312: Should You Hire An Agency To Run Your Amazon PPC Ads With Edward Ruffin And Jeremy Crowe

312: Should You Hire An Agency To Run Your Amazon PPC Ads With Edward Ruffin And Jeremy Crowe

Today, I’m thrilled to have both Edward Ruffin(PPC Ed) and Jeremy Crowe from Sellers Labs on the show. PPC Ed is in charge of sponsored product ads over at Sellers Labs and Jeremy was my account manager for the PPC ads case study I conducted earlier this year.

In this episode, I provide a realistic account of my experiences having Sellers Labs run my Amazon Ads this past year.

What You’ll Learn

  • When you should use an agency to run your Amazon ads
  • The pros and cons of outsourcing your ads
  • The process Seller Labs uses to onboard their customers

Other Resources And Books

Sponsors

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.
Postscript.io

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.
Klaviyo

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

Transcript

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 two people on the show with me Ed Ruffin and Jeremy Crowe and these two from several apps actually ran my Amazon PPC account this past year and in this episode we’re going to discuss my experiences and when going with an agency actually makes sense for your ads.

But before we begin, I 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.

Now, I also 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.

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 thrilled to have both Edward Ruffin and Jeremy Crowe from SellerLabs on the show. And Edward or PPC Ed as he likes to be called is in charge of sponsored product ads over at SellerLabs. And he was actually one of the speakers at this year’s seller Summit and I believe the past couple of years, actually. Meanwhile Jeremy was my account manager from when I had SellersLabs run by PPC ads in a case study I conducted earlier this year before this whole covid-19 all hell broke loose. Well we’re going to do today is we are going to Provide a realistic account of my experiences and their experiences dealing with me having them run my Amazon ads this past year.

And why is this? It’s because one of the top questions I get asked is how you can Outsource your ads. If you don’t want to learn it yourself and whether it’s even worth the money and the short answer is that it depends on your account and what your time is worth and in any case welcome Ed and Jeremy how you guys doing today?

Edward: Great. Thank you for having us Steve. It’s always wonderful to talk with you. Before we get started. I just want to say you were a great client. Just have to get that out there, I loved working with you. I was not paid to say this but I enjoyed working with you was phenomenal.

Jeremy: Yeah. Thank you for having us. It really was. It really was awesome. We definitely dealt with a lot through the years and you know, it was a great experience and we got to I think we learned a lot of stuff along the way too and I’m really excited to just kind of talk a little bit more about that was a little more in depth just kind of dive into your account man.

Steve: Cool, man. Yeah. I mean most people in the audience know PPC Ed are already because On the show I think twice before but Jeremy give us the quick intro on who you are and how you arrived at SellerLabs handling my account?

Jeremy: Yeah, so so I’ve been with SellerLabs for the for about three years now and during that time I’ve been able to I’ve been able to work with hundreds of clients and just kind of trying to figure out the whole world of navigating advertising with Amazon. And so whenever you know, we it was presented that we were going to be working on your account. I definitely wanted to do that. You know, I’ve been following, you know the things that you had and Sellers Summit for a while too. So I was really excited to get that opportunity and start trying to figure out you know, what could we do for your account? And how can we provide value moving forward.

Steve: and what are you doing PPC for like for like the past three years over SellerLabs?

Jeremy: Yeah, so I actually started out and support their and then over a while. I realized how much I wanted to get, you know deeper into Amazon and in that wanted to really just dive straight head on into advertising and working right next to Ed. It was always a great opportunity to learn more anyways, and then so once I started getting more into advertising I realized how much I wanted to sell to so I ended up actually becoming a brand owner myself. And now it’s just that Voyage to learn more, you know, as we keep going through this just what all can I know about Amazon it’s really become addictive. So

Steve: so you’re becoming another PPC Ed that’s kind of scary. Alrighty fellows. So I’m gonna ask you guys to try not to be biased here and from your perspective. Why would someone want to use an agency to run your ads and more importantly, when would you want to avoid using an agency?

Ed: And this is actually a question that we’re asked directly during the actual first engagement process where our onboarding team is first talking with someone that’s looking to kind of play the field and see if they should use an agency or if they should just do it themselves. The biggest thing that I say people look for is to really save time, you know, you could have a full understanding of PPC and know how to I would but then you have to ask yourself. Do I have time to dedicate like multiple hours every week to actually run the PPC myself while you know, making it more efficient and gaining more cells through advertising.

So I think the first thing is time, you know, if you don’t have the time to really dedicate to your accounts on a weekly basis on a normal Cadence, I should say an agency is a good way to go, you know, someone like us like the managed Services team at SellersLabs can help you out there time is really Lee it’s very valuable you can use that time elsewhere to develop your brand introducing more products or focus on your inventory or other, you know, like Avenues of your whole entire business instead. So a lot of people come to us because they just don’t have the time for it and they want to use that time for other areas of their business instead.

That’s a big one. And another big one is really just the understanding, you know, PPC on Amazon is nowhere near what it was what your me like two years ago even last year. It’s Ominously

Jeremy: Even since we started working on your account. I feel like they just keep adding stuff to it.

Steve: They do. I know.

Jeremy: any time. I mean outside of even just you know finding time. I think the other element to think about when going to an agency is odds are we’ve worked with the product that somewhere similar to what you could be selling. I’m not going to say everything but if it’s not me personally, it’s some of the other account managers that we have we work with a lot of type of products since we started this, you know, really taking on Advertising for people and that gives us a little more time to keep testing stuff. So we’re always trying out new things and you know, that’s a if you don’t have time that’s one thing but you know also having someone there to try to figure out the small wins along the way I think that’s where you can really get the added value.

Steve: All right. So let’s say you have time and who’s not your ideal customer. Let’s just put it that way.

Ed: Yeah, I mean a lot of times I do look for people that are you know willing to spend a little bit more and advertising and it can actually justify the cost of our services if you have someone who’s only spending like $100 a month on advertising that’s not really our ideal client. Yes, they of course they can get there but they’re just not really going to make the money back and that they’re spending on our services necessarily because they’re not spending as much on their advertising. They’re not seeing a large increase in sales or anything of that nature.

So for the smaller clients You know, we can still work with them, but we only work with them if they’re willing to grow if they’re willing to spend more over time. Of course, if it’s Justified, we want to see a return and advertising was see desirable a costs and Tacos as well so we can work with them if they’re willing to grow but for those that are just like, you know, really at the beginning stages where they can’t spend any money. They’re not really willing to adjust the spin that’s going into the advertising then maybe best starting off with our tools through SellerLabs Pro which includes ignite and try to do it themselves to begin with. To scale up that advertising to get it to a place where they can see growth going forward and they can get that stand up a little bit.

Steve: What would you say your minimums are?

Ed: Generally just like 2,000 a month maybe approximately.

Jeremy: I would say that that’s a great start only because one thing especially with account management what I have to constantly be thinking about is my only goal is I have to keep trying to find things and find ways to make happy clients, you know, if we if you’re not happy then odds are you’re there’s something going on with the return we’re not doing something we need to and sometimes that is limited by what we actually can do but when it comes to actually spend and how much you’re willing to put forward we’ve got to think about how much can we use to make sure that the cost of our service actually is actually going to make sense for you because if that’s the case, you know, three months down the road you’re not going to you’re not going to be as happy as someone who is who had the budget and have the time to be able to put back into that.

So I would say that’s not a bad a bad place to say but it’s something where when it comes to adjustments and it comes to how we do things at seller Labs. We always want to be trying to find ways to increase revenue and only scale spin that makes sense for that. So it’s all about growth for us.

Steve: I’m pretty sure that the way you guys treated me was like a typical customer and I remember going through a bunch of calls with you guys to kind of figure out what the strategy is. What is your vetting process look like to see if it’s even a good fit like I know for me like you Guys looked at my account you said, Okay. Yeah, we can definitely boost traffic and whatnot. But do you do that with everybody? Like do you go through their account first and just make sure that you can improve it.

Ed: Yeah. I mean, it’s we have a full in a Salesteam. Of course just like any other organization and they’re incredible. They’re really awesome at really talking to these potential clients to find out first of all what they want. They come to verses say, well, what are you looking for in advertising? Are you looking to get more growth? Like are you having trouble? Why are you Reaching out to us or why have we reached out to you and we can talk with them about you know, the kind of like what they’re doing currently with their PPC. We have something that’s you know, a campaign analysis tool that we use as well which shows like, you know, data over a 60 day period and gives us like a snapshot on their account and that allows us to really see where the winds can be where things are going great and we can get people that everything looks phenomenal and we’re like, hey like this looks great.

I don’t think you need to restructure but Maybe you want to save time and just take this off your plates. Then they may be a good candidate then. But those campaign analysis tools are wonderful. We do this for a lot of our potential clients just to get a snapshot most of the time. We don’t actually dive into the account more in-depth and so they’ve actually considered, you know signing on as a client with us, but that is something even all have multiple calls with someone who’s just thinking about it so I can learn more about what they’re looking for and see if they’re a good fit or not. See if this actually makes sense for them because if it doesn’t make sense, I don’t want to sign you because I want you to be happy just like Jeremy said with our services want you to see a return and see winds along the way for the student issue 3 months with us.

Steve: Yeah, and to be just completely transparent here. Like I’m not used to using any agencies ever and I’ve actually heard a lot of horror stories where agencies hire cheap labor from like the Philippines or some other third world country have them run your ads while they’re kind of learning meanwhile like the front man performs all the sales and just from my perspective at least and I’m pretty sure some of you guys Listening are they put you guys probably feel the same way that I do. The reason I was willing to give these guys a try because I’ve known Jeff Cohen and PPC Ed for over five years now and I trust these guys. I personally probably would not have tried this otherwise and it was it was good to know. I think Jeremy when we first got on the phone, I was like, hey, man, are you in the US?

Jeremy: that’s what we strive for. I mean, like even when I found this know back in the day a big thing that we push for especially at SellerLabs, and of course amended Services team is complete transparency I strive for it. That’s why I love working with Jeremy dream is like my right-hand man. I have many of those people actually on our teams are two Stellar but I want us to be transparent. We’re like, you can actually ask them be like, yeah, I’m here in Athens, Georgia. Like I’m here. We have teammates all over the United States and we’re doing great. We’re loving it. We’re growing it, but it’s a really we put so much time into our initial training with our team members. I never want someone to come on and in the first week were like Hey, we’re going to get you 15 clients.

It’s more along the lines of hey for the first to know four weeks or so. You’re going to be learning you’re going to be shadowing you’re going to be on calls going to be doing the optimization process. You’re going to get your hands dirty and you’re going to learn everything from the ground up. And then once you feel comfortable, you’re ready to step in. We’ll start getting you to do some, you know, some calls together with some other people. So I take pride in our training operation because we built it out over the past three years really made it something that’s awesome. And I think other organizations just don’t have Because they just kind of like you said they can get cheap labor and they say okay now work on this account and it’s actually a live account for client and their learning and breaking things along the way whereas we’re like don’t touch anything yet. So you’re sure what you’re doing and you’ve got that training under your belt.

Steve: Yeah Jeremy if you are from like India or China your accent is great. Just want to say that.

Jeremy: Yeah, yeah.

Steve: so let’s talk about like this whole onboarding sequence first now, I know when I was speaking with Jeremy and Ed we discussed strategy first and my personal goal was to increase profit like overall dollars at the expense of a cost and get more sales and I’m just kind of wondering what are some of the common scenarios for your clients.

Ed: Yeah. This is kind of what my job is as an account director. I’m kind of like the first one that says hey, what are your goals? And what do you want to gain from this engagement that we have together? It really just depends on what you’re looking for, you know, a lot of them come to us. Just looking to make things more efficient where they’re actually saying we’re profitability just like you were talking about Or the looking to just increase traffic and traction on Amazon. They’re trying to get more sales you’re trying to get in front of more people looking for more brand awareness. And those are some of my favorites to work with because I love helping to build a brand on Amazon to some of my favorite things in the world.

Steve: For those guys like do they care about profitability at all, or they literally just going for straight sales.

Ed: It depends on the category lot of times for instance. If someone has a supplement like brand of the trying to build they know they’re going in at a loss A lot of times because it’s just about the initial sales. And having returned sales after that. So most of the time the people that are building a brand that I usually work with they’re trying to do it efficiently because they don’t want to you know, go negative right off the gate so it’s not just scaling it over time. But also like we step in to help them out with other things like, you know talking about their A+ content talking about their stores that they want to do it out getting sponsored brand ad’s going up.

So everything that deals with the brand we’re helping out with that to we’re not just saying hey, we’re gonna run some ads if you need anything call us. Otherwise, we’ll be in the background. We’re fully engaged with these Brands to say hey, this store looks great. But here’s some notes that I have or someone doesn’t have a store we can say. Hey, we actually can build a store for you. That’s an extra service that we offer. We can take this off your plate all together. So it just depends like we get a lot of different scenarios. I have some clients right now that came to us and they were only spending about two hundred dollars in the first month.

But they’re looking to spend more as long as its profitable. So it’s just about us really taking a clean approach. Ouch with the advertising starting off, you know a little more conservative to begin with. So we’re not blowing out the stand immediately and selling it upwards as we see the return coming back from the ads that we make for them.

Steve: And I know for me it was a typical client. I don’t know just wanted to get more profit and sales at the expenses.

Ed: You were anything but typical let me tell you that

Steve: All right Ed

Ed: No, I mean that is one of the main goals, and Jeremy can back me up on this. Everybody are looking to maximize efficiency while gaining more sales over time, but knowing in the initial stages, there may be an increase on the a cost because we’re trying out a new strategy and doing a restructure on the account.

Jeremy: I think what was different too and I love to take that you want it is really, you know, we ended up on a on a very year-over-year was our ongoing goal? You know, that was the one thing we wanted to look at and unfortunately past month or two year over year is a pretty sketchy place to look at by the time we were were working on that that was really cool for us to use that as a benchmark move forward, you know, not that’s not always the goal. Some people have brand awareness. They just want to try to to push things as hard as I can but they’ve always got something set up that they want to do conservatively or that’s that’s how we always like to take it.

We know some things some strategy involves a high brand awareness strategy and some things just we need to make sure that we’re more conservative. Maybe it’s only parts of the catalog but we really leave that up to the starting point being Ed, Or one of our account directors trying to figure out what is what is it? They’re really looking for there.

Steve: So I know you guys didn’t really touch my listings but is that something that you guys do also so let’s say some guys listing looks kind of bad or they’re not using enhanced brand content. Is that something that you’ll fix for them or do you give them suggestions and have them fix it?

Ed: It goes both ways. You know, like I said going back to being overly transparent if your listings are terrible. I’m going to tell you they’re terrible, but I’m going to be nice about it. I’m going to say hey, why don’t you have a seat just make sure you’re sitting down before I tell you this make sure everything’s okay. Your listings are terrible

Steve: First, You’re going to say. Hey Steve, you’re the best client that we’ve ever had but your listing suck.

Ed: It’s just because I want them to know like it’s coming from a good place. I’m telling them this because I want them to succeed. I sound like someone’s parent. Like I’m like, I only want the best for you, but it’s like but it’s We’re actually doing quite a bit of those right now. But also if it’s just a listen, I need some tweaks. It may not necessarily need our service to optimize it for you. We’ll just give you feedback and say hey maybe add more to this bullet point or take out some of these terms in your title or you know, your images that you have they could be arranged in this way or maybe you need more images and more lifestyle images or your back in key words are not there fill those out.

So what would just get feedback like that if it is something where it’s a lot of information at once Hotel? All them kind of what we see and then we’ll say, you know, we can also just do this for you. I know that’s a lot that I just threw at you we can take this off your plate and we can do the listing we can also do some 8 + content as well. But it just really depends on what needs to be done. Like I’m never going to sell someone a listing optimization if it’s just like hey, this bullet points terrible is that just not worth it.

Jeremy: I think sometimes to this isn’t something that’s uncovered until after we’ve started to so we’ll start going through advertising and we’re starting to run things and test things and then over time. We just see that things aren’t converting the way w want to and we start looking into why that is and we get back to sessions and unit sessions percentages and we start looking through these listings and realizing there’s a lot that can be done. And then we’ve got to have that conversation to say, you know, we just want to let you know once again want to sit down and talk to you about what we’re seeing just so you know that it could be an issue and then make that decision of is it something that you are able to let us take off, take off the plate for you or is it something that you just want us to give good feedback because we really will do both. We do at the end of the day your success is is what’s going to keep you working with us. So we want that as much as you want that.

Steve: so I know like from teaching my class that when someone can’t get their Amazon ads to work. I would say like over 80% of the time it’s the listing and not necessarily the ads. So that’s why I asked that question.

Ed: Yeah. I mean that’s huge. Like the listing is the foundation you can advertise anything in the world, but if it doesn’t look good and it’s not presentable. It’s just not going to sell that that applies to retell that. Ice two houses that applies to anything. So if you have a good foundation and presentation of your product before you can advertise it

Steve: what are some of your guidelines in terms of session percentage that you’d like to see?

Ed: Man, this this really depends Jeremy. I’ll let you take this one, you know

Jeremy: important for me. You know, I think you need to at least starting in this this is all over the place, but I like to at least see that something’s hearing about a thousand percent thousand sessions and for unit session percentage. I usually want to try to see if or at least getting like 10% so I can start making the decisions if I can see those two, then we can start figuring out what needs to happen. Once that starts dropping lower than that. It may not be a huge red flag, but it’s at least worth checking into and trying to see what it looks like.

Steve: Okay, so someone comes to you guys as a client and their session percentage is like 3% Is that like a red flag for you guys? Like you just immediately just start looking at the listing and tell him to fix it?

Ed: No, I mean it could also be the category.

Steve: Okay

Ed: the definitely varies across the category to just based on the traffic and based off of the competitiveness like, you know, maybe they are advertising but then advertising heavy enough to get any type of position at all and I’m actually working with a client right now that’s like that where he doesn’t have many sessions right now because I purposely started off his advertising very conservatively because the cost per click and there’s an average about five dollars and That would just blow through the budget immediately. So I start off more conservative now, we’re selling it upwards to getting more and more sessions over time. So it does depend on the category. But if it is something that is historically like that we will definitely look at the listing.

Steve: Okay

Ed: thing is the back end keywords. If you don’t have that foot out, you’re not indexing for some types of terms that you want to index for and I just ruined your traffic overall.

Jeremy: I think the other thing to think about there too is, you know, maybe sometimes people come to us and their catalogs are thousands and thousands of Products and for us to go through every single listing on our own, you know without would take so much more time away. From what when you what we want to do with advertising. So sometimes that’s where the problems aren’t uncovered until we’ve already started there too. And then we have to start talking more about that. But what’s important I think about there is whenever we have those issues or whenever we’re like seeing that something is low. We’re still trying to find ways to talk about what needs to happen there so that we can fix those issues before they become a major problem.

Because advertising at the same time. If it isn’t it, maybe it isn’t the worst listing and maybe advertising handheld at the same time because it just hasn’t been able to get the attention that it needs. And then we start pushing more traffic to that. You start slowly seeing that indexing increase and the next thing we know we’re getting a huge increase organically huge increase their advertising and your products to start to really take off all because it just needed a little bit of a push from advertising.

Steve: Yeah. So what I’m hoping to do right now is Is I want to set some realistic expectations from your clients. Now. I know I work with you guys and I think what I joined my a cost was around 12 percent or so, and it basically meant I was leaving money on the table just to kind of achieve highly profitable ads, right? And so when we kind of discuss strategy, like what are some of the expectations that you sent in terms of seeing performance or when things reach steady state so to speak

Jeremy: So you weren’t your account I would say, you know, the interesting thing about the way we work is Ed always gives us a starting strategy after talking with the client and he really tries to iron out a lot of the details of what needs to happen. And then when it gets done you get to give that strategy to me and I get to take it in completely flip it upside down and start trying to do everything else that we possibly can and I come across along the way. With you, one thing that we did that we don’t normally do is we tried to find ways to Benchmark certain metrics that we saw would be able to possibly Inc show a better increase on year over year.

So we did things like we tried to go after very specific goals on what was our click-through rate going to be because the only thing we really did know that was going to be different from year-over-year new your cost-per-click was going to be higher. That’s a gimme it anyone in on Amazon most of the time.

Steve: Sure

Jeremy: So we needed to figure out what are some other metrics that we could Benchmark and we can look at to make sure that success was going to happen. We ended up trying to make adjustments. Not only on just you’re a cost and how we were in end up and down based on what your a costs goals are but what was your click-through rate how people actually engaging with that ad and then finally, you know, what actually what was your tacos percentage? What was your total advertising cost of sale which is of course taking spend on your advertising and comparing it to your organic Revenue as a whole.

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.

Yeah, I think that was my main goal. Right? I mean I wanted I want to just get more sales at the expense like more profitability I guess. At the expense of a cost and if the tacos stayed around the same I was cool with that. Can you and you probably a detailed notes on this Jeremy, but when we when you first start out with my account, what were some of the first things that you did?

Jeremy: so when we first started out our first attempt any time someone comes to us is we want to get things as clean as possible. So we always try to find a strategy with organization. That’s going to make sure that Ed myself the account coordinator that works on our team to which is another person that helps kind of keep up with the day-to-day actions that we need done. We need to make sure that we had something we could all efficiently see and we knew how to navigate well, so right as we started doing that we started a little bit of you know here expansion and trying to test out what we could do to add keywords. Most of this is done by looking at what were you running in the past?

And then also using tools like SellerLabs Pro which has the scope which is the keyword expand or word exploration tool, once we’re able to start figuring out what those major keywords that describe your product where it started adding them. We quickly started realizing that your account and a lot of the major keywords that represent your products. We’re already like number one and ads number one organically and that’s definitely where the battle started but that was our first step is we needed to be able to figure out what is the cleanest approach For traffic and how can we make sure that moving forward we understand what needs to happen with your account.

Steve: Yeah. I remember I wasn’t paying attention that closely but I think some of the first things that you did obviously would you did you set up the campaign’s one SKU// campaign? I believe

Ed: right

Steve: was that that was your first step and then I think from there you just ran a bunch of Auto campaigns and you were talking some switches that I had never toggled. Yeah the past just because I never got around to it. Can you kind of describe what those were?

Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah. That was actually one of the first times I tested that out, too. And this is this is what we always go back to is the two things. We really can say that we always try to provide is one transparency, two testing. We’re always trying to test out new things so we can find those big wins. And in that situation. What we wanted to do is we had kind of it was it was brand new to the world of Amazon to have the four options with auto targeting campaigns at it. So in the past and an auditorium campaign, you could only adjust your default Bid, so you had one bid to control that entire Auditorium campaign, but around that time a little bit earlier. I believe it was in the prior year. We they had added four options to be able to Target your products a little bit differently on auditing campaigns

They had complementary substitutes, close match and loose match. So it gave for new default bids that you could adjust for One auto targeting campaign and a little bit more about what those four groups represent is you know loose match is a keyword type of search on an auditorium campaign. So it just is any keyword that is Loosely represented by that by the products that are the keywords that Amazon sees Frank for that for that campaign, close match is very small and itchy keywords that also represented, substitutes are products that people may have bought instead of yours. And then Compliments are products that people bought in conjunction with you. The difference between those two is the Complementary and substitutes are all made by Amazon providing asons. We’re close match and loose match are all keywords.

Steve: And do you remember which one’s ended up working well for my particular account?

Jeremy: Yes, so after we had set it up we had broken out all the Autos to be to have the all the keyword targeting options in One auto campaign and all the product based targeting in a second one. So the same product mirrored but one had the two options are targeting attributes the other have the other two and at the end what we found was keywords continue to work for you. We had but we were able to do that helped us a lot more with your account is because we had that broken up we could actually pay less for the asons because we couldn’t negate them at the time and we only needed to pay for what made sense for that section of Amazon.

Steve: So when you guys were looking at my account for the first time what was low-hanging fruit?

Ed: I still go back to the structure. I’m like you had the napkins.

Steve: Okay

Ed: brands of the towels the handkerchiefs everything like that. I think just a biggest thing and this is something that like it’s kind of like a even if we have a client that comes to us and they stay with us for the initial three months and they’re like, okay, I got this under control. I can take it back over kind of things. They kind of leave with kind like a goody bag from a really awesome party or something is that structure because we restructure the account with with let’s see what Jeremy? 9% of the clients that I work with kind of The account itself because I have a little bit of OCD and if I’m looking at ads all day, it gets really bad. So I actually take the time for the initial portion of the engagement It’s a build out a brand new structure.

Just like you said Steve where it’s you know, most of the time these you based at group system where we have campaigns like we have a napkin campaign and then we have all the napkins advertise inside of that campaign, but there’s one ad group for each skew so this way we have all of our napkin keyword Search terms coming through one Campaign. But then we know exactly what Search terms are working for each individual skew so we can get very unique variations of those Search terms coming through for a particular product. That’s the biggest thing that I remember seeing because there was some overlap or things might have been advertised multiple places and then it kind of splits your impressions over time and makes it harder to see what’s actually working.

So it takes longer tags to gain valuable insights because everything is being split so hard so doing this one of the first big ones that I saw this also allows To see what’s actually advertising what’s not advertised. There’s not really like, you know, just the way to just look at a campaign and see that now we can see that just based on the disk use throughout the account. So that was the biggest thing that I saw. Jeremy, which is one else that really stuck out for you when you first look at the account?

Jeremy: No, I mean, I think that that that really was that’s usually a big thing that we have to come across and then from there. It’s just trying to understand what the clients goal or goals are so we can align with them but I think we found some cool things but as far as like coming in that structurally That was the only thing that I saw that could have probably improved.

Steve: So in terms of setting expectations for anyone who wants to use managed Services, I know that we kind of got off to a rocky start in the beginning and that was to be expected you guys warn me ahead of time that the spend and the conversions would be higher than when I was running my own campaigns. What was your process for transitioning things over? Yeah, and what’s the time frame that you would expect?

Jeremy: So that really is for us. We always like to use three months is like our marker for Is that time to try to figure out how to best transition what is already running first off get it over to ours and be able to use this new cleaner strategy to be able to keep highlighting the winds in your account and a little bit more about how we like to do that is we like to make sure that everything that’s been there everything that’s running. We want to just make decreases and try to cut back on things that are poorly performing for that campaign. So that really only things that are that are working super super well are there and honestly, you know, if we kept running those campaigns and over time we kept adding to only ours and only making decreases to everything that been in that account before.

And it just so happened that three months later. We have one campaign and auto targeting campaign that is still giving it phenomenal a costs and making good sales, even though we’ve transferred it. I almost would say let’s just keep running that until we don’t see that success. So we’re never missing opportunities. We’re just Can you to expand on them

Ed: right whatever just going to turn off the campaign because it’s not ours, like if we’re seeing that valuable traffic still coming from and after doing just decreases over time after just pulling back and transferring to our new campaigns at this the running real efficient and it has a great return. We may still keep it going for the time being but of course our goal is to always pull things over to our campaigns to make it just cleaner across the account

Steve: and how long did that process take? I don’t remember I don’t I don’t know data, but was it around three months?

Jeremy: we got most everything transitioned. After three months. There was a few campaigns after three months that were still running really well, so we kept them to we let them continue running and a lot of that still does come back to even you know, how Amazon collects data some of there’s a lot of things that are unknown with what they validate and how they find indexing for products and campaigns and how they’re running. So if something is running super well and it just so happens that Amazon has just collected the right stuff on that campaign in Auditory campaign to let it keep running. Well, we just wouldn’t want to cut that away until we see that that’s actually the case and it’s not performing well.

Steve: So looking at my account specifically where were the largest traffic gains that you ended up seeing from your implementation?

Jeremy: I think that we still were able to do a little bit more with product targeting and that was that was something that we didn’t have as much of for you. A lot of your sales came through brand a lot of people knew about what your brand was and that’s how people got to you. So immediately as we started going through and trying to figure out not only what keywords are we bidding on but what keywords are you already indexing? number one organically for we wanted to try to figure out what else could we offer one is of course, we could keep trying to push into some other areas like Seasons with weddings or you know, people were searching for things for holidays.

And we did do a little bit of that. But the one thing that I that we did we try to focus a little more on was how are we actually targeting other products on Amazon and honestly if that was something where we were still working on your account some of the new options they’ve even offered since then. Then I would probably keep pushing on those at this point too

Steve: so I just pulled up my post that I wrote on this and just some of the numbers that ended up happening. So I took these numbers after the three months settlement period once we were running primarily your ads and it looks like you boosted ad spend by about almost 6,000 like 5,800 bucks and the revenue increased by twenty six thousand which is roughly a 4 and 1/2 x return and can we talk about just kind of fees here, so These are they start at what like $1,000 a month.

Ed: Yes, we would do this, I actually like the way we do our pricing it’s based on tears of ad spend. So the initial tier is if you’re spinning between zero to five thousand dollars a month and ads spend, we start off at $9.99 so thousand dollars a month and then you go up based on your ads spend like the next year for instance is a 5001 to $10,000 a month and that’s 13.99 then it goes up accordingly like to the other tiers going on. So it gives you Room to Grow which is why I like it. We’re not constantly asking for a certain percentage necessarily. We’re just kind of helping you grow. If you want to if you don’t want to grow you can stay within that tier we can be really strict on the actual spend itself.

But it gives you room to kind of grow before you hit that next tier on a monthly basis so we can kind of work with you on that and we also have like in a contract someplace to do renewals as well. So if you renew you can get like a discount there as well. So we’re always looking to help out, you know the clients as well. We’re not just going to be how some other organizations are with their base spending.

Steve: I guess the key is it’s just like a flat rate, right? There’s no percentage of AD spend or anything like that?

Ed: Yes, just flat rate on a monthly basis.

Steve: Is that right?

Ed: Yeah.

Steve: Okay. Yeah. So for some of your other clients and I know my profit margins are really high so, you know, I could actually justify the spend but what would you recommend and I don’t know what your typical customers or how much you can increase their ad spend but I assume there’s some sort of correlation right in terms of whether this makes it worth it or not in terms of margins or skill.

Ed: Yeah. I mean, I’m really does just you know, based on what you’re currently spending and having first of all the willingness to grow but also knowing that were going to be in there to make your account more efficient at the same time people may come to us if you like all I do is I just spend money on Amazon. I don’t get any return, you know, you can also come to us to see if we can help you out with that. So make sure what you are. He is leading to a good return for you. And we do use we do still use a cost as a good basis, but also tacos as well so we can look at the overall sales coming through to so really just having understanding that we’re here to help you out to make it more efficient. Of course, we can’t guarantee like Hey, we’re going to have you done. So 5% a costs by the end of this month.

But having that availability of there and even like I have a new client that I’m starting with actually next week. He probably has a dollar margin on each product. And we’re just going to take a different approach with that. It’s like anybody with different types of margins. You can take a different approach which that the aim very low would like, you know, Ten Cent bids across the board or even five cent bids just to begin with.

Steve: I mean, how is that possible a dollar? Margin?

Ed: That’s the fees and everything. It’s a very competitive like Market as well. So I’m going to see how it performs but it is something where even just having passive advertising is still a good way to increase your velocity over time and the show Amazon that you deserve better placement organically so you can still have those cells coming through

Jeremy: and And it seems like I don’t know if this is going to be one of my client said but it seems like me the conversation that would have to happen that situation is advertising is there to help influence your overall sales, but what you have to figure out in the same time is how can you get more margin is it is a is that a supply issue? What it what do you have to work on there while I’m working on this make sure that that transparency is understood that those are very very small margins and we’ve got to make sure that we’re really Precise there at the same time just like we were talking about all the time.

We have to make sure that you that we’re validating the cost of our service and we’re still giving you a great return because Amazon likes to take every cent from you than it is we don’t want to just be trying to take everything from you. We want to try to find a way that actually works so we can keep a relationship going.

Ed: right

Steve: How’d you guys run the campaigns? Like how often are they monitored or they monitored by like a machine? I know it’s like how I would do it, but

Ed: I mean, so what we have 14 available every account has a dedicated account director, account manager, an account coordinator. So you come in and have a full team behind you. You have three people that are looking at your account, you know on a weekly basis. Normally the accounts are looked at four to five times each week based on the optimization schedule of the account coordinator. And of course the account managers also looking at it and the contractor is also looking at it. For instance, Like Chase Kucera one of our Stellar account coordinators who is a huge data geek which is why I like him so much.

He actually Ali has his like in a broken out where Mondays and Tuesdays he’s doing been adjustments then one day he’s doing keyword transfers and he’s doing budget checks and doing the negations and doing other things like that. So he breaks it out on a weekly basis. So you can Circle back to the same tasks at the same time next week. So it allows the data to repopulate within that Weekly period.

Steve: I see. Yeah, I mean one of my problems I know is that I didn’t really look at my account very often.

Ed: Yeah

Steve: and so I purposely went for low a costs so that I wouldn’t actually have to manage it that much. And when you’re going for traffic I think and when you’re pushing the envelope you kind of have to monitor a little bit more.

Ed: data coming in a short period of time see you at the optimize it a lot quicker because you’re just going to jump on it a lot faster before it does blow up and leads to wasted stand across the board.

Ed: And that’s like the that’s the main thing I try to tell people like outside of outside of Sellerlabs when I’m talking to a client if anyone’s asking like hey, I’m interested in trying to get into Amazon and starting to advertise or maybe they’ve already been they just want to get into advertising. My biggest thing is try to find a way to set up a system that gives a repetition of what you’re doing. You have to have that even if it’s just something simple as saying I want to spend an hour doing this once a week. If you as long as you can do that, you can check yourself and find a way to create a process that will keep happening. But if you don’t have time for that then that’s kind of why our that’s why we exist. We’re here to help people whenever they don’t have time for something like that.

Steve: And the most important question of all I have for you guys. Was I a pain in the ass or what? I mean in terms of the clients that

Ed: Can we go ahead, can we in this now do we have

Jeremy: Are we done? No no, honestly Steve, you really aren’t a bad client, we definitely dealt with a lot through the years, maybe it conditioned us to have thick skin, but at the end of the day, we’re always just trying to find the right answer and you had things that you were Looking for and our goal in that situation is to figure out what is it that you’re looking for. How do we align on it? How do we complete it? So it was easy you were great wo work with

Ed: Yeah you were great.

Steve: I know from my experience like Jeremy. I remember you want to meet weekly and I was like weekly what the heck I don’t have time to meet weekly and then you’re like, okay bi-weekly and then I was like, okay that seems like a pretty often also and I was just wondering if that was common with your clients.

Ed: Yeah. So all of our clients we do by weekly calls.

Steve: Okay

Ed: see we do by weekly calls, but we don’t disappear on that off week. Like we’re still there available by email. I’ll have clients who say hey got this problem. You have some time to talk and I’m like, yeah, like let’s just jump on a call. It’s easier to talk about this and having e-mails back and forth for hours. So by weekly calls are the Cadence that we have and that’s just worked because even if there’s not much to talk about is still time to connect and realign on everything and show them, you know, what’s been done today? Count you know what we did in the past two weeks we plan to do going forward. Here’s your metrics. Here’s how they look here’s the continuity and change over time that we’re seeing throughout them as well.

So it’s just a good way to keep that relationship strong too because based on relationship like if we aren’t talking to our clients, we’re not really keeping that alive, you know with them. We’re kind of just letting the ball be dropped. So that’s something else to really focus on it’s just like being there for the clients being a brand Advocate being there to help them out and being there to talk to them what they need something.

Jeremy: you know, I’ve been a little bit all over the place on that too you know, we always present like bi-weekly is a standard for us to just kind of say that that’s what we might do. But you know, I’ve had clients that want to talk every single week and they have a list of what they want and every single week for me to talk about or what they want to go over and I’ve had clients that want to talk every month and I’ve had clients that I send an email update every two weeks to them for the past, you know for months. It really is up to what Is the client feel like it’s adequate there and we’re just kind of there to make sure that we’re figuring that out for them, too.

Steve: What’s funny is I was just kind of looking through my email thread with you Jeremy and there was one email where I sent as like I don’t think anything really changed or could change that much in a week. So why don’t we put on this meeting? Oh man, but yeah, I think it’s great that you guys are so communicative like it’s not my style in general, but I can see like if you’re paying money and you’re not familiar with you guys, like on a personal level then you probably want to talk a little bit more.

So it’s great that you offer that by default. Should say I guess that much pretty much covers case tell you that I’ll link up the blog post that I wrote. If you guys want to see some actual numbers and months and months when they were actually running my account. But in terms of where people can get ahold of you they’re interested in trying your managed services and where can they find you and what services do you offer exactly?

Jeremy: Ed cut out a little bit. But yeah, I know that Ed has we have a link that we can get and I believe if you’re trying to pull that up right now too, we have a way to be able to get people back there. But as far as our services we offer, of course, we ad management if people are anyone’s interested in actually taking over the advertising but then we also offer the ability for stores if people are interested in this actually building out stores for them as well as China looking into like a plus content listings too.

Steve: in terms of charging for that. Is that on like a one-off or is that kind of included when you pay for the PPC managed services?

Jeremy: it’s all just a one-off, you know whenever We feel like that something that that could they could really benefit from we start having those conversations. We have had people reach out to us and just immediately interested in something like that.

Ed: Yeah

Jeremy: and in that situation, we’re definitely gonna do work with them and try to figure out one, you know, especially when it comes to listings. What can we give them because we don’t want to just sell listing optimizations and then get them into hey these look beautiful. There’s not anything we can do to help you want to be able to actually give value with anything we’re offering so we like to have those conversations as their own thing their own service that we’re going to offer as a whole for them.

Ed: Right

Steve: So Ed. I think you cut out when we’re talking about the link like

Ed: yeah link that we can use to get in touch with all of us.

Steve: Yeah. Yeah, I guess I imagine like if they’re interested they’re going to set up a call with you guys similar to how we got started.

Ed: You can just go to sellerlabs.com/ppc-steve. Steve, you got your Link man

Steve: I know I was about to say I don’t remember you guys tell me about that link before because I’ve never used it before so

Ed: we got it is so nice we got it just for you because we love you so much.

Steve: Oh, wow. Okay, you are piling on the flattery today Ed had just wondering in the back of my mind whether you guys want something but I

Ed: I’ll let you know what I’ve been looking for, you know, we can work something out.

Jeremy: I’ll be honest with you Ed won’t stop talking about these handkerchiefs that you have. He just really haha

Ed: You got me there, I was looking for bulk case just for myself.

Steve: So that’s how you guys got the a cost of you start buying all my products, I see now how it works. Hey but guys, I appreciate you coming on the call. And and I know I get a lot of questions on just using agencies in general. I know I’ve used you guys and I’ve been in touch with you guys for so many years and that’s why I trust you and I think that’s important when you guys, when in general if you’re thinking about going with an agency.

Ed: Yeah it is.

Steve: So, all right fellas until the next time I assume I will see you at the next seller summit, Ed? so and and Jeremy hopefully I will encounter you again at some point and be that pain in the ass once again.

Jeremy: I enjoyed seller Summit this year. I tuned into it as much as I could while I was still working. There’s some really awesome stuff there. So thank you for letting me join. It was great man!

Steve: Yeah, I mean someone’s got to be doing the work. Well, it is gallivanting and online conference. So. All right guys, well, thanks a lot and take care.

Ed: Awesome, Thank you.

Hope you enjoyed that episode and I hope it provided you with some guidelines on when you should go with an agency. And when it makes sense for your Amazon business. For more information about this episode go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode312.

And once again, I 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.

I also 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 and try it for free. Once again, that’s mywifequitherjob.com/klaviyo

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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