When I started studying the supplement business, there was this disillusion in the marketplace that if you get a customer on continuity they will stay 2.5 months “on average”.
The model back then was: Offer a free trial, start billing them at 15 days, then you’d lose 30% the first month, then 50% more the next month, and it would divide by that very rapidly.
Think about this: At Day 0, the day they buy the product, 90% of the customers are trying to leave those businesses and the owner is “hoping” they stay long enough for them to make profit.
As I shared earlier, I foolishly and naively followed this system when I first got up n running, because it was the only one being taught. It was the model that lost me $125,000 in less than 6 weeks. Destroyed my ability to get merchant accounts for 4 years. Then sucked up another 3 months of giving refunds to customers who had their credit cards stolen. (To Be Discussed At The Intensive: There is an entire underground market of affiliates who buy stolen credit cards on the black market and use them to buy products for commissions. The deal is they end up getting paid and before you can catch up on it…you can lose everything if you don’t have the proper systems in place.)
The total damage was around $250,000. But the blow to my ego, identity, any momentum, and lost time was immeasurable. I thought I was listening, studying, and working with all the right people, but this STILL happened! How could that be?
Quitting Does Not Exist in my Veins…Nor Should It Exist In Yours Either!
The only reason I was able to stick it out was that I saw the value in what a successful supplement business could look like.
Think about it: to have good customers who happily pay every month to get products that help their lives!
Most guys I know make money by teaching people how to make money, but have never run their own business.
A lady I workout with literally told me today, “I can’t ever go another day without your supplement. My Doctor think is it’s a miracle pill because of how my body has changed.” (Sidenote: She had major inflammation and our top-selling product is great for helping “create healthy inflammation responses. It’s not a miracle pill, but it sure helps!)
Today, I went online and bought $283 dollars worth of coffee, proteins, and supplements from someone I follow. I easily spend that with him every month.
How is that NOT a great business?
Pillar #1: Choosing Your Market:
I’ve already covered a lot on this topic. I believe the amount of markets available are infinite. We are in an “exponential age” and the amount of opportunity is unbelieveable. According to Peter Diamandis’ most recent book “Bold”, the number of people who are on the internet will expand by BILLIONS world-wide over the coming years.
I will show you exactly how I “Think” about markets and my exact process for researching the best places to advertise, how to disrupt the competitors that are in your space, and how to enter with a fury!
This literally IS my favorite topic when starting in the health business, because if you get this wrong, nothing else matters!
Pillar #2: Choosing Your Product
You have to decide what kind of product you are going to have.
If you are a true marketer looking at it the supplement business, you are probably thinking,
“Hey, what is selling? I am going to go get that and I will private label it. We will figure out a funnel and see where we can drive traffic to it and see what our numbers back out to be. We can build a business off of that.”
This is what a lot of marketers would do.
Maybe you are someone who is a health expert or a passion ambassador about some kind of ingredient or product idea that you have.
Even with that, you may look at private labeling as an initial step to get in the game. Private labeling means that you go to manufacturers that already have products. Similar to those you would see on GNC. The benefits of this is SPEED, flexibility, as well as keeping your start-up costs.
There is a third option. You custom formulate. This means you go ahead and build your own formulation with your manufacturer. The key benefit is that you come to market with something that is unique and different. You might be the only person in the world who has it. a few of my products are custom formulations.
I have opinions on all of these options. Depending on where you are in your journey, I would possibly have different advice. I like custom formulations, especially as your lead sale, as your lead message.
My belief is that in the long run you end up putting a wider moat around you and competitors.
I can say this because the products we have sold that are custom formulations have generated repeat purchasing that is unbelievable. Our customers love them because they see and feel a difference.
With that said, there is an argument to what I just said and I am not even disagreeing with it. Let’s say you wanted to go into a certain market such as a diabetes angle/blood sugar angle and you look at some one’s sales process. They have three different ingredients that help regulate blood sugar, reduce cravings, and whatever else might be a third benefit.
You can go get a similar product that has similar benefits and be up and running within 30 days depending on who you private label from.
The other thing is that private labeling affords you is that you can test an offer in the market without waiting three months while dealing with formulators. They may want you to buy 5,000 bottles. Let’s say you are paying $6 bucks a bottle…now you are out $30,000 without even knowing if your message works yet.
If you follow my blueprint, you will not have those issues. However, this is a real argument towards private labeling. I have a couple of sources that I will share at the Intensive that you can literally get product very, very quickly at minimal cost.
Front End A Product That is Not A Supplement; And Make A Killing By Selling Supplements ON Backend!
Here is a big idea: Some of the biggest supplement sellers are selling information products while they are back ending supplements. Maybe you look at the ebook market, the medical device market.
You look at anything that people would buy and be predisposed to also buy supplements. You sell that as a lead generation mechanism in order to then sell supplements to these people.
If you could break even or better or even lose a little money on that while acquiring the customer, you will definitely kill it in the supplement space.
There is no question on that.
Some friends approached me recently who had a skin cream. This is a health product, right? Should they be selling supplements on the back end of their business? Absolutely, they should.
There is no question there.
If someone is selling a Pilates DVD, they should be selling supplements.
If you are a CrossFit box owner and you have all of these people walking through your gym, why not have your own supplements?
Instead of promoting these other companies, buy them wholesale and keep the money yourself. Do not send them elsewhere. You are taking all the risk anyway.
The amount of opportunity forof products and the way you can make it work are unlimited.
There is not one model; there are many models. This is why the idea of competition is kind of silly unless you are all sitting in one little pond doing precisely the same things.
That would be stupid anyway for everybody to follow each other. You have to do different things. This is where the breakthroughs happen anyway.
Pillar #3: Choosing Your Customer Acquisition Model: How to Get A Flood Of Supplement Buyers Storming Your Website Every Day On Auto-Pilot!
Let’s talk about customer acquisition. This is what is going to be what I call probably the most important aspect of the health supplement or product business. If you can’t generate customers at a break-even or profit, then you won’t be able to stay in business.
My observation is that: Marketers tend to focus on customer acquisition first, while people who are passionate about products tend to want to focus only on the product. A healthy combination is best.
At the live intensive, one of the things I’ll do is walk through a process where you can actually analyze markets that you are already in or considering going into. See how products are being sold currently in those markets.
There are a lot of ways to acquire customers and there is a lot of different models to follow as well.
Let’s go over a couple simple basic models and look at how they work.
Lead Generation Model
You can run lead generation off Facebook, You Tube, direct email drops, also known as solo ads, which we will talk about in the media buying demystifying section.
The main reason why I like lead generation on the beginning side is that is allows you some time to actually warm up your leads, and it also allows you to gather data.
You survey them. You send them emails with your own offers. Other peoples offers.
You look at what they respond to, you look at what they don’t respond to.
You send them offers, and you see what they buy and what they don’t buy.
Early on in a business, this is one of the smartest moves simply because you can become way more profitable faster by treating customers better and creating more value for them.
Ryan LaVesque, author of the book “ASK”, has created a lot of great things with the survey funnel lately.
What is great about the survey funnel model is that you are lead generating and then you can choose to sell people with a video sales-letter, long form letter, or any other manner that works for you.
Ad Goes Direct To A Presell Page
The next funnel model to look at for customer acquisition is an ad going to direct to a pre-sell page, which is an article type page. A lot of people are calling this native advertising.
It has been around for years and years and years. What’s great about this is that it sets up a pre-frame in the customer’s mind that they are providing value. What happens chemically in the brain is that when they are reading an article they feel very, very at ease.
It allows them to get into a buyer state quicker.
Whereas sometimes going direct to a video sales letter, even though it still works, your bounce rate is super high, because people generally don’t want to be sold.
One other great benefit of driving people to a pre-sell or article page first is that your average transaction size will be higher most of the time.
If you split test direct to video sales letter versus direct to a pre-sell page, then to an order page or video sales letter.
The Pre-sell page will generate a higher average ticket.
You will find similar results in the lead generation survey model funnel as well. One quick tip here to consider when you are doing that is that, if you position scarcity properly, people will want to buy more of your product. Thus they choose four bottles or eight bottles or 12 bottles.
This one tip can drive your initial transaction value much higher and allow you to grow your business much faster.
If you have a really good product, they buy that product over and over and over again.
Action Steps and things to test: You have to choose what your sales process is going to look like.
What I would recommend, and we will talk about in the intensive more in depth when we go through each model is either
A: you build out two different funnels. One straight to a lead generation, survey funnel,
B: Ad drives people straight to a VSL
C: Winner of the above test goes against a Pre-Sell Page.
At the end of the day, you want to have a baseline test. It is easy to do. It won’t take long to do.
Once you have your baseline model of acquiring customers, then you can go ahead and start looking at testing messaging, offer, structure of offer, and fun stuff like that.
We use visual website optimizer to run our tests and it’s EASY! All of this is easy. It’s just a matter of planning it out.
One more vital point I want to make, as we talk about the conversion funnel, is that you’re going to find that what converts best off of Facebook may not be what converts best off of You Tube, Google, a direct solo ad email, or other networks.
I will show you examples from every network of offers that are working RIGHT NOW! No theory. You will be given the exact examples to model. This will save you enormous amount of time and guesswork.
Since we are talking about different modes, there are definitely some different strategies that work for mobile that DO NOT work at all for a desktop.
Those are distinctions that we will go over and you need to test them.
Pillar #4: Traffic and Media Buying Demystified
I am excited about this topic because he is one of the most “mystical” components of growing any business, let alone a health supplement business. Every business online needs to get traffic to it’s site, but profitable traffic is the most important.
Media Buying, when I first started, was one of the big things I wanted to understand. There’s some areas of it that is very, very simple, and there’s some that are a little bit more complicated.
Here’s the bottom-line about getting traffic: if you can get your product offer to convert at a very high rate, and your average ticket is high, then you will most likely never have to worry about getting traffic….ever!
The reason is that you can pay a higher commission or cost per acquisition (CPA), than the competitors.
If you have a really hot offer, you can grow your business at a very, very fast pace. It all comes down to your earnings per click (epc). That is what affiliates, joint ventures, and media buyers care about.
The earnings per click is the main thing that we will always be talking about when we talk about your conversion rate.
Here is why: if a media buyer can pay $1.00 cost per click (cpc) and the earnings per click are a $1.10 (epc), then they can go out and get every imaginable targeted click on the Internet that is $1.00 cpc or lower.
Whether or not you decide to use media buying outside of your company or internal, there’s a couple basic best practices you have to understand.
Number #1 You will never be able to buy all the traffic on the Internet.: So, relationships will become a massive part of your ability to buy media.
Number #2: you need to know the rules! You need to know: “what is my allowable money to spend on your minimum test buys? What is my maximum Cost per click (CPC) or Cost per acquisition (CPA)?
Once we set the rules of your company and your game plan, we really don’t want to deviate from them at all.
Early in my career when I was running a business, a $1,200 buy as a first test was very, very stressful. Not stressful in the sense that I was terrified, but it was like,
“Man I am on top of that buy. I am looking at the sales actually come in through my visual website optimizer.”
I was very aware of what was working or not working.
As I got more mature in the business, I also found myself getting sloppy, meaning I would do a $4,000 or $5,000 or $10,000 buys out of the gate, because at the time, we were doing $100,000 a day in revenue.
So why not do a $10,000 buy, because we know we can make it up when we are profiting five or ten grand a day.
Why not just keep pressing the envelope? The problem that happens, if you get away from your rules, is that your team, your vendors, your media buyers will also get away from the rules.
Now you are losing money unnecessarily!
Couple things we are going to do is: A: You have to be willing to determine what you are able to spend for minimum test buys. This will vary based on the source that you decide to go through.
Whether it is You Tube, Facebook, direct solo email ads, direct media buys or network media buys or a CPA network.
One quick tip there is that we will identify a “ground zero.”
What location is our highest probability of being successful, that if it doesn’t work here, it’s probably not going to work anywhere else.
There may be a few couple locations, but here’s a quick example.
Our joint pain offer has done very well on Facebook.
My 55 and 65+ females who were subscribers of conservative fan pages, absolutely crushed it.
We were getting 300% return on investment. It was doing amazing. I would spend $300 or $400 a day on just getting a baseline test data to see which worked best. I went in running. That was very easy to do.
Today you could still do the same: here’s the strategy for Today’s changes!
Step 1: Target that Ground Zero Audience. For our company, we targeted Glen Becks audience, because they fit our ideal profile.
Step 2: Send that visitor to a landing page or a value driven article with a presell component to it.
Step 3: Drop a pixel on their browser
Step 4: Run ads through YouTube, Facebook, or other ad networks driving them to a lead generation page…or straight offer page.
Step 5: Follow up with emails and offers to convert the targeted customer
This is just one of many strategies that represent the future of our Internet marketing world.
This is just one of many strategies that represent the future of our Internet marketing world.
Here is another way of using the same strategy and “why”:
The New Invisible List Building Secret That Is Transforming The Internet
By now, I’m assuming that you already know what retargeting is. You visit a site and then when you leave the site…you start seeing that company’s ads everywhere you go.
Where this has evolved tremendously is that Ryan Deiss said it from stage last week, at Traffic and Conversion Summit, that they are focusing on “Retargeting List” building as almost a MORE VITAL asset than emails lists.
This is important for many reasons:
#1: Compliance with the biggest traffic networks is becoming THE most vital part of the business. What does Google, Youtube, and Facebook want for their users? Good Content!
A year ago, we could just run Facebook ads to a Video Salesletter and make 200% ROI easily.
Now, one great strategy is:
Step 1: Post a GREAT Topical Article On Your Blog: “3 Foods In Your Kitchen That Can Relieve Joint Pain”. This article must be jam packed with actual content that creates value for the visitor.
Step 2: Promote it Via Facebook to A Targeted Audience (Ground Zero or expanded)
Step 3: When they visit the article; you drop a remarketing pixel. (Advanced Tip: One suggestion is that you have a custom script on there so that you only pixel people who have stayed on your page for 90 seconds or longer. This shows a higher level of interest than someone who bounced off your page or stayed only for a few seconds.)
Step 4: Run your advertisements for your product, free report, book, etc.. ONLY to that retargeting list. It reminds me of our old days of triple hoop marketing. The benefit here is that it puts YOUR interest list in a competitive vacuum. (*The advantages of a “competitive vacuum” has never been more vital, because of the distraction economy we now live. Getting people to buy with just 1 interaction is almost near impossible today. That is why magalogs work so well via direct mail, because the people are sitting there enjoying, engaging, salivating over the benefits, and their emotional buying desire is so heightened by the time they buy. Whereas online, we have made the mistake of asking the Girl to Marry us on the first date before you even bought her pizza. A change is here my friends. This will be a deep dive topic at the Intensive!)
The Fastest Way to Get Face To Face (Virtually) With Your Customers!
I love solo email ads, because you can pick a targeted list of subscribers and get traffic ridiculously fast.
The emails tend to appear to be an endorsement from the newsletter or magazine. Another thing I love is that you do not have to have complicated skills in order to make it work.
If you can write an email- you can be LIVE with Solo Ads very very fast.
I will go through exactly how to find sites to mail to. Who I talk to… What I say…How to get minimum buys, Test Multiple Creatives (i.e. emails, subject lines, etc..), and introduce you to brokers who can do all of the legwork for you.
If you want to get test an offer, and you don’t have a ton of a budget, you can go to solo ad buys, you generate them, and then you have a long term follow-up sequence following up.
The chances of you becoming profitable, if you are targeting the right lists, is way higher than going out to a cold network trying to buy traffic.
If you have a decent offer, you can be buying $10,000-$20,000 a Month, but if you dial all of this in…you can be doing multiple hundreds of thousands a month with this one strategy!
How to integrate online and offline channels for maximum effect.
99.9% of the internet marketers are leaving money on the table by not doing direct mail…and offline marketers are missing the boat completely, because they fail to understand how to move online profitably. Which brings me to…
Direct Mail Companies Beware!
How to take your offline direct mail campaigns online profitably! I can tell you a funny story about being at the health expo in Anaheim California. I was at my list brokers party he was hosting.
Everyone around me had been in Direct Mail the past 20+ years or so.
Fact #1: they were all worth more than me. Yep- I admit it. Theses guys have been killing it in direct mail for the past many years and have HUGE buyer list files, many millions in wealth stacked away, but they were missing something.
Fact #2: they all believed that what they did offline wouldn’t work online. “None of this works online”, the grey haired man who was buying everyone drinks had told me.
The rest of the group nodded in agreement. I didn’t say a peep. Not that I didn’t want to, but quite frankly, they wouldn’t believe me.
They had good reason not to. After all, every attempt they made to bring their offers online were met by ultimate doom.
Why Direct Mail Companies Fail When Trying To Bring Their Offer Online!
Here’s my opinion why…and it’s simple:
- They hired the wrong people (subcontractors, media buyers, creative),
- asked the wrong questions,
- played the“hope” and “see” game, and/
- or the process they built to convert customers was wrong for the internet
- Or they didn’t have “rules” set up properly like they did in direct mail.
Why? Probably because no one ever told them how to “think” properly for online marketing.
This opens the door for media buyers and agencies to come in and lie!
To say the “Internet Doesn’t work” is simply put, not true. It’s a cop out!
Ad Agency B.S Wastes More Money Than Washington!
The most common lie they will tell you: “We need to spend $10K -50K to even see if the offer has a chance. Then we will optimize from there.”
Man, I’m smart and seasoned and I still fell for this a couple times! UGH. At the intensive, I’ll share the story of how I actually agreed to a $120,000 insertion order with a media company…and it totally bombed. More importantly, I’ll share how I handled it…and how to NEVER be as dumb as I was in that moment.
Here’s the truth: if you take a winning offer from direct mail and build it out properly online…as long as you don’t look like a rank amateur (which I promise you won’t); I can get people to start promoting your offer and start testing it RIGHT NOW. without you ever coming out of pocket.
Think about this: Direct Mail has THE best copywriters in the business- without question. (I know that will piss off Harlan and a few others lol… so I will digress and say there are few exceptions☺)
The problem is: the businesses don’t know how to take the “copy” and make it work for online. This is easy to fix. Get the targeting down…get the right plan mapped out… and these off-line guys can add 25% to their business pretty damn fast.
The other advantage that these guys who have been in business 20 years that a new online marketer does NOT is a treasure chest full of copy and backend products.
The Blind Leading The Blind!
But most will ignore this message. Chalk it up to “been there, done that” and continue to drink whiskey in circles with blind approving head nodders. Defiantly ignoring the fact that their customer base is getting older the number of files to mail is shrinking daily (unless of course more of them start acquiring customers via the web)☺
Can this one thing possibly save the entire Direct Mail community?
Maybe, maybe not, but I’ve rented and re-rented my online buyers to direct mail companies who kept repurchasing them. Why would they rent a list from “online buyers” if it wasn’t profitable? They wouldn’t☺ This is big people…really big.
*Side-note: there’s a bigger secret revealed inside this topic that most will miss. It’s BIG. And it can simplify your strategy, business, and wealth building plan. Figure this out just once and it will put loads of cash in that box you keep deep in your backyard. It will show you THE magic secret to turning your business from an “offer” business to a wealth building machine. No guessing- perfect sniper like, battle-tested game-plan on someone else’s dime. It doesn’t require technology, new software, or much other than your thinking…you just need your “mental filters” expanded!