311: Nick Shackelford On How To Scale An Ecommerce Business With Ads

311: Nick Shackelford On How To Scale An Ecommerce Business With Ads

Today I’m happy to have Nick Shackelford on the show. Nick runs Structured Social which is a company that specializes in the growth of ecommerce brands. He is a master of paid media, has spent over 85 million on Facebook and pioneered well-known products like the fidget spinner.

In this episode, we’re going to discuss how he scales ecommerce brands with paid advertising.

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What You’ll Learn

  • How Nick got started with advertising
  • How to spend millions of dollars on Facebook ads
  • The difference between a good media buyer and a bad one
  • How to make ads to sell boring mundane products

Other Resources And Books


Postscript.io – Postscript.io is the SMS marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store. Postscript specializes in ecommerce and is by far the simplest and easiest text message marketing platform that I’ve used and it’s reasonably priced. Click here and try Postscript for FREE.

Klaviyo.com – Klaviyo is the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store. Created specifically for ecommerce, it is the best email marketing provider that I’ve used to date. Click here and try Klaviyo for FREE.

EmergeCounsel.com – EmergeCounsel is the service I use for trademarks and to get advice on any issue related to intellectual property protection. Click here and get $100 OFF by mentioning the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast.

Emerge Counsel


Steve: You’re listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast the place where I bring on successful bootstrap business owners and delve deeply into the strategies, they use to grow their businesses.Today I have my buddy Nick Shackelford on the show and Nick probably spends more on Facebook ads than most people that I know and in this episode we’re going to discuss how to use ads and influencers to quickly scale an e-commerce brand.

But before we begin I want to thank PostScript.io for sponsoring this episode. Now if you run an e-commerce business of any kind, you know how important it is to own your customer contact list. And this is why I’m focusing a significant amount of my efforts on SMS marketing. I sincerely believe that SMS or text message marketing is going to be a huge channel for my store going forward and I have chosen PostScript.io to be my text provider. Now why PostScript? it’s because they specialize in e-commerce stores and e-commerce is their primary focus and not only is it easy to use but you can quickly segment your audience based on your exact sales data and implement automated flows like an abandoned cart at the push of a button. Not only that it’s priceable too and you only pay for the messages that you actually send. So head on over to PostScript.io/Steve and try it for free. That’s postscript.io/Steve.

I also want to thank Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode. Now, it’s safe to say that most of us have been doing more online shopping lately. And if you’re an e-commerce brand, that means you might be seeing more first time customers, but once they made that first purchase, how do you keep them coming back? Well, that’s What Klaviyo is for. Klaviyo is the ultimate email and SMS marketing platform for e-commerce Brands. It gives you the tools to build your contact list. Send memorable emails automate key messages and more a lot more and that’s why more than 30,000 e-commerce Brands like Chubbies Brooklyn and Livingproof use Klaviyo to build a loyal following. Strong customer relationships mean more repeat sales enthusiastic word of mouth and less depending on third-party ads. So whether you’re launching a new business or taking your brand to the next level Klaviyo can help you grow faster and it is free to get started. Visit Klaviyo.com/mywife to create a free account. That’s Klaviyo.com/mywife. Now on to the show.

Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle. So you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here’s your host Steve Chou.

Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. Today, I’m happy to have Nick Shackleford on the show. Now Nick is someone who was introduced to me by Ezra Firestone and I am super glad that he did Nick runs structured social which is a company that specializes in the growth of e-commerce Brands and he is a master of paid media. He spent over 85 million bucks on Facebook and he pioneered well-known products like the fidget spinner. He’s also known for helping one of his clients clear 10.7 million dollars in sales in just 35 days with online Ads and besides as agency Nick also runs an event called geek out LA which I had the pleasure of attending.

And it had some of the best content that had ever seen at an event. He’s also going to be a speaker at the seller Summit 2020 over in Fort Lauderdale on May 6, and I’m really looking forward to having him there. Anyway today we’re going to talk about scaling e-commerce brands with paid advertising and with that welcome to show Nick. How are you doing today Man?

Nick: Yeah. I’m doing well, it’s funny because I know sometimes you work from an office and at home. I’m obviously at my home right now. Nobody is allowed into LA and that’s a little bit of an overstatement. But I told my entire Team “guys, just do not come in” work from home. This is it just going to know on Italy they’re shutting everything down. So I’m very thankful that we’re obviously a little bit more ahead of the time. So things are all good on our end, but just working.

Steve: Yeah. Absolutely man. So hey Nick for people who don’t know who you are. Give us the quick background story. Tell us how you got started with Facebook ads, start from the beginning.

Nick: I’ll go I’ll go as far as back as relevant. So before I jump into paid media everybody that’s kind of like the court at the round is like the internet doesn’t discriminate and that’s I think that’s an absolute fact. So I was actually a professional soccer player and I realized if you’re in America and you play a professional sport the last sport you should play if you want to make any real money is a lacrosse, but right close behind it is going to be soccer, man. I realize it was definitely a Boyhood dream to do that. But as soon as Understood how expensive it is to live in Orange County / La I realized quickly. I needed to Pivot.

So in 2013-2015, I achieve my dream of playing professionally. And as soon as I realized what student loans were after I graduated from st. Louis. So I am an Orange County kid graduated from the Missouri st. Louis. And as soon as I jumped out of professional sports, I walked right into what I like to call a millennial consultancy. So I break it down. I did date myself. So I am a 90s kid. And through and through but what I realized was a lot of these individuals were Shifting the purchase power. I purchase power for us were how do we get and this was specifically for Pepsi. So as Pepsi was trying to grab all these new parents that are having young kids coming to their shops.

How will we able to communicate with them? And how can we promote at the time was there syrup because Pepsi they have the bottles and the syrup side. I was on the syrup side at a restaurants. How do we develop campaigns to get more Millennials into the doors? That’s where I spent my time and I’m a young kid sitting at the table with a lot of old veteran male marketers a couple of females there and it just for whatever reason as anything I said, they’re like, well that’s interesting. Let’s dive into that more and little by little we started doing our own. This is one of the organic Facebook side, but we are producing videos pictures incentivizing them to share that was probably at the time where Facebook really cared about organic reach, but that was my fairy first I knew it Facebook was and obviously I’m a MySpace kid, but Facebook, I got to enjoy it as a college kid and be a little bit as my career started.

Steve: Cool. And so how did that evolve into physical products?

Nick: Oh actually went right into the second opportunity where a woman named Rachel gave me that first nod at Pepsi that’s on the organic side. There wasn’t really any real play there unless I wanted to go corporate which they would have sent me to New York when my lady was like no. Sorry, baby. Do that you’re gone forever. So let me quickly me to Pivot into Performance Marketing. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it. I was little bit spoiled. So the very first brand I got to work on was Apple. So this is something that I love love talking about. The only KPI I ever had was how cheap we can get the views.

Steve: They didn’t care about conversion and return on ad spend or anything like that?

Nick: Nothing nothing. So you think about this is when Apple Tim Cook just announced a lot of the new push. Was moving away from traditional media into paid media and we’re talking launching the iPhone, the Iwatch, the iPad Pro we were running the same exact spots on TV with millions of dollars to spend across a pack Let’em , the UK North America South America. Look we were just dropping budgets. And this is how we did it. We would choose in back with a we have the Rachel frequency tool and you choose how many dollars would it take to make sure that we hit every single person in that country.

That was the budgets. So we, I learned very very quickly like oh my gosh what I think it broke a limiting belief of what money meant because I grew up modest like parents divorced fairly really early. My mom was a front office. My dad was an HVAC guy and I was like, oh I’m gonna be destined to be after he plays sports equipment going to be a college coach or a high school coach. And as soon as I saw these dollars in Facebook and learned how much money was being spent that was it for me. I knew there was Money to be found

Steve: that’s ridiculous. Are we talking like hundreds of millions of dollars here?

Nick: Easily, every single campaign to be launched a penny on the country. Now, you don’t need millions of millions of dollars to Target all of turkey, but for those larger markets like you’re definitely spending upwards of 10 to 50 million dollars.

Steve: Hahaha. Oh my God, that is so ridiculous. So so how did that stint at Apple lead to fidget Spinners?

Nick: Oh, okay, so there is no congruence. But the only main part was at the time I was building my relationship with their partner who’s fairly silent on a lot of the socials. But his name is Jake Schmidt, and he we don’t each other for about seven years now. He’s about five years younger than me. So I’m 29 is a little bit younger and he hit me was like, hey Nick, I’ve been trying to push this thing through influencers and I saw trendy because back in the day if you were on Instagram early and people are doing like these growth Bots are follow for follow like for like trying to grow big as they can. Jake just happened to be followed and liked by a brand that was selling 3D printed Bridget Spinners, and he was like, what is this?

And at the time there was a likes to grab was a bunch of these tools out there and he just kept following back and he ended up finding that you can buy a bunch of these fidget Spinners from China and we ourselves can sell them and they were 3D printing of the quote is kind of low and as soon as he found it Feels Alright, how do we fix this? So we did our very first influencer camping before we knew how that was kind of working out with a gentleman who did a wall sit and if you Look at the brand digitally on Instagram. It’s still alive and still definitely living and there’s a very first image of a man doing I would say he’s like an older team doing a wall sit as long as the fidget spinner spins and I couldn’t tell you why this worked but I think it was just the first time I was been it’s been done for that product and these kids went wild

Steve: and that led to like millions of dollars of sales right for your fidget spinner.

Nick: It would have.

Steve: Oh it would have. Okay.

Nick: What did we understand, understood two things, so Jake at the time goes ahead you run paid media. I was running Facebook already for Apple. So I knew the buttons and you were to click we’re getting $2 to $4 conversions on a 40, 35 dollar product.

Steve: That’s ridiculous. How? how? how? how?

Nick: We had two major angles in, we definitely dealt with the trouble when at the time but we are taking a the ADD and ADHD angle stop the fidgeting, right? So we showed a main video that’s definitely still up there of a kid tapping. We still the problem like that at its core in hindsight. We definitely weren’t smart enough to do this at the time, but we were showing the problem tapping our feet clicker pencils biting our nails and then we said like those solution was our fridges, right?

Steve: So you’re talking to parents at the time?

Nick: We thought we were talking to parents and that was probably one of our bigger issues of how we couldn’t scales because the kids that we were communicating or we were creating content for kids, but the kids had no money.

Steve: Hmm Okay.

Nick: So the sort of seeing it in engaging the liking and sharing but we had to convince mom and dad to make that purchase. So then we went a little bit Upstream of do you want a little bit of your free time back? How do you get the kids from stop bugging or fidget you put them put them to bed make them quiet grab our toy. Well the issue with that is and I don’t know how this kind of got viral but we ran into our first time we found out what Chinese New Year meant meaning nothing in nothing out and we continue to sell and that was the first time that we had in our experience. And again, I was a soccer player. This is not my path that Jake was obviously trying to start products has as this is but this was the first success one we ever launched.

It was very difficult to know how to respond and keep the consistency of tone that we know now there’s tools out the Wazoo to use but try DMing 13, 14, 15 year old people and then deal with the parents and they’re not having credit cards. It was it was wild

Steve: is that ultimately what made you shut that down or?

Nick: We will go too deep into why we ended up giving up a majority of the company to someone looking to help us as though we thought at the time and took the company into a direction which in hindsight was not the right direction. He wanted to create a connected fidget spinner device. Which I still currently have in my car, but just with that phrase alone. Do you think people needed a connected fidget spinner?

Steve: Are you implying like there’s an app and you can control it through the app or something like that? Is that?

Nick: absolutely

Steve: okay interesting.

Nick: So at the time we knew it was a trend right? fidget. It was it was the yo-yo I call it. That was a yo-yo of the time and that’s why I still love it because it’s a very relevant and I always like to make the joke that if it wasn’t for us Toys R Us would have went down much quicker

Steve: ha ha ha

Nick: because it wasn’t they were the number one order like them Target. Bed, Bath and Beyond and Best Buy were the ones who wants to buy it and so We did a good we had a great little run. I realized real quick two things. I rather scale and solve the problem then develop the product and that’s kind of where Jake and I’ve kind of found his Niche and kind of what we’re talking about today is how was I able to start a product making good, A little bit of my money and why don’t I just continue to go make products? Well, I’ll tell anybody until I’m blue in the face. If you have no idea what you want to do or be or grow up to do join an agency because you’re gonna learn two things really quick.

One, you’re going to learn how to work with people and to you’re going to learn the industry that you like the most.

Steve: Okay

Nick: And that’s it.

Steve: So you have no desire well, at least at the moment to start a physical products brand because that’s not your expertise or?

Nick: So, Correct from the start I have no desire to start a brand but I have a lot and lot of desire to partner with those that have a great product. So that and that’s kind of where we are today is I I’d rather not spend and my genius or my ability to scale build a company in areas that aren’t perfect for me. Meaning, if you come to the products and you have no brand identity of no proven sales. You have no converting page to be very difficult for me to implement what I know because minimum the Brand’s we work with are spending a hundred two hundred three hundred thousand dollars a month.

Steve: Okay. So Nick, I know you work with a lot of Brands today. And what I was hoping to do is maybe get your opinion on a strategy. Let’s say for a company that might make like mid six figures maybe low seven figures or do you work with those types of companies?

Nick: Absolutely.

Steve: All right.

Nick: Those are all of the brands that have two things that we like one, they’re probably small enough to implement a lot of the tactics that are more direct response and the not so super establishing their brand that they’re not willing to take more of a direct response direct-to-consumer play and they’re also going like there’s some things that are working. There’s some angle there are some product they definitely have viability.

Steve: Okay. So let’s just start. I know I know you worked with a bunch of Brands. So let’s start the so let’s say a company comes up to you and says, hey we need help on the media buying end. What do you begin? What questions do you ask? How do you get started?

Nick: Great question. I usually try to ask them. Okay, what are your margins were working. Why is that important to me? Because when every person comes into me, I think I actually wrote this email today. I asked them I didn’t ask them. What’s your advertising budget? I go how much are you willing to invest in marketing? That was only what you can frame this because right now it’s investment and learning and what direction you should take your problems. Why I believe that is because right now Facebook is still the only tool that can give you enough learning and understanding and control over the direction of your product.

But it still takes time to figure it out because there’s a lot of variables price point, the conversion rate and the quality of traffic. So those three very high level the buckets. You need to be pulling on a levers, the bucket you need to be feeling of the leveraging to be pulling.

Steve: So what would you say that the necessary margins would have to be and what would you want the average order value to be for example?

Nick: so thank you for being the second part up. So second part would be AOB so I need the margins to be no, no less than 25% I need my AOB to be at least 50 to $60.

Steve: So margins are you talking about net margins or gross?

Nick: Correct, Net because on average. Say, more brands, I’ll say oh say more Brands and I like to say is don’t invest up to 30% of their marketing spend. So I’ll remember that so A brand that is looking to grow needs to be investing at least 30 percent of their gross revenue into marketing to continue to grow it. So if we’re able to know that they have at least 25 to 30% Margin. It’s a wash and we can continue investing to me that if the product is good enough that repurchased rates going to come through.

Steve: All right, so their gross margins are like 66 percent. That means they’re still making a third they spend 1/3 and advertising it cost them a third and then they make it third so that sounds about right?

Nick: Yes, and then we can continue to invest because now we know that this product is a has a little bit of repurchase rate built into it, which is why I love baby products, Beauty products, consumables, pet specific products those products that already have a way of this is eventually going to run out. I just need to make sure that they enjoy this experience as much as possible. So they don’t have to pay to reacquire them.

Steve: So let me ask you this are there types of product that just won’t work like mundane commodity products are those generally not going to work?

Nick: well to this one one that I’m active investor in one that I love thoroughly. It’s called Miraclebrand.co one that you know of

Steve: yes, because I just saw the ads for and I thought they were excellent. So let’s talk about that one a little bit actually so describe what the product is.

Nick: Absolutely. It’s a miracle brand is a silver technology sheet and towel. Now you’re going like okay. Why is that important? Hm microbial. It’s a lot fresher for longer. You have to wash it as much I can eat as many USPS as possible. Right? Well, I started doing a little bit of research. I love this for two reasons. One, The team behind it are great Founders. Two, The Branding is beautiful and three, the creativity that you can have with this is unlimited right? Who needs to wash their clothes often kids are going to college. Maybe you’re a bachelor. Maybe you’re a single mother. Or maybe you’re too busy. Maybe your are a nanny.

There’s so many different angles you can take with this product, but we didn’t realize that that time is what’s the frequency in which someone’s buying this product multiple times. So now we have an issue of LTV and AOV and repeat purchase rate. Now our average cost that we’re selling a great bundle for about 170. Okay our average I think on any day is between $100 and $200 depending on how much you’re spending on ads and it’s tough because we know we’re not getting that repeat purchase rate as much as we need to. On average it’s six months to a year because you’re not refreshing towels.

Steve: Right. So let me ask you this. Then when you’re talking about your ad spend do you factor into account the lifetime value of the product when it comes to what your return on ad spend that you’re looking for?

Nick: We try to we try to now it’s not a perfect science because I think there’s too many tools and there’s not communicating across attribution levels, but we try to understand at least what the repurchase rate is within the first 60 days or 90. and all that all that allows us to do is understand how much more money we can spend or how much money we need to pull back from. For instance, There’s a brand that we work with called kokunot they sell hair serum. They sell face serum. And on average these women are going through it between 30 and 45 days. So guess what We’re putting a lot of our re marketing budget or not, putting our budget depending on whatever the strategy is for that month.

Well the budget could be put into Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Pinterest. Around 30 to 40 days or we can just not choose to remarket. Just let Facebook be an acquisition Channel and let email do the nurturing so we don’t have to communicate at all of their. Now, I wouldn’t do that holy but I definitely would different types of discounts on remarking on pay channels versus remarketing on on email channels.

Steve: So why not run both them simultaneously the same offer?

Nick: you could but there’s definitely a different value that’s associated with I have to spend money to acquire a customer that might have already purchased from me.

Steve: Okay

Nick: On a discount well now I’m having to pay again to acquire that customer and pay and give up a little bit of margin. Is that repeat purchase for me?

Steve: Sure. Okay. Okay

Nick: So, you might not want to write you might not want to run an offer on paid traffic knowing that you already have that customer. You should just build a better flow or have a better communication, better way of segmenting communicating them

Steve: So back to the sheets example, I mean in the traditional sense, it’s kind of like a mundane product right? It’s sheets. So so how do you make that product interesting?

Nick: Okay. So how do we make the party concerned depending on the person that’s communicating about it. It’s sheets like there. It’s almost like toilet paper. Like how are you community what now to it was kind of a hot commodity

Steve: Yeah, it is right now

Nick: Sheets might even be a hot commodity these days. Who knows? But there’s a I know we’re dancing on a creative that we’re going to show at Seller Summit, but the type of luxury we’re trying to show what that product and the mundaneness of what it actually Is, is where the humor is right? So if we’re having someone because we’re talking about these sheets are very very high-end were charging people between 79 new hundred and $979. How or why is someone’s going to communicate why are someone’s gonna want to purchase this or we have to cleverly and articulate wash it less live better and be a little bit more Royal when you live in your sheets.

Steve: If you sell an Amazon or run any online business for that matter, you’re going to need a trademark to protect your intellectual property. Not only that but a trademark is absolutely necessary to register your brand on Amazon. Now, I used to think that any old trademark registration service would work and that could even try to register my own trademark by myself on the cheap, but I was dead wrong. Securing a trademark without a strategy in place usually results in either an outright rejection or a worthless unenforceable trademark. Now, that is why I work with Stephen Wiegler and his team from Emerge counsel. They have a package service called total TM, which provides the same attention to detail and process that large law firms do at a fraction of the price. Now for me personally, I like Emerge Council because of their philosophy, their goal is to maximize IP protection while minimizing the price. So before you decide to register a trademark by yourself or file for other I could protection such as a copyright or a patent, check out Emerge counsel first and get a free consult. For more information go to emergecouncil.com and click on the Amazon sellers button and tell Steve that Steve sent you to receive a $100 discount on the total TM package for Amazon sellers. Once again, that’s emergecounsel.com over at emergecounsel.com. Now back to the show.

Okay, and so that obviously involves some sort of video creative. What I’m trying to get an idea is like there’s a lot of people who are listening to this podcast right now and they’re probably selling some mundane products. Some people are just selling on Amazon and they want to start selling on their own site, but they’re looking at their products and the like hey, these are just kind of products. You can find an office store for example, or you’re selling sheets. What is what are the what are the things that you ask the brand in order to formulate a really good ad campaign for them?

Nick: Interesting. So this kind of you kind of go down like the USP list. If you are that’s not super special scientific. Other than like does your brand have the ability to have a little bit of humor in it? Because it is the mundane. It’s really difficult to sell socks stances very well this why do they do very well this is because they partner with professionals or partner with active athletes Etc. But if you’re trying to sell glasses for instance, and there’s no major value proposition around it humor is the easiest way of go.

About you’re going to buy this. Anyways, you might as well buy it from us and we’re going to make you enjoy this a little bit on the way. I don’t have a specific strategy or way of setting that up because it really comes down to what the brand wants to want a wants to embody. Like it’s humor the right call for you. If not, it’s really difficult for me to say

Steve: I see that brand that you scaled to was it 17 million and 35 days wasn’t that like a sock company?

Nick: It was it was it was it was a dog socks

Steve: Oh it was a dog socks Okay.

Nick: So the main brand is called Pup Socks was they were sister brand called Face Socks in the main reason we scale. This was of a very very simple phrase “your pup on socks” that was literally the type of career that we ran and it was not clever. It was not cute but it was extremely direct

Steve: was this a video creative?

Nick: No, it was an image

Steve: It was an image.

Nick: We actually would joke about this. So if you if you search it’s on Buzz, it’s on Sumo if you just did 1 million at 4X It’ll pull up and we have the exact screenshot of the audience are red text with your pup on socks. It was a dog with an arrow pointing to sock

Steve: and that’s it

Nick: Okay, but the Simplicity of like that’s communicating exactly what it is that you are going to buy and guess where they’re going to land on that page to make that purchase. Why this worked so well, obviously it’s a gifting product for sure. But as soon as he landed on the page and the fact that it had to be a custom upload of an image that they already have a fond memory on or it’s an animal that pulls on the heartstrings like they’re going to make that purchase looking to convert through on average or conversion. It’s about 4 plus

Steve: Wow. Okay, I guess this yeah for an animal lover. I can see it working.

Nick: Oh my God, who sells socks for $32?

Steve: that’s ridiculous.

Nick: I don’t know why but it’s been able to have sold a lot of ridiculous things like that. That makes absolutely no sense. But I’ll go back to the question you brought about how do you be clever about the mundane?

Steve: Okay.

Nick: It’s not it’s not as easy as you think it is because it does take a little bit of Creative Juice to sit through and come up with how am I going to communicate the value of this paper or pen or pencil? And the only way you can really do is looking through a lot of Amazon reviews why people are using it. There’s a lot of people that are commenting on our ads at think they’re funny and they’re probably not but the fact that they brought up someone had to have that thought. There’s a lot of different ways of going about of gathering information of what you should do to communicate against

Steve: Can you give me an example of how an Amazon review gave you inspiration?

Nick: Yeah, absolutely. So with Miracle specifically the main question was you may great sheets, but where’s a comforter and the number one trending a, The number one trending product outside of our silver sheet. Also, the silver sheets was silk sheets and then silk sheets everything every product that was frequently bought with was pillowcases or a comforter. And so that just put us down this awkward path of going “shit guys, I think we need to sell comforter” because look at all of our ads were showing her sheets showing the comforter and people are asking where can I buy that comforter looks so comfy. We never sold that product before and we allowed that to shape the next product we developed which should go live on our Kickstarter the end of the month

Steve: which is a comforter and pillowcases?

Nick: which is just a straight comforter.

Steve: straight cover

Nick: that was because of manufacturing issues, but we would have went we would have went pillowcases as well

Steve: Actually. I was just thinking that because you mentioned before that people buy sheet set, but then Anything else those are pretty good upsells right? Comforters, pillowcases

Nick: It made a lot of sense to his plus that’s that’s another higher ticket product that people can see the value or the quality ins

Steve: and what about in terms of the creative. So with Miracle sheets and it’s really hard to show an ad on a podcast I guess but you guys want the humor route.

Nick: We did

Steve: And can you talk a little bit about how much that campaign costs to film how much generally you spend on just like the creatives before you even run a campaign?

Nick: Sure. Great question. So the team that we had helped us out was called Common Thread Collective great founder team that I was very very thankful to be a part of for the last year and a half or so and we knew they were able to create a Content but I wouldn’t say cheap it was a relatively cheap because a lot of the stuff is still pretty costly that campaign of you smell like sheet, which is if you can Envision me as an English grandmother Queen, that’s exactly what it was coming across as in this was a $15,000 shoot all in. Now, we did two, two cuts. You get to see the other one

Steve: I did. I think I’ve seen all of them now at this point.

Nick: Okay? So yes, hopefully you are in my remarketing circle. There is no discount code. So go ahead and stay on this way. The humor out was easy to come across because a I think they’re creative team is very remarkable and B the cost of getting new assets knowing me because I’m running the account. I’m actually in a day to day. It was really difficult because we had no spokesperson. We had no like Avatar or person that could definitely speak to what this product was and so by embodying both her and him at the time like we should definitely link to that.

Steve: Yeah, I’ll link to the ad underneath the podcast. Yeah.

Nick: Thank you so much because it’s really hard to get across but they were communicating a lot of the things that was questioned by our customers of why is this product so expensive and what is it going to do which if you watch the ad they just talk through the USPS, wash less, smell fresher and was the last one, anti microbial those three, but they do it in a way of going like the high classes was communicated by who the person was and then the humor of it pull people in if you look at the comments people are loving the ads and running clicking and buying which I hate.

Steve: So when you do a shoot like that you said it was 15 grand how many actual creatives do get or is it just that one video?

Nick: No, they do. So what they call it’s like little bit of a transactional Content real. So I usually do a longer 35 to a minute piece and then within that minute piece depending on the variables. This is really now that I’m in the business of like selling content. It really comes down to deliverable assets they can use top middle bottom of funnel. So that I think when we were when it was delivered because it was a little bit ago. They gave us 25 assets or maybe 15 assets the longer piece still images obviously cuz you’re going to gather that with a second shooter and then the different hooks that they communicating with this has to be cut into vertical and this has to be cut into square.

Because you don’t you don’t necessarily always shooting Square because sometimes the scene might not be permitting it but you’re trying to make sure that if I do have to cut it for platform which squares for feed or 9 by 16, you do want to have the subject in the communication of the whole entire ad with in that square set. So we just did a scope of content and we’re delivering for 29,000. We’re delivering 45 assets.

Steve: 45 okay. So can you talk about how you use those assets in the ads like what do you use for top of funnel middle funnel and bottom of the funnel?

Nick: correct on the as on the on the Miracle brand specifically?

Steve: Yeah. Sure. Let’s use that one. We’ve been talking about that brand.

Nick: Sure. So Miracle, we got the long-form piece of Grandma walking in and that was just we ran for two different things one on PPE which is put a page post engagement and we ran that against a conversion ad so we let that same exact post duplicated into same exact conversion post. Duplicated into a page post engagement so that we’re just acquiring people that like and comment on

Steve: so, I’m sorry. So do you always start out like that to get some social proof on the ad before you run it as a conversion ad?

Steve: If we in budget permits not all brands are able to allow us to spend on this but we knew what we had and it’s unbelievable viral ad and so the brand owner and me knowing that some my dollars involved. I knew this was the right path to take with it.

Steve: So, can you provide some guidelines? Like, how long did you run that engagement add before you convert it over?

Nick: The day I lost my conversion can be in the day. I lost my PB

Steve: really? Okay. What’s the rationale for that?

Nick: Well, I didn’t want to spend I didn’t want to spend on I didn’t want to spend on just acquiring people that might just be window Shoppers. I wanted to have the ability to have conversions from day one.

Steve: your PPE Ed also generates conversions. I would imagine, right?

Nick: right not as much as you think if you’re telling Facebook y’all want you to give me engagement. They’re going to give you engagement. They’re not going to yes. I hope that the my ad is good enough. The clicks and likes and comments are cheap enough, but oftentimes of all the money I’ve spent on this like I spent a shit ton of money on this platform and there’s definitely not a time nowadays where I’m running a PPE campaign to get conversions, especially for a product that costs over $100.

Steve: Okay

Nick: Right. Now this Strat this is a strategy. I would have taken the fidgets Spinners back in the day because it was a viral ad and we were able to get more reach so yes, they might not be converting with the amount of shares comments and abilities for us to follow up with those are sitting in purchases too

Steve: I see so this PPE Ad I imagine you only run it for a short period right or do you just keep it going?

Nick: Yeah, you run as long as you want. It’s just too bad that the budget is between five and ten bucks a day. It’s nominal.

Steve: Okay. All right. And is there some sort of guideline you’re trying to hit in terms of social proof?

Nick: I’m not no, there’s no specific on that. I’m trying to go for the more people. I know they can comment Engage The more opportunity that I could have my customer support team reach out. Potentially provide a promo code. So if we if we continue to see engagement stack on the ad, it’s only going to help two different things one relevancy score basement views it as a better piece of content. We might get cheaper delivery cheaper CPMS. But if you’re if you’re running yourself and you’re trying to look at hey, I would like to allocate some engagement budget if you will?

How do I measure this is working check your CPM to CTR. Like if you’re if it’s consistently not moving up or down or if it’s moving up maybe that dollars aren’t worth and just put it back in your conversion campaign. But if you are seeing that your delivery is getting little more little more cost-effective. Your PPE is definitely influencing the fact that you’re hitting better people and having higher engagement higher click those and longer watch times.

Steve: Can you provide some guidelines on what like a good click-through rate is?

Nick: no, but there is there is a video that we did talk about ADA attention interest desire and action if you’re looking at I think it’s your three second impression 3-second video views / Impressions. You want to have that at least 30% you want to have a 30% three-second view rate to Impressions.

Steve: Okay.

Nick: I have one video I just did is in Bangkok is called the Ada calculation, look that one up.

Steve: Okay. I’m just trying to get an idea of which metrics that you’re focusing on especially in the beginning of the campaign when you’re just starting it out for the first time.

Nick: Yeah, again, we’re looking at cart things. I only get paid if I make money so I don’t report on conversion I won’t report on there’s never been a client that asked me how many likes or Falls that I get from that man always be like, so did you make me money? You know, so we look at we look at our average cost per cart. So average cost per cart at prospecting and average cost per cart checkout. And the reason why now, there’s a little bit of variance in this some people run sliding carts or sliding shelf for a check out. So that might be a little bit easier to get you some people do a check out where it automatically pushes you into cart.

So that might assist or my change the value of a cart to you. Those are all correlations that you need to obviously understand. So if I were to give you any jumping off point when you just launched a new creative, first get a baseline on cold traffic going to go prospecting what your average cost per added cart is at profitability, right? If you need a 2X and your average cart is 13 bucks. Like you definitely need to know that that maps to a $26 or that’s like two times as cheap as your cost per purchase, right?

Steve: So in general, do you have some guidelines on what percentage of the add to cart people actually will actually buy the product? I know that varies but

Nick: man I don’t even know I don’t even want to put my name on a guesstimate right here. Okay, because it’s going to vary by industry.

Steve: Well, let me ask you this. Are you optimizing for add two carts in the beginning?

Nick: Never. We don’t optimize radicals because again just like the engagement piece will give you out of carts. And why is it I don’t know. I really don’t understand why but I used to be a really big tactic and strategy that people are using the like hey, you need a quote unquote season your pixel. Brother, I promise you that is not something that we ever need to worry about you go for conversion from day one

Steve: interesting. Yeah.

Nick: Because you your unless you’re only ship with unbelievable strategy on abandoned carts or a text message follow-up. It’s just not going to back out. We’ve run those tests optimized for conversion optimized it for carts. You’ll definitely get cheaper carts. But that gross does not back out.

Steve: All right, so you’re optimizing for conversions and then you’re getting some add to cart numbers here. How do you know what the correlation is from? Add two cards to purchases. How do you make that estimate that you just described earlier?

Nick: Absolutely. So I wish I could pull it up on my computer right now because I have this document. It’s literally a simple correlation document of the average amount of average amount of cost per landing page view. That’s there’s cost per click and then there’s one more step into like actual landing on a product page. now, this is all assuming that they’re dropping onto homepage. Not a product page, or maybe everyone just wanted to a product page, but on average you need to have your metrics of cost Braddock cart to your cost per initiate, check out your cost per purchase. You’re going to get obviously your carts your initiates in your purchase.

It’s needs to be as close as possible to a 25 percent increase from your cart value. To initiate into your purchase. So 25% should be the variance across the entire funnel and if it’s up and down a little bit you’re probably looking at a mixture of cold traffic and warm traffic, but you have to segment those two because they perform significantly different

Steve: interesting. So when you run your campaign, so what is the landing page look like?

Nick: Well typical home page. I have no pride. No preference around this a lot of the brands that we work with unless you’re selling a single product. It’s going to look like a normal home page

Steve: interesting. The reason why I ask is because a lot of people these days are running ads to a I guess a special landing page that just kind of showcases that product like a kind of like a long form sales page. and you know, maybe they might be collecting emails or whatnot on that also, but that one page is kind of like a little mini funnel where they buy there’s upsells that are to that product or whatnot.

Nick: I totally hear you. I think I think there’s you have multiple approaches if you’re a single SKU store. I think that’s smart to pull off. If you have one single hero product and not real not really buying intent for your secondary of support, supporting products that make sense as well. But if you’re if you’re looking to build at least DP remarketing or anything dynamic in terms of remarketing, driving straight to store and allowing them to shop more.

It’s still very very viable option you’re able to fill these buckets of audiences. We do have some brands that run just to a single product funnel. They don’t get the luxury of building or \ letting these people window shop.

Steve: Right

Nick: So but that is a strategy. Maybe we run top of funnel for single products and all the remarketing if they didn’t make a purchase or they fell off too soon. Put it back to your store.

Steve: I’m just curious for the sheet company. It’s that sounds like a single Product Company right the miracle brand?

Nick: correct So they have well they have sheets. They’re betting their pillow cases. They have a bundle So that’s its generally two, you have bedding, you have towels. Okay. So look at the landing page. It’s a dual product landing page, depending where you go from that. It’s going to be a single product.

Steve: Okay. So what is the what is the middle of the funnel look like what type of ads are you running there?

Nick: A lot of social proof. So we have a lot of UGC and we a lot of what we like to call. I don’t want to..

Steve: So UGC stands for user-generated content for those who love you who are listening.

Nick: So we have a lot of user generated content from the demographics that we really care about. So about single guy, a single mother, a mother with a lot of families and older I would say more like a nanny Aunt figure but they’re all communicating the same exact value proposition is that it’s just a different delivery.

Steve: Okay, so you just try to get so these are from purchases. I’m guessing that you’re asking for testimonials and whatnot. And you’re trying to get different demographics.

Nick: Absolutely. That’s I think as soon as we started implementing males talking about the product and adding little bit of humor like guys, you know, you’re not wash your sheets, you know, you don’t have to wash this at all. Like that’s it’s pretty straightforward. But it’s really what needs to be heard.

Steve: So in terms of audiences and we can talk specifically about this sheet company. It seems like sheets apply to everyone right? So, who are you targeting or how are you setting up your audience’s for this?

Nick: I’ll definitely tell you that we’ve moved significantly far away from doing very Niche or micro-targeting. We’re very Broad and everything what I mean by that is the only changes were doing to audiences are going to be the amount of the bids that were actually doing if we’re bidding for AOB or bidding for two AOB on cost cap campaigns. That’s a little bit more like the nerdy media buyer. But I’m definitely not sitting you’re choosing audiences that no one’s ever heard of are stacking audiences that are like 3 or 4 or 12 deep to get one specific audience.

Because Facebook has told us and we’ve seen this the more broad the allow you let the more you allow Facebook to choose who to send this to the better. Now, the changes is whether you’re going to go a look like audience versus just a broad audience broad interest audience. We still do interest testing consistently, but it’s not at not at a tremendous amount of budget. That’s just for to see what we can drum up a little bit of Interest

Steve: interesting. So I imagine for the she company you could probably run that wide open, right?

Nick: Really. We love the brands. We love the products that don’t have to be necessarily explained everybody and that’s applicable like it has a wide appeal wide market. Because we know by our branding, We Know by our price points We Know by the people in our content like we’re going to start segmenting them out. I don’t need an audience to do that for me.

Steve: So for your user generated content, you’re just retargeting back to the homepage or no?

Nick: No, it depends on depends on for this specific product. It would be home page because homepage acts as a collection because there’s only two paths that you can go but generally speaking if we’re running to a product that has for running to a brand that has multi SKUs. We’re dropping the back on the collection or product page depending how the site setup is. What I really hate doing is when I remarked it back to a product page and they don’t have the ability to do any frequently bought with or they’re just stuck on that one product.

Maybe they need to see it. Right that’s all stuff that needs to be tested. But I I just hate running some of that jumped onto a landing some of the jumped on my product page. I put them right back to the product page why you should put him to the cart or you should put it back to a collection because there’s probably other things that they’re looking for. For or maybe they need to Discount specifically just and there’s so many different thought work going through

Steve: So how do Dynamic product ads fall into play then because that kind of violates your premise, right? Because with DPA you’re sending people back to the product

Nick: Right DPA. So if we depending on how you want to structure that store, so we run a lot of our DPA pages of just people that’s Add to the Cart initiate check out and we’re dropping right back to cart. So they had to view product plus added to cart. Where do you drop them back to cart view product plus added cart initiate check out you’re going to put it back to carts. You can’t go to prostrate to check out.

Steve: I see. Okay. So you’re literally dropping them back to the shopping cart page.

Nick: Yeah, because the three going to add it there like now if you’re if you want it. And how segmented you really want to go and how much money you have to spend but that’s the real question because some people aren’t going to need to segment that deep of going I want just home page visitors segmented from collection page visitors section from product page visitors section from add to cart inclusive of initiate check out. Some people don’t have the budget to run through that so what they would end up doing similar what you’re talking about is, okay all people that added a cart that’s a sink. That’s a bucket like that’s a bucket of maybe viewers from Day 1 to 30 put those together.

But if they haven’t added it to cart, let’s just put it right back to the product page. It’s really up to the choice of the how much budget the brand has to spend.

Steve: Okay

Nick: But I do what I do like about product Dynamic product ads, which don’t get talked about often. Is there a brand right now that I’ve been working with called Get Caro, and they’re looking at pulling in like Dynamic creative off of your product page. That isn’t just like that that crappy product on white. So if you’re if you’re To do Dynamic product ads you’re able to pull in a lifestyle image. If you set up your product feed to do so on Facebook.

Steve: I’ve heard about people doing this. They have multiple creatives in their product feed and they can even use GIFs or GIFS, right? Yep. Is that something that you’ve been doing with your brands?

Nick: yeah, we’re running a lot of Lifestyle products. So we have speak speaking specifically on one Posh Peanut, is a baby brand and those the best performing creative is the DPA of Lifestyle images that image is just the one on their product page

Steve: interesting. Okay

Nick: because it think about it right like why would I want to run just a strict protocol white when I can still build that same audience and run a video an image a GIF my own care. So maybe I can create my own Carousel from the collection and run it back to the same audience. Now DP is obviously very effective because it ”dynamically do that for you, but you can still set that up by yourself.”

Steve: Can you run videos? Dynamically?

Nick: You can run. I think it’s a slight. I think they call it slide show. I don’t think it’s streaming video.

Steve, Ah Okay, because I know you can switch up the images and you can use GIFs or I don’t I always screw up it is GIF or GIFs. I don’t know, whatever. When do influencers come into play?

Nick: I think this is I believe influencers in three different type of three different main topics one if your brand that feels as though you’re so congruent with that influencers audience, but you aren’t in that influencers audience and it would be it would make a lot of sense for her to introduce you or him or her sorry him or her to introduce you to the audience. That’s when they come into play. If you have a new product that you want to launch and you don’t necessarily want to live on your site or you know.

You’re like I want I want to launch this with a with some of that proven the space or some of those real authority to speak about the quality of this product and that you yourself going from like I’m the brand look at me look at me and that credibility of that new product launch would that influencer my land a bit better? do that. And also if you just are struggling with getting a bunch of good pieces of content. We’re going to create it for you. In the funnel, if you want me to talk specifically in the funnel, they’re applicable top middle and bottom.

Steve: Okay

Nick: Because provide that social proof of going like hey and let’s be let’s be very specific on influencers. Like I’m not talking the Khloe Kardashian’s and the Kylie’s like I’m talking Cindy Lou from Utah cuz she’s a she’s got a bomb mommy blog and women listen to her and she’s got 50,000 followers.

Steve: So you mentioned that you use this top middle and bottom how do you kind of distinguish because it seems like a lot of people are going to be seeing the same ads then right?

Nick: Well, it kind of depends because if you’re going to get the if you’re going to get content from an influencer, what part of that tells you like? Oh, that’s a hundred percent top of funnel. You don’t know that like you just don’t know when you get that content back. You’re going to give him the brief. You’re going to be like I need you to talk about these main value propositions because this is what are women or men or loving about it or asking about it and you’re not going to get like a clear reason about okay that has to live top of funnel because that’s it’s not true. It’s an absolute and you can’t speak in absolutes and paid social

So something is going to work at minimum bottom of funnel. I’m definitely going to try that top of funnel to see if it convert on new traffic. Everything should be segmented anyways.

Steve: okay

Nick: But if you are wanting to think about this cleanly give them give them three things to talk about. For miracle sheets, We believed that the fact that someone didn’t have to wash it frequently was a really important value proposition. Okay, so we have the influencer speak about just that you didn’t have to wash it and then her life was easier and that that she didn’t have to worry about the smell and the second was, smell and but we didn’t let her go deep into on the first because she’s talking about not watching it. The next was it smelled better for longer. Now, Those are hooks that can A, reinforced why some would buy but it also could convince them initially while they would buy top of funnel. So see there’s two applications on both top and middle funnel

Steve: Okay, and you just have to experiment to see what works.

Nick: I really I know a lot of people when you jump on a podcast We jump on these things that you sees things in absolutes. It kills me because I’ve seen too much and I know for a fact that there’s nothing absolute especially pay social and especially right now, like there’s why are people buying things at their buying right now at a fear? out of boredom? They’re at home. They have more Wi-Fi. There’s so many questions.

Steve: So I remember you saying this at your event, you have to hit you try to hit all the different angles just to see what works all the different hooks right? When you’re when you’re generating your paid ads. Hey, Nick, so if I’m like a six-figure company or a low seven-figure company, like how much money would you feel that you would need to just kind of get gather data on this entire process excluding the creative.

Nick: Excluding the creative. I think if you gave me $15,000 to develop five grand across three clear angles. You can create content for and write specific ads tied to it. Now. I wouldn’t go as deep into making specific landing pages. But if the brand or we have the ability to do that, I think $15,000 will give you enough directional information that you could buy to then invest more or go in that direction.

Steve: Okay. That was kind of like my next question. How do you know whether it’s working or not? I mean

Nick: Yeah, so we have we have two things. So we have a correlation export that shows and this is like our Bible so brand comes into us. We do the same audit of like, okay. First of all, where they where they knee hurting the most in the funnel. Is it top, middle, bottom? Are they even spending that we do our best to not talk to Brands. They’re going like hey, we have this great idea. We want to launch it because we just know that that’s going to be investment that’s going to be at least 30,000 to invest in. They need a website. They need content. We have to test that content. We have to iterate that content just because the price point makes sense.

I digress but there if a Brands coming into me and they go like we already have a great product. We’re making sales on Amazon. We have some great feedback, but we don’t have any own audiences or paid or paid angles that were running. What do we do? Five grand a pop / angle build up top and middle and bottom of what I’m not saying of do full videos, but at least a congruent story with different versions of copy will be enough for you to go like, okay. Does this mother angle work? Does the bats or angle work or does it college angle work? And then from that we kind of develop more content around it.

Steve: Okay. Hey Nick. This is a good lead-in to where can people find you. And what do you do?

Nick: Well, jeez if you guys can see who’s on coming Seller Summit. This is

Steve: ha ha ha.

Nick: This is I am, we are making the trip out here from California to Florida. So we are braving the flight to do so, if not find me on Instagram. I am Nick Shackleford and I am trying to build up the Twitter a little bit but it’s still slows. But I love paid social. This is I wouldn’t do anything. It’s like if I was asked with something that’s more like Nick, when you got all the money in the world. What would you do? Same thing. I just probably would have a nicer computer.

Steve: Hey didn’t even mention Structured Social. Come on.

Nick: I know I know it’s knowing how great your audience is like there’s people are smart enough to find if they wanted so I’ll let you do that talking but if you are interested in what we do, we are at Structured Social just as is and we love what we do. So thank you very much brother.

Steve: Cook, Nick. Thanks. A lot of coming on the show man, really appreciate it.

Nick: Of course. See you soon.

Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode as I mentioned earlier. Nick was a speaker at my annual e-commerce conference called the Seller Summit and he knows his stuff when it comes to Media buys. Now, I know that I will be listening to this episode again to catch all the little details. For more information about this episode go to my wifequitherjob.com/episode311.

And once again, I want to thank Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode, Klaviyo is my email marketing platform of choice for e-commerce Merchants. You can easily put together automated flows like an abandoned cart sequence, a post purchase flow or win back campaign. Basically, all these sequences that will make you money on autopilot. So head on over to mywifequitherjob.com/klaviyo. Once again, that’s mywifequitherjob.com/klaviyo

I also want to thank PostScript.io which is my SMS marketing platform of choice for e-commerce with a few clicks of a button. You can easily segment and send targeted text messages to your client base. SMS is the next big own marketing platform and you can sign up for free over at PostScript.io/Steve. That’s Postscript.io/Steve.

Now I talked about how I use these tools in my blog and if you’re interested in starting your own e-commerce store head on over to mywifequitherjob.com and sign up for my free six day mini-course just type in your email and I’ll send you the course right away. Thanks for listening.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com

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