142 Amazon Launch Strategy for 2017 from Brad Moss of Product Labs – Part 3 of 4
We’re going to start this off wide open. Can you give us some tips on the best tips for selling in 2017?
Brad runs a one-stop consulting firm that helps Amazon sellers and one of the strategies they use is not to think of a product or product sales life cycle one dimensionally. There are different phases a product goes through. You want to identify those phases and what is need for each phase. A lot of people are wondering what to do for an Amazon launch. After the review blast is over, what do you do?
They have something called “Spur the Machine” that they do for their ASINs and sellers. It’s a four phase approach to the first step of getting something up on Amazon. In their experience, it takes about three months to get a product up and running and there’s a lot going into this.
They have four phases for launching a product.
- Prepare the launch
- Do everything you can with your branding and imaging.
- Optimize the backend to, your best guess, the keywords.
- Make sure you have brand control.
- Get your price point on-par or slightly below competition.
- Setup your review follow-up campaigns.
- Push PPC ad campaigns for 2-4 weeks.
- Do automatic and your best guess manual one.
- Let them sit and see what the best keyword results are. Determine which keywords you’re overpaying for.
- Track your conversion rates and your sessions per product.
- Push PPC ad campaigns for 2-4 weeks.
- After 2-4 weeks, determine what needs to go from broad match to specific match.
- Start using AMS with the keywords you have found to be useful.
- Optimize your listing based on the initial feedback you’re getting.
- Push promotions for you products.
- It’s been said that Amazon give a bump to new products which drops off and promotions during this time will help push the product.
- Refine your review follow-up campaign.
- Use the data you have collected and refine you email campaign.
- Make a mid-term plan
- Now that your product is up and running, get some more reviews, stop your big promotion push, and make a three month strategy.
- Refine your PPC and AMS for long-term results.
- Set up long-term deals and promotions.
The big thing is to take a snapshot, then stop and review your data. People tend to keep going and make small adjustments along the way. Doing that makes it difficult to see what’s happening and what’s causing it.
You’ve told us how to get sales rank, and how to use PPC to drive traffic and then refine it to make a profit. However, the one thing people still worry about is getting reviews. How important do you think that is, and how do you deal with that side of things?
Some research was done on this topic. They gathered data from millions of SKUs and they found that the number of reviews stop mattering after 21 reviews. After that, it’s the amount of stars you have. Reviews matter for sure. Intuition would say that a product with 3000 reviews would do better than one with 100. However, according to the data, what really matters is the star rating.
How do you go about getting those 21 reviews in a post-incentivised world?
Brad has found that when you run promotions, there is a higher rate of reviews that comes from people buying your product. The normal rate is about 1-3% of people who buy your product, will review your product. That number jumps up quite a bit when you run promotions. Usually, you don’t have to give away more than 30-50 units on products with a lower price point. With product over $100, you could probably get away with less.
A Facebook crowd around your brand is a great resource. You can promote new products there and get a good response
What do you do specifically with a Facebook crowd? Do you have any specific strategies around that?
If you have built up a following around your brand. i.e. A Facebook page or group. You can leverage that following to help you. When you have an Amazon launch and are trying to get a new product out there, you can post about it on your page or group and tell them about your promotions, and ask them to leave a review. It’s a great resource if you have that following.
So you can ask for a review. When you do these promotions, do you do based on discount codes?
You can. It’s the idea of making your Facebook community feel special.
That makes sense. I guess the question is around the Terms of Service. If you give a promotion code to people where people on Amazon don’t have access to it, and you ask for a review, will that raise a red flag for Amazon?
It’s hard to say. Within Amazon, it’s an individual person making the call every time. They have their SOPs that say if someone is given a promotion for a review, take it off. If it’s in a grey area, Brad has seen them overreach their bounds too much. However, there should be nothing against giving away promotions for your products.
Let’s say, for example, I give an 80% off coupon. It’s a general code and not a one-time use. I send it to 200 people on my email list and tell them to check out our latest product and I add in something to the effect of asking for a review. Will that raise a red flag at Amazon?
It shouldn’t. It’s such a new thing and Brad doesn’t know what the internal procedures are but it’s not an incentivised review. You’re not saying, “Here’s a product so that you’ll review it for us.”
That’s good to know coming from someone that worked inside Amazon and explains a bit about the inconsistencies with the implementation. You’re saying that Amazon themselves haven’t sorted it out internally yet?
Brad could see that argument between two VPs as he has seen in the past, however, he doesn’t have much more insight than that. All he can really go on is the success of promotions in that past that his firm has experienced.