Our guest on the sellerboard show was Mina Elias – a multiple 7-figure seller in the supplement industry, investor, Amazon PPC expert and founder of the Amazon advertising agency called Trivium Group.
We talked about:
- 3 quick PPC tips;
- Why does he use spreadsheets;
- A good time for brands to use DSP;
- Biggest mistakes people do with Amazon PPC
…and much more!
Watch the full video here.
Speaker1: [00:00:08] Hello, everybody. Fernando here from sellerboard. I have a super special guest today that needs no introduction. His name is Mina Elias. Enjoy. Welcome everybody This is Fernando from sellerboard and everybody’s like, Who the hell is this guy talking? Everybody wants to hear Mina Elias.
Speaker2: [00:00:36] Hey, man, it’s all good. Thank you so much for having me on the podcast. I know we went a little bit back and forth, but we’re here, and I’m ready to bring value.
Speaker1: [00:00:45] Yes. Everybody’s very excited to have you here. I mean, Elias, like I said, you are a water divider when you’re doing PPC. It is like before Mina and after Mina, when you start to see what you do, it’s a completely different world for you, for everybody. So thank you so much. I think this podcast is going to be amazing. Thank you so much for being here. All right. First question, I always start with this question. Tell us your story.
Speaker2: [00:01:14] My story. I’ll give you the short version. So I grew up in Dubai. I was born in Egypt, and I came to America in 2011 to become an engineer, you know, go to college for bachelors masters. So I did that, graduated top of my class, worked in corporate 9 to 5 new product development at a medical device company, and worked my way up the corporate ladder. I started fighting MMA in 2013 and have been training ever since. I train almost. Yeah, I trained like four or five days a week.
Speaker1: [00:01:45] Mma and Weight you went to, that’s a short version. You mentioned the longest one. You went from an engineer from Egypt to engineering to match Amazon seller.
Speaker2: [00:01:56] Yes, Yes. Wow. The Amazon seller part is coming. So in 2018, I was sick and tired of working corporate. I was unhappy with my life. I was waking up in the morning at 430, going to the gym, driving to work, working long hours, and coming back. I didn’t feel like I had a life. And so I just wanted something different. And I’ve always been passionate about supplements. And my dad asked me this question once while we’re on vacation. He’s like, Man, you do so much research into supplements, like, why don’t you create your own supplement? And that’s what kind of got me into figuring out how I can create my own supplement? I got the powders, ordered them on Amazon from bulk supplements, mixed them up at home, started giving them to my friends at the gym and they said, Man, like, we love this stuff. And so I tried to sell it in gyms and supplement stores. It didn’t work out. It was horrible. Very, very low conversion rate. And so I said, you know, I buy all of my supplements on Amazon. Like, let me let me get into Amazon. And so I decided to try getting into Amazon. Figured it out, got on Amazon. That was three weeks after.
Speaker2: [00:03:03] After that, three weeks after I decided to get into Amazon, I was able to list my product on Amazon. I sent an inventory. 500 units was my first thing. And then No, actually, no, no, no. That’s a lie. 100 units, 100 units, $500 is what it cost. 100 units was the first thing. And then I ordered another 200 and then 400 and then 800. And I became fully obsessed with how to make Amazon work because it was my light at the end of the tunnel and how I was going to get out of this 9 to 5 rat race. And so I became super obsessive. I consumed every piece of content that was in the Facebook groups asking 100 questions a day, watched YouTube, everything, webinar everything I could get my hands on, and I would learn something implemented, learn, implement, document, get the results. And, you know, six months in, I got fired from my job and that was the sign for me. I was like, okay, man, like, this is it like, what’s the worst is going to happen? I can just go back to being an engineer and living a horrible life anyways, so I might as well try this life. It can’t get any worse.
Speaker1: [00:04:06] And what engineer did you graduated Chemical engineering. Chemical? Yeah. Make sense?
Speaker2: [00:04:12] Yeah. So yeah, it makes sense for the supplements. So from then basically you know I continued selling on Amazon I and then I started sharing all of the information that I had learned on the Facebook groups and people kind of started asking questions that I figured out. And so when I was a beginner, I was like, What is this? Q What does this mean? How do I create a listing? You know, I didn’t understand anything. And then, you know, six, eight months later, I did understand stuff. So I started sharing back and I’m like, people are like, What is this? Q How is an auto campaign? And I’m just like answering these questions and people really loved, you know, what I was saying because I wasn’t giving advice. I was basically saying, Hey, this is what I did and this is what I’ve seen and this is what I learned. And, you know, do whatever you want with that information and versus like the people who are like the gurus and the experts and they kind of say this is the right way to do things. And I’m like, okay, prove it. Show me your your Amazon account. You can’t even can’t even talk about your brand publicly. But this is a story for another time anyways. So I was able to scale the brand and in 2020 we were doing 94,000 a month on Amazon. And then. Covid hit, and I started getting on podcasts like this, sharing valuable information. I had nothing to sell. I was just here trying to help people out. And then at the end of 2020 an aggregator hits me up and they’re like, Hey, we want you to train our in-house BBC team. Can you help us? I said, Sure, I can help.
Speaker2: [00:05:45] They’re like, Okay, but we want to test you on a brand first. So I said, Fine, I’ll do the PPC for your brand for one of them. And six like four months later, they said they were testing six other brands at six other agencies. And I beat all of the other agencies. And, and I know that this is an aggregator that had like two $300 Million raised so they could afford to hire the best. And so I was like, okay, maybe I’m good at doing supplements, but I’m really, really, really good at this PPC stuff. Maybe I should look into this as like something that I should do. And, and I know that people need help. And I’ve always been asked, like, Mina, I would love for you to run my PPC. Mina, can you please like, do this? And I always said, No, I just want to focus on my brand. I don’t want to run anyone’s PPC. And so finally in 2021, I decided to launch my agency, TRIVIUM, which is a PPC agency. We partner with brands and we run their ads and we’ve grown like crazy since then, like from three employees to 42 employees. We manage over 70 brands and we’re just trying to be the best and offer the most amount of value to brands and help them and help as many people succeed. And I’m sharing as much knowledge and value about PPC as I can because I know that there’s no secrets. I would love if everyone did it themselves, because then they’re going to hit a point where it’s cheaper to pay me because we’re going to do an amazing job and you can, as the CEO, focus on some other things, but that’s the short version of the story.
Speaker1: [00:07:18] You’re muted. Sorry, I was muted. Very cool. I loved this story. All right. Before we start the questions, what’s your favorite niche? Is it supplements?
Speaker2: [00:07:26] Supplements is my favorite.
Speaker1: [00:07:28] Nice. You chose a good one. All right, so let’s cut the good parts. Three tips for sellers right now. Three, three.
Speaker2: [00:07:40] Quick PBC tips. Okay. Number one, if you have campaigns with good ROAS, increase your budgets, even if you’re not hitting your daily budgets. You can go into the budget step actually and see how much percent sales you’re missing. But what I’ve seen is if I have a $50 campaign budget and it’s spending $35 a day, if I scale that to to $500 campaign budget, I might spend $150 a day. And if it’s a good ROAS, then you’re making more money and you’re more profitable. So that’s number one. Number two is go and look at all of your ad groups, the ones that have a lot of keywords 15, 20, 25, whatever sort, by sales. And then if you see any keywords that are not generating any sales or not getting spend, which if you have like 100 keywords that will be a lot of them, you can pause all of those keywords and launch them in their own campaigns. Single campaigns, single ad group, up to five keywords, and you’ll notice a big lift in there in your sessions and in your. Yeah, because, because now you’re able to give budget to those campaigns. And then the final thing is you need really good analytics, which I share a free template that everyone can download. It’s on Google sheets, but basically you should be tracking your PPC spend and your sessions because and your cost per session. Because as your PPC spend increases, your sessions should be increasing in your cost per session should be increasing a little bit or remaining the same. And if you’re not tracking that, you’re like you’re looking at PPC spend, you’re looking at ACoS, but you don’t understand the full effect because PPC only brings people to your listing, the listing conversion rate, that’s where the ROAS and the ACoS comes from, and that’s where the sales come from. If you’re not tracking the right metrics, you can’t make a good analysis, and I’ll give you the tracking sheet so everyone can download.
Speaker1: [00:09:30] Yes, please. And I watched you this earlier this week and I added on my list or my KPIs cost per session I want to keep track of.
Speaker2: [00:09:39] That’s good. Let me know what you think. Let me know because as you scale, your cost per session will go up. But then when your organic rank improves, your cost per session will go down. When you optimize your bids and you’re more profitable, your cost per session will go down and you can see how good your traffic is, because if your traffic is good, it means and you’re not happy, it means you have a conversion problem. Or you could be the same. Your ACoS could go from 30% to 50% and you’re like, what’s going on are ACoS is becoming worse. And I can say, hey, look at our cost of traffic. It’s the same. It’s your conversion rate that changed. That’s why.
Speaker1: [00:10:21] Spreadsheets or automated tool? I automated tool.
Speaker2: [00:10:25] First of all, it’s not I stop lying to every company software that says that they have. I, I would like to challenge you and prove to me that this is I. Because it’s not because you’re lying. Because maybe Elon Musk has A.I., but not, not, not you guys. So that’s number one. I like to stay away. On a serious note, I like to stay away from automation because it. The if so, there is certain tools, right? Atomic, PPC, ninja. There’s a few of them that are good PPC tools and it’s not automated. You you can just go through the data faster so you can say, show me all the keywords with spend more than $10 and no sales and optimize the bids and duplicate keywords. That is negatives. Yeah, exactly. Things like that. Those are tools that are useful because they allow you to make you do what you want to do faster. But when you do automation, what happens is, first of all, if it’s AI, you have no idea what’s going on. So first we can’t even talk about it. It’s a black box. You don’t know what’s going on and they’ll never tell you what’s going on because it’s probably marketing. And they just want to tell you that there’s some super magic that’s happening in the back, but there’s really nothing that can they can do that a human is not going to do. So that’s number one. Number two is if you are automating and you have some rules, if the cost is greater than 60% in auto broader phrase, add that keyword is negative.
Speaker2: [00:11:58] What’s going to happen is you’re going to have a period like Prime Day where seven days before Prime Day, all of your echos is going to go up, Prime Day hits, you know, your echo is going to shoot. Now, imagine you killed all of those keywords that are going that we’re going to convert. They’re just going to convert less profitably. You end up losing your shirt because it’s a computer. It’s a machine that doesn’t think and it’s just, okay, we’re automating, so we’re not going to think we’re just going to do. And so even my team, I prevent them. We have a software analytics and it’s only one way you can only read, but you can’t do any push. Why? Because I want to make sure that it is impossible for any sort of like, Oh, let’s just run this rule, let’s just do this thing right and then boom, you, you mess up an account. And what I’ve seen, we’ve taken over so many brands where we start running the ads and things improve and then they go back down. I’m like, Dude, what’s going on? Like, why would that happen? And I go and I look at the history tab and I see 10,000 changes happened yesterday at 12 a.m.. And I’m like, That’s weird. No human being is going to do that. Our companies are asleep, so we realize that there’s a software making a bunch of changes and overwriting everything. And sometimes you’ll notice this. It took the bit from a dollar to $4, from $4 to $0.20, $0.20 to a dollar.
Speaker2: [00:13:24] I’m like, See what’s going on? What’s going on here? And so beware, guys, if you’re going to use automation, you’re going to use software, be aware, look at the history, look at what’s happening. And if you really can’t keep track of like this is the number one thing with PPC, you’re going to make a change and you’re going to evaluate the effect of that change and then you’re going to make another change and then you’re going to evaluate the effect of that change. If you can’t evaluate the effect of a change, then like how are you going to make better decisions? And with a software when you’re making 10,000 changes, how can you evaluate what you did versus for me, I can go in and I can say, okay, I’m going to lower the bids for everything that’s above 50% ACoS, just just from the 50 to 70% range or whatever, or 70 to 100% range. And then I’m going to wait and see what happens. And maybe my ACoS doesn’t change, but all of a sudden my taco’s goes down, which means I’m more profitable, my spend goes down, but my sales stay the same. But my ACoS is still bad right now. What? Not now. I’m like, okay, what I did worked when I when I lowered the bid for 70 to 100% ACoS. It didn’t show in the ACoS, but it showed that my overall campaign, my overall account performance improved, including the organic. And then people will say, Oh, well, that’s the organic.
Speaker2: [00:14:43] I’m like, Tell me one thing you’ve done to affect your organic nothing because you can’t do anything unless you’re doing certified by. You can’t do anything unless maybe you’re doing influencer campaigns or all of and driving external traffic. You’re not doing anything. So don’t pretend that you even have any control of the organic. The PPC is the only thing you have. The control of organic changes too. And here’s the thing that most people don’t don’t realize is that sometimes the organic is actually PPC, but Amazon is not attributing things correctly. So you’re saying, okay, I increased my spend from 100 to 150. Hours a day. My pubic sales used to be 500. They became 550. My total sales used to be 700. Now there are 1000 and you’re like, Oh, well, PPC sales only increased by $50. That’s not good. I’m like, So what else did you do that would make your your overall sales increase that much? You didn’t do anything. It must be the PPC. Let’s cut it back down. We cut it, We cut it back down. The total sales go back down. I’m like, Tell me now, why did the organic change? And it’s like, okay, you’re right. And that’s what we we have to prove all the time. It’s like, let me prove to you that as I change, my PPC goes up, my total sales go up, my PPC goes down, my total sales go down, and then people are like, okay, okay, we understand that it affects it.
Speaker1: [00:16:04] Got it. Why do you use spreadsheets?
Speaker2: [00:16:07] What else are you going to use? You know what.
Speaker1: [00:16:11] Else you got to keep track of somehow?
Speaker2: [00:16:13] Yeah, you’re. You’re either going to use a pencil or paper or software, and software doesn’t have the full ability. So here’s the thing. Let’s talk about all of the different levers that we can pull on Amazon increasing bids, increasing budgets, increasing bid by placement or changing bids, changing budgets, changing bid by placement, adding negatives, launching new campaigns. I think that’s it. Right. And then sponsor brand display video, which is also like launching new campaigns. But for for optimizing bids, you can download a bulk sheet, you can create a macro where you input the different things that you want to do and change it. And to this day, right, I’m able to optimize manually because there’s not that much optimization that needs to take place. You know, people think it’s going to be like thousands of it’s not. It’s it literally takes me 5 minutes to optimize a product. So increasing or changing budgets and bid by placement, again, all in a bulk sheet, you can create a simple macro or you can scroll and just show all of your campaigns with the budgets sort by ROAS. Okay, I want to increase these ones. I want to decrease these ones. That’s it takes 2 seconds. Launching campaigns is that’s the one that you need something for. And guess what? Most software companies, they they can’t do it the way you want to do it. So basically, if you click on keywords that are in the auto broad and phrase search terms that are unique, that are profitable, and you want to launch them in their own campaigns, guess what? You can do that. You I mean, if someone can do that, let me know. But you can’t. What you can do is you can add them to existing campaigns.
Speaker2: [00:17:56] But that doesn’t help me if I already have five keywords in a campaign. And I know that adding to an existing campaign is going to mess up. You know, you’re going to lose budget from other keywords that might be doing well. So in that case, you still have to launch them one by one. So I created a macro where I put a list of the keywords. I say, how many keywords per campaign I want, what’s the budget, what’s the bid? And then click a button and it creates the template and I upload it. So I mean, you know, like maybe the software is superior for visibility, I’ll tell you that much. And so we use we started using my real profit and we have our own custom spreadsheet there. Now it shows us things like advertise, product report. So for all of the brands that have like let’s say five flavor variations and we’re sending the traffic all to the different listings, we can see which which ads get the best click through rate. And if we see that a certain variation has the best click through rate, then we’re like, Hey, I’m noticing that the blue raspberry has the best clicked rate. I’m just going to send all the traffic there. Oh, I’m noticing that the mango pineapple has the best cookies. I’m going to send all the traffic there and then we can test. So getting that data easily is nice. Obviously, having my dashboard filled out automatically saves hours, hours of time. One thing that Atomic has, so atomic is coming with a few things. I don’t want to burn it, but number.
Speaker1: [00:19:25] One from from.
Speaker2: [00:19:27] Helium ten atomic From helium ten. I love atomic. I use atomic and but again, for visibility where it can show me based on the last five bids what my my cost was. Now here’s the kicker here’s the kicker they need to add conversion rate because if they don’t it costs depends on conversion rate. So if I’m seeing the bid and the X but not the conversion rate, it could be a false interpretation. I could be like, oh, at $1.50 I had a 50% conversion, 50% equals at $1.30, I have a 25% X And then but actually it’s because my conversion rate improved. It wasn’t because that’s the better bid. So that’s something that I have to do. And then the thing that I think they’re coming out with that is going to be super valuable is a list of all of your your keywords that you’re targeting their organic rank and their sponsored rank. So then you can say, okay, let’s look at these keywords with low organic rank, low sponsored rank, let’s increase the bids, let’s inflate them, let’s add those to keyword tracker and then monitor. Okay? Now my, my, my sponsored rank is higher. My organic rank is catching up. Okay, Now, that’s good. I’m going to cut down my my sponsored rank slowly so I’m not spending as much money, see if I can stay ranked organically and get sessions for free instead of having to pay for them. So that’s how I would use software. Those are valuable ways of using software, but depending on them for automation is. And that’s why I use spreadsheets.
Speaker1: [00:20:59] Wow, we got to spend more time on it stomachs. Awesome. I loved it. I got work to do. Why do you see most people are doing wrong with PPC?
Speaker2: [00:21:16] Okay. I mean, this is going to basically go back to like the audit. So we usually we audit any anyone who wants an audit, we audit their account and we look at the things that we’re doing wrong, that they’re doing wrong, and we tell them how to fix it. So first thing is using portfolios the way I like to use it, and I think it’s the cleanest. Some people I see have like portfolio for auto and for Broad and all this stuff and for branded. The easiest way is to keep the portfolio for the parent asset so that you can just click on your different products and as a portfolio and see their performance. So that’s the you now if you want to see branded versus non branded, then next mistake I see them make is campaign nomenclature. The way that we do it is we have a product code so hydrolyzed and flavored is like H two dash SP for sponsor product is B for sponsor brand as D for smart displays. So we know the type dash and do space dash space. So you can actually it’s searchable because if it’s dash then you won’t be able to search it. Very good then then yeah. Then the type of close match, loose match complement substitutes broad phrase, exact product targeting, category targeting, those are all the different types.
Speaker2: [00:22:23] So have that listed. Then from there, the purpose of the campaign is it branded, is it ranking? Is it whatever it is, targeting this guy, targeting that guy, if you’re like maybe targeting a targeting liquid ivy? Because when I have a campaign that targets that competitor, have that or newest arrivals have that, then the source of the keyword. So they come from helium ten, they come from the search term report that it come from data dive, whatever it is. And so that’s how we like to name the campaigns. And it’s so easy to identify what’s going on and it’s searchable. So I can show me all of my branded campaigns how they’re performing, show me all of my category campaigns, how they’re performing, and it’s very easy to identify. Then the next mistake we see is we go into the campaigns and we go to the placements. And if you if you are performing really well in a placement, you’ll see that three different placements, top of search, first page product pages, and then rest of search. Rest of search just means everything. That’s not the top of the search. So if your top of search first page or product pages is ROAS is better and click through, it is better than than the others, you can increase the bid by placement by a certain percent saying, let’s say it’s 20%.
Speaker2: [00:23:34] So you’re telling Amazon, I’m willing to spend 20% more on the bid if you’re going to show me in that position, because based on the data, I perform better at the top of the search. First page, for example, that’s the next mistake. The mistake after that multiple ad groups. What I’ve seen is I set a budget and if I. Of like $50 a year. $80 there? Why? I don’t know. We can’t control the budget per ad group. And some people might say, well, if you have a big enough budget, then you should be fine. And that’s not the case. We still are noticing that you can have a 10,000 a day budget to add groups and they’ll just. It just performs very weird and and like. Performance is hindered. The split is different so we stay away from that. And then once we’re in the ad group, the number of keywords per campaign, the number of keywords in the ad group, if you for me five is like a nice sweet spot. Sometimes you even need less if you have high search volume keywords, putting high search volume with low search volume keywords, what you’re going to notice is all the money is going to go to the high search volume.
Speaker2: [00:24:37] Even if you have $1,000,000 budget, all of the money is going to go to the highest search volume. Nothing is going to go to the lower search volume. That’s just what I’ve seen. You can test it out. Anything that I’m saying, guys, test it out. I’m an engineer. I’m a scientist. You can go test my theory and then change one thing and then tell me. Now, I tested this and this is the result. So if you have a lot of keywords in a campaign sort by sales, everything that’s not getting any sales anyways doesn’t matter. Pause it, launch them in their own campaigns. Then we’re going to look at the search report, identify anything in auto broad and phrase that is like has a high spend and no sales or a very high cost. You can add those keywords as negative that will save you a lot of bleeding. The biggest problem is people don’t check that regularly enough and they don’t check good enough intervals. So you need to check intervals and you can always go. So you can check like last 30 days at is negative and then every day look at last 30 days, because today the keyword could have spent $1, tomorrow it could have spent ten. And that puts you over the threshold.
Speaker2: [00:25:44] And so if you’re if you’re not always looking back far enough and taking into account the new changes, if you negative a keyword, it should just cap. So you’re like, okay, it’s already negative. We don’t have to worry about it. But it could be that yesterday it spent $2, today it spent $10. If you look if you don’t look at the right date range, you’re not going to catch it. And then the inverse of negative keywords, which is we look at like keywords that are profitable, but they’re unique. So a big thing is people will find keywords in auto broad and phrase search terms that are profitable, good ACoS. What they’ll do is if they’re already being run somewhere else, they’ll create a new campaign. And what happens is that keyword that’s already performing well, you might launch it again with a higher bid and that one drops, so the sales will fall. So you lose the sales here and you’re not guaranteed to get the sales here. And so that leads me to the final mistake that they make, which is yeah, which is that they when they find the keyword in in a campaign like an auto campaign that’s profitable, they will take it to put it in a new campaign and pause.
Speaker1: [00:26:51] That, oh my God, don’t do that. Campaigns have history.
Speaker2: [00:26:55] Yeah. And what happens is you are not guaranteed to make sales on that new keyword that you just launched. So what what happened to me and I hurt it hurts me is that I pause the keyword, lost money and then launched it and it didn’t make any money. And I said, Why? It said the same cost per click. It’s the same everything. And it’s because that’s the Amazon algorithm. It’s not controllable, it’s not in your control. So you could do everything. It’s human behavior. It’s super randomized in this campaign, and it could be showing between 12 and 2 p.m. in this campaign. It could be showing between eight and 9 a.m.. And and that’s a bad time for that. Who knows? We don’t know all the nuances of the Amazon algorithm. So if something is working, just don’t kill it, don’t pause it. And, you know, I obviously learned that the hard way because on YouTube they say, Oh, you’re going to migrate or you’re going to graduate the keyword from one campaign to another. And I’m like, Bro, please don’t do that. Please don’t pause a keyword that’s working because it’s going to hurt you. And so those are some tips, man. Hopefully that’s a useful stuff.
Speaker1: [00:28:03] Question for you Do you like to do top of search adjustments like 400 to 100%?
Speaker2: [00:28:11] Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. If if I notice that we are winning, not now. I’m not going to lower my bid because I’ve noticed that that doesn’t work. Like Amazon is not stupid where you I mean, at least it’s not stupid anymore. Maybe it used to be, but if you try lowering the bid from a dollar to $0.20 and then do like a 500% top of search just to win all of the top of search impressions, only I that stop working. Right. But so for me, if I’m seeing a top of search that’s doing well and I have less than like 70 or 80% top of search impressions, share, I’ll continue to increase the top of search placement up until I have like a significant amount, like 50% of search impression share.
Speaker1: [00:28:53] Got it. Do you? I think you kind of lose control when you let Amazon increase top of search or do you like doing that anyways?
Speaker2: [00:29:02] I mean, you could honestly I mean, we’ve seen it work, but you can test it. You can say, okay, let’s do a type of search and pressure by 100% or go from $1 to $2. But if you notice that, oh, like I went from a dollar to $2, my impressions on the top of search was 500. They became 600 and the rest of search went from 1000 to 3000. Then you’re just like showing up more in the rest of the search than you are showing in the top of the search.
Speaker1: [00:29:30] Got it. Got it. Love it. I wanted to ask you about DSB and I wanted to talk to you about because Amazon is showing a sponsor display outside of Amazon tube. So sometimes and when you look at the DSB dashboard, it looks like a sponsor display. So.
Speaker2: [00:29:56] No, no, no, no, no. I can share with you right now it looks completely different.
Speaker1: [00:30:00] No, no. I mean, the ads not not the dashboard. And my question is, when is the point that a branch should start doing DSB? And what why is it better than sponsored display?
Speaker2: [00:30:13] Okay, good question. Sponsor. Display. Sponsor display is like a bicycle with like the two things on the side so you don’t fall. And then and then DSB is like like a BMW motorbike. It’s very, very, very different. So I don’t know how people, people I don’t know what the why they’re like, what sponsor display is the same. It’s not the same. So here’s, here’s what you can let me talk to you about DSB what it is. Let’s first talk about it and very quick disclaimer. You don’t need to spend $30,000 minimum and all this bullshit. Anyone can do it. I spent 1000. I got a seat, I got a rdsp seat, and I was spending on my nutrition like 1000, 2000. I was figuring it out.
Speaker1: [00:30:55] Can you share the link with us so we can get rdsp for 1000 per month?
Speaker2: [00:30:59] No, you just hit me up. It’s. It’s through an agency.
Speaker1: [00:31:02] Oh, cool.
Speaker2: [00:31:03] Yeah, I can. Only you can. You can only do it through an agency. Yes. And so agency. So I met some agency back in the day, lied and said, like, you need a 30,000 minimum. And I think maybe it was like you need a you need a 30,000 minimum to work with us. But they made it sound like you need a 30,000 minimum. And that’s what Amazon said. So, you know, I think that’s maybe what happened. But anyways, so anyone can can run it. You’re like, if you come to us, we’re going to say, Listen, we’re going to charge you the same whether you run 1000 or 50,000, you know what I mean? And that’s where, like I’m thinking other agencies charge a percentage of spend. So that’s why they’re like, okay, like 1000 and they charge you 10%. That’s $100. Obviously, no one’s going to run it for $100. So there is a minimum minimum agency fee associated with that. So anyways, what is DSP now? Dsp is Amazon’s demand side platform where you can utilize Amazon’s audiences and first party data so you can get audience information like show me or create an audience for everyone who’s purchased my product in the last year, everyone who’s purchased my competitor’s product in the last year, everyone who’s visited my competitor’s product in the last year but hasn’t purchased from them in the last 30 days, something like that. Right? You can create these audiences and you can target people on and off of Amazon, so you can target on Amazon.com regular, you can target on IMDB, which is also owned by Amazon.com.
Speaker2: [00:32:34] You can target on the mobile app or on the on the mobile web, or you can target on third party sites and Amazon’s publisher sites. So, you know, whatever, like think like Men’s Wearhouse type, Men’s Men’s health. What is it called? Men’s health, Right. Yeah, Men’s health, Men’s Fitness, whatever it’s called. Think of like those kinds of publisher sites. And so what you can do is so for me, like what? I’m building a strategy for a brand. This is what I’m doing, let’s say like a regular supplement brand. I’m saying, okay, we’re we’re not going to test off of Amazon. We’re going to focus on Amazon because we know that people who are on Amazon are really interested in buying. And we’re going to we’re going to segment people who are shopping on the desktop or on the mobile app or on the mobile web. And obviously those are the most expensive places to advertise, but it’s the best ROI. That’s why they’re so expensive. And then we’re going to build some audiences. So I build this funnel and the top of the funnel is called the bottom of the funnel is warm and cold means they don’t know you or they’re whatever, and then warm means they’re ready to buy you. They’ve seen you, they’re familiar with you. And so the bottom is loyalty.
Speaker2: [00:33:42] So everyone who’s purchased from me in the last year but hasn’t purchased in the last 30 days or 90 days, let’s remind them, Hey, come on, man, you purchase from us, like come back. And then we moved to to retargeting. Or we can move to like cross selling actually before retargeting, cross selling everyone who’s purchased from me this product but hasn’t purchased anything in the last 90 days. Let’s say like you’re selling a men’s wallet. So like, Hey man, we have this other men’s accessory that is, that is cool for you. Like, are you interested? We have this cool man’s glasses or whatever, you know, something like that. So across selling, then we move up to retargeting. Everyone who’s viewed me in the last 30 days but hasn’t purchased me or my competitors, so I’m like, okay, this is someone that showed interest but hasn’t purchased any of us. Let’s remind him, Hey, I exist. Then we move up competitor targeting everyone who’s either viewed or purchase. These are two different audiences. But let’s say everyone who’s viewed my competitors in the last 30 days but hasn’t purchased from any of us in the last 30 days, so they’re still on the market they haven’t purchased. Then we move up people, complementary products. So yesterday I was talking to a guy who sells vitamin C mask, right? Clay mask. And I’m like, Dude, we’re going to target this vitamin C serum that is doing $1,000,000 a month in revenue.
Speaker2: [00:35:03] We’re going to target everyone who’s purchased from them, you know, but but hasn’t purchased like something like one of your competitors because they’re interested in vitamin C serum, They’re interested in vitamin C mask, clay mask. So that’s another level. And then we keep going up, like in market people who are in market for for that product and we build it up. Now the low bottom of the funnel is going to have amazing return on that spend, but it’s a small thing that’s going to dry up quickly. So you have to build the top of the funnel. So and I would say you should be evenly segmented. So 2000 for loyalty, 2000 for retargeting, 2000 for competitor, 2000 for complementary product and so on. And 2000 is just kind of like a minimum that I would recommend in ad spin. And your goal for everything above retargeting is just to, to bring clicks, to bring clicks, new clicks. So people see you and they click on you, boom, you caught them. Now they go into your retargeting funnel and you continue to retarget, retarget, retarget. And anyways, by the way, anyone who views so your competitor targeting your, your complementary product, all of these targeting, that’s not retargeting, all of them are going to have a horrible ROAS because your, your, your retargeting is the one that’s going to take all of the credit when they purchased. So only look at click through it and detail page view rate as your main KPI for anything above retargeting and then for retargeting when you’re looking, you’re looking at ROAS as a metric, but you’re also blending the entire thing.
Speaker2: [00:36:30] So you’re looking at the retargeting, the competitive targeting, you’re summing the total spend, you’re summing the total sales and you’re coming up with the total ROAS based on all of the ads levels that you’re running and that’s where you’re like, okay, truly I am. I am spending 10,000 and making 30,000, but it’s going to look something like you’re spending 2000 on retargeting and making 28,000 and then spending like 8000 on the other ones and making 1000. And it’s going to be like a horrible role as But in reality, if you look at it combined, you’re doing well. And the good thing is, number one, like look at your new two brand metric. If you if your percent new to brand is good, I would say like 20% or more. You’re bringing new people like that have never purchased from you in the past. You’re bringing them into your audience. So that’s a benefit of DSP. But also keep in mind that your ROAS on, on on regular PPC is going to be better than it is on DSP. So DSP is there always is going to drop, but you are going to be able to scale your total revenue. And honestly, that is, that is the truth is if you start on Amazon, you know, when, when you first start your raw is going to be horrible because you have no reviews over time, you’re going to have a nice, beautiful listing, you’re going to have good reviews and that’s going to be you’re going to hit a peak with your ROAS and then it’s just going to be downhill.
Speaker2: [00:37:51] It’s going to there always is going to keep getting worse, but your revenue is going to keep getting bigger and then you’re going to deploy DSP and then their revenue is going to be worse there. But your revenue sorry, the ROAS is going to be worse there, but your revenue is going to keep getting bigger. So and think about it this way, like $10 million companies or whatever, they usually have like ten, 15, 20% profit margin and then $1 million companies, they usually have 30 or 35% profit margin. It’s just just kind of an example, right? And $100 million companies are going to have 5 to 10% profit margin. And so that’s usually like if you look at it generally in business, that’s how things are. The bigger you are, your profit margin will go down, but you’ll have more profit in terms of like a dollar amount. And so, you know, obviously this is not like the rule. I’m just giving kind of an idea of what things have looked like and this is based on my experiences. But yeah, that’s DSP in a nutshell.
Speaker1: [00:38:49] Nice. Okay. What’s what’s the what do you think is the threshold that a company should start invest in DSP? Like when you reach 100 k sales per month.
Speaker2: [00:38:58] There is no there is no revenue threshold. If you have a good conversion rate, if your PPC is converting well, if you’re like spending more on PPC and you’re like really kind of like starting to stagnate, that’s when you should go for the DSP. It’s not at a revenue number, but if you if you have a good conversion rate, you’re going to be you’re going to do fine. But you should, you should I mean, I would say honestly, like you’re selling at least 1000 units a month, that’s that would be the bare, bare minimum, at least 1000. Anything under 1000. You definitely not not tap to the full potential of PPC, but then as you scale that PPC and you start noticing that you’re slowing down a little bit. To speak and bring new audiences to your to your listening.
Speaker1: [00:39:40] And by the way, guys, you have to do DSP with an agency. So I recommend Trivium just hit up mirror and start DSP now. Do you want to talk about your weekly process for managing PPC?
Speaker2: [00:39:53] Yes. Thank you for bringing that up. Man, you’re asking all the right questions. It’s almost like someone told you to ask this question.
Speaker1: [00:40:02] No, I’m kidding.
Speaker2: [00:40:03] Okay. Weekly process of managing PPC. What I like to do is I fill out my analytics sheet and I can see week on week what’s happening. Now, I usually set one goal. My goal is to either scale or to optimize. When I’m scaling, I’m increasing spend, increasing revenue, but my profit is going to go down when I’m optimizing. I’m now cutting down on the spend anything that didn’t work, all of the inefficient stuff. And I’m getting hopefully losing only a little bit of revenue and getting more profit. So I’m picking a goal. And usually like I’ll start with scaling, right? That’s that because that’s what’s going to make you more profit at the end of the day. And we’ll for two or three weeks. My goal is to scale. Now when I’m scaling my I’m looking in my analytics sheet that week over week, my PPC spend goes up, my sessions go up, my unit session percentage and click through it, kind of stay the same. They don’t like tank or anything. My cost per session is going to go up a little bit because I know that the traffic I’m sending is not going to be all qualified. My sales are going to go up. That’s also because because if my conversion rates the same and my sessions go up, my sales should go up and then my profit, I’m expecting it to go down a little bit because basically scaling is you’re testing new keywords and all this stuff and you don’t know some of it’s going to work, some of it’s not going to work. And then the actions that I’m taking on Amazon to do that is I’m increasing bids for keywords that are profitable.
Speaker2: [00:41:24] I’m launching new campaigns, I’m increasing budgets, I’m increasing bid by placement and potentially launching sponsor brand display and video. There is a pitfall there. If you what I’ve seen is when I’ve launched sponsored brand display or video or whatever brand brand or display video, headline search, all of these things, what I’ve noticed is that. A lot of the times it’s the same people that are clicking on two ads. So it’s costing me more money but not generating me enough new sessions or new revenue, which comes at a loss almost. And so I only try and use sponsor, brand display and video. Those kind of things in areas where I’m not ranked organically and I’m not ranked and sponsor, maybe it was too expensive or whatever. And I test a different type of ad, which is the sponsored video, and maybe sponsored video is going to be more effective than running PPC only in those specific keywords. And you have to be tracking your keywords for for you to know where. So those are the actions. When we’re thinking in terms of scaling, I’ll take those actions, increase bids. How much do you increase bids by 10 to $0.15? I don’t like to go any more than $0.15, You know, even if it’s a $3 bid, I just want to slowly inch my way up. I’d rather do it a few times a week instead of like a huge uncontrolled increase. When I’m increasing budgets, I always like to increase by as much as possible. If it’s profitable, it should make me more money. Bid by placement. I’ll usually do 20 to 30% because I don’t want to. Too much of a scale. So 20 30% bid by placement.
Speaker1: [00:42:58] That sounds very reasonable.
Speaker2: [00:43:00] That’s. Yeah. So those are kind of the main actions that I’m taking and launching campaigns and I try not to launch a crazy amount of campaigns, maybe ten campaigns at a time and monitor and see what happens. Now, when I’m trying to optimize, I’m looking to see that my PPC spend over time is going down. So PPC spend is going down, sessions are not dropping that much. Conversion rate is improving, click through, rate is improving, sales are are not dropping that much. The cost per session is dropping by a good amount and then profit is increasing. So those are my metrics that I’m tracking on my analytics sheet. And over time that should happen more and more. And the actions that I’m taking there is the opposite lowering bids. I don’t touch the budgets, right? I only lower the bids if the budget keep the budget high because you can control how much you’re spending through the bids, lowering the bid by placement. That didn’t work. So maybe I’m like, Oh, this is a good one. Increase by 30%. Now it’s bad, lower back, bring it back to zero. Then I’m adding negatives. So I’m going into the search term report identifying all the auto broad and phrase campaigns, sorting them by the keywords that have high spend. For me, for a $30 product is anything above $15 and no sales or anything that’s an over an 85% equals taking those keywords, adding them as negatives in that specific ad group, not in all ad groups, because it could do bad and this one and could do amazing in that one.
Speaker2: [00:44:30] And then yeah, if they’re a sponsor brand display or a video that I had launched and I’m noticing that hey, since last week, spend went up by like $100 and then total sales went up by $100, That’s the one zero as on on the on the on those. Right. I don’t care what it tells me. When I look at the sponsored video campaign, it says it’s a6070 as I’m looking at the net effect of spend and sales. And so if that happened, then I’m cutting those down and those are the levers that I’m pulling, and that’s honestly everything that you can do. Then there’s like all the little things which you can try ranking for organic and you can do this and that, but those are the main that’s my main process. If I’m scaling or if I’m optimizing, I have a single goal and I try to scale for three weeks, optimize for three weeks, and I try not to go back and forth too much because I also notice that there is a delayed effect. So it takes a little bit of time for you to notice the the outcome of your actions and that’s it.
Speaker1: [00:45:32] Wow. Why did you decide to start a PPC agency?
Speaker2: [00:45:42] Why? I mean, I told you kind of in the in the story, but it was because I was doing it for the aggregator. I noticed that. I mean, I’m doing very, very well. I’m really good at it. It’s aligned with my goals. Like, I’m going to still have the freedom of time, the freedom of location, the being able to add value to people, which in turn will give me money. Because the more value you add to people, the more money you’re going to get paid. So it aligned with everything that I was doing. I was good at it. I knew that there was a lot of people out there that are hurting people by by saying that they can do it. Well, you know, big example, the people on fiber. So I said, you know, why not? I can do a lot of help. I can help a lot of brands. And, you know, kind of like my goal right now is to just scale the agency and then maybe keep building an internal team. Like we have a really, really, really good team. We’re almost at the point. So we’re launching one of our employees brands. We’re launching my fiance’s brand, we’re relaunching it. It did amazing. We’re launching one of the brands that I created but never put on Amazon because I put it on pause to focus on the agency. And we have also a second employee or one or two other employees that want to launch their own brand. So I’m thinking like we launch these brands, we get everything so good, and then at some point we exit. I exit the agency and I start a new brand and then put the money there. So who knows? But that’s kind of my my plan right now.
Speaker1: [00:47:12] Okay, So I’m an engineer. You are an engineer. Tell me how being an engineer helps help us. You with Amazon PPC.
Speaker2: [00:47:23] So I think Amazon, BBC, a lot of it is being systematic, being organised, doing controlled experiments, which means changing one variable at a time and understanding the outcome of the variable that you’re changing pattern recognition, problem solving. And so all of these things is exactly what we as engineers do. And I was building sops and systems and organising things and, and testing different variables back as an engineer. And so that’s really all really helped me when I started managing PPC. I’m like, Oh, perfect, I’ll put everything in a spreadsheet. I’ll start noticing the trends. And the biggest outcome of that is my analytics template, which I think thousands of people now are using. And it’s just been kind of awesome to see that it’s a valuable thing. And all I did was I took the same information we’ve always had and I just formatted it in a way that was much more organized and much more easy to recognize patterns and trends, and that’s pretty much it.
Speaker1: [00:48:26] Okay, Next question. These next question, I’m very curious to know the answer. They I and I’m glad this question is here on our and our interview. If you were an Amazon seller, if you work with Amazon Brands, what is the path that you suggest you become? As good as you and I PPC.
Speaker2: [00:48:52] Och, och, that’s a good one. So if you’re a brand or like a founder of a brand on Amazon and you want to get as good as I am on BBC at BBC, here’s what I suggest you do. The first thing is I have a full training on helium ten. So if you’re a helium ten member, which I’m assuming 100% of the people here are go watch it.
Speaker1: [00:49:14] Let’s watch this now.
Speaker2: [00:49:16] Let’s it’s 35 videos and I show you exactly how I do everything, how I optimize bids, bulk sheets, all of this stuff. The only way after that is practice, practice, practice, practice. I can teach things all day.
Speaker1: [00:49:28] What about your select group?
Speaker2: [00:49:31] Oh yeah. I mean I have a that’s also so we, I have a paid Slack consulting group for the people who are can’t afford the agency need to do it themselves. It’s $200 a month. You’re in a group with me. My team are consultants and there’s a channel for everything. So there’s a channel for PPC, DSP, Wal Mart listing optimization, SEO launching. Yeah. And then you can just ask all of the questions you want and get your answers immediately.
Speaker1: [00:50:00] So I’m going to regret Let me in.
Speaker2: [00:50:03] Oh, don’t worry. Don’t worry. I got you any question you have, I’ll answered. So yeah, I mean it’s the most affordable way for you to do consulting and, you know, so if you want to pay for my time, it’s 1000 an hour. If you want to pay for another consultant, it could be 203 hundred an hour. And so in this case, it’s like, what about the people that need the constant help and support but just can’t afford to to pay for consulting all the time or whatever? How do you ask a question and get it from from a source like me, someone who’s launched their own brands works with so many brands, over 70 brands. So there you go. I made a solution and the team is there. So if I ever get busy and by the way, all of our training, all of our SOPs, all of our templates, sheets, everything is all in there. So you have access to everything my team has access to. And my goal is to empower everyone to get really good and make a lot of money and then say, Oh, well, it’s all thanks to Mina, and then they hire us as an agency.
Speaker1: [00:51:01] Nice. Cool. Love it. Yeah. Mina, what’s your biggest win in business?
Speaker2: [00:51:09] My biggest win. Honestly, man, my biggest win is in August or end of July of 2020. I find them.
Speaker1: [00:51:19] During the pandemic.
Speaker2: [00:51:20] During the pandemic, I made I made enough money and I was able to buy my parents a car. And they’re in Egypt and they were always complaining about like public transportation, all this stuff. And, you know, listen, like I’ve done crazy things. I’ve spent thousands of dollars at super fancy restaurants. I’ve flown a private road, a helicopter, stayed at a hotel that costs 1500 a night like I did so many things. And nothing feels as good as like when you when you give the people you love, like something like a gift. Yeah, I give it back to them and take care of your family and stuff like that. So that was I still have that video saved on my phone. It was a live reaction. We lied to them and I said my cousin bought a new car. So they all went to like see the new car, but it had like a big bow on it. And it said, like my parents names. It was really cool, man. And that’s my biggest one. Honestly, it was back then because it was it was it was a lot like for me to save up to buy a car. And now obviously it’s like easier. But that was yeah, it’s still to me like one of my favorite moments from like being an entrepreneur.
Speaker1: [00:52:28] Wow. Okay. And what was or was your biggest struggle in business?
Speaker2: [00:52:35] My biggest struggle in business. I mean, I’ve had a few. Right. One of them was like learning to let go when I the first one was like learning to hire good people. And it was so hard for me to find. I just didn’t know how to hire and acquire good talent. I finally was able to to figure it out. And so that was the biggest challenge. The second biggest challenge was learning to let go and learning that like you just have to give it to people, let them do it, and not not, not even give them SOPs. Like SOPs is one thing, but I’m talking like you just hire someone, you tell them the mission, and then you’re like, Listen, man, I just I trust you. I can’t watch everything. You have a scorecard you have. This is your KPIs you have to hit, and then that’s it. And then? Then you let them run with it. And now there’s so many things happening in the company that I don’t even know about. And it’s. It’s just because that’s it. I’ve hired the right people and put them in the right seats. And then I think another one, the first, the third and biggest one was I never hired the right consultants. And when I first started on Amazon, I just was, you know, me, I’m trying to figure everything out myself. But the biggest life hack ever was to is to find people that have accomplished what you want to accomplish and then just pay for their time to teach you how to do it. And I’ve been able to do that with so many things with accounting, with marketing, with finance, with with operations, with with taxes. I’m just hiring these people. I’m like, Hey, I just want to pay for your time. Spend an hour with me. In that hour, you’re going to show me everything. And then our, our, our, our next thing you know, I know how to do what they’re what they’re doing well enough that now I’m confident in, like, hiring someone, delegating them. I can keep them accountable because I understand it.
Speaker1: [00:54:24] Nice. Love it, Mina. Okay. Our time is almost up. So last tips for Sellers 2022 Holiday season 2023. What do you do? You have like any any final words for them?
Speaker2: [00:54:39] Work hard, never quit before. A week before Black Friday, Cyber Monday. You should be lowering the bids. And definitely on Black Friday, Cyber Monday lowered the bids a lot because you’re going to have a lot of window shoppers. It’s amazing to make more money, but it’s horrible when you notice that you’ve tripled your sales, but you lost money or you broke even because of how much money you spend on PPC. So lower your bids, prevent the overspending on PPC and keep profits, even if that means less than than sales than you would actually get. Profit is what matters.
Speaker1: [00:55:15] Okay. 2023 Do you do you see? Do you are you expecting a recession? Something that we should be worried about?
Speaker2: [00:55:24] No, I don’t. I don’t I don’t expect I don’t expect anything that anyone should be worried about. I think you should just keep keep trying to make your product the best solution possible on the market. If you do that, you shouldn’t have a problem. Amazon is not going anywhere. People are still spending tons of money. You know, like if you’re not making money, it’s it’s because you’re not adding enough value.
Speaker1: [00:55:50] Wow. Phenomenal. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love. Guys, this was Minna Elias. Thank you so much for being here. Mina, thank you so much. We don’t know how it means for us. We’re. We’re super excited to have you. And we just an explosion of value. I’m going to have to watch this, like, four times and like, in 0.5 speed so I can catch up on all the details.
Speaker2: [00:56:17] I love it, man. I love it. Hopefully this was useful for everyone.
Speaker1: [00:56:20] I bet you was. I bet he was. Oh, my. Thank you, everybody. I’ll see you guys on the next episode. Thank you. And that was our interview with Mina Elias. Again, Fernando here from the sellerboard channel. Now what you have to do is go to sellerboard and click on demo and try the software if you are an Amazon seller. If you need to keep control of your expenses or your profits over inventory in follow up emails, everything, all the tools for you to manage your Amazon store properly, go to seller Broadcom right now, click on table. Check it out. You’re going to like it. I’ll see you guys on the next video. Bye bye.