TAS 607 Ask Scott #189 – How to Launch Products Using PPC ONLY!

It’s that time of the week again, another session of Ask Scott here on The Amazing Seller! This is the place to get that extra push, so ecommerce sellers like you can go out there and build the business of your dreams! On this episode, you’ll hear from Scott and Chris as they explain how sellers can list a product on Amazon successfully without an email list. While they don’t recommend this as the best strategy, it’s helpful info for those of you who are ready to jump in. Don’t miss a minute of this informative episode from Scott and Chris!

Make sure to catch the TAS Breakthrough U deal!

What have you done lately to invest in your growth as a business leader? Have you been reading books on running a small business? Have you been investing in your personal growth and mindset? If you want to have an advantage over your competition, you’ve got to take the time to invest in your personal growth. One great way to do this is by taking advantage of the TAS Breakthrough U training deal. This special package of courses and resources is only available at a discounted rate until December 20th. What are you waiting for? Check out the link to this exclusive offer located in the resources section at the end of this post.

Launching with PPC only.

Can you launch a product on Amazon only using PPC? Yes, you can! Remember, if you are taking this route, you’ve got to have your margins dialed in. Don’t think you can jump in with razor thin margins and make a successful run. At the end of the day, Scott and Chris are not huge fans of this PPC only option. They’d rather see sellers like you diversify your methods in the event that one method fails, you have a backup plan in place. To hear the guys explain how you can make a PPC only campaign work, make sure to listen to this helpful episode of The Amazing Seller!

Be patient, these things take time.

Let’s face it; we live in a fast-paced society where everyone is trained to get what they want when they want it, which is usually right away. Is it fair to bring those same expectations to your ecommmerce business? According to Scott and Chris, the answer is no! As an ecommerce business owner, you’ve got to fight that impulse to move on from something when you don’t see immediate results. You are going to need a good helping of patience if you have any hope to see the strategy for your brand play out successfully. Learn more about this vital topic from Scott and Chris by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller; you don’t want to miss it!


  • [0:35] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [2:15] Why you need to check out the TAS Breakthrough U offer.
  • [4:30] Can you launch a product on Amazon using PPC only?
  • [7:45] Tips for successfully launching a product with just PPC.
  • [13:15] How to set up your PPC campaign budget.
  • [16:00] Using the right keywords.
  • [21:30] Give your campaign time to succeed!


Resources Banner2


TAS 607: Ask Scott #189 – How to Launch Products Using PPC ONLY!


[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This episode is 607 and session number 189 of Ask Scott. This is where I answer your questions here on the podcast and I do it every single week. I'm going to do it again here today. I've actually invited…

[read more=”Read full transcript…” less=”Read less”]

Click Here to Download Transcript <<

…on a good friend of mine, out of our TAS power team and that is Mr. Chris Shaffer is with us. So Chris, what's going on man?

[00:00:28] Chris: Not a whole a lot man. And by that I mean a whole heck of a lot because as we're recording this we're in the middle of Q4 and just trying to keep everything sane feeling here until Christmas. As we're recording this we're watching our stuff fly off the shelves which is good. But then you always have that little nagging voice in the back of your head making you wonder if you ordered enough. I think we did this year. I think we nipped that in the bag this year but we'll see. We still got a few weeks here of stuff as we roll even into January.

And so I'm curious to see that number tick up in terms of revenue that we've collected and see that number continue to stay at zero of lost sales this year. That's my goal is to keep that number as close to zero as possible. And as far away from, what was it, like somewhere on the $100,000 last year. So as far from that number and as close to zero as we can get is what I'm trying to focus on for the next few weeks.

[00:01:28] Scott: Yeah absolutely and guys, normally I do these solo but I invited Chris on today because our topic today is going to be wrapped around in good old pay-per-click or sponsored product ads. And a question came in and it's come in a bunch of different times, especially when people are trying to launch their products and they don't have a list or they want to know if they have to have a list or what's the new way and so someone said, ‘Can I launch my products using pay-per-click only?'

So Chris and I are going to go through this strategy on how you can do that but we're going to talk about the pros and cons and talk about the things you must have in place even before you think on turning on that good old fashioned pay-per-click. Now before we do jump into that, depending on when you're listening to this episode, we're in the middle of December. And before the 20th December 20th 2018 that is we still have the doors open to TAS Breakthrough You which we’re going to be closing on the 20th.

Now, why that's a big deal is because we have never opened it to the public like we've done before. It's always been a part of our trainings and now we're switching back to that and while we're doing that we're actually creating a brand new course. And it is going to be taking the place of Private Label Classroom. It's going to be that but then so much more. It's the framework to building a successful e-commerce business and brand in 2019. Now, if you're listening to this before the 20th, here's what I want you to do if you're interested in joining us inside of that beta program that will be released very soon after the new year.

And that is theamazingseller.com/training. And that will take you to that page. Now if you're listening to this after the fact, you can still go there, sign up for the wait list and we'll let you know when it's available. But right now, we're going to be doing this a full out course, a brand new from ground up like we're building it from scratch and we're taking everything we've learned from the past three and a half years of building our own businesses but also helping other people do the same. And with Amazon changing, all the different platforms changing, traffic, all that stuff we're going to be taking all that into consideration when we're teaching this.

[00:03:33] Scott: And I'm really excited about it. So guys, if you're interested head on over to theamazingseller.com/training. Get all the details over there. Now, if you have a question for me and you want me to answer on an upcoming Ask Scott session all you have to do is head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do it there. The other way you can do is head to the YouTube channel at theamazingsellertv.com and you can always comment over there as well.

All right Chris, now that I got that all out of the way which is a mouthful but is a lot of stuff that we want to cover here, I'm not even going to give you guys my weekly thoughts other than get out there and make something happen and take action stuff waiting on the sidelines. Like that's it, let's kind of jump right to it because I want to get to this question and I want people to be able to apply this if they are interested. So let's kind of kick things off Chris. Let me ask you this, can you launch a product on Amazon only when you're starting and use pay-per-click to do so?

[00:04:26] Chris: Yes.

[00:04:27] Scott: Okay. Good. Bye, great day. Beautiful. Thank you so much.

[00:04:30] Chris: That's the answer. Yes but I was going to say, it depends. The answer is you absolutely can do this. My disclaimer that I will throw out is that I never like to be dependent on a single source of anything. So obviously when we are first starting we have to pick and choose kind of the avenues that we want to do down. I would prefer to launch with a list and with pay-per-click but you can launch just with a list, you can launch just with pay-per-click and believe it or not Scott, in some cases you can launch just by putting the product up still.

You got to find a really uncompetitive category for that to happen in. But it's still possible. We've listed some products and gotten a few organics sales that we have no idea where they came from just because the product was there. And we were getting ready to launch. But if you want to launch just with PPC I would say Scott, the first and foremost thing that we have to in mind and I would throw this out for any launch that we're going to do is what is our margin?

And how comfortable are we launching either at break even or at a loss? What is that point where we start to freak out because we need to know that number in advance of running PPC so we can start to determine as we walk our way through this process, what's working what's not working for us? Does that make sense?

[00:05:44] Scott: It does. I want to take it a different way here. I want to spin this a little bit differently. So let's just say for example that we've done all that work as far as like the margin, we've got all that stuff dialed in. Here's my thoughts. We often talk about we need to get sales, we need to match the sales of competition if there's competition in order to rank. That's first and foremost. We need to understand that principle still applies. Like we have to make sure that we understand that. So with that being said the very first thing that I want people to be aware of is that when you're choosing your products, inside of your in your business and in your brand you need to make sure that A you've looked at those numbers that you're going to competing with.

So that is the magic number. And a little extra would be nice. And then the other thing is if you can get there and even if like you say Chris, your margins are just okay with pay-per-click but if you get there and organic traffic takes over, your margins get better obviously because you can do less pay-per-click if you want. But if the only goal is to get ranked and then let off the gas which I'm not a fan of but if you were, I believe you could do that if again, the front end work was done, I believe that you could do that.

The only risk is you don't have good margins is that if all you're doing is depending on that, that's risky because if you have to keep fueling pay-per-click which I would like you to then you want those margins to be solid. Does that make sense Chris?

[00:07:12] Chris: No, I absolutely 100% agree with that.

[00:07:15] Scott: So let's talk about that. Let's talk about when you're looking at a product because a lot of people you know they are like yeah, I want to launch this thing using pay-per-click I don't want to take the time now to build a list, which you should be by the way but if you're not and you wanted to do this A, you need to know how many sales you need to make. Chris what would you say if you're just using pay-per-click and you wanted to get your product ranked, what is… I don't want to say easy or what is some numbers that you would like to see in a product sales?

Is it ten a day, is a hundred a day? Like where do you see that?

[00:07:50] Chris: If we were trying to launch just with PPC obviously it's easier to compete and to do this type of a launch in those lower competition products which are the products you and I tend to go after. Anyway, at least up front when we're telling people here's how you get started. Once you have an established, you have a list, you have all those things you can go after the 50 or 100 unit-a-day products if you want to. Once you have that like wall chest of capital built up.

If we're launching just with PPC we want to be on that lower end and when we say lower end we're not talking one or two a day Scott, we're talking like 10 to 15 sales a day on average range and that's completely doable with just PPC as long as you're spending your money wisely. I would also say the other half of that would be the reviews. We don’t want products with tens of thousands of reviews because it's going to be a lot harder for us to be in the eyes of the consumers. This is something that a lot of people always mix up about reviews Scott.

It's that they’re like, oh I need to have thousands of reviews to help increase my conversion rate. Well, there's a kind of a limiting return there. But if everybody else has thousands of reviews and we have zero, if we're showing up on that page it's much less likely that someone will even click through the listing which is the concern that we have upfront when we're trying to launch with pay-per-click. So, this works a lot better in the lower competition markets both in terms of reviews and in terms of daily sales on average.

[00:09:08] Scott: Those are two big points. So again, before we even get to the launch of pay-per-click, if you want to go down that route you need to do this homework first. And that is finding the products that are selling between ten and twenty a day somewhere in that range. And then from there you want to make sure that you’re not going up against 350 to 500 reviews on every single one. Now if there's a few there outliers that's fine.

Here was something that I really love that one of our inner circle members had said, Rich Gable. He had said, ‘My test always is to take my product, no reviews, throw some pay-per-click at it and if I get a few sales I know I've got a good product here. I know I might not have to go and really play with that review game all that much.' And I think that's important because it’s a quick test that you can run. Now if you're not converting yet, there could be other things that we can talk about those.

But a good straight test is that someone searching for a stainless-steel garlic press and you have a stainless steel garlic press you can show up on pay-per-click and you can get a sale without any reviews, pretty good sign. Let's talk a little bit about optimization before we get into the actual pay-per-click strategy. What's your, I guess if you're coaching someone which I know that we do but if you're coaching me what are you going to tell me to do before I actually run any pay-per-click?

[00:10:24] Chris: Well the first thing you have to do is you have your listing set up properly. And you were just mentioning something that I think clearly ties into this Scott, which is if we have a stainless steel garlic press we should show up for stainless steel garlic press. There's kind of a catch 22 on Amazon because of the way they run pay-per-click. Amazon's goal is to have you show up for relevant terms for the consumer. So we have to make sure that our listing is optimized for the keywords that are most relevant to the product.

Now, this should be part of your listing creation process regardless of how you are launching. But it's super critical when you start to run PPC. If we're not in the right sub-category, if we don't have the right keywords in the title and we don't have those in the description or the backend, if we're not making sure that we're optimized for the things that people will search for to find our product. Chances are PPC is either not going to work at all, we're just not going to show up, or it's going to cost us more because Amazon sees us as less relevant.

So we want to make sure that that listing is as optimized as is possible. At least from a text perspective. Now, Scott when we talk about doing this up front obviously we're always going to learn lessons we go along. You and I still make changes to our listings today. We have photos that we change. We have titles that we change. We have all these things that we change. But up front we're trying to make our best guess. So we're going to take a look at the titles of those competitors, we're going to take a look at the titles of the people who are already showing up at PPC. and make sure that we have those same main keywords or phrases.

That stainless steel garlic press type of stuff in our title, in our back end wherever it makes sense for us to put it.

[00:11:53] Scott: No, I love that. It's really the basics. It's like those are the basic building blocks of a listing and you need to make sure that those are in line. One issue I just want say that I've heard some people saying is that they're targeting these certain keywords and they are not getting any impressions. And that could be a problem of like you say Chris, wrong category, so they're not going to show you up no matter how much money you spend or it just could be the listing is not clearly indexing for those terms.

So, those are two things to look at and really to make sure that you dial that stuff in from the beginning. So definitely make sure that.

[00:12:32] Chris: Just as a disclaimer, like there is a point… And we always threw out the example like when we talk about keywords versus search terms in pay-per-click. It's like you might show up for bench press. It's probably not going to happen because Amazon will say, well bench press isn't relevant to a garlic press. No matter how much you bid, we use this ridiculous example but if it's not relevant I can bid $100 per click and Amazon isn't going to show me because they know it's not relevant to the customers.

So we have to make sure that we are indexed and that we are optimized for the things that we know are driving sales for our competition.

[00:13:01] Scott: Yeah, yeah. That's good. Okay, let's move on here now. Let's get into pay-per-click. So if we are going to set up campaign or a couple of campaigns where should we start to get immediate traction that we want to rank for. And there's a couple of different areas I want to go in here. There's the auto campaign, there's a manual campaign that you can do in a broad or phrase or an exact. And then there's a straight up exact. And I've got a couple of feelings on this but I kind of want to get your take.

Are we going to set up an auto campaign from day one?

[00:13:36] Chris: Yes.

[00:13:37] Scott: Okay. Now… Go ahead. What do you want to say?

[00:13:41] Chris: I was taking a breath because I knew you were…

[00:13:41] Scott: Okay. I thought you were ready to give me something else. All right, so you're going to set up an auto campaign. What does that look like as far as budget, how aggressive are you going to get with that?

[00:13:53] Chris: I was going to give us some guidelines for bids. But I would say start at least $1. Start at least in the suggested range that Amazon is giving you. And then set it to $20/$25 a day to start. If you want to be more aggressive you can absolutely be more aggressive. The thing that's going to happen is you're going to spend more. If you give Amazon $100 a day they're going to try and spend it. But you'll get the data back a little bit faster. I typically like to fall somewhere in the middle which is that $20/$25 a day.

Feels pretty comfortable. That way we don’t just lose our shirt day one if something tragically goes wrong. So $20/$25 a day on that type of a campaign, typically is pretty comfortable. And if you think about it, if we're getting $1 per click, that means we're getting 25 people to the listing that day. That doesn't seem like a ton but if we're converting at the standard, what we call a kind of the baseline conversion rate on Amazon which is 10%. Scott what's 10% of 25. I like putting you on the spot to do math.

[00:14:49] Scott: Why do you do this to me?

[00:14:51] Chris: It’s 2.5 people. Let's just call it two. So that would generate us..

[00:14:54] Scott: Chris always tries to make me look dumb.

[00:14:56] Chris: No. I just want to see how good you are a businessman. I'm terrible at math too. So its fine. The real reason I do that is so that I have time to think of the answer. Two and a half people so let's call it two.

[00:15:08] Scott: Hold on a minute, let me do the math on my calculator.

[00:15:12] Chris: So we're going to have at least two to three sales a day if we're under-optimized, we're right around that like baseline, bottom line what I would consider to be an okay conversion rate. That's what I would consider to be like the baseline where you should be converting on Amazon. If we’re converting at 15% to 20% and obviously we're going to be at four, five sales a day.

[00:15:37] Scott: So that's like your base. Now here's the thing that I've been kind of experimenting with and we have really and you can… Again, how aggressive you want to get. If you just want to do a quick test and see, I like this test here and I want your thoughts here on it Chris. I know we’ve played around with it. In the very beginning we only want people that are finding our product and are looking for that product. Like people that are searching for a stainless steel garlic press we want to show up for that.

Now, we don't not necessarily want to show up for, which we might make some sales for stainless steel garlic press accessory kit or something. We don't necessarily… Or accessories for garlic. We don't want to necessarily show up for that day one. Because it's not 100% what they are searching for. If they came across it, if they are searching for that could they want it? Yeah, because it's related to garlic. I get that. What I'd like to do and we have done this and it's worked pretty darn well is where we are going after the exact term, five keywords, maybe ten and finding these long tail type keywords.

So stainless steel garlic press versus just garlic press. You're going to bid less. It's also more direct so if someone looks for it, they find it, they are most likely interested in what you have to sell. So your conversion would be higher. And the reason why this is important in the beginning is for a couple of different reasons. Your conversion rate should be higher. If it's not then there's probably an issue with your listing or your images or that type of… Or something on your listing as far as optimization goes.

So that would tell me that but what I'd like to do and I've done this is go into the keyword tool inside of the web app inside of Jungle Scout. They've got all the data now being pulled from Amazon.

[00:17:41] Scott: So I can look at the exact match and the broad match. And the broad match is just telling me like there's this trigger word here or this keyword or search term or keyword actually, that one wouldn't be necessarily be a search term. That one there is triggering these other ones that possibly could be being searched for. So they're kind of like throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what actually sticks.

I'd rather look at the exact term at this point and get one that is precisely what they are looking for. Five to ten of those. And we've done it and the numbers have just been crazy. Even though it might only get 500 impressions, the conversions are like through the freaking roof. Like I think there was one, it was small. It might have gotten like 300 impressions in like a few days. And it got like two sales. I'm like, ‘Holy crap. Like insane.' Not a lot of traffic but you find more of those then it can help you.

But my point is go after those long tail at first and try those. It's up to you if you want to put them in the broad. You can do that, fine. I would personally start with an exact match, throw a whole bunch of money at that like that. Like I said a whole bunch like 25 bucks and have it only go to those keywords if they're exactly searched for. Have your auto running too. That's kind of how I'd like to see it out of the gate. And then I would adjust. And then I would say, wait a minute here. There's this one here, it’s getting a lot of impressions. I'm getting some sales.

Let me do that in the broad. Or let me do that in a phrase. What's your thoughts on that Chris?

[00:19:04] Chris: So I still like having the auto set up and use that filter approach that we've talked about in the past. But now that we know some of the keyword data from inside of Amazon because they're giving us some of those numbers now, through their API, we can do this exact strategy where we're picking some of the long tail and the keyword here, and I shouldn't probably use that. The key thing to remember here is that we're talking about long tail terms. And when we say long tail we mean they contain multiple words.

So stainless steel long handled garlic press. We only want to put those into exact. And the reason that we're doing that is because we only show up for those. The rest of it, the other 900,000 search terms that might come out of when somebody types in garlic press as our keyword we don't want to try to put all of those into an exact campaign. That's what the auto campaign is for, that will tell us what we're working there and what’s not. Some of the longer tail stuff that we can find through Keyword Explorer or any of those kind of tools we can immediately drop in and see if it works for us.

Now, Scott the only other thing that I would tell people to do if you're going to do this strategy is take that same list of keywords that you have in your exact match campaign and make sure you add them as exact negatives in the auto campaign. You don't want to just be showing up for both. It's just going to screw up your data. You're not going to bet against yourself which is something we get asked all the time. But it is going to split up the data inside your reports and make it a little bit harder to kind of understand and determine exactly what's working and what's not.

[00:20:27] Scott: Yeah, I love that. And that's exactly again, I think the great point there is exactly you want to go after in the beginning. It's so important that your conversion isn't like crap. And in order to get that conversion to be the best that it possibly can be is to only show up for when people are searching for exactly what they’re looking for. Hopefully your listing is well optimized. Then the auto will actually do a very good job of doing that as well. It's only going to target those ones that they feel are going to convert well because they have the data of stuff that's converted.

And yours is a good match. So that's how that's done. So Chris, is there anything else you want to add on this. I know I don't usually go this long on the Ask Scotts but it definitely I think is worth doing this because it's so important to understand that there's ways to do it but you have to make sure that that front end stuff is done properly to make sure that you can do the pay-per-click launch.

[00:21:23] Chris: There is one other thing I wanted to throw out. And that is, give it time.

[00:21:29] Scott: Ahh, yes. How much time?

[00:21:31] Chris: At least seven to days before you start to freak out. That's why I'm saying don't set that budget to $100. Because spending $700 to $1,000 before we start to try optimize gives us a little bit of heart palpitations. But if we're spending that $20 to $25 a day, five to ten days, seven to ten days is really a good range. And the best thing that you can do for your mental health is to not even look at it for those five to ten days.

[00:22:03] Scott: Yeah, just let it go. Just absolutely let it go. All right, cool. So let's go ahead and wrap this thing up. Again guys if you have any questions you want to ask, all you have to do is head over to themazingseller.com/ask and you can do so there. All right, let's wrap this up with the call to action that if you guys are interested in joining us in our beta program which we haven't even really released the name as of yet, we may have but we are not airing it here today. But if you're interested probably we'll have it there when you go over to this page, theamazingseller.com/training.

And you can learn all the details there about our new training that is going to go through all of the different aspects to building a full-fledged brand and business that is future proof to take you from 2019 and way into the future. So Chris I'm going to wrap this thing up the style that I normally do. Are you ready to do it with me today?

[00:23:04] Chris: I am.

[00:23:05] Scott: All right, let's do it. Guys, remember I'm here for you. I believe in you and I'm rooting for you but you have to, you have… Come on. Say it with me, say it loud, say it proud… Come on Chris. On the count of three. One, two, three… ‘Take action.' Well that was delayed. Let's do that one more time. One, two, three. ‘Take action.'  That was still off.

All right, guys just go out there and take some action. We're going to work on this take action thing. All right guys, have an awesome amazing day and I'll see you right back here on the next episode.


Click Here to Download Transcript <<

[/read] [divider]



NEW To The Blog and Podcast?

I created a Page Just for You called…START HERE!

If you enjoyed this episode share the love with your friends…Click To Tweet the show.

Subscribe To Be The First To Receive Updates and NEW Podcast Episodes

Join the discussion

More from this show