Generating Sustainable Traffic for Your Store
Hosts Jesse and Rich talk to Matt and Joe from the Hustle and Flowchart Podcast to uncover ways to get visitors to your new store.
Jesse: Richie, how’s it going man?
Richard: What’s happening? Living the dream, it’s the Friday happy hour again. We’re ready.
Jesse: You know, when we started this podcast, we always said that the idea of it would be like Hey, if we could meet our friends at happy hour and talk about what they should do for their business. That’s what we want to do. So we did that today.
Richard: Yeah, we left a little early. We should’ve taken the mobile unit (laughing) but we got to make sure we still get the thought process through. So these people actually understand and get help.
Jesse: So, let’s bring in our guests. This is Matt and Joe from the Hustle and Flowchart Podcast. How’s it going, guys?
Joe: Awesome. Thanks for having us.
Jesse: Absolutely, yes.
Richard: You’ve been in the game for a while, right?
Joe: We have. What’s the year, Matt?
Matt: 2007 is when we actually served together.
Jesse: He said he’s the guy with the facts.
Richard: He being Matt since we’re not on a video right now. And Joe’s like me, we’re more of the creatives. I say you’ve been in it for a while but most of the Ecwid listeners are
Joe: Matt and I have worked together in a variety of different ways online. So many different business models, we say we’ve tested it all. I know that’s not possible but we tested a lot of different styles of offers, ways that we drive traffic, ways that we just upsell folks into getting a higher LTV. We take all that now. We just chose personally to go to the info route and also a lot of affiliate marketing and some other stuff. But either way, same stuff applies to what we’re doing.
Matt: You still need traffic.
Joe: Exactly. If you can’t control eyeballs and the attention and actually can direct that attention to something that’s relevant to them and something that you control, then you can pretty much do anything you want. You could sell anything online.
Richard: Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like you’ve kind of dove in on the two most important ways to make that happen, which is organic content creation and then paid. Is this the two main… because you do a podcast and if I remember correctly I think when we talked a little before you actually are one of the few people that drive heavy traffic to your podcast. I thought about that for a while. Thirteen years of television and film. I was like If you’re a media company, you drive paid traffic, you don’t just walk in the Star Wars, right. You’ve seen 17 rap buses, 32 commercials, radio commercial.
Joe: You can make an amazing film. My wife and I met with the big Hollywood producer for films on Monday, and they said straight up like there are so many people that hire them hundreds of thousands of dollars and don’t have any marketing plan behind it. And it drives him nuts because we’ll spend half a year making this thing and it gets like 5000 views, or some blow up to millions because there’s actually some marketing thought behind it. That goes with any business. It’s just crazy to not think of the strategy, OK, how do we get relevant eyeballs as much as any eyeballs but ones that want to take an action based off of what I’m putting out to the world.
Richard: So when you start the process, what’s step one? Step one is just an awareness campaign or what?
Matt: Step one would really be research. We use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush, SEO tools to figure out what keywords people are searching for, that relate to the business that we’re in, the products that we’re going to sell. So, we’ll find keywords and figure out: okay, these are keywords that are buyer intent keywords. These are keywords that people would search for that are clearly interested in our niche, in the products that we would potentially sell. So that’s really phase one, it is really spending a lot of time doing research into what your customers would be searching for. And I think that’s a step that so many businesses just want to skip over, they just want to take a product, throw it online, and if we build it, they will come, but we all know that’s not the case you need to do some marketing. And the first step of marketing is really good research on keywords.
Richard: Okay. When you’re saying… the tools you mentioned, there’s like free version you could probably type in stuff before Ecwid users for the most part getting started, ramping up. You guys have been in the game for a while. So even one of the comments earlier when you were talking about LTV, lifetime value of a customer, for those out there wondering whether LTV was. So you start with research. Are you kind of reverse engineering based on a goal, how do you… let’s just pick one of your products you have.
Joe: It could be our traffic course, it’s a $300 product. With that, we know what the value of a lead is for our list. So then we can back that and that’s obviously historical data. But with that number in mind, we know what we can spend to acquire traffic of new people into our ecosystem. This kind of like a moat that we built around our content or course, all of our offers.
Richard: So you know like our course is this much, so we’re willing to spend up to this much. Now you start doing research on words that you think have buyers intent.
Joe: For going all the way back to the very very basics like somebody who’s a beginner you’re probably not going to really know what the lifetime value of a customer is from day one. So the best you can really do is kind of start to figure out what things people are searching for that relate to your product. There’s going to be some trial and error in the beginning. What we do is I don’t want to get too into the weeds but we have sort of like algorithms and numbers that we look at to figure out: Okay, this gets a lot of searches but there’s also very low competition in Google so this is probably a good keyword to go after. And then we find a whole bunch of those keywords, go after them, create content around them, and that’s sort of the first entry point to them discovering our business.
Jesse: I think what you said there about the knowing the LTV the product or the customer maybe for a lot of
Joe: So that’s super important because in our courses we train on this a lot. That’s like our number one question when it comes to
Jesse: If you sell a boat and it’s $25,000, you have several thousand dollars to play. If you sell a toy boat, that’s
Joe: Shipped from AliExpress.
Jesse: They might have four dollars to play with. You can only spend four dollars to acquire that customer.
Jesse: I agree. I think people should pull over and write that one down. You should probably be willing to spend up to the profit margin on your first sale because yes, generally that product is, there on your email list you can sell it to them again. I’m sure there are a few products where it’s one time, I don’t know but…
Richard: Generally, we’ve been in this game long enough to know, I don’t know Brian Dyes, Dan Kennedy, probably prior to Dan Kennedy, he who’s willing and able to spend the most, to acquire the customer, and wait the longest to acquire the check is going to win. That’s why ExxonMobil is going to dwarf everybody for a long time. Any new players and you need infrastructures built out, they can wait years and years and years and years to collect that check and they’re willing to spend way more than everyone else. Doesn’t mean they want to. I didn’t say they did, but they’re willing and able to.
Joe: Right. And I think a lot of folks, I don’t know if that’s the case in all business. From what we’ve noticed, from our experience, most people are concerned on that front end product like that is where they’re going to make their big money. That’s how the business is made but that’s total B.S. You know it’s everything on the back end. So any kind of upsells or maybe a new bundle you can give them or a special offer. It’s way cheaper, stats have shown all throughout the test of time like you said that it’s way more expensive to acquire new customer rather than just LTE the ones you already got on your list.
Richard: You already got their trust, you got the credit card once. I mean isn’t there a little company out there called Amazon.
Matt: I was literally going to bring up Amazon. Didn’t they just become profitable like a year ago? That’s like 20 years or something.
Richard: But now they own the infrastructure of almost everything.
Jesse: And they are going to be extremely profitable in the next few years. So they took their time but they’re going to make their money and much like
Matt: For us our biggest KPI or best Key Performance Indicator is our leads, our list growth because we’ve done the math and it will take some time to figure out this math but we’ve done the math and we know that somebody joining our list is worth
Richard: 33 and under here you go, hope for the $1 ones. But you’re okay with even the $30 one whatever as long as you as you know.
Matt: I mean if we find one where we can get $1 leads unless we’re going to try to pump as much money into that as possible and probably a little less on the ones that are giving us $30 leads, but yeah.
Richard: Let’s go back now. Say someone starting and we’re talking to you mostly about traffic and we’re going to go a little bit into the conversion. But we’ve already discerned that there’s content creation, organic, ongoing and paid kind of prime the pump right and need the little windshield here. So is there some sort of ratio that you would recommend for someone in the beginning? Where it’s like a certain percentage of the products profit margin that you put towards this or would you recommend starting with content creation? It’s kind of
Joe: I think it depends. It’s a total it’s on what you have to spend. So what’s your budget? Do you have some runway before you can make that initial sell, so you can have more extra time to test? I mean that’s what Amazon essentially did for however many years. They had a lot of runway investors obviously but if you are scrounging for cash and you want to get something working quickly, figure out how to probably pony up a couple hundred bucks and you can get some decent testing to figure out what people are searching for on Google and then pair that up with some strategic content and then give them an offer.
Matt: So you can start running paid ads for as little as five bucks a day and if you’re not willing to spend five bucks a day to get your business up and running then you know keep work of the day job for a little bit till you get some funds to do it, because you know no risk, no reward, but five bucks a day you should be able to do that or you don’t really have much of a business.
Richard: Well, that in and of itself is good to know. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that don’t realize you can set up the parameters. OK, Facebook, Google, whatever, it may or may not work. We don’t know that part yet but only spend this much. And so that’s good for these people, Jesse and I know that.
Jesse: Yeah, I think that’s helpful. I think a lot of times at Ecwid when people cancel, we see the reasons for the downgrade. We’d read every single one of them and a lot of times it’s there’s a concern with cost or I don’t have money to run ads. Well, if you don’t have money to run ads like it’s going to be tough. That is sort of an I don’t know if I’d call it a requirement but practically a requirement, if you don’t have $5 a day, what did you expect? There are many other ways. There’s like 10 percent of the people out there that might be able to find a way but let’s be honest. Usually, you should spend five dollars a day at least figuring out your business.
Joe: People feel like now with a lot of products you see Instagram and you have these influencers and you are like Oh, I’m just going to pair up with an influencer and they’re going to make me rich. I mean it can. It’s possible. So I would love to have control over my outcome, my life, and my income. And you could do that with paid ads.
Jesse: If your only chance of making it is that some famous person is going to… That’s not really a plan, that’s a hope.
Joe: You’re still paying them.
Matt: There’re really two sorts of philosophies behind traffic. There is that you can go free but it’s kind of more of a marathon. You can go paid and it’s kind of more of a sprint. All right. So you can go the content route and just focus purely on content and go after SEO and get Google to rank you and create YouTube videos and get those ranking but that’s going to be a slow long road. I would so much rather invest five dollars a day and just kickstart things. And SEO will happen too. That marathon element will still happen over time. But you can sort of jumpstart it and start getting into profitability within your first 30 days business if you are willing to spend a little money to get going.
Richard: And you’ve got a bigger sample set to your point right. You’ve got to wait a long time to get the sample set up the other way. Whereas now you can say: OK, we all think we’re really smart and we can make educated guesses but that data is going to tell us when we put that $5 out there be like Oh, no, I guess it’s not a good ad or That is a good ad. So do you break it down in layers? Do you have like an awareness campaign? I know you said it varies a little bit but in your particular case do you… in this world where people are trying to get rid of friction like Ubers and all this stuff I’ve found in certain circumstances adding layers of the funnel works. And we started to talk about it when we were having lunch but didn’t really totally get into it. Do you see a benefit in breaking that in the different segments and segmenting your audience and how could someone on Ecwid learn from that lesson in this podcast?
Yes. We have three buckets that we put leads and we’ve got top of the funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of the funnel. The top of funnel leads, those are the people that don’t know who we are. These are the completely cold audiences, people who have never discovered us. We’re showing our top of funnel ads to them. Middle of funnel ads or people that have done some sort of engagement with us, maybe they viewed one of our blog posts, maybe they watched 25 percent or more of our videos on Facebook. They’ve interacted like something on our fan page, some sort of interaction. That’s our middle of the funnel. And the bottom of the funnel is we’re driving these people straight to the offer because they’ve interacted with us multiple times now, and we’ve found that to be sort of the most effective sort of advertising funnel. I guess you can call it.
Jesse: That’s interesting. And I’m familiar with funnels but I think to break it down, to be more specific to people that maybe just heard cold traffic and top of the funnel for the first time. So the top of the funnel is what does the ad say, right?
Matt: Here’s the thing, when we build this kind of stuff, we actually build it from the bottom of the funnel up. So if you’re just starting this is day 1 trying to drive traffic for you, what you would do is you go create
Jesse: Maybe they buy and you really want them to buy but you’re not pushing that necessarily.
Joe: Hint. It’s like they’re going to constantly see these calls to action, these offers that are available to them.
Jesse: More education. OK.
Matt: And then if we’re going over the top of the funnel, this is where you’re driving completely cold audiences to your advertising. This would be if you’ve already got some customers, you can do what’s called a Lookalike audience on Facebook. Basically tell Facebook: These are what my customers look like, go find people that have a lot of similarities to these people. Put my ads in front of them. If you have your gurus in your industry or you have really popular software products in your industry, you can target people who are fans of those gurus or those software products. There are people that haven’t quite discovered you yet and those ones you’re driving to straight content. You’re driving those people just to Here’s just something educational, that’s in the realm of where you’re trying to lead them down the funnel two.
Jesse: Got it. So you might lead them to a blog post that you wrote. Super informative video on Facebook or YouTube. You know basically very educational, really no call to action necessarily.
Richard: Or a podcast.
Matt: Without getting too much in the weeds, we’d like to keep people on Facebook for that type of funnel so that cold traffic we like, you just put content videos in front of them because Facebook really wants to get people watching videos on Facebook. They really want people to stay on Facebook, so we can go and get 3 cent video views. And so for three cents we’re adding people to our middle of funnel audience. So every time somebody watches a video for 10 seconds or 25 percent or whatever we set our criteria at, we may play three seconds for that person and now we’ve just essentially pixel somebody into our middle of the funnel for three cents a person.
Richard: Which kind of goes back to the earlier conversation. You’re willing and able to spend more and you’re willing to wait longer. You are saying an interpretation and correct me if I’m wrong, you pay three cents and you didn’t even give them the opportunity to buy anything. You didn’t send them anywhere, you didn’t do anything. Your three cents for that. Let’s just go back in time and pretend our grandpa is talking like this 5 to 10 touch points. Back then you’d send snail mail and go knock on the door and cold call and do all those stuff but instead, you’re saying because you know, I can’t remember exactly
Matt: On average when we look at our numbers, on average it cost us four dollars to get somebody on our list, we make on average 34 dollars per person who’s on our list. So that’s kind of where stats are at right now.
Joe: And it’s so difficult to get that mentality straight when you’re at least when you’re starting out even just the first time it adds. You might be in business for a while but you’ve done something else that might have been quicker. Yeah. So for us, it takes about 14 days or so to get that first conversion. For some companies, it might take three months. But you have to figure out what that kind of average is and then stick to it. It’s boring and it can be very scary sometimes. Like putting out this money and not seeing a return.
Jesse: You have to make these videos that you like Man! A lot of people watch these, we paid three cents apiece for them but nobody bought it. Well, you got to move to your middle of the funnel video.
Matt: At the end of the month, we just look at the aggregate data. We go: OK, how much do we spend on advertising? How many leads did we get off of all of this spend and how much money did we make off of all of this spend? And at the end of the day, all that matters is how much we spend is less than how much we made the number.
Richard: Yeah, and I totally joke to your point when you said it’s hard to get past that mentality. Sometimes you’ve got to make something almost exaggerate the other way to make sense. Would the restaurant we just went to for lunch, would they have paid three cents to get to talk to us for a few seconds to tell us about what’s gone on inside the restaurant? I guess so. But it just seems so counterintuitive that we’re going to wait. We’re going to do this thing and we’re not going to let them. We’re not going to confuse them.
Matt: Well, think about the sign holders that’s just an awareness thing. I’m just thinking of literally looking at the restaurant right back down. But think of a sign holder, it’s an awareness thing. All you’re doing is just like you have the sea of people that are kind of targeted because they’re in your geographic area. So they’re interested. I mean maybe not interested. At least they’re kind of relevant.
Joe: And that’s all you’re dealing with keywords and all these.
Matt: Think about other things like billboards when you’re driving down the freeway. I have no clue how many eyeballs see a specific billboard when you’re driving down the freeway but I guarantee that the people that are driving down the freeway looking at that billboard 100 percent of them aren’t entrepreneurs between the ages of 25 and 45 that like Success magazine. With Facebook and advertising and Google and all of these platforms you have that ability to say Look, I’m going to put out this brand awareness campaign but I’m only going to show it to these people that meet these criteria. And you don’t get that with almost any other sort of traditional branding strategy in the real world outside of Internet marketing.
Jesse: Facebook is amazing for that if you know your product pretty well and you know if you’re new you might not know your customers exactly but you can kind of have a good idea. If you sell dog treats, organic dog treats you can start to develop the persona of your person out there and you can target them very specifically.
Matt: I can leverage other brands that are doing it well and then put something similar or an alternative. We do that all the time with affiliate products but that’s a kind of a shortcut to get in front of an audience that’s pretty damn relevant.
Jesse: We like the shortcuts, feel free. But we do the hard way here.
Richard: Speaking of shortcuts when someone’s doing an ad like this and it’s just an awareness one, should they be super concerned with picking the exact right audience in this custom audience? Or should they just leave it wide open and let Facebook do the do the work?
Matt: I would say early on you don’t really want to trust too much on Facebook to do the work for you because the way it works. You’re going to put what’s called a conversion pixel on your success page. So when somebody buys it sends data back to Facebook and says Look, this person just bought.
Jesse: By the way, let me jump in here. So this is I want all the Ecwid users to know this is super easy, ask support, go to a live chat. There is a place where you just grab your pixel when you pop it in one place in Eciwid and it populates all the right places. Do not be afraid of like They said pixel, I don’t do what to do. No. So it’s very easy. And not enough people do it. You must put that pixel in there. It’s free.
Matt: It blows my mind whenever there’s no pixel because we have all these pixel helper things, and they are not even pixeling people. Oh my God!
Jesse: I didn’t want to interrupt you guys, get your pixel on there.
Matt: Definitely. So you’ve got your conversion page which if you have your pixel installed, you can tell Facebook: Look, if somebody lands on this particular page that means a sale just happened. So Google and Facebook they’re not going to really be able to optimize towards that conversion until it has a lot of data to work off. So when you’re kind of early on and let’s say you make maybe a sale or two a day or even like a sale a day or a sale every other day that’s not really enough data for Google or Facebook to work off to optimize towards so you are going to want to start with Here’s some cold audiences that I’m going to target and I’m going to go after these first. That will help build out the data on the pixel as Facebook learns more off of the sales that are happening, then you can back off the targeting a little bit. And Facebook will start to figure it out for you.
Richard: Got to end or if you have had a bunch of sales and your upload your client list and say: Does it look like the audience?
Matt: You could. Google basically just set a new rule where you can’t do that unless you’re doing a minimum of fifty thousand dollars in sales a month or 50000 on ad spending. They put some severe limits on it to smaller businesses on Google. I think you can still do it on Facebook but I think Facebook is even sort of backing away from it with all security privacy issues they’ve been running into. They’re kind of shying away from letting people upload their list and then targeting them a little bit more.
Jesse: It is tougher on the uploading but if you can match a page that they visited then you’re in business. So it’s really the same thing. But Facebook and Google are more open to if you say they visited this page than you can do lookalikes against a page. So that’s sort of the tweak there I’ve actually had to redo some things because of that it’s annoying. But be aware. I think the key though is once you start selling, maybe it’s 50 a month, 100 a month. That’s usually somewhere along there is the kind of the I don’t know the golden number. You need to get there to let the algorithms do their magic. Getting there, you know.
Joe: We have some strategies of ways to figure out what keywords people are searching for, and you got to invest in that but if you could figure out a data from Google, for instance, that’s kind of a good starting point that we like to go for instead of Facebook because it’s very intent on a solution rather than Facebook just browsing, checking out what friends or family are doing.
Jesse: Totally agree, particularly for
Matt: That’s why we lead with Google actually, for that exact reason is that you can’t go for those buyer intent keywords. We’ve kind of spent a lot of time talking about Facebook but we’re actually bigger fan boys of Google Advertising. Basically because of that whole buyer intent element of it, we’re going after people that are searching for the keywords that are clearly… They’re looking to buy products and then once they visit our website now we retarget them on Google and because of how we build all audiences on Facebook they’re going to see us on Facebook.
Jesse: So using Google you know that the person is definitely interested, they get to your page, and this applies for all types of websites, they get to your page and of course with carts and that we know actually like
Joe: I thought it wasn’t that high, thought it was like eighty.
Jesse: Super high. You probably are paid to get them there, now they didn’t buy but that the bottom now, they are interested in that product, they probably typed in those particular keywords now you should be showing them things on Facebook. It’s definitely an important thing to be aware of.
Joe: I think the big realization that most people don’t think about is they need to either be Facebook or Google, or Instagram, or Pinterest, or whatever the platform they’re on. If you can figure out how to combine these things into you being the hub for Google, that’s the first step for us. We don’t know that, that’s the strategic way we could put content and an ad, pair those two together to a very targeted eyeball, and then pull them into, guide them into our ecosystem, where we’re targeting with Google ad banners on blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter.
Richard: So speaking of bringing them to your ecosystems it’s about that time, and you said you had some form of a gift or something, so they can get two things, they can get this gift, and then they can watch the process of being retargeted.
Joe: It is a learning in progress.
Jesse: Do I get
Richard: So we only got a little bit here, where should we go?
Matt: Evergreenprofits.com/ecwid. Evergreenprofits.com is our bigger umbrella brand, that’s where you can find our podcasts, all that sort of thing. If you go to Evergreenprofits.com/ecwid, will give you a free copy of our traffic book that cells in stores right now.
Joe: There’s a lot of stuff and detail.
Jesse: And if they like listening to your voices, where they can go to hear more from you?
Joe: Evergreenprofits.com or HustleandFlowchart.com, that’s the name of our podcast.
Jesse: You’ll be in the ecosystem, you could be targeted, you’re to see top funnel, bottom funnel.
Joe: Ideally, the bottom funnel. It’s just learning thing. It’s been fun.
Jesse: well guys, it’s been great having you, Rich, any last thoughts?
Richard: No, I’ve just been wondering if we got finished soon enough that we would be able to get back over to the restaurant.
Jesse: Friday happy hour guys, that’s why we’re doing it. Make it happen!
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