Episode 145

Overlooked Growth Hacks (How to NOT be a One Trick Pony)

Jared Mitchell - Skincare by Alana
December 16, 2020
SUBSCRIBE: iTunesStitcher

Jared Mitchell has a unique perspective on the eCommerce industry.  He and his wife, Alana, run two ecommerce sites - skincarebyalana.com and alanamitchell.com.  He’s also the lead eCommerce consultant for Neil Patel and he runs an eCommerce training group at beefysites.com.  This guy has forgotten more good eCommerce ideas than most will ever learn.   

Jared is also a close friend and he’s my surfing mentor.  We do take a very brief detour to talk surfing on this episode, but mostly we talk about overlooked growth ideas!

Here’s a look at what we explore on the podcast:

  • How to NOT be a one-trick pony.  And many, many successful eCommerce businesses are far too reliant on just one traffic source or one product.
  • Why Jared recommends at least 10 sources of sales and what channels make his top 10 list.
  • Push notifications - how and why they work and why you shouldn’t over-think them
  • Phone sales - customers who buy over the phone often have twice the average order value of other buyers.  
  • Postcards - how Jared and Alana sold almost $30,000 worth of product on a simple and cheap postcard.
  • Live video - what to share in a live video, how to broadcast your video and how to repurpose your video once it’s complete.

Mentioned in this episode:

eE Episode 35 with Jared Mitchell

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Subscribers.com

PushCrew (Now VWO Engage)

Amazon Live

QVC Live

Restream.io

CommentSold

GotPrint

Vistaprint

Jared Mitchell - Owner at Skincare By Alana

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Instagram

Via YouTube


Skincare by Alana - Buy Skin Care Products

Via Website

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

Via YouTube


AlanaMitchell.com

Neil Patel

$97 e-Comm Help Club

Beefysites.com

Episode Transcript:

Brett:

Well, hello, and welcome to another edition of the eCommerce Evolution podcast, I'm your host, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce. And today, this is going to be a treat for you and I'm really excited about it for a couple reasons. One, this is a return guest so that's an elite club there. There are a few in that club but it's still elite. So this is a return guest, and this guest was a personal friend of mine. So he's somebody that I look up to, he's extremely bright in business, but we're also buddies. This guy is my surf instructor, so maybe potentially more on that in just a minute.

Brett:

I'm excited to welcome to the show Mr. Jared Mitchell, he and his wife Alana are owners of Skincare By Alana, also alanamitchell.com. And then Jared, has the distinct privilege of being the lead e-commerce consultant for none other than the world famous Neil Patel. And so, Jared, has this really unique perspective where he's running e-commerce businesses, but then he's also consulting with e-commerce businesses all the time. He gets to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. And so today we're going to be talking about growth hacks that you're likely missing, and subtitle, how to not be a one trick pony. So with that, Jared, what's up man, welcome to the show and thanks for coming on.

Jared:

Thank you for having me. You absolutely crushed that intro.

Brett:

Thanks, dude. Thanks. You're an inspiring guy.

Jared:

Gosh! Thanks for all the compliments. That was the best podcast intro I've ever heard.

Brett:

Cool, I'll take that as a compliment. That is my goal. I think a good intro just sets the stage. If someone's getting up on a literal stage to speak, you'd have a good intro. If you're podcasting, you'd have a good intro, because I've heard some bad ones. I've spoken at different events and I've heard some really bad intros like, "I think this guy's name is Brett, I think. Who knows, hope you don't fall asleep. Okay, take it away Brett." Like the good ones.

Brett:

So speaking of which, you are my surf instructor. I think this would be good to just have a quick diversion for those out there that aspire to surf. I'm a Midwest guy so I'm not talented or skilled in any way, I'm also tall and not super skinny. So it's like I'm not built like a surfer but you've helped me surf, and so you want to give people your surf background just real quick?

Jared:

Surf background. Geez! I started surfing when I was, man I think in the fifth or sixth grade, and just surfed on and off till college when I came back to California and started surfing every day again. But it is my favorite thing to do, and right now I can't really connect it on this or not, I have not been able to search since pre-COVID because I broke my eardrum and I need surgery.

Brett:

You told me about that. It's terrible. And we surfed this summer a little bit and you were still not fully in commission then which is a bummer but, yeah. I look like a Midwest guy trying to surf, Jared, looks like he's been surfing his whole life because he has. So if you want the full scoop on Jared's background, go back and listen to Episode 35 of this podcast, eCommerce Evolution podcast episode 35. You'll hear the whole backstory of Jared Mitchell, although we didn't talk surfing, so I'm glad we threw that in on this episode. But let's dive in. So Jared, kind of sum up what you do for... What is it that you do around here both for your stores and then for Neil? Just talk about some of your... things you do and the kind of what your secret skills... What am I looking for here, your secret abilities are there.

Jared:

Was that an Office Space reference?

Brett:

I think it was it an Office Space. Yes. Good call.

Jared:

Oh, it was such a good movie. Unbelievable. We have the poster in the other room.

Brett:

Is it good for the company? Is that the poster?

Jared:

What would you say you do here Bob?

Brett:

That's...

Jared:

So appropriate. So I think you asked me what I do for Neil, basically he ask me to jump, I say how high. But really, if there's a client that comes through the funnel that is e-comm and they need a little consulting, I sort of lead the charge there in general, although he does have an agency now that's awesome, that takes a lot of those leads too. And then recently, I've helped him write some digital products, and then it was really a lot of fun one morning when I got a call and he invited me to be in one of his digital products.

Brett:

Nice.

Jared:

So I went up to Hollywood, this is pre-COVID, and I didn't know anything about what was going on. He just said, "Hey, can you be on some film I'm doing?" I was like, "Of course, sure." And I just love to hang out with him. And I showed up, and it was like a big fancy Hollywood studio with 15 people there, including attorneys. They put me in the makeup chair. I had never even read from a teleprompter. And I was so freaked out and he's over in the corner, and I'm trying to do this. I'm just horrible. And he's over there laughing. He thinks it's hilarious.

Brett:

I bet in the end though you pulled it off. I'm sure it was very successful at the end of the day?

Jared:

I think so. I think I did. And then the other part of the problem is I'm literally twice as big as Neil. The joke is when we hang out I tell people I'm his bodyguard.

Brett:

Yeah, yeah.

Jared:

And So that was just funny to see us on camera and some of the differences there.

Brett:

That's awesome. What a good experience. But yeah, there's a lot of pressure. When they apply makeup, they put you in the chair, and the lights and the makeup, there's a lot of pressure. You feel like, "I've got to perform now. I'm going to be a rock star now." So we'll have to check that out. I'm excited to see the end product there. So we talked about as we're kind of prepping for this show, we talked about this idea that there's a lot of e-commerce businesses out there, even those that are mildly successful or quite successful, but you might still label a one trick pony, right? And you said, as you dig into Google Analytics and you're helping a consulting client, and you're trying to walk them through what they should do next, and how they should grow, a lot of times you find they're a one trick pony and they're then surprised to hear that. What do you mean by that and what are some of the common scenarios that you run into?

Jared:

Well, first of all, nomenclature is important to me. So I tend to go with the phrase, one trick dream unicorn.

Brett:

What do you mean dream unicorn?

Jared:

That's like...

Brett:

Yes, I think that's much more appropriate. And why do you choose this nomenclature?

Jared:

It goes over really well in the boardroom with these rough and tough CEO types. But I'll eventually sit them down and I'll bring up data onto my screen so that... It's hard to argue with that, right? And I'll be like, "So what I've discovered is at the end of the day, you exist because you sell one product on Amazon, so you don't even own your business or your customers."

Brett:

Right. Are we still friends?

Jared:

Yeah.

Brett:

I did call you a dream unicorn though. Your business is a dream unicorn not a pony. So you got that going for you.

Jared:

And so I watch their faces go. I'm like, "Sorry, here's the data." So that's where we're at. But yeah, I'm sure you've run into this before too. I am just shocked at the amount of businesses that I dive into that are structured that way. And what I'm finding is it's harder and harder to scale, survive, and thrive, if you're kind of running this one trick unicorn or kind of fake brand business these days.

Brett:

Yes, yes. And it's one of those things where I think the environment lends itself well to potentially having one product really hit, and do well on Amazon, and then rank and then get a lot of momentum, and a lot of sales because Amazon is huge, or one specific paid channel really explodes for you. Maybe you got in early on Facebook ads, or there's just something they clicked for you. And so that's great but then you never grow beyond that. And so I think that this whole idea is, yeah, you don't want to be relying on just one product, or one traffic source, or one marketplace, or really one anything. If you are, if you are a one trick dream unicorn, that's a really dangerous place to be. That's a really dangerous place to be in and makes it hard to scale. So what I thought we would do, you talk about this idea of, "Hey, you should have 10 sales channels ideally," right?

Brett:

So you talked to a lot of people that maybe find out, hey, 90 plus percent of their sales are from Amazon. If that's the case, it's okay for now, just you don't want to stay there. Right? So 10 different sales channels. You want to talk through at least some of the ones you look for and or recommend, and then we're going to look at some unique growth hacks as well.

Jared:

Yeah, I think that's great. I'll tell you which ones I look for. They're not in any particular order because it really just depends on the audience, and the product, and how you're positioning it. But in general, I look for the following . So the first is just your regular store whether it's Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, whatever. Having your own direct consumer channel is where we usually begin. From there, I usually look at Amazon because that's where half of the US hangs out during holiday season and things like that ..

Brett:

Yep. Half of all e-comm in the US is Amazon, and I've seen those numbers as high as 52 to 55%.

Jared:

Yeah.

Brett:

And, yeah, in this holiday I'm sure it'll be at least that much.

Jared:

Oh, my gosh, it's grown every year. And every second that their website goes down, Jeff Bezos, loses $2500.

Brett:

Wow.

Jared:

Yeah. Yeah, that was pre-COVID. I bet just more now.

Brett:

And what is interesting about that, though, is I never heard that number before but that's the reason Amazon developed AWS, right? They developed AWS for amazon.com. They wanted to control their own environment, their own hosting, because they didn't want to be dependent on anyone else. They're scaling so rapidly, they built this environment, and then started to realize, "Hey, we can build capacity here, and oh, hey, this could be a service." And then for a while AWS was the most profitable part of their business. It still probably is although advertising may be just as profitable. But yeah, anyway, that's a little tangent but still so related. So you got your own store, got Amazon, what else?

Jared:

Yeah, usually you go into a client and they've got one of those set up, and you sort of start the process of setting the other. And that's kind of where you start. But from there, we of course, and you're going to love this one. Look, look at Google and YouTube. And I do list those separately. And I do recommend OMG no matter what podcasts I'm on number one, because you guys crushed it for there. And then of course, Facebook, Instagram. I do group those together because how the analytics..

Brett:

It's the same ad platform.

Jared:

Yeah. And then I think these days you got to be doing something with influencer marketing, which is a passion of mine. And then I have a grouping where I throw in the Walmarts of the world all in this one group.

Brett:

Other marketplaces.

Jared:

Yeah. Other marketplaces. I think if you set up your data feed correctly, it can be something as easy as flipping on a switch in most cases. And then one that people... I don't know why they don't this because it's free, is just in general PR for your business. It's literally about sending email out to producers or editors, and it's ask not have not. And that's a big one for us. The problem is it can't be tracked all that well, but you can see the effect on the bottom line for sure. And then lastly is wholesale.

Brett:

Yeah, trying to get in. By that you mean getting into physical retail stores or selling to someone else who's going to resell your product.

Jared:

You got it. Building that army, that ground army. And it can still be done even in the COVID era. It's a little different now but that that alone... Wholesale alone is some company's entire strategy when they come to me. They're like, "We need to start direct to consumer." And a lot of brand owners just don't think it's for them, or this or that, or think that it's going to be invalid after COVID. And it's here to stay, it's just going to look different.

Brett:

Yeah, and I think for a lot of businesses just going D2C isn't the greatest long term solution and probably won't fully get you where you're going. I think you have to look at marketplaces, which I know some people could categorize that differently. But then also the wholesale thing, I think that's... A lot of the people we talk to, and I'm sure it's the same for you, completely overlook wholesale.

Brett:

So I want to get into some kind of unique growth hacks and some things you do that are different. We've had several podcasts about Google and YouTube ads, and Facebook ads, things like that. So I want to get into some things that are kind of unique or that people are probably overlooking, but before we do, I want us to talk a little bit about wholesale. So what do you recommend there? How should someone get started? I know we could have probably an entire podcast about wholesale so but what are just a few things people should consider and maybe how should someone get started there.

Jared:

Just to get started in wholesale, if you're just starting point blank, fresh, I would definitely hire a brokerage firm to help you because they're going to not only act as a consultant to help you get your brand ready and positioned for wholesale, they're also going to introduce you to those key relationships.

Brett:

Buyers and other retailers and things like that.

Jared:

Yeah. But taking a step back further, you really got to evaluate your margins and make sure they're there because generally, you'll have to keystone your products to wholesalers. So if you're selling a face cream for 30 bucks, you're going to need to offer it to wholesalers most likely for around 15. So just making sure you got margins there.

Brett:

Yep. Do you still margin if you offer your product at about 50% off of what you sell D2C.

Jared:

Sure.

Brett:

Yeah.

Jared:

But keep in mind in general, they're buying in bulk. And one main mistake people make is they think I've got this amazing product here, I've got to go straight to you Albertsons, or some Kroger, or some huge chain of stores, Whole Foods or whatever. And they go for the juggler. And in my opinion, that's not the best way to get started unless you're someone that already has huge coverage, maybe unlike one of the advertising platforms and huge brand awareness. I recommend starting with smaller mom-and-pop, more brick-and-mortar smaller chain stores, and sort of building your way up.

Brett:

That's great. And one added benefit that a lot of people don't think about, when you're wholesaling, when you have your product in physical stores, is that will lead to increased online sales as well. So just the idea that likely you're not going to have your whole product line on the shelf in a physical store, you can have just select products, as people try that out, and they're introduced your brand, they will shop online. We see that a lot with larger retailers where... And we work with some retailers that have physical stores of their own and they sell online. And their online sales are always biggest, where they have physical source, right? So it's just one of those things that the two really do work hand in hand, and I think that's something people overlook. So...

Jared:

Yeah. There's a part of that you got to consider advertising, right, and awareness.

Brett:

Yes. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So you're giving up some margin, but people are buying in bulk, and you hit that shelf space, and that is indeed marketing and awareness with really not a lot of risk, right? And so I think there's just lots and lots of reasons to consider that. So, okay, cool. Well, let's dive into a few topics that maybe people don't always think about. And so I'm going to kind of go through these and not in any particular order, and some will just kind of go through quickly, others will dive into a little bit. So I know one you're a big believer in, which I have very little experience and so I'm excited to talk to you about it is push notifications. So just briefly describe what push notifications are, I think most people will probably know, but a few might not, and then we'd love to hear how you guys at that that Skincare By Alana are using it for sure...

Jared:

Awesome, yeah. And it's so funny because when I hear push notifications, the first thing I think of is annoying.

Brett:

Yeah, yeah, me too.

Jared:

Yeah. But it's like everyone goes and shops at the grocery store different. I go in, I'm barreling through there, I grab my product and get out as soon as I can, and my wife Alana, she likes to bring her coupons, and she looks up here instead of down there and goes trying different aisles. And that was the idea behind us setting up push notifications on site. And if you've never seen them, it's kind of this pop up that appears on your site at some point, usually on the homepage, or on any page on your first visit and just says, "Is it okay for XYZ site to notify you?" And you either pick yes or no. And a lot of people really like this. This is how they want to keep in touch with your brand. Don't ask me why it's not my preferred way. But-

Brett:

Yeah. I see those things and I'm like, "No, I don't need any other message." Yeah. But if I talk to a lot of people, and you are your business is not unique and then you're not alone. This works for a lot of e-commerce businesses. There're people that like to get push notifications, so let them get them.

Jared:

Absolutely. And then when it comes up, it's usually a bottom right hand side little pop up that comes up and notifies you, and you can put pictures in there now, links, and... Some of the rules change here and there, but what people usually don't do is push it to the level that we have, and they don't even know it's available. We've been doing this a really long time. So our list it sort of builds up like an email list, and anytime you have to make an announcement, maybe some new blog article, a new product, a sale, you just send out a push notification. But what we do is you can actually segment those lists now, and you can set up drip campaigns through the push notifications. So the more..

Brett:

I did not know that was possible. That's fantastic.

Jared:

Yeah, it's crazy. I actually set everything up, and then I handled it to my marketing team, which is common, and then when it came back to me they're like, "Oh, yeah, you didn't know we set up all these drip campaigns, we segmented..." I was like, "I didn't even know that existed." They showed me. Dude, this is awesome what they're doing with this. And it's just like people are leaving this hanging around, and I'm like, "Hey, man, at least part of resistance, they're already on your site. Let's figure out a way to do this in a non annoying way and start capturing some of those people."

Brett:

Yeah, that's fantastic. So talk a little bit about how are you segmenting? So you mentioned you let people know and use a push notification for new blog posts, and sales, and new product launches and things like that. So you segmenting by, "Hey, these are people that interact with the blog so we're going to let them know about every blog release, these are people that bought this product so we're going to let them know about a complimentary product" or something like that. How are you guys segmenting?

Jared:

Basically, we'll work backwards and look at the sales and people that actually click versus who's shown the little notification. And you said it. It's basically new product releases is one segment, one is people who like to read or blog articles, and we have one big one for sales, and there's probably a few more. But essentially, we segmented it that way and we were careful to clean our list as well, there's people that are just shown to that aren't interacting, we'll remove them on a monthly basis.

Brett:

Okay. And you're doing that for what purpose? Just because one you don't want to annoy people, but as... Is almost like email deliverability rates where as the deliverability rates are better that that works in your favor?

Jared:

It kind of. Yeah, yeah. It's more quality of a program, and you'll get shown a little bit more and... because some of these browsers will block them too. Right?

Brett:

Got it.

Jared:

Yeah.

Brett:

Yeah. Any special insights? And if there aren't any that come to mind, that's fine. But what are you doing with the actual push notification? Do you always include an image, is it more just an image in a headline, or is there a big chunk of copy? What do these look like? Because I say no to all of them. So I guess I should say yes just so I can sample these things, but makes you look like...

Jared:

Say yes to ours. We'll tell you about every single lotion that comes out.

Brett:

Yes. I need some anti-aging anymore, I need more moisturizing, I need to buy one of your new rollers that I'm really excited about, so yes, I will do that after this episode.

Jared:

Images tend to work really well for us. Not all browsers allow them, but in turn we can do any sort of provocative image, meaning model pointing at-

Brett:

With your shirt off or what did mean?

Jared:

With my shirt off, that sort of thing.

Brett:

Yeah.

Jared:

But basically, what we did is we took what was working well with email and copied and pasted it, literally.

Brett:

Nice.

Jared:

Well, what was working well with our on site homepage banner, copy and paste. It doesn't need to be a new creation, it can literally be recycled and that's the beauty of it.

Brett:

Yeah, I love that so much. So push notifications. Last question related to push notifications. Do you have a favorite tool or a couple of tools to recommend? And I know that's always a tricky question because the best service provider, best tool today may be gone tomorrow. But just at the time of this recording, what do you recommend?

Jared:

Yeah, I think it's subscribers.io is the one that we use, and it's the one that Neil, makes.

Brett:

Cool.

Jared:

There's also PushCrew. We've used.. We might still use them as well. And there's one other that I'm forgetting, but you might know some too.

Brett:

Yeah, actually, I don't. And this is one of the areas where I'm clueless on this topic. But...

Jared:

Yeah.

Brett:

So check it out. Push notifications, super exciting. Okay. So let's transition to another growth hack that I think a lot of people are missing. And that is live video. So live video. And you guys, you want to talk just a little bit about the skincare business, because again, just a little background on that would be good, and then talk about how you use live video.

Jared:

Yeah, man, man. So we heard about live video and its effectiveness early on. So we started messing around pretty early with it. My wife and I own two skincare businesses together. And one is a retail store that retails over 300 lines of other people's brands, and then one is our own skincare brand, which is basically just her name, Alana Mitchell. And we decided, "Hey, let's check out this whole live video thing." And so we started early with trying to figure out what networks we could go live on. And a lot of people don't know the following that you can actually pre-record a live video, and then upload it like it's going live on 15 to 20 different platforms all at once. Not only that, you can broadcast live to your personal Facebook profile, your business page, and any groups that you own, all the same video all at once.

Jared:

Now, it took me a long time to figure that out. You can even do Instagram at the same time. But through a lot of trial and error and testing, we figured it out. And early on, we started doing this and just practicing, and it was so archaic, but that I used to have six iPhones at the same time. I just had to figure it out. And we were invited early on by Amazon corporate to be one of their testers for live video, because my wife is very good at it, and she's known in the skincare industry, and it was an honor. And that was fantastic. If you don't know about Amazon Live, you should probably check it out. It's been a little bit..

Brett:

It actually appears on the home page of Amazon, right? I've encountered it somehow on the Amazon app and stuff, and it almost looks like... For those who haven't seen, it's almost like QVC, right? It's like QVC home shopping network type thing but on the Amazon app. It's fascinating.

Jared:

You can advertise there too. And we all know they have a lot of traffic. What they haven't figured out yet is the right format and presentation. So it's definitely starting out QVCish, but from what I can tell, they're going to need more fat a little bit to make it consumable and actually work for their platform. But for now, you can go live, you can share what products you think people should buy, and people are watching it.

Brett:

Yeah, so interesting. So I've got a ton of questions it's a live video. I'll try to narrow it down to the most important and I think the questions that most people will want to know. First of all, what do you say in these live videos? What do you do? And how do you know if you should do live video, because as an example, me I'm an ad guy, so I can think of YouTube ad ideas all day long, or even use Facebook ad ideas even though I don't run Facebook ads. I can think video ads. That's a clear structure in my head. But live videos, what do we do? What does a good live video look like, and who do you think live video is appropriate for?

Jared:

Who do you think it's appropriate for to do live videos or ..

Brett:

To do live video, yes. So what type of products should you do live video for?

Jared:

Oh, okay.

Brett:

Maybe it's all e-commerce but I'm just curious if you have any thoughts there.

Jared:

Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Well, the first time we went live on Amazon, I spent $0 in ads, and we had 30,000 views.

Brett:

That's pretty good. That's pretty good.

Jared:

It was crazy. And what I learned from this is that it was a good thing that we looked a little mom-and-popish. It's obviously a great thing when your wife is the hottest woman in the world, which totally is ..

Brett:

Hope you're listening Alana, Jared, gets extra points for this. Good job, Jared, way to go.

Jared:

And then we had our kids in the video. It was chaotic, we were making jokes, everyone is running around, Eli, my five year old takes his shirt off in the middle of the video, starts flexing. It was hilarious and-

Brett:

I was joking about you taking your shirt off, but he actually did.

Jared:

No, he did.

Brett:

And also for those that are not watching the podcast, and you may not... You're not watching the video, you're just listening, Jared, looks a little bit like Jacob Black. And I'll probably need to put the show notes, the actual picture of you in the Nacho Libre setup. Yes.

Jared:

You need to put that in there.

Brett:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's fantastic.

Jared:

I've got my COVID 15 or 20 back on me and so I'm starting to get there where I feel I could probably do it if I grew up my hair again.

Brett:

Beautiful. Beautiful. And so these videos then if you're going live, is this strictly product demo, are you using this to release a new product, or just to show some tips on old product. What could this look like?

Jared:

I think that people need help with gift ideas.

Brett:

People a lot. Just the part not the gift part. Yeah, that's cool.

Jared:

Yeah. Yeah. And they don't really want to be sold to they want to be helped, and they want to be done in a way that's entertaining but also realistic. And I think where we've done some damage there is by putting our hearts on our sleeve. I'll literally be behind the camera, Alana, will be up there and she looks presentable, but we got kids running around, we got... I'm throwing props at her, I'm interrupting her and be like, "Hey, we'll talk about this." And it seems like this lady is in her home, and she's really helping me explain how to make my skin better, or, "Hey, I've got some really great holiday gift ideas that you've never seen before." Some of them are my product lines, some of them are others, and really gets into that and helps people. And then the key is asking questions straight. Please chat below to ask your question. Please comment below to enter our contest. We'll announce the winners towards the end of the video. And that engagement, that build up will help you get syndicated more mid live broadcasts.

Brett:

Awesome get someone engaged, get them to stick around to the end. I love that. And I think that is the perfect way to frame it. Right? Think about it for this perspective, people need help buying the right products, they need help buying gifts, they need help knowing in your case with skincare, am I using the product properly, should I use it in the morning or at night or how should I prep my skin before I use it? All these things. People have questions, and so if you answer those, and if you're helpful, and if you're real and not sound like just a pitchman, I think people will really resonate with that.

Brett:

Now talk through briefly and then we'll kind of wrap up on my video. What's the tool you use, or how do you stream to all these variety of places, and now you've kind of gotten away from the six iPhone thing. What is your tech setup right now and what's this tool you use?

Jared:

It's kind of back to the software caveat, there might be more now as it got more popular. But back then, it was a software piece called restream.io.

Brett:

Restream.io. Okay.

Jared:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And it helped you basically take your one camera feed. There's a few extra pieces of software, but it was really no big deal. They were really helpful, and they had live chat, and it basically took your feed and you typed in all the little networks, and groups, and things you wanted to show on and hit play. And the missing element that I found that helped me... But you have to mention a piece of software called CommentSold. There's also some others out there. Yeah. But if you can use that in unison with live video, people can basically comment and make a purchase pretty easily over the network they're commenting on, so that sort of makes it a little bit more accessible.

Jared:

And then lastly, if you can figure out, this was kind of the Golden Nugget bomb that'll drop. If you can figure out how to simulcast, how some social media platforms will let you do joint live videos with an influencer to sort of help you along with your live video. It's a little tricky but if you can figure out how to do it, obviously you have access to a much broader audience and they're more willing to mesh with yours, and listen to you, and listen to your influencer.

Brett:

So that would be where maybe you and the influencer are on a Zoom call and you're sharing that, or where you're just broadcasting your content on an influencers YouTube channel as an example.

Jared:

if you want to do pre-recorded, you can do it any way you want, with Zoom.

Brett:

That's a good point. Yeah.

Jared:

If you want to do it live, there's features on Instagram and others where you can request to join someone's live video.

Brett:

Cool. That is so cool. I love that. And then just like you were talking about before, where you're taking your email copy or homepage copy, and using that for push notifications, you can also take these live videos and take segments have these live videos and use them in your video ads, use them for YouTube content to get to rank, put it in a blog post, we found that in some of our most successful blog posts, we include video in the post, so we have the written post and you have a video there. So use the live video as a way to create video, and then even if you don't have a ton of people tuning in live, repurpose it and use it, and leverage it to the hill. So love that topic.

Brett:

Okay, awesome. So another thing that came up as we were doing our prep that I am confident most people are not using is phone sales. So talk about how you guys use the phone to sell because you're all e-commerce, I know you did some wholesale too but e-commerce, how do you use the phone to close more business?

Jared:

I kind of group in postcard mailings, snail mail for wholesale because there're separate sort of topics for me, but it's like, "Why not kick it old school?" So what would it look like if we actually encouraged people to call us? Because no one wants them to call them, or if they do, they want them to speak to the representative that lives in India, or Thailand or something. So I really delve in our analytics early on and I realized that our average order size was almost 2X when we got someone on the phone, because I have really good sales skills. Yeah.

Brett:

Yeah.

Jared:

Yeah. And our business started with Alana and I are doing the ..

Brett:

Yeah.

Jared:

And let me tell you, your boy here can sell some lotion. Okay?

Brett:

I believe you. You've got that charisma, you've got that charm. I would buy a lotion from you.

Jared:

Yeah. So if you discourage phone sales, I would at least encourage you to run a test. Most business owners don't have people available to answer calls. We do. And once we realize that ALS was doubled, and not only that, the customer attention was way, way percentage higher than people that just purchased online because we had this connection. We started pushing it. And we started in all of our headers, "Call us for any help. Call us to order." Calls, calls, calls, calls on mobile, very important phone number top along with your search function, but push the call on mobile obviously, and same with app. So it's very easy for customers just to push and call you. It was a real game changer for us and helped us really build our business long term.

Brett:

How often or what hours do you have phone staff available, and is that something... What should people consider as they look at maybe building a phone sale staff?

Jared:

Yeah. We recommend having people in house doing it, which is just painful for a lot of owners to hear. People that their native language is English if you're in the USA, it's real people down there selling your products. We have them available roughly from 8:00 to 5:00, and then after five o'clock, I like to redirect all the phone numbers to one of my friends cell phone numbers just a mess with them.

Brett:

I can totally see you doing that.

Jared:

And you're next.

Brett:

That's hilarious. Why do people keep calling me about skin care? Love you buddy. Yeah. So that's fantastic. Yeah, when you realize average order value is 2X for a phone sale. When you also if you were to look at and you're used to a consumable, I don't know if... Than all this data may be kind of hard. But LTV let's have value, also probably significantly higher for a phone order. I know for us we were just shopping for outdoor furniture, and we shopped a few in-store places, and these are just those places who are starting to open back up again after the lockdowns, didn't find anything we like. We just found stuff that was not nice enough, for stuff that cost 30 grand. I was just like, "You're crazy." And so then we found this company called Yardbird, and they were not local though. So I called them, and man they were helpful.

Brett:

The lady I talked to her name is Jen, she was telling me the ins and outs, and then piecing of the furniture. And I ended up spending a lot of money with them, but I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't been on the phone with them. Because I needed some assurance, and I had some questions, and it was a big purchase. So consider the phone I think for a lot of businesses, it could be a secret weapon that you're missing. So in any other final thoughts on phone sales?

Jared:

If they work well, you got to try postcard mailing.

Brett:

Postcards. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I saw you guys using postcards because this is another thing. And just a little bit of background, I think I mentioned this on a few of the podcasts but it's been a while. I used to do a decent amount of direct mail. So back in the day I did TV, radio, print, but I still love postcards. And I would do lumpy mail and all kinds of creative stuff for direct mail. But not many people run postcards or mailers of any kind. So how do you guys use postcards?

Jared:

And we've been doing this for almost 15 years now. And it just started with me just trying to think differently. And I just was like, "Well, how are people actually going to pay attention to an offer?" And we had email marketing up and running and some other things, and I thought, "Well, wait, they're already on my list. What if I take those people who didn't open the email or take advantage of the sale, and sort of customize a postcard for them and mail to them, and put a code on there that only they can see, so that I can track the sales back to that code." And so, we did and it was terrifying because I sent out 1000 postcards. And I forget how much it costs, but it was a big expenditure for us at the time because we bootstrapped everything. And it was something like $25,000 in sales came back from just this one mailing. It was psychotic.

Jared:

But the key is to really segment that list and customize, and have a really good offer, and then be able to track it. It goes back to my earlier analogy, everyone goes in the grocery store differently. There's people that will never read your emails, never read your push, they don't like looking at online ads or whatever. But the postcard, they get it..

Brett:

Just love that postcard. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. It's so fascinating. I think it's just something to remember. This is a good entrepreneurial principle in general. Not everyone is like you, right? You and I were both talking about push notifications. I don't like them, but who cares. They work. Right? You may not like postcards, but some of your customers will totally respond to it and love it. So you need to do different things. And this goes back to that initial point you made of, "Hey, you need to have at least 10 sales channels," right? And then some nuances there. You have to do a little bit of everything, right, to be really next level, to have a business that's scalable, maybe one day sellable if that's your goal. You need to do a lot of different things. And so, that's fantastic. How often are you mailing, and then any tools, services, resources you'd recommend for direct mail?

Jared:

I do one a quarter. On Christmas we do more than a postcard. Now, we do a Trifold Mailer and that's about it. We'll do, I think I said once a quarter, and I use a company called GotPrint, G-O-Tprint.com. They're the best price service full color, front back, that I have found. It's less expensive than you think, and it is just so rare that we tried with a client and it doesn't come back profitable.

Brett:

Yeah. And we've actually used... I've used GotPrint, they've been around a long time, great company. So check them out, try some direct mail, I think you will like it. So last topic. And this is kind of been the theme of the show, right? We've been diving into these unique things that could be their own episode, probably but it's kind of fun to do rapid fire through these. This is something that we're big believers in going full funnel. What advice would you give on full-funnel? Maybe just how should people think full-funnel, and what's been your experience. I'm guessing a lot of people you talk to are not thinking full-funnel, but this full-funnel spectrum, what would you say about that?

Jared:

Man yeah. So I look at my website or someone's website is like a ship that technically is always going to have leaks. But I want to figure out the places where I can make the biggest plugs first, where I'm losing people the most. And obviously, you can get a lot of that data from Google Analytics and see where people are exiting your pages, and at what steps they're exiting your checkout. And that's how I kind of started thinking about this process. And it all started with me shopping on Vistaprint for something rather around 15 years ago. And they had a... It wasn't a quite a post purchase upsell, but it was a thank you page offer. And I think I've talked about this before, but I basically was like, "Well, why can I put an offer on my thank you page?" And so we did, and we started selling more products right away. Not only that, it was one out of every 10 people that reached my thank you page took me up on my offer. Then I realized, well why am I so my own brand there because it's my space. It's another.

Brett:

Yes. Yes.

Jared:

Yeah.

Brett:

Yes.

Jared:

So if you have the ability, Shopify is regular plan, they don't let you customize very much. I think Plus does. But whatever platform you're on, we're on Magento for one of our stores. It's very easy to throw a graphic on the thank you page. That's a really easy way to garner some more sales because the customer they already got their wallet out. And they just bought something and now they hit your thank you page, and they see this crazy 50% offer, "You'll only see it here. You have to checkout within the next five minutes," some scarcity there and they're like, "Okay, I'll do it."

Brett:

Fear of facing out scarcity. Yeah, it's such an interesting thing. And you're right. Once someone makes that initial commitment to purchase, their wallet is out. Figuratively or literally, they're saying yes to purchase, and then they'll say yes to an additional item, especially if it's a good deal and a limited time offer. There's going to be a certain percentage that take it and it'll probably surprise you how many, and it'll be just a nice little bump in revenue and profits.

Jared:

Totally.

Brett:

So it's been fantastic man, so much good stuff. I think people may have those of us a couple times to get all the goodness out of it, which is great. But in addition to running two amazing skincare products, you and your wife, and even an amazing team, we work with your team, we love working with your team. In addition to that, in addition to working with Neil Patel, you also do some coaching of e-commerce store owners. So we'll talk a little bit about your e-commerce club. I know that may be closed right now I'm actually not sure, but you want to talk a little bit about that?

Jared:

Yeah, it's always open. It just is. It's canceled any time. I think that it's important that I market it that way. I don't really... I'm probably supposed to do it differently but I want people to feel comfortable. And there's two ways I do it. Number one, it's the person who either has no store and wants to build one, or is just starting. I have an online course that basically is called how to e-commerce. And you join this club for 97 bucks a month, and you're in the club, and I feed you a new lesson each week and you learn basically how to do exactly what we did over the last 15 years just in a much more efficient way.

Jared:

I offer the how to build a Shopify course for free. I offer that as a free course so if you know of anyone who is looking to just build a store, I teach you in just over an hour how to build a killer Shopify store with some good marketing right out the gate. And then the last thing is I do offer coaching, consulting for brands that are doing some volume and want to scale. And so I have some different packages available, stuff like that. But it's really a no pressure thing, and it's something that I really enjoy and consider a passion project.

Brett:

Yeah, and you're very good at it. And I think that's going to be obvious as people listen to this podcast. First, you guys run two amazing businesses. And I've seen the insides of those, and seeing the numbers, and you guys are crushing it, which is awesome. Which also just have this desire to help. You love finding ways to improve and grow a business, and digging into the numbers and finding the story behind those numbers, and then you're really good at clearly laying out ideas. So highly recommend it man, if you want to join that club, or get some one on one coaching with the Jared Mitchell. Maybe he'll even if he asked nicely, throw in a little surfing tip or something like that. I think that'd be great too. So that'll be fun.

Brett:

Awesome, man. Well, how can people learn more? So one thing we talk about in the podcast a lot is, "Hey, go find other good marketers and just follow their stuff." So join their email list, join their push notification list. So talk about your skincare, how people can find your skincare businesses, and then also how can I find your club and coaching.

Jared:

Awesome. Yeah, you can find the club and coaching with beefysites.com, it'll tell you everything you need to know. But if you want to purchase some lotion, let me tell you, go to skincarebyalana.com, our brand is alanamitchell.com, sign up on our email list and we'll send the emails until the day you die and that sort of thing.

Brett:

What I wanted to hear. I love that. I'm sold. I'm in. Send me more emails. I need them. That's awesome. But really you guys are crushing it and kudos to you. And also, awesome job on the podcast dude. You brought the A game.

Jared:

Really? You think so?

Brett:

Oh, yes. Yeah, absolutely.

Jared:

There's so much more I wanted to explore but we only have so much time.

Brett:

We only got an hour so we'll have to... I see what you're doing here, Mitchell. You're trying to come on for round three. And fine. All right. Well, we'll consider that round three with Jared Mitchell, I'll let you be the judge listener. You let us know if you want round three with Jared Mitchell. I bet that's a possibility so we'll look at that.

Jared:

Maybe we can get Chris, aka the unicorn Brewer on here.

Brett:

Chris the unicorn Brewer. I think we need that. We need more Chris Brewer, in this podcast. He and I are recording one in a few weeks. But yeah, Chris, would be delighted to hear you say that.

Jared:

He's got that sweet Southern drawl. You know what I'm saying?

Brett:

He does. He sounds a little bit Southern. Yep. Yep. He's living in Missouri but also Louisiana, so he's got this good mix of both Louisiana accent. So, Chris, if you're listening, you're welcome. Well, this is little Chris Brewer segment. So that's awesome. Jared, thanks again man. It's been a ton of fun.

Jared:

Thanks for having me. You're the man.

Brett:

Sweet. Thanks. All right. And as always, we would love to hear from you our listeners. Hey, what would you like to hear more of? Maybe it's just a simple, we need more Chris Brewer, or round three with Jared Mitchell, something like that, but do let us know what you'd like to hear more of. And then also if you've not done so, leave that review on iTunes, that does help more people discover the podcast and that would make my day as well. And so with that, until next time, thank you for listening.


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