Audience building for eCommerce sellers

By Rebecca Montag | April 10, 2023
Audience building for eCommerce sellers
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Q&A with Dr. Travis Zigler, Owner of Profitable Pineapple Ads

My name is Dr. Travis Zigler. I own an agency called Profitable Pineapple Ads. We’re a team of about 11 people, eight full time and three part time, and we manage over 50 clients. And then we have a couple of other things. We help launch services as well, so we help brands launch from scratch, and we have done about 120 of those in the last year as well.

What is the best way that online sellers can build an audience?

So the best way that sellers can build their audience is by focusing on a pain point. So thinking about what pain does your product solve, and then focusing blog posts around that pain point. And when you focus around that pain point, you can drive very inexpensive Google traffic to that blog post and then have a pop up there to capture email addresses.

Again, don’t say, “I’ll give you a coupon.” Say, “Here’s a free PDF guide on pain point.”

So dry eyes was our big thing. So we’d send them to a blog post about dry eyes and then we’d give away a free dry eye book that we wrote, if they put in their email address. And that simple strategy of focusing on a pain point, driving Google Ads traffic to it because most Google Ads and most Amazon PPC for that matter, focus on product-based keywords, “eyelid wipes’” and not problem-based keywords like “dry eye”.

So when you focus on those problem-based keywords and drive Google Ad traffic, you’ll get cheap clicks. I’m talking 2 cents to 12 cent clicks to your blog and then having them opt-in their email address. We used that strategy and started getting 200 emails per day for Eye Love, our brand.

For our agency, we use the same strategy, but we don’t get 200 emails per day; we get about five emails per day. And the difference is ticket cost. So our average order value for Eye Love is $25 – $30. Our average order value for the agency is $10,000 – $20,000. And so we don’t need to get 200 leads a day, we only need to get five leads a day to make it worth it for us for that advertising.

Which platforms are most effective for building your audience?

Which platform is best for building your audience? And all you need for this is a simple place to put a blog. I use Shopify, and so we use the Shopify blog in that platform. You can use WordPress, you can use WooCommerce, whatever you’re using for blogging.

And then the second part of that is the second software that we use: we use Klaviyo. And if you’re going to be in the eCommerce space, Klaviyo is by far the best. We’ve tried AWeber, we’ve tried MailChimp. Klaviyo is by far the best to integrate with Shopify. It’s kind of the best in that area because you can do so much with it when it’s connected to your Shopify store.

And so once we got them on the blog on Shopify, we then got their pixel. So Facebook Pixel still works. Now it probably won’t work at the end of 2023, but at the beginning of 2023 when we record this, it does still work. And then we get their email address – we try. And then we’ll retarget them with Facebook ads. We will then reengage them with email through Klaviyo, and we’ll get them to buy either on Shopify or over on our Amazon store.

So we just use, simply, Shopify and Klaviyo to do all that.

How can you use email to build your audience?

Building emails and building your audience, your list, is the most important asset that you can do as a business owner. You can make sales on Amazon all day long, but if you’re not building an email list, your business is built on sand.

But then when you start building that email list, you then are building your business on concrete or a solid foundation. And the reason I say that is because with email you can build this perpetual sales machine. And that’s why I love to call it, because what happens is as you build your email lists, you’re going to make more sales as a result, which then is going to build your email list more, which is then going to increase your organic ranking on Amazon. So what we did is we’d focus on building our audience on our blog and making sales on Amazon with Amazon PPC.

So what we do is we sell a product on Amazon. We’d have a call to action on the product.

An example would be: get seven free eyelid wipes by visiting this website. They’d go over to a landing page, they’d put in their email address, and then it would send them an email. They’d get on our email list. And then what we’d do, the first email we sent out was to get your free eyelid wipes, you need to respond back with your address.

And so what the the buyer would do then, they bought on Amazon, they’ve now entered their email address, the first email they get from us, they have to respond back to it, which then sends good vibes to Google and Apple and whoever your email provider is, because you’re responding, you’re getting a response back from the buyer. And then when that happens, your emails are going to show up more in the inbox instead of the promotional or the social tab.

So we’re building our email list. We’re showing up in the inboxes more, and then we’re sending that email list back to Amazon to buy more, or other other products. We’re cross-selling. But the goal is we just keep providing them value around that pain point. So most of the time people come to us for dry eye, we’ll then send them to a blog post about the best eye drops.

Then – what is dry eye? What causes dry eye? What is the best dry eye treatment? Do prescription eye drops work? So we’re just consistently giving them value and they look for our emails then. And then when they go over these blog posts, it talks about our products as well. So then they go over to Amazon and buy even more.

So when you start doing this, you’ll start to get one email a week, and then it will start to be one email a day, and then maybe ten a day, and then 100 a day, and 200 a day. and it will eventually keep escalating up. As this is happening, you’re sending more people to your blog, and then you’re sending more external traffic to Amazon, which Amazon loves, and then it’s repeating over and over again.

So you’re pushing this big boulder up the hill at first, and then you’ll get to the top of the hill eventually, and then it just creates this perpetual sales machine where you consistently email the audience. We email once a week or once a day, depending on what brand. People will get sick of your emails sometimes, and if they unsubscribe, that’s great. It doesn’t matter though, because we email more, and we’ll continue to email until our perpetual sales machine stops.

We do this with the agency. You’ll get an email from me, pretty much I’d say 3 to 5 times a week, and it works. And so don’t be afraid to email. That’s the biggest mistake we see with sellers is they just don’t like to email.

We actually just onboarded the client an email list of 70,000 emails, and they weren’t emailing them. And so we took it over for them, and all we did was start a weekly email. And it dramatically increased external traffic, of course, and then it also increased organic rank and sales, too.

What is the most common misconception about building an audience?

The most common misconception with building an audience is that it’s not worth it. A lot of people will drag their feet when it comes to building an audience because they don’t feel like they’re getting a return right away on it. And it’s hard. Quite honestly, it’s hard. People have trouble with building an audience because it’s not as easy as trying to make that first sale on Amazon.

And you have to figure out and test a lot more. You have to test different lead magnets. You have to test different messages in your email. You have to test different blog posts to see what’s gathering more email addresses for you, or not. And so the key thing is just to keep testing, but people just think it’s too difficult to do.

But it is the number one asset that you can build for your business. And a lot of people think that email marketing is dead. I think it’s coming back even stronger than ever, but it’s never been dead. It works incredibly well. It has withstood the test of time. It’s been around for ages.

Just think about something as simple as Facebook messenger chatbots. How long were those around? They were around for like a hot minute. There was a year when they were really hot, and then they died because Facebook made changes. An email list – you own. You own that email list, it is yours and you can take it. Let’s see you get kicked off Klaviyo, you can take it over to MailChimp. And so it’s an asset that you actually physically own and no one can take it away from you.

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