314: David Herrmann On How To Scale Your Ecommerce Brand With Ads

314: David Hermann On How To Scale Your Ecommerce Brand With Ads

Today I’m happy to have David Herrmann on the show. David runs Herrmann Digital LLC which is a company that specializes in scaling direct to consumer brands online and he has personally spent over a hundred million dollars in ads.

He has advertised on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok and today, we are going to talk about the best way to scale an ecommerce brand with paid advertising.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why David focuses on ecommerce.
  • How to scale your ecommerce brand with ads.
  • David’s specialized approach to scaling an ecommerce brand with ads.

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 dig deep into what strategies, they use to grow their businesses. And today, I have David Hermann on the show. And David is an expert in scaling E-Commerce brands with paid advertising and his approach is a little bit different than some of the other media buyers I’ve had on the Podcast, and I know that you’ll learn a lot.

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 a lot 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? That is 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.

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 that 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 message provider. Now why PostScript? Well 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. 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 David Herman on the show. Now, David is someone who I met at my buddy, Nick Shackleford’s event called Geek Out LA and I knew that as soon as I heard his talk that I wanted to have him on the show. Now, David runs Herman Digital LLC, which is a company that specializes in scaling direct to consumer brands online and he’s personally managed over a hundred million dollars in ad spend over the years and he’s advertised on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube and you can Tick Tock.

And he’s actually collaborated in the past with my buddy, Andrew Foxwell who has also been a guest on this show. Anyway today, we are going to talk about scaling E-Commerce brands with paid advertising and with that welcome to show David. How you doing today? Man?

David: Good man. How are you doing?

Steve: I’m doing good. I really enjoyed your talk at Geek Out man.

David: Yeah, thank you.

Steve: And give us the quick background story for the listeners out there who don’t know who you are and tell us how you got started with ads in general and E-Commerce.

David: Yeah, so I’ve been doing digital in some capacity since College back in 2003, 2004-ish. I kind of got started playing around with the social media of the time AOL Instant Messenger and MySpace and then…

Steve: Ohh MySpace hehe…

David: Yeah hehe. Gotta… Got a little bit in the Myspace days and in college I ran Myspace Pages for bands. For independent record labels

Steve: Cool.

David: So, I was the one messaging the people and doing all the promotions and things like that. I just got hooked I kind of was like, “This is such a cool idea.” And then eventually, you know as I Graduated college went through a recession. Realized, you know, this whole online thing was really a cool idea and then eventually work for a toy company in Torrance, California and was part of 18 International toy company was part of a team of like eight marketers all of them got laid off but me and I didn’t know what to do. And this was 2009, and so I started doing Facebook because that was like The Social Network that I know how to do for like marketing.

Eventually, got to a point where we had it a huge, huge following on Facebook and then the business pages came out and then we reverted to that and then Facebook Ads started and then I started there and I’ve pretty much been doing Facebook ads and ads online ever since and obviously scaling as we go and then getting with bigger brands, bigger brands and eventually just kind of going out on my own and then doing this pretty much solo or with a corner since 2014 so.

Steve: You know, it’s funny about this is you got kind of started during the last recession and actually, so did I. I started both my business during the recession. I think there’s something about the recession.

David: Yeah, it is. It forces you to think differently about what you’re dealing with because ultimately at that time, as you remember, like there was no jobs like no one was hiring and you know, we were young we didn’t have experience and that was the one area where there was no experience needed. And so, it was just sort of like a golden opportunity to get involved to see what was going on. And you know, as we as we head into, I guess we could say it’s a recession.

Steve: It’s a recession.

David: You know, I think that the same thing holds true. I think that E-Commerce… This is never a better time to be dabbling in it. Even if you’re working from home like pick up something, you know? Try it. Like, you know, there’s opportunities to get involved by spending 20 bucks a day on something, you know? It just starts with somewhere so.

Steve: Totally agree. I mean, I think like I’ve been stuck at home for four weeks now and I think as this happens to the entire US. People are just going to get used to shopping online even more than they already have and I think it’s just going to become a habit.

David: Yeah it is and you know, there’s part of me that likes it and then there’s part of me that’s all sad about it. Just because you know, there’s a lot of really good people out there that have them on pawn shops. And those will still… I think they’ll still always be there but it’s the CPM cost are never lower. The competition is naturally really not because you know, depending on when you listen to this a lot of the major retailers have pulled out of their ads spends. Uhm the politics? Most political campaigns have suspended right now.

So, in terms of the market, the only people you’re competing with are similar size advertisers as yourself meaning like smaller D to C right now a million dollars a day on ads but really spending money that you are in direct competition with and you have a better chance of being successful.

Steve: I’m just kind of curious. How did you get into the E-Commerce side? Did you ever sell any physical products yourself?

David: No, I’ve always just kind of worked with brands in doing it. Foxwell and I have been friends a long time. And you know, I was working with some small companies doing… Originally I was doing Lead Gen on Facebook ads different things like I did for college admissions, I did for mortgages and you know those kind of industries and then eventually, Andrew actually was the one who brought me on a brand and was like, “Hey, I think he’d be good at the E-Com side” And that’s when it really started and I got hooked.

Steve: Ohhh okay.

David: So he was kind of the one that pushed me along and that’s why him and I are such good friends. It’s really because of that, we worked together for so many years.

Steve: That’s awesome

David: And you know, this is back in you know, when the Facebook ads would just dirt cheap like you’ve launched an ad and we’d have a you know, 3 to a 6X top of funnel and feel like you’re on top of the world, you know.

Steve: Hahaha yeah.

David: Hehe. So, a little different now, but you know back then it was a different story so.

Steve: Maybe there’s days are coming back with everyone pulling that around hahaha.

David: I hope. I hope haha yeah.

Steve: So David, I want to talk about the case study that you presented a Geek Out LA because, you’re example actually made me kind of completely rethink my approach to Facebook ads and in a way that you could actually market kind of mundane products. So first off, can you just kind of set the stage for that company that you talked about what they were selling and what their ads look like before you took over?

David: Yeah. So, the company sells children’s books for the faith-based community. So, they… They’re geared towards young girls ages like 4 to 10 and the product itself. It’s basically five stories from the Old Testament of the Bible and it breaks down one woman from each of the stories and they’ve got whole concept behind it is to educate young girls about the value they have that they can find in these women if it’s not patient, it’s bravery or prayer or you know perseverance and things like that and the books are they were animated by former Disney animators. So, they’re really high-quality books made in the US just a really good product.

Steve: Is it a hardback book.

David: It’s a… It’s a five…. It’s a five-part series hardcover their $14.99 apiece. We sell a bundle for $59.99 and definitely what we sell primarily where people buy and so when I came into this project the agency that was running it before I came in, they were a television commercial company. That was what they say that’s was their skill set. And so, they dabble with ads and you know, typically creatives and media buyers they work well together but creative they’re probably not the best media buyers and media buyers probably aren’t the best creatives.

So, you know, they were running the ads weren’t terrible but they were running very like, you know, long form horizontal ads that didn’t really show off the product and you know, the imagery was like photos on white backgrounds very catalog feeling and it…

Steve: Just the books you mean??

David: Yeah, it just lacked. It lacks the true emotion. You need to connect with these books. And so, I came in a year ago actually and it was almost a year ago to the day. It was like March 20th. And you know, it was right before Easter and so we relaunched with a bunch of new ads and we just change the focus. We originally the ads just talked about what the book was. It was like this is Bible bells and that’s the name of the book and we miss it. Does this this this and this and it’s like it was like three senses and I was like, you know, no one’s going to connect with that because they don’t know the story. They don’t even know what this is.

So, we rephrased sort of the ad copy to be focused on something that a lot of parents would connect with which was Disney and princesses. And so, we changed sort of the problem and solution of the ad copy to be focused on that. So, the copy went how many Disney princesses can your daughter name? Now how many women of the Bible catchy name get your attention?

Steve: How did you come up with that? I mean, do you have a process in place?

David: So, you know it really boils down to just being really connected with our clients because for that the author of the book, you know, she was very open about like what she was trying to accomplish and we talked about it and you know, that was… It was something that Disney kept coming out and it was that was sort of like the hook for me to kind of take it and test it. It’s because of that like our books were made by a Disney animator, you know, and so there was that tie in already to it. And so that’s really why we kind of elected to go that route. And yeah.

Steve: I was just going to ask you what like what attracted to this project because I’m just thinking to myself like a book that sells for 15 bucks. I mean that’s going to be hard to get profitable right?

David: Right. So, I am a type of person that likes to take on challenges and not do the easy things because when I do easy things, I get bored. And so that was really one of the big reasons why and also, I think I really connected with the client and the clients are really good friends of mine now like, okay, I’ll go down and stay in San Diego. I go down to San Diego and just we’ll go have lunch well over dinner and we’re friends, you know, and so we were in it together. The project is I just recognize them and we just connected and the law. Lot of times when I look for projects to work on, I’m looking at the product but the product isn’t the only… the only like thing I look at when I’m talking to somebody it’s is this person and I, do we connect? You know, because it’s a relationship and you know, especially during these tough times. You need to have a relationship with somebody that’s going to be with you and be willing to work with you long term. Not just you know, like balance after your you stop being profitable for a week. But no.

Steve: Do you have any guidelines on… I don’t know that average order value or even the type of product that might work. Like obviously you wouldn’t take on a project that you didn’t think that you could improve upon, right?

David: Right. Yeah, I you know, the thing about working on different projects is like I’m looking at a few things one is what’s the competition in the market like for this product? Right? So, one thing I’m never going to take on things like sunglasses or things like iPhone cases, you know things like wallets, you know? The like things that are really really really hard to break in with because there’s so many of them out there and frankly there’s better world companies. There’s you know, it’s like you haven’t like I use, you know, my baseball glove wallet from FC Goods. Like that’s why that’s why we go to have a good buy their wallet. I like that thing but like, you know, that’s something that I’m always looking at when I called with products and like right now, I’m working with a company. Start your work at the company. That’s focused on a lot essential stuff.

And it’s like they’re things that we need in our households that are sold at like Bed Bath and Beyond and those kind of stores and I’m thinking to myself, you know, there’s a market for this because the market has shifted and so that’s a mindset and this currency I’m shifting about is going like I don’t want to sell wallet, but I’ll sell like hey how to unclog your unclog your sink. Because we can’t call plumber right now. So, people are going to be looking for this stuff. Right? And so, looking at changing the focus during different times of the year different times of our life cycle to is also important to be looking at.

Steve: So for the wallets example, is it just because it’s just that much harder to make stand out among the crowd?

David: Yeah. I mean in the… You know, a lot of times in say that scenario like the people that are in that space. Head like Ridge Wallet it’s another great example, like great wallet company, absolutely fantastic people that work there. They know what they’re doing. I’m not going to compete with them, you know? It’s like okay, you know the market right and it’s like the same thing with like sunglasses like looking at what Diff is doing right? Like Diff Eyewear is such a great company at what they do. It’s like in that market and blenders, right? Different blunders are kind of like the preferred and then you have… You know, you have like what you might call it, you know like the high-end right Wayfarers, you know, this is like there’s these markets where you just go. Yeah. I’m just not going to compete. You kind of go from there.

Steve: So, this Christian book like when they first came to you and you took a look at their ads and did you just kind of know right away that you could do a better job with it?

David: Oh, yeah. I said when I thought I saw the way it was set up. I saw the way I was targeted and I was just like yeah, there’s this… There’s a lot of opportunity here.

Steve: So, walk me through this like let’s say I was the client and I have these books and my ads right now are just pictures of books, I guess. Like what questions did you ask them to get all this information out in order to kind of formulate your ultimate strategy, which was it sounds like Disney. What was the ad copy again? How many Disney princesses do your kids know?

David: Yeah. How many Disney Princesses does your daughter know? How many women of the Bible does she know?

Steve: Right. And usually it’s zero, right?

David: Yeah yeah.

Steve: They know every princess but… Okay… Haha.

David: Yeah naturally and it again when I was… When we were talking originally it was a… All my connections all my it’s all referral-based everyone that I talk to… Everyone that I work with is referral-based. I don’t cold and I’m that’s just not something that I want to do and you know, it’s so far served me well that…

Steve: Actually, you don’t even have a website I noticed a kind of looked for it.

David: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t… I’d be in the… Honestly, I just eventually get one, if I absolutely need it. But the reality is it’s there’s not much of a need for it, if I don’t need it, right? You know, it’s like… I have a Twitter account and people hit me up on Twitter. And if they if they can’t figure that out then I don’t know if I’d want to work anyway.

Steve: Sure. I mean, it keeps out the riffraff right?

David: Right, right exactly so.

Steve: So, can you give us kind of describe what these discussions on how you arrived at that strategy because there’s always this disconnect and there’s a lot of creativity involved, you know. Yeah. So, if you have like some sort of process like if you were pretending like let’s say I was coming to you with these books. Like what questions would you ask me? Like, what do you have like a set methodology for arriving at the creative?

David: So, I look at a few things when I look at creative. I’m making sure that like our top of funnel creative is really focused on user-generated content and testimonials and also educates a bit about the product. So, it’s a mix of all three. So, it feels very in line with say a Facebook feed or an Instagram story. Where does it feel like an ad because again, you don’t want anything to feel like an ad you want something to feel… You know Joe Schmo down the street shot this video and is trying to sell you on it, right?

That’s a huge thing is to be focused on. Secondly, you want to always have some type of angle in your ad and hook whatever that maybe if it’s you know, like the Disney hook for example, or you know hook finding out like a problem like right now we’re running a lot of ads about being stuck inside, you know and those are working really well across the board because it’s just stuff that people are really eager about and really hungry about and it just engages and I shot a video for a shoe company yesterday that I run and I launched the ad basically it was my fiancé putting on the shoes sitting on the couch where you can clearly see that it was on carpet and it shows her walking around the house and walking down the steps always focused on the shoes.

And then I did the angle of outside. Right before she put her foot on the welcome mat to walk outside. I froze it. I froze the ad and then it showed her sitting down on the couch and saying and it’s saying, “You can still look cute in doors” and so like playing up that hook so to speak? And so, you know, that’s the kind of stuff that I’m really trying to be doing right now and just be very very focused on as we kind of go into this season because you know, the reality is people are they’re all looking for… People are still buying in the you need to give them an idea so to speak so…

Steve: Do you film this on just like your phone? Or?

David: Yeah. Yeah.

Steve: Okay. So, in general all of your video creatives are not professionally produced? Or?

David: Yeah, pretty much. Nobody really is. Yeah.

Steve: Okay. And then you mentioned this was a shoe ad. Wouldn’t shoes kind of fall in that same category as wallets? Or like how are these shoes different?

David: So, the shoes are just real. I mean our this is a coming. It’s been around a long time, you know? So it’s got a lot of… It’s got a lot of like old… It’s been around long enough where it doesn’t have don’t have to worry about the brand.

Steve: Okay. So, people know… Know will recognize the brand?

David: Yeah yeah. Or email lists or you know, three to five hundred thousand… It it…

Steve: Oh, wow. Okay, they’re huge well-established brand.

David: Yeah. I didn’t know no slouch here for that brand so.

Steve: So, you have your hook and then do you incorporate like testimonials in that top of funnel?

David: Typically, yeah. Yeah

Steve: And just trying to get an idea of your campaigns and we can talk about the Christian books if you want because since yeah, you’ve already… It sounds like that’s more public than the current company you’re working on, right?

David: No. It’s so the company… The shoe company is called the Inca shoes. It’s a shoe company that started… Man. Sort of a long time ago. It was a TV show called The Prophet?

Steve: Yeah. I love that show. Didn’t you worked with Marcus Lemonis?

David: Yeah. We… I worked, I work with the fashion group over there and I was part of the team. Foxwell was the one that actually brought me into work one of the brands on that show, then what ended up happening was got brought in to work on the show the work on a product that was going to be on the show. Ended up… Marcus ended up buying the company. So they needed me to run the ads and I started on that… I got… I was good at that for more and more things and then eventually I was working on like five brands for the team and it was really fun a lot of learning experiences too, you know? Kind of like coming into this whole thing and but yeah, it was a lot of fun so that that one brand of shoe company is part of that was part of that portfolio of companies and you know…

Steve: So when you’re launching that… So that video that you just shot like let’s say you’re setting up that campaign. How many different variations? Let’s just start from scratch brand new Facebook campaign, how many creatives do you have? Like what ad set? How many ad sets would you target or do like, how do you set all that stuff up?

David: So what I typically do my setups are it depends on the budget, but I’m always doing about a 70/30 Prospect in your remarketing split for my products because our goal is always selling top of funnel, right? That’s my goal on Facebook.

Steve: Are you shooting for a certain return?

David: And so yeah, I typically, you know, I want to see at least a 1.5 x return. Return on ad spend.

Steve: Okay.

David: For more… A lot of the companies I work with because I know that I can get a 3 to a 4 on remarketing so that is sort of like It’s like my sort of goal, especially as we head into, you know, very competitive season, you know? It’s always like you’re not getting 3 or 4 x’s on top of funnel anymore. It’s just it’s just not happening unless you know, you have a ton of other traffic coming to the site. So yeah.

Steve: Right? Okay. So how many creatives like minimum would you start with like in your testing for like your initial campaigns top of funnel?

David: Typically, I start with 2-3?

Steve: 2-3? Okay.

David: Yeah, because I don’t want to like give the system too many options to choose. I want I want to basically allow the system to make the decision would like not happen to have like 5 to 10 ads. Know what I mean?

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Steve: So, when we talk about creative just to define the terminology the creative would be the video and then the copy would be the text above it. So just three overall variations?

David: Yeah, so your video or photo your headline and your ad copy and the copy that goes above the ad.

Steve: Okay.

David: That’s typically the three that you want to focus on. I pay most attention to my headline because that’s in big bold typically, but… Yeah, that’s kind of how I wanna do it.

Steve: And then your headline is would be just like the hook. So, what was the hook for that shoe ad?

David: It was you can still look cute at home.

Steve: You can still look? Okay. Yeah. And then how… What are some of your guidelines for knowing whether you should continue writing that ad or whether it should just cancel it right away? How long do you let one?

David: So, I let things run. It really depends on the brand, to be honest with you. Because there’s some brands where I need to let things run for 3 to 4 days beforehand? And then there’s certain brands where I know that it’s going to… It’s going to you know, after a couple days. I’m like, yeah, I know this is going to fail, right? Like it just depends on the brand and like the AOV right because I’ve got a company I work with where our AOV is 350 bucks like

Steve: Oh nice.

David: Yeah. Well not I’m not letting that… I’m not letting that ad stop after three days. Like those ads will run for 14 plus days before I start to make decisions because it’s a higher AOV.

Steve: Is there a minimum AOV that you kind of recommend when doing this stuff?

David: You know, I can kind of get in trouble by saying certain things because people will like take it out of context but I always say if you have enough product is under $49, you’re going to have a really difficult time. because just you know, like the idea of getting…

Steve: Unless your back end is really recurring, right?

David: Yeah, that’s if you have a lot of retention, you have a lot of email flows going and you really really have your product lined like honed in. No question. Would I be running more but in content in the context of like Facebook ads and assuming that the only thing you’re doing is running, you know, you’re running ads on Facebook and maybe you know, I don’t know Google your CPAs on Facebook are not going to be… if you’re $49. Gettin like 10 to 15 dollars CPAs is really hard to do so yeah.

Steve: So those books that were 15 each. I assume you just focus on the bundle?

David: Yeah, we didn’t say I never pushed non bundle stuff because we tried it like we tested those ideas but the AOV you know that it’s just too cheap. It just doesn’t work.

Steve: Were there any other products in addition those books or was it just that it? Were there any other cross sells or anything?

David: So, no. It was really just those frankly.

Steve: Oh? Okay.

David: So this in the thing, I’m always super transparent with people when I talk about this stuff because this is not easy and that product, last year, we did we scaled the brand so much last year and we sold out multiple times of the of the bundle and that’s no slouch when you’re selling a you know, 15 to 20,000 units of these suckers. We think we’ve hit sort of a wall. So, to speak with the lowest hanging fruit. So obviously our CPAs have steadily risen as the years gone because we’re going a mean I always like to tell my clients… It seems Brent. I always like to say the brand like, “Brent you got to think about this. We’re selling a book series to Christians?” and you know, we sell the like people who have Jewish of the Jewish faith because we it’s Old Testament, we sell to Catholics obviously and we sell to Mormons like those are the kind of the main religions that we focus on selling to and but we’re also targeting not only is it Niche we have to go after their faith, but we also have to find them that have girls ages 4 to 10.

So, you really narrowing down those the audience and you know that so we’ve had to constantly make changes. We’ve had to constantly tinker with things like we run a lot we’re running branded content a lot with like different influencers in the space. So, for example last week, we launched a branded content with a couple that does a they do like a variety show on Facebook, they have a like over a million followers and Facebook and they’re so good at what they do and they have young girls there and their faith based and just very family-friendly content. And so, we worked out a deal with them and they ran brand content and they allowed me, you know, they gave me full access to their account to basically tinker with it.

Make sure it looks good and will pass Facebook’s all a Facebook’s rules and we’ve been running that video now for a week and we put probably I don’t know 25-30 thousand dollars behind it? And it’s done really well. And so, at some points in the year, what we do is we take the focus off us and we just focus on remarketing and Lao branded content to pick up the people because that’s really what we want.

Steve: I was just going to ask if your top of funnel is it it’s a returning more than 2?

David: Not for them not on top of funnel. For top of funnel you’re looking at anywhere from 1.4 to a 1.8.

Steve: So, are they profitable on those? Are they breaking even at least? Or?

David: Yeah, we do well. Like we do really well, you know, and that’s because that’s just Facebook. We have other sources that were running ads and you know; the brand is really successful.

Steve: Well that’s what I was getting at right? That’s why I asked you like there’s only those one set of books, right? So, once they bought them, they’re done, right?

David: Yeah, and so we work on other things so we have like we have like a homeschooling series that we’ve launched, in conjunction, so we have other coil of digital product…

Steve: I see so those are hundred percent profit?

David: Yeah, so yeah, so we’re focused in a lot of different areas that outside of just this, you know, we’re doing we’ve done really well but it’s just been really successful. The product has been really successful and we’ve we also get a lot of like wholesalers that asked us to sell the books because that’s the thing people don’t realize with Facebook is like, you know, you’re selling if you have a niche product, there are wholesalers out there that want to buy your product to put in their stores right? Now, obviously, they’re not during this season. But like in a normal time, if you have a niche product, you should be looking at that and thinking of things like, “Hey, maybe we should run ads on LinkedIn targeting small business, you know small gift shop owners and try that.” You know? I know a lot of jewelry companies that do that where they have an entire business dedicated to ads for wholesaling, you know, so there’s always other things that you can do beyond just running Facebook ads that is successful.

Steve: So, these Facebook ads are you running that are generating 1.4 + return on ad spend. In a way, it’s kind of like lead gen in a way, right? Because the Major Prophets it sounds like are from the digital products and the halo effect. So, to speak wholesaler start reaching out because they found they found you somewhere through an ad and that sort of thing is that accurate? Or?

David: Yeah, sort of like typically it our slow months is when it is… One of the more focused on digital like this time of year like Easter like this is our season so like for us Bible Bells, the last three weeks have been fantastic sure, right because I bet it’s our season. It’s like usually in the summer months when kids are going outside and you know, this year might be completely different right? I mean we might be we might sell like this is the thing is I think we’re all in the same boat where nobody really knows what’s going on, were all like, well, this might work.

I don’t really know, you know. So like we’re just trying to all figure it out together about what’s really going on in the season and playing it up and making sure that you know, we have inventory for the summer right because we’re also it’s not that’s we don’t discount the product ever. Like we’re not a discount brand. We’re not discounting now or we don’t want to do that. We want to really focus on the product in itself because there’s a lot of value in the product and we have you know, so many customers testimonials so many like people that are excited about it. We’ve run facebook lives we get tons of people. It’s been a really successful in a lot of ways and you know for them, I’ve kind of come on and sort of like a CMO so to speak and really try to help as best as I can because it’s again it’s when you come into a product that you like the team and you like the product itself and you think probably has value. I do want to get more involved right?

I don’t want to just curious like media buyer Facebook guy in the same kind of goes with the shoe company is you know, I am not the CMO but I kind of like, I like to make direction that I shoot the content for my ads because I know what works best, you know, and so yeah.

Steve: So on the retargeting side, what type of ads you wearing? Is it DPA? or you running?

David: So we don’t run DPA for them because there’s just not enough product and it just doesn’t work.

Steve: That’s true. Yeah, there’s only one. One bundle. Yeah hahaha.

David: Yeah hahaha. We have run DPA but it just never works so what we focus on is the author of the book does a lot of media appearances. And so, we run a lot of those ads and then we run we get like we always ask our customers to send us like testimonial videos and we run those as our ads as well. And then I use I’ve got a guy that I use in Texas who does all of our creative… Our creative for us. He’s is really star at what he does and work with him. I’m shooting video and like all like we know we’ll get like these really grainy iPhone videos; you know from people and he’ll make magic out of them every time. So, he’s able to like kind of mess around with them enough for they come out okay, we can use in these ads.

Steve: And in terms of your retargeting periods, I guess like how far out. Do you retarget these people?

David: So, it’s an interesting thing because originally, we used to do a lot less but as Facebook has been really pushing and frankly what we’ve been thinking is actually making it a lot bigger window because we see a higher return that way and…

Steve: What is your definition of a bigger window like 30 days?

David: 30 days. 60 days.

Steve: Okay.

David: I’m going that route because ultimately the system knows better than you and I’m trying you know, there’s that little bit of me that’s still like oh the old school media buyer. That’s like I’m not gonna let Facebook determine what I do and don’t do and you know, it’s like, you know how it is. It’s like we’re all kind of the same boat or like fight you want to fight the system.

Steve: Well the trend now is to just let Facebook do everything right?
David: Yeah, and you know, I don’t I just I don’t, I don’t agree with it. I don’t I know that a lot of people… When I do that the system itself. I still can see where I can make it better, you know, it was like, okay, like I know there’s a lot of I’ve got a lot of friends my friend Savannah is really big on the power 5 and there’s a lot of my friends and I use them Power 5 something that you use it. But like I find that the Power 5 does have its limitations…

Steve: Can you describe to the audience what that is?

David: Power 5 is essentially what Facebook’s been pushing media buyers to do which is automation. Right? It’s so it’s less campaigns, you know, the old school way of doing things. Yeah. I’m sure your guests or your people listening. Are running ads and they’ve got like 25 ad campaigns running right? You have like 12 different prospecting and blah blah blah, you know, just that whole thing. And so, there’s like simplifying the add structure is one, automatic placements is another so letting Facebook determine where to show your ad, the other one is running like Dynamic creative testing so, letting people determine that and then like Auto bids or put they want you to do run auto bids. It’s basically everything is automated. Right?

Steve: Hahaha yeah.

David: Yeah and you know, what ends up happening in you know, it’s different for everybody. But what I find is, even for like a project like the book project Facebook will overtly serve our ads to like Facebook video feeds and I can crunch every number and tell you that Facebook video feed is a loser for us every single time. But Facebook will still serve our ads there. And so, for me, it’s things like knowing my customer knowing how they operate knowing exactly what they’re engaging with because our customers typically a 50 plus year old grandparent who buys these books for their granddaughters.

That’s who buys the books. And like does my does my 61-year-old mom which you know how to buy an ad on our Facebook video feed no, she wouldn’t because she’s watching videos on Facebook. Right? And it’s usually like news right like news videos. Is she going to want to click off Facebook in between a new story or in between like, you know, because that’s sometimes…? And so, when I think about the use cases of things that’s how like, okay. I know more than Facebook does on certain things and that’s the areas that I control. I can’t control what audiences, were for the most part. Because most of the time it’s going broad is what they say, but you know, I still like I’m looking at an account right now and my best performing audiences right now is 2% look-a-likes, you know so…

Steve: Yeah that’s happening you to it’s funny.

David: Yeah, and like that’s the issue is like Facebook will say going broad but there’s some projects where it’s not like they don’t get enough. There’s not like they get enough data, but they just for some reason or another they just don’t convert. They don’t work. So that’s why I always say power 5 works good with a caveat of like you really need to know your customer really well, and if you don’t know your customer and you don’t have a clue run power 5 and I don’t want people to take that to me, the agencies that are running power 5 exclusively or bad agencies. I think that again there’s a lot of value in it where you use the power 5 and just keep optimizing your creative. And that’s the only thing you change which is an is an interesting strategy and I believe it does work. But just for me personally having run ads for so long, I use elements of power 5, but not fully.

Steve: Sure. I mean it sounds to me and I’ve interviewed a bunch of Facebook ads people. It sounds like you get a little bit more involved with your clients and even have a vested interest in the success, right?

David: Yeah. I mean I and, you know, even from like a pricing modeling I’ve switched my modeling because I’ve realized that you know, there was always different ways of doing it for your percentage of ad span percentage of revenue. And I finally just said, you know, I really want to focus on retainer basis with bonus goals to hit…

Steve: In terms of conversions, you mean?

David: Converse it’s like. Yeah. So, like if the company could hit certain Revenue goals, I get bonuses. And because to me as a media buyer, but also as a business owner myself, it’s so much less stress on the business if because like, you know, I don’t know about you but like we had seasons where you know, you’d be sending out a hundred thousand dollar invoices to some of these companies. You’re like, yeah, this thing going to last right? Because like we would have, we would have liked if we can hit a 2.6 x return that means and the thing is if we would crunch the numbers, right? We’re whenever you do this death, you’re crunching the numbers and we like to do it for a lot of these companies because they don’t understand what they’re drop-dead row as its they go well as long as I can get 1X on Facebook. I’m good. I’m like are you sure like, have you crunch your cost of goods sold? Have you crunch these numbers? Oh, no. Actually, your number is more like a 1.5 that you have to hit to be profitable. So, it’s just you know, when it comes to the e-comm world and it comes to running media of ads. It’s so much more than just running ads on Facebook. Like there’s the creative execution that we do with our clients. There’s the…

Steve: There’s the backend, too right?

David: Yeah! There’s so… Like oh my gosh. It’s and that’s why I’m I don’t have a website. That’s why I don’t have a ton of clients right now because I just want to work with really solid brands that have really solid people running them that we can grow together and frankly, you know, I’m in a different mindset of wanting to be hustle. I’m not I don’t want to hustle anymore, you know? 35…

Steve: Because we’re old that’s why hahaha.

David: Right haha. 35 years old. I just I don’t want to do it. Like I just want to grow brands and have in the successes with certain people and there’s a time and place to have fun. Like typically what a lot of us in this world. Do I’m sure you do it is we like to take on a lot of projects right around holidays and like that are fun projects and like we know they’re like one-off stuff but we’re like, “Hey this could work. It could be kind of fun to play with it.” And so, we do that a lot where we’ll take on a project for like October till January and just to see if we can do it. We do that a lot and I actually picked up a project right now that is it’s actually a friend of mine that’s animator that isn’t working and like situational kind of thing and we’re going to sell some product and he has a bunch of ideas or like let’s just try it. You know, it’s like it doesn’t hurt to try something and see if it sticks.

Steve: So towards the… So we’re about to come into the time limit for this interview and I just wanted to have you comment on the different platforms since you advertise on a whole bunch of things like Snapchat, And are you advertising on Tick-Tock too did I read that correctly?

David: Yeah, so I haven’t I haven’t I’ve got ads turned off right now always be transparent but I have run ads on Tick-Tock now come an e-commerce standpoint. But yeah.

Steve: And Snapchat still liable. I mean are people still on that?

David: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know snap it’s all about Snapchat discover ads not snap ads themselves. I find that the snap ads aspect of the… So, like for your listeners, there’s there are there are a few different placements on Snapchat. There are snap ads which are going but that go between stories. Then there’s Snapchat discover, which is kind of like Snapchats, you know, Newsfeed personally and those are more like an editorial play and you can get more of your story out there. The snap ads are just like Instagram story, right? So, you have to if you have an ad that’s crushing on Instagram story. You should test it on Snapchat. Just to test it. But yeah Snapchat is it works really? Well, I’m a fan. I’ve been a fan of Snapchat for a very long time been running ads pretty much since Snapchat wants their pixel two years ago two and a half years ago.

And then they don’t think one is I steal bullish on Pinterest Pinterest edits. Yeah. I not many people play with them. But the thing about Pinterest is you have to play long tail and you need to stand that on that platform. If you are if you’re you need to be always ahead of the game. So, like you should be running ads right now for things to do for the 4th of July. You should be running for things to do for middle of summer to get your kids off of the streets, you know, you should be writing on that kind of stuff. And its very image focused more that everything else so.

Steve: Yeah so our store’s in the wedding industry, and we find that people just use Pinterest to pin things that they’re gonna shop for eventually. So there could just really long lag time actually.

David: Yup.

Steve: Uhm between someone pinning something and actually making a purchase.

David: Correct. Yeah that’s what it’s about, man.

Steve: Every other platform is different and uh, it’s fun stuff.

David: Yup yup.

Steve: So David, thanks a lot for your time. If people want to get a hold of you… Or if they want to use your services, where can they actually find you? Since you’re not clearly visible like on the web, right?

David: Hahahaha. So, I’m on my Twitter it’s @Herrmanndigital.

Steve: Okay yeah cool.

David: Yup.

Steve: Oh well, thanks a lot David.

David: You bet.

Hope you enjoyed that episode. Now I get a really great vibes and I love his approach with how he helps E-Commerce businesses grow. For more information about this episode, go to MyWifeQuitHerJob.com/Episode314. 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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