Excellent share mate! It would be great if you could create another thread on Dropshipping guide if possible...
thanks for the shareHey BHW, how’s it going? I hope 2019 is treating you all well. It’s been a while since my last thread here. Some of you already know but for the rest, I’ve been doing E-com for about 2-3 years now. I’ve run a couple of dropshipping e-commerce stores and have successfully made over six figures from them. I initially wanted to write an A-Z guide on Dropshipping for beginners but there’s plenty of those going around so I wanted to do talk about something different. This particular guide is gonna be a long one so get comfy.
Everyone who’s done a fair bit of dropshipping knows the nature of the business – you make money as long as you have a “winner” product. Winners don’t last forever. They stop selling and die eventually. It could be a week, a month, 6 months or even a year. There’s a lot of reasons for it, a main one being the trend dying. Example – fidget spinners.
Coming back to my point, your winning products WILL die and you need to keep finding new and interesting products alive to keep your store running. After I found a couple of winners of my own, I just stopped working and got lazy (happens to a lot of people) because it was such easy money and almost auto-pilot. I would spend maybe 5 minutes every day changing ad budgets and make $2K easy. The store eventually died, I moved on and just built more. It was a six-figure store with a Facebook page that had 45k likes and an Instagram account with almost 15K followers. I always wanted to come back to it because it was my first major success and sometime last year I finally decided to revive it.
How was I supposed to resurrect a store that hasn’t been active for over a year? A Giveaway I thought. People love free shit. I can afford to give away some shit for free. It could help drive some new traffic to the store and help sales. I needed to improve on my backend marketing (email marketing). I had no idea where to start or what to do. I also didn’t know if it’d work but it would be a fun learning experience. I made sure to document everything I did so I could review it in the future and improve. I’m glad I did because it makes writing this guide easier than just from memory. I had been reading some unique growth hacks weeks before and I knew I had to just implement all of it. Let’s get started.
First things first, the rewards. What are you gonna be giving away? How much will it cost you? How many winners do you want to have for the giveaway?
The rewards of the giveaway hugely depend on the niche of your store. It needs to appeal to a broad audience so more people take part in it and share with their friends. This particular store of mine was in the Women’s fashion niche. I initially wanted to do a giveaway for a makeup brush set. But market research is important so I asked a couple of my female friends if they preferred getting a makeup set or just in-store credit to any of the makeup brands and almost every one of them preferred the store credit because they’d be able to buy anything they want with it. I also enquired about good makeup brands and SEPHORA stood out as the most preferred choice. I decided I was going to give away SEPHORA gift cards that could be redeemed for credit either at a local or online store.
How many winners do you want in your giveaway? More winners meant more prizes which could also cost you more.
I decided on a 3-tier giveaway that would have 3 winners.
Winner - $100 gift card
1st Runner up - $50 gift card
2nd Runner up - $25 gift card.
Distributing prizes to the winners would cost me $175, I was fine with that. Real prizes give a huge boost to the credibility to the giveaway and the brand (my store). Look at it as an investment and how much you could make back from it in the long term.
3. How to create a giveaway?
I had zero experience with running giveaways. A little googling told me I could create and run a simple giveaway using Kingsumo or Gleam.io . There are alternatives but they didn’t have what I was looking for. I needed inbuilt options to encourage social sharing that would increase a person’s chance at winning. I've come across promotional campaigns in the past using either of these services to host their giveaways so it's clear they're the best at it. I decided to go with Kingsumo because it was easier to setup and edit. Features wise, Gleam.io is ahead of Kingsumo. Gleam.io has a ton of customization options which is also it's problem in my opinion. I couldn't afford to spend the whole day picking out colors and fonts for my giveaway. Kingsumo is better in that aspect and simpler to use. More on this later. Alternatively, you can also use Wordpress and plugins to make giveaway pages.
This is why you’re here isn’t it? How was I gonna drive traffic to a giveaway by a dead store? I had a strategy in mind but it was gonna be a lot of work. Some sources I planned to use – Instagram, Facebook groups, Facebook Messenger, Emails.
The strategy was –
- Make a post on Instagram and Facebook about the gift card giveaway. Upload an Instagram story about the giveaway and make it swipe-up-able. This would require making different creatives for Instagram/Facebook posts and stories (different dimensions)
- Facebook & Instagram posts + story linking back to an automated Facebook Messenger bot requiring user input. Once someone agrees to get into the giveaway, they will be sent to a Kingsumo viral giveaway page. This way I would build a list for Messenger Marketing.
- Buying Instagram shouts – Simple and straightforward. Buy STORY shoutouts for the gift card giveway. People will simply have to swipe-up on stories to view and enter the giveaway, easy.
- Run this giveaway for 15-20 days or even a month and announce the winners all across my socials so winners can come and claim their prize. I will ask them to create social content for me on their profiles so everyone knows the giveaway was real (I'll only be selecting public profiles).
- One day or a few hours after winners are announced, I’ll push a messenger and email campaign to everyone who has entered and give them "Runner up" discount. I will giving them flat $10-15 in store credit for a couple of my stores to drive sales.
This was just a rough plan. All of this sounds very simple but the actual work begins now.
Creatives for Social Media
First thing I wanted to handle was the creatives for the giveaway itself. Creatives for the posts I will be making across social media and for influencers to promote the giveaway contest. I had a few rough designs in mind and I started working on them but with limited experience with Photoshop (no experience) and Canva not being helpful as it once used to be, I asked a friend to create a few mockup designs and his creatives completely blew mine out of the water. I wish I could show you guys the creatives, they were brilliant.
Lesson learnt - If you suck at design, hire a designer. Don't fuck around and waste time.
While he was working on the creatives, I got to setting up an automated messenger bot. I used Manychat (highly recommended) for this. My needs for the bot are -
1. Provide a link to the giveaway contest page
2. Give people an option to subscribe to updates
3. Reply to people with an automated message if they comment something on a Facebook post
Manychat being extremely easy to use, I was able to figure it out and finish setting it up in about 20 minutes. I added some additional settings into the bot so my existing customers could subscribe to updates too.
For my need to keep the store private, I won’t be able to show the bot I did make but I will add some screenshots of it working and interacting with people. Private info will be blurred.
Now that I was done with one of the major aspects of the giveaway (automated marketing), it was time to build my actual contest landing page. I wanted a contest page that had a timer for the contest's durations and additional instructions. It also needed to have a social-sharing feature that would act as incentive for people to share my giveaway giving them a better chance at winning it.
I made this contest page within half an hour.
I also integrated Mailchimp into this page so it adds emails to my list whenever someone signs up for the giveaway. I forgot to mention, I have the store's Instagram account on an Instagram bot unfollowing people and I want it to hit 0 before my campaign goes live. Once it's live, I'll set the bot to follow people interested in makeup.
Now it was time to find Instagram influencers. This was probably the most boring part out of everything but I will talk about it in detail. I'm giving away store credit to a store that primarily sells makeup and cosmetics so it only makes sense to find people who're interested in makeup. I used a couple of methods to find good influencers that I could approach for my giveaway.
Here's a few methods I utilized –
1. Top posts - This how I usually start my influencer search. I search for a popular hashtag for the niche and then look at the top posts to see if I can find a few influencers in them.
Top posts = trending posts for that hashtag. sometimes posts can last on top posts for couple of days if they're getting good engagement and this helps the account massively with organic growth.
I found 2-3 bloggers for the keyword "#makeup" but they weren't from my primary target audience (US) so I didn't go deeper. Found a few bloggers on top posts so I added them to my list.
2. Related profiles - If you're out of ideas or just lazy like me then let Instagram do the work for you. Go to a profile you want to find more of and click on the little arrow like so - http://prntscr.com/l2zgkv
It'll show you a bunch of people like the one you're looking at you'll easily find more.
3. Tagged posts - Another effective method to find influencers. Influencers LOVE tagging brands in their pictures for attention and potential collabs so I like to use that to my advantage. I went to Sephora's IG page and started going through the posts they're tagged in and found a couple of bloggers through it.
4. Last resort - Shoutcart.com
Once I had about 20 influencers, it was time for the process of elimination. I use a couple of tools to look at detailed statistics on influencers.
Engagement Calculator - https://phlanx.com/engagement-calculator
Instagram Money Calculator- https://influencermarketinghub.com/instagram-money-calculator/
Instagram Fake follower & activity checker - https://influencermarketinghub.com/instagram-fake-follower-bot-checker-free/
I use this graph roughly to estimate how good the engagement is - http://prntscr.com/l2zeyr
I also like to manually check the following and comments on profiles just to make sure they're good enough.
So, I started sending them DMs & emails. I received very prompt replies (very surprising) and completed negotiations with a few.
I also started looking at my options for email marketing. I've always stayed away from emails from sheer laziness but this time around I wanted to make full use of it. I have a list of 8.2K (old customers) people just lying around gathering virtual dust. I wanted to email at least once every 2 days either about the giveaway or some Halloween sale. It would be easier to get them to convert because they’re already familiar with my brand. Spent 2 hours just sorting through and segregating emails based on their past activity - buyers, non-buyers, adds to cart, newsletter signups.
Giveaway campaign is live!
The campaign went live a day later when I felt I was ready and the reception to it was very poor. I only got 10 people to sign up so far. I made a couple of mistakes, clearly.
I wasn't active at all on these pages prior to starting the giveaway except posting 3 images to warm it up. My IG posts for instance usually get 100 likes within an hour but the giveaway post did horrible even with appropriate hashtags.
I bought a shoutout from a person for $20 but I gave the wrong link which sent people to the Messenger page instead of the actual giveaway landing page on Kingsumo. I was half asleep while typing the mail out to her.
Lesson learnt - Double check links you give to influencers.
I rethought the entire funnel of the giveaway and knew I had to make it simpler to sign up.. I think my problem was that I was doing too much which is a direct result of too much reading and planning all at once.
My original funnel was somewhat like this -
-People view my post on Facebook/Instagram
-They follow my account, tag a friend in the post and then have to screenshot it and upload it to their story
-They visit the link in my bio/story which leads to my Messenger bot
- The messenger bot has texts asking them to sign up for updates and then click on a button for the giveaway
- They land on the Kingsumo page and enter their email and then can social shares to get bonus entries for the giveaway which helps their chances of winning the contest.
1. Removing messenger - I'll instead send people directly to the Kingsumo page with very few instructions so they just enter using the email and I build an email list.
My Kingsumo landing page had a lot of text and it was a little confusing. Now I had 2 choices, I could either use Messenger in tandem with Manychat and build a messenger list or I could build an email list on Kingsumo which I can later use to sell or whatever I wanted. I chose Kingsumo for 2 reasons -
1. I can collect a shit ton of emails and get social shares from people without even asking
2. I can have a nice landing page with a countdown timer and everything to look more legit
I refined my funnel to look like this –
- People view my post on FB/ Instagram
- They're required to tag a friend in the post
- They visit the kingsumo contest page and enter their email to complete their entry. Once signed up with an email, it's their choice to do social shares or not. Doing them legit gives them more entries and increases their chances of winning so people who really want the store credit will work for it.
- Added very simple and easy to follow info about the contest
When people click on "subscribe to updates", they'll be sent to a custom messenger conversation with my bot that will enable them to sign up for updates.
This way, I'm building an email list at ease while also still building my messenger list. Now, my funnel is cleaner and easier to navigate through and I'm building both my email and messenger lists. That's a lot of problems fixed.
Once this was done, I started working on a simple email to send to a list of my customers. I was on the Mailchimp free plan which only allowed for 2500 emails. I added 2200 of my best customers (based on past spend). If the email worked out, I would further add the remaining 6500 mails and send them all mails too. I've been putting off email marketing for so long but this time I just said fuck it and finally bought into a Mailchimp plan of $25 (2000-5K subscribers). Took about half a hour to type out a simple but beautiful email and I sent it. My first email campaign in forever. I hadn't mailed these people in over 12 months.
That stats look somewhat like this after a couple of hours -
Not all 39 clicks would've signed up, maybe 30 people did. Again, I don't have much experience with writing emails but I think almost a 15% open rate on my first email is good enough.
20 people unsubscribed ticking "Not interested anymore" so fuck them. One of my highest paying customers ($400+ single order) unsubscribed too so RIP.
These were the stats of my giveaway campaign thus far -
152 signups and 1K+ entries which basically means my new funnel is working better. I used a sneaky little method to drive highly targeted traffic to my giveaway which I will be talking about in a bit.
Changing my funnel was perhaps the best decision I took in this journey so far. The rate at which I've been getting signups has been amazing. I've also been getting a healthy of followers on my IG account and likes on my Facebook page.
Changing my funnel wasn't enough to get signups, I needed traffic. I started looking for free sources to get traffic. My initial plan was to start buy shoutouts and drive traffic to the contest page that way. But I'd been reading up a lot on giveaways in the past few months and all of them had 1 thing in common - Facebook groups.
So, I decided to test this out and I started looking for beauty/makeup/fashion groups on Facebook. A simple Facebook search for "makeup groups" yielded a lot of results. I did NOT want to spam these groups or get banned from them even before I got to talk about my giveaway. I started sending messages to Admins of these groups asking if I could promote my giveaway through their groups.
Message template used –
“ Hi First-name, I've just been accepted into the the GroupName you're the Admin of and I wanted to talk to you about something.
I own a store called StoreName (<fb.com/storename>) and to start off the holiday season we're doing a fun giveaway of $175 in SEPHORA Store credit. The contest ends on the 24th of October and at the end of it we'll be picking 3 winners who'll each be receiving a SEPHORA gift card of $100, $50 or $25.
I wanted to know if I could promote the giveaway in your group. It doesn't require anyone to volunteer any information except their email which is used to validate their entry into the giveaway.
This is the giveaway page - <kingsumo giveaway page>
I did this late at night (Indian time) so I got some quick replies from the admins and all of them really appreciated me asking them before I decided to post anything regarding the giveaway. I got into 2 groups where the admins said I could post about the giveaway.
I sent messages to 25 admins (sometimes multiple admins of the same group) out of which 7 got back to me.
2 Admins were fine with me posting right away, 2 Admins said it counts as a business post so I would have to pay to get my post into the group (I was fine with it) and the other 3 said they couldn't allow this.
So I posted my giveaway's info in 2 groups but they didn't get much engagement on the post but I got a good number of signups so it worked.
One admin quoted $90 for 1 day without it being a pinned post and I gladly declined.
I was getting a little tired from messaging people so I went to other FREE methods to get traffic to your contests. The first place I visited was Reddit. I probably spend more time on Reddit than I do on BHW to be honest. There's certain subreddits where you can post your contests for free.
1. reddit.com/r/giveaways- You can repost every 48 hours on this subreddit. When I went to repost my giveaway today, the guy already did it for me lol.
When I post my giveaways here, I was pleasantly surprised to see someone had already posted them there. I didn't mind, less work for me. On to other giveaway sites -
I found my giveaways listed here too. I guess it's someone actual job to look for contests like these and post them. I did this on a few more sites I can't remember but someone got to it before I could. Lesser work for me so I couldn't complain.
List of sites to post your contests to - https://woorise.com/promote-giveaway-free
Lastly, a large influencer (85k) finally replied to me after 2 hours of emails back and forth, she agreed on a price of $45 for a 12-hour IG story promotion with a Swipe-up story. Her initial price was $75.
These are the stats of the promotion done through her account - http://prntscr.com/l4xc7v
I probably got 120-125 signups through her.
Wrapping up, let's look at the numbers I was able to do in the past 2 days through free traffic, 1 email and 1 paid shoutout.
Total signups - 908
I was surprised and amazed looking at the amount of signups coming in. 908 in 2 days!
Instagram followers gained - about 400
Facebook page likes gained - 200
The followers and page likes are pretty much organic and came either through people sharing the giveaway to get bonus entries or by tagging their friends.
I ran an Instagram and it did horribly. It spent $10 before I killed it. I didn't get a chance to promote my products yet which I was gonna start soon, I needed to find new products first because my catalog hadn’t been updated in almost 2 years.
I ended the giveaway on 27th October 2018, 23 days since it went live. I didn’t do much in between because I got busy with other things but I was getting tons of signups all throughout. I had gone viral I’d like to believe. I was getting 10-20 signups every hour, for weeks, without doing anything. I had stopped promoting by the 12th.
Numbers – Numbers numbers numbers! That’s what everyone is here for so here we go.
I ended the giveaway with -
28,919 entries holy fuck!
537 new Facebook page likes.
626 new Instagram followers.
260 subscribers to my Messenger list.
I sent out an email announcing the winners. Also sent out a messenger blast informing people about it. I also added in a 15% OFF "runner-up" prize at the end.
How my analytics dashboard looked shortly after I sent the email and messenger blast -
Messenger broadcast announcing the winners.
Waited for about 45 minutes and sent a "runner up prize" message.
The idea behind the runner prize was that people hate losing. No matter where or what it is. If I gave them a "prize" for losing, they wouldn't feel as bad about it. I gave them a flat $15 off coupon to use on my stores.
Ultimately, all of this generated $690 in sales on my online store with a 2 year old catalog. I did everything except add new products or it could’ve been waaay more. But hey, you live you learn.
Expenses - $275
Profit - $415
Not too bad I think. I now know how to run a giveaway contest and will do it even better the next time. It was lots of fun.
Some of you are gonna find my store because of all the information and screenshots I’ve put in here, I don’t mind. But please don’t put links to it in the comments. Thank you!
I hope everyone reading learnt something new today and as always, if you have any questions, ask away in the comments.
I built it using Kingsumo. They have all the customization options you need to build one for yourself. If you want more features, go with Gleam.io.Amazing guide sir! Btw what software did you use to create your landing page or you wrote(HTML)it by yourself?
Both, really. I sent out an email + messenger blast at the same time. Made a mistake of putting the same coupon in the messages though. If I gave them different coupons I could've split-tested and seen what works better - emails or messenger.The profit just came from your messenger subscribers? Or did you also managed to contact the people that signed up by email?