It’s always helpful to hear from someone who’s launched a private label product on Amazon from scratch – and has done so recently. Well, even though Scott Voelker has been doing private label sales on Amazon for some time, he’s still starting new products and ideas now and then to experiment and to expand his business model. On today’s episode Scott walks you through his latest product launch and hones in on the things he did differently this time. The results he’s gotten have been spectacular, including ranking his product on page 1 of Amazon’s search rankings in short order. You’ll want to be sure to listen to this one.
Why Scott aimed at a product with low reviews but good sales.
One of the ways that Scott searched for his latest private label product was to filter in Jungle Scout for products that were selling a decent amount, say 5 to 10 sales per day, but had low numbers of reviews. Why did he aim at products like that? The sales show that the product is in demand to a certain degree, but that the people selling the products are not spending a ton of time promoting their products. So Scott feels that if he’s able to sell the same product but add PPC promotions to his launch, he should be able to get higher in the rankings almost immediately – and his strategy worked. Find out exactly how Scott did it, on this episode.
A keyword optimization trick for the backend of your private label product listings.
A student in the private label workshop was having trouble getting her product to show as relevant for many keywords, even though she’d filled the keyword area of her listing with relevant keywords. Scott was curious why she wasn’t getting better results so he asked her to show him the way she’d input her keywords. She had placed a comma between every keyword and Scott suggested that she remove all the commas. Within an hour her product began ranking for those keywords and something important was discovered: commas are not only unnecessary in your keyword fields, they actually hurt your listing. Find out more tips like this on this episode of The Amazing Seller.
Why Scott launched with only 25 product giveaways.
On this product launch Scott decided to try something a bit different than he’d done before. He determined that he’d only give away 25 products to launch and that he’d drip those out at the rate of 5 per day for the first 5 days. This enabled him to monitor his organic sales a bit more easily, determining how many of his sales were organic and therefore gauging better whether he actually needed to continue giveaways in order to get his product ranked as high as he wanted. The result this time was a good amount of organic sales apart from the PPC, which is very good news. You’ll find out more about how Scott did his launch on a new product on this episode of The Amazing Seller.
If you’re new to the private label sales world, you need Scott’s free workshop.
At least once per month Scott holds a free private label workshop for anyone who is interested in private label sales. It’s an opportunity for you to learn the 5 phases of a successful product launch and to ask questions from Scott and many other experienced Amazon sellers who are hanging out during the course. You can get your free spot in the next workshop by listening to the announcement at the end of this episode, so be sure you do!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
- [0:30] The way to approach rumors and concerns you hear about techniques on Amazon.
- [4:17] 4 things that make this product launch successful.
- [10:17] Scott’s step by step process for launching this product.
- [11:10] The best way to optimize keywords on the backend of your listings.
- [13:15] 25 units given away, 5 per day and PPC from day one.
- [14:30] Options for setting up your pay per click campaigns.
- [18:14] Creating a promo with no keywords.
- [22:10] How to use variations of products to create your own brand once you’ve tried a product.
- [24:48] Why Amazon is a great place to test and verify a product before investing a lot of cash.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 204
TAS 204 : The Launch Experiment That Helped Me Rank Page 1 (Results)
[00:00:02] SV: Well, hey, hey what's up everyone. Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast, this is episode number 204 and today I'm going to be sharing with you a launch experiment that helped me rank on page one…
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…for a new product. I'm going to give you exactly what I did, why I think it worked. Now you guys probably have been hearing a little bit of buzz out there on the internet about super URLs or keyword loaded URLs and that they're not working anymore and should we use then and if we use them can we get banned and all of that stuff. Really quickly I'm just going to say that there's a ton of claims always being made and I'm not going to be here sitting telling you that there's not going to be any risks. There's always going to be risks when you're playing in Amazon's sandbox. Period.
All right. You need to do what you feel is right. I've tried a lot of different things. I don't think I could say that I really tried a lot of great hat type stuff like I try to keep it as clean as possible. Although the things I might did that I didn't realize possibly but I'm saying right now I'm trying to do everything on the open up and I've always been but as you start hearing new tricks and techniques and tactics and stuff, it's tempting. Right. I'm going to give you something that I've done recently and it's been a really clean launch and it's done fairly well. I'm going to share that with you because it's important to show you that there's different workings within different markets but then also competition and kind of all those things.
That's kind of what I'm going to be going through. Again, if you guys want to download any of the show notes or the transcripts, any links that we talk about if you want to see all of those you could always head over to the show notes to this episode which is 204. So that's theamazingseller.com/204 and you can go ahead and grab all of those notes and transcripts and all that stuff there. All right. Definitely do that. All I ask is leave a comment or maybe share the podcast. That's really all that I ask if you want to go ahead and give me a little bit of a payment in a sense is just give me a little love, just share this. Share the podcast, let other people know about it. All right. The other thing that I would say is on episode 185 we also talked about a launch strategy and then we also on episode 173 we interviewed a guy that did very, very lean launch.
This meaning that he didn't really do anything to give away units or any of that stuff and he talked exactly what he did, that's episode 173. Then I also did an episode on episode 101 which was where we did an updated. We did an updated product launch and from there we talked about different things that we're doing now and some of those things might have even changed a little bit there. Episode 185 was really just a new strategy that we've kind of tweaked a little bit but today it's going to be even bit of a newer strategy and it's again a really mean but I'm just going to go through and share with you exactly what I did. I do want to give a shout out everyone that had been leaving iTunes reviews or that have been leaving comments on the blog or on Facebook. I just want to say thank you.
[00:03:41] SV: It really does mean a lot when I get to hear these things but also to meet you people in person is just amazing. We were just recently in Denver, met a lot of great people there and just want to say just keep it coming, just keep it coming. All right, let's go ahead and dive into the launch experiment that helped me rank page one for multiple keywords and it happened kind of quickly. All right.
Let me just kind of break it down first as far as why I think it was easier to rank than other products that I've launched in the past. Number, is I found a product with low reviews. Meaning, I found a product that all of the listings pretty much had low reviews. I was still looking for items that could sell at least ten a day, so three hundred units per month or more but have lower reviews. Okay. Now in Jungle Scout if you guys have used Jungle Scout or if you have heard me talk about Jungle Scout, they have settings in there that you can do some searches to find products that are getting three hundred or more sales or maybe three hundred to a thousand sales. You can put in these parameters. If you guys haven't listened to that episode with Greg Mercer, I did one with him, let's see, episode 161 and then also episode 56.
We talk all about the depth and demand, all of that stuff. Really, I followed that right there that I wanted low reviews because if I got low reviews and they are still getting three hundred sales or more that's an easier market to tap into or an easier product because I don't have to worry about getting thousands of reviews or even hundreds of reviews. Right. There're some sales that I found within this market that they're getting like three hundred to four hundred sales with no reviews. Like crazy. Right. But I also dig into how I can reverse engineer as far as okay, have these people been doing promotions, are those numbers spiked and all that stuff. I talk about that in other episodes but right now I just want to give you the parameters of why I think that this was easier to rank. Number is there wasn't a lot of competition and some people are saying, “Well, Scott there's hardly any products out there anymore, there's hardly any products out there that you can actually sell because everyone is doing it now.”
I'm here to tell you that I don't agree with that, I don't believe that. All right. Now, does that mean that it's going to be trickier, maybe a little harder. Yeah, might take a little bit more work but they're still there. You just got to dig a little bit. It's like that show Gold Rush. Right. You guys know I'm a big fan of Gold Rush. It's like you can't expect to just go and point at a hill side and then say that's where it's going to be. You got to drill holes and then when you drill the holes you might still get down there and there might be no gold there as much as you thought because you went into a certain hole or certain area that had a lot but then you move three feet the other way and you got nothing. Again, they're out there. You got to dig, you got to do the work, you got to hustle, you got to work a little harder. Okay. Just want to get that out of the way.
I get a lot of people that say that to me, like they're like, “Scott, there's so many people doing it and now it makes so much harder.” It is harder than it was two years ago, for sure but it doesn't mean that it is not possible and I've always said that it's a great place to start on Amazon. It doesn't mean that you have to finish on Amazon and I don't think that that's the long term plan. Anyway, just want to put that out there.
[00:07:06] SV: So, when we dig in here again. Number one is finding a product with low reviews but has low reviews it's still getting three hundred plus sales a month. All right. The other thing that I found was it was easy to source in the US. All right. That's been something I've been trying to work out for a very long time. How can I find a product that I can even wholesale if I wanted even to just to test that product. Then I can figure out if I can source to China or another country or even in the States cheaper. Right. How can I do that quicker? That's another strategy moving forward that I made an experiment with more is doing a wholesale product that is generic and then being able to create my own later because then you're able to test faster.
Right. This is definitely the case if you're doing more expensive products, bigger products. Why not do that. That's definitely on my radar so it's just another easier way to get started and test the market without having buy three thousand units. That's number three. I've found some that I can easily source in the states and get it here quickly and on a small run. I could do as little as a hundred units. Okay. Now, the other thing that I did look at here is some of these products that I'm playing with and this one in particular could be seasonal. Okay. Seasonal in a sense that you might have ups and downs throughout the year. Okay.
Again, I've talked about that before. If you find those and then you find other ones that are at different seasons and then you kind of fill out maybe the entire year, that might be something to look into but this was to me a no brainer decision to go ahead and try this. I wanted to try it with a hundred units. All right. Now, moving forward I'm going to try with two hundred to two hundred and fifty units because I ran out of stock. Then I was kind of dead in the water. Right now I've got three listed, one of them is in stock, two of the other ones actually, one of the other ones that's out of stock was selling upwards of seventy to eighteen a day so we ran out fairly quickly.
Again, I'm going to run through with exactly what I did from the time that we got the inventory in, until the time we ran out of stock. I'm going to share with you how and why I think I was able to rank fairly quickly. All right. Again, there's the four things that I wanted to cover within that product and why I think that the launch strategy here didn't need to be this elaborate, big launch plan. I found product with low reviews, zero to seventy reviews. Again, I got people who'll say,
“Well, Scott I found something that's only got zero to eighty reviews. Is that still okay?” Yeah, that's okay. If I found a few that were selling a hundred and fifty it still would have been okay but I found some that were selling and still right now they are selling only two reviews which is crazy.
Again, that's exciting and it allows you to be able to really use your skill set in these things that we've learned through launching of other products that we can do a better job and probably rank. Okay. This is a great example of that. I was able to test with a hundred units. That's what I did. First thing I did was I created the optimized listing and not really that optimized. I got to be honest. I only had three pictures. Okay. Three pictures, that's it, nothing fancy, just three pictures and the reason why I got a little lazy with that is I guess because everyone else only had like one image and they were terrible. I said, “I'm going to do a little better. I'm going to do three.”
[00:10:43] SV: Now, I'm going to probably expand it out to at least six. All right but again I'm trying to experiment, I'm trying to see what I can do without putting in too much effort in the beginning. All right. Three pictures, created a title that was keyword loaded, talked about the benefits, all that, bullets did the same exact thing. We did at least five bullets, the description. Same exact thing that I've always done and then the other thing is we definitely optimized the back end keywords. The search terms. Okay. Now, recently they've updated that to where now they're not allowing just, it was only like per line, it might have been like a hundred or two hundred maybe it was a hundred or two hundred.
I forget what it was but it wasn't many. Now it's a thousand per line. Now it's actually hard to find enough keywords to put in the back end. What I did is I took the back end keyword section and I filled it out with everything and what I did there is I just took, I took one of the competitors and I just dropped in to keyword inspector I went and ran a search on that and I pulled all the top keywords and I plugged them into those fields. I started with the top field, the search term field and I really paid close attention to the front end of that. All right. Now that means that I just didn't throw any keyword in there. I took the more important ones that I wanted to rank for and I put them in the front of that line, let's call it. Right.
That's what I did. Okay. Again, I don't know if any of this or all of this had something to do with it but I'm just kind of reversing back through what I did. I did that and again, I put the most important ones in the title and I made the title read well. It wasn't like stuffed with keywords and then from there I went ahead and filled all other rest in back end. The back end is really important for keywords. Very, very important that you pay attention to those and I've talked about this before. I didn't use any commas, I didn't use any hyphens, it was just basically spaces. I didn't re-use those keywords, meaning I de-duped them. I just used the free de-duping tool dropped them all in there and then I put them in each field as they came. That's it.
Again, optimize the listing, three pictures, title, bullets, description, back end keywords. All right, that's what I did. Now, the launch looks like this. I gave away twenty five units and I gave away five per day for five days. All right. I also turned on pay-per-click day one. The reason why I did that is because I already seen that some of the other competition was selling and ranking with zero reviews. I'm like, Okay, so maybe even if I get seen I'll start selling. Right. That's what I did. Twenty five giveaways per item. I had three products. Let's just talk about the one. All right Then five per day for five days. That's twenty five units, right? We started to see that we gave away five and we'd have fifteen sales. We give away five and we'd have twelve sales.
We kind of knew that we were getting some organic sales and I was getting some pay-per-click and then some people will say, “How do you know how much pay-per-click you got compared to how many giveaways and then how much organic?” Well, you know that you gave away twenty five codes, you can see how many codes were used in your back end. You see that, number one. Number two, you have to wait until your pay-per-click is caught up for at least seven days and then you can go back and go okay, sixteen sales came from pay-per-click. All the rest came from organic.
[00:14:32] SV: That's kind of how you can reverse engineer and see exactly how that's happened. Like how your numbers kind of break down. Takes a little bit of time because you got wait that stuff out. Again, gave away the twenty five units over the next five days, the first five days. I turned pay-per-click on day one, I set up an auto campaign and then a suggested campaign. All right. We took the suggested keywords that they scraped my listing with and again this is another way for you to see how you are optimized and how you are set up inside of Amazon as far as how well your listing is optimized. If you turn on your pay-per-click campaign and then you want to run a suggested keyword against that you'll see all the keywords that you're showing up for or that they think that you should show up for.
If you're only showing up for two, well guess what, you've got an optimization problem. Right. This happened recently let's say probably about six months ago. We did a coaching call for our private label classroom and one of our students she actually, was only showing up for like three keywords. We asked her to look into her backend of keywords and we just wanted to see what she had in there. She showed us and we noticed that she had commas. We had her remove the commas and within that hour she was then showing up for I think like a hundred. It went from two to a hundred just by pulling up the commas. That's a great way. Even if you don't use the suggested keywords that they're giving you, at least it will show you that they're saying that you're relevant for those keywords. Hopefully that makes sense.
If you guys are brand new to pay-per-click or want to know kind of like some of the strategies that we've used, we have an episode that we've done. I say we, Chris Shaffer and I. Episode 119 was one that we recently did, fairly recent. 119 covers the new features that Amazon has given us which is just an easier way to target more specific keywords. They give you the broad term keywords, they give you the phrase and they give you the exact and they also give you the negative keywords. That's episode 119. The other episode you might want to check out is episode 78 and that was the ‘Seven big mistakes people make when using pay-per-click'. Definitely check those out, I'll drop them in the show notes for you as well. Now, again I turned out auto and suggested. That was it. I didn't even run any broad at that time.
Since then I have done some research, some investigative work and I stripped some keywords and put them into a broad campaign and I'm keeping those broad terms just to let me know what is triggering certain keywords and then I can see the exact searches that are being done by pulling that report. Again, I don't want to get too far over some people's heads but just understand that that's what you can do but at that point I didn't do that. I just did an auto campaign and suggested keyword campaign. I did two different campaigns. I set the budget if I recall at $25 per, I think I did a dollar per click. I didn't spend a dollar per click by the way. I was only spending between fifteen and sixty five cents. Something like that.
The SEOS has been really good now that I look back at it it's been over a week since we've done it. It's been a couple of weeks now. Some of the SEOS’s are as low as fifteen or twenty percent. Some I think were just under fifty but I'm okay with that. In the beginning you guys heard me talk about that before because it helps me rank organically. I just wanted to throw that out there.
[00:18:14] SV: Again, I used no keywords in the promo. What I mean by that is when we did that promo we used to create what they call is a keyword loaded URL. What we would do is we would type our keyword in and then we would do a search, we would find our listing even if it was on page ten. Would click on our listing and now in the URL the web address, we would have that search term as if someone searched for it. Okay. Then we would take that, we would put it in our promo and then when people would go and click on it to go over to our listing to use the coupon code it would act as though they searched for that keyword and it would give us a little bit if a bump in keyword ranking. Okay. That used to be the strategy.
I wanted to go away from that because I didn't want to rely that especially in this case. I wanted to see what happened. Well, I was surprised because it worked really well within four days we were ranking on page one for some pretty popular keywords. I believe it was at least ten, maybe even a few more. There was some more but they were on page two which again I think once we're back up and running we're going to be able to drive more sales going through those. Now, again, like I said this could be technically seasonal, this could probably, I would guess run through maybe the summer, it would start to taper off beginning of the summer but then it'll probably kick back up again in maybe going towards the fourth quarter.
I still think it'll get steady sales. I just don't think that this one here will have like twenty, thirty sales a day sales. I'm thinking this could potentially have… There are some that I'm looking at they're at six hundred or eight hundred or even thousand sales per month which is pretty crazy. Again, I'm just testing this, experimenting but so far so good sold a lot of the inventory in five days. We ranked on page one for ten keywords and the reason why I think it was easier was again because it was low competition. Okay. We were able to find a product that was under optimized, right. It was probably not keyword loaded in the back end. The listing definitely could use some help and for us we just did a very, very soft launch. Little promo and we were able to rank.
Now, even after I've been out of stock, I've noticed some of the keywords that have went down but there's still some of them I'm ranking on page one for. Even though I've ran out of stock. That's really exciting to me because once I get back in stock, I can start ranking again and even higher and even harder. Again, my strategy right now with this is to roll out more of these SKUs, test them test with two hundred, three hundred units and then if it works I'm going to ahead and reorder and probably then go five hundred or a thousand and then we can kind of play it by ear, but it's going to allow me to take more SKUs and add to the product line. All right.
I just wanted to again go through this because I think it's important but just understand that I'm still experimenting. Right. This is something I'm still experimenting with. Again, taking something that you can bring to market rather quickly and then from there seeing if it's worthwhile. Right. Before you go and make the large investment or the large order. It allows you to tweak pay-per-click and it helps you rank. It's a way for you to test without really putting a whole bunch of money up on the table. That's what I'm playing around with right now.
[00:21:44] SV: Again, like I said you can do this using Ali Express. We've seen people do that really successfully or they take and they buy $500 worth of inventory and then they launch it, they do a little bit pay-per-click. If they start to see it get traction then they go ahead they reorder, they rebrand, they modify, they modify their product and I probably should mention that too because I'll get people that'll say, “Well, Scott, yeah but if you re-modify it later what do you with the listing that you already created? It's not the same product?”
Well, what you do is you create a variation of that. Whenever you set up your listing you should always setting it up as variation whether you're going to use a variation or not. It won't show up unless you have inventory in there. What you want to do is you want to have that option because then what you can do is let that one run out that has the non-branded version but it's very similar. The next one could have a feature that you added to it or that you made it different or the packaging or whatever. Then you can have that one be the product now. So now, you just have another variation of the one that you started with. I hope that makes sense. That's a way to get around that if you're at all wondering how do I do this now that I've used the wholesale product and now I got it up and running, now I want to create my own version.
Well, you just do exactly what I just said. You then brand it as your own, you put it up on it's own variation and then you let the other one kind of sell out of stock and then you can just keep that other variation on there. You can even add other variations to it but that's a way that you can do that. I just want people to understand that it still doesn't have to be complicated. So many people want to come out of the gate and they want to spend five, ten thousand dollars because they want to get a ton of inventory so they can go ahead and really go all in. I don't think that you have to even at this stage of the game. I think that there's still opportunities out there for you to not have to go all in. Again like I was talking if you want to start selling more expensive products but you don't want to buy a hundred of something that could cost you 30, 40 bucks but you want to sell something that's selling for 70 or 80 bucks which I think is going to be something that I'm going to be looking into myself moving forward because the competition will even get less because there's less people that can do it, but it does take more capital.
You can do that by just whole-selling that and then from there being able to see what sells and what doesn't and then making that your own product. The people that are doing retail arb like you're able to test some multiple markets, and you're able to see what's selling, what people are attracted to, what people are wanting and then you can create a product that's similar to that without even having to create the product upfront. You can just sell other people's brands. Even major brands and then you can come in, as long as it's not brand driven, then you can go out there and make one similar or better. If you're selling a generic garlic press and you can see that people… And you're doing a retail arb deal and people are buying it, if you create your own and do your own marketing and do your own pay per click and stuff don't you think that you could probably sell one similar to it and maybe even make yours better?
[00:24:41] SV: It makes a lot of sense to me. So many people still want to over complicate the process and you don't have to. I just want to go back to Amazon is a great place to test and verify a product before you actually go and invest in doing this humongous order. That could be scary. You can go there and test and tweak and again, I just wanted to share with you this new experiment that I just did which seems to be doing fairly well right now. I will keep you updated, I will let you know how it's going. I'm pretty excited about this, I think it's going to be interesting and I'm going to learn from it as well. Hopefully in that process I can share with you exactly what I'm learning so you can hopefully do the same.
That is it. That is going to wrap up this episode. I did want to remind you guys about the transcripts and the show notes and the all that good stuff and if you guys are brand new, brand new and you guys are just tuning or maybe you are just getting your feet wet. If you guys want to attend one of my live workshops where I break down exactly how to find markets that you can sell products to, how to source products, how to do a launch, how to do promotion, a little bit of pay-per-click, that type of stuff. If you guys want to learn that stuff I do a live workshop and you can head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop you can register for an upcoming one. I also in there live to answer your Q&A, your live Q&A and I'll do a live Q&A. All you have to do is register and you'll get a few emails reminding you about the date and then from there we'll give you some downloads, some check lists and some really cool stuff.
I would love for you to attend if you're interested, if you just want to get your feet wet and see what this business model's all about in a little bit about detail, a little bit more visual, definitely register for an upcoming workshop. Guys, that is it, that's going to wrap it up. The show notes to this episode are at episode 204 so that's theamazingseller.com/204. Go check them out, download them, read them, do whatever you want to do with them, share them. Whatever you want they're yours and I just want to say again thanks so much for hanging out with me on another episode of the amazing seller podcast. I really do appreciate it and I'm wishing the best for you.
Remember I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm rooting for you but you have to you have to… Come on. Say it with me, say it loud, I know it's kind of silly but do it anyway, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day guys and I'll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/workshop – get into Scott’s free live workshop and Q&A.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.comm/185 , www.TheAmazingSeller.com/173 , www.TheAmazingSeller.com/101 – all episodes about launching products
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/171 – Jungle Scout interview
- www.JungleScout.com (affiliate link)
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/119 – Pay per Click strategies.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/78 – 7 big mistakes on Pay Per Click
- www.AliExpress.com – China sourcing in small quantities.
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