E230: How to Create Successful Free Plus Shipping OffersMarch 11, 2019 in Ecom-Crew-Podcast
The first time Joe Cochran came on the podcast, we were set on talking about free plus shipping offers. However, Joe’s background proved to be too interesting to cut short, so we talked more about it instead.
You can listen to that episode and the lessons he learned before founding ComfortTac, his current company. We discussed the ups and downs of running an ecommerce business, and whether or not passion really does play a part in creating a successful company.
We’re having Joe back on the podcast today to finally talk about free plus shipping offers. From our conversation you’ll learn that:
- Every business is different. There’s no one size fits all strategy and that every advice should be adapted for your particular business. This principle applies to creating free plus shipping offers.
- You might need to diversify your product offering to increase average order value if you don’t have a consumable product.
- Free plus shipping offers have a better rate of success if you do a lead magnet offer first.
- Your lead magnet could be an information product built around your physical product.
For more information about building information products, you can listen to this episode: E117: How an MMA Fighter Built a Multi-Million Dollar Company Selling Digital Products
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Full Audio Transcript
Intro: Hey guys, it is finally here, EcomCrew Premium week. It’s one of the favorite times of the quarter I guess as we kind of do this about once a quarter once every couple of months, open EcomCrew premium. This thing that was like a little experiment for Dave and I, when we first started has now grown into hundreds of members and we’re just so excited to be having a whole bunch of more people join EcomCrew Premium, become a part of the community. It’s opportunity for us to help a whole bunch of more students and people that are struggling in their e-commerce journey. It’s been a lot of fun.
So, the way that this works is every two to three months, we open up EcomCrew Premium. We do it in this method because we used to have it just open all the time, and we realized that when people join is when we get the most questions. So, we like to be in the office all hands on deck the week that we do EcomCrew Premium. This way we can make sure we get back to you as soon as possible. I think that the email support that we give is probably the most beneficial aspect of EcomCrew Premium, one on one email support. You send us a question; we will answer it typically in one business day, always within two business days. That’s kind of our SLA. And I think it’s just awesome.
Whenever you have a question, you’re stuck on something, the questions we get can be my Amazon listing was suspended or I’m having a hard time getting this thing sent in, or questions about importing, about Facebook ads, whatever it might be, we have experience doing this. We’ve been doing this now for years and it’s fun to be able to pass that along and help people in the moment that they’re struggling. In addition to that we have four prerecorded courses that are hours upon hours of content each on importing from China, launching a seven figure brand, how to white hat launch products on Amazon, the new number one bestsellers. We have a ManyChat and Facebook Messenger course, and we’re about to launch a course on email marketing that’s going to be coming out within just a couple of weeks.
So, anyone that signs up for EcomCrew Premium right now is going to be getting early and first access to that email marketing course. We put a ton of work into this. I think you’re going to really enjoy the difference. If you’re already a premium member listening to this and you’re excited about the email course, if you thought our other stuff was good, not to pat ourselves on the back but I think that this is our best work yet, you’ll see the difference. So, I’ll leave it at that, so it’s definitely awesome.
In addition to all of that, we have a Facebook group that is available to EcomCrew Premium members to chat there and so much more, so EcomCrew.com/premium to check that out. We hope to see you there, and now on to episode 230 of the EcomCrew Podcast. And what a better way to bring in episode 230 than to have an actual EcomCrew Premium member on the show. He’s actually someone that I’ve known for quite a while. He is a repeat guest. We just had Joe on the show a few weeks ago talking about some of the struggles and trials and tribulations of e-commerce. We really appreciated his openness and candor of all that, so we wanted to get him back on for a completely different topic.
Today he’s going to be talking about free plus shipping offers and his business that he has now, and we go over all kinds of ideas of ways to do free plus shipping offers and also content and other things for his business. I think you guys are going to really love this episode. There’s just a lot of really actionable advice. Plus Joe’s an awesome dude, and I’m looking forward to following up with him in a few months and talking about how this stuff has helped his business. So without further ado, let’s get into this episode of the EcomCrew Podcast.
Mike: Hey Joe, welcome back to the EcomCrew Podcast man.
Joe: Thanks for having me.
Mike: Yeah of course, we’ll put the link in the show notes to the other episode that we did. We were going to talk about today’s topic in the last episode but the other episode run along. But you were just awesome and gracious to come on and talk about just previous business experiences, of the ups and downs of e e-commerce and just entrepreneurship. As I always talk about, it’s never a straight line up most of the time. I mean, there are rare instances that happens, but most businesses have ups and downs and careers have ups and downs. And you were awesome to talk about that which I wish that more people would talk about because the typical ecommerce or entrepreneurial thing is to talk about all the good things that are happening and then no one ever has anybody to talk to you about some of the struggles. So, it was cool of you to come and talk about that.
Joe: Yeah, I’ve been through quite a few ups and downs there, obviously. So, you get to a point where, I don’t know, I guess you just get humble and realize that it’s time to keep going. And if you can share it and maybe help some other people get through their harder times, that’s even better.
Mike: Yeah, agreed, totally agree. So as I said, the other episode we were talking about a completely different subject. Today we want to talk about free plus shipping offers, like top of funnel lead magnet offers and things like that. For those who didn’t listen to the other episode, let’s just give maybe a 30 to 6o second recap of what your brand is and kind of like where you’re at in your journey and why this is important to you right now.
Joe: Yeah, so my brand is a line of concealed carry pistol holsters, and I designed the first holster back in like 2015 where I just designed something out of necessity, something that I wanted, it answered all my issues that I was having to carry comfortably. And we launched it really not knowing what to expect and had a great response with it, and just continued to kind of add on to that line of products. But our focus has been on comfortable, concealed carry and trying to innovate things that just other companies don’t focus on which most don’t focus too much on comfort, because they’re focused on retention, or just other aspects. So, it’s kind of like I said, we got into, that I got into because I literally was quitting carrying, because it was just so uncomfortable and it wasn’t very convenient to do.
Mike: Yeah, I mean, it would dig into your hip or your stomach, and it just like super annoying.
Joe: Yeah, absolutely.
Mike: All right, so what are some other things, it sounds like you also released some other products. What are some of the other products you have in your line?
Joe: Yeah, so our main product is the belly band holster. That was the first product that I designed. I designed a fanny pack holster after that, and our big differentiating factor with that product was actually the way in which the gun is held. So prior to us developing ours, all other fanny pack holsters carried the gun horizontally, and we designed one that carries it vertically, which is just safer, easier to draw more as far as muscle memory, it’s more what people are used to doing as far as to draw stroke on it.
And so, we were the first one to design one like that. And we’ve got some inside the waistband holsters that are lined with a pad so that they’re softer against your body. And we’ve got an ankle holster. So we’ve just done, yeah, kind of continued to try to find areas where we could innovate something a little different. We’ve also got a pocket holster on the market. And it’s just an inexpensive, soft pocket hole or something that’s comfortable to carry in your pocket.
Mike: Got you. So, all the products are basically the same idea, concealed carry, it’s just different parts of your body and a little bit different configuration/
Mike: Okay. And what’s the average retail price on in between the five different types of things you mentioned, just to kind of an average, is this like a 30, $50 kind of thing, or is it something outside that range?
Joe: It’s lower, it’s like 20 bucks.
Mike: Do you have any clue as far as repeat purchases? Are people buying the belly band and then they then go buy the fanny because I mean, people typically will, depending on what they’re wearing, or the situation that they’re in will conceal in different ways, or do you find that you get a lot of repeat business, or is it just people are searching for concealed carry something on some search term on Amazon, they buy it, they don’t really think much about your brand?
Joe: Yeah, I mean, we definitely get repeat purchases, especially people who buy it and are using it every day or very frequently, they’ll get a second one because they have to wash it. And so, people who are exercising in them tend to wear them out faster. It’s a product that’s not going to last forever. Unlike a leather holster, or a Codex holster that you’re probably going to buy once and have forever, the belly band, you can sweat in it, after about a year; you’re probably going to want to replace it.
Mike: Got you.
Joe: So, we do have some repeat business from that. It’s not anything that through our Shopify store, it’s not something that I measure big results with. But I know we do have some come back. And I’ve seen a lot of my orders on Amazon come through as a second or third order because they’re buying another one for themselves or one for their significant other or for a friend or something like that.
Mike: Got you. Okay and then what percentage of your sales are Amazon versus your Shopify store?
Joe: It’s 95 plus percent is Amazon.
Mike: Cool. So just trying to get some base information to try to give you some advice and thought process on how to kind of go from here. Before I get into that, I’m just kind of curious, in your own words, what is your objective here? Is it to balance out the Amazon Shopify sales more? Are you looking to just build your customer base at all costs, not necessarily concerned about profit? Are you looking to exit in 12 months or five years? Or they just kind of like what’s your long term outlook and what would be your strategy in terms of budgeting and all these different types of things to try to get an idea of that to go into this conversation with?
Joe: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, when I started the business, I built it knowing that this was going to be something that I was going to want to sell. And I went into the business with that mindset. So, we’ve really worked hard from day one to keep the business very lean and profitable and kind of focused on the cash flow and the profit of the company year after year, and less about building the audience and growth and those sort of things.
But I hate having pretty much all my eggs in one basket, which is Amazon, because I think if Amazon wasn’t there, then the amount that we get on our Shopify store would be even less, right, because we get people coming to Shopify, because they saw it on Amazon. And so losing that channel would probably mean even slower sales on our website. So, I like the idea of building our audience, building our email list. As you know, I’ve got a lot of experience with email marketing. We don’t have much of a list yet, and I’d love to build that up so that I can kind of get deeper into the email marketing side of things and get people back in and promote some of our other products with cross sales and things like that, all the things that we can’t do when we make a sale on Amazon.
Mike: Right. Yeah, and that’s one of the frustrating things about Amazon, obviously is, this is not your customer, so you can’t communicate with them.
Joe: Right yeah. And so as far as the financial goal side of it, I mean, if I can do things at a breakeven to acquire customers right now, I’m pretty happy if I can do that through Shopify, because we are developing products and offers for the back end and building out funnels and things like that.
Mike: Got you. Okay, so let me just talk about a bunch of different things here real quick and then we can move on to the next step. But one thing that I think that’s really important for everyone listening, you need to adapt the stuff that I’m talking about; Dave and I are talking about to your business. I mean not every business is the same. We try to always stay away from this idea of like, just follow the one thing that we’re doing and sprinkle pixie dust, our special pixie dust and it will make you a million dollars. I think that that’s disingenuous, because again, I think every business is different.
So I mean, if you’ve listened to the stuff we’ve been talking about, like using ColorIt as a case study, we’ve really focused on getting leads first, and then turning those leads into free plus shipping customers, and then turning those customers into high value customers over time, mostly through email marketing, and some strategic Facebook ads. And the reason that works so well for ColorIt, there’s a few really key things. Number one, we can deliver some sort of a lead magnet; we actually have multiple lead magnets that can be advertised to a very specific Facebook audience that the lead magnet provides value to.
And that’s not unique to us but it’s not something that every niche can do. I always use Ice Wraps is the opposite, the polar opposite of that, where what are you going to give away as a lead magnet, the temperature which in water freezes or to put ice on your body? I mean, there’s nothing really that interesting out there to do as a lead magnet. And then also, there’s no Facebook audience to align with. So, this is a pretty critical step. And then, past the free plus shipping offer, is there — sorry, past the lead magnet, is there a free plus shipping offer that aligns well with that initial audience.
So, we can provide high value lead magnets for ColorIt because downloadable coloring pages are valuable to our specific audience. So that’s something that they want and it actually provides them value and they can start to develop a relationship with our brand. And the free plus shipping offer can basically be the similar to the downloaded stuff but we’re going to ship them that product so they can experience our paper and the next step of like the ColorIt value proposition, which is, again, is another pretty unique thing that we have.
And then also, we have in that part of the funnel up sells that we can offer that give people additional value in terms of a discount, as an upsell, but it also increases our average order value for those particular customers. And then finally, the last piece that’s really important is we have a consumable product that we know we have a very high repeat purchase rate for and we’ve worked hard on increasing that number. We got up to, I think it was a 45% repurchase rate in 2018, I just did this stat, which was up from something like 38%, something along those lines, I forgot the exact numbers, but it’s really, really high.
So, the reason that these numbers are very important is the math on the back end really helps make the whole thing work, being able to get additional purchases from people. And so, you don’t have all these components with what you laid out here. You have a product that first of all, your average order value is in the $20 range, which is a third less than ours. Our average order value is in the $30 range. So, if we happen to both be on the same gross profit margins, you just have less net profit per order, or gross profit, or modified net profit, whatever number you want to look at the per transaction, there’s less opportunity there. So, that’s something else you need to be thinking about.
And it’s not a consumable product, necessarily, it kind of is, I mean, you said that they reorder every year, but it’s not the same as like a coloring book where they’re buying one a month, or we have a lot of customers that buy something from us every month, or they’re reordering on a pretty fast pace. So we know that we’re going to, again, we’re going to get our money back. So these are all things that are really important to be thinking about in the equation because, again, we know that we can acquire leads for 50 cents or less. And that math by filling in all those variables at different stages of the game is a very profitable endeavor for us.
And so, we need to kind of think about, first of all, like for you, is that even going to be possible, is the repurchase rate frequent enough, or can I sell somebody that buys a belly band holster, an ankle holster at a high enough frequency two or three months later to make all that worthwhile? So, let’s kind of talk about that and think about that. I’ll turn it back over to you to let me know what you think because you know your business way better than I do.
Joe: Yeah, so I’ve done some of that like testing some of that in Klaviyo with people who buy a belly band holster but don’t buy an ankle holster, and then creating an email flow for the ankle holster, or for the fanny pack holster, and things like that as a kind of a cross sell flow and haven’t seen much of a take rate on that. And it makes sense because once somebody commits to carrying in one fashion; they’re going to try to do that as much as possible. So, somebody who’s carrying in a belly band probably doesn’t want an inside the waistband holster, that’s why they bought the belly band, and they probably aren’t going to carry in an ankle holster. So, finding the cross sell for more holsters, I don’t think is necessarily the way to go.
And then the only other flow I have is just an email flow that kind of comes back after like a year and says, hey, are you still using it, are you still enjoying it, and that doesn’t really convert well. And on top of that, the people who wear it, out of the people who wear it are still carrying all the time. And the fact of the matter is, a lot of people buy a gun, buy a holster, get their permit and rarely carry a gun. So they just don’t use the product. So, it doesn’t wear out because they don’t carry very often so they have it for years, and it’s not an issue.
So, I don’t think selling more holsters on the back end is the way to go. I think there are some opportunities though, as far as other products, whether that’s educational products, or other firearm related products. So, I know that everybody who buys a product from me owns a gun, they probably need a range bag, they probably need a cleaning kit, they probably use targets that are consumable when they take it to the range to practice.
Again, they might be interested in an information product about concealed carry or self-defense. There’s actually specific insurance for concealed carry owners that I’ve looked into and some of them have affiliate programs that I could offer insurance from them and have a pretty good payout. So, those are just kind of some ideas I’ve been looking at, as far as things I could offer this market just knowing that they have a gun, but I don’t have those things in place necessarily.
Mike: I mean, I love where you’re going with this, it was actually going to be my next question. And I think if you could work towards expanding to these other products, then you have — first of all you have a better business, a more diversified business, but you just happen to be in one of these niches where you can leverage one thing with the other. And these other things like you said, they are consumable, like the cleaning kit and the targets and I love the idea of doing educational stuff, which I think you would do awesome at.
I mean, you’re articulate, good on camera, we’ve seen you do other things that I’ve known you for a while; I think you could put — and you’re smart in this. I mean you are like a subject matter expert yourself. So, you could create some really great educational courses, which have basically almost 100% profit margin, which can really change the game for you here on all this type of marketing.
Joe: Yeah, I forget who was the guy on the podcast that was the science of skill guy.
Mike: Yeah, the guy was awesome.
Joe: So yeah, I kind of when I listened to that, that was a big aha moment for me, and being located where I am actually, I have a lot of friends who are Marines and things like that, who live close by, and I’m working with one of them now, who is a medic, and a combat medic, he’s seen combat, and he’s actually like a master trainer. And so, him and I were working together on kind of like a lifesaving educational series that we would possibly put together and then offer as a back end. And we could go on and on as far as safe gun handling and I mean, the education side of it, there’s a lot of things we could do that I think could be produced for relatively inexpensive because I can do a lot of the content, or I can get people like him who would do it fairly inexpensive as back end offers.
Mike: Yeah, I love it. And I think that’s really great about it is you could have top of funnel offers that go to the educational products, and then those customers end up in your physical product funnels. And you could also have physical product bundles that lead to the educational products. So like, the ecosystem would be really great, because what I found from now multiple years of doing Facebook stuff is different offers, different products, different things appeal to different people. So, the person that buys your belly band holster off of a Facebook ad may never buy one of the educational products off of the Facebook ad, but they actually would buy your educational product once you have them in your system, and vice versa.
So, having other opportunities to convert people I think is super important and kind of diversifying here, I think it can do very well for you. And I think that by doing this stuff, it makes sense to start thinking about now, like okay, let me start working on building my list, I want to start investing $1,000 a month or $2,000 a month, or whatever the number is, maybe it’s even 5,000 a month, depending on your cash flow, and how serious you want to be about building your list and saying, okay, I want to start at $1,000 a month, I want to add at least 2,000 people to my list at 50 cents apiece.
I know that in the early going, it’s not going to probably pay off all that well, because I only have one product to sell them right now. But I’m going to commit to engaging these people through email at least once a week, and continuing to you just build a relationship with them so when I have other products to launch or to sell, then that list becomes quite valuable. And if you are willing to go down that path, then I think that this could work really well for you.
Joe: Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m looking to do. And we’ve come up with some ideas for content. And so, a couple of the different strategies that I’ve learned just from listening to your stuff is free plus shipping offers where you’re giving away a product and like an idea for that that I came up with would just be targets, they’re pretty inexpensive to ship, they’re consumable, people buy them all the time and go through them. So that would be an item that would be cheap to ship and still easy to stock 10,000 units and wouldn’t be too difficult to fulfill on.
As far as content, we’ve worked on some presale articles, like five tips for comfortable concealed carry, haven’t launched any of that stuff yet, but that’s still right in our niche and I think we could get some traction with that. I was interested to know what you feel, though, as far as, have you experienced better results from people doing free plus shipping giveaways, or has it more been beneficial for the content side of things, because we could create like concealed carry manuals, and I mean, the content is kind of endless as far as what we could do, and that there’s a lot of things that would be interesting to people.
But I kind of felt like the free plus shipping offer is actually easier as far as just because I struggle when it comes to creating content. But I know, they should probably both be tested, and it should all work together but I was just wondering your thoughts on that.
Mike: I mean, we’re multiple years into this now. So, it’s easier for us to talk about and gloat about how well everything works together because we had multiple years to put the pieces together, right. So, it wasn’t like we woke up one morning, and all the pieces were there. So we’ve tested, bringing people in through all those different ways. What I realized in 2018, that it was actually cheaper to just bring people in — the way that I was going to spend my money on ads was only through leads. And the reality is, like I said, I mean, first of all, you’re getting more data points for Facebook. So it seems like Facebook optimizes for lead conversions way better than for purchase conversions, even if it is something as good of a deal as free plus shipping.
And what I found is, by getting people in through a lead concept first and marketing to them over many weeks before even offering them a free plus shipping offer, the conversion rate then is higher and the sticky factor is better, because they’re already kind of trained to look out for our emails, they want to communicate with us, they’re looking, they look forward to getting our communication because we try to provide as much value as we can in this process. It’s not just like, oh great, thanks for signing up for our free plus shipping, or sorry, our lead magnet. Now I’m going to start just spamming you with about our products and sales and stuff like that.
It’s we continue to send them more content and to give them other tips and tricks and value add type content. And then in there, a little bit further down the road, then it’s like oh, here’s the free plus shipping offer. We hope you have enjoyed your free downloadable drawings, would you be interested in getting 20 more drawings mailed to you like on our high quality paper? We want to send these to you for free because we appreciate you taking advantage of our other offer, this is a special offer just for you whatever type of scarcity and butter them up a little bit type of language you want to use. And we’ll mail these to you, we want you to experience our paper. And we highlight the one feature that really makes our product better there. And then when they get it in their hands, they can have that aha moment and then they want more of our products. So, that’s kind of the thought process for us.
So, you could do something very similar to where your advertising, let’s say you come up with like three to five really great pieces of content that make good lead magnets, the safety stuff is one. I mean in such a politically charged environment right now, you could even depending on like how much of a slippery slope you want to go down, you could even use some fear and other type tactics of things like that to get people to sign up for a lead magnet.
You could have a concealed carry guide for the country like state by state, because these laws are changing all the time. And even after you get your permit, it’s hard to know exactly where you’re allowed to take your guns and what states have the agreement like spans across and things like this. And maybe it’s just make sure you’re up to date for 2019 on concealed carry laws, free downloadable lead magnet state by state, or just stuff like this that gets people in and you can work on getting these leads to convert as cheap as possible.
The reason I’m so excited for you is because we own Tactical.com and we’ve been doing a lot of similar things and our leads are basically half the price for Tactical than they had been for ColorIt. I mean, people are really snapping up the stuff that we’re doing. We’re paying an average of 27 cents per lead on ColorIt, or sorry, on Tactical, which is incredibly cheap. And we’re kind of at the same stage that you are, we don’t have the whole thing built out yet. We just know that we want to get these people in our ecosystem. And as we launch new products, they’re going to be there and turn into valuable customers for us. So, that’s how we’ve been approaching it.
And I really think that there’s lots of great content that you could use to leverage that. And then in between there, you have the free plus shipping offer. But at the same time, I would still test the free plus shipping offer as a top of funnel mechanism and see, maybe the target just really resonate with people because I mean, you have an amazing opportunity to advertise the people who have an interest in in guns. And you could even advertise to people who have an interest in particular brands of guns. And you can even advertise, niche it down even more to exclude urban areas where people are less likely to be as fanatical about guns as people in rural areas. So, like you’re targeting and dollars can go even further.
And maybe people snap up these free plus shipping offers for targets and it’s just profitable for you. And like you said, it’s easier. So you could even start there and just see what happens. And as long as you have a good upsell offer, they buy the targets and you’re then up selling them the belly band holster, for us 11% of people are taking us up on the upsell offer. That could be your winning strategy. So, there’s a lot of different things look spoiler for you.
Joe: Yeah, sorry that I just gave you like a lot to think about there.
Mike: No, it’s all good. Yeah. So I mean, I just, like I said, I’m super excited for you about it because I really think it’ll take some time. Like for us, the first couple of lead magnets that we ran were disasters. We didn’t put enough time into the landing page, we just kind of half assed put it together and we got those basically that kind of result out of it, we got out of it what we put into it. And now we’ve gotten way more sophisticated. Right after we hang up here, I’ll share with you our latest landing page for free plus shipping offer for our Tactical stuff. It’s for a multi tool; we’re going to be launching that that soon. By the time this podcast comes out, that funnel will be have been live for a while.
But we just gotten like really good at creating better ad copy, better ad units, the video assets, a really good landing page and making it look really polished. And for TEC-9, we’re still using free plus shipping offers as a top of funnel mechanism as well. So we’re still exploring that and trying to find ones that work. But the great thing about Facebook is, I mean, you will know within 100 or $200 of ad spend if that free plus shipping offer is going to work for you or not. If it’s costing $12 per conversion, you just turn it off. If you’re getting them for a couple bucks, you’ve hit a home run. And a lot of times, you just got to keep cycling through until you find something that works.
Joe: Yeah, makes sense.
Mike: Yeah. So, what else do you want to talk about? Does that cover kind of give you a good roadmap for what to do over the next few months? Do you have any other specific questions or ideas you want to bounce around?
Joe: No, I mean, I think that definitely gives me a lot of work to do in the next few months.
Mike: Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely a lot of work. It’ll be frustrating along the way; I would just encourage you not to give up. I mean, I almost did a few times but you hear other people out there that were talking about some of this stuff and I’m like, if it’s working for them, maybe I should give it a shot. So, if I was to change anything, what we’ve done differently for TEC-9 and Tactical that we didn’t do for ColorIt is we’ve been launching this stuff because we already know that it works.
So I’m not making this like, I wonder if I can make this work phase. I’m in more of like I know this is going to work, so I’m going to put like 100% effort in from day one on watching this stuff. So, the pages look really refined, the ads look really good. And I would encourage you to do that to just put a little more effort into it, knowing that other people out there have had success with it. And I think that targets is like a great free plus shipping offer first step. I mean, super, pretty much — I shouldn’t say super because there’s targets can be relatively large, if you get some of the bigger ones. And paper actually adds up in weight.
So, what I would do is target if some of the ones that are about the size of a piece of paper, there’s a target that’s bigger than a piece of paper that goes in a printer but not that much bigger. The size I’m talking about it’s like one you would use on a range, but not like a full person size target, just something that’s a little bit bigger than the size of a piece of paper. And I would figure out the weight of as many as you can fit in a package and keep it at first class. And that would be the number I would offer. It might be something stupid, like 14 targets, whatever it is, but figure out the weight. It makes sure you think through that part of it first.
And what we’ve done with our free plus shipping offer with the pieces of paper thing is we sandwich them in between two pieces of cardboard and we have it shrink wrapped from the factory. So they ship us if you can imagine a cardboard sandwich of a piece of cardboard. For us, it’s 10 drawings and there’s also like a cover page and a couple of pieces of propaganda in there. So it’s like 13 pieces of paper sandwiched between another piece of cardboard, they call it chip board. And so, it’s sandwiched in between these pieces of cardboard and then they shrink wrap that.
So, when I get it from the factory, all I have to do is — because we ship out dozens of these a day. We just print out a spool of labels and peel and stick, peel and stick, peel and stick, peel and stick, the whole thing is ready to go. And within just a couple of minutes, we ship out all of our free plus shipping offers for the day. So it’s all like perfect, and it weighs 13 ounces. So it’s like it’s exactly the right weight. And yes, so we thought this through all the way and that’s our free plus shipping offer. You end up in a situation where your free plus shipping offer weighs like 1.2 pounds, now your shipping costs are like $8 instead of three.
Joe: Yeah, makes sense.
Mike: And my gut is that people that are into guns that are going to be your core audience are going to snap up this offer left and right. And there’s also a really good chance that they’re going to be interested in your belly band. And I also think that these targets would pass Facebook’s rules of no guns and weapons because it’s a target and not a gun. The belly band holster might be pushing it so you can offer that on the back side as an upsell. The target should have no problem passing with Facebook. And I would do that as a test first before you go off and buy 10,000 targets, make sure that you can get an ad approved like trying to do that concept just to make sure that it goes through.
Joe: Yeah, I’ve actually been pretty surprised. I run some Facebook ads right now with the belly band with a gun in the belly band and I haven’t had an issue.
Mike: Well, no kidding, interesting.
Joe: Yeah, and it’s popular in the holster industry like all the big companies who have like Black Hawk and just the large holster companies, most of them run ads with holsters that have a gun in it.
Mike: Hmm, that’s interesting because we actually had some issues with Tactical because we had a knife in the video and we weren’t even advertising the knife, and they shut us down and we had to go through a lengthy approval process to get our account basically unbanned and for the next like 12 ads that we launched, they were instant banning or anything that we put up there we had to go through a manual approval process, and finally I guess somebody manually unblocked us because we haven’t had any problems since then. It’s been quite a while now but just be aware that it could happen, who knows? It depends on who’s looking at it and what day and most likely you’d be fine getting things back up and running again.
Mike: Cool man. Well, I’m excited for you. Obviously you’re a member of EcomCrew Premium, so at anytime as you’re going through this and you got questions, feel free to email in and ask us anything and maybe we can even do a follow up on this six or 12 months from now as you work through a lot of this stuff and we can have another case study except besides ColorIt because we’re always talking about ColorIt stuff when it comes to this. We’ve had several other EcomCrew Premium members by the way that have had success with this, and we don’t talk about who they are or what their niches are because we’re private obviously with their stuff, but I can tell you that several other people have been talking about how well it’s been working for them. And I’m already doing it for Tactical and TEC-9, so I’m already 99% confident that you’ll have no problem with this.
Mike: Cool man. All right well, it’s been awesome chatting and until the next time, happy selling and we’ll talk to you soon right as we always say.
Joe: Yeah, sounds good.
Mike: Thanks Joe.
All right guys, that’s going to wrap it up for this episode. Episode 230 is in the books. I want to thank you guys as always for supporting the EcomCrew Podcast. And as you know, you can go to EcomCrew.com slash episode number at any time to get to the show notes. In this case it’s 230, so EcomCrew.com/230 brings you over to the show notes and things that we talked about in this episode. Leave us a comment; let us know that you’re alive out there. As I always say, let Joe know that you’re alive, ask him questions.
He’s a cool guy, he’ll be happy to respond and interact with you. It’s someone that I’ve learned to admire and from my original mastermind. He was in that, so it’s fun to see how things are changing, how far we’ve all come, and how things have just evolved over the last several years of our lives. So thank you again Joe so much for coming on and doing this. Really appreciate it. And until the next episode everyone, happy selling and we’ll talk to you then.
Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.