Building an Audience Off Amazon – Part 1
Are you building an audience for a Private Label brand outside of Amazon? If not you probably should be. In this episode, we cover two strategies for building an audience so that you can sell more on and off of Amazon. This is going to be a multi-part series because there is so much we could talk about on this topic. It’s a topic that a lot of people don’t think about all the time. Really the power and the beauty of Amazon are that you don’t necessarily need to build an audience in order to have success selling your products. You can utilize the audience that Amazon already brings to the table. However, once you get rolling, building an audience really adds a whole new level to your Private Label business. It is a big part of what we’re always hitting on and trying to reinforce as being so important. Our emphasis is building a brand, not just selling products.
Liran, I think this has been a big focus for you so far in 2018. I know one of your goals for this year is building an audience and building your business beyond just Amazon. We are always talking about how great Amazon is but you’re looking to maximize your Amazon potential and then build beyond it. One of the ways or one of the tactics that you’ve been utilizing just in the last couple days and weeks are Amazon giveaways. I don’t think this is a topic that we have actually talked about on the show before.
We’re not talking about the typical Amazon product to launch, discounted giveaways that I think of most of the time when someone says “giveaways”. This is actually through Amazon, it’s called the “Amazon Giveaway Program”. Maybe you can give us an explanation of what “Amazon Giveaways” is? Where can you find it? Who has access to it? What is the purpose of it? What your strategy has been as you dig into. And how are you using it to help with building an audience and how that’s actually working?
Liran: You don’t have to work on building an audience outside of Amazon but I think it’s important if you really want to grow a brand. You want to have control and communication with an audience outside of Amazon. Because we’ve seen as Amazon evolves it might get harder to communicate with customers even through Amazon. There are talks that maybe a year from now auto responders won’t be around. Or maybe you won’t be able to ask customers for reviews. Amazon constantly changes so having an audience means you have more control. That’s always a good thing for a business to have.
1) Amazon Giveaway Program
What I’ve been doing is working with Amazon giveaways. Essentially what Amazon giveaways are, is you’ll see on the bottom of a lot of detail pages on Amazon “set up an Amazon giveaway for this product”. You’ll see a little link or button all the way at the bottom underneath the reviews on products. Actually, what it allows you to do, it actually allows anybody to give away any product on Amazon as a way to build a following on social media. Or get a recognition or I guess to get your product out there. So essentially it’s a kind of like sweepstakes that you set-up. You’re probably buying your own product or you could do somebody else’s product. But most people would do with their own product. You’re buying your own product from yourself so to speak. Then setting up sweepstakes where one in every thousand people could win the product. And you can do it for anywhere from 1 up to 30 units in a giveaway.
There are lots of different options when you’re setting up the giveaway. One example is you can make people take certain steps to participate in the giveaways. So it’s kind like a sweepstake where they can win a free product. In order to win that product, they might have to watch 30 seconds of a YouTube video or they might have to follow you on Twitter. Or they might have to take a specific action. If you’re an author, I think they might have to follow you as an author on Amazon or something to that extent.
“What’s the benefit of doing this? How can you utilize this?”
One way I’m utilizing this and one of my strategies to building an audience outside of Amazon for 2018 is through Facebook messenger instead of an email list. So what I’m doing is creating a Facebook ad that will talk about the giveaway. So I can let people know about it. Then on that Facebook Ad, I’m sending them to my messenger to let them know how they can enter the contest. I give them a link to the Amazon giveaway. And if they don’t win, which most people won’t because it’s 1 in 3000 people, I can give them a discount off of my products. I can link that to a promotion and I can say “well, you didn’t win but here’s a 20% off coupon code on the product.
There’s a lot of benefits. One of the benefits is that as soon as they click on the ad and they go into your flow. I use “ManyChat” for building my messenger audience. As soon as they click on messenger and interact with my chatbot, they become a subscriber. They are now on my list where I can send out broadcasts through my ManyChat so I can send out future promotions.
The second benefit is they’re also very targeted. Unlike when you do an Amazon giveaway and Amazon tweets it out on twitter or something and people just find it. There are people that may not care about your product specifically but hey winning a free product is kinda cool but they would never really buy it. What I’m doing through Facebook is I’m able to target people who are actually interested in that niche or that product.
So let’s say I’m selling this mic, this blue Yeti mic that I’m speaking on right now. I would probably target people who are into podcasting maybe on Facebook who might be interested in that mic. And might wanna buy at a 20% or 30% discount. Even if they lose the giveaway they would still be interested in buying the product. So you’re getting a very targeted audience on your list and potentially also selling your product in order to build up that list and send them future promotions. I think it’s a really good strategy for building an audience outside of Amazon.
How does the giveaway work?
Nathan: First, the Amazon Giveaway, access to anyone and doesn’t even have to be your own product which seems funny. But like you said if someone was looking to build a social media following they might just find a really cool product that relates to there niche. Whatever they talk about and do a giveaway for it. Like you said, they are essentially buying it first. So, you have to actually physically buy that product before you can run the giveaways. Is that how that works?
Liran: Yes, essentially you’re physically buying the product so you’re going on the public Amazon page, you go to the product page, you click the “set up to give-away” and then once you’re done setting it up, you’re actually buying the product from yourself. What you’re essentially doing is you’re reserving the availability of that product, it doesn’t get shipped to you or anything. Then if nobody wins the sweepstakes, you would just get a refund after the giveaway is over. You can set them up for one day or for 7 days or longer also.
As I’m talking I’m thinking let’s say you’re interested in building an audience for a launch of a future product, what you could do is, let’s say your product is shipping from China right now and you’re selling this blue yeti mic, it’s going to be your product. You can offer different products to that same podcast audience maybe they would want a cool headset or some other kind of podcast equipment.
Give away somebody else’s product just in order to build at least that messenger list. Then you might have 300, 400, or 500 people on this messenger list. When you’re ready to launch your product you can now do a discounted give away to that audience that you already have on your list that you know was interested in podcasting products. And you could do a bigger discount give away to that audience to help you rank and launch that product.
Liran: The default way it is to set up is a public giveaway. If you make it public you also want Amazon to mention it or something then people can find it. Like people on Twitter, I think, do a search for “#amazongiveaway” and Amazon Giveaway will tweet it out. I’ve done that before and I haven’t promoted it myself and people find it. I’ve seen some testing also on the deals page or some other places on Amazon where Amazon is starting to leave some of these giveaways too. If you want to only target it through a Facebook Ad then you can make that giveaway private where only somebody with that link to your giveaway would be able to find it. You then make sure that everybody who ultimately finds it and gets to it would get on your list.
Use Messenger Lists as a way of Building an Audience
Liran: When I do an ad, I do something like “click send us a message to enter the giveaway”. When they click to send a message and they interact with the bot then I give them the link. If you give them the link directly in the Ad then they would just go directly to the giveaway and I would never be able to get them on my list. So if you’re going to implement this and you don’t want to do it through messenger then send them to a landing page to sign up to enter your email to enter the giveaway. Once they enter the email you just give them a link to Amazon for the giveaway, there’s a specific link where they get to your email list.
I would say do it through building a messenger audience or an email list if you’re going to take the time to actually do Facebook ads. Otherwise, you’re sending people to the giveaway and they can be targeted and you can get sales out of them. For people who lose you can give them a discount but you’re losing out on the component of building a list.
Interact with the Amazing Freedom Chatbot!
If you actually want to see what it’s like we have our own messenger list for this podcast and for our Facebook group. If you want to go to it, you can find and interact with our chatbot and see what you’re able to do with a bot.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s amazingfreedom.com/chat. So if you’re listening to this and you want to go to your phone or on your computer or whatever when you have a chance, go to amazingfreedom.com/chat. It should pop up right away or you can hit the get started button. You’ll get some automated responses that I’ve set up through the ManyChat that Liran wast talking about. It really just directs you to different stuff that we can help you with.
If you go to that and you haven’t before we will be able to help you get some resources. We have a number of free resources in there that are valuable so hopefully, you do that. Check it out and you’ll also be able to see that “Wow, I can set this up for my own private label brand and when someone comes to it, I could ask them if they want a discount code or if they want to join my VIP club.”
Liran: My focus has been on messenger audiences as opposed to email just because there are a lot more people opening their messenger messages and interacting with it a lot more than they are with their email. Plus the kind of flow that you can use, that you can have back and forth based on responses is something you can’t do through email. So we think that marketing through messenger is the big opportunity right now to build that list out.
2) Product Packaging Inserts
The second piece we want to talk about today is another way that you can begin building an audience. And just add more value to your product as well, and that’s through inserts within the product packaging that you’re delivering to the customers. There’s a lot of confusion about this. Andy, I know this is something that you’ve talked about for years teaching the Amazing Freedom Private Label Course. You’ve talked about inserts and the value of them. Maybe you can just go over what your experience has been with other people using them. I know that you have a product where you actually give some of your personal information for that product. Maybe you can just talk about, with an insert, you can direct people to you as the first layer of response before they go to Amazon and what your experience has been with that product.
Andy: So we all know that Amazon owns the customer. Amazon doesn’t give us the customer’s email. So the goal is to gain that customer’s information. So adding an insert that adds value to the customer is important. You could offer a warranty in the insert and they can supply their email to your website. If they register, you can offer a percentage off on their next purchase. So then that customer is no longer just Amazon’s customer but is now your customer.
Isn’t this against Amazon’s TOS?
Nathan: Some of the questions people have are, is this against Amazon’s Terms of Service? For example, Liran you have mentioned before that if you purchase something from SONY, like a camera or headphones, they had a card in there to register. and then you get something in the product box such as a warranty offer is it any different than Amazon sellers who sell their own brand?
Liran: Yes, I think there is no difference. There is no option on Amazon for a customer to be able to fill out a warranty. I also think you need to think about your product and packaging in a big way. Big brands don’t think about their product packaging, they include their warranties anyway even though it’s purchased on Amazon. If you typically include a coupon code in your product packaging, use it regardless of where you are selling the product. I see some people putting their company email address and phone number on their packaging. But it’s not like you are using Amazon to get customers to order your product for their next order. That would be against TOS.
Use product inserts for customer service.
Nathan: So Andy mentioned you want to give some value for what you use in your insert. Another benefit that you have had, Andy, is that you provide information to customers just in case they have issues or concerns with your product, right. So, this strategy has helped you to keep a 5-star rating on this product and allows you to push away negative reviews. Can you talk about that some?
Andy: This is a strategy that works well with Amazon because of their fulfillment standards. We are able to scale up on Amazon, we are able to store thousands of units in their warehouse. But one of the negatives to selling thousands of products on Amason is that the customer is not connected to you when something goes wrong. Instead, the customer is connected to Amazon. So an unhappy customer is going to send that product back to Amazon and possibly leave a negative review. In our inserts, we have given specific instructions on how to use our product. As well, we have given our cell phone numbers for customer service issues. This is a popular product and it is a functional product. So we have taken Amazon negative feedback out of the picture. We also offer to ship another product out if we are unable to solve their problem.
What is not permitted in an insert example?
Nathan: Liran, you mentioned, not too long ago, an example of a violation of TOS through an insert card. The insert card stated, “Leave us a review, and we will send you a discount code afterward”. This is an example of incentivizing the review. It is also unwise to ask the customer for a 5-star review if the customer is happy. Be aware that a competitor could order your product and show your violation to Amazon.