Dustin and Kris discuss how to launch your product and get the Amazon flywheel moving in your favor. You will learn how to use Amazon PPC, Coupons, Amazon Vine, and off Amazon traffic.
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– Hello everyone and welcome to episode 15 of Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone. I’m Dustin Kane and with me as always is Kris Gramlich. What’s happening, Kris?
– Not much Dustin, ready for this one, this is gonna be a good one.
– Oh yeah, this is my favorite part of the entire process is launching a product on Amazon. So today we’re gonna be talking about the blueprint for launching your private label product on Amazon. We’re assuming at this point that you’ve got your listing created, all of your images are high quality, your listing is optimized, and now it’s time your inventories hitting the warehouses, and now it’s time to start driving sales. So that’s what the focus is going to be for today is the actual launch to generate sales, initial sales for your products. So a lot of fun. There’s a lot of stuff to unpack here and there’s a lot more options now. There’s some hurdles you wanna jump over to get this, but this will be a lot of fun talking about this, Kris.
– Yeah, Amazon’s came out with a bunch of new promotion tools, you got Vine, we’ve got coupons, we’ve got lightning deals. So they’ve really rolled out a lot of new stuff that helps us, sellers, really promote our product.
– Yes, absolutely. Back in the day, we would do a lot of stuff where we try to generate reviews by actually reaching out to Amazon reviewers, that’s difficult now and or if impossible or against terms of service, so that’s much harder but these programs and in terms of reviews that Amazon has rolled out can certainly get you the initial reviews that you need and do it within their terms. I mean, these are Amazon programs, so obviously they’re legitimate ways to get reviews. What are the couple of things that you’re trying, I mean obviously trying to generate sales, trying to generate reviews, and then like, the most important is you’re trying to generate that initial organic ranking that can help drive more sales as well?
– Yeah, so starting off, you wanna get that flywheel going. You want to get, you want to show Amazon that you’re a legit product, that you have a lot of demand. So starting off, the whole purpose of a product launch is to actually get that flywheel moving so you start ranking for all your keywords. So there’s a lot of different tools you can use a lot of things that you can start out with. Obviously, the one is PPC, but there’s some other ones we can dive into.
– Absolutely. One thing to note, and I just actually learned this a little while ago but Amazon has sort of changed their algorithm a little bit and they can spot products that rank too fast or that generate too many reviews too fast. So it’s really important now that you launch in a much more naturally-occurring way than maybe trying to game the system. I mean, if you go from zero to a hundred reviews tomorrow, Amazon’s gonna suspect something’s fishy and they may hold that ranking back from you.
– Yeah. Yeah, that’s too high. Your throttle’s going too much. You wanna kind of do it gradually. Now I’ve seen people say that they can do like a one-day launch and it really works for ranking, but from my experience, I would spread that out over an eight to 14-day period so that you start to look a little more legit.
– Absolutely, I agree. All right, so let’s talk about the first thing here, let’s talk about when you launch, you’re gonna want to probably start advertising. And so there’s many types of advertising that you can do, there’s inside Amazon, they have their PPC which of course we can help you out with here at Sellozo. And then you’ve got off-channel advertising such as Facebook or Instagram, or an email list may be that you’ve established if you’ve got a small customer base you can reach out to at first, but let’s talk about those just going down, of those, which one’s the most important.
– Yeah, I would try to get some PPC going. You gotta understand what that is first. Amazon advertising, sponsored brands, sponsored product ads. Those are things that you wanna get lined up and get ready for launch day. You can create these ahead of time and put a start date for when your product is fully checked in with Amazon, but you definitely…
– You cut out for a second there Kris, but I got you now.
– Sponsored product ads, you definitely wanna get those started and you could do all three match types, broad, phrase and exact. This is gonna throw all your keywords out into those match types, give you a really wide net. So you can scrape up all those search terms and just generate a lot of traffic to your listing. So I would definitely get some PPC going, you could start with a small budget but just be ready to increase that. And this is more of like a short, short term play, you’re trying to show where Amazon you wanna rank for some keywords. So a good average daily budget for each campaign is around $30 a day and Sellozo can help optimize bids, we can help get your bids to that target aid cost that you want to. We got ways you can launch a product inside the app. But for doing it manually, $30 a campaign, put like your top 25 or so keywords per campaign and just really do all three match types and just…
– Yeah, that’s a good point, Kris and I think with the advertising, number one, you have to be aware that when you’re launching a product it’s not gonna be profitable at first, the ads you’re launching and there’s different ways to mitigate that. So it depends on what your budget is. And you touched on this with manual campaigns with a few of your keywords. If you have a smaller budget you definitely need to be laser focusing on just a few keywords and try to rank for those, put all of your budgets to that. If you’ve got a much bigger budget, then setting up some of those keyword testing campaigns like an auto and abroad and a phrase and exact, and moving keywords through that. That can get you optimized faster but it’s gonna be a little bit more expensive upfront in terms of keyword testing. So that’s some things to be aware of just make sure that your ad strategy matches what you have in budget and then also that you’re aware that it’s going to be unprofitable at first but your goal is ranking that product. Your goal is not necessarily to be profitable on your first few sales. So advertising, and that’s the most important. If you do any advertising, Amazon PPC is by far the most important it’s directly impacting your ranking, you’re getting buyers with their wallets out directly to your product. So it’s important now. Amazon does love traffic that comes from other places as well. So if you can drive Facebook traffic to your listing, that can work, preferably you’d wanna drive that to a landing page first, if you’re doing any sort of Facebook or any off-Amazon advertising so you can collect some information on that customer, would be helpful as well and you can offer a discount code, et cetera. So what do you think about what any other tips you have on social media marketing or Google marketing to drive traffic for your launch?
– Yeah, this can be an episode in itself ’cause you can set up Google ad words on a few of your search terms, you can use Google Trends to get that data or Google Keyword Planner. But yeah, you could do Facebook ads, you could use a software called ManyChat, M A N Y C H A T. That’s where you would do a Facebook ad, send them over to messenger, give them a discount code or a rebate, send them to Amazon. They would buy the product through a keyword you’re targeting, and then you could just give them a rebate at the very end. That works super well. That works really good, but I would have all these lined up like Facebook ads are good, Google, have some type of Google traffic to your listing. That’s always good too, but Amazon loves this like when they see traffic coming from other places, it just gives that listing or gives your product a little bit more bump as far as organic ranking goes. So, you’re gonna do Amazon PPC too but you also need to have a little bit of a social media plan in place too because that’s gonna help as well.
– Absolutely. Now let’s talk about an email list. If you’ve done anything pre-launch of your product to get customers or potential customers excited about your product and now you have, they’ve opted into your email list and now you can make the announcement that your product is ready, you can send them a code, et cetera. That can be another really great way to boost traffic to your listing.
– Yeah, I mean, ’cause these are if you remember the past episodes we talked about picking a group of people to launch a product to, this is kind of where that group comes into play. You’re gonna now reach out to that group, you’ve already created the hype when you were doing your sourcing, your listing, you were telling them that this product’s coming, you got them really interested now in the product is live, that’s where you can send them a massive discount code, or just price your item lower than what your normal retail price is so it counts as a full-price buy and this will even help even more as far as our ranking goes because you’re not giving them a coupon code, you’re letting them buy it a full price first which Amazon loves. And then you’ll rank faster than you would if you gave them a discount code. So a strategy that I’ve told some sellers that I work with and on the phone and stuff is like don’t be afraid to discount your price first because what you’re trying to do is get a lot of sales in here and then you can incrementally raise that price back up to your retail price in the future. So if it was me, I would lower my price down to what the discount code price is gonna be. It counts as a full-price buy, Amazon loves that, you’ll rank faster, and then you can always increase that slowly.
– Yeah and that’s exactly what was gonna be my next point about how you aggressively price on a launch because it brings into all the other factors too. People sort, when the people are searching, so targeting, you’re using that a low price launch to target your groups and let them know that your product is available at a low price. Like you said, you get the full price bump from Amazon there, but also just having a product on Amazon in a category that’s cheaper than everybody else drives traffic. I mean, people can sort by price, they do it all the time. They’ll look, they’ll do a keyword, sort by price, that you may not be ranking at all, and all of a sudden now you’re number one in the list for that, because they’ve added that filter in there that price filter a low to high. So yeah, pricing low is, again it might be at a loss or it might be at a breakeven but it is going to get you ranked. It’s gonna drive all the things that we talk about. This flywheel of driving reviews, driving sales, moving up the rankings, all of that happens, and then like you said, you raise it incrementally, you have to be careful on that, raising it incrementally. You don’t wanna make big jumps because Amazon gets a little nervous and may take the buy box away from you if you make big jumps, but if you have a real strategic play, if you’re moving it up a dollar a week or something to get to the price you’re looking to be at you’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna be able to make those adjustments. You just don’t wanna make a 25% price increase today. That’s gonna set off some alarm bells on Amazon’s algorithm.
– Yeah, they’ll kick you out of the buy box, your ads will all stop delivering, it’ll say available from these sellers, the customer then has to click on it to see who’s selling it. It’s just a bad experience overall so if you lose the buy box, chances are it’s because you raise your price and your lowered your price too much.
– Exactly. All right, so we’ve talked about advertising, we’ve talked about aggressive pricing to launch your product. What about strategies to increase your reviews? So we wanna, that’s definitely the part early on, the more reviews you can get obviously the better your listing is going to convert, the better it looks, et cetera. So what would you, what we’ve talked about these in past episodes, but what are some ways that you can legitimately get more reviews to your product while you’re in the launch phase?
– Well, the first one is to enroll every product you’ve ever launched enroll it into the early reviewer program. The early reviewer program is a way to get the first five reviews. So I would definitely enroll any essence that you’re launching into that program at the very beginning ’cause that’ll help you get your first initial five reviews. The second thing is the Amazon Vine program. The Vine program is a group, a pool of reviewers, they will get your product for free but you can give up to 30 units away. They don’t have to leave a review, it’s not mandatory, but these reviews really stick out ’cause these reviewers will put like photos, will add video, but they are brutally honest. So this is where again, we talked about making sure your product is high quality, you’ve done the inspection because this is where that’s going to come into play again. So the early reviewer program is a no-brainer, I would definitely do it, it’s $60. The Amazon Vine program is another one that you should definitely focus on as well, but then there’s also things like the request review button that we’ve talked about in the past, follow-up sequences as well. You can leverage your Facebook group that you created to get some reviews. So they should start to come in naturally especially if your product is really, really good, you should start to see some reviews pretty quick.
– Absolutely. Now, additionally, you can launch some other things in conjunction with all of these that can make your listing pop and can offer even more discounts to your buyers. Those are all the different types of coupons and promotions that we can do through Amazon. Now we’ve talked about coupons in past episodes but this can really make your listing pop. If you’ve got a low price, plus like a dollar off or $2 off coupon or something, or more whatever you can sustain. The coupons, you get that little badge on your listing right at the top where it shows it’s green, and it says there’s $2 off on this product. So that’s another way that you can just make your product more attractive. And then there’s tons of promotions, Lightning Deals. Kris, talk about some of those promotions that you might try to do while you’re launching.
– Yeah, you could do the Lightning Deals, those are always fun. I always do that any time I’m eligible. I always enroll that product in a Lightning Deal ’cause it’s a short period of time, but you can get a lot of traffic to the list and get a lot of sales. And that just helps your ranking move up the ladder there. The coupons we talked about that a little neon green things on the listing below the price. I always run those as well. You can run them up to 90 days is the max and you can just always resubmit them. But those are always good to draw attention to your listing. A lot of your competitors won’t be using these, so this is a good way to stick out and let people see that your listing is offering a deal. And so you can add those as well and those are gonna get you some organic sales. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people will forget to use the coupon, they like seeing it but for some reason, they just don’t check it. So it’s probably more than half but definitely wanna use those. There’s bundles now where you can bundle other products together, FBA products together. So if you’re launching a new product and you have an existing product already, you can create a bundle together with those two products together and that can kind of generate some more sales, it gets your average order value up, it can promote a new product so people see it. There’s social media codes inside the promotion area, so if you create a new promotion and you just select the social media option, that is then sent out to all these, Amazon, I forget what they’re called, audience members or reviewers and they promote those coupons inside of like Facebook groups. But you’ll see a ton of traffic through those ’cause those are super, super powerful and that can be a short period of time. One thing I will caution there if you do any type of coupon is to make sure you set your max order quantity to like one or two ’cause if you don’t, somebody can come in there and clear out your whole inventory, I’ve had that happen. I was on a plane, I got off the plane, I saw I had like 400 orders, I immediately called and I was connected to another plane, so I made the call at Amazon like within that 10-minute window, I was like, “We need to cancel all these orders, the coupon was invalid or whatever.” But anyway they got canceled, but talk about how I got almost a heart attack is like I got off the plane, I had 400 orders, knew it was a mistake ’cause I knew I forgot that thing. And then I immediately had to call Amazon to get that figured out. So make sure you put a max order quantity of like one or two in there, ’cause you don’t want that to happen to you, it’s not fun. People can clear you out so those are some all good ways to use those promotions to get that product ranking.
– Absolutely. That brings up a funny story when we first met I was showing you my account and I had an order for 750 units, and you were like, “You might want to check that out.” Fortunately, that was actually a good business customer who actually was making large orders but there is nothing worse than getting that you put a coupon out, and then it gets cleared out at that. You have to, that’s a great point, you’ve gotta put those protections in place. The other thing that you can do with coupons is if you’ve already got good products that are well ranked, is you can offer promotions like buy one get a discount on your new product. So if you’ve got a product that’s got a lot of traffic to their listing and you’re getting a lot of sales that coupon’s right there and the special promotion section where it’ll say, “Hey if you buy this product, you can add this one to your cart and save 50%.” Or whatever you wanna put on it and that could be another way to use already existing traffic to drive more to your new products, especially if they’re related, that could be really good. So we’ve talked about all of those, now, that you would like to talk about strategies for a product launch.
– Say that again, I missed you on that.
– Oh, sorry. What other strategies do you use right now for product launching?
– Yeah, I’m doing a full-price buy with a rebate at the end. So that’s something that a lot of people have been doing recently. It’s using a tool called ManyChat. You run a Facebook ad to ManyChat to an audience, they buy at full price, and then for them buying a full price you give them a rebate within 48 hours of buying it. It’s a full-price buy in Amazon’s eyes but you do get a lot of coupon searchers here, so I’ve done both like 80% off or like 75% off just to kind of get rid of all those coupon seekers and just try to get my real customers. You don’t get as much take rate but if you do like a hundred percent off, you’ll get a lot of people that come in through your Facebook ad. But those are the ones that I’ve been using the most along with the coupons on the listing, along with PPC. These are all things that I just constantly run because I want my ranking to always be getting better and better and better.
– Yeah, the one last thing that we forgot to talk about was as sales start coming in, you need to make sure that you’re doing something to encourage a review for those sales. So we talked about this on previous episodes but you’ve got the Request a Review button right on the orders page. So make sure that two weeks after you’ve made your order or that you’ve made the sale, you go into that orders page and click that Request a Review button. That will send an automatic email from Amazon asking for a review of that product. That’s a great way to drive it. We also, on our last episode, had a Henson Wu on from FeedbackWhiz where you can send follow-up emails, and then he had some really interesting, you should take a listen to that because he had some really interesting points about the benefits of your own email to the customer which a service like FeedbackWhiz can auto-generate emails after-sales, certain times after-sales. So two days, three days after the sale or after it’s delivered, it’ll auto-generate an email that you’ve written. Those can be great ways to interact with your customers, show really good customer support, and generate additional reviews. So those are the main things I think we’ve covered, I’ve covered all of them, Kris, that are the really important things when you’re launching your product, obviously, your listing has to look good. We’ve discussed that in-depth in previous podcasts but once you’ve got all that done, once your inventory hits Amazon, that’s when it’s game on. That’s when you now have to start driving sales, so these things that we’ve talked about today, whether you’re using PPC, social media marketing, a combination of coupons and promotions, following up with reviews, you need to be doing all of them during the product launch phase.
– And you can be doing this stuff beforehand like as your product is coming in, you can get your PPC setup or you can start getting up your Facebook page. Like these are all things that you can line up beforehand and then once your product is live and our inventory is checked in, just turn them all on and start getting traffic going.
– And like we’ve mentioned before, Kris and I both work at Sellozo, Sellozo helps automate your advertising on Amazon. If you’re getting ready to launch products and you’d like to use a tool or just pick Kris and I’s brain, we’d love to talk with you. You can go to sellozo.com book a time with us, so just go to where it says to request a demo, that’ll book a time with either Kris or myself and we’ll talk you through everything. Well, you can let us know what your budgets are, how much you can allocate towards ads. We can take a look at your listing for you, make sure it looks good and we can help you sort of design a good PPC strategy that will get you the results you want and stay within the budget that you’ve got. So we’d love to talk with you about that. Any time go to sellozo.com and book it.
– Yeah, ’cause there’s good foundations you need to have set up, especially with your ads. You just don’t wanna just throw like an auto campaign together and call it quits. There’s more to it than that. And that’s where Dustin and I can help you out with a good foundation to set up.
– Absolutely. So everyone out there whether you’re launching a product right now or getting ready to launch a product, hopefully, these steps will help you make that launch smooth. Get on a call with Kris or I and we can talk about it all with you anytime. Kris, that was a great one, lots of good stuff in here and we’ll be at it again. We’ve got it again tomorrow.
– Sounds good.