I love how Karon has some “Carved in Stone” absolutes that we all should follow when selling on any of the channels. Their are slight differences almost secret nuance for each but the basics still matter.
Marketing Words – Karon’s contact is also included
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Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect)
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Stephen: 00:01:23 Ultimately that’s how you get the buybacks. You got to know what people were searching for. You put that in there you get that adjusted to know exactly what they’re searching for and boom you get found right being found on that page one. How do you do it by knowing the right keywords. How do you do that. Look at your competitors and use their keywords. That’s how you do it. And sculp allows you to do that.
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Intro Guy: 00:04:20 We’ll get the e-commerce momentum I guess. Well we’ll focus on the people the products and the process of Commerce selling today. Your host Stephen Peters welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. This
Stephen: 00:04:36 is episode 2:42. Karen Thaxton that’s a name probably most people don’t know but they might know marketing words dot com in and runs a company called marketing words where they write copy where they teach people to write better copy. Very cool story. Neat how we got connected. I have a couple of references in there but I see a lot of applications because you know she’s saying that you know in today’s day and age these these algorithms are getting smarter. The words you used are going to connect or not and not being the problem with people who were looking to buy merchandise. And so your ability to communicate and put in words that they are using will help you get found in the zillion of keywords out there. It’s not only key word anymore. There’s other there’s contextual words. And I think she does a really good job explaining it. Let’s get into the podcast.
Stephen: 00:05:32 All right welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast very excited about today’s guest because she’s going to teach us and I like to learn. I’m ready to learn something that you know becomes more and more important every single day. You know when you think about selling in the number of new sellers coming on a number of new products how do you get found. Right. How do you how do you show up in the millions of products that are out there on the various Web sites. Well the way you do that is with keywords and great pictures with words behind them too. And hopefully she’s going to teach us a lot about that. Karen Thaxton welcome.
Karen: 00:12:52 KAREN Hi how are you. Thanks for having me. I
Stephen: 00:12:55 appreciate you coming on. You own a company called marketing words. Dot.com right marketing word stuck come in where you help companies people focusing on what. Give me your elevator pitch.
Karen: 00:13:12 Marketing words essentially helps businesses rank higher convert better and sell more.
Stephen: 00:13:20 Oh I like it. That’s a good oh that’s a good elevator pitch. And and it doesn’t matter.
Stephen: 00:13:25 Right you’re it doesn’t matter whether that’s on Amazon eBay. Shopify Google whatever these other new thing if it exists all those other sites all those things pretty much use the same concept correct.
Karen: 00:13:42 In a roundabout way yes.
Stephen: 00:13:44 Yeah. I mean there are nuances right and that’s what makes Amazon so strong is they have their own versus Google that drives a lot of other companies. But conceptually I mean you’re basically saying hey I want to buy this and me behind the scenes I’m trying to match that up in the perfect way. So you come to see me as opposed to seeing Bob. Right. I mean that’s really what it is. Yes. And that’s an art isn’t it.
Karen: 00:14:10 It’s an art and it’s a science and all combined into one. There are some things that are carved in stone. There are a lot more things that are not carved in stone.
Stephen: 00:14:21 Oh I like that. I want to know I think that’s important so you’re saying there are some absolutes carved in stone I would call those absolutes and they’re absolutes for today given today with this version of whatever’s out there. Right. But that can change and it will change. I mean there’s one nice thing about this this will change whatever it is. But what would you say. You know and I’ll give us we’ll go back into your background and get in all of that but I want to get some value right up front. Give me a couple. Carved
Karen: 00:14:48 in Stone absolute’s carved in stone absolute’s pertaining to what I would say.
Stephen: 00:14:56 I mean we could we could do one of two ways. Is it Amazon. And then everybody else. I mean when you look at everybody else I mean because Amazon has what 80 percent of the e-commerce market I mean some massive number. Right. And they’re their own animal right they have their own custom algorithm and their search stuff is custom for them.
Karen: 00:15:16 It is they are getting more and more like Google every day. But there are with Amazon probably the most unique thing about that particular a nine search engine is that there are no outside influences to Amazon with Google you have social media presence. You have back links pointing to a particular page of a Web site. You have all sorts of other things that are not self-contained on your Web site whether that be an independent site a Shopify site or any you know any other type of web site that you might have with Amazon. Everything is contained within Amazon’s Web site so.
Stephen: 00:16:05 OK well then let’s break them down separately then let’s start with everybody else because as you say Google. I mean most searches for most other e-commerce are going to be generally in Google. Is that correct. Generally right. All right. So let’s do some absolutes then that are carved in stone for Google. One
Karen: 00:16:25 of the biggest absolutes is that the language that your prospective customers your shoppers are using needs to be reflected in the copy on your page. And that is almost always through the use of keywords and key phrases but not entirely. Google also looks for other types of language that is common when particular key words are used. So if you’re going through when you are looking around my desk for a quick example if we’re talking about a desktop calculator for example and you have many different types of desktop calculators you will want to use language specific to scientists. If you have a scientific desktop calculator on another page you will want to use language particular to students. If this is a cow you know a desktop calculator designed for students and things of that nature it’s not just going in and stuffing a page and the back and metal tags with various types of keywords. It’s using language particular to that segment of a target audience to be able to get that page to perform at its best.
Stephen: 00:17:53 And that’s that’s different than what it used to be right in the last X number of years that’s really been revised and refined.
Karen: 00:18:01 It sounds like oh 20 years ago or so when they were when Google and for those that remember AltaVista Lycos and all those original search engines it was simply a matter of going into the back and putting in whatever you wanted to rank for and to the Medich keyword tag and Ta-Da. There you went. It didn’t matter if those words were on your page or not. So it’s evolved numerous times. This particular iteration has been active for I would say at least five or six years.
Stephen: 00:18:33 OK. And so this is the one where you’re saying that basically if you’re selling scientific calculators you need to say that I’m selling scientific calculators not just selling calculators because you’ll never get found ever right otherwise period.
Karen: 00:18:49 Right. But it goes beyond just putting keywords today with the competition with all the different sites and the different millions and billions of individual web pages trying to get into Google’s top 10. You have to go beyond that. You have to have a copy that uses language that actually appeals to people looking for a scientific calculator. So that’s going to mean knowing your target audience and understanding what’s important to them because in addition to the key phrase scientific calculator Google is also going to also look for common words that occur in the copy of other types of pages other blog post and whatnot that pertain to people looking for a scientific calculator does it learn over time that people who look Ebene I guess this is probably a you’re going to like Dusty.
Stephen: 00:19:49 You know people who looked for scientific calculators also looked for United. I mean maybe that’s a brand I don’t know that to be right but they look for you know you did they add that word in it seems to be all the time so therefore does that help if you have that in there if you’re that tuned in to the market and you have that in your language in there.
Karen: 00:20:10 Does that help. It could we marketing words does SBO copy writing. So we are not a full blown search engine optimization company and I can’t that question I don’t have a specific answer for but it would make sense to me that it would.
Stephen: 00:20:28 Right. Right. I might put it that way I guess until you wrote the program. You really can’t go over it. Nobody knows. I mean they kind of do their best to narrow it down. So so copyrighting in that scenario. Right. So you’re saying that the really elegant presented a with those keywords with the right language. Give me an example of language that would be used for. Let’s stay on the scientific calculator I’m going to really put you on the spot on this one.
Karen: 00:20:55 Well we could switch to student calculators and I could probably come up with a better example or I’m willing to let you know I’m willing to. That’s
Karen: 00:21:03 fine.
Stephen: 00:21:03 I mean I guess you know it’s just one people to get what you’re talking about when we say because you know most of us just sell on Amazon or sell a lot on Amazon so we’re used to put again you know you can put in 250 characters and you got your you know your title first and all the rest of that stuff is so critical and then your bullet points. But what you’re talking about is actual language actual the way people talk when they’re talking about student calculators correct.
Karen: 00:21:30 Right. And for it not for Amazon none of this would apply to am right.
Speaker 8: 00:21:34 Right. So this is what’s so different. That’s why I want people to get the context of what you’re talking about. So go ahead. So
Karen: 00:21:40 if common themes common denominators around student calculators would mention calculus class or prepping for exams or particular functions that mostly students use that accountants wouldn’t use and business people wouldn’t use and scientist wouldn’t use things of that nature that are specific to students using this particular calculator. Those are the things that that would also be a very good idea to include in the copy. If you have tests that students have to take and various types of math classes where they require particular functionality in a calculator that would be included as well. And most of the time it’s going to make good marketing and common sense to put these things and the copy for that particular product description because they would answer questions that shoppers need to know. It makes perfect sense yeah if you’re a parent or you’re the actual student that’s shopping for the calculator and then going to send the link to your parent to purchase it.
Karen: 00:22:54 You know they would need to know. OK. Is it going to help me prep for this particular type of exam or standardized test. You know is it acceptable for this particular type of standardized tests you know will it help me with calculus class or geometry class or whatever type of class it is that that students would need that calculator for. So nine times out of 10 it’s smart in three or four different ways to put that information in. Not only for Google but it’s useful in helping the shopper make a decision as well.
Stephen: 00:23:27 And that’s so important. I mean I think about you know like when my son went to college you know the things that we were looking for. Is this going to work. I don’t know. Right. That’s what you’re thinking. Yeah and then when you answer that question right in a nice easy way. Boom. It just makes sense. OK. And so you can do that and Google will pick that up. I mean when Google goes looking today looking at what you have in your Shopify store for example is your title the most important position. And then it goes down from there similar to Amazon.
Karen: 00:23:59 How how’s that work. The title is very important. And I wouldn’t say that it’s the most important element because you can get a page ranked on Google with no title with no med a description of Certainly with no Medek key or tag because they ditched that forever ago because it was too badly abused and manipulated. But yes your title is very important. And if you create a title that is concise Google has has drastically whittled down what it thinks is a good value or that character length for a title if you can get that information in there. And a way that Google will highlight it you’re in good shape if you put a title and for a web page and Google doesn’t approve it or smile on it. Then they will go into an automated fashion and create a brand new title for you without asking your permission.
Karen: 00:25:01 And most of the time in my opinion they don’t do nearly as good a job as a human being does.
Stephen: 00:25:08 Right. They’re going to lose the they’re going to lose the the the nuance of of people speak right. I mean they’re going to it’ll be great grammar but nobody talks that way.
Karen: 00:25:18 Well the other thing for me and I understand Google is looking for a way to provide the best quality of information to its searchers. But when it comes to e-commerce to different types of sales online. Google in my humble opinion seems to be too focused on information and not focused enough on sales because when they’re creating new titles for these pages that they don’t care for the title tags that were already written. They
Karen: 00:25:57 almost always leave out the promotional elements. Does this sound vaguely familiar to somebody else some other giant online company that gets searched a lot that has been saying stop putting marketing language stop using subjective language. Amazon is moving in the in the Google direction.
Stephen: 00:26:17 So in my opinion I think Google could do a much better job of incorporating a little salesmanship in the titles that they create because ultimately they want that shopper to find the item that’s best perfect for what they’re looking to do right. I mean if they’re looking for Chrome garbage can. Ideally they want to give them the chrome one that’s the right height for the bags that they have or that they’re planning on using for their size apartment or house. Right. I mean ultimately that’s what they want to get. So if they can help you get there you know that resonate conference that solar lamps put on. And I remember someone talking about how Google and Amazon are both learning. Right. So they gave the example that you know I think the example they gave is you were searching for a queen for something maybe clothing you know crown for Queens or whatever but you really meant King because you had a couple of other things in there and they basically will actually show you the results for kings.
Stephen: 00:27:21 Also even though you’re putting in Queens because other people who have looked for this particular things also went through the king link and eventually they got some some. So
Speaker 8: 00:27:31 I had some strength so they showed you those results too. They said Hey Steve you’re smart but you’re not quite smart enough. Here’s what you’re really thinking we think. Right. Is that is that correct. Yeah pretty much. I
Stephen: 00:27:43 don’t know what they call that he called it something in and it was like whoo. I mean it’s like thinking it’s almost thinking for you.
Karen: 00:27:48 I mean in a way it does. And Amazon in particular tracks everything seven ways from Sunday. They look at where you click and they try to determine why you clicked there and as you mentioned what you’ve added to your car what you’ve taken out of your cart you took something out of your cart you replaced it with something very similar you know then that they’re they’re constantly running all of this data around the Amazon database trying to find out which of the ads at the bottom you know people who bought this also bought this. Here are some other things we recommend for you and that’s based on thousands of calculations a second that Amazon is coming up with and it’s pretty incredible to sit back and watch everything that has to happen to bring a search result up even for something like dog treats.
Karen: 00:28:43 You know you type that in and you would think it would be quite simple but you know do they. What kind of dog treats Do you want. Dog jerky or dog biscuits or you know what size dog kind I mean dog. You want low calorie ones or diet ones or vegan ones. Or you know there’s thousands and thousands of types of dog treats. So what is it that brings up that first page of search results in order to get yours ranked high in the search engines. And a lot of it has nothing to do with keywords or the copy that you write especially on Amazon. A lot of Amazon’s is is back and information you know your stellar performance your stellar feedback. The
Karen: 00:29:27 number of reviews for the product recent sales history inventory levels and all these other things that you could have the best copy and the most highly optimized listing in the world. But if all of your back in information is just swirling you know swirling around and headed down the toilet you’re not going to rank well for anything. Do
Karen: 00:29:46 you spend all your time thinking about this to be honest. No. So you can turn it off. Yes. And I regularly.
Stephen: 00:29:54 When you when you when you were in school you went you went to college for marketing. I mean did you ever think that it would get. I mean what was marketing to you. Right. So as a kid you were into you know ads on TV. Right. What did you think it was. I mean was it just a bunch of people sitting around a table just coming out with Hey I got a new jingle or I have a you know something that old you know a new name for a product I mean what was it to you.
Karen: 00:30:21 As a child I think probably my first perception of marketing was letting people know about new stuff and I liked finding out about new stuff because usually it wasn’t the old stuff maybe you know you’ve got some classic ads and some repeat advertising for collateral products that commodity products that people are always going to see in one fashion or the other. Coca-Cola Pepsi Cola You know gas stations things that people have to have regularly but then there’s the new things that come out that are exciting and get advertised about women’s makeup. There’s always a brand new type of mascara that TV show you know TV ads are for or online ads and what have you. So I think that I’ve primarily got excited about marketing when I was a very small kid because it was all about new things new toys probably especially right here too. Yeah
Karen: 00:31:24 sure.
Stephen: 00:31:25 So. So you go to college for what. What were you thinking this marketing degree was going to let you do. I mean when were you going to be the person bringing out those new products or being involved in. What was it that you were going to do with this degree.
Karen: 00:31:38 I was going to go to work for my uncle in Tennessee although he didn’t know it yet. And I was not entirely certain what he did but I knew that he made an awful lot of money and that he was married to my favorite aunt and would it be great if when I grew up and I went to college and I got a degree in marketing that I would go to work for this uncle. And he never found out that that was my plan because as I grew up and I realized what he did he was in high end to be to be which is something that has really just never come into play with marketing words we’ve always stuck to the BDC side. But it turned out when I found out specifically what he did I didn’t really want to do that after all.
Karen: 00:32:30 So I went into radio went into newspapers and it was kind of funny. The first radio station I worked for I actually was a fan girl of the morning show and decided one day during the summer when we were all from school that I would go and pick up some biscuits from wherever parties or bojangles or wherever it was and take them to the radio station for the morning show and they let me in and I was on the air and and all of that exciting stuff and it just sort of grew from there. And one day the station manager called and said receptionist is out with bad back problems going to have to have surgery. Can you come and show the phones for the summer. Sure I can. Three or four days later one of the sales people came through and said I’ve got to get these spots on the air today.
Karen: 00:33:22 Do you know how to write copy. Of course I do. Great. Here’s all the info when she walked away and I turned around and looked at the girl next to me and said What’s copy. So my education started as trial by fire and then went to college the next fall and did some actual Well I won’t call that actual learning. I think the fraud the trial by fire was probably actually the deepest. Did
Stephen: 00:33:49 your ads actually make it on the air.
Karen: 00:33:52 Oh yes. As soon as they told me what it was and what needed to be done you know 30 seconds spot 60 second spot whatever it was. And the criteria that the client had I really didn’t have too much of a problem getting it done. I mean it took me three or four tries. But but they actually did record those and put them on the air. So
Stephen: 00:34:10 it was really un natural at it. I
Karen: 00:34:11 mean would you say I would say I have always been pretty decent with words. I could write one heck of a thank you note when I was in high school I tell you so.
Stephen: 00:34:22 OK so you start working in radio and you start writing copy there you get is that the part of radio that you love the most when you think about it.
Karen: 00:34:32 No I liked being on the air the most. I am sub. Someone else was out sick and this was I came back to that radio station summer after summer and one summer they needed somebody to fill in on the overnight show from 2 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. so I did that for a while and that was fun.
Stephen: 00:34:54 OK. So it was something that you enjoyed and then you went right into newspapers or did you stay in radio for a while. No
Karen: 00:35:04 . When I left and went back to school I transferred to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and went to work for the student newspaper there. And got a good I mean very very much like working for an actual newspaper student newspaper was a very good training ground for that. So did sales for them and created some ad not actually doing the design work but the concept for the ads and what have you so enjoyed that a lot. And did some time at a local newspaper as well and then went to in-house ad agencies for a ladies clothing chain on a regional chain did in-house ad agencies for a couple of other products. Did
Stephen: 00:35:57 a full service agency and just kind of made the rounds so that that is a very different position than the person that was selling the ad and putting it down on paper and saying this is what the client wants right now. You are in essence the agent for the client so you are the client and you are making decisions. This is what I want.
Karen: 00:36:19 Well at the ad agencies the full service agencies. I was a copywriter. I was not an account manager.
Stephen: 00:36:27 OK. So you still I mean so so somebody did feed you a bunch of stuff and then you had to make sense of it is that what you’re saying.
Karen: 00:36:34 Yes and it’s very much like a puzzle. You get copywriters come in as the last piece to the puzzle. You have to have the branding in place. You have to have the product details in place and your pricing structure. And if there is a particular concept that you want to get out through this campaign or your Amazon listing or your web page or whatever it may be these days all of that has to be set up and then you plop it down in front of a copywriter and and we go through and sifted and sort it and make sense of it all and then put the pieces of the puzzle together so that you end up with an Amazon page listing page or a web page or an e-commerce product description or Shopify.
Stephen: 00:37:19 The thing that confuses me. Right so what you’re describing sounds like you’ve been doing it for a long period of time right. Do you been have been you know you took an early age this is what I want to do. You embraced it you went to school for it. You paid your dues learned learned learned for all those years and now US sellers we’re supposed to be as good as you are because we’re competing against you or somebody like you. And you know we’re competing against you because you represent clients that use your services. And so how you know I guess I’m struggling with you know it’s like I have it I have an accounting degree. Well guess what. You know most people can do basic bookkeeping but they can’t do the technical accounting not that I can anymore anyway. But but do you get what I’m saying. So how do how do we get better when we’re competing against professionals like yourself. You
Karen: 00:38:15 get training the same way that anybody gets better at anything in the world that they try whether it has to do with Amazon or web sites or learning how to play baseball. You get training and marketing offers training products.
Karen: 00:38:29 There are people actually. How do you know.
Stephen: 00:38:33 And let’s just be real clear is that she’s not paying me I’m not this is not an affiliate deal or anything like that. But I think we all need help. And so I sit back and I think about this is a good example. You just heard her credit. You know her background. All those years working in you know radio on one side you know all the different roles and they’re actually getting on air really helps you too because you see both sides of it.
Speaker 11: 00:38:57 And then newspapers and ad agencies and all the working in-house for companies all the things that we’re all competing against. And I just think it’s so important that we get better at this. And I just to be honest with you I’m not really certain how to do it other than taking courses and studying and so the fact that you offer those services is quite frankly and you actually do copywriting for people to correct. I mean you actually offer that as a service not necessarily teaching you can take my jumble and make it something correct.
Karen: 00:39:29 Yes we do have services and but you are correct learning getting the training that you need is critical. You can’t do a whole lot of anything. You can’t cook an egg on your own dough until somebody shows you how to cook an egg. You know from the time we’re born we’re learning and we’re getting training whether it’s formal or informal. And there are people that are just absolutely banging their heads against walls because they don’t know what they’re doing. Amazon’s no help cellar Central is full of conflicting information and if you send in a support ticket or you place a phone call to Amazon you get even more conflicting information. So figuring out Amazon’s maze of Terms of Service how many characters you have for different categories the qualifications and the stipulations for different categories and then putting all of the information we already talked about together and merging all of these bits and pieces into one final completed puzzle that actually works can be frustrating.
Stephen: 00:40:44 It won’t. It can be it is. I mean it’s not can be. Of it is this you know there are some people who are naturally gifted at it you know just like there’s a baseball player who’s a naturally gifted baseball player but there are outliers right there. They’re just those people. They don’t need this training because they’re just naturally good at it. But the rest of us the rest of them were old. Right. Needs to find two nice things. So what do you say to somebody new there. You know they’re selling. They’ve been selling for a while and they’re saying OK now I want to enhance my listings. I have some wholesale that I can modify where I have own private label which is probably more likely. And they’re saying OK now I’m ready to get the most from my marginally performing underperforming or even I guess good performing.
Stephen: 00:41:29 I want to make them great. I want to get that first page of rank which is ultimately the you know the the applause right customers buying it gets you on a first page rank. So how do we do that.
Karen: 00:41:39 Where do we start. My best advice is to start from the beginning. With your very best effort if you have no training what so ever get the training before you begin to create new listings. That’s where you’re going to get the best results. If you already have highly successful listings or even semi highly successful listings you do not want to pull out everything the title the boats the description and keywords you do not want to yank all of that out and replace all of it at the same time. Because these are the things there are the back end things we mentioned earlier you know stellar feedback and inventory levels and blah blah blah. But as far as words go these are the things that Amazon has used to get you where you are today. So if you work all of that out all at the same time underline all at the same time and you replace every bit of it with brand new information.
Karen: 00:42:48 You have to start all over again. Ambiga Amazon goes whoa what just happened today. Re-index your listing and at least temporarily you will see almost certainly a major drop in sales in rank.
Stephen: 00:43:05 And so you can change. It’s almost like the AB testing right you can change small things to see what kind of influence they have. Right. Is that what you’re suggesting right to small little. You know it’s kind of like a ship that has to turn the ocean. You don’t just spin the wheel and they turn right it’s very little degrees very little changes to get on. Stay on course.
Karen: 00:43:24 Exactly. And if you do that and it is I mean one of the one of the things that I am constantly preaching is that you have to test this. Somebody will ask me a question about titles and I’ll say that’s a that’s a great question. I don’t have an answer for you it would make an excellent test. So this is what you need to do instead of yanking everything out and replacing the whole shebang at one time. Go step by step and pay attention to what you’re doing. So many people say well I want to test this Thaila against that title and they take out the first title and they put the second title in and they sit there and go Well it seems like I got more sales. You get familiar with the data in your business reports understand what it means so that you can take a look before you begin your task.
Karen: 00:44:18 You can take a look. After you’ve done your task and you can say wow look at that. When I put these key words in the title instead of these other ones that I used to have in there then I ended up with 316 sessions instead of 90. And instead of having an average of two sales a day. Now I have an average of six sales a day. So in that special.
Stephen: 00:44:41 Well and I think that what you’re describing is very good. What about seasonality. Do you consider I mean I mean you’re going to be like Steve come on. Of course. I mean but that you have to consider that right. So you know it’s Q4 so you know all of a sudden a change I make. We can be sitting there saying oh my words are so much better when really it’s just a Q4 bump. And so you really need to consider that you do. And
Karen: 00:45:03 for other things if you’re selling flowers cut flowers that are delivered or what have you or gift baskets or things like that you’re going to have to pay attention to more than fourth quarter. Mother’s Day is huge for those types of things. Valentine’s Day. You know all of the holidays that roll around that could seriously impact sales because you’re absolutely right. They will drastically skew what your results are. So pay attention with your testing.
Stephen: 00:45:33 One of the other things that I noticed that you do is you help with review request follow up e-mails and I was thinking about you know solar labs with feedback genius. One of the things that they offer are you know e-mails to customers right and you’re allowed to ask for feedback. You just can’t ask for positive feedback right. But one of the bigger challenges I see people are like well yeah I could use the service but what do I put in it. Right that’s one of the challenges. You’re suggesting that that is also an art and a science because you’re going to tell me it’s a science to to make sure that you can get the best chance of getting a review. Now you’re not saying a positive review because you can’t do that right. Am I correct when I say that yes.
Karen: 00:46:20 And the what the review advantage ebook teaches is that there’s a different way to write these emails. If you get a review request e-mail from 10 different sellers if you are the customer and you’ve been shopping on Amazon and all of a sudden you began to get these review request e-mails chances are pretty darn good that they’re all going to follow the exact same template or something pretty close to it.
Speaker 12: 00:46:51 And those templates just don’t work.
Karen: 00:46:57 On a regular basis on a consistent basis you know saying thank you so much for your order and your shipment should be arriving soon. And you know we hope you love it. And please leave a review and we were a small business and could really use your help and blah blah blah blah.
Stephen: 00:47:16 It just doesn’t work if people are numb to it. No I mean they’re. They see so much of it. That’s what you’re saying. I
Karen: 00:47:21 think that’s part of what it is is that this same template has been run into the ground. The other couple of things are one these templates make it all about you the seller and not about the customer and customers are very self-centered. It’s all you know it’s the old saying what’s in it for me. It’s all about them. It’s not all about you. So the old template that everybody’s been using is is worn out. People are numb to it it’s sort of like Banner blindness where banner ads don’t hardly work anymore because people have banner or blindness online now. And the other thing is they don’t offer anything to the customer. It’s just gimme gimme gimme what customers are looking for and what we have found that they respond to is useful helpful information that will allow them to get the most out of your product after they have purchased it and begun to use it.
Karen: 00:48:26 We actually have people that have written to us and said you know when I rewrote my review request e-mails using the steps that you taught us I began to get thank you notices from clients for the tips that I had given them.
Speaker 12: 00:48:46 So it makes a difference.
Karen: 00:48:49 And number of reviews increases but your good will toward your clients increases. I mean how often has any other seller gotten a thank you note for the follow up e-mail they sent. Right
Stephen: 00:49:03 . Right. So you’re really kind to me you’re making a connection. You’re taking a step further where you know they’re almost your customer then right now because you’re selling on Amazon you’re not there they’re not your customer they’re Amazon’s customer. To be honest.
Stephen: 00:49:17 But now when you connect with that person your brand they’re almost there’s there’s they’re your customer the brand’s customer I mean I say it that way. There might be a better way of saying right.
Karen: 00:49:29 And it’s not all about you the seller any. It’s how can I help my customer my brand’s customer to get the most out of this product and they’re grateful for that. It’s different. It’s useful. It’s not just filling their inbox with more Ghobadi gunk that they are tired of seeing that they take one look and see an order number in a subject line and go oh man. Another follow up e-mail. Delete delete delete delete delete.
Speaker 8: 00:49:59 OK so this is the service that you have is a review request e-mail series. Is that what it is. That would cover just about their service or their e-book. Yes. I’m talking about. I mean I don’t know. We’re talking about getting training so I thought you were talking about. OK. So that’s what it is. OK. I
Stephen: 00:50:18 just want to make sure that when people say hey wait that sounds something like I would want. So it’s an e-book that you offer and I’m going have a link to the site marketing words dot com slash products she has. Oh my gosh you have a lot of them in here. And so you have a book addressing that how to do that and how to learn that.
Karen: 00:50:36 Right. And it is also a service if they don’t want to do it. OK. So then we can do that as well and that’s of course under the Services menu where you would find those services.
Stephen: 00:50:47 OK. All right cool. All right. So the next thing that I think is really relevant I’m trying to pick and choose because let me just tell you you know this is you know that and again I don’t know Karen from Adam. I don’t know who Adam is either. 3 6 9 12. I see 12 e-books on just about almost all the subjects. And then on the services page I’m do a good job of selling your services. You got two four six eight about 10 services so I know I can’t get through them all so I’m trying to pick and choose what I think are the most relevant most timely right now from the people that I’ve interviewed and people I talk with. So when I look at the next thing that’s really hot right now are landing pages turning pages are used for a myriad of reasons right.
Stephen: 00:51:31 But they really do get to put you out there on your own as basically your own little Web site. Right it’s your standalone Web site which you then can link through to Amazon to fulfill for you. And very very popular. However you’re saying hey you really need to be very crafty. You have to craft a really important message that connects with that person that got to that page somehow. Right. Is that similar to Facebook too. I mean is it. I mean would you put those two together now.
Karen: 00:52:07 No but everybody seems to have a different definition of landing page is usually what we do is used for some sort of a campaign. And you have a trigger. Maybe it is a Facebook ad or a Pinterest ad or an e-mail that you’ve sent out or something like that and people click on the trigger and they land on the landing page. So all of your information for that one product that one service that one book that whatever it is that you’re selling for this particular campaign is on the landing page and that landing page used to be a standalone page.
Stephen: 00:52:44 But now it can be in a funnel or it. So you’re saying that on Facebook that Facebook ad that clicks. I mean that’s not the same thing. You’re saying that that typically is a link that goes to this landing page. But aren’t people using Facebook differently now for some of that too.
Karen: 00:53:02 They could be. OK. OK it’s not anything we’ve gotten involved with.
Stephen: 00:53:05 OK. All right so the standalone page per product or service like you’re describing that has to be crafted correctly too because you can bring people to it. But getting them to click is just not. Again how many are they getting hit with a day. Right. Right. Exactly. Video is becoming a bigger issue. You know as you know Amazon’s showing videos sometimes even first which is really interesting. How important is copywriting when it comes to video. Because usually you don’t get a lot of you can’t do a lot of words in video right. But can you can you in the descriptions and things like that is that is that what you’re talking about here.
Karen: 00:53:45 Well we do video scripts for the ones that require some type of a voiceover. OK not every video is is created to have a voice over.
Karen: 00:53:56 There are lots of services out there now that create product demos. And the only thing they have is just two or three superimposed words on the screen as someone is demoing your product. And there’s lovely music playing in the background. So those wouldn’t require a script. OK. There’s a lot of different kinds of videos not all of them would be something that you would need an entire script for.
Stephen: 00:54:22 One of my other ones that I wanted when I went through your site I picked out that I thought was common mistakes. You know three common web site mistakes so now people were starting to do their own web site rather do an Shopify store. Big commers whatever or just WordPress sites they’re really starting to say hey you know the rules on eBay on hamazon on blah blah blah. Or the Web sites are going away. You know Sears dotcom I guess Newegg is still out there but I mean it’s just not as as what it was right. And so they’re saying I want all my customers I want to control that. And so they have their own Web site. They don’t know how to drive traffic to it. That’s a different problem. But one of the things that people are doing with these Web sites is they’re just getting it up there and figuring that it’s going to work.
Karen: 00:55:09 Is that is that right. It takes a great deal of effort to drive traffic to a brand new Web site whether it’s a one page site or you’ve launched a full blown e-commerce site with 100 different products right off the bat. There are a lot of different ways to drive traffic marketing words only does word. So I can speak professionally about writing copy and about keywords but I can tell you that you know there are tons of ways to drive traffic out there you know through social media through paid ads ad word ads social ads building a list takes time unless you have money to go out and purchase an email list and then you have to wade through how many of them are targeted leads and how many are not. But the thing to remember is the old adage fast good cheap.
Speaker 12: 00:56:15 Pick any two.
Karen: 00:56:18 So if you want it fast and good it will not be cheap. That means you’re going to have to purchase advertising. You may have to purchase a list to start with and you’re going to have to throw some money at it. If you want it cheap and good it will take you a while to get there because it will not be fast.
Stephen: 00:56:37 So when you do get this up there are mistakes common mistakes that people have made. And so you have an ebook about how to address that. And is that pretty much across the board in those other types of stores and I’m talking about even on a Shopify site or any other kind of things the same typical things go wrong there would be probably less common and Shopify than people who created their own Web sites.
Karen: 00:57:06 It would not necessarily pertain to platforms like eBay and Amazon because those you sort of have a built in marketing system right there that you can use. You know you’re going to get traffic to this listing in various ways you would still probably for a brand new Wisting have to borrow some money at it with sponsored ads or or what have you but I think there’s a better chance of survival if you will. And
Stephen: 00:57:33 in platforms like eBay or Amazon you know you mentioned e-bay and I see a resurgence of sellers on Amazon saying hey I need to add e-bay or I need to go back and reactivate my e-book because most people almost say most people a lot of people started there when they found out about FBA wait. These people will do the listing. I don’t want to create the listing. I don’t have to. You know they’re going to do the shipping for me all the stuff that a lot of people don’t like. They moved off but now they’ve run into some challenges selling particular products or what have you on Amazon right as they change their terms and adjusted what their business model is. They want to go back to eBay and eBay today is very different than what it used to be. Is that fair.
Karen: 00:58:18 I would say so.
Stephen: 00:58:20 So when you see when you’re helping people create listing descriptions today I mean when you’re recommending when you’re helping train people what are we what are the basics what are the things that we really need to do. I mean is it the same as what you’ve been talking about with all these other things.
Karen: 00:58:40 Most of it is the same. You have to have a good title. I mean it’s it will vary depending on the platform that you’re on. What criteria do you have. You know eBay and 80 characters and what have you. Amazon obviously has way more terms of service than e-bay does. But most of it will be the same especially the part about finding out who your customers are and why they want to purchase this product and then creating coffee that appeals to those wants and needs that positions your product as the obvious choice or the obvious answer for the problem that the customer has so many times third party sellers only want to. They’re focused on making sales. They don’t care what the product is. I just want a private label a product. What category do you want to be. It doesn’t matter.
Karen: 00:59:38 I don’t care. I just want a private label of product and make a lot of money. And with out knowing who you’re selling to or why that’s a little difficult. My my my example of this that I use regularly is pertaining to buying a birthday card. You and I have been talking for maybe 50 minutes or so. Do you think you could go out and buy me a birthday card. Probably
Stephen: 01:00:06 not. I get let’s say probably I can guess your age. I can probably guess that you’re from the south. I kind of get that. I kind of know the team that you like. So I got a little bit of that right. It can kind of I can kind of get around there. I know you’re female. I can do a few things. But outside of that now we probably won’t be a warm and fuzzy.
Karen: 01:00:25 Well correct. Anybody could go buy me a birthday card. But it would be a very generic one. Would it be one that I remembered a month from now. Probably not. Probably not would it be one I responded to. I mean our open ended got well isn’t that nice of him to send me that card.
Karen: 01:00:39 You know that’s so sweet and right to the trash right to the dress.
Karen: 01:00:44 What a nice guy. And that’s you know when people come to these listening pages that are full of generic arbitrary overused cliches and language that doesn’t do a thing for anybody because they’ve read it on 75 other product pages you know it makes a difference it makes a difference to you to find out as much as you can about these people before you try to sell them something.
Stephen: 01:01:11 So so similar to Amazon where you know basically you’re writing your listing to the keyword that you think people are searching for. Scientifically right. Ebay is the same way. You basically figuring out who your buyer is and then back to you putting that you know you’re putting the contextual words in there to address that and for that person. Right. If you take that you know I’m sitting here thinking about my takeaways and I’m sitting back and thinking that you know you really do have to get better because as you described it I’m sitting here thinking about I’m immune to so many things now because I’ve seen it so many times. So I just I just don’t even read it and I was like oh you read that. No chance. I mean there’s no two I’m notorious for not reading my e-mails because I get so many of them. Right. And so the marketing doesn’t work for me. A lot of times and it’s it’s a very crowded crowded.
Speaker 11: 01:02:07 I mean it’s it’s it’s not even crowded now it’s just like it’s roadblock. I mean it’s just so much data that I’m getting. So it’s close it out with this. OK so again. All right. She’s got two dozen e-books out there very specific on Amazon Amazon copywriting enhanced brain content Amazon standard product description copywriting Amazon review request e-mails which again if you take that and put it back with feedback genius you have custom e-mail. Love it love it love it. EBay eBay listing description’s blog post writing you’ve got all these different things all these different services that you do and e-books on all these different subjects. Amazon product description bootcamp copywriting cheat sheets writing with keywords on it. So you’ve got all these different things and I think people should check it out. So it’s marketing words dot com slash products.
Speaker 11: 01:02:59 However I’m not going to let you get away with that easy so I pitched your stuff. Now you go Oh. And and you’re going to give me a coupon that’s going to give him 20 percent off. Yes whatever it is and I don’t benefit in any way. Give me. What can we do. Can we use can we use e-commerce or momentum can we use momentum as a code.
Karen: 01:03:18 Well I have codes I can give you now i give me the code hit me hit me I can create something specific for now.
Speaker 11: 01:03:25 Now I know I know it doesn’t matter to me. I just I want somebody if they’re interested in this and they can save 20 percent. That’s enough for me. So
Karen: 01:03:31 what Coca-Cola knows or the Amazon advantage ebook the code is a the short for Amazon AMC to zero no spaces if they are interested in the Amazon product description boot camp video theories.
Speaker 13: 01:03:48 That code is boot to zero.
Karen: 01:03:53 And if they are interested in their review advantage e-book for learning how to write follow up emails for Amazon. That code is review tanh review. Ten Okay no spaces on any of those. And that’ll get you 20 percent off on Amazon advantage 20 percent off on that. The boot camp video series and$10 off on their review at Vantage ebook.
Stephen: 01:04:23 OK. And you going to send me those links and I’ll but I’ll have it out in this episode for everyone. So again so I’ve left her picture stuff because I want value for it. And so there’s a first of all value plus we’ve already talked about. But now I want to I want to close it with you know things that people can put you know and you saw my show notes or my outline you know the thing I get a lot of people that are stuck right there working things are working and they hit a level and hit a plateau and then they don’t know who to ask or how to ask because they’re not sure what’s wrong. How did how do you help people get on stock specific to what you’re talking about.
Speaker 11: 01:05:05 And I would say it’s probably going to be an Amazon issue it’s a stay on Amazon for this one because I just think that that’s probably the majority of people there. You know again there having they’re having some success but not the success they hear about you know they see the million dollar sellers and they just launched a product and now number two and I’ve sold 650 of them today and they’re sitting there saying geez I sold 12. What am I doing wrong.
Karen: 01:05:30 OK. Now for this we may have to add part of this is this your looking for a meaningful process improvement question.
Stephen: 01:05:38 Yeah yeah. I want to I want them to be able to go out and improve their business with meaningful advice and tips that you give away for free. And again you know the goal is you’re going to give it away for free. Hopefully you’ll come and buy your stuff.
Karen: 01:05:53 But no I’m happy to give away tips but I was just going to say if we could if we could redo that and rephrase it because we do not help sellers figure out what’s wrong with listings. OK right. We write copy. So I didn’t want them thinking you know oh I can hire marketing words to figure out what’s wrong with my listing because we won’t do that.
Stephen: 01:06:11 So you’re not Hansing the copy that’s already there. Again you’re saying go back to your listing that’s already there and let’s enhance it by putting better words in there and better titles and that kind of thing.
Karen: 01:06:21 Yes. And we can talk about that. You know are there some changes that people can test to see if you know if if it will bring about improvements in their listing or whatever and I’m happy to give you tips for that.
Stephen: 01:06:31 OK. All right I’m going to read to him. OK. So I’ll let you pitch your stuff and hopefully people are going to get value with these discount codes which is awesome. So now though I’d like you to do something for us. And so what I want you to do is think about the people that have already got their listings. They’re working and things are going OK and they like they’d like to get them to work better. Right. They want to improve what they already have for the day. The frame is there but they want to enhance and maybe that’s the right way to say enhance it. Can you help us with some tips and tricks that they can use.
Karen: 01:07:04 Yes absolutely. One of the first things that I would do based on recent changes with Amazon’s keyword policy you know with the 250 bytes or characters or however you choose to phrase it Amazon is leaning in a direction much like Google went through where they would prefer to have your most important key words and phrases in the copy in the title in the bullet specifically. Sometimes the description section is indexed and sometimes it is not. So we don’t worry too much about that as far as optimization goes. They’re going to end up in there anyway somewhat because it’s hard to write about your product without using a key phrase to describe it. So but my first suggestion would be to test poling out as many of the key words from your backend generic keyword fields what used to be called the search term fields and putting those into the title and the bullets with out making it sound stupid. Do not just go in and put key word key word key word keyword into some of the stupidest sentences that you’ve seen.
Speaker 8: 01:08:16 Well you see those listings where it’s like that is not a sentence that is just words. Right.
Karen: 01:08:21 That’s exactly right. So if you had for example we’ll go back to our desktop calculator if you had a listing that just said your brand 10 key desktop calculator Gray that’s very eloquent by the way Bernie. That’s right. That’s right. A beginner title. You can go back in and support that with some additional key words that are descriptive of this that would actually Scuse me bring in more customers that would see this title in the search results so if it has specific features with paper feed or if it has memory he’s or it’s LCD or perhaps it doesn’t require a battery. It’s treatable right. It’s portable whatever it may be. Do your keyword research or if you already have these in the back and pull those out.
Karen: 01:09:27 Right. You don’t want to have it in both. It’s a waste. You don’t have to have it in both. It’s a waste.
Karen: 01:09:32 Pull them out of the back in and try putting two or three and your title and then watch your go to your business report section watch your sessions watch your conversions. See if it’s making a difference if it is then you want to pull some more out maybe put one or two in a and one of the bullets go slow Have you do everything all at one time you won’t know what made the difference.
Stephen: 01:09:57 Well let me stop you there because because immediately my mind would have been OK if I’m pulling out portable and paper feed from the back and keywords I would have replaced them with some other ones but then I don’t know which really had the effect right by doing that. There are two variables instead of one. The only thing I was supposed to do was to move them from the back to the front. And so they’re going to get indexed faster sooner. Right. Whatever that means if I put other words back there I could be making a mistake. Fair
Karen: 01:10:29 you could. Or at the very I mean even if it was a good you found some excellent terms to replace those with you wouldn’t know what made the positive or negative.
Stephen: 01:10:38 So you’re saying to leave them out leave them. It sounds very religious to most of us actually don’t fill in them and see what happens.
Karen: 01:10:48 Right. Well here is my suspicion and underline and bold the word suspicion from where I have seen with Amazon’s direction and from the direction the path that Google took years ago it would not surprise me at all if somewhere down the road a month a year five years Amazon said we aren’t using the keyword fields anymore.
Karen: 01:11:16 They’ve been too badly manipulated. It’s just not working right now. Amazon has said for at least the last two years that they’re optional that they reserve the right to accept what you put in those fields are to completely ignore it. So it isn’t required to fill in any of the search terms. We have done minimal testing and I stress the word minimal with just a couple of of our clients where we took the search terms completely out of the back end and put all the key words into the coffee and it worked just fine. They didn’t miss a beat and all of the search terms were in fact indexed and they were also ranked a lot of people get indexed and ranked and they think they’re synonyms. They
Karen: 01:12:08 are not. But you could actually type in not the key word plus the Asen but just type in the key phrase. And our clients products which show up on page 1. So they were in fact decently ranked when we did this and I am not at all suggesting that everybody goes out there and deletes all their search terms. That is not what I’m saying but I think my own suspicion is that Amazon is headed in that direction and that they will probably eventually end up like Google where there might as well not even be a keyword tag anymore because it’s useless. You know you can you can put anything you want to you in that for a web page but it’s not going to help you at all.
Stephen: 01:12:49 Right. You had good intentions but as you say they got abused and now you know people putting things that aren’t relevant. And then all of a sudden you show up and it’s like wait. Why is that they’re right. That shouldn’t be there. And so so what you’re saying with the testing that again is put those into the beginning don’t replace some of the back and see if there’s an impact. Right. If that good or bad impact then you can go in and other keywords and then you could see what impact that has. I mean I think that’s what you’re saying is again we’re back to that. Changing a ship. It’s very small incremental changes. But it sounds to me like the best thing to do is take them from the back bring them to the front. Right. And hopefully they make a difference if they do great. What else can you do. All right so that’s tip number one. Give me another one I’m going to put you on the spot. How to take it one more step.
Karen: 01:13:40 Keep testing. This is so important for so many sellers. They want Amazon to be a set it and forget it platform where they put it up one time and they never have to touch it again. And it just doesn’t work that way long term. So make testing a part of your monthly Sellar routine just like going through and running reports and checking your stats and filing your taxes and doing all the other monthly things that you have to do. Add doing just one or two tests that month something like OK we did the title test and that worked great. So now I have some space available and my back and keywords. So maybe test number two is to go find more keywords and put you know a couple of those in the back end and watch and see what happens. You could rearrange the way that you’ve done your bullets.
Karen: 01:14:37 If you have a feature benefit format where you list you know light LCD lighted display for the calculator we’ve been using then maybe you can swap it and say works great in low light and then you talk about the you know the display or something like that. So you do benefit feature instead of feature benefit. There’s eight or 10 different ways that you can create bullet points so they don’t all have to be written the same way some people are going to respond better to a feature up front. Some people are going to respond better to a benefit up front so you can make those different tests that you run your rewrite one at a time and go through and do them that way.
Stephen: 01:15:21 And look at your reports look at the conversion rates. And I can see. All right. Did you do. I can see you being very rigid about that but that’s exactly how you know whether there was an impact or not. Period.
Karen: 01:15:31 Right. So there’s no point in testing if you don’t check your results. You have to know if it’s working you change everything.
Stephen: 01:15:37 And something worked OK. But what Steve I don’t know. Right. And you don’t want to be in that position because once you figure it out then you can go and apply it across all the other things that you’re doing. I yeah that’s right. I just got slapped I just got smart for a second there. All right. OK. So obviously people are going to want to have more follow up. I’m going to have the links for Mark any words dot com. Remember there are three discount codes she’s given you. Again I do not benefit in any way. I’ll have them on this episode she gave me earlier but I will have him on this episode. But go to marketing Wordstar and just take a look there’s a blog post a blog that looks like you’re writing every week right now.
Stephen: 01:16:15 Lately there’s a lot of good content in there. And so again it’s one more thing to help you in that that you know again we’re competing against Karen. Right. And people like Karen who are experts who’ve been trained doing this for a long long time. And the way they learn it is they educated themselves or got educated. And so the way to do that is to read these things and so there’s a blog post looks like it’s every week for the last several months. And just a whole bunch of Amazon keywords fourth quarter strategies for selling more on eBay this quarter free Amazon tools coupons three tiny words to add to your social posts. A whole bunch of stuff. And so I just think that that stuff is going to help you as you continue to refine. And again as Karen said you really need to learn and to go and study.
Stephen: 01:17:02 And so 12 at least e-books there plus a whole bunch of services marketing Wordstar. Karen I appreciate it. Because I think about you know using you partnering up with solar labs with the feedback genius again. I mean I think that’s a great place for somebody like me who could improve those instead of just using the standard one as you said they’re getting a ton of those. And so I just see a lot of value. I really want to thank you for taking the time out today because I think there’s a lot of value that you offer. I really mean that.
Karen: 01:17:33 Oh absolutely. Thank you so much. It’s just been a pleasure to talk with you and I’m glad we were able to work it out. All
Stephen: 01:17:39 right. Hey best wishes wish you nothing but success. Take care. Thank you. Smart lady. Very cool. You know you start thinking about this stuff. And boy if you can master this early on as you start to bring products to market you are going to be so much further ahead because these things change and they will change you’re that much further ahead than than trying to learn that also. And so you know spending a little bit of money now learning these things again I don’t benefit in any way. But I mean I see some some videos and some things that I could absolutely benefit from. So e-commerce momentum dot com. Don’t forget my sponsors software labs scope. Wanna talk about keywords and finding out what your competitors are using and then as Karen suggested you bring them in and use them in the titles and in your bullet points.
Stephen: 01:18:25 Love it. I love the testing aspect and I think it’s so powerful and when you’re using a program like scope you know these words work for others and you can word them and bring them into your listings. You’re going to have a lot of better success. Gillespie’s million dollar arbitraged group it’s not going it dead. I mean it’s so cool to sit in there and watch people interact and learn and saying oh my gosh this is exactly what I need. She has a seven day free trial there’s a waiting list to get your name on the waiting list. You know it is the link in this episode I’ll have the link again in this episode but gais interview was in 238 and it’s so worth listening to. Take care. E-commerce momentum dot.com e-commerce momentum dot.com.
Intro Guy: 01:19:05 Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum. I guess bobolinks mentioned today can be found that Gomer’s momentum dot.com under episode number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes.