Amazon PPC Campaign Structure & Launch Tips w/ Dustin Kane & Kris Gramlich – #25

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The Brand Builder Show
Amazon PPC Campaign Structure & Launch Tips w/ Dustin Kane & Kris Gramlich – #25

Welcome back to another episode of the Brand Builder Show! 

This week we’re joined by not one, but two sellers! Dustin & Kris both started selling on Amazon in 2014 only to later meet and join the Sellozo team. 

In this episode we discussed their journey through the Wild West of Amazon in 2014 to today’s very different market. We also talked through best-practice PPC campaign structures Dustin And Kris are seeing inside the accounts of their most successful clients.

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Talking points:

00:00 Ben introduces Dustin and Kris of Sellozo

01:51 Dustin and Kris talk about the difference between selling in 2014 vs. the present

07:39 Journey through the first few years on Amazon

18:40 How Dustin and Kris started with Sellozo

24:42 Sellozo roles of Dustin and Kris

27:54 Strategies of the best performing accounts

35:54 What’s in the future for Sellozo

39:02 Successful product launches

43:14 The right approach in 2022 for new Amazon sellers

51:36 Where to go to know more about Sellozo and the guests

Ben Donovan  00:00
Hey folks, welcome back to another episode of The Brand Builder show. Excited to have two new friends here today, Dustin and Kris and really excited to dive into their journey all they’ve been doing on Amazon over the recent years. And this tool that they’ve built in their spare time, just because you know, they weren’t busy enough being ecommerce entrepreneurs. So Dustin, Kris, welcome to the show today. Great to have you on.
Dustin Kane  00:23
Glad to be here.
Kris Gramlich  00:25
Thanks for having us.
Ben Donovan  00:27
So welcome. We’re about so you guys calling in from obviously the US but whereabouts in the US.
Dustin Kane  00:32
We are in Kansas City, Missouri, both of us. Kris lives about 40 minutes north of me. We’re opposite sides of the city, but same city.
Ben Donovan  00:43
And so are you guys in business together Amazon business together? Has it always been that way? No,
Dustin Kane 00:50
not yet. Not yet. Yeah. Now, yeah. You never know what’s going to come down the road. But no, we? We both. Essentially, we both started our own Amazon businesses around the same time around 2014. We, we didn’t meet Kris until what? 2019 When we started working. It’s so close together. But yeah, we did not. We’re not in business together. individually.
Ben Donovan  01:16
Oinkay, okay. Cool. So you both started 2014?
Dustin Kane 01:23
Mm hmm. Yep.
Ben Donovan  01:24
Wow. That’s like, OG kind of style. That’s a long time ago.
Dustin Kane 01:30
It was easier.
Ben Donovan  01:31
How, how different were things in 2014. Geez, to what they are now.
Dustin Kane 01:36
Oh, my God, how much time do you have?
Ben Donovan  01:40
I mean, I started selling in 2017. And it feels like it’s so different. Even between then and now. So 2014, it must have been, I mean, you could you would have still been able to pay for reviews, then that was how long ago it was, yeah,
Kris Gramlich 01:52
Back then it was, you know, Wild Wild West, you could throw up anything on Amazon. Here in the US marketplace, you could have anything on Amazon. And it would sell immediately quick without doing much advertising. PPC was still confusing, people weren’t really using it. But you would, you know, you would give away a product that 99% off. And they would leave a review. And the review had to say like, I got this in exchange for review or other stuff like that. That was like the review process back then. So everybody was doing it. Everybody was getting away product that was groups that were involved. There’s ways to do it. But you could really rank a product fast and start to see start to see results really quick.
Dustin Kane 02:35
Well, I can even go more into that. I mean, when I in 2014, when I launched my first product, you could on Go to the list of reviewers. And you could go you could filter it by who leaves the most reviews on that list was the reviewer, their bio and their email address. So you could I would, I launched my product. And I had somewhere in north of 200 reviews within probably like three or four weeks because I emailed that whole list. They would send me their address, I’d ship them the product, and they would leave a review. And it was totally aboveboard. It was it was there was not against Terms of Service at that time. I mean, it was amazing. So yes, in terms of also, there was less competition. You could get into, you could launch real basic staple products. And I mean, be right there next to Nike or whoever else was big. It was it was very wild, wild west very different. But it’s probably a great thing that it’s evolved the way it’s evolved. Because it was only like there was only two podcasts back then. Two original podcasts back then.
Kris Gramlich 03:55
Everybody started there’s only maybe two people or three people talking about this space, not a lot. Not a lot of like information out there. You have to join courses if you wanted to learn more, but there’s a few videos on YouTube. But I learned a lot of my stuff. I think Dustin did too just by listening to podcasts and just trying to figure out how to do it and go step by step. And yeah, one thing led to another and here we are. Yeah,
Dustin Kane 04:19
I remember the first course I took it was it was probably 2013 or 14. It was only one that I had heard of. And it was clearly guys who just they would make courses of everything. You know, it’s like they were just putting together courses, whether they’d really done it or not. This course I took it in like 25 minutes. I mean it was like, here’s how you find a supplier. Here’s how you make a listing go sell. I mean it was super basic, but it was all I needed to get started at that time. So yeah, it is evolved now because he talked about like, courses like freedom ticket that take you like 90 hours to get through. But that’s the nature of the way things have changed.
Ben Donovan  05:05
Yeah, and I always say that to people, you know, like, obviously is more competitive. But there are real positive changes that have happened as well. Like when you guys launched, obviously, it was easier to get ranked, but you didn’t have the data that we have now to verify whether that was a good product idea. You know, what keywords to use, where to use them any of that stuff, you know, it was kind of throwing mud at the wall a bit more. Albeit that might would often stick but it was still a little bit less predictable, maybe than it is now.
Kris Gramlich 05:34
Yeah, the product research process was go to the Amazon Best Sellers. Nick’s down in the niche and find products that have like less than 200 reviews, and just launch those products like that was it? That was all you did. And then you just throw them up there and they see if it worked, and then just rinse and repeat. But yeah, it’s way different now. Yeah.
Dustin Kane 05:57
It is true. It is. It is very different. I was gonna say something I’d lost my train of thought but it? Yeah, it’s fun thinking back on those days. Oh, I know, I was because I mean, I like today, people, when you’re learning how to sell on Amazon, you’re you’re presented with the almost the complete journey now. Like, where it’s like the ability to sell your business in two years is the goal. My goal was to how can I make a couple bucks selling products? You know, I mean, I was six months in before I created an LLC, I you know, it’s like, all that stuff, like setting everything up in a way that’s going to be sellable in the future and creating a brand, like a brand you want to you know, really grow. Those were I mean, it was just like, What can I sell? What can I sell? I mean, it was all it was almost like, arbitrage. But you are trying to create your own product, but you didn’t care. I mean, I had like seven brand names rolling in my account. Dino by 2015. I was like, Oh, that product looks good. But it doesn’t fit my fitness brand. So let me just make this this new brand. Is it was it was very different.
Ben Donovan  07:08
It was so easy before brand registry as well. I mean, you could just Yeah, I did the same credit for brands or once, I think only ever used to have them, you know, eventually. And that had a mall on Amazon and you didn’t have to have brand registry. And so he’s very different. But talk to me that about how those first few years for you guys 2014 through to sort of 2017 2018 What was that journey? Like? You obviously saw some growth because you stuck around? What were the kind of the developments for you guys along that stage of the journey?
Dustin Kane 07:37
Kris, you can go first on this one.
Kris Gramlich 07:40
Yeah. So when I first started selling on Amazon, it was not private label. It was all like stuff in the house that was still new, just to kind of learn the process selling books, figuring out what what does an FBA shipment, how do you do it? So you know, I was selling all that kind of stuff at the very beginning just to kind of get my feet wet to learn the process. And this is early 2014. Back then, no brand registry, no concept of branding. But I did find a product and I contacted the supplier and I didn’t have much capital. So I took out two credit cards, because I want to take out two business credit cards. So I heard a lot on the podcast, somebody told me like, take out to take out credit cards or they put their inventory on credit cards, whatever. So I was like, Oh, I’ll take out two credit cards. But my supplier wanted me to commit to like 1000s of units. I was like no, no, no, no, no, no, I can’t do it. 1000s of units. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I just want to do a case like one case of the product cuz I want to test it out. I want to see if this works. I want to learn how I ship it from China. I want to learn how it gets here before I commit to 1000s of units. Well it’s pirate came back I was like How about you commit to like 10,000 packaging only and we’ll send you just a case each time you need a case was okay well I’ll do that I mean the package is cheaper so I’ll you know I’ll commit to 10,000 packaging and we’ll see how this goes.
Kris Gramlich 09:03
So well first packet first case went in some then FBA, start getting sales immediately and then just kept rinsing and repeating and kept getting more and more in I added more variations to that product as an electronic product, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t do electronic products anymore. If I was in this niche if I was starting over one thing I learned is people will get a product and quickly if they can’t figure out how it works or if they don’t know where something goes on the product they’ll just refund it and get it sent back to you so now you got all these returns coming back so electronic I would not do but yeah, that’s kind of where I got my feet wet and just kept going rinse and repeating adding more products. Kit lot a lot of hurdles along the way racked up some debt along the way still got some debt. So you know just it’s a it’s a process so you learn it and you just keep going. I could have gave up a lot of times but I didn’t just kept fighting the good fight? Yeah, good man.
Dustin Kane 10:02
Yeah, I’m similar. I mean, I mean, it’s it’s funny that it’s funny how many people Kris and I talked to were 2014 is how they started, they did retail arbitrage. Then they realized they could go private label, then they were successful. Then they started an agency. And it’s like, it’s like, it’s amazing how that how many people have followed that, that journey. But I, I was a tennis pro for a long time teaching tennis professional. After college I was doing that got married, it was my full time job and sort of having kids. But I’ve always done little side hustle stuff I was, I tried to, I failed spectacularly at launching a software program for tennis pros to help do online scheduling. To my credit, I was ahead of the curve. But on that, but as soon as that came out, and there was a lot of all this online scheduling tools, I just got completely shellacked. So I’ve always tried to do things I Kris and I joke, we kind of like to go fast and break things. It’s like just if you have an idea, just go pursue it, go pursue it. It’s either gonna work or not work. So I did a lot of that did affiliate marketing did all kinds of things because it lended itself perfectly to my job because as a teaching pro, I’d have a lesson at nine in the morning and then be off until noon and then have two lessons and then be off for a couple hours. I was always had time to do this. So FBA came around and did retail arbitrage. foglights podcast is a podcast called The Amazing cellar by Scott Volker that I listened to every single day followed all the, the processes he had, he was great. And so my first product I launched was resistance bands in the fitness space. So there’s like those strip bands, you put around your legs and, you know, do squats and lunges and stuff with them. Beachbody had just come out at that time, which was a workout program. And there was this program called insanity that was like super huge and had resistance bands in it. And everybody was buying these. So I launched it. And I was not prepared for what happened because they sold like crazy. And I did that reviews reached out to reviewers. So I was sitting there talking my wife like oh my god, I just sold like 300 units today. I’m like, I cannot believe this. And this is like this is legit. I mean, I just made like a week’s worth of tennis lesson. money today. I don’t know what’s going to happen here. So I just kept kept rolling with it. Sales kept increasing. That’s what I learned.
Dustin Kane 12:57
The interesting thing that I think people aren’t prepared for is if you do have a product that’s successful, you don’t have the capital, ready for the growth. I mean, I ordered like 3000 units, I ordered 500 units, my first one, then I ordered 3000. And then I’m like, Okay, well, I’m selling like hundreds a day. So I need to order like 20,000 It’s taking me a month to get them. And I’m like, Okay, that’s a lot of money. He knows this. And I was getting for like two bucks apiece. But that’s 40 grand. And I had nowhere i 40 grand was like a foreign number to me. So I was so I had I was like, Okay, this is working. So let me take out. So I was taking out some loans, building it up. And it worked. It kept growing, I kept launching new products in the space. And in 2017 I was able to quit my job. And that was the probably, I mean, I can still remember that feeling. I’m like, I can’t believe this. My family and friends are like, What is going on? Like, what are you doing? I’m like, Well, I created a brand and I’ve got lots of products I’m selling on Amazon, and they’re like, What? Like, you can do that? And I’m like, Yeah, I somehow I stumbled into this and was able to quit my job.
Dustin Kane 14:08
So we moved back to Kansas City where I’m from. And you know, I was working from home. I probably looking back got a little casual with how easy that was. Yeah, I remember being at like, 9am I’m like, I’m done. I’m done. I’m pretty much done for the day at 9am. I don’t have much to do. I’ve already checked my PPC. I’ve already talked to my supplier I had couple VAs working for me. This is cool. So my mistake at that time was was not being like right now with this podcast and talking, you know, having all these friends in the industry. We’re very aware of like what’s coming down the pipe what you know what hurdles that people are having and like, the risk that is inherently involved I mean, you, you could go from making a million to zero super quick, and it can be completely out of your control. And so I wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen around that 2018 2019. And I’d already committed myself now where I’m living off this income. So I’m taking a hefty poll out of my earnings to support my family to replace my income. And I wasn’t prepared for the level of competition. If you go search resistance bands right now you can scroll for about four hours and never run out of listings. And they’ve all got like, you know, 20,000 reviews, the margins are like 10%. I mean, it’s, it’s crazy. So sales started slipping, I had all this debt I incurred. And that was about a couple months of a little bit of panic. Okay, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? I know, this is a long story, I’m sorry. But this is going to be helpful for people out there.
Dustin Kane 16:04
So I pivoted, I started doing other things are teaching tennis again, at the same time, like I’m not this is worked, this worked. I know I can do this. So I got way more involved, started going to meet up started reaching out to people ended up at a meet up meeting, the founder of the founders of Sellozo, like Kris did, and was able to join, join with them. They liked they were really smart, the founders are smart about bringing in people with the seller side experience. Yeah, that was attractive to me. Because it’s like, yeah, we’re an advertising tool slows as an advertising tool. But it only the advertising tool only works if you have everything else in place, if you’re not making all these other mistakes, or if you’ve got good listings, good, you know, good products and stuff. So got it was slow. So it’s been a ton of fun, started the podcast was able to network, we’ve learned a ton both Kris and I, just in our journey, and now we’re able to help others with, you know, figuring out how their journey is gonna look how to help them, you know, reach their goals, and we’ve been able to pivot and now I do all kinds of things on Amazon. You know, even we’re talking to even stuff like online arbitrage, trying to launch new products, launch new brands and just create strategy. So it’s been it’s really, it’s a fun journey. If you’ve if that’s your personality, like, yeah, my personality is I’m okay with failure. I’m okay with, I have a pretty high risk tolerance. And I love competition comes from a sports background. So it’s, it’s really fun for me.
Ben Donovan  17:48
Yeah, definitely. It’s awesome, man inspiring story. And hats off, you’re pushing through because it’s not not easy. Like you say, I think most people come into this business, if it’s their first business, they see all of the YouTube ads and the hype around the business. And they think that I’m just going to instantly succeed because this is an easy business, but they don’t recognize that yeah, there is failure that you have to deal with, there’s challenges that you have to overcome. It’s like any other business models. So it’s, thank you for thank you for being real and sharing the sharing the real journey. Sure. But you guys, you know, we’re pushing through and, you know, seeing some great stuff now and obviously have connected more later, which is funny because you live in the same areas. And you didn’t know each other before you started working on this. But you were you were living in the same area.
Kris Gramlich 18:40
Yeah, and that’s what’s that’s something like networking. Yeah, Dustin, and I, I’m pursuing for him, but we were kind of like, like, closed off. Like from the Amazon space, we thought we knew it. We thought we just figured out on our own. But that’s something we’ve learned with being with Sellozo. And just being on space is the power of like just getting out of your comfort zone and go into network and go to events. Even if you’re like no, like, they’re nervous to like the people there are nervous too. So like, you’re nervous too. So like, it’s it’s you’re learn a lot more, we were just got back from prosper. And just like the after parties and the show and the networking that was done there. At that point, it took us two to three years to figure all that stuff out individually if we didn’t do that stuff. So I think that if you’re a seller out there, you’re kind of like a hermit and you’re stuck to yourself, like, You got to get out and you got to just make yourself uncomfortable and get out and network you’ll learn a lot more because there’s sellers doing things that you’ve never even thought of you’re like, oh, I can do that in my business, and it may escalate you further down the line.
Dustin Kane 19:52
It’s a good point that I think that Kris brings up because yes, that was I’ve said it I mean that was a failure on my part to not reach Network. Nothing’s easy. If I mean, there’s always people doing better than you, you know they’re in it takes work to do anything. Well, I don’t think there’s any free money out there. But it’s so funny because Kris is like, they’re nervous too, like, now that we’ve done, you know, we’ve done the podcasts and we’re in a space a lot more. I mean, we’ve started we’ve been speaking at events, you know, yes, we’re, we’re nervous. Speaking, there’s like, impostor syndrome. There’s all those things. But the people that are speaking, I mean, the only reason that they’re quote unquote, experts is because they’ve made all the mistakes. Yeah. And so that they there, and that’s what’s really nice about this industry is everybody’s willing to offer advice, everyone is willing to, they want people want to see you succeed. And they want to help. And so when you when you open yourself up to that, when nobody is I mean, I can’t I could, it would take me forever to the list all the things that we’ve implemented in our own businesses now that we never would have learned. If we weren’t constantly talking to people. I mean, Google advertising, I learned a cool strategy for online arbitrage. That’s building capital for more private label brands. You know, that confidence in talking to other seller? I mean, you can’t it’s hard to believe what it would take forever to list all those things that I never would have done. So I would encourage everyone to start doing that now.
Ben Donovan  21:32
Yeah, for sure. And you guys met at one of these marketing events? Sorry, networking events.
Kris Gramlich 21:37
Yeah. So I started, I started at Sellozo. And shortly thereafter, the head of sales over there said, Hey, we’re gonna hire another AE. He’s also a seller. And I was like, there’s another seller in the area. There’s another seller and they’re, like, I didn’t realize there was like another like seller, like, I thought, like, no one’s doing this. But surely, he came on, and, gosh, what Dustin first came on, I think I onboard. Like I did a call with him to go over his account. He’s like, you know, I’m about to join your team, like, Yeah, whatever. But but but like, our, our rhythm goes, well, like, we feed off each other really well. Mistakes he’s made, I’ve made. You know, I think if if we would have met each other sooner in our Amazon journey, we would be you know, real far ahead. But that doesn’t mean that things can’t happen now. So we’re both learning. I just, I’m addicted to this space. I don’t know what it is. I love it. I love talking to sellers to kind of give you back. So I talked to so the other day he committed to this program that was like, completely automated, like, automated FBA, right? You can figure out what that is, you can figure how to sell that kind of program. But he got burned, he committed to an electronic product, didn’t do an inspection product out live. The plug is an EU plug that he bought, he needs the USA plug. So now he’s out like 50k. And he didn’t know what to do. Like, he’s like, What am I doing? I’m like, you’ve got to get away from this program. And get out of that contact, like you got to deal with, you’ve got to figure out what you got to do now. And so like, things like that, like I’m always learning and we’ve learned we’re going to stuff we’ve blamed me we’ve we’ve got our own horror stories as well. But like, Yeah, this is not a quick, rich or get quick thing where you just throw in a couple of grand and obviously just start making money. You got to take your time, and you actually got to learn what’s going on.
Ben Donovan  23:42
Yeah, that’s painful. Imagine paying for a product and not doing an inspection.
Kris Gramlich 23:47
He’s like, I got to do an inspection. He’s like now like, oh, my gosh, man, you can’t, because like, No one told me I thought this was just automatic. Either you got a lot of capital years willing to throw money around and you just you really trusted these guys. But you got to figure that out.
Ben Donovan  24:05
Oh, that’s gut wrenching that
Kris Gramlich 24:06
Oh yeah. Crazy. And his answer was like, Can I just go sell it in the European marketplace? Like, yeah, easier said than done.
Ben Donovan  24:17
Man, nice. Yeah, that’s crazy.
Kris Gramlich 24:19
So yeah, that’s a part of the job we’d like to do we get to talk to sellers. I love talking to sellers. We get to meet people like you, Ben. It’s just a fun, fun space to be in.
Ben Donovan  24:28
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And then talk to us a bit about Sellozo. So obviously, you guys are pretty heavily involved with that. Now. Firstly, like, what are your sort of roles? Obviously, the podcast sort of, is it the marketing side? Is it the product side?
Dustin Kane 24:42
It’s a combo. We’re really we were I think we were a lot of hats. I think number one at being in the game. Using the platform the platform’s phenomenal and what it does, but we’re able to bring insights to like our development team. our product team into like, hey, we would really like to see this feature or, or these are the strategies that sellers are launching now can we cater to these types of tactics? Yeah. But Sellozo at its core is an, an Amazon advertising optimization and automation platform. There’s quite a few of them out there. Rs Rs exists in. I’ve feel like sort of a unique niche in the in the marketplace, in that it allows you to automate your strategy. It’s, it’s a little bit of a combo of AI and your ability to create, like high level rules, specifically around how you want like your campaign structure to funnel keywords, you can create that kind of flow of a really unique setup called campaign studio, where it’s sort of like a workflow builder, sort of like if anybody does any, many chats where you’re, you’re looking at that grid, and you’ve got like, you can move, drag and drop the, the the elements around, that’s how you can drag and drop your campaigns around and link them all together. So you have the ability to essentially like a couple clicks, fully automate everything, and also really get into the weeds, and to make some, some really strategic adjustments. And then we also offer a lot of a lot of the software programs for PPC don’t have sort of account level and product level reporting. Ours has a lot of that in there. So it’s, yeah, for anybody who is has some sort of PPC knowledge, they sort of have an idea of what they’re trying to accomplish. But just downloading search, term reports and whole and uploading bulk files to you know, all your bid adjustments every day all you can get rid, you can take that off your plate entirely, where you’re just focusing on, you know, what kind of target a cost Am I looking for, for this product? And what kind of budget do I want to allocate to it and then let the rest of it be be more automated in your in your structure? So that’s it at a high level what Salonika provides to to our clients?
Ben Donovan  27:23
And what kind of strategies that you see in your best performing accounts. Doing are they doing anything super crazy in terms of structure, you know, with, you know, search term isolation and keyword harvesting? Like they would be some of the more stable stuff, but is there? Is there any, like crazy campaign structure or any wizardry tactics that people are using because PPC is getting more competitive as well, you know, costs are up. So you know, people need to upskill in that what what some of the things that you’re seeing with that?
Kris Gramlich 27:54
Yeah, search term isolation is definitely a hot topic. Taking individual search terms out of into their own individual exact match campaign is a strategy we’re seeing a lot of, especially with the change of tos and like how to record product. So ads, and PPC are definitely just a puzzle piece now to the whole game. But people are using PPC more to help like improve their organic ranking. And they’re doing that a lot of strategy I’ve seen now is a single keyword campaigns exact match. But the trick is, you don’t want to miss out on some search term. So brain analytics, we’ve talked about it numerous times, we talked about lots of those brain analytics is where you can find what search terms to go after for your product. So I don’t think a lot people use that to their advantage. Definitely, it’s something to use. And then you just find those search terms. The most important thing, though, is obviously making sure you’re indexed for them. Making sure your listing looks right. But as far as strategies goes, I’m seeing a lot of single keyword campaigns. And then those you know that they need to find new ones, they do a broad or phrase, but single keyword seems to be a hot topic right now.
Ben Donovan  29:05
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, and I’m definitely testing and sort of lower keyword campaigns, because there is definitely something to be said for if you put in lots of keywords into one campaign. Some of them just aren’t going to get any budget put towards them. What do you what are you guys sort of recommending either with the tool or just seeing other sellers do it? You know, like if you have a system because this is where I’m at now, my sort of disparity and it is if you have a system of your funneling keywords from like a more broad into like a more exact campaign, you might have a an exact campaign which like your scale campaign, quote, unquote. But once you get 567 10 keywords in there, then that creates the problem of Well, I’m gonna have too many in there. So what are you guys seeing people create lots of campaigns, and just each time there’s a search term that’s performing well, then then you’re moving it into just it’s completely own campaign. Or you just see in that single We’ll keyword strategy more for like ranking purposes,
Kris Gramlich 30:03
Something we’re doing inside Sellozo is we can, you can control the transfer of keywords from one campaign to the next, for example, you have a broad campaign, you tell us how many conversions you want to happen before it moves to an exact campaign. But your to your point, it does limit how many keywords are going to be in that exact campaign over time. So something we’ve put a ticket in for our development team is not only control how many conversions happen when it goes to an exact match, but also limit the number of keywords that are in that exact match. And and when it hits that limit, slows, oh, we’ll spin off another exact match campaign that’s tied to that broad match campaign idea. So you’ve just taken away the like, the limits section, you’re still adding keywords off of triggers for roll. But if you’re doing this manually, yeah, you’re gonna have to manually create new manual campaigns, if you have a certain level. Because either if you don’t have the budget to test all those keywords, I mean, some keywords won’t get enough spent or enough impressions. So separating those out, either by search volume or by conversions, you can really hone in on them. But that’s a good point. We hear that a lot. It’s like, How can I limit the keywords? I would say, like 10 to 15 keywords, maybe 20? At the Max 25. I see some people do depend on their budget, but separate them out as a good process.
Dustin Kane 31:23
Yeah, I  want to piggyback off that, I think, you know, there’s a balance that you’re trying to meet. I mean, at the extreme, you could put every single thing and its own campaign. Yeah, I mean that. So I mean, you could, every possible thing would be in its own campaign, the benefit of that, obviously, is you’ve got very granular budget control, you can very granularly control your goal for each keyword, you know, maybe you’re trying to rank for one and not the rest of them. So you have that you have that kind of control. But you’re also elevating the amount of focus and time, you might have to put towards that. So there’s a balance there, that you’re trying to meet, I mean, one of the things that I’ll do is I’ll have a standard keyword funnel, maybe like an audit abroad to an exact something of that nature, where it’s, it’s funnily based on conversions through there, but then I’ll create another campaign. And where I’ll link it, I’ll link that exact match to this other new exact match and put a high conversion number on it. So that way, it’s anything that’s really converting a lot in that exact match campaign gets moved into another campaign. So that way, I can allocate more budget to it, etc. So that’s a that’s a way to let all the testing happen in a basic funnel, but then get those ones that are eating all the budget, and maybe your hero keywords out of that campaign. That way, you know it, I do think if you’ve got a lot of low search volume, keywords, and a campaign, you can have more than 20. You know, but it’s that it’s those ones that are eating your budget that are really the ones you got to get out of there. So that’s kind of like a backwards way of getting to single keyword campaigns or small campaigns for just the specific ones that are necessary. So that might be an easier approach to accomplish a similar goal for if someone’s doing this manually. That might be the way I would do it manually to save workload time,
Kris Gramlich 33:30
and get  it added that you could throw on top of search on top search on that one that has a really good convergence. Now, you’re really being aggressive on these keywords, because you already know they converted their whole pipeline. Yeah, you’re just on top of search, you’re gonna aggressive bids, you’re gonna you’re gonna own that bid.
Ben Donovan  33:47
Yeah, that’s that’s real ninja tactic that I like it. I’m going to try that. Because like you say, if you set it up 5678 conversions even. You know, that’s going to be the ones that are going to be eating up most of the budget, and they’re going to be separated out. And every time they are separated out, then that’s going to create more room for the new ones coming in. Yeah, like, Yeah,
Dustin Kane 34:07
That’s exactly right. Yeah,
Ben Donovan  34:09
The dream, I suppose would be able to separate them by search volume, you know, if it’s, you know, put a filter, like if this then that kind of rule, like, if it’s obviously getting, say, two conversions, three conversions, whatever you set out, and the search volume, it depends on what obviously, everyone’s working on, because there’s estimates and there’s real search volume data, but you know, just as a guide, like if it’s, you know, three conversions, but under 200 searches a month, and then two to 500 500 to 1000. That would be the dream wouldn’t be able to separate out all that but yeah, this is a good workaround that I like it a lot.
Dustin Kane 34:44
And we and and our teams working on stuff like that. Amazon, you know, we don’t Kris and I don’t live in the developer world. They speak a completely different language than we do. But in our in the conversations we have on Amazon API is opening up a ton of more data, you know, that even to software companies, even data that you can’t see inside your seller central portal, where the development team has access to this data, and that’s allowing for the potential development on things like this, because to do like to separate by search volume, you know, previously, you’re you’re potentially pulling from two completely different data sets. And, you know, search volume. You know, can you trust that data if it comes from like a scraping tool or something like that. But now that you’re getting search volume, directly from Amazon, that’s valuable data, so that those are things that are in the roadmap to be able to separate things out like that.
Ben Donovan  35:49
Yeah, that’s exciting. I was gonna ask you about what’s the roadmap for the tool.
Kris Gramlich 35:54
So we’ve got one we’re working on now. The one that’s been a really hot topic is being able to link a sponsor brand, headline, ad or video ad to an existing auto or manual AD. The reason that’s important is you can have essentially an auto campaign that’s feeding your new video ad campaign and it’s feeding new keywords to this video ad campaign. Yeah. I haven’t seen any until it does that. But being able to, to add new keywords to your video ad or a headline ad, even display ad, we’ve had some people ask about that. But that’s something we’re working on. And that’s gonna be a game changer people earlier and I love that that’s gonna be huge.
Dustin Kane 36:33
Yes, that and Walmart advertising.
Ben Donovan  36:39
Advertising set up like
Dustin Kane 36:43
It’s like Amazon,
Kris Gramlich 36:43
Amazon 2012 2013.
Dustin Kane 36:48
Very basic, very basic. There’s, there’s still on a, one of the benefits of Amazon advertising is they have that. Second, I can place bidding. So like, if you bid $1 And your next competitors 50 cents, you’re gonna win the auction at 51 cents. Walmart, you bid $1? They charge you $1. You know, there’s no second place bidding, I know Walmart’s talking about releasing that. So right there. I mean, that’s adding into your costs. Even Even things like negative keyword creation. I mean, I think that’s like, if Walmart, I mean, I haven’t been in there recently. But I mean, that didn’t have that before. You know, so I mean, that’s, that’s optimization one on one. So like we there was, there was a lot of things that even even if we wanted to optimize it there didn’t have the things to do that you want to optimize. They’re developing quickly. Obviously, they want to be a player in this space, we just got access to their API now. So we’re trying to see how much of what we have developed for Amazon works already with with Walmart, and then making the adjustments that we need, but that’s going to be huge, too, because that’s obviously a big talk in the space to omni channel selling. You know, you’re not an Amazon seller, your brand that sells on Amazon and other things, you know that that’s a big topic. You know, it’s again, it’s, it’s why not? It’s smart. What, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, setting you up for risk tolerance, that’s too high. You know, if you can, if your Amazon accounts get shut down tomorrow, that’s gonna suck unless you’ve got other channels that you’re selling on. So we’re trying to support sellers that are more omni channel. And we want we want to grow with the way that they’re growing.
Ben Donovan  38:47
Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And you talked about product launches, Kris earlier that the adaptation and having to use PPC more. What are you guys using and seeing for successful product launches at the moment?
Kris Gramlich 39:02
Yeah, definitely PPC is on top of that, so it’s sprinkled around a little bit more than it used to be. But PPC is definitely one of them. Influencers is another one. And I’ll touch on a little bit of these. And then Google ads. You know, bringing traffic from Google to an Amazon listing, even if they add it to cart helps with ranking. So just getting an Add to cart was good. Getting more traffic to the listing. people buying it through Google is going to be a win win works like three to one so you can really get a boost if you’re running Google ads to your Amazon listing. Another one is running Google ads to your Amazon store for it. So if you sell a package or products or bundle of products on the same niche, maybe looking into driving traffic to your storefront page, but on the influencer side, that’s a hot topic tick tock Instagram, using your email list like these all Cohen together, but it’s a matter of setting up The plan and having this all ready to go day one, so that when you do go live, you can just start turning on some switches, you know, turn on your Google ads in or the vine program. Now. This is a thing I learned from now networking with a guy. He’s like, how do you get reviews and I gotta put products in the vine program and launch it that way. He’s like, That’s a bad idea. Because people in the vibe program, the vibe program, they are buyers that are conditioned to look at everything on the product, right, your packaging, your inserts a little bit of a, like a scratch on it, they’re gonna ding you for. So he’s like, you gotta be careful, because they’re gonna tear your product apart and try to get see if there is a five star review there. So I didn’t realize that. So that’s, you know, another point. But as far as logic goes, Google ads using influencers? And have you have your PPC at the beginning, and then you can kind of dial those back a little bit as you maintain that organic ranking.
Ben Donovan  41:00
Yeah, nice. Yeah, we’re just about to test some Google ads for launch is the first time I’ve done and we’ve always done rebates for launches. This will be our first product launch since those terms of service changes. So it’ll be interesting to see. Going to going to test that out. But yeah, from everywhere I’ve seen it’s it’s pretty powerful to use Google ads.
Dustin Kane 41:22
It is there is a cool tool. We’re not affiliated in any way with it. But it’s called amped am I don’t know if you’ve heard of this. Yeah. Yeah. It makes that process. So easy. It’s slick, because there’s a, you know, the, obviously, Amazon ads in some way are super easy, because there’s no copy. That’s your product. I mean, it’s like, what keywords do you want to show for? That’s it? You know, Google ads? I mean, there’s this whole element of how well does the copy convert? You know, and how well, you know, and getting your brand attribution link in there. I mean, that’s, you know, it’s fairly simple. But it’s not, it’s not that easy. There’s gotta go through some hoops to get there. So amped makes that I mean, I had Google ads up for my product with the brand attribution link with good copy. Basic, just copy in there. I mean, in like, five minutes. So it’s, it does work. It does boost organic ranking, and they’re tracking your ranking. So anybody should check that out. It’s pretty cool. Yeah, for sure.
Ben Donovan  42:32
That’s good. That’s good. That’s awesome. So talk to us a little bit, just I know, you guys are busy as Good Friday today, recording for everyone that’s listening these days. Taking time out on on a holiday to to come and chat about Amazon, where else would you be? Now we appreciate that. But talk to us a little bit just to finish up then for anybody that’s coming into this space. We’ve talked a lot about, you know what it used to be like, and it was easier and throw a product up and make money. Give us something like talk to us about what your mentality would be coming into this as a new seller. 2022 wants to build a real business, real opportunity. What’s the right approach to take? Give some words of encouragement, give us your best advice.
Dustin Kane 43:14
Can I start Kris? Yeah. Same ideas. I love this. I love this topic. Because we talked to so many sellers, who are coming to us for advertising, they you know, they’ve already figured out their product, everything. And the thing that I realize a lot is there, their expectations of what’s going to happen, or what it’s going to cost or the hurdles involved are pretty divorced from reality. And so the advice I would give is, I would number one, I would talk I would make sure that I’m talking to people that are in the game, I would make sure that those people are analyzing my product selection. I would make sure that they tell me hey, how much do you think it’s going to cost to launch this product? You know, you see a lot because I you know, I had a $10,000 budget, and I bought $9,000 worth of product. So I have $1,000 left and I was like you’re you’re gonna struggle like you that’s not enough, especially for the niche that you’re in. But the the opportunity side of that and what everyone should be excited about is there’s a zillion products that you could potentially sell. There’s so much opportunity, it’s off the charts, there’s more opportunity than when Kris and I started. There’s, there’s it can it’s a little easier maybe to talk to suppliers now. It’s suppliers this day and age are very adept at what people are trying to do on Amazon. So they’ve catered they’ve shifted and catered things. You can get smaller order quantities on products now than you used to be able to, they understand all the logistics of like labeling and getting stuff in there set up for that. So if you have an understanding of how competitive your niches and conjunction with what your budget is, and if you can start with small order quantities, prove out a concept without without destroying your bankroll, you know, your initial bankroll, maybe launching three products at the same time with 100 units each, you know, figuring out what works, that will your risk level is really low. I think people that come in like that, that have the understanding that, hey, I’m gonna do $1,000 inventory by on my initial order, and I’m going to commit, you know, $3,000, to marketing to launch this, you know, that’s where I think people are maybe not seeing like the the impact of what it’s going to do for you, but so much opportunity to see succeed. I think you just have to talk to people to make sure like, is this achievable with what I’ve got right now. That’s what that would be my recommendation across the board.
Kris Gramlich 46:10
Yeah, that’s a little bit there was with the order quantities. Amazon, or Amazon Alibaba has this option where it’s ready to ship. Something doesn’t actually showed me where you can order like small quantities of an item 50 100 units and get it relatively fast, you don’t have to wait two or three months to get it across, see, a need to start getting your feet wet with sticking things up on Amazon and learning the process. And if that hits, if something hits, you can then go back that suppliers that look, I’m now wanting to buy like 5000 units. And I’m going to need better pricing than what I did when I bought 100 units. Just to kind of like test things out. So you don’t put all your money into something like I would if I was starting again, I would do this exact same method, go find first do really good product research, figure out how to do product research, because that’s a science like to figure that out. But then just find like two or three products, small quantities, ready to ship option on Alibaba, throw them up there with some UPC codes and just get familiar with the situation. And you may find some.
Ben Donovan  47:15
Yeah, I think it’s a great shout. And Dustin, you mentioned online arbitrage earlier, it’s something that I’ve never really done. I did a little bit of like, sort of liquidation stuff testing now a while ago, but never really go too deep into it. But I think for new sellers, it can be a great option whilst they’re researching. A can help build up capital, but be like you said, Kris, just navigating the craziness of Amazon Seller Central is a learning curve in itself. So doing something like that to get on the platform, start making moves, you know, taking action, I think as a great shop.
Dustin Kane 47:50
I will online arbitrage is going to be a big part of my business moving forward. It’s yeah. The risk levels low. It’s really fascinating. I can give some girl some some of the things that are working really well. I mean, for anybody that doesn’t know what online arbitrage is, you find stuff on Amazon that’s selling, selling decent, that doesn’t have that many other sellers on the buy box. And then you see if you can buy it from any other store that is selling it cheaper. And you would be shocked at how many products are like that. Clothes, makeup, you know, toys. There’s there’s so many really it’s anything, household supplies, I’m selling this candy, okay, where I’m multi packing it. So I ordered this candy, and I put it in, I polybag it with multiple packs in it. And the I the ROI is like off. It’s like 150% ROI on this product. It’s insane. But it’s interesting, what you’re what you can do with that. And so you don’t have a lot of capital outlay, you can buy 1010 units of this product and then use that product. And yeah, worst case scenario, you have to drop your price down to break even and get your money back. But now I’m a part of a group that I get a list they have VAs that are making all the research of like, oh, it’s at Target for this much or Walmart for this much and it sells for this much on Amazon and I just ordered him every day with a FedEx truck comes to my house like six times and drops boxes off. So then I have my boys helped me out though I’ll I’ll list all the inventory. They’ll label it and we’ll ship it in. But it’s continuous capital. So it’s allowing me to take that capital launch of private label brand, our private label product but it’s really fun. It’s also unbelievable product research. Like unbelievable because you’re Um, I’m over in this niche, and then that niche, and then this niche and that niche, and all this stuff’s going in. And I’m like, wow, this is a pretty cool product. And there’s only like, two or three other like brands that are selling on Amazon, it’s selling like crazy. This is an option, I can launch my own brand right here with this. So it’s a another unique way to do product research. But I just think there’s so many ways to potentially make money on Amazon, whether it’s retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, we talked to a guy who does drop shipping the other day, which was kind of interesting, because drop shipping can be frowned upon. And you’re kind of worried if like Amazon’s okay with it. But in some of these scenarios, it’s like, it seems like a really good fit. We’re talking about like, heavy stuff like tables, things that people expect to take like a week and a half to get delivered. And they expect it to not come prime from Amazon. There’s a lot of opportunities out there, but and I think everyone can find their sweet spot. So
Ben Donovan  51:04
yeah, I think you’re so right. You know, 2022 is still a incredible time of opportunity. Like you said, there was things that were easier back then. But there is way more opportunity to grow something substantial. Now, you know, I think a lot more back then it was a side hustle mentality. Whereas now it’s like, whoa, okay, this is a serious wealth building opportunity. So, and you guys are doing great stuff in that. And obviously Sellozo is helping a bunch of sellers do that. If people want to find out more about Sellozo, why should they go?
Kris Gramlich 51:36
Yeah, just head on over to That’s There’ll be a little button on there. It says Book a demo, you’ll get Dustin right, and we’ll chat was we’ll do just like this. I mean, we’ll bring up your account, we’ll look at your listings, we’ll see if you’re a good fit, we’ll talk to you. But if you need no better listings, or images, or whatever it is, we’ll chat with you. And then hopefully, you know, get you on a free trial with sellozo’s to start to show you the power of something to do with your PPC get some sort of system set up for your ads. That puppet is also all that you do. Does he check out the podcast?
Dustin Kane 52:14
Oh, yeah, yeah, you can. You can tune into us. We co host a podcast called to Amazon sellers. And a microphone we had been on it was great. But we we live stream it and it goes then it’s on every podcast platform out there. But we do an episode almost every single day.
Ben Donovan  52:35
That’s how frequently you did is crazy.
Kris Gramlich 52:38
Next week, we have like 12
Dustin Kane 52:42
Sometimes we do more than one a day. But it’s it’s so fun. It’s casual. I mean, we just convert, we have a conversation. We don’t know if this is a good thing or bad. I don’t even know if I shouldn’t say it. But like we do, like almost zero prep for like we have we have a guest come on. We talked to him for about a minute, we go live, it’s totally live, there’s no editing. And we just go wherever the conversation goes. So for us, it’s, it’s really it’s like super organic. It’s like you met somebody, like at a you know, at a restaurant, you just start chatting with them for a while. But we every time. I mean, I have a pencil in my hand the whole time we’re on because I’m like taking notes. I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is I gotta do this. I gotta do this. So it’s fun. So anybody can tune into that to Amazon sellers in the microphone.
Ben Donovan  53:37
Yeah, definitely highly recommend it was I haven’t done loads of podcasts myself. I’ve done a boat, like a few but not not a regular thing. But I enjoyed it the most of anything I’ve done because just like you said, is a real conversation. And I think that’s what I’m trying to do on this as well as you know, sometimes we structure it and have questions, but I think this stuff, I get the feedback, the best feedback about is more natural conversations, because I’m on this journey, you know, and the questions I’m asking are going to help me build my business. And so it’s kind of like, Hey, I’m just gonna have conversations with you, that’s gonna help me build my business. And then if I do that, in the hope that other people listening in will get that benefit too. So So yeah, it’s good. I love that natural feels. So I wanted to get you guys on the show. And definitely, hopefully people have picked it up in this episode too that some, some good strategies, some good conversation and really appreciate you guys coming on. Awesome. Well, thanks for tuning in to this episode, guys, like Dustin and Kris said, definitely do check out Sellozo, though, and get one of their beautiful faces on a demo and check it all out. Look forward to seeing how the journey goes with Sellozzo and seeing everything that kind of unfolds for these guys. And for you guys too. We’ll see you in another episode next week.