Let me show you how this worked for me. Two years ago when I was still at Apple, I got tired of jet ink printers because they run out of ink so fast. You spend $50 on a printer and then $500 on ink in a year. So I decided to go with a laser printer because the toner is much lower cost and higher quality than a regular ink jet cartridge. I found a generic brand online, and purchased it. It took me two months to use it up (and we were shipping eBay and Amazon products 40-80 times a day!).
Three days after my purchase, the seller messaged me on Amazon, thanking me for my purchase and offering a download link to, “How to Make Your Toner Last Longer.” Surprised that a company was offering me help to make their product last longer, I downloaded the PDF.
The PDF was short, to the point, and packed with easy tips for getting the most out of my toner cartridge. This impressed me. Not just because they gave me something for free that I did not expect, but they gave me advice on how to make my toner last longer, meaning I would not need to purchase from them again as soon. This immediately built trust. And the end result after all the work they went through to enhance my experience? For the last two years Aztech is the only toner company I have purchased from.
Imagine you offer this level of experience with every single customer who buys from you. Even if just 10 out of 100 end up giving you their email and 5 out of those 10 end up becoming loyal customers, your sales and value as a company increase over time monumentally.
Now I understand that some of you are thinking, “Wait a minute. This is way ahead of where I am at. I’m still trying to figure out how to use Seller Central and you are already talking about growing beyond Amazon??"
If you just began your journey on Amazon, there are four reasons understanding how to expand your business through email lists is better for you to know now than later:
#1: Of all the online marketing strategies, email marketing carries the highest conversion rate.
If you are dead serious about building passive income over a long period of time until you are financially independent, you cannot afford to ignore email marketing.
- Average Click-Through Rate for Facebook Ad Campaign: 0.075%
- Average Click-Through Rate for GoogleAdWords Campaign: 3.5%
- Average Click-Through Rate for Email Campaign: 15%
Put another way...
- To get just one person to click on your Facebook ad, you need 1332 people to see it.
- To get one person to click on your Google ad, you need 29 people to see it.
- To get one person to click on your Email ad, you only need 7 people to see it.
#2: By learning email marketing now, you can increase your sales by 10-15% in the near future.
Every time an Amazon shopper buys your product, you have an opportunity to collect their email. That window of opportunity is small. If you wait six months before to being collecting customer emails, you just lost six months of potential return buyers. Because Amazon is so good at making the shopping experience for just about anything extremely easy and smooth for the buyer, it also carries the inherent weakness of customers lacking loyalty to any one store or brand on Amazon. If they are loyal to a brand, they probably became loyal to that brand outside of Amazon.
#3: You are eventually going to need a website and domain name anyways.
To get your brand on Amazon registered in Amazon's brand registry and eventually gated, you need a domain name and website for your products. Getting a website and domain name is half the work needed to start collecting emails, so it only makes sense to begin now.
#4: Creating a loyal customer base today can turn your Amazon business into a sellable company tomorrow.
When investors and company buyers evaluate a company, one of the biggest factors they use to determine your value is your user base. Some companies begin with a free software, get 100,000 people to use it for free and then a massive company like Apple comes along and purchases the company for several million. Why would Apple do this? To take out the competition and to increase their customer base. Those 100,000 users are now 100,000 potential Apple customers.
Even if you are selling $100,000 a month on Amazon, these sales are likely a result of excellent products, good customer service, strong ad campaigns, and differentiation. But not because someone went hunting to buy your brand. If someone interviewed 100 of your customers, how many of them would remember your brand or store name? Maybe 1. When you build a customer base, this creates brand loyalty. Suddenly when people hear the term Aztech, they think, “toner for my printer!” And the most effective way to do this is by building an email list of your customers so you can start connecting with them.
But isn't this against Amazon's Terms of Service?
Under Amazon's Prohibited Seller and Activities and Actions, they state, "Any attempt to circumvent the established Amazon sales process or to divert Amazon users to another website or sales process is prohibited. Specifically, any advertisements, marketing messages (special offers) or "calls to action" that lead, prompt, or encourage Amazon users to leave the Amazon website are prohibited. This may include the use of email or the inclusion of hyperlinks, URLs or web addresses within any seller-generated confirmation email messages or any product/listing description fields."
In the past, Amazon sellers posted external links in their messages to customers without any level of repercussion. But in the last few months Amazon has tightened the reins on this rule and sellers are risking their Amazon account by ignoring this policy. Additionally, when you send a message, Amazon makes it crystal clear that you may not post any URL links in your messages.
But there is a fantastic alternative. Include a simple 3x5 card with a link and a call to action on the card. Make sure the card provides incredible value to the customer—something that makes them feel like they are missing out if they don't go to the link.
For example, some Amazon sellers selling more complicated products include a link to a how-to manual on how to use the product. This does nothing but enhance the entire process for your customer and lets you collect their name and email which can be used at a later time when you are running a promotion. It also builds up your brand value in the eyes of your customers and they will remember you.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is something of relevant value to your customer that you offer in exchange for their email address. Or as Ryan Deiss put it: “An irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information."
For example, if you sold stove cleaning pads to your customer, your lead magnet could be, “7 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Stove Look Brand New.”
If you sold your customer a cell phone holder for their car, your lead magnet could be, “A Cheatsheet for Extending the Battery Life of Your Phone.”
Here is an example of my own lead magnet for building an email list of people who may benefit from my coaching program:
Make your lead magnet low risk and high value
It’s important to understand that even though you are not exchanging value with your customer, you are exchanging trust. This is why your lead magnet needs to be of low risk and high value.
Here are three examples of low-risk high-value magnets:
A quiz about your home's decade
A swipe file of templates for building Facebook ads
A how-to pamphlet on growing food for your family
11 types of lead magnets
There are many types of lead magnets you can choose from based on your product and your company’s mission and values. Your lead magnet could be…
1. A quiz
If you are selling a protein supplement your lead magnet could be: “Find out if your eating pattern is optimizing your muscle development. Take the quiz!”
Here is an example of a quiz lead magnet by Death Wish Coffee:
2. A checklist
If you are selling products for toddlers, you could create a lead magnet that says, “Get the FREE checklist to make sure your home is optimized for your toddler’s safety!”
Venture Harbour uses a simple checklist-style lead magnet on some of their blog pages:
3. A how-to pamphlet
If you are selling a bluetooth speaker, you could create a lead magnet that says, “How To Set Up Your Bluetooth Speaker With Devices You Never Believed Possible.”
Here is an example of a how-to lead magnet by MuleSoft:
4. An exclusive deal
Your lead magnet could be free shipping or a 20% discount such as, “Get a 20% Discount On Your Next Order!” These are not my favorite because they encourage a very transactional type relationship between you and your customer. However there is a time and place where this can be very effective, especially if you are nearing a launch and have already established strong rapport with your customer using a different lead magnet.
Wisepops shows a great example of what this could look like:
5. A catalogue of your products
Once your store has multiple items, you can make your lead magnet a catalogue of all your other products. This is a surprisingly effective method for collecting emails from customers.
Cabela’s outdoor sporting company offers a very clean-looking lead magnet of their catalogue:
6. A free consultation
If you sell high-end supplements you could create a lead magnet that says, “Get a FREE 15 minute consultation for your most urgent diet questions!” This will obviously cost you more in time. However, if you sell high end products and have an option to get your customers on a subscription model, this can be a very effective way of growing your customer loyalty.
Collaborada uses a consultation version of a lead magnet on one of their main pages:
7. A case study
If you are selling organic groceries, you could create a case study of how peoples’ bodies responded when they shifted their diet to organic vegetables. This would be of high interest to customers buying organic food from you.
Back when Upwork was still oDesk, they used a lead magnet called “Make it Work.” The concept was brilliant. It was nothing more than a simple PDF compilation of case studies of people who used their services. But it turned out to be extremely effective:
8. A waiting List
After a customer buys your first product, you can offer to put them on the waiting list for your next product or do this later on when you come out with an upgrade of your product or a helpful accessory that goes with the product. This is a great way to build anticipation toward your launch date.
Marie Folero uses this kind of lead magnet on her b-school website:
9. A video training/webinar
If you sell any product that requires physical application such as cosmetics, offering a free webinar where you demonstrate how to use and apply the product is a powerful way to build up loyal followers. It is less time-consuming than a one-on-one consultation but will require more up front work to get set up. The eye contact it provides between you and your customers is priceless.
Marketing Results uses a video training series lead magnet to collect leads:
10. A toolkit
A toolkit lead magnet offers a list of important tools or programs your customer may benefit from in order to accomplish a specific purpose. If you sell outdoor camping equipment, for example, you could create a lead magnet that provides, “The 11 Must-haves for the Best Camping Trip of Your Life.”
Lead Pages uses a toolkit-style lead magnet that converted extremely well (considered by some to be the classic example on the internet):
11. A cheat sheet
If you sell clothing for women you could create a cheat sheet lead magnet such as, “The Ultimate Color-Matching Guide for Dressing With Personality.”
Chart Mogul provides a stellar cheat sheet lead magnet on their website:
7 traits of a powerful and attractive lead magnet
It solves a problem or fulfills a desire.
Tailor your lead magnet to solve an exact problem for your customer. Make it as relevant to your product as you possibly can.
It’s super specific.
A lead magnet that solves one specific problem will convert much better than a lead magnet that tries to solve multiple problems. “Four methods for sharpening your carving knife” is much better than, “Four methods to taking care of your carving knife.”
It includes a call to action button.
Make the button something people want to click on. “Receive,” “Get it now”, “Start,” and “Send it to me” are much better than “Subscribe” or “Signup.” The latter sound too much like words but the former sound like a gift.
It’s easy to digest.
You do not want your lead magnet to be a roadblock in your sales funnel. Your customer will easily grow impatient with a 30-page ebook or newsletter. You need something easy to consume within 5-10 minutes. Instant gratification is key.
It’s high value.
Make your lead magnet of both real value and perceived value to your customer. Perceived value means it appears valuable to your customer. Real value means once they receive it, they find it extremely useful. Perceived value is extremely important on the front end. This is how you get people to buy. Make it look absolutely irresistible. But real value is important on the band end. If you offer high perceived value and low real value, you will create angry customers and nothing can destroy a business faster.
It’s instantly accessible.
Create a landing page so that all your customer has to do is enter their first name and email and immediately they receive the download link or the PDF emailed to them or are led to a new page that fulfills the promise. More on this later.
It demonstrates your expertise.
When you provide your customer something of real value above and beyond the original purchase, it shifts your relationship with them from “getting a good product” to ‘looking to you as the expert.” This opens huge opportunity to doing future business with this customer.
How to create an awesome title for your lead magnet
Just as a people judge a book by it’s cover, customers will judge your lead magnet by its title.
1. Make the title so clear that in a glance the customer knows exactly what you are offering.
Clear is better than clever or cute. Here are some examples of clear lead magnet titles:
How to Chop Vegetables: A 9 Step Beginner’s Guide
The Frumpy Girl’s Guide to Dressing in Style
The Complete Guide to Balancing Your Diet
2. Make sure the title shows the end result.
The title should not talk about the steps on how to achieve the end result but rather the end result itself. For example:
How to Extend the Life of your Surfboard by Three Years
Never Spend More Than 5 Minutes Untangling Your Ear Buds Again
Seven Positions for Your Support Pillow That Your Back Will Thank You For Someday
3. Create the title to generate curiosity.
Offer the absurd. Engage their interest. Don’t lie. Make sure it delivers exactly what you say it will do. But offer something that makes it hard for them to say “no” to. They may not believe the offer but at the least they will be curious enough to find out if it's true. Our brains are drawn to that which is novel, new, and abnormal. Leverage this fact to you and your customer’s advantage.
Here are some examples:
How to Turn Play Dough into the Three Creepiest Monsters You Have Ever Seen.
How Using This Cream the Right Away Can Smooth Wrinkles and Increase Fullness.
Why This Single Toy Can be Leveraged to Expand Your Child’s Development.
How to send customers to your lead magnet
Include a simple but eye-catching insert in your product packaging. Thank them for the purchase. On the insert, mention the lead magnet. Obviously don’t call it a lead magnet or you might confuse them into thinking you sell little magnets.
Say something like this: “Get your free copy of 7 Ways To Chop Vegetables so that the Spices Blend Three Times Better! Go here for the full booklet," and then include the link for your landing page.
At the end of this blog you can download a list of our favorite product inserts. These should give you some ideas on how to create your own.
What should my landing page look like?
The landing page is a single page website offering your lead magnet in exchange for their email. Let's say your store website is “kitchendelights.com.” Your landing page could be located at “kitchendelights.com/offer” or it could be a subdomain like “offer.kitchendelights.com."
You just build a page completely devoted to the offer and create input fields where they type in their name and email address to receive the gift. Do not include a menu on your landing page or any other data that does not directly serve the purpose of your offer. This page serves one single purpose: to offer your customer something of great value in exchange for their name and email address. Everything else is a distraction.
On your landing page’s button, do not use words like “Signup” or “Subscribe.” These are overused and intimidating. Use a more inviting term like “Claim it Now” or “Yes, I would love to see the 7 ways to chop vegetables so that the spices blend three times better!” In the box where they enter their email, don’t say “Enter your email.” This feels too invasive. Just have it say “email” and as they type, the word “email” disappears. Be gentle on the request, strong on the value they will receive.
How to create your landing page
SquareSpace has some of the most beautiful templates on the internet. They are also a little more pricey and offer far less customization. If you use wordpress.org it will require more knowledge on your end to create your landing page but the cost is much lower. If you use wordpress.com it is much easier to build but not very customizable. You are limited to pre-made templates.
Shopify is probably the best all round solution because the price is reasonable and Shopify is ideal for creating your own e-commerce store with all the options you need as well as little to no HTML or CSS knowledge needed. When you build your Shopify store, simply devote one page to being your landing page.
Check out these three examples of excellent landing pages:
How do I collect the emails?
You will need to set up with an email auto responder to collect the names and email addresses for you. An email auto responder is a software tool that saves your customer’s contact info in organized lists so that you can email everyone in a single email later on as needed. Once the customer submits their name and email address it is automatically saved into the list and you can organize your lists as well. For example if some customers bought kitchen tongs and others purchased kitchen Tupperware, you could create two lists based on what they purchased.
Some of the best known email auto responders on the internet include:
- MailChimp. Great for newsletters and free for your first 500 contacts. Not as easy to use as some, especially when integrating with a landing page.
- Aweber. Solid tool for online opt-in forms and medium-sized businesses. Does not allow you to manually add emails from outside sources.
- iContact. Very solid for small to medium sized businesses. Allows you to manually add contacts as well.
- Constant Contact. Best for business owners who enjoy HTML emails with strong graphic layouts.
- Infusionsoft. Built for large companies with hundreds of thousands of followers. Extremely versatile. Much more pricey.
- ConvertKit. A newer company on the market. My personal favorite for three reasons: 1) excellent prices 2) very easy to use and 3) the story of Nathan Barry the owner has always intrigued me. One thing I love about this company is they provide you with the code to embed a landing page on almost any content management system. For example, if you build your website in Shopify and you choose ConvertKit as your email auto responder, you can choose the form of your choice (the part where customers fill out the input fields) and embed this code on a landing page in your Shopify store.
If you need help building a landing page, here are the general steps you need to take. Please note the steps will vary depending on which content management system you go with.
- Sign up with a content management system such as Shopify, Wordpress, or SquareSpace.
- Build your website.
- Create your landing page. Contact the content management system company to find out what options they have.
Some do this through plugins, some will allow you to hire a web builder to build it for you, and some even offer a landing page builder right out the box.
The opportunities to expand your Amazon business through the use of email lists are almost infinite. Now go crush it!