The Best Approach in Running a Business During Pandemic - GearBunch | Ep. #012
In this 12th episode of The E-comm Show, our host and BlueTuskr CEO Andrew Maff is with Dan Nikas of GearBunch.com. Learn more about how their company managed to survive and flourish during the pandemic.
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The Best Approach in Running a Business During Pandemic
Andrew Maff & Dan Nikas
About the Guest Speakers
A former Homicide Detective Sergeant of 17 years, Dan turned his Policing skillset to eCommerce in 2015 when he founded & ran Gearbunch into an 8-figure ecom powerhouse.
Dan has since become a Facebook Global Trainer, a Klaviyo Preferred Partner, and an in-demand Keynote speaker at industry events worldwide & sits on the advisory board of many organizations.
Dan Nikas now brings his expertise exclusively to Elite Brands Digital.
during COVID last year, as everyone probably did, we had our own set of struggles. We had this point in time where it just exploded. Guys, Danny is the founder of GearBunch.com. Hi this
is Amber with CocoMoon. This is Josh Krouse of ICEarcadegames.com.
And you're listening to The E-comm Show
you're listening to listen to The E-comm Show, presented by BlueTuskr, the number one place to hear the inside scoop from other e-commerce experts share their secrets on how they scaled their business and are now living the dream. Now, here's your host, Andrew Maff.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to The E-comm Show. I'm your host, Andrew Maff. And today I am joined by Dan Nikas, who is the founder of Gear Bunch as well as Elite brands. Again, how're you doing? You're ready for a good show.
Right, mate. Why don't we go?
Yes, this one's gonna be fun. I'm always super excited about every episode. And I say it every episode. And I'm trying not to but then I know who I'm talking to. And I go, No, but like I actually am super excited. So the thing I love about this episode, specifically, is that you obviously have realized a hole in the market and started a second business, which we're going to get into. But I'd love to kick it off. Let's pretend that no one knows anything about GearBunch and just give us a little bit of insight into that business first, and then we're gonna move into the other one as well. And we'll go from there, right?
Sure. Well, I've been online now since about 2011. A bit of a side hustle to start with ended up having a career change moved into selling T-shirts online using what was now what used to be called Teespring. Better than I was actually pretty good at that. So you know, I was doing all right. But what I found as I was trading my time for money, was actually building someone else's business. So at the end of 2016, I decided to launch a bunch because I thought well, I can do what I'm doing. But I could do it for myself and build my own brand and my own business. And that was just a massive, massive shift in the way I had to think about things. So launched a bunch doing print on demand for leggings, because the t-shirt market was getting really saturated. And instantly, it just took off. So you know, in our first year, we did in excess of 4 million in gross sales, 4 million US in gross sales, and it was just in your first year. In the first year. Yeah, he just loaded. But with that came a lot of sounds amazing. And I'm not going to say it wasn't amazing. It is It was amazing. But it came with its own really steep learning curve, everything from customer support to payment processes, freezing our funds to fraud to having to learn email marketing because I relied on someone else doing that for the other online marketing that I had done before to man, even just conversion rate optimization. Also, just everything that goes with a website that you own. And it was just this massive steep learning curve. But I got through it learned a stack, and you know, continue to grow, ended up partnering with Disney selling Marvel products through the website. Really steady growth got recognized by Shopify and Facebook become one of Facebook's global trainers. You know, and that's what sort of started elite brands. It's because I was traveling the world as a speaker, about Facebook ads and key matches. And I never hid the fact that you know, GearBunch was mine. And this is how we do it. And this is what we do. And I would just share with everyone because as a spike until lots of people are bad. I've really disliked those gurus online that hide behind, you know, secrecy and privacy, and they never actually tell you what they do. They just tell you what you should do. And he paid me money. And we'll you know, I'll tell you how you should do it. And I just got really sick of that. So I just would get on stage and I'd say this is me, and this is what I do. And you can try and copy it if you want. But it's a lot of hard work. And it's you know, obviously copycats didn't pop up. But what I did find is that because of that honesty, and because I was done with Facebook ads, I came offstage. And people would be saying, you know, can you do this service for me? Can you do this service? What can you do what you're doing for lunch for me? And I would just say, no, no, no, no, I'm not a guru. I'm just a guy who's running his own business. And I did that for a couple of years. What I found during that time is that I was still getting asked to go around and do these talks about a bunch about how we get these really good robots on our own. and stuff like that. But the secret was also figured out email marketing in the background, and not just your typical doodle this blast campaigns out, like, I got really granular, I'm a really analytical guy, and figured out a way to email market that complemented the ads to the Facebook ads to complete this ecosystem. So they didn't act independently of each other. And what it did was just supercharge those Facebook results. So I started coming on stage and people like, Oh, my God, how are you getting that sort of rice on your Facebook ads? Think a bunch. And they're like, Can you do it for us? And I'd be like, no, because it wasn't just Facebook ads, it was this whole email marketing thing. So in the end, people asked me enough, I ended up getting a couple of Postmates read brands and sort of doing it for them. And it just sort of grew from there. But yeah, I mean, it's been the backbone of a bunch. So during COVID, last year, as everyone probably did, we had our own set of struggles.
We had this point in time where it just exploded like I think everyone going into lockdown around the world, everyone was on their device, you know, our business, it was like 2017, again, you know, all the ads were converting, everything was doing really well. But then what we, the problem we had was that our production facilities, which are based in the US, weren't an essential service, so they got shut down. So everything we had moved everything to production facility we have in Europe. But what that meant was is that we had an increase in volume. And instead of having three fulfillment facilities, we only had one. And in that one film facility, they had to social distance that is at half capacity. So the math was doesn't add up. Yeah. And then you fall on top of that, that we had problems with, you know, postal services because of COVID. And everything slowed down, all their business increased, but they obviously slowed down as well. So we hit a big wall, with our reputation online, because we could not get the products out to people in the time that we normally do. And people were just relentless, even during COVID, when we reached out to him saying, hey, like, this is what's happening. People were relentless with us. And we actually just switch off all their ads, because we just couldn't keep in good, you know, ethically keep selling to people. And, you know, that was a big, big learning experience, we spent a lot of time managing our reputation and improving that again, because we'd spent, you know, three and a half, four years building up our reputation online. And that's such a big thing is trust, when you've you've got your online website, there are 1001 drop shippers out there selling cheaper leggings, you know, I can Google now buy a pair of leggings for $10. And the same is why because they've been ripped off. But we had that trust where that quality. But as soon as we lost that trust, it just killed us. So we then fell back on, on email marketing, again, to improve the reputation of gamers to get it back up. And then to start warming everyone back up into purchasing. So we went back to that well of those VIP customers that we've had for so many years to start that momentum back up again. So, so much
to unravel there. So you obviously you're selling globally COVID was horrible for everyone. Well, hang on to how you look at it. So one weird thing that I always struggle with, when I bring up how, you know, 2020 went for everyone is because, for most e-commerce sellers, it was great. But obviously, from a personal standpoint, not always not the best thing to happen, everyone. So you got slammed, you had to shut down, you know, in a couple of different facilities you had and you went to Europe, you're clearly selling globally.
So we sell got most of what we sell comes out in North America. And that's part of our unique selling proposition is that we make our products in the US. What that means is it's such a huge selling point to the US market because everyone's proud, I mean, Australians like to buy Australian-made people in the US like to buy us made and it's not, we're pushing away from that fast fashion mentality. We do price our products a little bit higher. And the reason is, is because we can say to people, we've got the quality we sell in the US. The other thing is that we sell the majority in the US because our delivery times are really great. You know being PID-like print on demand, you know the product doesn't exist until the customer orders it obviously. But with producing and selling in the US we can have it out to the customer at their door made and delivered in less than two weeks, which is great. Whereas if sitting here in Australia, it's going to take probably three to four weeks. And that's not, that's not cool with most people, because and that's sort of beyond our control, we can still get it out of our production facilities really quickly. But it's got to get out of one country and into another. So most of our sales go through the US, we then started producing out of EU out of Latvia, actually, because we were getting absolutely hammered with the customs and duty tax as they, as things were coming from the US into Europe, it was just the taxes that were sitting on there were actually worth more than the products in some countries, we'll be shipping too. So the way that the legislation works there is that if you produce it in the EU, you can send it out there and it doesn't attract those taxes and duties, which is why we sell their southern hemisphere light down my wife, Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific area, we sell a little bit, but I don't push much actively out in terms of paid media, if we sell organically, they're cool. But I just don't like the wait times that people have. But then set in, you know, the end result is most get sold in North America, through Canada through the US and Canada.
It's not incredibly common to find a seller that lives in one country, but does a majority of their business in another did you originally start only selling in Australia and then branch out? Or did you actually start in the US and then
branch out from there? us first. And that's because the supply was in the US and my experience before selling with Teespring. They're an American-based production company as well. So, you know, it was the same, it was problematic when you want to sell something to Australia or to New Zealand or even in Europe, that there were either taxes that came with it or delayed shipping times because sometimes things were just sitting customs and like, we've got no control over the production facility, no control that. So I was a car custom to selling in the US market. And, you know, we're talking back in 2016 and 17, Facebook ads were exceptionally granular. It didn't rely so much on big budgets. And the algorithm does a lot of the heavy lifting it was, you know, the market is sitting behind it and putting that right product in front of the right person at the right time. They've really, they've made that a lot harder. And that's a struggle that we've had to overcome. Because we've got such a big product range, we've got 1000s of products. Yeah, so fundamentally, the short answer to that is I started in America, I talk a lot I'm sorry.
No, I'm fine. So I can tell by a lot of the directions you keep going you clearly have a marketing background you're a marketing guy. No.
I'm an ex-homicide detective here in Australia.
Oh, yeah, that was my next guess. Yeah.
How did? How did? How did that happen? Um, okay, so I started at the police academy, and I was 19. And then when I, you know, initially went through the ranks, I was really good at the job, I end up being a homicide detective.
As a detective sergeant, which is, which is a pretty big deal was sort of like where, you know, to dream position. When you become a police officer, you want to become a detective, and the best detectives investigate a homicide. Unfortunately, for me, it really took its toll. I did a lot of child homicide because I was actually good at the job. So they gave me that role. And I just pushed through it. And eventually, what happened long story short, I end up getting medically retired due to mental health problems with dealing with these situations all the time, I didn't become a very nice person. In the end, I sort of run out of empathy. And you know, when you constantly go to work into the worst side of life, every day, I had this, you know, this work-life where I'd either be dealing with the worst people that you could think of or I was dealing with good people talking about with them about the worst thing that had ever happened to them. So there was never a good day at work ever. So it just wore me down eventually. You know, my mental health got to a point where the doctors said, Look, you can't do this job anymore. And I got medically retired. And it was a real shock to me because I never planned to do anything else with my life. Like I saw myself keep going through the ranks and eventually retiring as a police officer as an old man. And the other scary thing was is that I'd never done anything else. I never went to university. I never went to college. I don't have a marketing or an IT background. I joined when I was 19 I didn't even have a train. I'm the most unhealthy guy on earth. Like I could not walk into another job. I would have had to go on to an entry-level job. You know, not that there's anything wrong with that. But I had three kids and a mortgage and a beautiful wife. And all of a sudden my career was over, there's no income. So, I was a little bit embarrassed by everything that went on. So I sat down in the house, you know, that day, week after week, month after a month, and taught myself how to market online. What I found is that I had a real knack for Facebook ads, it just made sense to me. And because I'd spent this whole career being trained to find people that didn't want to be found. And here I was, with a platform where I had to find people's products in front of it, but they actually were happy when I found them. Because I was giving them something that solved a problem or something that they are interested in. Like that would tell me their dog's names, they were telling me if they were pregnant, they share photos of what they ate for dinner. It was just like a detective dream. It's like, I'm not trying to, you know, find someone who's hiding everything from me. I'm trying to find people who are telling me everything about their life. And it was just, I found it just clicked. And I thought everyone else was in the same boat. So when people go, like, how are you doing this? I'd be like, Oh, just doing what you're doing. With gearbox was exploding everywhere. And excuse me, even when I, you know, first got asked to come to speak on stage about the success of gearbox and Facebook ads, I thought it was a bit of a, I didn't believe it to start with, like, in the police to try and get a true work trip to another state to do your job. You might as well be asking your bosses, your boss for their firstborn child like it would just government departments just don't like spending any money. And then I'm getting messages and polls from people over in Europe and in America saying, hey, we want to fly you over to come and talk on stage. And I'm like, really? And they're like, Yeah, and I'm like, Well, what do you want from me when I'm there, and it's just half an hour on stage. That's it. So you got to fly Middle America, you can accommodate me, and you're gonna look after me just for half an hour on stage. And they're like, Yeah, and I'm like,
So that sort of, and that just opened me up to that world. And then you know, that's that. So that's, that was my background, or that is my background, and I'm still proud of it. I look back on a little bit more fondly. Now, I've never told anyone to start with because initially, you know, I didn't even use my real name online. To start with, I use my nickname, because I didn't, it's a big thing in the police pick, you know, you don't want people to know everything about you. And now I'm seven years removed from that career. And those sort of barriers come down and fear that if you tell people that you used to be a police detective, that no one will want to talk to you anymore, because that's another fear that you have is that people don't like police for whatever reason. But you know, that's, that's a probably a misconception you have when you're a police officer because you're only dealing with the people that don't like you, but the majority of the people are, you know, happy for your service. And then the interesting about talking about what you used to do and things like that, you know, instead of implying that they got a speeding ticket here and there. But now I used to tell people, that wasn't my job, my job.
So it's a crazy correlation from the job you used to have to the job you have now and where you obviously kind of cater to on the Facebook ads and the email marketing side which is a fantastic way for us to kind of move into a little bit about your other company lead brands which I'd love to get your insight especially now where we're at here you know, kind of in q4 of 2021 your thoughts around an hour into iOS 15 and the limitations in both Facebook and now also email so how are you? How are you dealing with all that?
So it was a really big moment for us last year we realized how much we were relying on email to keep us afloat and by this stage when COVID hit last year we did have about 10 clients that we were running marketing for around the world what we what they the common message we were getting back from the music without the email marketing that probably would have gone under it was keeping businesses either you know above water or still slightly profitable during God was a tough time for a lot of them because you know there was with all that uncertainty a lot of our clients so nice to have products you know, luxury items it was to some people were like they're unsure about whether they'll get their job was going to exist when lockdown finish so they weren't spending money on you know, luxuries or nice to have things and a bunch fell into that bracket for a period of time as well. But, you know, with that uncertainty, you don't want to go spend, you know, $90 on a pair of leggings, you would rather make sure that you've got enough money mean the bank for essentials. So we found that email was keeping them afloat, then I was putting happened. And I was just like, far out like this is just getting worse. So that's when I sort of realized that, okay, not everyone could afford to happen, you know, bring us on as an agency, we like $3,000 a month to build out and manage your entire email marketing ecosystem. And that's just not, that's just not feasible for some people. So that's when we started offering only in the last few weeks a free workshop where I'll come and tell people exactly what you need to do to automate your email marketing, which is where we're at. And the big thing, the big thing was it whether it is as well as you know, I sort of doubted myself as an email marketer, I was very good at Facebook ads, but the copyrights were very short, sharp, and USPS, and, you know, your call to actions or you add this case, you know, like all the common things that we see, in short form ad copy, occasionally, we did long-form, but it was the short form stuff worked really well, for us. And as you know, data myself as an email marketer, to the reason that I just said, I didn't have a marketing background, I wasn't a copywriter. You know, the way you write for the police is everything's like a brief of evidence to go to court like, and it's all factual, like, you know, time date place, this person at this location, it's all like bullet points, it's never, it's never storytelling, it's always factual, very easy to read. But it's, it doesn't resonate with people, it's just, let's get the facts out there. And so that doesn't correlate well with marketing. So I developed a system where I rely on, you know, everything trying to be dynamic in terms of imagery and links and stuff like that, for people to go back to, to make sure that my weakness, which is copywriting doesn't, wasn't a barrier. So once I figured that system out, I was just like this, this is easy now. And this is, you know, I think the quote, that sort of sparks me was with email is that people don't read they scan, we need to just give them one job when they get their email. And that is, they're going to scan it, we do it, we're trying to scan because we scan our Facebook feed or Instagram feed, whatever it is we're looking at, we scan, we don't sit there and read every word. So I figured out I don't need to be a copywriter because I don't want to give people one job. And that's to get back to my website, or back to the client's website. And that was just the once I realized that, that I didn't need to write a story every time on the emails, then it was just easier to scale the system out for any product for any service for any client, it's so easy. And that's how we ended up structuring everything that we do. And it works across so many different industries. You know, we sell everything from bedding, to coffee to liens, obviously, to think up, we got an organic food product. At the moment, a furniture company, you know, there's like, in the same strategies work for all of them, which is fantastic. So that's sort of, you know, where we're at in terms of the email marketing side of things.
What's your thought process on how to tackle the fact that like, a lot of the tracking now for email is getting limited because of the iOS change?
Hmm. That's a good question. So it's not what we're relying on more and more ease. So when we looked at engagement with email, we always looked at open and click rates. And now those are skewed because the open rates are being overinflated by Apple device users. And the click rates are coming in under because what they're giving us is a 100%, open rate from these masked emails for privacy, but then we don't get a click. So we're getting you to know, open rates are going up, the click rates are dropping. So what we did is we included in those engaged segments, people that were active on the site. So we added that is another metric to measure how engaged the people were. So we wanted to make sure that they're on our website, as well as opening and clicking. The other thing we're doing is we can segment out the actual Apple device users within our email marketing, and we can look at those sets of analytics separately from the main ones that still aren't affected by ours 15. And that gives us a really good indication of where we're performing. If anything, you know, it's going to improve the reputation of the sending domain where we're sending the emails from because we're getting these exceptional open rates now from Apple users, but it's flawed. So we can't rely on that data to you know, just sort of that person's engaged in that person's not. So you know, there are other metrics that you connect and that's why we use and recommend Klaviyo as their email marketing platform because it integrates so with Shopify, which is what we use for a bunch of most clients use, it does integrate really well with Bigcommerce and WooCommerce, as well. But it's so granular in terms of being able to track people around your website. And what we're finding is that we're trying to complement. Don't, don't try and look at email marketing on its own. So when I'm looking at data, I try and compliment things. So I'll push custom audiences from clay VO, I'll build out segments, and I'll push them to my Facebook ad account, and use those my Facebook Ad Account. Conversely, I'll get data that I own from Shopify, bring that across into clay VO, and create segments out of that. So I don't try and just look at my email marketing on its own, I try and complement the data from other sources, and then push that data around that I own, so that I get a more holistic, rating on what's actually going on in my, my business or my client's businesses, I think there will be a failure there if you just try and look at everything independently. If you don't treat it as a huge ecosystem, like this only presence that we have, then you're gonna fall short because none of them individually on their own might be meeting the metrics, but as like global rice, or your global analytics for your whole business, that's where you'll see the improvements. And look, Columbia is no dummy, like they're gonna and neither is Facebook. So I'm going to say this, I'm not going, to sum up doomsday in Facebook, it's just, it's pretty crap at the moment, because of the attribution, falling on owning the attribution windows, you know, and even the targeting because there are the restrictions on the privacy by Facebook really smartly that too much money invested in this for two, forever in a day not work like that. It's pure uncomfortable, it's for them, they'll figure it out. And so kbit are smart dudes as well like they were our data company before they're an email marketing company. That's why they're so good at providing analytics and data because that data-driven?
Yeah, I mean, it would take someone like you to say something that I like wholeheartedly believes. And it's one of those things that like, even internally here, we're always talking about, you know, it's digital marketing is not what it once was, because of these reductions in traffic and or I'm sorry, reduction in attribution tracking, and, you know, the reduction is basically the way that people are even using, people are shopping. So it's a completely fluid approach in the way that people are shopping. So they may see a Facebook ad, but then go to Amazon or they then they go to your site, or then they Google you and then they click your ad. And so the whole attribution tracking becomes a pain. So the way that you kind of explained is fantastic is like, you can't look at one specific channel and focus solely on that channel without taking all the other ones into account. Because it's such a gray area now, like you're like you said, your feed from clay, VO or Facebook and vice versa. It's exactly how it should be done. In which case, you should be looking at the two holistically as opposed to just one because they're helping each other. It's the same thing with paid advertising or even with SEO is, you know, we talked to sellers who are really, you know, solely focused on how was this one specific blog doing? How much traffic how much, you know, conversions? Did it get us? You know, that's not really what it's for it's meant to drive traffic. And so I love that you kind of has that same approach. How is it you're kind of like adjusting that going forward? Now that digital is becoming very similar to traditional?
Look, it's, we're, we're relying more on owning our own data. So and look, I wouldn't want to have been a brand new startup business in the middle of COVID. Last year, I think that that would have been an absolute nightmare to try and navigate. But the key is to concentrate on owning your own data. And that's what, you know, Facebook, Facebook does allow you to do that. It's just people don't know how to do that. So what is an example like, you know, we've got Black Friday, Cyber Monday coming up. Now, traditionally, people would create an audience of purchases, the most amount of time range you can have on that was over 90 days. So they go back to that well of past purchases, nice 290 days, and they put a Black Friday, Cyber Monday in front of the nail that is limited by time, which is 190 days. It's also now limited by the fact that Facebook doesn't capture all of those people because of the privacy restrictions that I was 14. So the attribution is not there, the reporting stop there. But we own all that data in Shopify. So we use we get Shopify to talk to clay vo we create a suite create different segments of all of our purchases of all time but then also have a more highest spending purchases and also more frequent purchases, we then create get those segments to make custom audiences in Facebook that way, we then complemented with the Facebook data that's being held at the ad account level by Facebook. And that is that informs those audiences that we're going to push that out to Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Now, if I hadn't taken any interest in email marketing, or if I hadn't tried, if I was just trying to push out my offers to the purchases that Facebook had recorded over the last 190 days, I'd be just, it'd be significantly less audience that I'm going to be exposing my offer to. So that the key is to just try and own as much of the data as you can, and then use it correctly to, you know, talk to them, at the point of that customer journey, they're at or talk to them, as they you know, as to the loyalty that they've shown you. So I don't send the same email to someone who's visited my site once but never bought anything compared to someone who's been buying consistently off me for the last three years that person gets treated, the way they should get treated, I will treat that person with so much more. You know, so much more personal data, even in the emails that go out to them, as opposed to the person that I don't really know. Because the other person's as part of the family, the new person, they might eventually get there. But they did totally different messaging, we're trying to get them into that buying cycle with us. So yeah, just art and talk to people like they're real people.
It's definitely, really getting to a point where like emails, you know, email has always been to me, as one of the most important things that you can collect outside of sales, it's like the most second important KPI is how big is your list. And it really is because of how much you can leverage that like, you can't target as well as you once could on Facebook, but you can run ads to people that you have their email on, you can just attack their audience, there are so many things that you can do with someone's email, besides just send them an email. So it's amazing how many sellers are so focused on sole conversion, just to start data gathering an email, but what about like different pieces of good content, and like, you know, ebooks are a little boring, but you know, anyway, that you can get some of the calculator or a quiz or something like that, that you can get someone's ebook or someone's email. It's just, it's amazing to me how many people don't focus on email generation, and they just focus on revenue, because I think that that's going to hurt them several years down the road when you can't track anything anymore.
Well, I think I can confidently turn off all of my paid media, and still be profitable for a period of time, based on the email list. So that's, that's the key is that you can't keep going back to that, well, you need to keep collecting more emails, and, and, you know, refreshing that list and bringing new people into it, because people are going to drop off out of it. But, you know, it's, it's nice to know that, let's just say, when Facebook went down, you know, a few weeks ago, it wasn't the end of the world for me, because it wasn't like, my whole business's livelihood was reliant on those Facebook ads running, you know, so it's, it's email I just don't like and I didn't even really understand the importance of it until I started running a bunch for myself running my own business. And then, you know, sort of created this system to automate I'm big on automating things and, you know, once I realized the importance of it, and then I just worked on automating that was just like, I couldn't see why other people weren't doing it. why other people are they pinch pennies over? You know, should I use clay vo because it's too expensive. I'm like, It's not expensive. It's like, in my case costs extra dollars a month, but what it can do is amazing. You know, they still saw the email, it's like, well, we've got to list them I gotta say one campaign in a wink to them which is just crazy. Ridiculous. Yeah, so what is
your what's your approach been on the Facebook ads side since the change back in
was it may look off have really shifted away from the top of the funnel that's probably predominantly you know, I had a very typical structure from the simplified it was, you know, your top, middle and bottom of the funnel we're looking at a lot more bringing top of the funnel through Pinterest and Google Shopping. Which is part of that diversification that the good thing of the middle of funnel still with Facebook is if you rely on the data that you own yourself, you know, the subscribers you know, past purchases, you know, even things like actions people are taking on your website like add to cart and stuff like that. You can push those back through. So we've got more of you know, middle and bottom of funnel custom audiences there. And we rely a lot on the data that Facebook owns at that stage of the funnel, so things like people who've been engaged with your ads or engaged with your page or you sent you messages, but haven't actually gone to your website. They're a really good audience. And that's that data is reliable because it's Facebook's own data. So you're building audiences there at that middle of the funnel that Facebook owns the data on, it's got nothing to do with privacy. This is pure that Facebook users logged in. And they're liking, sharing, commenting on your posts, all that data is reliable, fast, Facebook owns that data. So we then use that too because we've created touchpoints with them already. Obviously, we use that to get through different stages of the journey much the same as what we do with email marketing, and SMS marketing, and all of them, all follow the same flows, we create that user experience and feed them through the funnel.
But top of the funnel, it's a work in progress all the time. But at the moment,
I'm finding Pinterest, especially with our products, you know, we're a female-dominated industry that's very bright and vibrant, with our product range. And it just the longer pins really suit leggings. So sort of, it's a good match. And you know, top of funnel traffic, we're getting the CPMs for $5. And under, usually a lot less than $5. We're getting clicks for under $1. We're getting conversions, even the top of the funnel, Facebook, we got to a stage where our CPM to top of the funnel was still sitting around $50, it was about $2 a click. And we're not even breaking even on top of the funnel, which I'm happy to do because we've got solid, middle, and bottom of the funnel but you can't just keep throwing good money after bad you can't just keep feeding the hope that it'll come good because it was quite clear that it was a mess not to say I'm not going to stop running Facebook ads. You know, I'm still deep into that. I'm still, you know, one of Facebook's global trainers. I'm just not running top of the funnel at the moment. I'm running middle of boredom. That's
awesome to hear. I mean, like for the Pinterest side, like we could do a whole episode on how underutilized I think Pinterest is it's such a goldmine. And I almost hate saying it on the show cuz I don't want anyone else to get on it because it's doing so well. So like it's bad. Pinterest is awful. No one should go on Pinterest don't go on there not be testing stuff.
Look, honestly, it's great targeting on Pinterest is where I started. And it was quite, it was like having not done this before. And then try always like to start at the bottom of the funnel and work your way out. So I then went to the middle of funnels like well, this is still working, then I went to the top of the funnel. And that's where I sort of like, I don't know if this is going to work. But what I did learn fairly quickly is that the Pinterest user is at different stages of the buying cycle to you know, I think Google, like someone Google's buy new leggings, you know, their intent is to buy Facebook, on Facebook to be social, but they've been trained that there's going to be products put in front of them, like Pinterest, it's like a, like window shoppers, they're like they create these wish lists. I mean, that's what the platform is to start. Yeah, that was developed as it was like, this is where you're all old school pinboard where you pin up the things that you love and that you want to aspire to have or become. And so I realized that that cycled through Pinterest that, you know, it was taking us about three weeks to convert someone on the platform, whereas Facebook, we can convert them in the seven days, Google with the Google Shopping was taking us 14 days for us to have to learn, you know, what your, you know, normal time between purchase is on someone to convert someone on that particular platform, once we realized that we needed to leave these top of funnel ones on for three-plus weeks to see the results. Then we started to see the results that we wanted. It wasn't like Facebook can turn it on any, you know, 48 hours, it hasn't converted. It doesn't have wires turn it off. And like you know the way it used to be not that anymore. But you know, we're all trained to see these instant results. And if we did it, we killed it. And we moved on to something else. Yeah.
And with Pinterest, we always say the best thing about it is no one's dedicated to a brand. If you go to Google, you might search Nike pink shoes. But if you went to Pinterest, you're just going to shirt, you're just going to search for pink shoes. So they haven't picked a brand yet. So that's why they're like, perfect for that top of funnel side. Yeah, quite good. I could chew your ear off all night. We could do this all day. And I don't want to take up too much of your time. Dan, I really appreciate having you on the show. This was great. I obviously want to do that typical moment where this is your chance to just let everyone know a little more about you obviously, take this opportunity to tell some people about elite brands how they can find you and I know you have an email workshop and all that fun stuff. So let everyone know where they can find that.
Yeah, so look, I'll probably I'll provide you with the link for the email workshop. It's a free workshop where I just tell you how to do everything automated email marketing for your brand. I run those live every week I'll have a live workshop I don't like to try to avoid the recorded ones unless I'm trying to juggle too many things. But I like to get in life and answer people's questions in real-time. So yeah, I can provide you with the link for that. It's called automated email profits. If you go to our website, elite brands.org, you'll see you'll be able to see the links to register on there as well. I've got a YouTube channel, email marketing, we do nacreous Instagram channel, as well Instagram account, that's marketing we do Negus. And we have a Facebook group called elite brands that I'm happy for you to join. And we've got all those channels. It's not just I'm not just promoting crap to everyone. It's like, the YouTube one is, you know, I started about two months ago, and there are 30 plus videos on there that just tell you how to maximize your efforts on paleo. You know, it's all free. It's all just, I just wanted to help as many people as I could, obviously, I need to earn a living. So I can't give you I can't run everything for you for free. But, you know, I just thought if I can just help as many people as I can, without an expectation of anything in return. When I do decide to hey, I'm going to run a free workshop, people are going to turn up and actually listen and take some action. So that's sort of, I've always been really open and honest with people and just say, Okay, I'm ki Bachchan and people like people and so to me, like, don't tell people that you that they're just going to copy you and I'm like, I don't really care. Like, I'm just I want to be honest with people that want to put in the work that I do fine, I'll do well. And I'll do those people that are putting in that work, even if they're copying me that they would have taken that putting that same amount of work and build their own brain, you know, whether they know that I'm a bunch or not. Because it is a lot of work. It's not easy. But yeah, so got the workshops. If you go to the website, elite brands.org. And you can see a little bit more info about us and open book coming to the group and ask questions and let me know that you like this podcast, it'd be awesome.
Great, Dan, really appreciate it. Everyone who tuned in everyone listened. Really appreciate everyone's tuning in. Obviously, make sure you subscribe to wherever podcast platform you prefer on our YouTube channel. Check out more at theecommshow.com. But as usual, thank you all for tuning in. And we will see you all next week. Keep on selling we'll see you.
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