The incredible rise & spectacular fall of a $100M e-commerce empire. A case study of 3.25B site visits: Reddit drives 3x more visitors to blogs than YouTube. 1 T-shirt, 72 hours = $2.4k in revenue.

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MARKETING

Traffic study of 3.2B site visits

Kyle Byers from GrowthBadger recently conducted a study in which he analyzed 3.25B site visits across May – July 2019, with the aim of understanding the reliance and effects of various traffic sources across different industries.

The primary data sources of this study were SimilarWeb and Detailed.com.

Here are the key takeaways from the study:

  • Niches such as Health and Medical were found to be most reliant on Google, with 87% of their traffic coming from Search.
  • Crypto was found to be least reliant on Google, with just 45% of its traffic coming from Search.
  • Google drives 8x more traffic than all social media networks combined.
  • Search is the single largest traffic source for every niche, and in most industries it drives the majority of the web traffic.
  • Of all social networks, Facebook contributes to over 65% of traffic. That’s more visits per month than all other social networks combined.
  • Instagram drives just under 1% of overall traffic across all niches. Even brands from the fashion and beauty niche receive less than 5% of their monthly visits from Instagram.
  • Business and Marketing seems to be the niche most reliant on FB, with 13.52% of its traffic stemming from the network.
  • Facebook is the most important social network for every niche except two: Design and Development (for which the top network is YouTube) and Crypto (for which Twitter makes up the bulk of it).
  • The average top blog gets 66% of its traffic from Search, of which 99.77% is organic and only 0.23% is paid.
  • Reddit drives over 3x more traffic to blogs than YouTube.

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Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You can find more granular details, along with graphical representations of detailed statistics from the case study here.


E-COMMERCE

Making $2.4k from 1 t-shirt in 72 hours

Kerry Egeler shared the whole funnel he used to make $2.4k from one t-shirt in about 3 days. It covers Messenger, email and FB Ads.

Sounds interesting, so we’ll save the ink and go straight into it.

Let’s have some fun.

  1. Kerry picked the best selling t-shirt from his existing Shopify store, which is priced at $28, and made it an only-pay-shipping offer.
  2. Added an order bump (pay to have your item shipped as first) and 2 upsells: A second t-shirt and a hoodie.
  3. Sent the offer to his Messenger list. He returned 40 conversions from 541 subscribers, as well as receiving data for him to leverage later on.
  4. Made some changes to the pricing structure: $6.95 shipping for the free tee, $2.95 for the order bump, $29.95 for the hoodie(One time only deal) and $9.95 for the second tee.
  5. Launched a Facebook campaign with a $25 daily budget and achieved a 1.5$ CPP. It isn’t specified how many of these conversions were for the whole bundle or just the free t-shirt.
  6. Scaled to $75 per day by duplicating the ad set twice. After 3 days the CPP settled at $1.90.

Results from Facebook campaigns:

  • 30% of buyers took the $2.95 order bump.
  • 15% took the $9.95 tee.
  • Only 2% took the hoodie.
  • Added 826 subscribers to his email list.

Then, Kerry went for step number 7: He sent the promo to his 5k email list and got 100 more conversions. Not a huge conversion rate, but still a sweet return considering he didn’t have to pay a dime for the promo…

Last point to add: This sale was a limited promo that lasted only 72 hours.

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Looks like a complete and effective case study! Even better, it’s adaptable to every store: Just take your best seller, make a limited promo with it, add a pair of upsells and cross-sells… and don’t forget to leverage your messenger and email list.

Something to test for the BFCM?


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BUSINESS

Rise & fall of a $100M/Year e-commerce

This story is about a physician and a lawyer who managed to build an ecomm empire from scratch, rose to $100M in venture capital out of the blue, and then failed spectacularly.

How everything started

John James started his first e-commerce business in 1995, and it eventually helped him pay his way through medical school. Later, in 2001, he started a second store with his brother. The aim was to make $30k per year, but by 2002 they were making $30k per day! Talk about wrong forecasts…

Back in the good old days, they leveraged Google arbitrage to grow at a very fast pace. Google AdWords was still a cute baby, and you could hit the top spot for a few pennies. Basically, they started with a $48 advertising budget and built an 8-figure business with it.

Then, they sold this business and started Acumen brands. They launched a dozen online stores in several different verticals: medical scrubs, workwear, outdoor gear, dance wear, cowboy boots, and several others.

The diamond of this group was Country Outfitter, a cowboy boots brand.

What was different from today? They didn’t have all the tools we have today at our disposal, so had to develop their own software. Not only that, but they also had to build their own warehouse and fulfilment centers, but at least the marketing was easier and cheaper!

In fact, their use of Facebook’s nascent ad business gave them a huge advantage.

The strategy we used to crack the Facebook code was counterintuitive. Rather than selling boots directly on the first visit, we changed our goal to get multiple visits from the same visitor, and make the first sale over time. The goal of the first visit was simply to establish a relationship with the customer.

They built an 11M strong email subscriber list with giveaways on Facebook for their Country Outfitter brand. This brand went from $100k/month revenue to $14.5M/month in just 6 months!

What caused the fall? 18 months after selling the majority of Acumen Brands, John stepped down as a CEO. They were heavily focused on Country Outfitters, but after he left his CEO position the company lost the CTO and vital marketing talent at the same time.

It wasn’t just missing talent either: “Amazon started moving heavily, […] our biggest competitor went public, and most importantly Facebook’s organic reach algorithm changed dramatically and bid prices increased exponentially.”

It’s a great story! If you want to discover more about John James’ business adventure, you can read the full post here. He explains how they used to rank on Google, what they leveraged to grow their Facebook audience, and what the differences are between today’s environment and their initial stages.

It’s always good to learn from the past!


SUPER SEVEN

  • ADVERTISING: Can’t keep a tab on what content is allowed and what’s not allowed while advertising? Here’s a cheat sheet of all prohibited ads across all search and social platforms.
  • EMAIL: Joshua Chin says that a single email at the right time can net you $1k. A post on why you should A/B test sending times and how to do it.
  • SEO: Google has added a new report to Search Console that allows you to track and measure the performance of your datasets. If you aren’t using dataset markups, this report won’t be accessible to you.
  • INSTAGRAM: An Israeli hacker found a security issue in Instagram which exposes users’ account data and phone numbers. IG has now confirmed this security issue.
  • FACEBOOK: Could this be the perfect workaround for when Facebook flags you for running too many tests? We aren’t sure if it will work for you, but it seems very popular and is definitely worth a closer look!
  • AMAZON: Amazon accused again of manipulating its search to feature listings that bring more revenue to the company. Amazon says it doesn’t, but advertisers aren’t happy.
  • FACEBOOK: A simple script that allows you to create Facebook demographic reports and generates a pyramid chart for age/gender performance analysis, all with the click of a button.

BRAIN TEASER

Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. what is it?

You’ll find the answer at the end of this email.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.Opulence for scuba divers

Destroy your SIM card, NOW!

Well, it looks like privacy is a joke after all.

It’s not just FB and Google, even innocent-looking SIM cards are being used to spy on users’ data.

Cybersecurity researchers have identified a new vulnerability in SIM cards that allows remote attackers to compromise cell phones and spy on users just by sending an SMS.

The technique is called SimJacker, which uses the dynamic SIM toolkit called [email protected] browser. And guess what? This is already used by mobile operators in at least 30 countries.

Here’s what’s more horrifying: There is a private company actively working with governments to exploit the vulnerability. This has been going on for at least two years and is used for targeted surveillance on users across several countries.

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As per the researchers, SimJacker works on all manufacturers and mobile phone models, as it exploits a legacy technology embedded on SIM cards which has not been updated since 2009, putting almost everyone at risk.

It looks like there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it either, except requesting a SIM replacement that has proprietary security mechanisms in place from your service provider.

Have a great day ahead!


BRAIN TEASER ANSWER

Nothing.


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