eCommerce

Llama Commerce Show: Hottest Traffic Sources 2014

by Ezra Firestone



Video Highlights:
00:20 Who better to have as the Llama Commerce Show’s first recurring guest than Ezra Firestone!
03:00 Ezra, Brett, and Kurt talk FaceBook, one of the hottest sources for traffic in the eCommerce space
03:20 Ezra is someone who is not only using paid traffic from FaceBook, but he is absolutely killing it!
03:50 Ezra breaks down the difference between query and contextual based traffic
04:35 The easiest place to start generating contextual based traffic is on FaceBook because of the ability to use multi-data point targeting
05:28 Kurt describes why its such a great time to take advantage of the FaceBook platform to generate contextual based traffic for your store
07:45 Ezra explains two models for contextual based traffic depending on whether you have a large or small number of SKUs
09:10 Kurt voices the concerns of merchants when it comes to indirect marketing
09:35 It’s simple, if you want to make money use this strategy!
10:00 This is a long term approach, we are farming not hunting
11:26 You need good, consistent, engaging content to have this strategy work
11:53 Although it will cost you to get a fan, the lifetime value of that fan will be well worth it!
12:30 Ezra guides you through how you want to set up your fan page
14:00 Brett asks Ezra to go through his sales funnel
15:00 Ezra explains what he calls third contact direct response marketing
17:30 How to use this strategy if you have a store with just a few SKUs
19:00 Ezra goes over his funnel for low SKU stores
20:55 Ezra stresses the importance of properly placed conversion pixels
21:52 How does this strategy’s ROI compare to query based traffic in Ezra’s businesses?
24:55 Brett and Kurt’s take on Ezra’s strategy
26:30 Ezra wins the trophy!

Click Here For Video Transcript

Brett Curry: Well hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Llama Commerce show where we are demystifying ecommerce into digestible, actionable bites. I’m Brett Curry. I’m the lead strategist at Classy Llama.

Ezra Firestone: Llama Commerce.

Kurt Theobald: And I’m Kurt. I’m the CEO of Classy Llama.

Brett Curry: That’s awesome.

Kurt Theobald: We have here today a very special guest, our first recurring guest, which I think is a really…it’s a big show, it is a landmark, milestone.

Brett Curry: On the show. A big deal!

Kurt Theobald: Who better to be our first recurring guest than the guy with the coolest name, the guy with the long hair, the lifetime hippie, Ezra Firestone! [cheering]

Ezra Firestone: Here’s what we’ve discovered. You never explode the rock. Everyone will tell you, they’ll tell you, they’ll try to fist bump you and then they’ll try to explode the rock. You’ve got to change the game. You’ve got to never explode. So when someone comes and they’re like [makes explosion noise], just don’t do it. Just kill that explosion.

Kurt Theobald: My wife and I think that is super funny, because we’re really not like that. [laughter]

Ezra Firestone: Do you guys do the squid? Because you could do the squid, you know? There’s a lot you could do. The jellyfish.

Brett Curry: The squid. The squid has been done.

Kurt Theobald: What else is there, Ezra? You’re teaching me things. I like this.

Ezra Firestone: Well I think we’ll stick to one knowledge dropped bomb per episode. And I think, no. Don’t explode. Don’t explode.

Kurt Theobald: That was the squid! Did you recognize the squid action?

Ezra Firestone: That was good. I did see that. I did see that. [laughter]

Brett Curry: Good. Hey, one thing I want to point out, because this is going to be an awesome show. We’ve got some brilliant stuff to cover.

We’re talking traffic, which is the lifeblood of every ecommerce business, and Ezra’s got some wicked cool stuff to talk about. But we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about our Mr. Trophy Guy.

Kurt Theobald:
Special guest.

Brett Curry: Special guest. Here’s here all the time.

Kurt Theobald: He’s actually the first recurring guest. Sorry, Ezra. He’s our first recurring guest.

Brett Curry: This is “OTT,” as Kurt likes to call him, the one-armed table tennis trophy from circa 1999. This goes to whoever delivers the most value on the show, which is typically me if it’s just Kurt and I. Occasionally it’s our guest. It just depends. But this will be awarded to some lucky person on the show today. You won’t get to keep it, but you get to brag about it, and tell your mom, and stuff like that.

Ezra Firestone: I would really like to get a hat like the one that Kurt wears in a small size, and put it on OTT.

Kurt Theobald: That would be really, really cool. Because I am the star of the show, and that would really make it clear that I was.

Ezra Firestone: Let’s go find a tennis-playing Ken doll and take the clothes from it.

Brett Curry: Oooh. Man.

Kurt Theobald: Okay. This is getting a little weird [laughter], but so I was thinking…actually, I think it’s important this particular show gift that is so special and never having recurring guests on here. We know that this guy was in seventh grade when he won this, so this is a seventh grade table tennis player. So we know his age. We don’t know the birthdate, but we know pretty close to how old he is. I think I figured it out. He’s 28 now.

Brett Curry: It’s really fascinating.

Kurt Theobald: That’s really amazing. I mean, happy birthday sometime this year, Mr. 28 year old one-armed table tennis player.

Brett Curry: That’s awesome. So should we get on topic now? I think so.

Kurt Theobald: Okay, let’s do that. [laughter]

Brett Curry: Let’s do it. So we’ve got Ezra Firestone here. One of our good friends, just love this guy. He’s also an ecommerce rock star. And so we are taking about a topic that everybody in business needs to master, because this is the lifeblood of your ecommerce business. And that’s traffic.

One of the hottest sources of traffic–also one of the least understood sources of traffic, especially for merchants–is Facebook traffic. And also it’s specifically paid Facebook traffic. So Ezra, why don’t you dive in and give us an overview of Facebook traffic and we’ll just dialogue through this thing.

Kurt Theobald: I think one thing I want to point out before you do that, Ezra, is that Ezra is someone who is using this. He’s not just talking about it. He is using it, and he’s killing it. That’s why we wanted to talk to him about it because we want to kill it as well.

Brett Curry: With social media experts, sometimes they’ve just read an article or a book and they’re a social media expert.

Kurt Theobald: Exactly.

Brett Curry: Ezra is a traffic expert, and he’s doing this stuff all the time for his stores and for clients.

Ezra Firestone: And we’re spending up to 30 grand a day on certain campaigns. So we really run a lot of volume in our business. One of the things that traditional ecommerce merchants rely on is query-based traffic. That’s Google AdWords, that’s comparison shopping engines. That’s Amazon.

That’s when there’s buyers going to a search engine and typing in a query. And that’s really the lifeblood of most ecommerce business owners. They don’t really understand. The ecommerce business owners in our community don’t tend to understand contextual traffic. Where someone is, like hanging out on Facebook or surfing on a web page and you’re interrupting them.

A lot like someone’s reading a magazine and you interrupt them with an ad. It’s interruption advertising. It’s based on the context of what that user is doing, and what you know about them. And it’s about 90% of the traffic that is available online is contextual based traffic, and 10% is query based.

So if you can learn how to leverage contextual traffic for your business, particularly for your ecommerce business, you can do really well with it. And the easiest platform to start with is Facebook. And the platform that has the most targeting available on it, right? Because Facebook has, it’s called multi data point contextual targeting.

Meaning, we know how old they are. We know what gender they are. We know what they’re interested in. We know if they just got divorced. We know when their birthday is. We have all these data points. And there’s third party people who feed data into Facebook. Like these people own cats, or these people own a house worth a million dollars.

Or these people have bought pet products in the last month. So we have all these data points that we can use to target our users. And depending on the type of ecommerce business that you have, you can leverage…

There’s two types really. There’s sort of the big, multi SKU-y commerce business owners with 500 to 15,000 SKU’s, and then there’s the sort of a single line or single brand ecommerce business owners that might have five or 10 SKU’s. And there’s kind of that middle range. But really, you fall on one or the other end of the spectrum when it comes to–

Kurt Theobald: Ezra, before you jump in to the difference between the two, I just wanted to point out something. You know this so well, you just skimmed through it, but I wanted to draw out something.

You just said contextual advertising represents 90% of the opportunity, and people don’t understand it, so they’re not using it. So you’ve got low demand, crazy high supply, guess what that creates? Really, really low prices and amazing opportunity. And I bet that’s a big part of why you are killing it.

It’s like paid search on all the query based stuff you were talking about, back in like the mid 2000’s or something like that.

Brett Curry: Ten years ago. Yeah.

Kurt Theobald: It was amazingly, ridiculously cheap back then. Well guess what? We have the opportunity again. It’s called contextual advertising. So I just wanted to point that out because I think it’s key.

Ezra Firestone:
Yeah. And people get all like, “Man, I wish I…” Because I was around in the AdSense days when we were spending three cents a click, and spending 10 grand to build a customer base of 100,000 people. I was around in those days, and in 2008, Facebook was about two, three cents a click, and I was around for that.

There’s always going to be that platform. Perhaps it’s Pinterest next, we’ll see. But it’s not like you’ve missed out as a business owner. It still exists. It’s just you have to know where to go and how to do it.

Kurt Theobald: And yet we see merchants getting married to the thing that worked, and that’s the problem. Because there s always that next thing. And if you are not maintaining…

Brett Curry: Hey, are you back Ezra?

Ezra Firestone: Yeah, I’m back.

Brett Curry: Awesome.

Ezra Firestone: So what’s up? I don’t know where we… [laughter]

Kurt Theobald: That’s okay Ezra. I mean, we’ve been carrying it. I was on the spot. I was like, bam! Bam, bam! Like, jokes just coming out. Everyone was laughing.

Brett Curry: It was magical.

Kurt Theobald: It really was.

Brett Curry: So one of the things that I said while we were waiting is, query-based traffic still works. We’re running it all the time for clients very profitably. It’s still key, but as a merchant you can’t get locked into what you know, and there’s so much other opportunities out there. So you’ve got to take advantage of that.

Kurt Theobald: We said Ezra is the one that’s always looking at these new things, and bringing them up. And we were seguing into you. We were like, Ezra, where are you Man? And then you weren’t there.

Ezra Firestone: I was just, like lost in Brooklyn. [laughter]

Kurt Theobald: Exactly.

Brett Curry: So break it down. Why don’t you quickly lay out how you’ve made this work? I’m…there are people that have dabbled in this and have wasted a lot of money.

Ezra Firestone: Let’s look at the two–I’m just going to give you two models, frankly. That’s all you can handle right now in the time that we have. [laughter] So here at the two models.

Model one is if you have a very large number of SKU’s. It’s really hard to set up an individual sales funnel for each SKU, which is what you need on Facebook if you’re going to go Facebook direct to the sale of a physical product. Which is much harder, because they weren’t searching for that physical product.

So you must engage the potential prospect in the story before you pitch them on the product, which I’ll tell you about in just a second. But let’s say you have a large number of SKU’s. What you’ll want to do is not go direct to the sale of the physical product.

You want to build up a fan base, right? A group of people who are engaged with your fan page. And the way that you do that is you create a fan page that’s related to your store. Maybe not your brand name fan page. Like let’s say you sell plus size women’s clothing and your brand is Americana.

Your fan page might not be Americana, it might be like I’m Big and I’m Proud, and Natural Beauty, and then you post pictures and images of people in that category having positive experiences. And you’d market those pictures and images to interest groups. So people who are fan pages of other businesses in that area.

People who fit that demographic. And you build a list of fans. And then you would run direct response promotions to that group of fans. That works really, really well. That’s fundamentally an overview, an eagle eye view of the model that works for if you’ve got 5,000 SKU’s.

You build up a community and then you do direct response ads to that community over to your ecommerce business.

Kurt Theobald: Ezra, the one thing I know…I get a response on this particular type of approach is, I think merchants are really scared to do this kind of thing, because it’s an indirect approach. They’ll say “I’m going to pay all this money for all these fans? And why do I care about fans? I don’t want a bunch of fans. I want a bunch of customers.”

And so how do you respond to that? Because I hear what you’re saying and I totally agree with you, but how do you respond to that challenge?

Ezra Firestone: Well, I would just ask them if they wanted to make money. [laughter] Like, here’s why.

Kurt Theobald: Just ask, “Sir, do you want to make money or not?”

Ezra Firestone: Here’s the reason. Let me tell you the main reason that people…I coach and consult with a lot of business owners from the low six figure level to the high eight figure level. And the people who are trying to move from six to seven figures, the main block–the main reason that they’re not moving there is they’re not spending enough money. It’s like that statement in Spider Man,” With great power comes great responsibility.”

Remember that one? Well, you flip that around. With great responsibility comes great power. If you want to do well, you’ve got to spend. You’ve got to reinvest that money into your advertising. If you’re not 50% of your profits back into advertising your business, you’re not scaling as fast as you possibly could be. And this model works really well. I’m using it in my business right now.

Yes, it’s a long game. We’re farming here. We’re planting seeds of a mango tree that’s going to fruit for 30 years. We’re not just going to try and spear a fish. So hey, if you don’t want to take that long term vision and that long term approach to your business and build a real asset, that’s cool. I just think it’s a ridiculous response. It’s like…it’s not being willing to invest and play the long game.

Brett Curry: Ezra, I just want you to know that we first of all have a sales position at Classy Llama in case you’re interested. [laughter] And secondly, I think it’s amazing. You just ridiculed the merchant, and they’re still going to sign the work with you. You called them an idiot. You’re like, “Here….”

Ezra Firestone: I didn’t call them an idiot, because look: it’s not about that person. It’s that particular response.

Kurt Theobald: Right. Right. You’re not stupid. Your response was. I like it.

Ezra Firestone: Yeah. The response is actually an inaccurate…it’s not in touch with the reality of the way things are. And that’s why I feel so strongly about it. Because I know the way things are. Because I do it myself. So I have personal experience. I’m not just theorizing. I know for a fact that this campaign works.

And if you do it, it’ll work for you. You have to do it intelligently, but you can, because you’re brilliant and you follow Classy Llama.

Brett Curry: I think that’s the key. Because I was having a conversation with a merchant last week about Facebook. And they’ve got no measurement on Facebook. They’ve got a lot of fans, but they’re not…no sales are tangibly made from Facebook, and I think that’s why people are scared of it.

But you don’t worry about that if it’s measureable.

Ezra Firestone: Well here’s the way you make that actually work. You’ve got to have consistent, high quality, good, engaging content. If you don’t have consistent high quality good, engaging content, this will not work. You cannot just buy fans to a page that’s got nothing on it. Right? Got to be consistent. And will you have to pay to get your direct response messages in front of those fans of your page? Yes. But that’s fine.

You’re not going to get free visibility to those fans anymore. It’s not how Facebook’s edge rank or whatever it is works anymore. It’s hard. You get five percent of them with your posts. So you’re going to have to pay for that visibility to those fans, but it’s still ROI. So you’re going to get a fan for between 30 cents and a dollar in any given market, and that fan can pay you month over month.

And you’re going to pay to get your message in front of that fan, but if you’ve got 5,000 SKU’s and you’re engaging that community of fans with content, you’ll keep selling them stuff. And the lifetime value of that customer will be higher than what it costs you to acquire them and market to them.

Kurt Theobald: So Ezra, a question that I have is you’ve got…you mentioned something that I’m wondering about, is sometimes you want to have your own brand there on your fan page, and sometimes you want to create, like a topical fan page. Is there some guidance that you can give for when you do one or the other?

Ezra Firestone: Well, I always have my own branded fan page that I send all my customers to in my email list. I always have my own branded fan page. And I am a fan of building brands. That’s what I like to do. So I run all my content from my branded fan pages. That’s how I do it.

A lot of people prefer to have a non-brand associated fan page that looks like it is indirectly pushing some other brand’s sales of their product. So it looks like, “Hey. We’re an arbitrary third party who are saying that this website is good and you should buy this stuff from this website.”

I don’t like to do it that way. They’re both effective. I frankly don’t think it makes much of a difference whether or not you do it on your fan page on some other type of fan page. It’s easier to advertise from “I Love My Body” than it is from “Boom by Cindy Joseph.” That headline in your ad, because the fan page name is in your Facebook ad, gets you a little bump and click-through rate, and sometimes we’ll run our ads from different fan page names just to test click through rate on the ad copy. But it’s always back to our main fan page.

Kurt Theobald: Okay. And ultimately I think what you’re saying is that it does come back to the hero, which is the content. You really do have to have that quality content. Brand or no brand, you’ve got to have that great content to drive that fan base.

Ezra Firestone: Totally.

Brett Curry: Ezra, you’ve got this funnel. You said you’ve perfected the system. I’ve seen some of the numbers. You’ve walked me through this. Let’s walk through some of the steps. How do you actually make this work?

Ezra Firestone: Okay. Set up a fan page. Produce awesome content, which could just be a picture once a day. Do intra-space targeting and run ads to that picture and that fan page to generate likes. Then run ads to the fans of that page with direct response links back to your sales page. Fundamentally that’s what it is.

Kurt Theobald: So content leading into direct ads related to products.

Ezra Firestone: Yeah. Content to engage the community and build the fan base.

And then direct response ads to the fan base and community. And get this: let’s say you have been running your content-based ads to acquire fans to a certain targeting group. Right? To a certain targeting group like people interested in plus size clothing or whatever. Or fans of this particular brand. Or people who like a fast food restaurant.

I don’t know. Whatever, right? So now when you’re running your direct response ads, you’re not just running them to the fans of your fan page, you’re running them to the same targeting group that saw all your other pieces of content. Because you’ll make sales from that targeting group as well even though they’re not your fans, because they’ve seen your content in their news feed.

So it’s all the people who are your fans as well as all the people that you’ve been targeting with your content who are not yet your fans. They’re just in the targeting group. It’s called third contact direct response advertising. They’ve had a couple…I mean, I have coined this term third contact direct response. It’s what we do in all of our businesses.

Brett Curry: Totally cool.

Ezra Firestone: We don’t hit people with a direct response advertisement until the third contact with us. That make sense?

Kurt Theobald: So in other words you’re promoting all of your direct response after you’ve hit them three times with that rich content.

Ezra Firestone: Whether or not they’re our fan.

Kurt Theobald: Whether or not–so you’re still doing that broad chute. So you can actually target within Facebook to say they have to have seen three things, have three impressions of our content before we target them. How do you set that up?

Ezra Firestone: You can’t. You can just target the same targeting group that has–

Brett Curry: Got it.

Ezra Firestone: –that you’ve been targeting with your content.

Kurt Theobald: So you just make sure you push out three pieces of rich content before you do that with that same segmented group.

Ezra Firestone: That’s right. And if you’re doing it properly, they’ve probably seen more content than that of yours.

Kurt Theobald: Okay.

Brett Curry: But I think the key is, you’re actually creating great content and you’re actually investing in that content. So you’re promoting the content that has no sales angle at all. Just fun, good quality content.

Ezra Firestone: Yeah.

Brett Curry: And then also promoting and paying for the direct response ads.

Ezra Firestone: And guess what else, sometimes that content is an article on your blog. And then they happen to be on your website and they’ll go. This content also sells. It soft sells. You’ll make sales, but it’s not the point of it. And when you are promoting an article on your blog, guess what’s on that page?

A retargeting pixel for Twitter, a retargeting pixel for Facebook, and retargeting pixel for Google. So you’re building re-marketing lists on all the platforms. Right?

Kurt Theobald: But I think it’s important actually to that point. If you’re driving traffic to that content, that you do create a good interlaced marketing with your content on your site as well, or on all your web properties to make sure that there are easy, clear paths to purchase from the engagement that you have.

Ezra Firestone: Yeah. And you know, hey. Look: we’re talking about two different types of content. Images that you promote on Facebook, and also links to articles on your blog. So if you’re going to link to an article on your blog, then you want to make sure that article probably recommends a couple products and whatever.

Kurt Theobald: So what about the nuances to that? You said there’s two groups: there’s those that have a lot of SKU’s, those that have a few SKU’s.

What are the nuances of how you structure this to be effective for those? Because I think we were talking about the larger SKU client or…

Ezra Firestone: If you have a few SKU’s, here’s how you do it. You don’t run traffic to build a group of fans. You do traditional direct response advertising, because you’ve only got a couple products to sell and you can’t send people directly from Facebook to your product page.

It won’t work. So you send people directly from Facebook to what I call a pre-sell engagement page. Which is basically a page that engages someone in a story about someone’s experience.

Let’s say it’s a weight loss product. “Hey, I’m Ezra and I’m a diet expert and a food detective. And here’s my experience, and I wasn’t feeling good in my body. I wasn’t feeling confident at the beach in the summer. Here’s why it’s relevant to you. Because you probably want to feel better in your body and feel confident at the beach in the summer. So this is the problem I was having.”

All about your experience. It’s sort of a story. Engage them in a story about someone’s life.

“And then here’s what I did about it.” You’ve got to explain the problem, right? Better than anyone else. If you look at copywriting, the person who can explain the problem that the customer is having the best is the one who sells the most.

“Hey, and this is what I did about it. These were my results, and this thing really helped me. And you can find out what this thing is on the next page.” You don’t tell them what it is. You just allude to the solution. Then basically what you’ve done now is, now they click that link to go to the next page.

Which is essentially a long form sales page for your product. So instead of now sending Facebook to a sales page where you’re chasing someone to buy, you’ve sent them from Facebook to page where you’re engaging them in a story about something that they now decide on their own accord to go and look at the product.

They’re chasing your product instead of you chasing them.

Kurt Theobald: So it’s a lot more direct then. You’re driving them direct to that page that’s specifically designed to engage them, and draw them into that purchasing decision, rather than building up that fan base. Because they only have so few products, they can be much more surgically targeted to create that buying proposition to them.

Ezra Firestone: Yeah. You’ve got, what? Ten products, you know what I mean? It’s not hard to create a sales sequence for each of those products. And you can’t send them directly to your sales page. It’s not going to work very well. You want to send them to a piece of engagement that gets them involved in a story about the product that perhaps has an opt-in on it.

Maybe the first step’s an opt-in. You definitely have retargeting pixels. There’s many different ways you can structure that funnel. The best for us right now is Facebook to a landing page that’s basically an article on a blog that’s sort of like a news piece. Not news, but like, just a story about something that then moves on to a long form sales page for our product.

Sometimes we’re running them to an opt-in where we opt them in, and then we follow up with them with emails in case they don’t buy.

And each time, we’ve got a retargeting pixel on the pre-sell page. We’ve got a conversion pixel. Once they make it to the offer page, we can now see how many people went from our ad, landed on the pre-sell page, and moved on to the offer.

And we can manipulate and test the pre-sell page to get more people over to the offer. Then we’ve got a conversion on the thank you page so we can see how many people moved from the Facebook ad to the pre-sell page, to the offer, over to the–

Kurt Theobald: This brings us right back to what I think is really critical to understand that Ezra has been saying. We set this thing up, and bam! It works like magic, and everything, we’re just plowing in the business. Maybe that is the case, but you can make it a lot better as you tweak it, and as you make sure that that engagement page is working.

And like he’s saying, maybe you want to do opt-in. Maybe that works best where you create two touch points before the sale. And you do the engagement to create opt-in, then you send out an email

And then drive that through the email and then actually make the purchase. Or maybe you have to send them three emails to make the purchase.

But the point is you’ve got to tweak it, test it, turn it. Change it. And find out what is that chemical connection that works with the end user and connects with them. Ezra, can you speak to that? I mean, how long does it take?

Ezra Firestone: If you’re going to be buying contextual traffic, there are two things that you absolutely must be doing.

You must be placing re-targeting pixels on every piece of the page. Every page that they land on in your funnel. So that you have those different groups: engagement people. Sales page people. Buyers. And you can target them re-targeting differently, and you must absolutely be testing your funnel. It doesn’t make sense to drive traffic to a landing page that you’re not actively running a split test on.

Why would you do it? With targeted focused split testing, you can get between 20% and 100% boosts every single time, by testing the headline, and testing the messaging and the hero image and whatever else.

It would be ridiculous for you to not be running some kind of a split test. And you’re probably not going to be profitable the first time out. You’re probably going to have to test your funnel. We test all of our funnels. We fail more often than we succeed. But when we succeed, we succeed really big. Because that’s how it works.

Brett Curry: So here’s what’s interesting, Ezra. I think a lot of people probably are listening to this and saying, “Okay, I see now how and maybe why this works. But this feels a lot harder than just running Google AdWords, right?’ So turning on an ad that sends people directly to the page. Because that’s what merchants want to do. We want to run an ad, and send it to a page and have more buys. This has a few steps in it.

Ezra Firestone: Yeah, they don’t want to do any marketing. It’s a lot of marketing.

Brett Curry: Yeah, so to give people motivation, because I know this works. I know, you’ve shared with us some numbers. In terms of ROI, is this comparing to query based traffic through you and your businesses?

Ezra Firestone: Okay, let’s look at my mastermind group. Combined in the Blue Ribbon Mastermind Group, we’ve got about 25 people. Over 100 million dollars a year, you look at my businesses and some of the other businesses involved.

And I would say 75% of that volume is coming from contextual targeting. The thing about it is, once you get an offer that works, you can scale it much bigger than you can with query based traffic. And you know what? You’re going to have learned how to do traditional sales funnel marketing. Landing pages, sales pages, upsells. You’re going to have to learn a new type.

Brett Curry: Creating sales copy.

Ezra Firestone: Yeah. Copy. You’re going to have to learn a new type of marketing to sell your physical products. It’s not traditional big box retail where it’s just a page with an image and description. It’s a different style of marketing. Is it any harder? No. It’s all the same stuff. Marketing is messaging. It’s communicating why you think what you have is valuable to the consumer looking at that product. It’s just different, and it’s scary when you have change and difference.

But it’s also how you grow. I think that the ROI is significant. It also depends on…what are your margins? What market are you in? I’m spending $5 an opt-in in the business opportunity space right now. And that’s an expensive market. I’m spending $1 an opt-in in the self-help/beauty market. So it depends on your market, it depends on your margins, it depends on your products. Can it be extremely profitable? Of course. But it requires work and focused attention on learning this stuff.

Brett Curry: Yeah, absolutely. Very good.

Ezra Firestone: Was that inspirational? I hope it was.

Kurt Theobald: I remember having clapped a couple of times. It was pretty amazing. We actually almost did a fist bump and explode.

Ezra Firestone: There it was.

Kurt Theobald: We almost did it four times, but mainly because we need to practice. Anyway, Ezra thank you so much. It was super awesome to have you on.

I think one of the things we need to tweet out…so, you need to tweet this out…was, was Ezra really telling a story about himself when he said he didn’t like his body and he didn’t want to go to the beach? Was that actually a story about him? Or did he make that up as an example? I don’t even know. I don’t want to ask, because we can’t embarrass you on the live show.

Brett Curry: Ezra’s a surfer, Man. He surfs. So he’s probably pretty comfortable.

Kurt Theobald: Yeah. Maybe at some point it wasn’t that way. That’s the question.

Ezra Firestone: Was I a fat kid? Right, basically? [laughter]

Kurt Theobald: I guess that’s what…or, did you think you were, at some point? Were you insecure?

We need to know this. This is really important. I think it’s the most important takeaway from the show actually, is was this actually true with Ezra or not? The whole thing about Facebook being crazy and contextual ads being something we need to invest in, and really take a look at, that’s all…well, that’s just context.

That’s contextual. Oh my gosh. Layers.

So anyway…

Ezra Firestone: That was meta right there.

[laughter]

Kurt Theobald: So here’s the deal. This investment is a significant investment of effort, and focus, and time. And ultimately it’ll take money as well. We’ve got to put things at risk. But it’s one of those things, you take a few shots and you take them well. And we say it over and over and over again at Classy Llama.

Take your shots and take them really well. Deliver. Create more value by doing less. So focus on this really hardcore and make it work. And really think about it. There’s no such thing as the quick win in ecommerce. It’s just business. It takes work and effort, and you’ve got to think through, how are we delivering value?

I love this approach, because it’s all about building out content that really delivers value to the market.

Brett Curry: Valuable, that people care about.

Kurt Theobald: Exactly. So you’ve got to lead by giving them something that’s free and valuable, and you’re just trying to support them and help them. And then if they want to, they can buy.

Ultimately you create those opportunities for them, but the deal is start by giving something they can use and that’s valuable for free.

Brett Curry: I think one of the takeaways is you’ve got to move beyond ad to sale immediately. Like, we run an ad we sell a product, to thinking about a funnel.

Kurt Theobald: It’s just like any relationship. You can’t, whatever, pop the question right off the bat. You’ve got to build up a relationship and date for a little bit. You’ve got to build that trust. And I think that’s what this is all about.

Actually, I really love the shifts that have been taking place in ecommerce over the last five years or so.

Brett Curry: Good stuff. Good stuff.

Kurt Theobald: Because they’re really driving that trend towards demanding that the relationship really be there. It actually didn’t used to be easy. You would just throw up a site, throw up an ad on paid search or whatever. Or just get organic traction because there was nobody else competing, and boom!

Brett Curry: Yes, run some broad match keywords, who cares what you pay? And that’s just AdSense. Yeah.

Kurt Theobald: It’s just not the case anymore and I actually really appreciate that.

Because it means that the cream will rise to the top. So Ezra, thank you for helping us identify how that cream is actually rising to the surface right now, and how you’re making that happen for your clients. So Ezra Firestone, amazing name. Hippie contributor, winner of the trophy hands down this time. You can take a look at his site SmartMarketer.com and see what else he’s up to. It’s just tremendous how much content Ezra is driving through his site.

I strongly recommend it. Follow it, because he’s constantly driving quality traffic.

Brett Curry: And you know what I think we should do, Kurt?

Kurt Theobald: What?

Brett Curry: I think we should have Ezra on again, maybe regularly even, and start talking about the other ways to drive traffic.

Kurt Theobald: Yeah. Let’s focus on contextual advertising specifically. Does that sounds good to you Ezra, as a focus?

Brett Curry: Specific facets of that, and how you…

Ezra Firestone: You guys are putting me on the spot on the show. I can’t really say no. [laughter]

Brett Curry: We gave you a trophy, we said you’re cool. You’ve got to keep coming back.

Kurt Theobald: That’s right.

Ezra Firestone: I’d love to come back. I think what you guys are doing here is very cool and very needed for the community. So I’m happy to be a part of it, and I’m honored that you guys want to have me on the show.

Brett Curry: Cool. Awesome.

Kurt Theobald: Well, I appreciate it Ezra as always. Really appreciate it. We can say as always, because he’s been on once already. So now we can say that.

Ezra Firestone: No, I’ve been on twice! I’ve been on twice.

Kurt Theobald: I said once before. Sorry. Once before.

Brett Curry: We did three shows. We did a double header.

Kurt Theobald: That’s right. We did a double header. That’s amazing. Three shows, Ezra.

You’re like a star. It’s amazing. Anyway, hey: all of you can connect on social media. Let us know what you’re thinking, what questions you have. If something wasn’t clear.

Brett Curry: The topics you want us to discuss.

Kurt Theobald: Absolutely. We’ll answer your questions and deliver value that’s tailored to the people that are watching the show. So talk back and let us know what’s going on. So until next Friday at 11 a.m. Central Daylight Time…

Brett Curry: Llama Commerce.

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