Amazon Selling Strategies – Post-Purchase Strategies For Your Amazon Customers
Kris Gramlich and Dustin Kane discuss post-purchase strategies with Troy Johnston from Seller.tools.
Troy Johnston is the Co-founder of Seller.Tools, a robust suite of optimization tools leveraging actual Amazon data. He sold one of his flagship brands for multiple 7 figures and quickly moved to consulting for 8 & 9 figure clients on Amazon. Troy is obsessed with creating data-driven solutions for Seller.Tools clients by empowering sellers with the best data alongside exclusive features. You can find Troy and an amazing community of FBA sellers through the Facebook community FBA Kings.
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Amazon Selling Strategies – Post-Purchase Strategies For Your Amazon Customers
– Hello everybody and welcome to episode 109 of “Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone” brought to you by Sellozo. And today, Kris and I have the honor of chatting with Troy Johnston, the co-founder of Seller Tools. Troy, how you doing?
– Doing great, man. Thank you for having me on.
– Yeah, we were talking beforehand. You’re down there in Orlando, kind of jealous. It’s nice down there.
– I know, I know.
– But he’s also from Kansas City, yeah.
– Yeah you’re right.
– I know, I have a connection there.
– I know the handshake.
– Yeah, that’s right, yeah.
– And the barbecue too Oklahoma Joe’s, you know?
– Oh, boy.
– Mmmh, don’t get me started. I haven’t had lunch yet. That sounds too good [Inaudible], oh, man. Troy, we’re pumped to have you on, there’s all kinds of good stuff that we’re gonna talk about and all the great things that you guys are doing over there at Seller Tools. But before we jump in, for anybody who’s listening out there right now who doesn’t know you or hasn’t heard of you or a Seller Tools, give us a background, how did you end up in the Amazon space yourself and give us a little overview of what Seller Tools does.
– Yeah, I mean, the way that I got introduced to Amazon FBA, it was just a really weird series of events to be honest with you. I, at the time, and now about six years ago was working in a corporate gig. I was a project manager for a company that was doing marketing, digital marketing for hotels, different hoteliers and travel industry. And me and my colleague at the time were always looking for side hustles, different ways of making extra money. So we went down the path of real estate investing, but the person that we started to follow the community we were taking part in, the leader of that community was an affiliate for Amazing Selling Machine, which at that point in time was I think it was on their second iteration of their course. And she was talking about this opportunity on Amazon, this thing called FBA, which we had never heard of before. And through that community, there was an angel investor that was saying, hey, I would finance somebody and pay for the course pay for your initial inventory. Just tell me why you would be a good fit for me to kind of bank role and provide the capital for this opportunity. So this cascade of events happens. I submit my interest in wanting to match up with this angel investor and they say, hey, yeah, you’d be a good fit. And that kicks things off. I start Amazing Selling Machine. I’ve got an angel investor kind of behind me watching me. And I started to really wrap myself slow. I was slow to start, don’t get me wrong. I was still working hard and it was still on the side. But yeah, I started to kick off the course, at that time FBA was, it looked a lot different than it does today. But ended up finding a product through a few failures that was in the beauty space and ended up scaling that over about two, 2 1/2 years, failed my way through that, but grew it to have a pretty healthy product mix, pretty healthy brand. And that got acquired and was great to realize that. And yeah, moved on from there to doing more consulting and advising for folks that I had been able to meet in my network, so that was great. Those are opportunities that kind of fell into my lap, but equally I would say competitive spaces. A lot of supplement brands, a lot of brands still in beauty that are usually it’s a pretty saturated, thinking of really, let’s say more advanced ways of kind of cutting through and substantiating your brand and then Seller Tools. And that was on the other side of kind of phasing out some of my work with clients where I connected with my two partners at Seller Tools who sellers themselves and the start of the company and the software was truly solutions that one of my partners, Brendan Morris was developing for his own brand. His eight figure brand where he was just wanting to maintain a small team, lit tools, really run things for them, have really meaningful data. And that was always kind of to that cornerstone to when he synced up with our other partner and then myself as we thought about, okay, let’s make this available to everyone, we just kind of broadened the feature set, but maintained that thread of, these have gotta be tools that make a difference for us. We would want to use them ourselves. It’s a good gauge of like, if we’re doing it right, we’re excited to release it and have it in our own hands. And yeah, that’s really what we kind of focused on to this day is tools by sellers and really for sellers. And then at that next level, what’s that difference? What’s that unique element that focuses on what matters on Amazon ranking and reviews?
– Troy, you might have the best mic that we’ve ever got on the show. “Cause I mean, it’s as clear-
– It makes me look clear, it makes me- I try to stay close to it.
– Yeah, it is-
– What year was that when you started ASM?
– Oh, ASM, that would have been 16.
– Yeah. Yeah, the cool story though, with the investor, I mean that’s nice.
– Yeah, yeah, I mean, it was quite a wild ride ’cause I come from a very conservative background. I mean, my parents’ military. I thought I was going to go the military route. So a lot of this was sort of laid out ahead of me even before these opportunities. So when it came to the idea of like a stranger, a true angel providing you funds and we’re supposed to be nameless and faceless, that kind of phased out. But at the end of the day I had to structure and I ended up buying out that angel investor and thankfully they still saw, I think they got it, if memory serves me, I think they got like 4X on their money. They didn’t ask for exorbitant or over the top because they were seeing this too. They were seeing this business as I was growing it of like they could have held on and held their peace and let that grow and really scale. But they worked with me and again still saw a pretty solid return, but it wasn’t in such a way that I was hampered by that when I was thinking about at that point in time having to leave my full-time job and really commit to this FBA thing and this new brand I was building.
– What were some of the things that they were looking for when you submitted that proposal? Like what did you have to submit to them to make them feel comfortable with you? Like, what was that like?
– Yeah, it’s probably the most unhumbling I’ve ever been. It was a bunch of very unhumble brags where I was just laying out why it would make sense for me and what I had done up to that point. And I was just really over the top. And I was pretty hungry at that point in time too. I think it was just taking that interest in the real estate side of things. And we were looking at wholesaling, a lot of things that would really take you to be pretty hungry and have the follow through and conveying that, my willingness to do what it would take to really build something substantial and be excited by it, ’cause it was really intriguing. I mean, that’s where I say, it was at that point in time, there were still elements where it felt like maybe it was kind of get rich quick or maybe it was not substantiated in that way. So I can empathize with people that see even CFBA today and think, oh, that’s something somebody else does. And it doesn’t resonate with somebody that they can take it up and really make it their own or their own business. So it was unique at that time for sure.
– That 2016 time period was such like an in-between time period. And that’s because Kris and I got started like a year or two earlier than that, like 2014 and that was still kind of like the wild west. There was very few people talking about it. There was a couple of podcasts and you can do, like, you could really throw products up and you didn’t have to focus on really branding or any of that stuff. 2016, more people were talking about it, more competition was coming in, but it was still easier to start than it is now.
– And then right after that is when a lot of Chinese factories came direct right onto the marketplace. But did you follow the ASM courses straight them and where you just hungry and just went down there, everything they were telling you to do. ‘Cause essentially you got started in the beauty category. That’s a tough one to start in.
– Yeah, no and honestly it was even more interesting how we, so myself and my colleague, we’re going through this together and we’re taking the course and taking the steps to really build our business. And it was on a whim PDF that was giving different product ideas. And I can’t remember if it was literally the exact product that we sourced or if it was like just one step removed. But that kicked things off. And so actually me and my colleague, we brought the same product to market. We competed directly with one another. We were both in beauty.
– Oh my gosh.
– Oh yeah, yeah. It’s a bittersweet, right? Because it’s like we’re competing but at the same time, it sort of lit a fire underneath both of us to say, okay, how big is this pie? Let’s really throw some effort into it. If you were willing to expend the time and money, it was, the scale you could realize was so much quicker then, right? I mean, I think right onto your point, Dustin, it was a good time to start a business in the Amazon FBA space.
– How did you know when to sell? Like what made you sell?
– Yeah, there was a point in which, I think there was things that were sort of the intangible and more unspoken, where I had a sense of like what the array of products potentially could look like. And my vision with the brand was to try to own a customer’s sort of grooming or bathroom experience, for lack of a better phrase of, if we can provide the cleanser, the toner, the moisturizer, the serum, the conditioner, like if we can start checking off all of those boxes and then provide kind of a variety of solutions there, I think that was compelling, not only for us in terms of just our brand, but also when it came to really courting and welcoming potential acquirers, strategic buyers for the brand narrative as much as what it’s really built on the Amazon side. So it was getting to that point, but there was also just an element of, I was really starting to feel exhausted from fighting the fight of beauty is real, it’s a really tough space. You have to really have the stomach for, that was sort of the flip side and probably closer into 17 and 18 were seeing the, I mean the black hat, listings coming down, account suspension, you would run through the gamut. And I remember that. We have not so fond stories of again, I’ll mention my colleague again, where he’s almost having like a mental breakdown at my house because his main listing, his sort of hero product comes down and it’s tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue at these early stages of your business. And you’re just left, like, ugh, like, what can I do? How can I change it? And you’ve just gotta let it go through the Amazon system to kind of rectify it. So yeah, I just kinda got to that point too where it was the apex of, okay, I’m ready to move on, but I’ve built something that really has enough of the narrative. I think that’s a big part of sort of identifying your assets and the brand equity that you’ve built along with your P and L and having your numbers lined up for the time of acquisition. But those are some of the things that went through my head. I was ready, I was ready at that point to bid it farewell, hand off and put it in the right hands.
– Yeah, I think Kris and I can relate to the sleepless nights.
– I was just about to tell you that anytime I get an email, like your account question, I’m like, oh my gosh, what more do you want from me?
– Yeah, there’s some dicey things that can happen for sure. And we’ve been through a lot of them as well. But you were selling before it was cool.
– Yeah, I know. It’s an interesting time. It was one of those things where it was, I think when people reflect on that time, it is the idea of things may be being a little bit easier. But I think there are certain categories where it’s like, you’ve got the scars man. Like I think a lot of people are like, were always asking me, why aren’t you bringing a brand back online or anxious to start selling again? And it’s like you, you’ve got a little bit of trauma from like, man. There’s stuff that you just have no control over. And then again, once you have 20, 25 products, your exposure is broadened and one comes, you just normalize losing money. And it’s not fun, it’s not fun.
– It’s too bad too. It’s really too bad. It’s too bad you can’t get like somebody on the phone with Amazon and figure something out before hand, or it’s just like they shut it, they don’t ask questions, it’s immediate shutdown and then you’ve got to figure it at the back end, which really sucks.
– Yep, guilty until proven innocent. You gotta love the Amazon model.
– You can be shut down for two or three days and that could be your profit for the month. I mean, you could be out big time. Yeah, it’s-
– Yeah, hiring people, yeah, your overhead gets very real so you start thinking about the other people impacted and then it doesn’t just become like, this is just me. Yeah, it’s one of those Amazon, they giveth then taketh way. It’s-
– Yeah, I think a lot of people get confused, seven and eight figures sounds awesome, but it can still be a wild rollercoaster and you can still be unprofitable sometimes. It can be tough. So the transition, so you transitioned into consulting and then obviously now with Seller Tools, let’s talk a little bit about Seller Tools. What it does some of the suite of tools that you have, and then what’s, my pen and then we’ll go into, we’ll start talking about some of the main topics we wanna get to today.
– Yeah, what we do a lot today with Seller Tools is really focus on really just ranking and reviews. Those are the objectives we wanna achieve, and then where the tools help and really support sellers is really simple features, what comes to mind is review requests which is one of our newer features where we’ve all used buyer seller messaging, we’ve all thought of ways of crafting requests for reviews, hopefully safely, hopefully within terms of service. But that’s sort of shown its age a little bit, whether it’s customers opting out or just being worried about the language that you’re using. Fortunately with a tool like review request, Amazon has given sellers the ability through their API, so this is terms of service compliant to send requests to all eligible orders for customers to receive an Amazon branded email, which is so great because the truth of it is sellers can’t really mess with it. So it can’t go south in the same way that buyer seller messaging like the bad actors have made it worse for everyone. So simple, easy to set up features like that are great, where you enable it, every single eligible order will get that Amazon TUS compliant email requests for review. Where most sellers do tend to find us in terms of both reviews and ranking is our integrations with tools like Minichat is seeking out and finding ways to own more of the customer experience and customer engagement. So obviously that usually translates into better reviews, if not also mitigating negative reviews, which can be often overlooked. But with that control also lets you think about what’s working best for ranking, how can I encourage and positively impact different ranking factors? So whether that’s an optimized link, whether that’s encouraging more page interactions, whether that’s increasing order value, a number of different ways that we can do that through our integration with Minichat and chat marketing as a whole. So yeah, those are usually the ways that kicked things off. But then we have keyword research, keyword tracking, listing optimization, competitive analysis, alerts. So there’s a whole suite that is really making sure that your product is set up for success most visible, but then also alerts are a lot of the things too that were touched on that. They’re your peace of mind of what if my title changes, what if I get a dog image on my, what my listing comes down. Yeah, not let you run into that unpleasant surprise but modify you save you maybe a day or two ’cause this is where that those dollars and cents that could be a 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 depends on the scale of your brand notification and the response time that you have. So yeah, it’s a pretty complete suite and we’ve also got a Chrome extension that does a lot of unique data that we present. So just to highlight one of those is a total Amazon traffic. We take the brain analytics data to be able to look at Amazon sales and traffic and sort of see one of the big questions as sellers we have seen and have ourselves is Amazon sales down, and this will be an indication, it will graph sales activity, approximate sales activity on Amazon to where you can see it against your sales and say, hey, is it just me or truly is everybody’s sales down on Amazon? So a lot of nifty stuff like that too, where we sort of say, what are we asking ourselves? What do we wanna know? And then having that show up in some of the tools.
– That’s a cool tool, actually, that’s, every Facebook group I’m in you hear that question all the time.
– [Inaudible] It’s main worth.
– Anybody else’s sells down today?
– We are very tapped into the memes. That’s when we see that a lot, we’re like, huh, well maybe we can try to-
– And we can answer that question.
– Exactly, yep.
– Let’s move forward, it’s when you’re like, oh nope, everyone else’s sales are great.
– You talked about Minichat. I mean, Dustin and I have talked about it before, but for those who don’t know what that is and I still get a lot of songs who don’t even know what that is when I talk to them, what is that? What’s that tool designed to do?
– Yeah, so Minichat, it’s a tool that integrates with Facebook to facilitate chat marketing. What people often may see, or it’s often recognized for is just using Facebook messenger to be able to communicate with your customer. But Minichat includes three different ways to engage with your customer. You can email them, you can use messenger, or you can use SMS. And so some of the ways that a seller or brand could use Minichat, I sort of like to break it up in two parts of pre-purchase. So thinking about maybe I’m welcoming a customer into my Minichat flow, a flow is just a name for the journey that we take that customer on. And we engage with them in that flow through messenger. So we send them a Facebook message that says, hey we have offer X, we’d love for you to take part. You can get access to it here. We can also send them a text message to follow up and say, hey, did you take advantage of offer X? And we can follow up with them via email as well. So those are three different kinds of communication methods to take a customer through, a flow through Minichat. And we also have the post-purchase side. And this is where for us at Seller Tools, we’re spending a lot of time on this, when it comes to customer ownership, when it comes to when you think about, on the other side of somebody already buying your product, kind of voting with the dollar. So they’ve invested in you and your product in that buying experience of continuing that relationship further and engaging that customer and further supporting them. So often the low-hanging fruit there, when it comes to Minichat is using something like a product insert or a sticker, it can kind of serve the same purpose. And a good example would be customer sees that insert, they scan the QR code that’s on that insert and then they’re brought back into a Minichat flow, and we can engage with them initially on messenger and say, thank you so much customer for your purchase. We wanted to, we can offer unique value in that flow. We can let them know we’re here to support them. We can give them a unique piece of content that can address FAQ’s, four common questions mitigate again, potential negative reviews. But there’s a lot of really creative ways. And this is one of the challenges with Minichat is that you can do so much with it. We find that sellers are maybe, and you probably alluded to this to Kris is that people know it’s popular, it’s really effective. And we have really big brands doing a lot of volume through Minichat. But we see sellers often just get intimidated because it’s yours to do with it what you will. There’s so much potential that or too much.
– It’s massive. It’s gotten so much more complex than what it used to. Like there are certain rules now, like Facebook has rules of 24+1. I don’t even know if that’s still around, but there’s so much going on now that like, if you’re trying to do it on your own, you’re probably get your account suspended somehow, like not in the Amazon yet, but you’ll probably get your Facebook account suspended. So, I mean, I would definitely recommend anybody, if you’re gonna do a surface, like Minichat, like go learn it or hire somebody to do it for you, ’cause it’s a completely different world.
– Yeah, yeah, you’re spot on. And that’s one of the things that we wanted to tackle through, so we’ve done this sort of two different ways where I actually created a free Minichat basics course that’s really geared towards sellers and it’s like 60 minutes of content. Like what you can learn in an hour just to understand, okay, what is Minichat? What are things like custom fields? How do I use their flow builder to build these flows? And then the second thing we’ve done is we’ve developed and made available completely for free Minichat flows. So when you hear me talking about SMS and email and all of that sounding like way too much, when we give away these free flows, it’s that entire journey. So we know exactly where the customer is initially engaging with what type of copier messaging are we sending? What kind of value, are we sending them a free product, let’s say? And we can do that all automatically through these free flows. But we knew that was the biggest thing. It’s like, if we can give, if the objective is to build a car, we’d rather just give you one and hand you the keys. And that’s what these free Minichat flows are really all about is now you’ve got them in your hands and that’s the biggest part is the elements, the flows themselves.
– Well, I’m a downloader. I took them from your side.
– Watch it.
– Yeah, and like, if you’re looking for Minichat flows, I mean, don’t create them on your own ’cause you’re gonna miss a step. I would definitely go download a flow, like somebody started packaged together and then you just put it in your account and you just fill in the custom fields with your product. That’s a lot easier than it used, like it’s harder now than it used to be, but it’s a great tool. So I’ve got some inserts here. I always like to keep these close by, ’cause they’re always fun to show off for those of you listening. I’m pulling up an answer here and it’s got like a QR code. These are becoming way more popular now, people are starting to understand what they really are. In the past, people just plucked the website, go here and do this. And now we’re even see people say, text this number to get a free bottle or something. When you do the flows, these are all QR code base, is that right?
– Yeah, yeah, well, it’s a good best practice. What we recommend, especially if you’re starting with your first product insert, you can include both a link and QR code that still has the same destination or same flow that’s linked to it. But in the in the COVID era, I think a lot of people have gotten used to, they’re seeing menus where they need to scan the QR code. It’s really normalized using QR codes. So we’re seeing that increase of follow-through and conversions to where yeah, they can really, they can stand on their own and customers do know what to do. Same with the insert example that you have there, the value that you’re offering the customer, the why is very clear and compelling. And you’ve bought something, you want to have them stand behind it, to follow through on that, that warranty offer. And that would be a big part of the strategy as well is like, why would I just simply engage with you as a brand? Admittedly, these are again, they’re your customers at this point, because they bought your product. We’re not seeking out cold traffic or trying to find people through other various channels and sources. This is your customer. And it’s a question of, are you going to continue that relationship and leading with value like that, is a absolutely best way to do it immediate, and then it opens up those communication channels. Same with text messaging too. When you have like 90% plus open rates and follow through, where we all have our phones, we know how to text, it comes with great power. But something to be utilized as well, once you have that information.
– I’m seeing SMS just grow like crazy. My wife, we get these caffeinated bars, FURBARS. Like I don’t get an email from them, I don’t get any mail from them. They just send me a text message when I’m ready to order. And I just click, like, yes. So it’s like, it’s super easy, which is kinda scary, but like more and more, I’m seeing like text messaging that is being sent ’cause the open rates are outrageous. So I’m curious if that’s gonna continue with more and more people doing that, ’cause obviously with messenger, there’s Facebook rules, right? Like you, can’t just broadcast to all these people all the time. There’s certain rules within that. Can you touch on some of those, Troy? What are some of those rules?
– Yeah, no, it’s a really great point. When it comes to Facebook and what’s happened in the past six to eight months, really since the US elections of last year, Facebook became hypersensitive with how other tools were integrating with their platform, engaging with their users and the things you could and couldn’t say, and their policies sort of reflected this, but honestly, they just dealt with a very heavy hand. Things have definitely normalized, but the policies still remain intact where you need to make sure a customer has truly opted in, which is one of the first steps you’ll see really in any Minichat flow. You need appropriate tagging. And this is where, again, we’re getting into some of the Minichat flow elements but tagging lets Facebook know what the intent of the message that you’re sending is to that customer. And the spirit of what Facebook is saying, it’s not bad. They’re trying to avoid spamming of their users, which we don’t wanna do as a brand either. Like we’re sort of on the same page there. So I would wanna make sure first time you’re using this, this isn’t just like Facebook being the big, bad brother. They’re sort of saying treat these users right. Make sure they opt in, let us know and kind of clarify some of the messages that you’re sending. And then you alluded to something like the 24 hour rule where Facebook isn’t going to let you, okay, three months removed from your last interactions. You can’t necessarily send a message to that customer. They do offer sponsored messaging. So if you pay Facebook, you say, hey, we value reaching out to this customer. They’ve monetized that. But that’s where those other two channels, email and SMS are really powerful. And there’s an interplay here too, because you have all three at your disposal, SMS isn’t bound by that 24 hour rule. There’s no tagging that you have to apply. And then the same goes for email. And so for us as Amazon sellers, we get really creative with that. You could see this in some of our flows where we touched on our review request feature, where we know we’ll send out a TOS compliant review request, it’s sitting in a customer’s inbox. We’ll take advantage of SMS, where we have the 90, 95% open rates. And we’ll time when we send that text messages to when we know they’ve received that email and say, hey, we noticed Amazon sent you a request for feedback. Did you have a chance to leave it? And so you sort of marry these things together where you’ve got TUS compliant, really elegant way for Amazon to request reviews, we take 95% open rates and we’re not over the top. We’re saying, hey, did you have a chance? We noticed Amazon sent you an email. We hope you added the option to leave your feedback. So those are some of the creative ways we tie in and it’s all automated too. That’s the beauty of this. There’s not somebody, you’re not having to set from your computer and send a customer message and monitor when that review request goes out, you set the sequence, you support it, again, these are humans, they’re not robots going through these customer flows and journeys. But if they fall out or if they have questions, you’re there to support them and take them through that journey.
– I think all of this is so fascinating. Just ’cause it’s a step beyond where the Amazon seller typically starts. And essentially, we’re talking about ways to own your customer because when they buy on Amazon, yeah, they bought your product, but you don’t really own them. You can’t just email them, hey, come to my website and buy from me directly. So all of these are tactics to just be able to really add value to that customer and then be able to answer questions they have or push them new products or new launches. So it could be huge to own that information. So when you talk about the insert cards, what value proposition do you see working the best? Like Kris hauled up a warranty but there’s all kinds of other creative value propositions you can give to get people to actually scan that QR code and get into the flow. What kind of creative ones are you seeing that worked really well?
– That’s another big one. Yeah, that’s if you can, if you have the inventory and the capital, the free gift is great but it does require a little bit more of an investment depending on how many products you have those inserts in, and obviously you need to fulfill and send customers those products. That’s the highest value one. So it’s a great way. Even if you use it intermittently, you don’t have to think about this into perpetuity where you’re always using these inserts and you always have to fulfill that type of offer, but free gifts are great. Free samples are great. And this is where really thinking about your product, your category, and your customer avatar makes a lot of sense where you can extend that value. So is that an accessory that supplements the experience, being a beauty samples are always great ’cause that’s always an extension of, it’s kind of a teaser to a future launch now that you own that customer. And then buy one get one type of offers are good too. And even doing that sort of post-purchase. But understanding what you’re truly offering and elevating that value. Free gift is a good one. The content delivery is another really solid one where if your product let’s say requires more setup you think about that customer buying experience as they’re unpacking it, as they’re understanding it ultimately using that product, does it need more of an explanation? This is where really harvesting from your reviews makes a lot of sense to, of what people really highlight, what people really don’t like, how can you deliver a five to 10 minute video? And this is again where Minichat really shines because it’s media rich. You can think about how I can send that video, what’s gonna get in front of them? Is it worth it to text that customer to get that great open rate and have them follow through? And then warranties and registration, that would be kind of a third pillar to think about for products that maybe are a little bit higher ticket that may run into more potential, thinking about the use of that product. Is it gonna maybe wear out sooner, is that something where you want to really convey that level of confidence? One kind of asterisked into that strategy is that sometimes we do see sellers not managing their warranty or registration program fully. So if you’re gonna offer it, make sure you’re capturing all that data, you’re following through with your customers, you’re supporting it, ’cause man, that can go south fast. If all of a sudden your means of capturing who’s signing up for this and it doesn’t have any teeth to it, yeah, that’s really an ineffective way to approach it. So I would sort of treat it in that order too, if you can make free gift work and think about those supplemental accessory sample or same product free value, the value prop is so steep for the customer where you can ask for and get their email address, you can ask for it and get their phone number because there’s such an exchange of value taking place there.
– Let’s go through and we haven’t talked about this yet. Let’s go through we didn’t tie it. Let’s go through like a strategy, like I’ve got a product. I wanna launch the product, but I also wanna use, I wanna do post-purchase as well. So I’m gonna be doing two different things. I’m gonna be first launching a product using Minichat or using some type of flow builder, but then I’m also gonna be doing a post-purchase on the back end to make sure I get the review count. So where do you start? Like, if I’m launching this coaster or a beauty brand, what’s the first thing you do?
– Yeah, so if we think about how we’re gonna get in front of our potential customer, I would look at my, I would look at again, understanding where they are, where can I find them reliably? Is that gonna be paid advertising? So Facebook ads really do stand out, but we’re using a lot of influencer marketing. So where is my customer congregating in massive to a very receptive message where I can deliver some unique value or maybe team up with an influencer. So let’s say maybe let’s take an influencer as a good first step. We work with that influencer. We say, hey, we’re going to run a rebate offer. We’re gonna give our product, we’re launching it. We’re gonna give away 100 units to your audience completely for free. This is gonna be select and available only to them. They just need to access it through this link. So we give that influencer the link that will direct those customers to come through into our Minichat flow, integrated with Seller Tools, we will limit, so Seller Tools facilitates limiting to that 100 customers that can come in the door. And then once we look at those customers, we’ll make sure that they’re good to go. We actually have an ability to kind of look and identify, are they on any of our deny lists? Are they potentially in bad actors? We’ll look at them on the Seller Tool side. If they check out, we then direct them to purchase. One kind of cool and advanced ways that you can do this is a strategy called social link laundering, I’m sorry, if I’m getting a little dense, you can tell me.
– No, this is great.
– Don’t you stop Troy, now.
– But this is a really great way. When we think about ranking factors, Amazon likes I diversity of signals. So let’s really blow this out. So if we took those 100 customers, let’s say we wanted to send, we cut them up into thirds and we do this all Minichat. We send a third to YouTube to watch a short video and click a link in the description. We send another third to a link on Twitter, and then we send a final third to, let’s say a link on Instagram, we have in our bio the link to our product, that’s an optimized link. Every one of those touch points, we direct a customer to purchase in an optimized way. And this is where the social link laundering comes into play. ‘Cause what we’re, what we’re saying to Amazon is, these three different traffic sources, at a relatively large scale, we have customer and buyer interest before they land on our product detail page. So we’re giving them that variety of signals. So those customers will then go in, they’ll purchase on our detail page. Once they do that, we’ll then follow up with them and say, hey, we’d love to verify your order. It’s gonna be part of them receiving the rebate. So they verify through Seller Tools. We make sure yep, product has been ordered. It’s either pending or shipped. So it’s gonna be on the way to that customer. We then look at the purchase, we’ll make sure the right [Inaudible] was purchased. We’ll pull the purchase total and then rebate them in real time and make sure that that customer receives that value right away. And so if that was the pre-purchase side of things, I know you’d mentioned the post-purchase. If we left it there, the post-purchase would then have the product insert to where we would encourage that customer to then scan the product to receive it. And I guess if these folks are already rebates, we’ll use a content example. So let’s say we’ve harvested from reviews. This is really solid FAQ. Doesn’t get ahead of 1, 5, 10 negative reviews, that it’s gonna really damage our listing. We then direct them to a piece of content that they can consume. We’ll then follow up with them and say, hey, we would love for the opportunity for you to leave a review, reach out to us if you need any support. Then we wait, we set a trigger. So let’s say we wait five days and then send out. We ask Amazon Seller Tools does on your behalf, can I send out that to you as compliant review request, if Amazon gives us the green light that shows up in their inbox, and let’s say we wait two days on the other side of that and send the customer text messages and say, hey, we noticed Amazon has sent you a request for review, did you have a chance to leave your feedback? So that would be sort of a really refined version, I would say, where we would get the ranking piece, we’d get some social link laundering in there and then we’ve got the review request where we’ve got the TUS compliant, automated plus the followup and the 90, 95% open rates with the text message. So we’ve got a lot of confidence in our ability to rank and review through Minichat.
– Talk about the social links and why you just don’t use like a two step URL. Why are you using social links instead of just the random link builders you can get?
– Yeah, this is really where we look at and really try to break down, it ultimately rank factors. It’s one of four or five major factors of the diversity of the traffic sources. And so when, as much as possible, and this is when, when you see the Minichat flows, that like they, they hurt your brain, we use those features to be able to, like their randomizer to say, okay, let’s send 10 different paths for these customers where I’m checking off Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, like all of these different signals. So as much as you can do it, that’s great, what works the best right now is Google properties. So as much as you can send that through YouTube, that’s definitely encouraged. And even just, again, a link in the description, or just saying, hey, find our product by searching key phrase on Amazon. You can find it now. That concept of laundering it, Amazon puts a greater weight on some of these different traffic sources.
– I feel like we just started and we were like 45 minutes in. I have so many questions. I could sit here and talk to you all day.
– There’s all kind of cool stuff you can do though, too, man, I’m telling you, Minichat, and this is why I totally empathize with sellers because there’s so much that, I know this. And I’m saying there’s so much that you can do, you can drive page interactions. So that’s a rank factor. So you have your customers find their favorite review. So if they’re scrolling through a detailed page, Amazon likes that time on detail page. If you can get them all the way to the bottom of it, have them scouring reviews before they purchase. It’s what I like to call a pre-purchase prompt. And that’s something in Minichat and you can do this, you could still take that influencer campaign if we kind of extrapolated that and we let the influencer know, hey, we’re just gonna have these customers complete a few steps. They’re still going to get a free product, but all we’re gonna ask them in Minichat, we’re gonna send them a message and say, hey, this is the product we’re interested in offering up today. Would you mind finding one of your favorite reviews? What really resonates with you and that detail page interaction, huge boost, because Amazon doesn’t love detailed page add to cart purchase. They love that investment, which is so intuitive, right? Like they love customers spending time and investing that time on detailed pages.
– Next level, Troy that’s next level.
– Yeah, this is such a fascinating conversation to me. And I think I mean, the flows that you’re talking about, with people sign up that these are pre-built, right? And they can ’cause I mean, the life of an Amazon seller is, I mean, managing your PPC all day, going through all that stuff, talking to suppliers, I mean, it’s over, it’s the things. And then you’re like, oh, now I’ve got to design some complicated [Inaudible]. Well, that’s gonna be the last thing that you ever get to, but it’s gonna-
– Don’t you do it.
– It’s the last thing that’s gonna get you to the next level. And this is fascinating. I’ve learned a couple things here on this.
– Well, that’s awesome. Yeah, it’s fun to geek out on.
– I love the marketing side. Like it’s so creative. There’s so many different, like that whole detail thing, that’s like, I’ve thought of that, but like, I’ve never felt like, oh, that makes sense. Make them down a little bit and look at the, you hear like, you don’t want them to go straight to add to cart. You want them to like look around, but that’s the next level. Like go find a review you like, that’s pretty nice.
– Yeah, or at least take in your EBC or something that you what’s the last word in our EBC and you bold it or some way where they’re spending a little bit more time on the detail page.
– Gosh, man.
– Yeah, that’s, yeah. And you just do that. You don’t have to do it extravagantly either. You just are, because these strategies work so well, you just wanna create those little differences though, too, because those signals matter to Amazon. So yeah, that’s what we’re, yeah, finding to really work.
– This is so-
– I’m speechless, I don’t know what else to say.
– I know. I know what to say, can we get you back on the show?
– Yeah, no kidding.
– Yeah, absolutely.
– We can talk about more stuff. I mean, this really is fascinating. I think this is an area where a lot of sellers, they’re in the grind and just taking it the next step. I mean, I’m sure, I mean, if you’re looking to exit your business at some point, having all these systems in place is huge for the aggregators out there when they’re looking at your company and just obviously in terms of growing your business in general, these are huge.
– Yeah, and I would just add on there too, that it’s owning the customer, when we talk to aggregators, they value that asset for sure. Like if you build that list, they’re wanting to build the list with the brands that they’ve already acquired. But if you can bring that to the table, truly view that as an asset. And that’s on your side when it comes to have your brand acquired.
– Such good stuff. All right, anybody listening that’s thinking, okay, I’ve got to get started right away. How do they get started with Seller Tools? Where do they go? What do they need to do?
– Yeah, so we have a 14 day free trial, everything that we touched on, all the automations, all the free flows, you can all get access to that when you kick off your trial. And I would encourage you to start there, honestly, get the free flows. You’ll see on our website, under automation, Minichat flows. So the truth is we actually make our flows available to anybody. So you could even just look at them before you’ve even started trial or start paid access. So yeah, you can get in there and get working and features like review requests, really simple ones too. And this is where I wanna make sure I don’t lose anybody on that side either, it’s really simple stuff. You can start getting reviews even in that 14 day period. You just turn it on, let Amazon do the work. And then we just supplement. We add a lot to that with what we do with Minichat.
– That review requests has been fantastic. That’s the best things Amazon’s done.
– Yeah, yeah.
– Go ahead, Kris, what were you gonna say?
– I say, go check out your YouTube too, seller.tools on YouTube. I don’t know if you’ve mentioned that already, but you do some really cool videos with another guy Ian, that’s super knowledgeable as well. But I mean, this is next level stuff. Like this is all marketing. You can run as much PPC as you want, you can change your image of stuff, but like, this is taken to a new level.
– Yeah, one you can tie it all in to Kris. Yeah, I mean, if you run PPC, you do post-purchase then you relaunch the list that you got post-purchase like you can really marry a lot of this stuff in together, but it’s all about just making it a priority of how am I at the end of the day building my list, reliably ranking, reliably getting more reviews.
– Love it. Great stuff, Troy, we’re gonna get you back up here. [Inaudible] No questions asked, you might have to be a regular because I thought we could talk about [Inaudible] topics. So good. So thanks for joining us, Troy. We really appreciate it. And for everybody listening out there, if you like content like this, which you should, how could you not like what Troy had to bring today, that was next level stuff, he’s hitting on today, make sure that you subscribe to our podcast so that when we have new episodes coming out, which is almost every single day we do a podcast. So subscribe to it, also subscribe to our YouTube channel, Sellozo’s YouTube channel, you can turn on notifications. So you get notified when we go live, same thing with Sellozo’s Facebook page, we go live with these podcasts on there as well. So like our Facebook page and then turn on notifications there as well. Troy, thanks so much. We’ll be back at this again, see yah.