Building Customer Relationships When Selling on Amazon | Seth Stevens | Shawn Hart
In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Seth Stevens and Shawn Hart - Co-Founders of Post Purchase Pro - How To Build Customer Relationship When Selling on Amazon, also more information about their journey. #PostPurchasePro
About Seth Stevens and Shawn Hart of Post Purchase Pro -
EMAIL MARKETING - Product Inserts Designed, Email & SMS Collection Funnels Created, Managed, and Hosted, Customer Email List Management, Email Service Provider Management Professional Email Sequences Written, Custom Follow-up Emails Created and Sent for All of Your Products, Ongoing Weekly Email Marketing that Drives Sales, Ranking, and Reviews, Holiday Email Marketing, Your Product Offers Scripted Within Each Sequence, SMS Marketing Management TOS Compliant Customer Opt-ins, Sell More Products, Launch New Products, Drive More Reviews Boost Page Rankings, Cross-Sell Other Products for FBT, Generate Repeat Orders
Find the Full Episode Below
Yoni Mazor 0:05
Hi, everybody. Welcome to another episode of prime talk today I'm having a really special episode because I'm having two guests instead of one. Usually, I do this one-on-one, but today is going to be two-on-one because we have a unique story to tell. So hopefully you guys will enjoy it. I'm having sets the events and Shawn Hart, both of them are the co-founders of post-purchase Pro. So Seth and Sean, welcome to the show.
Shawn Hart 0:27
Thanks for having us over here, Yoni. I name Shawn Hart. And, as you said, my business partner co-founder Steven set.
Seth Stevens 0:35
Yeah, guys. Thanks so much for having us, Yoni, we've been looking forward to the show today.
Yoni Mazor 0:41
Awesome. Awesome. So yeah, so both of you are working together on port post-purchase Pro. But the idea here and it's in your regards, a very heavily involved with E-commerce. But the idea is kind of to capture the story, the background story of each one of you, and then to kind of merge it when you both meet and create your journey together. So that being said, we're going to start with Sean, we're going to dive into who he is, right?
Yoni Mazor 1:03
He's going to share with us everything. You know, where was he born? Where did he grow up? How did he begin his professional career? Until I guess the point we hit P2P, right? We're going to call P2P or post personal pro just to make it simple. And then we'll integrate Shawn's story. So without further ado, let's jump right into it.
Shawn Hart 1:21
Cool. Let's do it. So I, come from a small town. Rushville, Indiana, of all places, tiny little town about the size of the postage stamp, Yoni and central Rushville Are you sh run sh like rushing around getting in a hurry. Sounds like a New York City type of town. It's what I was going to say. Just imagine how you communicate. You're just like a New York City kind of town. So get slowed down a little bit for us. Indiana redneck. So, in high school Yoni, I created my first business. After working. The only job I worked at McDonald's of all places. Imagine that for two weeks, collected a paycheck of about 80 $83 if I remember right, and then invested that money into fresh cut flowers, what a stupid idea, right? We're talking about a product that starts dying, the minute you harvest it. Laziness is not allowed. And this
Yoni Mazor 2:19
Sounds like a little McDonald's burger also started dying once you kind of, you know, once it's ready, but different settings. But I want to capture a little bit about the background growing up. So you already I can sense the entrepreneur, entrepreneur, spirit that you have, even during high school. But what was the home environment like your parents worked in industries where they were involved in
Shawn Hart 2:36
My entire families were factory workers or restaurant workers. My father, on the other hand, was an independent insurance agent. So you know, he was self-employed, but generating sales from his own personal
Yoni Mazor 2:49
Any particular insurance brand or
Shawn Hart 2:52
Independent? So he would, you know, he would just kind of test the wind every day and go wherever the Commissions were easier.
Yoni Mazor 2:59
Gotta make sense. Got it. So but because he owned his destiny was pretty much you know, a businessman.
Shawn Hart 3:06
Correct? Correct. You know, I was sort of attracted to that. Because not only was he pushing me into entrepreneurship, but you know, out of laziness. I didn't want to have a job, right. I just wanted to hang out and play and make money when I needed it at 16 years old.
Yoni Mazor 3:22
But so yeah, you mentioned Yeah, well. Had demonstrated to
Shawn Hart 3:26
Me that if you're in control as a salesperson, then you get paid exactly what you're worth, meaning there's no ceiling on your, you know, income potential.
Yoni Mazor 3:38
Yeah, like farming, the more you work the land, and you you know, plant the seeds and water it the more you know, and you have as much land as you need, because depends on you're willing to work the land, you should be successful and grow. But okay, you mentioned after McDonald's, you started selling flowers wasn't a good idea. They have, you know, short shelf life took us there.
Shawn Hart 3:55
Yeah, it was a good idea because the market was there. But being a young teenager, I wasn't responsible enough. And I was naturally lazy. So immediately, I started thinking to myself, if I want to scale this business, of course, I didn't know what scale meant at the time.
Shawn Hart 4:12
All I wanted was more money and less effort, you're with me. So I thought, you know, let's say, for example, if I can go out and make $100 a day selling roses if I could hire a friend of mine to go sell roses, and make $100 a day and split it with him, then I can make half as half as much money and not do anything. And then it struck me that if I get two friends out doing the same thing, and split it with them, I'm back where I started and I guess they home play with my girlfriend all day. So that's where I started.
Yoni Mazor 4:39
But what do you do at that age? What did you want to do with the money you wanted to like buy nice things for your cell phones? Why messenger education, what was the liquidity for?
Shawn Hart 4:49
So as simple as this may sound? You know, my driving factor was to remove myself from the environment that I grew up in, like, I just wanted to get out and make something different in my life. I've been outside of what I was witnessing around me every day. Good question.
Yoni Mazor 5:04
So you me and you wanted to get out of Rushville or Indiana or, or both.
Shawn Hart 5:09
I wanted to remove myself from the environment that was creating more factory workers and more Restaurant Servers.
Yoni Mazor 5:17
Got it? Okay. So middle-class basic, you said I want to you know, working-class, you want to be outside that circle where you are being an entrepreneur, a businessman, you control your destiny, and you are the factory, right?
Shawn Hart 5:28
Like money was the end goal for me, it wasn't anything to do with the money. I just wanted to accumulate something because you know, where I came from, we had nothing.
Yoni Mazor 5:38
Got to God. Okay. All right. So now take us to, you know, I guess when you hit the professional world, or entrepreneur career and a more of a grand scale, take us those moments after high school, for example, or what was the station for you?
Shawn Hart 5:50
Well, I had switched product lines numerous times and been in just about every physical product you can imagine. But it was about it was in 2002, when I partnered with a couple of guys and started importing products from China directly, which we now call private label products. Back then it was like, Hey, let's figure out what people want to buy. Let's go buy a cheap one, put our name on it and sell it to him directly. We call it direct-to-consumer importing. All right, or direct sales.
Yoni Mazor 6:19
But what do you sell it? Well, what's he’s what’s the retail? What's the venue?
Shawn Hart 6:24
Yeah, the name of the business was freedom scooter, it was a rechargeable electric two-wheeled scooter. And we sold, we ended up selling about $10 million. Our first year, I was 25 years old or so and had a couple of partners that were older than me. And then what I learned from that business that was so profound, and what would be my future success was the importance of creating a customer list of following a brand.
Shawn Hart 6:50
You know, instead of going out and chasing transactions every day, we have an audience that we can go to and sell our products to repeatedly. And the most important thing Jonnie was the fact that instead of my face-to-face, belly to belly toe to toe sales, we were able to use what I call direct response marketing, to broadcast my message to 1000s and millions of people, and then have them chase us, you know, like, like,
Yoni Mazor 7:17
Chase, you they chase you in the store, or they go to Costco or Walmart, or they go to the website, what's the district respond
Shawn Hart 7:23
Directly to my marketing. So imagine my father door to door store to store selling insurance, vacuum cleaners, or whatever you can get his hands on. He's one on one, what it taught me Yanni was to go too many to broadcast my message. So it led me to create custom lists for this business freedom scooter,
Shawn Hart 7:43
It led me to learn how to use direct response marketing to broadcast my message to the masses instead of one on one. And it taught me the importance of building a brand. The other big takeaway from this was the idea of what we call remote marketing. Like I don't necessarily have to be individually personally involved in every single transaction. And that was, you know, which we'll get into in a moment. That was a big breakthrough for me.
Yoni Mazor 8:12
Yeah, but just, but the consumers are buying things directly so that you reach through email, for example, and they just click a link and they buy it online. How did they be? How were they completing these purchases?
Shawn Hart 8:21
It's more old school than that. So we would send direct mail pieces. And seeking dealers, we were doing wholesale distribution. So it's like, you know, here's a cool new product, car dealers were our target market at the time, buy this product wholesale, resell it, make yourself money. So we were selling micro-business opportunities to existing entrepreneurs, just asking them to add to their product line.
Shawn Hart 8:49
And, you know, the results were ridiculous as a young man, you know, all of a sudden, I go from making, you know, $100,000 a year hustling and, and scratching in the streets to now you know, I'm making half a million dollars a year in my mid-20s. And it taught me I said, Wait a second. If I can scale this, and broadcast my message, build a customer list, and then build a real brand. That was the first business Yoni that I had sold out and put, you know, got into I was 27 years old when I sold and was finally able to kind of metaphorically fold up a million dollars and stick it in my pocket and call it my own, you know, became a cash millionaire.
Yoni Mazor 9:29
Got it. Very cool. So you're saying your target audience was or dealerships are you selling b2b For the most part, and they were selling b2b to see
Shawn Hart 9:37
b2b? Yes, we would. We sold to it was a two-part distribution. No three parts we would sell to distribution centers that we managed and kind of helped to take apart ownership and we had 14 DCS in the US. And then our distribution centers would sell to retailers who would then sell to the end-user I
Yoni Mazor 10:00
Got it. Okay. Very cool. So you started with 2002. And he sold what year
Shawn Hart 10:05
Did I sell in? Well, we started that business in 2001. And when I sold out, it was barely into 2003.
Yoni Mazor 10:14
So almost two years into the mix sold and what was the next session for you after that?
Shawn Hart 10:19
So at the time, I was a stay-at-home single parent, I had a daughter who was, I think, let's see second grade, whatever that is six or seven years old. And you know, at the time I'm feeling I'm 27. I don't have to go to work, you know if I invest wisely. So are
Yoni Mazor 10:37
Are you still in Rushville? Or no, you're already moved.
Shawn Hart 10:39
I moved about this far away into Shelby County, which is, you know, the next town over So anyhow, I started a medical supply company because I wanted to use the skills that I had accumulated through direct response, and then build a customer list of recurring revenue. This is where the word monthly recurring revenue, MRR came into the picture and changed the entire trajectory of my life forever. So I started a little company called Hart medical supplies. In a nutshell, Yoni, this is what we would do, instead of a medical supply company would say, you know, go to the doctors and physicians or hospitals and market to them and say,
Shawn Hart 11:19
Send me customers, I'll provide their supplies for them. So I circumvented that process and use direct response marketing, to go directly to the patient at home and say, Hey, if you're a diabetic on Medicare, then you're entitled to a, b, and c, call this 800 Number to find out more. So the patient would call my office, I would check out their diagnosis code it was called and see what they qualified for, you know, and then be like, here's what you can benefit from your insurance pays for it.
Shawn Hart 11:49
If you're okay with this, I'll fax your doctor and ask for a script which was unheard of man. So I'm faxing doctors you have fax machines you know with the 14 four modem sound, we would send out a prescription request say Hey, Rd. Yoni our mutual patient, Seth Stephens here. She has been diagnosed with urinary incontinence and can benefit from having adult briefs delivered to his home every single month. That was the key just if you agree sign here. Well, that's easy. Boom sign it back. I would order on Mar. Stevens his adult briefs and underpass drop ship to his home and immediately get paid from the insurance company by filing the claim electronically
Yoni Mazor 12:32
Dr. Yoni also makes your commission or no
Shawn Hart 12:34
No, not yet. Not yet. You're getting ahead of me see, that's the typical New York-style your class form. Now, this the magic of it was is okay, so I request the script directly from the doctor, I provide the supplies and then I would file a claim and get paid within 15 minutes. Thanks, Rosborough S EDA, and then 30 days later you only 30 days later I would pay the bill because I had a net 30 with the suppliers I mean his briefs may bill for $400 My cost is 75 bucks I built today collect 400 A month later pay the bill it was beautiful.
Yoni Mazor 13:16
This is how Dell also came to glory back in the day of Dell computers because it broke the cycle it came right into the consumer the consumers paid and the expected to get their products within 30 days 60 days whatnot. And they had enough cash liquidity to create the product cuz they were the factory. So that created miracles for them, and they became an industry leader.
Yoni Mazor 13:37
Sounds like you were trailblazing to a whole new universe of being able to create the supply created demand, you know, first, of altogether and culture all together with direct touching many you directly touch the end-user stimulate them, you get them to take action and then you connect the other side of the story which is the doctor or the prescription which is there's a lot of handling but if you master that it's super powerful. I guess that's what he did.
Shawn Hart 14:03
It's not sexy bedpans and diapers, man, but it was pretty lucrative. But it demonstrated to me that the skill that I was picking up along the way of direct response, remote marketing, we called drop shipping. This business was cash-flow positive from day number one, which leads me to I'm going to tell you an amazing story like the Dell computer story that's going to show you how Seth joined the party.
Shawn Hart 14:29
So anyhow, I quick story got married, started having to expand my family, and created a couple of other businesses that would utilize internet marketing, Google AdWords back in the good old days to generate sales responses through toll-free numbers, sell multi $1,000 products like four or five $6,000 products, you know UTV side by sides, electric cars, things like that, and then be able to use the proceeds for In the sales to not only pay the ad costs but also pay for the inventory. All right. So I was doing this in 2000 and 2008 during the financial crisis when bonds so
Yoni Mazor 15:12
What was it? What was the status of your medical supply company? It was so Rene, you cast that out? What was it through there?
Shawn Hart 15:18
I turned that over to my wife. And she started managing it because, at that point, we had about 4500 patients that we just bill for boom, every single month. So it was a beautiful thing. But I got bored with it, you know, typical entrepreneurial ADD, I was attracted to something else, I had to go kill something. So I turned that over to her, let her take care of that while she's changing diapers and nursing our babies.
Shawn Hart 15:42
And then thank God, I was drawn to another opportunity during that financial crisis. We were selling electric cars for 13 grand online. But my website, you don't, you'll laugh if you could see it. It was a toll-free number. Here's the product. Here's the price call now to order. We didn't know how to do shopping carts or any of that kind of thing. So you would call the phone number. But
Yoni Mazor 16:07
What’s the brand of the electric car? It sounds like
Shawn Hart 16:10
An AP nap car in a P stands for no air pollution? Nap car? All right, don't worry, it gets more exciting. So gas was at $5 a gallon, probably $8 in your neighborhood. But in Central Indiana, it was five. So the electric car was selling like mad, further reinforcing all the skills that I was accumulating. So then this is where it gets beautiful. I come across the product known as an infrared heater through a newspaper advertisement. All right, and it was in my local town. So I go to check this out because I'm always looking for new opportunities like you and everyone else in our industry. So I walk into basically the head Yoni says,
Shawn Hart 16:55
Miracle heater, cut your energy bill 50% Heat 1000 square feet for $1 a day. All right, what's the worst-case scenario? I can at least buy a heater and save some money, right? So I walk into his tiny little farm store as you've probably heard of Tractor Supply, right? It's a store that sells farm supplies. As I'm walking in, I can see dozens of people standing in line, and more walking out of the store carrying these little miracle heaters. And when I found out they were $649. I was like, Man, this is a deal. Like this thing was I'm telling you it was humming along. And I'm looking at this heater going. There's no way that thing costs more than 100 bucks. And they've lined up Yoni, it's like a feeding frenzy. So I took a few pictures, and snapshots, which are in our book, you're going to love the book.
Shawn Hart 17:46
And I go home and I start doing some research and I find out I can buy the heaters in China for 114 bucks. Now I already know how to market I understand direct response remote marketing. Now I know Google AdWords and how to build a website. So I threw up a website on a story, threw up a website using front page editor for Microsoft, they don't even make it anymore. And it was just an ugly picture that I ripped from Alibaba. And it said $479, free shipping. Well, I threw up my head. And lo and behold, I get an email. Your ads have not been approved. So from Google, yeah, yeah, Google Ads said no dice. And I'm like, wait a second. I'm using Google ads and drive sales and all this other stuff. I can figure this out.
Shawn Hart 18:30
I tweaked the headline a little bit and changed the offer. And then I get my Blackberry goes ding Yes. I had a Blackberry back in the old days. And it says those magical words your ad has been approved. Yes, we're off to the races right. Now keep in mind Yoni, like Michael Dell had no inventory and no supplier. All I had was a great idea. And a credit card I could run AdWords on. All right. Three minutes later, my phone rings. And it's a number from Wisconsin. I don't know anybody in Wisconsin, so I let it go to voicemail and I just keep working on the website. Tweaking phone rings again, same number Wisconsin.
Shawn Hart 19:09
So I hit the Fu button, you know, and let it go to voicemail. It rings again. So I'm like, what do you want? You know, it's a telemarketer. I'm thinking of trying to sell me an extended warranty on my car. Excuse me, is this where I call to order the heater? And I was like, holy smokes, I froze. I didn't know what to do. So out of fear and anxiety. I hang up the phone. I walked outside and I said wow, did that just really happen? Said a little prayer. A walk back into my house. The phone's ringing again this time from Nebraska. Hello, I said with confidence. Right? Thank you for calling to order your miracle heater. How can I help you?
Shawn Hart 19:48
And this little voice comes to the phone and says yeah, I've seen you’re your ad online for apartments for a miracle heater. And I'd like to order two if I order two today. How soon I get them. So I'm thinking to myself, holy smokes, I gotta have something here, right? So I said, yes, ma'am. If you ordered today, they'll ship within six weeks you should have been within eight weeks. The limit per household is three. How many would you like? Well, I reckon I'll take three, I guess what the total is? And so now I'm looking around, say, okay, hold one second, while I process your order.
Shawn Hart 20:22
I call my wife on another phone. I said, Hey, honey, she said, the medical supply business. Can you process a credit card for me real quick? So I get back on and I'm like, Alright, what's the number and I'm reading it to my phone or my wife, she punches in the number of charges like $1,400 and change. Boom approved. So I tell the lady, I'll email you a confirmation, what's your email, and I hang up the phone? And I went and shut my AdWords off. And I said, what in the hell just happened?
Yoni Mazor 20:50
So why were you flabbergasted because it happened instantly the instant reaction? That's what caught you by surprise.
Shawn Hart 20:56
It was because I did absolutely nothing to sell. I made a Google ad that said miracle heater save 50% whatever. I can't remember the claim of $1 a day on electricity. Go to the website, a picture of the heater some bullets call now to order for 79 free shipping. It was because I had accidentally stumbled into a market. That was that feeding frenzy that I'd seen in the store, which gave me the idea, you know, so then, here's what happened fast forward, and I'll bring Seth into this. Okay. So I'm like, Alright, I have a tiger by the tail here. We need to take this opportunity and run with it. How can I do this?
Shawn Hart 21:37
So I went to the office where we were trying to sell the electric cars after the fuel prices come back down and we were struggling. I said, Hey, listen, guys, today, we're in the heater business. I'm going to turn my ads back on. I'm going to afford the lines over here. Here's the script. Let's sell heaters. Yoni. In three weeks, we sold $1.6 million worth of heaters, I'm sitting on the cash, right? I put $30,000 on a credit card to pay for my Google ads. That 30,000 was paid off immediately, like in a couple of days from the sales proceeds.
Shawn Hart 22:09
And then we collected $1.6 million in sales. Yoni, I didn't even have inventory. I didn't know where to buy it. Or if I could buy it. I had to jump on a plane to go to China. I mean, you know, my theory is it's easier to get forgiveness and His get permission. Right? Are you with me? So the last thing in the world I'm going to do is shut off the sales just because I don't have inventory or supplier. That's, that's ridiculous, right?
Shawn Hart 22:36
So I jump on a plane to fly to China. And I go put together a deal. Using all of that cash plus, I took out an equity line on my house and went all-in on this deal, man. And that first year, this was September, September 28. When I first come across the opportunity by January 15. The following year, like four months later, it doesn't nine Yeah, yep. 2009, we'd already had $9 million in sales, and I pocketed 6 million in profits. And it was completely financed from customer orders.
Yoni Mazor 23:08
I love it. This is the impact of E-commerce, you found it from a different angle, different direction, as most of us are in the I guess the marketplace space of eBay, slash Amazon, Walmart, stuff like that. You went to a farm tractor store on one of these farms. And you saw on the ground the weeds you saw this demand right and figured, yeah, you saw it physically, but let me test it digitally. And it was instant impact. And like you said you had a tiger in the tail and you took immediate action. You went all aggressive about it. And within a few weeks, a few months. I guess the opposite for you was it was $6 million of net proceeds. But okay, it was what the next stage was and what happened after that?
Shawn Hart 23:47
Well, when you have something short-lived, it's a four-month seasonal business, November, December, January, February, then you spend the next eight months trying to plan your attack for the following year, right 27 To one return on every advertising dollar we spent, so I knew I had to grow. So I went and purchased an 80,000-square-foot facility that was housing a fulfillment company that had 110 or so seat call center.
Shawn Hart 24:12
And I'm getting all geared up for the following year. That's when Seth enters the picture. So Seth comes in because he's his mother, and the mother and my assistant work together in a bank. So my PA comes in and says, Hey, this kid Seth, he's in college, he wants to learn more about marketing and then sales. He'd be great as an intern. So I'll let Seth tell the story from here. So, Seth, you come into the picture at that point. Seth, what happened?
Unknown Speaker 24:39
Yeah, well, let me hit this for a second. So this is 2009 already. Yeah, you're already you're preparing the attack for the next season. I guess the winter season of 2009 heading into 2010. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Then, you know, you know, such as some others already within the organization and you come in, but now we're going to backtrack. So okay, now we're going to reset the whole story.
Yoni Mazor 24:58
Okay, where are you from? I guess also Rushville I get that, but let's take us through this early Rushville days, you know, your household, your, your, your environment and how you stepped into, you know, 2010 you know, winter season with, with John, let's go. Yeah,
Seth Stevens 25:15
That’s, that's a funny story. So, as kind of the same story that Sean told growing up in a small town Rushville my family was exact, you know, in the same position as Sean's, my dad was a factory worker, my mom was either a server at a restaurant or later, she became a teller at a bank. And what I saw in my household growing up was, you got to work hard, but I didn't want to work that hard. My dad would work 12 hours a day, seven days a week for months without a break. And it's like, I knew one thing.
Seth Stevens 25:46
I didn't want that life for me. So like, from a very young age, I was looking for projects. And I didn't have like any business mentor. And I'll, I'll tell you about my grandpa, which was like my only entrepreneur, and my family in a minute. But growing up, I remember like, in the fourth grade, I was getting Pokémon cards from flea markets, and then selling them to the kids at the school underneath the table just to make some cash, you know, and I just wanted the cash to have cash, because from when I was like, 12, I was like, I'm saving the cash. So one day, I'll have enough money to start a business.
Seth Stevens 26:19
And people would ask me, like my family, like, what are you going to do when you graduate? I was like, one day, I'm going to start a business. Why are you saving? Why do you not want to buy, you know, these snacks at the fair, I'm saving my money because I want to start a business. So it was like it was internal because I didn't want to have this responsibility of going to a factory every day for 12 hours a day for seven days a week, right? So as I go through school, I'm on more of a traditional path. And Sean Sean's got all this crazy experience because his dad's an insurance agent, and he was part of the Carnival and learned all these sales tactics. And I was like, get good grades, go to college. So I went to college and studied finance. So I'm on this on this path. But you know, I always have this itch in college. So I went to IU here in Indiana. So I studied
Yoni Mazor 27:07
That acronym for
Seth Stevens 27:08
Yoni Mazor 27:10
I figured that was okay.
Seth Stevens 27:13
So I'm studying finance, but I have this itch, I got to make more money. I'm not really, I'm not like getting my big breakthrough, because I don't have anybody. So like, the only influence I had grown up was my grandpa had a funnel kickstand that he would travel around and set up, you know, at these local fairs. And that's what got me thinking like, well, he can do it. You know, he's not that much smarter than me, I can do this because he would sell funnel cakes, and he was pretty successful, you know, in a weekend he would do 1520 $25,000. And what stuck out to me, Yoni was, at the end of it, I was a part of that, you know, I served the funnel cakes, but we got to count the cash. And it's like, we created this. And that was
Yoni Mazor 27:52
A full-time gig many that were how this is the way it was making a living or this was like,
Seth Stevens 27:56
Partially retired, but like in the summertime, that was his full-time gig. So you know, every other weekend, he'd be at a fair and I would help them as much as I could because I wanted to get paid and be a part of the action. So we're selling funnel cakes from sunup to sundown, and at the end of three days, he's counting out $26,000 in cash, my dad would work half of a year to get the same money and it's like, man, that's that seems like a shortcut.
Seth Stevens 28:19
So then I set up my tent and college and sold funnel cakes and sold like fair goods trying to replicate that. And then I would sell like I'm still my classmates, Chinese textbooks that were like counterfeit textbooks I found on eBay and I'd mark them up and sell them to my classmates, you know, just always trying to find Well let
Yoni Mazor 28:37
I ask you this about IU. I mean to say college, so you pay for yourself, or you took the law, and what was the financial situation there?
Seth Stevens 28:45
Yeah, so I was doing these little money-making ventures selling textbooks, setting up the funnel kickstands. I was I can and then had a part-time job and I still lived at home to save money. I was like, I'm not going to spend my money on housing and all this stuff. I financed college myself, and I would commute to my classes. So I crammed all my classes into two days a week so I could get there without having to pay for room and board. So I'm going back and forth just saving my money right? So during college like I said my mom was a bank teller she works with this girl that ended up being Shawn's mom's assistant or
Yoni Mazor 29:20
Shaba why did you graduate this way you graduated 2009 sophomore. So you're still in college when you guys met you and Sean Yeah, yep, yep. Well, I got to ask this question though. Sorry, I caught you on this you are both in the same town but how can you guys have different accents? What's that about?
Shawn Hart 29:37
And he calls me at Kearney and you're selling funnel cakes? Yeah, I'm very well there's
Yoni Mazor 29:42
No badness or it just happens to be that every I you know someone was one household has a New York accent the other one was in New Jersey. The other one I was like Shawn, and I are Midwest or how does that work?
Shawn Hart 29:51
I'm a natural redneck. I have a lazy tongue I've traveled to pick up a little bit everywhere and sometimes make up my stuff. I don't know what's that's excuses. Yeah,
Shawn Hart 30:00
So somehow I dodged Sean's redneck accent but everybody always thinks he's from Texas. But you know, that's
Yoni Mazor 30:07
got to get Okay. Interesting, very interesting.
Shawn Hart 30:10
14 years older than me, Yoni. So he had a huge head start. He's been doing a lot of business stuff for a long time. By the time I'm an intern in his, in his company when I'm a sophomore in college, so I'm there. As he said, his business is only four months out of the year. So I'm there for only four months, they only needed me, they're like, hey, after heater season, like just go back to school. And so I'm there like seeing the inside of this business.
Shawn Hart 30:35
You know, I walk in, and it's like, they have a board and it says, how many sales as they come through their sales department, we record the sales, and it would flash up on the wall, it'd be like, you know, we're at $30,000 in sales today. And I was like, walking in and seeing the sales on the wall. It's like, that's amazing. So you'd see $150,000 in sales in a day. And it's like that, well, let
Yoni Mazor 30:55
I get this straight. Let me get him you're already in the mix here. But I want to step back a little bit. You're in college stuff, pushing yourself, you know, silly fun. Okay. So that the fair, whatever it is, well, what compelled you to take a break on that or put that aside and, and jumped on to this opportunity with Sean, just because your mother said, There's something here for you that especial What was that, that drive? Or that? You know, you know, Destiny, they push that pushing toward Shawn, well, what was there behind the scenes?
Shawn Hart 31:21
So like I said, I'm only going to school two days a week, because I cram and I cram like 10 hours with the classes two days a week. So I have three days. So my internship is part-time at Shawn's office, I would only come in there three days a week.
Yoni Mazor 31:33
This was kind of an ad just kind of I'll try it out. I'll give it a shot. It wasn't like you know, somebody pushed you is like, you know, add on then the I guess there's other stuff. Liberal was put aside because it was so impactful.
Shawn Hart 31:42
Yeah, exactly. So remember you only my whole life, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I just didn't know anybody. And so here was the pitch for my mom. She's like, hey, you can go learn, learn something the owner, supposedly this successful multimillion-dollar entrepreneur. I later learned that Shawn and I were like, Oh, if, if that's who I can learn from, I'm there. So it's like I went in there and fudged a little bit when they were asking me the questions. They're like, they're like, and so we need somebody good with Microsoft Excel. And I was like, no problem. And I had no idea.
Shawn Hart 32:12
So I just went home and researched it over the weekend and tried to figure it out. So got the job. And then I'm in his marketing department. My very first job is stapling dollar bills to advertisements that were going out to customers so we're, he's using guerrilla marketing tactics to generate a response from direct response marketing. And so that was my job. I'm sitting there, looking at the marketing, I'm looking at his returns, I can see the sales on the wall. $150,000 in one day, I'm like, this guy is somebody I need to learn from, right.
Shawn Hart 32:45
So, you know, I'm exposed to all that stuff. That was very short-lived, though for months, and they and they boot me out, but you know, I was never going to be the same. So then I go back and I finished school, graduate with a finance degree and I go into corporate America. I go work for Simon Property Group, the biggest mall company in America. And I'm working along
Yoni Mazor 33:06
With database right or GGP is also growth, general growth properties. Is that Simon today or what was that?
Shawn Hart 33:12
General growth is a competitor of Simon's competitor. Right. So
Yoni Mazor 33:15
The Simon and GGP so Simon is in a database, by the way, guys, so you work in the corporate office?
Shawn Hart 33:21
Yep, I saw I worked in the corporate office, you know, I'm sitting in my cubicle just dying to do something. I'm saving my money still, Yoni, I'm wanting to start that business. So I reached out to Sean because I had been in contact for a couple of years. And I say, Shawn, you know, I'd love to reconnect, love to hear the whole backstory of how you got that heater business, to be what I saw it to be. And then we kind of come together in this in this glorious meeting at Starbucks, where he kind of downloads his history to me and I was like, You know what, this is really amazing. And so I start sharing with him, sharing with him some of the things that I've tried over the years and it was just like, instant chemistry and so he's tells
Yoni Mazor 34:01
I step back a little bit because I want to flip to the other side and can't hold that thought. Shawn, why did you meet this kid? And Starbucks is a multimillion-dollar entrepreneur successful What compelled you to connect with them? Because this good kid wants to meet at Starbucks. I've heard things to do. So what was going through your mindset?
Shawn Hart 34:19
I would like to give you a sexy answer. But the truth is, I was bored the collected all the profits from my heater business for three years and then sold out the private equity. They paid me way too much for so sitting home and I got tired of changing diapers. So
Yoni Mazor 34:33
They already cashed out of the heater business. This is after the cashout. I wasn't aware of that. So So you kept in touch you both kept in touch.
Shawn Hart 34:40
Well, this was 2014, or let's see. 2013 When he reached out to me, I sold the heater business in 2011 and traveled the world again, raising three babies. And I was bored and I thought well, fine, let's meet up. But what happened is I was selling on Amazon and had been exposed to the opportunity of creating, and leveraging the Amazon platform to test new products and then scale on Amazon. So during the heater business, not after I sold heater business in 11, and this was in September 2013.
Yoni Mazor 35:15
That's when he stepped into Amazon. But what was that stepping stone? Well, what do you sell?
Shawn Hart 35:20
A friend of mine called me one day and mentioned he said, Hey, I know somebody that's doing Amazon. He's making $50,000 a month in sales. I'm sitting home doing nothing. So I jumped on a plane and flew to Orlando guy showed me the whole process. He was doing what they call piggybacking, you know, other non-branded products, not private label. And he logged into Seller Central, show me the numbers, and it became real. I went home and immediately started selling the rubber band bracelets. Do you remember Rainbow Loom?
Yoni Mazor 35:51
Yeah, that was? Yeah. So that was just one step back into sets. So they sent you where you meet at Starbucks. And what was the restaurant respond to?
Shawn Hart 36:00
Well, Shawn, was he was like, oh, yeah, I remember you. You worked in my marketing department for four months, and we didn't like to have a lot of interaction then. But when I was able to have that conversation with him at Starbucks, he was like, just dropping these, like, these bombs on me that like no one else in my network would even think of right
Yoni Mazor 36:21
After this, about three years after you guys have an internship at his place. Interesting. Dynamic. Okay.
Shawn Hart 36:26
Yeah, exactly. So I told you, you would enjoy this. Oh, yeah.
Shawn Hart 36:32
He's 14 years older and from the same town, but we didn't know each other. Besides that, you know, Bree didn't
Shawn Hart 36:37
Even know the same people know.
Shawn Hart 36:40
Yeah, it was very kind of stars aligning. So we sit down at Starbucks, and he's like, he's downloading into me, all the things that that I was dying to know about, like, how do you become a successful entrepreneur? Like, how do you create sales? And how do you go out there and like, build something from the ground up? Like I had done the small projects for myself, but it wasn't like, I was focusing on this business every single day and took it seriously. It was like I was waiting on the right answer, and was like, he had it. Right. And then
Yoni Mazor 37:12
Let me question so what were you doing for summer properties? It seems like there's an entrepreneur or fire that's flaming and once you touch transplant was like a big explosion. So we're going to touch that a moment. But what are we doing for Simon properties?
Shawn Hart 37:23
I was working like in there, in their leasing department. But my job was pretty easy. I just had to support them like the Sales Machine for them. So I was supporting their leasing agents. So my job only took me a couple of hours a day. So I had all this extra time. And so when Shawn and I got together, I was, you know, taking calls with Shawn in my cubicle at Simon Property Group, because I had the bandwidth in that company to be able to start this thing on the side.
Yoni Mazor 37:48
There's an upside for corporate America sometimes. Yeah, exactly. Like,
Shawn Hart 37:51
There’s so much money that they can be inefficient, right?
Yoni Mazor 37:55
Oh, I don't know about today. It's a struggle. But yeah, back there. There were the good old days.
Shawn Hart 38:00
So yeah, we sit down at Starbucks, and he and he kind of enlightened me. And he tells me embarrassingly for him, he says, you know, I'm just kind of sitting on my couch at home selling products out of my garage on Amazon, because the last time I had seen Shawn, he was doing $27 million a year and heater sales have this massive warehouse, all these employees, and I run into him again, and he's selling products out of his garage on Amazon. So he's a little embarrassed, but go ahead, Shawn, you're like,
Shawn Hart 38:28
What went wrong? Right? It was embarrassing, but you know, just being in the game it didn't matter how big the game was at the time. I had all I
Yoni Mazor 38:37
love that I love that the I guess the humility being humble saying I smell something here it's because you're like almost like a hunter in the jaw in the jungle you know, where the big prey the big prizes, but you got to you know, carry away with the machete into it. And you don't you're not afraid of getting caught and getting awards from the machete just this is kind of your new nature, which is, which is pretty awesome. Oh, good.
Shawn Hart 38:59
I'm not afraid to try anything. So I just want to be in the game. I like the action. So why did I start I knew that I could source in China better than anyone else. So I just piggyback a bunch of listings I had created about at that point three different Amazon accounts under different brands or different companies. And basically what I would do is attach myself to the listing.
Shawn Hart 39:21
And then I would share the buy box and I'm thinking to myself, well shoot, if there are 10 sellers, and we're sharing the buy box as it rotates through. Why can't I be an alternative seller? So I just started duplicating my efforts. And when I went to meet with Seth, it was embarrassing telling him that I was selling rubber bands but I have a disease yoni. If I see you doing something, and it's working, I just automatically assume I can do it better.
Shawn Hart 39:44
So I started with this and at that point, I'd reached about 240 million or 40,000 Wish million 240,000 in sales in that final quarter of 2013. And I show Seth just like the gentleman showed me in Orlando. Look, here's my screen here. So or central, this is what I'm doing. And then says finance brain kicks in. He goes, alright, alright, I see the sales, I understand the product. Are you making any money? And I'm like, what do you mean?
Shawn Hart 40:11
He says, well, yeah, are you profitable? Hell, I don't know, all I'm doing is proving a point that I can generate revenue on Amazon, leveraging their traffic and platform. So we decided, I said, Seth, I got about 50,000 in inventory left. All right. So let's wait till January 120 14. We'll go into business together. And we'll create a company that leverages the platform of Amazon to launch and grow brands and then sell those brands that micro businesses so Yanni, let me ask you a question. All this money that Seth had been saving for years and years never spending a penny so that he could quote-unquote, start his own business? How much money do you think he brought to the table when we started his business?
Yoni Mazor 40:55
Coming from rush Hill, his whole let's put it this way? Zero, got it.
Shawn Hart 40:59
Not one penny. He came in and
Yoni Mazor 41:02
Was swayed by all the funnel cakes he didn't
Shawn Hart 41:06
Know this guy's bank account has a check valve, it only receives deposits. Nothing is going out. He lived with his parents until the day he got married. And then he went and rented an apartment. I helped him move his couch. I know, you know, you find out who your friends are on moving day.
Shawn Hart 41:21
So anyway, we decided we started this business, and I put $50,000 in inventory. Seth put a whole year of sweat equity to make up for his 50,000 because you know, he isn’t coming off no money. And then Seth what happened from there?
Shawn Hart 41:35
Yeah, so it was kind of the perfect storm, Yoni Shawn had been building all of these grassroots skills as Guerrilla Marketing. I had been learning kind of the more corporate side. So I could take the Hey, are we profitable? Stance and Sean could say, you know, here's a great opportunity.
Shawn Hart 41:50
So Sean's addiction is finding opportunities, just like he did with the eye heater in the farm store years ago. I mean, he's just constantly looking. So I said, I can use his skill. And I will produce the sales on Amazon, let Shawn do his magic on finding products. And it was kind of a match made in heaven. He was our Go able to go out there and locate products that were just massive opportunities for us. So we step in our first year, we do $3 million in sales, like I
Yoni Mazor 42:17
Have. This is the foreign financial year of 2014. Yeah, yep.
Shawn Hart 42:21
So we got $3 million in sales our first year, and it's like, wow that was amazing. We're going to set our sights a little higher for the next year. And so we plan to have a huge year, so we plan to launch a product per day Yoni in 2015. We ended up launching 350 unique private label items in 2015. And you can imagine, like, that's a lot of sourcing. I mean, that's there's
Yoni Mazor 42:45
A lot longer than a single account or 350 accounts.
Shawn Hart 42:49
No, we had, we had about 10 different accounts,
Yoni Mazor 42:51
Right. So yeah, machinery going around. This is Sean pumping in into the market, all these new products, and you have a drip line of a queue, I guess, products being launched, and you facilitate the launch in terms of listing creation, optimization, advertising, and everything. So I
Shawn Hart 43:06
Was running our office in Indiana, and we had a team of people where a box of samples would show up every single week, you know, and you're going to laugh. So Shawn would be spending all week finding product opportunities, he'd be traveling around hitting trade fairs, searching online, like anywhere you could find an opportunity. And then every week, we'd get a box of samples.
Shawn Hart 43:24
And the sample represented the inventory that was on the way from China that we needed to build listings for doing research for and create the presence on Amazon for when the inventory arrived, we could go live a sales, so Shawn, finding the opportunities, I'm managing the business and making sure we're profitable, and building out our Amazon presence times 350 500 listings 1000 listings.
Shawn Hart 43:47
So along the way, you know, we're that's a ton and ton of sourcing. So we're like, Shawn, you got to go to China to straighten this mess out that you've created. You found us all these opportunities, but you know, you got to go there and get on the ground and figure this out, and get our product source. So, Shawn, you want to tell the story about what happens when we send you over to China.
Shawn Hart 44:09
So we start attending all of these live events need as you can imagine, as being Amazon sellers, we want to accumulate more knowledge. I think we did 3 million the first year about 9 million the second year in year three, we did what 14 million or so. So every time we would go to an event and this was way, way back when like the ASM and that whole thing started blowing up.
Shawn Hart 44:32
We would go to an event we'd find out that we were like, you know, the one presenters that were already in the room. So we ended up doing more teaching than we did learning. So I had to go to China and Seth being the natural look calling frugal just because we want to keep this a family show. The years. He's like so what's that going to cost? You know, and keep in mind this is 2015 we set our sights are doing in 2015. Our goal was 50 million dollars. And we were well on our way there. But obviously, we missed it by 41 million. But he's like, well, what's it going to cost and said, Well, it's going to cost me 10,000 round trip airfare.
Shawn Hart 45:11
He's like 10,000 and said, Yeah, I mean, I'm six foot six, I can't ride and coach for 27 hours. So he goes, Well, aren't you sure you can't just, you know, get the academy class. And I said, alright, I'll tell you what we'll do Mr. Cheapskate. Here's what I'll do. I'll reach out to some of these Amazon sellers who've been coaching, you know, on the side, and I'll say, Look, guys, I'm going to China, I'm going to go source a bunch of products. If you want to go with me, give me $2,500, I'll take 10 of you with me.
Shawn Hart 45:39
That'll be 25,000 that'll pay for the entire trip and the samples. So we did it. I sent out my first email, ever, email marketing, you know, I've been marketing my whole life. But all you know, direct response, newspaper, televisions, radio, things like that. So I write an email and I BCC 114 people. And I've sent this out. Well, this was in, I think, January of 2015. And March, I go to China. And remember, I kept it at 25 people, I had, like, 45 people with me there, they're all gladly paid $2,500. So they could tap into my genius of sourcing and importing and all that kind of thing.
Shawn Hart 46:21
So those on those sourcing trips, we would go out and work all day sourcing and then come back and kind of have a debriefing at night, where that turned out to be all of these high-level sellers. We’re sharing all these golden nuggets and the strategy of a mastermind. Yeah, exactly. So we kind of pivoted from focusing on Amazon to focusing on instead of digging for gold and selling the shovels. So we created a consulting company and started working with 1000s of sellers all over the world. We, you know, share strategies, online mastermind style, doing live events, things like that. And then we sold that company in 2020. In July, right, so that's 2020 sold the majority interest in that company, and took a little hiatus for a while
Yoni Mazor 47:10
Well sold a consulting company sold a
Shawn Hart 47:13
Consulting company. Yep, yeah. So and then like, I'm, I've always been like this, I work hard for several months or a year or two, and then I'll take a vacation for a year. I'm like, I call it taking my retirement and installments. I'm 46 years old. I've already retired four times, and I plan on doing it again really soon. So Seth was calling me as I'm traveling around with my children and my wife home-schooling trying to stay clear of COVID and all that. And he's like, he goes, You know what I keep realizing, I keep coming back to the one thing, Shawn that made us so much more successful, so much faster than everyone else that we were coaching was our, our almost obsession with building a relationship with the customer.
Shawn Hart 47:57
While all these other sellers out there focus on creating front-end sales on Amazon, we have always put it front and center of our entire team. We’re building the list of customers, and by warranty, registration cards, and product inserts leading to a funnel where we could upsell and whatnot. And you know, the more he was calling me as I was traveling across the country back to Alaska and everything else, he was like, This is what we need to do.
Shawn Hart 48:24
We Yoni the funny thing is, is that a year before that, we created an entire training program to teach specifically Amazon sellers, how to leverage email marketing to grow their business. Well, we sold the program like crazy, but no one implemented it. So they would always come back and say, well, can you guys just do it for me? Well, I can't do it for you. We're just not set up to do that? You know, we're, and it’s just not part of our scope of service.
Yoni Mazor 48:52
But let me be honest, for a second what happened to the retail arm? I mean, the whole consultancy was born from the retail on but what was the trajectory there 2016, you picked that you mentioned was 14 million or so or 16 million.
Shawn Hart 49:04
A little bit more before we got rid of it. Remember our whole business model? Let's find an opportunity to launch products on Amazon to grow that product. And we're not seeing double-digit easy, low-hanging fruit growth anymore, and then sell the brand. So we've sold 17 Amazon brands, so the whole while we're selling off our Amazon businesses, and we stopped feeding that pipeline with new products.
Yoni Mazor 49:29
So yeah, you cashed it out, let it dry out. And it just moved on, progressed to the next, you know, evolution, which was one of the consultants inside.
Shawn Hart 49:37
Right, but I mean, these were brands that, you know, that range from, like we'd sell for 450,000 up to 10 million, you know, so by the time we stopped feeding that that frenzy of Amazon launches and focused on consulting eventually we'd sold all of our brands, and we sold our final Amazon brand in while I was in Bangkok, right so it's like 2019 I think it's 2021 2020. Yeah, so we got rid of that. And then we were focused only on consulting. Now, of course, we still manage some accounts, but we weren't doing anything massive. We were just testing new strategies and sharing them with our audience. So that Yeah, good question.
Yoni Mazor 50:17
Got it. Okay. So you cashed out in 2020. Right, that consultancy, and then I guess now we can talk about Triple P right. PPP, post-purchase pro tickets there. What what’s the trajectory there?
Shawn Hart 50:28
All right. So here's how I learned email marketing in our Amazon business, you already know that I've sent an email and got about a 40% response rate to go on a Chinese trip where we created that opportunity. Well, we were sitting in the office one day, and a friend, a mutual friend who lives in the area. Rd. Charlie Livingston, he's a co-founder of life loop cost, like boost coffee. Maybe you've heard of him. But he's, uh, I think at the time he was partnered with Matt Clark, right. So. So he walks into our office just as a visit our Amazon sales office, and he like he notices a pile of postcards that are filled out by customers. He's like, what is that? Like?
Shawn Hart 51:12
Oh, well, for this product that we sell, we have the customer register the warranty name, address, phone number email. He's like, well, what are you going to do with all of them? Well, our goal, Charlie is to email these customers and ask them to review our products so we can boost our ranking? Because that's it? How many do you have? Well, we got about 20,000 or so. And he's like, Man, you guys are seriously missing the boat? Do you realize how much money sitting there? And so Charlie goes on to explain the importance of email marketing and yadda. And um, you know, it's just like, it's in one ear and out the other, and says, says, well, what can you do with it? Charlie says, Listen, let me take this database, I'll create an avatar, I'll send an email for you promoting your product.
Shawn Hart 51:55
And I'll show you how powerful it is. So Charlie goes out and writes, an email creates a customer or like a product avatar, called the sleepy panda. He sends an email to Yani to a list that has been sitting on our desk for months. And it produces over $25,000, in sales, bam, immediately on Amazon. And we're like, holy crap, we have a massive list. Because like I told you, we'd always put all that effort into gathering customer data, so that we could use for, you know, we wanted to do kind of this gravy area stuff, you know, ship free products, ask for reviews, that kind of thing, when in reality, we should have been tapping into that, that the heater business that I had sold, taught me the value of a customer list. I mean, it was hardwired into me, that's why I transferred to the south.
Shawn Hart 52:42
So we need a customer list. We never thought about emailing the customers. In the old days, we sent a postcard out making an offer, and then they would call the toll-free number in order. So you just clicked when Charlie did that email. So we immediately started implementing email marketing into all of our product brands. And then when Seth was talking to me in 2020 after we sold our consulting company, he said that is the single most important thing that we've always done that made us more successful and a lot faster than all of our peers, collect customer data, build a nurturing relationship with the customers, and then re-engage the customer to produce further sales, higher rankings, better reviews, and so on. And that's Seth, how was post-purchase pro born?
Shawn Hart 53:26
Yeah, that's exactly how to post-purchase Pro was born. So Yoni, what we were able to do was take all the skills that Shawn and then I had developed with direct response marketing, and take them from a postcard or a newspaper ad. And then, you know, when Charlie sent that first email, and instantly generated $25,000, in sales, it was like it opened our eyes and we're like, oh, this is just like a digital postcard. So we started writing our emails, taking all that direct response salesmanship and putting it into an email instead.
Shawn Hart 53:56
And it worked beautifully. So when I started as a finance guy running our numbers way later and saying how much of this post-purchase activity was responsible for our sales and it was like 40% of our sales were coming from these follow-ups Yoni, it was insane. And so what we kind of figured out was when we send an email, using external traffic and send it back to our Amazon listings, Amazon would reward us twice, we'd make the sale would make the profit, but we also get a lot of organic ranking because they're rewarding the quality of the traffic and the rewarding the conversion.
Shawn Hart 54:31
So when we're when we were like standing on the mountaintop preaching this stuff, trying to teach it in a course, everybody's juiced about it, but when they go to implement, it's like, I don't know what to say. I don't have any copywriting experience. I don't know how to build funnels, I don't know how to put salesmanship in print. And so when we were sitting there doing nothing after we sold the consultancy, and we sold our last Amazon brand, people were just gradually reaching out saying, you know, I saw your course but could you just do this and enough people said it that guy got my attention.
Shawn Hart 55:00
So I called Shawn and I said, Shawn, we've got to try this. So we called the last 10 People who had called us. And we said if we do this, would you sign up? And every single person said, absolutely. And so post-purchase Pro was born in 2020, to help Amazon sellers, increase their sales by making each one of their customers more profitable by following up with them with the real email and text marketing, Shawn.
Shawn Hart 55:27
Yeah, well said. So basically, what we're doing Yoni is for our clients, you focus on producing the front-end sales, we take all that sales data and leverage that to create a complete customer acquisition funnel for you to reengage your customers through email and text. And to help bolster what you're doing on Amazon, you focus on the front end, we handle the back end. And what we found was that almost none of them know Amazon sellers had any type of back-end marketing strategy.
Shawn Hart 55:57
And in my short career, you know, well, maybe it's long to Seth. But all of the profits came from everything that happened after the initial purchase, even with the heater, you know, so I knew that we were on to something there, I just didn't know if folks were willing to pay for it. So what we do in our business that's different is that we use direct response marketing strategies to create listings and offers that cannot be competed with, we generate massive amounts of opt-ins by offering tremendous value after the service, and we increase our average order value on Amazon by always running our traffic through a funnel, you know, from outside.
Shawn Hart 56:40
Let's say if you send an email or paid traffic, we always send the traffic through a sales funnel first before sending them to Amazon. And we have a process called Creative cloning, where we duplicate our success. We teach all of this stuff on a podcast that I would love to mention if the timings are right,
Yoni Mazor 56:57
Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. Yeah, you mentioned that as a good thing and this is unique and invaluable for Amazon sellers. So dropped the name of the podcast. And I want to after that run a scenario, a simple scenario, of how this all works out to illustrate the value for any sellers, or private label sellers that are listening to this, and are having a hard time kind of understanding the flow and the opportunity for them how it all blows up nicely at the sales level, so go ahead.
Shawn Hart 57:19
Sure. So if you're listening to this, you've already made it this far, then you're already within the top 1% because I can't listen to anybody blab about business for more than an hour. Unless it's valuable right, Yoni. So, congratulations. We share the strategies that I'm about to spell out for you, Yoni in a podcast called post-purchase podcast at post-purchase podcast.com. We do it every Monday, we published that that's what Danny does for us there. And its content is like this. Let's say for example, how much time do we have Yoni are we
Yoni Mazor 57:50
we already crossed the good hour, but don't worry, this is unique enough for me to you know, bend the rules and also be late for my, my, my appointment that I'm missing out right now I'm sending this, I'm doing this recording. So hopefully doesn't know the one that I'm missing. I'm late for the meeting, but it’s okay. It's valuable because I want to wrap up the body of the episode very soon, and then hit two more spots, and then we'll ever we're going to let everybody go even our listeners.
Shawn Hart 58:14
Okay, I promise you're going to get a huge return on your investment and time here because I'm about to blow your mind. We have a strategy called Amazon listing value stack. Okay, so we all know the importance of making an offer that's so good. You can't refuse, right? It's called a mafia offer. So within Amazon, one of the things that we're doing is that we're taking other people's products Opp, and we're implementing those into our Amazon listings. For example, you can buy this and all you get is this right? Or you can buy the same product and also get this, this, and this as a bonus. So this product costs $20. That's it, the same product costs the same $20.
Shawn Hart 58:54
But you also get a $10 bonus, another $10 bonus, and another $10 Bonus, making the value 50. It's a no-brainer. It's called the Amazon listing value stack. And we do that by using other people's products through affiliate networks. You can find out all about that when listening to our podcast, on Amazon, or at listing value. Stack.com sorry, listing value stack.com is one of my favorites, you know that I'm a huge proponent of a building list. This one is going to is going to knock your socks off.
Shawn Hart 59:24
This is called our Amazon listing tripwire. So we all understand the concept of a tripwire right? That is to get someone into my sales funnel with an amazing hook that demonstrates the obvious value and then upsell that customer. So let's say, for example, the pillow product that we were talking about earlier that Charlie wrote the email on when we first launch that product yoni. It was highly competitive. It costs 250 grand minimum order quantity to get into the game, and it was a huge barrier to entry.
Shawn Hart 59:58
So what we did instead was we used to
Shawn Hart 60:00
Product, the sleep mask. Remember the cut and sew generic $4 Sleep Mask. So we created a sleep mask listing with an amazing breakthrough price that allowed us to demand attention for asleep products sell 250,000 orders and through our processes had almost 50,000 People 20% of those opt-in to receive ongoing value.
Shawn Hart 60:23
And then the magic was to use that list of 50,000 to launch the product where we make the money. And man it just took off and went like wildfire. That's the Amazon tripwire. Seth the AOP funnel was your actual brainchild, and I know Yoni is going to love this one. But yeah,
Yoni Mazor 60:42
Yeah, yeah, hit me with another one, and we'll start wrapping it up. Good.
Shawn Hart 60:46
Here's another one for you, Yoni. What we do a little bit differently when we use our email marketing, or we use external traffic is the problem with running like Facebook traffic or YouTube traffic or Google traffic for most Amazon sellers, is that it's really hard to make profitable. So for most sellers for a long time, they would just skip that step and say, it’s too hard to make it work with real marketing. So what I'm going to do is just give my product away and rebate the customer, right.
Shawn Hart 61:10
So they would just skip the step because they could get the ranking. But if you can make a profit when you send your external traffic back to Amazon, then you make a profit on the front end, and you get the ranking that Amazon rewards you with. So what we do is we use a process called our ao V to funnel or average order value funnel to bring up the average order value for our ads for our email marketing traffic. And we do that with a funnel yoni. So imagine if you're running traffic to a listing selling a hula hoop and the hula hoop customer spins or spins the $29 to buy it, and your ad costs you 25 bucks, probably going to be a losing proposition.
Shawn Hart 61:48
But if before you bring them to Amazon, if you take them through a funnel, and you say yes, you can add the hula hoop to your cart. And but on the next page, you don't send it to Amazon, you say Hey before you go on and check out what if you would get this heart rate monitor? And then so that's another product in your brand line, you're up to selling them there say okay, I'll take that too. And you don't send the names on yet you say, would you like this yoga mat and they said, Okay, I'll take that too. By the time you send them on to Amazon, with all these products preloaded in their cart, their average order value is not $29 anymore, it's $80 or $100. And now you can make that external traffic profitable while getting the ranking benefit from
Yoni Mazor 62:27
From dry and the traffic, you buy the traffic through Google, you say yeah, you can
Shawn Hart 62:31
buy it through Google, you can buy it through Facebook, you can send that traffic, that same traffic that you're sending through email marketing, you can send it through that funnel to raise your average order value, and you get another benefit Yoni is that you can pair the products that you put into your funnel together on Amazon in the frequently bought together section.
Yoni Mazor 62:48
Yeah, no, that's amazing. Yeah. Okay, got it. Got it. So yes, I guess the mastermind here is, or the Smiths chip is, you know, harvesting all this traffic from all these digital sources, but also guerrilla if you guys ever need, and then walk you through funnels of value. So the ROI on these investments that seemingly on paper seemed like it's not profitable, don't even go into this territory.
Yoni Mazor 63:11
So no go in, if you kind of recalibrated the strategy, and bundle it up with other things. I think that's yeah, it's innovative is trailblazing and that is how I think eCommerce sellers should look at their business, uh, you're involved with a lot of traffic, a lot of opportunities, you got to know how to calibrate and harvest that there is a way to maximize what's available out there for you if you're stuck on just launching a product doing PPC and mastering and mastering the keywords and that's you're making a breaking moment. Maybe she recalculates that maybe should we think that maybe there are other opportunities out there.
Yoni Mazor 63:41
I think post-purchase Pro is an opportunity to discover maybe other ways to calibrate your business in such a way we can blow it off to the roof and take it to dimensions you never imagined and also, especially if we were in a category we can replenish and repurchase and you can harvest a client list somebody to keep can't launch a new variation this and then to get keep getting that MRR the monthly recurring revenue was Subscribe and Save and stuff like that and nourish that as well.
Yoni Mazor 64:05
So that will be extremely valuable for sellers in those categories. Okay, so I want to start kind of wrapping up the episode here. See what we got so far. Both of you guys are from Rushville Indiana. Sean's trajectory was you know, after school he was already kind of doing his own thing. He was involved with selling electric cars the infrared radiator or the heater you made an exit on that but that was the moment shot set came into the mix as well.
Yoni Mazor 64:34
He was still in college and then three years later you guys meet around 2013 You kind of doubt you already made your exit Tron from April private equity assaulted our private equity the heater business and you can unload to set your story, your Bible, and your personal Bible of things. And then you guys kind of recalculated your steps and you see that together you can get involved with them selling on Amazon because you got to expose your friend from Florida.
Yoni Mazor 64:58
You guys die dive into the mix, you see how you guys complement each other, that there's more to the numbers and you know, and to the KPIs will shine is more identifying on the ground, what's going on what's working what's not, and bringing that importing and x and in sourcing magic, which also evolved into just an argument about flying for flying first class, pushing to the, to the trail of consulting and helping other sellers in the community. I did that very well, until about 221 that sold off.
Yoni Mazor 65:27
And the meantime, you also sold about 17 brands that you guys created on Amazon, which is also phenomenal, and it's, it's on merit. And then you guys kind of both retired early you happen to be with China was your fourth I guess, maybe said that was your first. And then you kind of realize that you can, you can provide other opportunities and ways for sellers and eCommerce sellers, and expand their business in the right way, which is very meaningful and impactful. So you take all that experience on both sides and all the years together to create this perfect storm or magical post-purchase Pro. So we got everything correctly so far.
Shawn Hart 66:03
Man, you have a mind like an elephant. So by type all that out for you to remember it.
Yoni Mazor 66:08
Yeah, just hands-off. It's just my party has to be like the sponge that put out, put it all together. Okay, so I want to thank you really for you know, sharing that story. It's been, for me Exciting, thrilling, learn a lot of new things, I just want to I guess, close the episode with two points.
Yoni Mazor 66:23
One of them you can already touch we can touch it again, just give a hand off to where you know, people can find you and connect with you. And the last thing will be very shortly from each one of you is what is the message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out
Shawn Hart 66:36
There. Okay, perfect. So, just for that purpose and for your show notes. Our podcast is post-purchase podcast.com. You can listen on any platform, it's available across all platforms. If you want to learn more information about Yoni or your audience about specifics on our Amazon tripwire, it's listing tripwire.com. If you want to learn more about our value stack that I touched on, it's listing value stack.com.
Shawn Hart 67:05
And for success, amazing genius, ao v funnel.com. If you want to increase the average order value, that's it. We don't, you can find us on Facebook and post-purchase Pro, Danny handles that. And we do have a YouTube channel, which I'd love to repost this video. And let's see, the most inspiration I can say is Seth and I just finished a long weekend, we just finished a book we'd been working on for several months.
Shawn Hart 67:31
And it's probably going to be called Private Label millionaire secrets. But that's yet to be seen. But the book the whole mantra of the book, In the beginning, it starts with a quote from one of my favorite authors Augmon Dino and that is, you know if you want to be successful, then instead of focusing on the obstacles at your feet, you should be focused on the goals above so yeah,
Shawn Hart 67:56
That’s good. And Yoni, just because I know your audience has a lot of e-commerce and Amazon sellers. All I'll say one thing that maybe will inspire them a little bit is when you realize that your Amazon business, your E-commerce business is not a transaction machine,
Shawn Hart 68:10
Where you're serving another person on the other end of that transaction, you can build and focus on building a real relationship with those customers. Not only do your customers win, but you win because you are building trust on that scale and you can perform for the people that are relying on you to perform and you'll make a lot more money.
Yoni Mazor 68:30
Like I'll make a lot more money. But actually, you might find it much more rewarding and satisfying because you have a relationship on the other side, and relationships are meant for humans. Just it's just a thing that we may be overlooked in business. So if you have that established, that's a magical thing. Okay, guys, thank you so much.
Shawn Hart 68:46
I said you’re the pro with that you're the first man who outgave me on our very first conversation. And I mean, I've never been out given before you are a giver. We appreciate that. So the main takeaway for me Yoni is your Amazon business, if treated correctly, can become a profitable customer acquisition source instead of just a transactional platform. And that's what you can do.
Yoni Mazor 69:09
You got it. So thank you so much again, guys, for your time today and for sharing all these stories with us and all these insights. Appreciate it. Good luck on the book coming out hopefully soon. I hope everybody else enjoys the seven healthy, like everybody.
Yoni Mazor 69:20