Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Dec 19, 2019

Are you trying to launch a business or sell a product, and need some tips to help you launch successfully? Are you wondering if you should engage in email marketing? What about offering subscriptions? Kurt Elster joins us to cover how to launch a business successfully and how to engage with and grow your customer base. Don’t miss this great episode of Just the Tips!

Kurt is known in the industry as “The Shopify Guy”. Before he became the preeminent Shopify expert he spent years building websites. In 2011 he started working with Shopify and found success—and a passion. So he doubled down, made Shopify his primary focus, and branded himself. Alongside being a successful Shopify consultant, he is the host of the ‘Unofficial Shopify Podcast’ (with over a million downloads). 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:45] Ecommerce Pro Kurt Elster joins us
  • [3:00] How to sell a product online
  • [5:20] Stop operating in stealth mode
  • [9:25] How Kurt became a Shopify consultant
  • [13:35] Successful Facebook advertising
  • [18:30] Should you offer subscriptions for your product?
  • [23:50] Strategies for gaining return customers
  • [27:30] Outsource when you’re doing well
  • [31:35] The process of building a brand
  • [33:10] Connect with Kurt

How to launch a business successfully 

Kurt points out that the biggest mistake people make when launching an online business is doing it in “stealth mode”. They keep the product and website “hush-hush” and when they launch, nothing happens

The cornerstone of a successful launch is building an audience for your product. Share on social media the product you’re developing. Get them to sign up for emails on your website. See if they’re interested in pre-ordering!

Kurt shares that the goal is to get a feel for who your customer is. Connect with them as a business owner and a person by sharing everything you’re doing. Only then should you build out a brand and your Shopify store. 

Are subscriptions effective or do they miss the mark?

Dean and I have noticed that many subscriptions for products tend to completely miss the mark. Or they were a fad (i.e. box of the month) that are dying out. So we asked Kurt point-blank how to package subscriptions effectively. He has ONE rule: anyone who has a consumable good needs to do a subscription. 

Kurt also believes you shouldn’t try to sell a subscription to a new customer. However, once they’ve purchased a product enroll them in an email follow-up sequence. You could send them educational content or recipe ideas. Then, in the email sequence, you can offer a subscription for the item(s).

Once they’ve gotten a chance to try your product, and your emails are timed correctly, they may very well become a return customer. Keep listening to find out why Kurt believes it’s hard to push subscriptions in other niches. 

A better way to run ads

When big brands started taking Facebook ads seriously, they began dumping money into the ad medium. When Facebook tightened up ad placement, this drove ad costs up so big brands could easily still afford the cost, but it pushed small businesses out. 

You don’t want to waste ad budget and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make hundreds of thousands in revenue, only to have little to no profit margin. Kurt recommends tracking your ad spend and making sure you’re getting a 1.5x return on your investment.

Instead of throwing money away in generic advertising, he notes that you must get to know your customers and increase the quality of your traffic to increase conversion rate. 

The immutable truth of digital marketing

Instead of spending your marketing budget on cold traffic, Kurt recommends retargeting warm/hot audiences. If people have interacted with your posts or ads on Facebook or Instagram, target your ongoing ads to them. It’s far less expensive and a better return on your investment

Kurt calls this concept the immutable truth of digital marketing: repetition builds trust. 10 touchpoints or interactions with a brand—or more—builds trust and makes the person more likely to become a customer. 

Another way to get them in your email funnel is by implementing a pop-up when they leave your site to subscribe to your emails. If your ads on Instagram and Facebook are targeting them AND they’re receiving emails from you, you can gain a new customer in as little as 6 days.

Keep listening as Kurt, Dean, and myself chat about what to do when the business is thriving, the lifetime value of customers, and much more!

Resources & People Mentioned

Musicfor “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Connect With James and Dean

James P. Friel:

Dean Holland:

Audio Production and Show notes by