers are doing recently in my BTS, my Bradley’s 30-second tip. I had given a message that one way to get around this, if you have like an emergency shipment, you need to get in that you could actually put some units on hold in your warehouse or in your Amazon warehouse, by what you do is you create a multi-channel fulfillment order, and then you put it on hold instead of shipping it out, like, let’s say a hundred or 200 units, if you’re close to that limit. And then that immediately decreases your used inventory. And then you can get in an emergency shipment. I wouldn’t suggest using that as like a common thing, like just in cases of emergency, I tested it out and it worked for me, but Amazon might not like that. So just be very careful when doing strategies like that. So again, we will keep track of this situation. And then that blog that I just read from, you can see all of the screenshots. If you want to get a little bit more detail on this blog.
Bradley Sutton: It’s very popular for entrepreneurs to speak proudly about how well they separate their business and personal lives. The pandemic has certainly made that effort more difficult. Here’s an AM/PM Podcast entitled the founder of WooCommerce on happiness, money and merging your personal and business lives that addresses that very question. He founded WooCommerce then quickly exited not one but two successful e-commerce software platforms. Here’s what he has to say about the elusive work life balance.
Adii: When I think About fulfillment, at least I’m like, that’s the kind of thing that I’m thinking of and aware of in my life as I chart kind of this path where I’m pursuing more successes, it’s not as you’re black and white for me anymore. It’s not as binary and saying, Hey, there’s kind of these checkbox or kind of milestone driven things that I can achieve. Normally they’re rated money. Those things don’t kind of get me to wake up in the morning and do hard things. It has to be about something else. I think like that’s the first thing that I will throw out there. And I think that plays nicely into this notion of work-life balance and just what that has meant for me and kind of say 10 years ago to five years ago to what it is today. And I actually think that work life balance as a concept, doesn’t give people the outcome that they’re most hoping for purely because it proposes that work in life are these totally separate things that can keep each other in kind of imbalance. And I don’t think it is two separate things that in fact, I think everyone that’s listening knows that when you have a crappy day at work, that crap day at work spills into your home life, and you’re arguing with your spouse, you’re being short with your kids. Likewise, if you’ve had an argument with your kids personally, your morning on the school run, and you got your shouting at each other, like the first hour or two at work, like you’re not as productive, right. Part of you is still there. So I actually think that the way I’ve learned to think about this is too broad think about what my life portfolio looks like. And work is just one part of that. And what I constantly want to do is I want to be aware of what those other things are in that life portfolio, and be sure that I make the due investments in that whether it’s kind of financially, whether it’s in terms of my attention, energy presence, right? I think presence is often a thing that we neglect to do and those other spaces in our life, um, but make the necessary investment in those things to ensure that I’ve got a well balanced, diversified, rich portfolio things. That’s not just this very narrow definition of, Hey, I need to be working really hard. I need to make loads money.
Bradley Sutton: One of the most interesting aspects of the e-commerce selling community is how even though the ecosystem has become enormous, particularly in the last year, the number of people at the heart of it can feel quite small. The next Serious Sellers Podcast episode features a guy that’s been right at the heart of everything e-commerce pioneer and former competitor of Helium 10 Casey Gauss. Now in a podcast entitled Product Launches with Google ads, Selling your Brand and more. Here’s Casey speaking about the Project X coffin shelf and how PPC, isn’t just an Amazon thing.
Casey: So the coffin shelf, for example, I don’t know if there’s enough demand or search volume for related terms on Google. That’s going to allow you to get the, like, I don’t know the product market enough to allow you to get the volume. So, we can’t use Google PPC for all of our products, but we can use it for a lot. And so essentially we go set up a Google campaign on Google to target a bunch of related keywords. Let’s say, we’re doing a nightlight again, you’re going to be searching nightlight for kids or whatever, plugin nightlight, battery powered night light, like there’s, I don’t know other keywords for nightlight, but you can imagine. And so we set up this Google PPC campaign and we send it to you. Like, you can do it a couple different ways. You can send it direct to the detail page, which like, again, you can just drive like good sales volume, sometimes like pretty good sales volume profitably from Google to direct to your detail page. And so we do this at a very significant scale after SEO, great revenue, profit driver for us. But then you can also switch out instead of going direct to the detail page, you can actually send to a two-step URL, which then helps you drive keyword ranking for that particular term that you’ve targeted.
Bradley Sutton: Now that Casey is part of Amazon brand aggregator Thrasio team. I ask him about all the Amazon brands that have worked hard, or maybe too hard to prepare themselves for acquisition.
Casey: If you are going to slow down profit overall, so that you can try to learn how to build your DTC site, your Shopify store, like you’re actually hurting your evaluation. Thread, like in general, at least for Thrasio, if you don’t really get bonus points for having a website. Even you don’t even get bonus points for selling international. You don’t get bonus points for having a strong social media presence. Like sometimes you do, like if you have a really strong position in any one of those, then you then like, you definitely can, especially DTC, but you’re your own website, but like for the majority of sellers just going in and like spending a bunch of time to get an extra $5,000 a month on your website is honestly probably like not a good thing.
Bradley Sutton: Product inserts are a great way to establish a connection with your customers. In the next clip, we’re going to learn how to use product inserts while staying TOS compliant in this blog post by Brian, one of our own writers entitled, Are You Using Product Inserts Correctly?
Brian: If you’re already selling on Amazon, you have access to world-class fulfillment resources, countless analytics and the potential for your brand to achieve global reach. Powerful stuff, right? But you’re still missing one critical ingredient that’s necessary for even the most basic marketing efforts. On Amazon, you don’t have access to your customer’s contact information though. This throws a wrench in the proverbial engine for Amazon sellers, trying to grow their consumer base. It’s understandable why the platform keeps customer contact and info under lock and key. Over the years, shopping on Amazon has proven itself to be a credible and consistent experience. People trust that when they purchase a product on Amazon, their information isn’t being shared with the entire world. That sounds great in all. But what about vendors like yourself who are trying to jumpstart an honest marketing campaign? How do you spread awareness if you don’t know who to spread it to? The answer, product inserts and product inserts are an Amazon compliant method of marketing and brand building. Most often in the form of printed cards included inside your product packaging. These cards typically range in size from the business card to postcard sizes, and may include the following information. Extended warranty or rebate offers free gifts or coupons for future purchases in exchange for customer information, running contests or giveaways for follows and tags on your social media accounts like Facebook, product use or assembly instructions tips for how to get the most out of the product. Encouragement to leave an honest product review on Amazon. A note asking for an incentivized positive product review specifically is against Amazon’s terms of service. Done correctly, product inserts create a guaranteed out of the box marketing opportunity and a wonderful personal touch to your brand. Remember, you’re asking for authentic and honest reviews, not fishing for five stars. As long as you don’t let your product quality speak for itself, your product inserts are acceptable in the eyes of Amazon.
Brian: While you are certainly free to try your hand at designing packaging cards yourself, the quickest and easiest way to create product inserts is through the portals. The Portals is an Amazon landing page builder. It takes the guesswork out of creating marketing materials for your Amazon product. Within Portals, Amazon sellers gain the ability to create their very own landing page to showcase their product and business. This landing page acts as a hub to both promote your brand and track valuable customer acquisition data. Using Portals custom size and design templates, you create a one of a kind product insert to funnel customers back to your landing page and build your email list. These inserts can include any of the information we listed above special warranty offers coupons, et cetera, or a customer QR code. This QR code can be used to track how many people scanned your product, insert and or visited the URL it links to. You can link to any URL that you wish like your Amazon storefront or your custom portals landing page. Now that you know the basics, it’s time to get out there and start planning your own product insert. Keep these goals in front of your mind, collect customer information for retargeting and upselling, strengthen your product branding, encourage buyers to become repeat customers, increase positive product reviews and seller feedback. Remember when you practice proactive marketing, all roads lead to more sales.
Bradley Sutton: Honeymoons are usually a way to start something, but this time around, we’re going to use episode 250 of this Serious Sellers Podcast to finish this special best of episode. Here’s a part where I spoke about the importance of the title to an Amazon listing.
Bradley Sutton: But at 12:05 AM, you guys can see it in Seller central in this screenshot. If you guys are watching this on YouTube, I created this listing and it was so new that it didn’t even have an image. It had an image, but it didn’t even process through Amazon, but it was still showing up. It was still showing up in the search results. Now, at 12:17 AM if I’m looking at this correctly, 12:17 AM. So this is 12 minutes after this listing went live. All right. I did a search for chicken coop. All right. Now that was the first words of the title, chicken coop. That’s the brand name, right? And this goes back to the title of being important. There’s only one other product. I figured that had chicken coop in the title. And that’s the other Project X egg tray that you guys all know about, tight. And sure enough, I typed in chicken coop and organic position page one position. One was the egg tray that had been on Amazon at that point for over a year, right? Page one position two guys, guess what it was, it was this random product that I just launched 12 minutes ago. It didn’t even have an image yet. It says right now in the search results, no image available. But that’s just the fact that that phrase, geese chicken coop is so rare and nobody else has a title. It got to organic page one position two in 12 minutes. And obviously there’s no search find buyer two-step URLs or sponsored ads or anything you can do in 12 minutes. There’s not even an image in there, right? So that is just pretty crazy.
Bradley Sutton: One of the main ways that Amazon sellers have strategized getting to page one is through Manny coats and Helium 10’s CPR number. Now it’s time for an update. This is something that I have been working on with the data scientist here at Helium 10, which we have a lot of, and they’re amazing at what they do. We talked about the CPR number, right? Manny Coats developed that a few years ago. How many units to get to page one, give you the best chance to get to page one, if you’re doing giveaways, right, with discounts and also with two-step URLs. Well, the fact of the matter is people don’t use that method hardly any anymore. Most people are doing search, find, buy campaigns. Most people are doing full price rebates. And so, and then just in general, a lot of people are wondering like the people who are just doing PPC, maybe they’re not doing these search find, buy campaigns. Like how many units does it take to get to page one I’ve just normal, like literal search find buys. If you don’t do any kind of a special launch and people are just searching and finding your product on page three or four, or they’re finding it in PPC, how units does it take to get to page one? So over a year ago, I started working by myself and then also with azrank.com. So real shout out to Alina and the azrank.com crew. They really helped me on this project. And we examined and did ourselves and Helium 10 spent tons of money on this too, doing tests. So, thanks to the Bojan and the Helium 10 team for supporting me in this one year long case study. But we did over 1500 product and keyword launches in a little over a year. All right. A lot of them, I did personally, other ones, I was just kind of like looking over their shoulder at some people who are doing their own launches. What we are trying to do was these were all launches that were done with full search find buy. All right. That means people are searching for this keyword. They’re finding the product and buying it. No URLs, no discounts, no promotional codes. All right, no, two-step URLs again. All right. This is just full search find, buy. And I was just like, Hey, we know what the Maldives Honeymoon can do, right. And we know that search find buy is more powerful than just a two-step URLs. How many search find buy units does it take to get to page one. It’s time for CPR 3.0, so guys, I’m happy to announce that right now, if you are a Helium 10 member, you now have full access to CPR 3.0, this is the culmination of over a year of deep research and deep formulation and CPR 3.0 now actually includes Maldives honeymoon metric.
Bradley Sutton: So again, these excerpts are taken from episode 250 of the Serious Sellers Podcast. And I highly highly recommend listening to the entire one though. That was just two clips from that episode. But there are some strategies in there that’s definitely going to help you if you’re launching in 2021 and actually help you get some more use out of Helium 10’s tools. So you can understand the new CPR number that is designed to help in product launches.
Bradley Sutton: So again, guys, we hope you have enjoyed this episode and there are tons and tons of educational resources that we have at Helium 10, that you might not have the time or bandwidth to listen to everything. So always look out for these best of episodes so that you can go back and maybe listen or read some of these ones that you might have missed. So where were these taken? Again, most of them were from the Serious Sellers Podcast, which is, you’re obviously already listening to. The rest of the podcast we’re taking from the AM/PM Podcast. So make sure to go subscribe to that one as well. And then also our blogs can be found at helium10.com/blog. Make sure to put your email address at the top there. So you can be notified when we have new blogs and then also our TACOs Tuesday PPC tips. You can catch those live on our Facebook on Helium 10’s Facebook page or on the Helium 10 YouTube channel. Thank you guys for tuning in and we’ll see you in the next episode.
- #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