#174 – The Latest on Chatbot Strategies for Amazon Sellers – Michelle Barnum Smith
Advertising on Amazon can feel like a polite wrestling match.
We know that Amazon wants us to be successful selling our products. At the same time, there’s an invisible line out there that we must make sure we don’t step over. Amazon themselves are in a challenging position. There are always going to be those that try to use black hat tactics to give themselves an unfair advantage.
In this episode we’ll learn a lot about where that line is now and get the inside scoop on how to adapt to the fluid e-commerce ecosystem.
Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Brand Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes a chatbot expert to tell us about the recent changes to advertising on Amazon. Michelle Barnum Smith talks about the evolution of ManyChat, why Amazon hates unnatural review velocity and how Facebook is determined that their messaging doesn’t become spammy email.
In episode 174 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Michelle discuss:
- 02:30 – Changes to the Chatbot Platform
- 05:05 – Facebook is Determined Not to Become “Spammy Email”
- 06:55 – ManyChat Saw This Coming
- 09:30 – Paying Pennies for Impressions
- 11:50 – With ManyChat Conversations, It’s All in the Wording
- 16:10 – Amazon’s Sensitivity Towards Reviews
- 15:35 – Pay Attention to Your Review Velocity
- 18:40 – Using ManyChat in a Product Launch
- 19:55 – Keywords Come First
- 22:40 – What Type of Campaign are You Running
- 26:20 – What About the Costs?
- 27:40 – Determine Your Audience, Then Do the Math
- 30:15 – Playing with Chat Timing
- 36:20 – World-Wide Chat Potential
- 43:40 – How to Contact Michelle
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.
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- 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’s guest is going to talk all about the different ways on how Amazon sellers in 2020 can and are utilizing ManyChat to help their businesses. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Bradley Sutton: Hello everybody. 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 eCommerce world. And I am happy to welcome back to the show. It’s been a year and a half since you’ve been on here, Michelle. Michelle, how’s it going?
Michelle: It’s great. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be back.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. Time flies when you’re having fun, it seems just like yesterday when we were doing this, but I was looking at the calendar. I was like, Oh my goodness, it’s been this long. What’s going on? How the world has changed since the last time you’ve been on this show, I guess.
Michelle: Right. Back in the good old days.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Back in the good old days of early 2019, when Corona was a cheap beer, not anything else, but anyways, here we are. And that’s kind of why I wanted to bring you on here. The only thing consistent in Amazon sometimes is change, they say. And we can’t just have somebody who’s an expert on PPC or an expert on this, or an expert on chat bots, come on, in 2018, 2019. And then, Hey, we, this is the knowledge we’re going to go with for the next couple of years, because I’m sure everything is still the same. Things change. We need to know what’s working, what’s not working. And so that’s why we try and bring our friends back after a year or so, so that we can see these updates. So in case you guys have not seen that episode, if you guys wanted to get the backstory of Michelle, please go back, go to helium10.com/podcast and look up her name and you’ll see that first episode. So let’s just hop right into this. What, first of all, what is the number one biggest thing that you have seen in the last year, year and a half since you’ve been on the show, as far as either how Amazon sellers are using chat bots in their business or something on Amazon that has changed, that has affected how sellers use chatbots, what’s the biggest thing that’s changed?
Michelle: Oh man. Well, I think the biggest thing that changed earlier this year was actually the chat bot platform itself. Messenger went from being able to send a message anytime to any one of your subscribers, whether it was promotional or non-promotional, that kind of a thing. In March Messenger rolled out some serious platform changes that we thought be the big news of 2020, Oh surprise. Here we are. But those were the biggest changes that happened earlier this year, that drastically changed how and when Amazon sellers can communicate with their audiences and it hasn’t been hugely difficult to pivot, essentially it’s gone from, Hey, send a promotional message for free to any time to anyone. Now it’s like, Oh, you want to do that? Now you got to pay to play, which is very typical of Facebook. They get you addicted to their platform and get you excited and into it. And then they start charging you for it. I call them a drug dealer for those purposes. So it’s very, very kind of typical, but as far as– since then, and since with all the craziness that has happened since March and with the inventory fluctuations that people have experienced because China was shut down and then inventory restrictions in April and then all the new inventory restrictions that we’re facing heading into Q4. I think the biggest thing that has changed in how sellers are using chat bot chat bots is with the actual strategy that they have to employ to protect their inventory quite frankly, because it’s going to be difficult to get in, especially if you’re launching new products, especially as we’re looking at the holiday season ahead of us.
Bradley Sutton: Sure. Now, the first thing you mentioned that’s– I remember talking to different people about that, that it was coming. Can you talk a little bit more in detail? What does that mean? How does that– how did that affect how people actually are utilizing chatbots?
Michelle: It affected more the type of messages that were being sent specifically if you’re sending promotional content, if you’re sending things that are informational about somebody’s maybe account with you, or the calendar event that they signed up and registered for, you can send those messages for free because they’re just– it’s all about engagement and things that people have opted in to receive. What Facebook’s basically doing is preventing the platform from becoming a spam platform where people are just like, Ugh, I don’t want all these messages and they’re muting their notifications and it’s losing its reach basically. They’re trying to keep it from becoming email, really. It comes down to– so what they did was essentially put restrictions on when and who you can send promotional content to. And what it came down to is that if somebody has engaged with your bot within 24 hours, you can send promotional content to them outside for free. For free. Outside of that, what we call the 24 hour window, it basically became pay-to-play where you send people your subscriber base, paid messages. If you want to send out a new offer, a new ranking campaign, that kind of a thing. And it works very similar to Facebook ads where you have an audience and you have a budget associated with that. It might be a million people that you’re targeting, but not all of those people are going to see your ad on the first day. That kind of a thing. So, things like deliverability have been affected, if you have a list of a thousand people, they– if you want to send a message on a specific day, probably about 60% of those people are actually going to receive that message. And then if you have it spread out over several days, then the likelihood of all of those people eventually seeing that message is going to be higher. So, it’s just one of those things that you have to kind of like with Amazon, you got to pivot, you got to adjust, you got to learn different methods and what was cool about ManyChat specifically. And that’s my platform. My chat bot platform of choice– is that they saw this coming. They’re in tight with Facebook messenger product management and they saw this coming and they were like, okay, we got to find a way to offer additional channels, to be able to communicate with subscribers. And so they, with many chat, you can now send SMS and email messages to your subscribers. And what that does is like with SMS, if somebody goes through your opt in bot and will submit their phone number, cause they want super awesome deals from you. SMS has really high deliverability and really high engagement rate, but what’s cool about it is that somebody clicks on your SMS message, the rest of your flow, the rest of your communication can all happen inside of messenger. And it will essentially reopen that 24 hour window making it so that you can communicate with them, follow up on different offers that you’ve sent, all that fun stuff. So there’s different ways that you can play around the rules will say, and still accomplish your main objectives, which for most Amazon sellers is to rank products, launch new products and harvest reviews.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So going back to this kind of pay to play thing, and only 60% of people maybe seeing it, et cetera, et cetera. I’m just trying to wrap my head around how this works. So let’s say, I mean, obviously if you’re running a Facebook ad and the clickthrough or the call to action, I should say on the ad is that it pops you into one of our messenger flows. That’s still free because that’s obviously within 24 hours, because they’re literally interacting with what you’re doing right there. But then like, okay, now you’ve got them, they’re in your “lists”, all right. Since they click on your ad and three weeks later, you want to let them know that you’re adding a new product or whatever. So how does that work? Do you have– can you just send it out to everybody, but then now only the people who actually see it you’re actually going to get charged for, or do you have to pre-pay just to even get it in front of the audience’s faces?
Michelle: So, it’s not prepay, it’s basically you’re paying for impressions, very similar to Facebook ads. So back to that list of like a thousand people, for example, you might set your budget for that paid message to go out, if you’re really serious about it, like $500. Now that budget is not going to get spent. At the end of the campaign, you’re going to pay pennies for– people actually like opening your message. Usually it’s anywhere from 5 cents to 25 cents per subscriber to engage with your message. And that’s a really important thing for sellers to realize is that a lot of sellers will get really good at running Facebook ad campaigns, for their ranking campaigns, and I have a seller who’s built up their audience like 10,000, 12,000 subscribers. And they haven’t once gone back to those subscribers with additional offers. And I was like, you’re paying anywhere from a buck 50 to maybe $3 per subscriber on Facebook, running your Facebook ads. But if you were to send a similar offer back to your list, you’d be paying 15 cents, 20 cents to send that message to them. So it’s really– and you’re developing your audience of course, and developing a relationship with them. So it’s really one of those things where you got to be smart about it and think about your strategy, but it’s a huge under underused opportunity. I’ll say that.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now here’s one thing that me personally, I have always been hesitant, I guess you could say, as far as using chatbots but this is very, very prevalent. This is a big reason that people use chatbots is it’s for getting around the Amazon messaging system where you can only ask for review once on there. And you can’t be very fancy about asking for reviews. So a lot of sellers, they’ll– if they have people in their audience that they know that bought their product because they were doing a rebate campaign or something with many chat, well, they’ll go back to that audience now and ask for a review off of Amazon, through ManyChat. Now, just in general, the way what you’re saying sounds, like the people who use it this way are also affected because by definition, if you’re waiting a week or something for them to have gotten the product and then hitting them up to ask for a review, wouldn’t that fall under this category where now they have to pay to send this message?
Michelle: No. So, this is a great point in getting promotional content versus non promotional content and what Messenger calls like tags, non-promotional messaging tags. Now here’s the thing is that Facebook Messenger does consider requesting reviews to be promotional. So it’s all in the wording, it’s all in the structure of the flow. So I don’t care if your next message to be to these subscribers is like five days later, 10 days later, or 14 days later, the very first message in the flow needs to ask about their order and make sure that they received it. So usually the message is something along the lines of, Hey, we’re just wanting to check in and make sure that you received product X. And if they say yes, then that reopens the engagement window and they can be like, Oh, great. How did it work out for you? How did you like it? Follow up with your review, your questions on the product performance and requesting a review. Now that very first message needs to have a post-purchase update tag. That’s one of the approved non-promotional content tags that basically guarantees that a message will be sent no matter the timing of the previous messages, the engagement with. So that is what will secure your ability to follow up and request that review.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Interesting. Interesting. Now that, I mean, that’s still, to me, I mean, Amazon, these days is just so crazy. Like even people who are sending a message, for example, using Follow-Up by Helium 10, and then they hit that request review button, they’re getting suspended about the reviews. And, even though we’ve told everybody guys, you can only do one, don’t abuse the system, but this, in many Amazon sellers opinion could be something like so minor, are you serious? Amazon, you just gave me a 30 day ban just because I clicked the button on your thing after sending a message already. But Amazon is just so super sensitive about reviews and I’ve been hearing rumors. I’ve never, you know, like I said, I don’t use, I personally don’t use this method. So I can’t say from personal experience, but I ever heard that we had somebody else on the podcast who said that he’s heard of cases where the really bad people out there who are abusing many chat or abusing the review system, you know, like, Hey, we’re going to give you, if you want to get a free cup of coffee at Starbucks gift card. It’s cool. As long as you give us a five star review, I mean, they were like, just blatantly against terms of service, but I’ve actually heard now that some Amazon representatives at times are investigating these kinds of things and like getting into people’s flows when they hear reports of abuse, have you heard of things like that?
Michelle: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve heard just recently, just in the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing more about it. What’s usually triggered it is competitors complaint, reporting somebody, one of their competitors is product insert is against terms of service that kind of a thing and getting into flows. I think what’s important from a review request perspective, a couple of just like principles of requesting reviews is first to make sure that the reviews are not positioned as requisite to getting your rebate, so for one thing, if you’re using a rebate campaign, that you’re not saying, Hey, to get this rebate, you need to submit a screenshot of a review or any kind of offer, like whatever type of campaign you’re running. So you need to make sure that that you’re not– it doesn’t appear like you’re incentivizing reviews at all. The other thing you need to kind of pay attention to is review velocity and making sure that you’re not getting too many reviews too quickly. We’ve been seeing it for a couple of years now that the Amazon is expecting less than 5% of sales to convert into organic reviews. So if all of a sudden you’re getting 10, 20% of your sales converting and leaving reviews, you’re going to get in trouble basically. And Amazon’s really trying to protect the review side of things. So if people are doubling down on every kind of black hat tactic that they can think of to manipulate reviews, then yeah, Amazon’s going to be cracking down and being in getting more and more sensitive. Does that mean that you can’t use many chat flows to request reviews? No, absolutely not. And it still is very relevant. You just need to make sure that you’re playing very much within terms of service and avoiding incentivized reviews in any form.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. And even though the language, I mean, at least on Amazon, as mentioned, I doubt that Amazon is examining people’s many chat flows even one half of 1% or anything, but on Amazon, they’re checking everything. So sometimes even if you’re doing it right where you’re only asking one time, but it’s just maybe the way you say it, or you’re trying to send somebody to a link that automatically populates a five star review, or you just say something simple, like, Hey, if you had a great experience, we’d love to hear from, I mean, even I’ve seen people’s has spent over that. So just keep in mind, everybody, whenever you guys are dealing with reviews that try never to kind of do the gray area stuff, because that’s the one thing that Amazon is very, very sensitive about and rightfully so people on both sides have been abusing the system. I’m literally looking at the Project X seller central account right now. I had just clicked out of something. And I noticed that there’s a buyer, a random buyer who I don’t think bought the product, but they just sent a message saying, Hey, would you be interested in giving me a free product, as long as I leave here a review? So there’s this culture out there that has permeated that Amazon hates because they get such a bad press about it. So guys just be careful now, going back to what I think that is the principle way that Amazon sellers are leveraging many chat is, like you said, for launching their products. So, you talked about this last year, but just in case people didn’t hear that episode or just to keep up to date with what maybe what’s changed. Can you walk us through how somebody would use many chat in order to help with their product launch?
Michelle: Yeah, for sure. And it’s really important guys for you to stay up on current strategies, even the strategies that I shared even back a year and a half ago, they’ve changed. They’ve changed like coupons don’t work necessarily as well as they used to. And so we’ve pivoted and are focusing more on rebates. And just within the last several weeks, we’ve actually pivoted back to a combination of coupons and rebates. So it’s really important to stay up on ranking strategies because quite frankly, they have to change. They change constantly because Amazon changes constantly, right? The goalposts are constantly being moved. So the game is constantly changing. So one of the big things to kind of pay attention to, especially as it relates to inventory limits that are in place for new product launches, specifically as it is really important to go into your chat bot planning, and the strategy that you’re using very strategically. So the verse thing and shout out to Helium 10, Bradley on this one is that like the first place that all sellers need to spend time is on their keyword strategy. That’s like– that is the most important thing. I’m speaking at many chats conversations conference in October and like, this is a conversation, this is a conference about many chat, right? But two thirds of my presentation is all about going to be about keyword strategy, because it’s going to be super crucial going into Q4 with these inventory limits in place to protect your inventory, to limit how many keywords, to be very strategic in the keywords that you’re selecting. And keeping that inventory, those inventory levels in mind and not just going after any old keyword and you will be surprised, I’m sure you seen it yourself. How many people are just like, Oh yeah, that keyword will do. And then when you actually dive into the research, they have no business going after that keyword. And so it’s really important to start with strategy. Cause chatbots are just tools. They’re just tools you put garbage into that tool. You’re going to get garbage back out of that tool. So, please, please, please, please spend time doing that. And just like a little nugget for you guys is right now is really great time to research and positioning yourself for gift related keywords. So if there are– and I’m not talking about like general broad keywords, gifts for women that has that come the holiday season gets 3 million searches per month. During that four week period of time, I’m talking about niche gift keywords. So vegan gifts, unicorn gifts for girls, gifts for hunters, gifts for Trump lovers, whatever it might be. It really, really double down on those keywords. And you can see looking at magnet, you can see what the historicals are for the last holiday season. You can see now right now to rank for that keyword is going to be just super easy, super accessible. But come November, December that keyword search volume is going to just shoot up sky high and it’s going to be really, really difficult to gain position is better right now to get on top of that mountain and defend a position than in a few weeks, try to climb that mountain with everybody else who’s trying to claw their way to the top.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. That makes sense. So you do all those, you picked your keyword and now you’re down to one, two or three keywords that you’re like, Hey, this is the one that’s really going to help increase my sales off the bat. And of course guys, as we’ve said before, it’s always best to do your launch as early as possible from when you activate your listing. So you can take advantage of that honeymoon period. So you’ve chosen your keywords. What’s the next step? Is the next step setting up a Facebook ad? How do you do it?
Michelle: The next step here is to determine the many chat campaign strategy that you want to use. So this is where you’re picking, whether you’re going to do a rebate or an add to cart campaign, or some other fancy, fancy name that will probably come up with here in the next few weeks as we launch some new strategies. The big thing is that you have to also think about is your call to action, which is, are we going to be using our two-step URLs? Are we doing a search find, buy campaign? And if you’re ranking for a keyword that you’re already sort of existing– ranked for, then a search find buy campaign can definitely be something that will work for a call to action. But if you’re launching a brand new product and you’re going to be way off in the boonies as we call it growing up on the farm, because we literally lived in the boonies, no man’s land.
Bradley Sutton: My dad used that phrase constantly when you grew up in Oregon.
Michelle: I grew up in Washington maybe it’s like a Pacific Northwest thing. But yeah, if you’re out in no man’s land, if you’re search find buy campaigns, the bottom line is consumers are lazy and if you make it too difficult for them to find your product via search find buy, it’s going to be really difficult for you to be able to rank because people are not going to find your product and therefore buy it. So be really smart in figuring out like, Hey, if you’re not within position 50 and lower for your target keyword, then probably a two-step URL is what you’re going to want to use until you’re within that kind of magic distance from your keyword. So once you have kind of the many chat campaign and your call to action that you’re working on, then you turn on your Facebook ad traffic. And what’s so cool about many chat and messenger is that they’re tied directly to Facebook. So setting up those campaigns is really simple and seamless. And Facebook obviously loves you driving traffic through their platform. And people have been complaining, there’s been rumors that Facebook’s become more obsolete and people are banning it and who even knows like latest drama does you’re right. But look, I run Facebook ad campaigns all day, every day. And I do not see such things. I see lots of traffic. I see inexpensive traffic coming in. And if there’s an audience that you want to find, if there’s an audience you want to reach on Facebook, you can do that. It still has your customers there who are anxious and ready to buy your product. So that’s kind of the long and short of it without being able to demonstrate the whole thing. I can talk through it to a certain degree, but sometimes it’s just easier to see it live.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Now, what is in recent experience? What kind of cost per conversion are you seeing, or first of all, cost per click, because we also know that just because somebody clicks into it, they don’t always go through the whole thing. Right. So what’s the difference there? What are you seeing with overall, like, all right, Hey, it costs us this much for it to get people even into our flow, but at the bottom, at the end of the day, this is how much it costs to actually have a transaction here.
Michelle: So if you’re running like a hundred percent rebate, which is very typical, then what you’re going to typically, what you’re going to see as a cost per subscriber is anywhere from 50 cents to three bucks. If it’s higher than that, you need to retool your audiences, your images, all that fun stuff, but that’s pretty much the price, the price average. From there, the actual cost per completed sale is going to vary quite a bit. It really comes down to, I think, the price of your product that you’re asking people to shell out upfront, usually products that are less than $30 out of pocket upfront convert better than more expensive products. If you’re asking somebody via cold traffic saying, Hey, I have this $200 weighted blanket and we’ll rebate you a hundred percent, there’s some risk there. Right. People are like, I don’t know you, I don’t know if this is as a scam, like what’s going to happen here. Am I going to get my money back? So that definitely plays into the basically completed sales. What I typically tell people is that they need to develop their own kind of baseline for their campaigns and basically figure out how many– what’s my cost per subscriber. What’s my cost per rebate, completed sale, and completed rebate, and then do the math and figure out, okay, well, this is– I have a 25% conversion rate. I have 50% conversion rate. I have 75% conversion rate, whatever that might be. And then you can go back and play around with your Facebook ad spend. If you’re getting 50 people into your, or a hundred people into your bot on a daily basis and your conversions, and you only need like 10 sales a day, and you’re getting like 90% conversions, we can dial back on that daily ad spend, you don’t have to pour so much into that campaign, you can dial it back. I think it’s also important to note that if your product is super-hot, there’s Facebook groups out there that are out looking for deals and you don’t necessarily want to be found by them. So if you find that your offer has gone viral, something that kind of dissuades people is playing around with that offer amount. So instead of a hundred percent rebate, maybe roll out an 80% or 75% or 50% rebate. And that’s another way that you can get a higher quality subscriber, versus just the Savage deal hunters that are out there.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Because a lot of times the– what people will call like the, I guess the buyer quality or something of those might be a little bit less, or it might be a little bit suspect too, so that like, if you end up, if you do end up getting it, you almost don’t even want reviews from that kind of customer.
Michelle: And that’s another theory that’s kind of being batted around there that a lot of sellers, if they get sucked into deal group and goes viral, that if Amazon sees reviews from somebody with a low quality audience score, that those reviews will get wiped. And so, it’s kind of one of those things that some people are seeing that happen. Other people are not seeing that happen. So I wouldn’t necessarily stay up at night trying to figure out how your bot can pre-select, or sort through people efficiently. Because there really is no efficient way at this point of discovering somebody’s buyer quality score. But the best way to do it is to play around with those offers and make sure when you’re developing your audiences and selecting your audiences on your Facebook ads, that you’re playing around with interest targeting and not just like deals are what they’re interested in, or e-commerce buyer is their interests, play around with things that are applicable to your audience and their specific interests, and you’re more likely to get real buyers and not just these deal hunters.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, good to know. Now, do you suggest automating the rebate process at all or hiring VAs to manage that and then secondly, how long do you wait to give them the rebate? Because you know, there’s always fear out there, like yeah. They order the product and I give them their rebate right away. But then what’s the stop them from just canceling their order or just returning it or whatever. So there’s a fine line there because if you wait too long, it’s people are going to be turned off and they might not want to even do the deal in the first place. Right. So, how do you manage those questions?
Michelle: Right. So, you know, I played around with us quite a bit over the last few months, and I think bottom line, you have to come back down to your core objective, which is ranking and ranking requires sales velocity, and consistent sales velocity. Right. And so, if you’re going to introduce things like rules of the rebate upfront and saying, Hey, you can get this for a hundred percent off, but it’s a 30 day post-purchase and these people don’t know you it’s cold traffic. There’s some really great rebate platforms that are out there that have kind of established communities where people have, there’s a lot of social proof that this is legitimate. But if somebody is just clicking on a chat bot where they don’t know if it’s legitimate and you’re saying, Hey, 30 days, post-purchase, there’s a lot of friction there. Right. And so you’re going to see that conversion rate that we talked about earlier drops significantly of people not completing the sale and completing the flow. Now, what I’ve typically seen as far as canceled orders or returned orders, is that out of a hundred people, maybe you’ll see one of those kinds of things. And so it’s a lot of angst over an issue that’s not too big at this point, I would say. And once again, everybody has to kind of baseline that for themselves. If you’re seeing a lot of that happen in your own campaigns, then gosh, play around with maybe like 10 days post-purchase or 15 days post-purchase, and just kind of like maybe move that needle up, especially if you’ve developed an audience that you can go back to, maybe one or two times. And, there’s a relationship established there. I think it’s just important to come back to what’s the core objective. If we need that velocity, then we need to also be cautious in introducing points of friction that could slow that velocity down, because at the end of the day, if you don’t get that velocity, that’s a whole bunch of wasted money, both for subscribers, as well as for the product and the inventory that you’ve wasted as well. So it’s this kind of balancing act between addressing those fears and concerns, which are completely legitimate, but are they worth slowing down velocity and in putting your campaign in jeopardy?
Bradley Sutton: Okay, good to know. I think throughout this year, more than in recent memory, I’ve seen a tendency of seller e-commerce sellers considering more off Amazon, especially during the– at the peak of the pandemic when you couldn’t even send inventory to Amazon, all of a sudden now people are like, who hadn’t considered selling on Walmart before, or hadn’t considered selling on Shopify. I see more people adopting these other marketplaces. Now, in your experience for your clients, have you noticed anybody to start leveraging many chat against selling on, or ranking on walmart.com or these other websites? Or is it still like 99.9% Amazon?
Michelle: Yeah, I mean, I was starting to see here of some sellers being able– before Walmart had its own gating. So not just everybody could sell on Walmart. Etsy, you can play around. Etsy has a very easy algorithm to manipulate. So, you could rank there fairly easy for your keywords. I’ve heard of some sellers start to dabble in walmart.com, but I personally haven’t run any ranking campaigns there yet, but we have been doing though is running, if we have a product insert and it is not just an Amazon inventory shipment, so maybe that inventory could be going to Target or Walmart or Amazon, that the product insert then would address like, well, where did you purchase your product, Amazon, Target, Walmart. In being able to have people select where they purchased it and then using different ways to validate their order to just make sure, and then requesting reviews for walmart.com for target.com, those kinds of things. So I wouldn’t say that I’ve seen sellers use chatbots for ranking, but we are using them for reviews.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Is there any limitation as far as just talking about on Amazon, but just different marketplaces? Do you have people who are using the same strategies that you’ve been talking about in order to launch in Amazon France and Amazon Italy and Amazon Australia, things like that. There are no limitations as far as many chat goes for language barriers or anything like that. Right?
Michelle: Nope. And I think the biggest thing is you have to understand culture when you’re launching. I’ve been launching many chat campaigns, one of my first clients ever. She was in all five of the EU marketplaces and as well as amazon.com and what we found was that UK Germany, and I can’t remember if the Netherlands was launched by that point or not, but that they were all very similar to kind of like the approach and the behavior of American buyers. It was very trusting of technology, very quick to adapt low costs from a Facebook ad perspective. But then, we found like France, they wanted nothing to do with it. They were like, we could not get French consumers to buy at all. They were completely distrusting and that’s to say even recently I’ve run campaigns or tried to run campaigns in France and it just, no, no, it did not. Spain and Italy weren’t too bad, but they definitely weren’t as high adopting as like the UK and Germany and Netherlands. But now there aren’t any restrictions just beyond GDPR laws, which are identity and data protection, which many chat has built into it. So you are covered there as well. I think it’s just making sure that you are– your chat bots are localized. So there’s some great translation services out there and I definitely recommend translating your box and making sure that if you’re an American, English, even if you’re selling into the UK, it’s a different English, or vice versa. So, making sure that things are things are localized and makes sense for your country. Jana Krekik had a service like that. I’m sure you’ve had her on and they have a chat bot service that they created for, like, I was chatting with her and I was like, you guys need a chat bot translation service.. So, definitely check her out for that.
Bradley Sutton: Cool, cool. Now real quick, let’s just get, I mean, you don’t have to mention products or mention people’s names or anything, but maybe give or three recent examples of your clients, how they leveraged using chatbots in their business, because we’ve been talking about strategies throughout this whole episode here, but I want to make sure people understand that, Hey, there’s real people out there using this. And if you can give us a real life example of either somebody who did it on launch, and then, Hey, they got on a keyword with 10,000 search volume and a page one and in one a week, and boom, their organic sales went to this, or Hey, we did this on a chat bot. Can you think of any that in recent memory that stick out in your mind that you can tell us about without giving up customer secrets or whatever?
Michelle: Well, I won’t name names without permission, but we ran an add to cart campaigns. We had a seller that we experimented with the strategy and basically the add to cart strategy comes down to three really awesome calls to action. It starts off with like a giveaway contest and basically distributes traffic between either a coupon offer with a secret code or a full price rebate. And the whole concept is that we’re testing is that hate a rank. Maybe we don’t need 50 sales a day to rank for this keyword. Maybe we only need 25 sales a day, and 25 add to carts per day. And that’s basically what an add to cart campaign is. And we’re experimenting that with that, just from an inventory protection standpoint, like, Hey, if we don’t have to give away 50 units a day, we’ll take that all day long. If we can cut that in half and we not only saw immediate improvement in their campaign, we also saw what we call halo effect, which is when you pick, when you have your ranking for a specific keyword, and then you see other keyword benefits from organic ranking benefits from other keywords that have similar shared search terms. So that’s another keyword strategy that I’m a huge fan of is picking a keyword that has a lot of similar qualities to other keywords, shared key search terms so that you can yeah, I’m ranking for this keyword, but I’m seeing ranking benefit shoot up for all of these other keywords as well. So when we did that, we did that back in June and we subsequently been rolling that out to all of our managed customer campaigns and seeing very similar benefits. So it’s definitely a strategy to test and to experiment with and see if it will work for your– and whether it’s a new product launch or a ranking or re-ranking campaign. In this instance, all of the campaigns that we’ve been working on, we’re re-ranking campaigns, which are much more difficult than new product launches, new product launches have it easy because you don’t have sales history, but if you do have sales history that you’re fighting against, or that might be holding you back then and to have these strategies work without having to give away as much inventory, it’s definitely something to experiment with.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Now I want to be able to get our 30-second tip from you. You’ve been giving us a lot of tips and strategies, but it doesn’t have to be ManyChat related, but I would assume that your top strategy would be from that. What is something that is highly actionable for everyone listening today, that you could say in 30 seconds or less? You’re on the spot.
Michelle: I am on the spot, what am I already shared with you today? Something if you haven’t already considered doing it is running retargeting campaigns on Facebook for your customer list. And this is another way that you can capture those buyers and does reviews. Basically. Now, if you want a second 30-second tip is, start to think about how you can start to use Amazon as a customer acquisition channel, where it’s not just a one and done purchase, but where you can convert them into a direct customer and start to see lifetime value of the customer directly. That is my focus for 2021, is helping sellers. Yes. Win that first sell, but then focus on the upsell and the cross sell and the direct sell. So if you’re not already thinking about that for this year, please promise me that you’ll think about it for next year.
Bradley Sutton: I promise. Okay. I know you’re not talking to me. I’m sorry. Anyways. Alright, Michelle, as always, you bring such great content to us. So we thank you for these insights. I’m sure people have more questions, or they might be so inspired by this, that they want to start using chatbots, but don’t know where to begin. So how can they find you on the interwebs to maybe get some more help with utilizing this in their business?
Michelle: You can Google me and I’m everywhere, or you can just go to amzmessengerbotclub.com and you can learn how you can get started with my course or consulting, or we do have limited availability for done for you services.
Bradley Sutton: Love it. All right, Michelle, we’ll reach back to you in 2021. Hopefully it’s a little bit better year next year, than this last year has been, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll be trudging right along as one of the key thought leaders in the chat bot space. And so we’d love to hear back from you next year.
Michelle: Awesome. I’ll put it on my calendar.
Bradley Sutton: Love it. Talk to you later.