Carolyn Lowe founded ROI Swift in 2015 to help emerging consumer brands get expert help in Amazon, Paid Ads for Facebook/Instagram, and Paid Search. So many smaller businesses were being taken advantage of by paying agencies big dollars for no results, and Carolyn thought that was wrong. Her team grew an apparel and footwear company from $0-12M in 18 months through paid Facebook and Instagram ads. Carolyn’s goal is to help 1000 brands grow profitably. So far, they have helped 102, so she is 898 away from retirement!
Fun facts about Carolyn: She once won $10,000 on the radio and wished she saved it to invest in Google or Amazon two decades later. After leaving Dell, she founded ROI Swift to follow her passion of helping emerging businesses grow. She is the mother of two children and has her pilot’s license, though no time to actually fly anymore.
What Expert Authority World™ is saying about the show:
- Loved the Craig Handley Episodeby MHillfan from United States
Mario’s energy is infectious and Craig Handley is a character and some. But really every episode brings out the uniqueness of each guest. This pod has become one of my must listens›
- Inspiring. Informative.by SunDevil from United States
Mario is incredibly inspiring and does something few other podcast hosts can manage to do… allow his guests to actuall talk at length and answer his questions. He offers great information and I really appreciate that he is invested in what his guests have to offer as well. Other podcasts come across as an ego stroke for the host, but this podcast is truly here to help guests share their stories as well to the benefit of the listener. Worth subscribing.
- Game changerby TimLawson21 from United States
This podcast is informative and inspiring. I love it!
- If you are a wanna be entrepreneur look no further!by Elisa Di Napoli from United Kingdom
Great podcast full of interesting insights. The host is engaging and thoughtful and I can say I have enjoyed listening to each episode!
- Amazing Interviews not to miss!!!by Jbower1282 from United States
Consistantly uniques interviews or amazing people really making it happen.
- Mario is a great host with great questions!by alexdesigns from United States
Take a few minutes out of your day to listen to Mario. He is a super smart guy and I love the questions he asks his guests.
- A great podcast for dreamers and do-ers!by Chiquita2727 from United States
Lots of great information and inspiration for anyone who wants to turn dreams into reality. Mario brings a lot of spot-on information to this podcast.
- Great Showby Palminchen from London from United Kingdom
Love the broad selection of topics for inner
- Amazing inspirational storiesby colas_18 from United Kingdom
This podcast is so good. The stories from the people sharing their stories about their struggles in life and how they overcame these struggles is just inspirational and helped me push harder when things get tough. Keep up the good work with these amazing interviews Mario.
- Fantasticby sttoggyigctdrvy from United States
Mario goes above & beyond on his show. Lots of great information for his listeners!
- Top Learningby BLNT PPTT from Hungary
Love hearing these great interviews with a great host. Keep up the good work!
- Mario inspires!by Fatherof10yrold from United States
These interviews are fantastic. Mario inspires with great questions that draw out great answers from his guests!
- Expert authority!by Tara Williams Phone from United States
Mario shares some amazing people on this podcast and they have some gold to share!
- Great show!by Karen @ Interview Valet from United States
Mario is an awesome podcast host! I love the FB Live interviews and the opportunity for listeners to engage in real time. The audio and video quality is spot on every time. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss anything! You won't be sorry.
- A Podcasters Inspiration!by JamieKullman from United States
Mario has so much insight and delivers such incredible value through his show. I just started listening, but I've already learned so much from him and his wonderful interviews. Keep up the awesome work!!
- Quality professionalismby VirtForce from United States
I can’t say enough about how pristine and professional Mario is in his interviews. He truly wants his guests to have the best experience and recording possible. And not to mention he is fun and knows how to put people at ease in front of the camera.
- How to conquer your limiting beliefsby Dave4syth from United States
Listen to episode 103 an dlearn how to overcome your limiting beliefs. Great advice.
- I can’t believe how much I learned in just one episodeby AwesomeMontana from United States
Mario is knowledgeable, curious and able to bring great guests that deliver value that every business needs to understand! Outstanding podcast!
- Great content!by Cory Lee Leadership from United States
Mario does a great job of providing relevant information and bringing on guests to share their expertise in a variety of fields. Highly recommend his podcast!
- Fascinating interviewsby Bill Ringle from United States
Mario brings on accomplished guests and draws out their expertise and stories in a way that leaves me on the edge of my seat. Keep up the great work, Mario!
- Love It!by Laura Moreno Cabanillas from India
Loving this podcasts, an entrepreneur I really appreciate the energy and passion being shared to help us grow our business. Keep up the great work.
- Boost my Amazon sales!by SurvivalDad from United States
I tap Amazon as one of my sales channels and your interview with John Ghiorso was an eye-opener. Ignore at your own peril!
- Love It!by LauraMore from United States
I loved the Memorial Day episode, Mario! Thanks so much for creating this awesome podcast!
- Flawless interview styleby GninraeL14 from United States
Mario makes everyone appear even more interesting to me. Great format and style!
- Come here for valueby Joshua User 202! from Canada
Really appreciated this podcast for the raw, genuine interviews. Love it!
- Crisp and interesting interviewsby Joel Goobich from United States
As someone who created one of the first podcasts dedicated to video marketing, I was very impressed by your recent episode about using video. Your interview style is crisp and interesting
- If you are in business, this podcast needs to be on your playlist.by Macstephen1 from United States
Mario has a great conversational style that helps his guests shine. This show is a must if you have an entrepreneurial spirit. It provides thought provoking content that will help any businessperson in their quest for success.
- New Subscriber here and on your YouTube Channelby Angela Brown Oberer from United States
Wow Mario you have a real knack for interviewing. You ask great questions and have a fun way of keeping the conversations lively and interesting. After listening to your episode with Owen Video I subscribed to your podcast and then I hunted you down on YouTube. High Five and great job!
- Very Professional & Engaging Show!by Mitche Graf from United States
Mario is extremely engaging and can hold your attention, and is a great interviewer! He has some great guests that really get into the details of running a successful business. Keep up the great work Mario!
- Great Contentby Pilar S. from United States
Excellent! LOTS of advice from experts. The most recent episode talks about speaking–a must-listen for anyone who presents or is thinking about presenting.
- Great content!by @Mentally_Strong from United States
I really enjoy your podcast each time I listen. The content helps any entreprenur level up with they do. Keep it up and thanks for each episode.
- Professional and Informativeby Bruce at Mindfulness Mode from Canada
Mario Fachini is an excellent interviewer and has terrific guests on the show. I highly recommend this podcast.
- Great Podcastby Amber Fuhriman from United States
I love the topic of this podcast. The episode with Tod Lindsay is super super helpful!!
- Great find!by Reed Stiles from United States
Great message and content. Stumbled upon this due to the cool logo, stayed for the content.
- Great show and great host!by Laurapowers44 from United States
Love what Mario offers! So glad he is doing his show and providing all this helpful info! Keep them coming!
- Walks the walkby Me15463 from United States
Mario encapsulates everything he talks about on the show. Be sure to tune in to this!
- Honest and authenticby Deano3622 from United Kingdom
Wow, just come across this podcast. Mario is such an awesome guy. He comes across so honest and genuine. Loved the content. I honestly don’t know where you find the time?! Keep it up Mario, love how honest and real you are!
- Great and insightful!by Karty12345 from Australia
I really enjoyed this podcast, so much relevant content. Thank you!
- So much Value..!by Alex Dali Rizo from United States
Great content, I really recommend this to any Entrepreneur looking to excel in their path, Mario brings topic experts to teach and inspire your day
- Inspirational Intentional Informationby 10Kforte from United States
This podcast shares the stories from people that are doing whatever it takes to rise up and help others along the way. “What Are You Made Of” is one of the many messages shared on the podcast. There are so many takeaways that are applicable to anyone. I really enjoyed listening.
- Wow!by Tyscoaching from Australia
Just listened to the 'rescue site AED Program' episode! If you love epic stories and inspirational people, this is the podcast for you!
- Motivation on Tapby AnthonyPGarcia from United States
Mario brings on some of the most impactful entrepreneurs to hear from. He dives into the key performance factors of their business. He extracts information very well and keeps the show flowing very smoothly. Definitely a show to subscribe to!
- Starting a Movementby JustMe2say from United States
There are many areas of business and entrepreneurs have an opporunity to gain some insight with this podcast. Excellent interviews!
- Great Podcast For Entrepreneurs!by The Big Game Hunter from United States
Full of knowledgeable guests and useful information that will help you accomplish your goals in business and in life!
- Mario Truly Care About His Guestsby Podcast Junkies from United States
Having met Mario and spent time with him at Podfest I can truly say that he is passionate about his show. He’s genuine and that clearly comes through in his own story and what he brings to every interview.
- Put your thinking cap on!by Cliff Duvernois from United States
This is probably one of the most information dense podcasts I’ve listened to in many moons. Each episode could easily be expanded out into 2 or 3 hours. Mario does a great job of asking the right questions to get his guests to reveal great tips, tricks and advice. Sure a lot of information can be applied to an entrepreneur but I found a lot of advice applicable to my personal life. This podcast is definitely worth my time to listen to and I’m looking forward to more episodes to come. Great job!
- Relavant for anyone!by HarloB from United States
I really enjoy Mario and his shows. The Stress and Anger in the Workplace episode was great because it cut to the chase of all the issues around this topic. Great interview!
- Mario nails it!by Mickiezada from United States
I've listened to Mario for a long time...his podcast is well produced, his guests are influencers and authentic authority, and chock full of insights and inspiration for entrepreneurs. Love it!
- Mario is the real dealby jamesnewcomb.io from United States
I’ve known Mario personally and professionally for over a year now. He is genuinely interested in helping people succeed, and consistently over delivers in his interactions and valuable advice with fellow entrepreneurs, podcasters, what have you. In this era of showmen who “give value” only if they think they’ll get something in return, Mario stands out as a man among men. Listen to his show and learn what true leadership and value in the marketplace mean.
- Listening On My Entrepreneurial Journeyby FromLisa2 from United States
I was surprised when I stumbled over the servant leadership that shows up in these episodes. It's collaborative. It's focused on relationships with clients versus transactions. I especially enjoyed the episode on getting clients without "selling" because it's more about genuine relationship building.
- A Giftby Lisa Vogt from United States
Mario uses all his talents, gifts and abilities to produce this life affirming show. It's incredible that we are able to grow our abilities and develop our talents and gifts just through subscribing and listening. Thank you Mario!
- This show is ON FIRE!by tibor.mindsethorizon from United States
Love your show Mario! Your niche is close to mine but I focus more on mindset and manifestation in a business setting. I tuned into episode #103 with Karen Brown which is dope! Keep up the great work!
- Entrepreneur Must Listenby HWoodwriter from United States
If you’re an entrepreneur this is a must listen show. So many inside tips and thought processes behind moving your business forward. Mario does a great job with the guests by asking the right questions at the right time. He and his guests give the information you need to grow your business and leadership skills.
- What a show!!by CWLuecke from United States
Man, do I love interviews with world-changers! Mario does an excellent job gathering the cream of the crop for his show and giving insightful interviews. Check it out!
- Loved it!by Seodrigo from United States
This interview was very enjoyable. Mario brought on a wise guest by the name of Michael Lauria. I loved the interview and Michael's perspective on the topic. He had wonderful insights and around min 31, he hit something very profound. Excited to share what I learned today with others. Way to go!
- Great listenby trinity3712 from United States
Good listen. Great range of guests and topics. Something here is you keep listening will help you in many areas of life and leadership b
- Great Knowledge!by Jon Vroman FRD from United States
Great show Mario! So much valuable information in one episode!
- Excellent show, very imformative!by Shaolin Soprano from United States
Mario loving the podcast bro, great content, immense value. Enjoying these interviews!!!
- Helpful Information!by The Medicare Nation from United States
Love the valuable information on these episodes! Lots of tips & tricks for every Entrepreneur to use. Kudos Mario! Diane Daniels Host of Medicare Nation
- Love Mario’s Attitudeby marisaimon from United States
Mario’s heart shines through his interviews, making these fun and positive, and the people he brings on offer such a wealth of knowledge.
- Lots of Great Info!by DarlajPowell from United States
Mario provides lots of great info and advice in this 7 day a week show.
- Great Content!by LanceJohnson_ from United States
Mario does a great job of share valuable information that every entrepreneur could use and apply to their journey. Great work! 🙂
- Important information!by Allmenow from United States
Very engaging information. Mario draws out experiences and knowledge from his guests. Loved the show!
- Difference-Makerby Unlimited Beliefs from United States
Mario is a master at bringing out, shining a light on, and internalizing the difference-making mindset. His knowledge and experience and mission enable him to synthesize information into diamonds for all of us! What you want is accessible by taking in this show!
- Excellent Informationby Stallion golf from United States
Great advice and information with a wonderful blend of topics! Loved the episode with the british healthcare professional and the ideas shared on how to make the industry better.
- Motivating and valuable informationby Calvin Javier from United States
Great insight on mindset from business leaders and entrepreneurs making things happen. Definitely worth your attention. Will be listening and learning more!
- Good informationby FIRE NATION! from United States
Engaging interview with a british health pro, I was surprised to hear the similarties and the application she has for making healthcare better
- Greatnessby MiaSportFanatic from United States
Have had the chance to listen to one show so far but man, we should be paying for this information. Lots of greatness. Thanks for the heart to serve.
- Listen to the experts - and thrive!by The Marketing Book Podcast from United States
There's a lot of advice out there these days but, sadly, a lot (and I mean a LOT) of is from people with little to no expertise. That's not the case with this gem of a show. Listen to what the experts say and profit from the experience!
- Show is amazing!by BestMorningRoutineEver from United States
I love learning about mindset and how to master my thoughts. This show provide the tools!
- Great show!by Jefferson_79 from United States
Great information for all businesses.
- Good value!by Audrey purplele from United States
Great information that applies to any business! I really felt he provided value for my time.
- Interesting Topicby Real Estate Journeys Podcast from United States
Interesting topic. Great interviews. Keep up the hard work!
- Helpful Advice from Expertsby ichuck2 from United States
Mario talks to experts in a wide range of subject matters and asks good questions to pull out helpful advice.
- What a great show!by Christopher List from United States
Mario really brings out the best in his guests. The police dog trainer had such a great story. Can’t wait to hear more!
- Great!!!by tommye w-c from United States
Great podcast, awesome guests, incredible host!!!
- Fun & informativeby Saoirse Sky from United States
Some people want something fun, others want something informative. This podcast gives you both!
- Great show!by CJThomas6 from United States
Very inspirational show! Appreciate the advice and thoughts shared by the host and his guests!
- Great podcastby Rosie81200 from United States
Great podcast! Love hearing about the guests’ journeys and what they learned from them.
- Never Stop Learning!by Terri in Fairhope from United States
Tune in to this great podcast and host! You're probably really good at what you do (top of your game...an Expert Authority), but there is always more to learn...streamline processes and gain more freedom in your life. It's not always about the bottom line. This one is worth a listen!
- Amazing!by KatieHBrooks from United States
If you're looking for inspiration, tune in to listen to Mario and his top notch guests. I find that I am always much more motivated after listening to an episode of Expert Authority Effect!
- Wonderful show!by @IV-Heather Tieben from United States
Mario is a great host & puts on a wonderful show. The quality of his interview guests and entire production is impeccable, I couldn't recommend Expert Authority Effect more!
- You Will Not Be Disappointed!by Composer 1853 from United States
Mario does such a great job of engaging his guests from several different disciplines.
- The hardest working man in Podcastingby EOFire.com from United States
Mario brings the HEAT with real energy and FIRE...don't miss the meteoric rise of this show! ~ John Lee Dumas
- Great interviews and guests!by Mel Good Karma from United States
Thanks for hosting such great interview guests. Look forward to hearing more and kudos on so many a week and also videos!
- Fantasticby Jason A. Duprat from United States
Awesome podcast, going to be adding this one to my list. Interesting topics with great interviews, good sound quality.
- Enjoying!by Slordan from United Kingdom
Enjoy listening to Mario and how he opens up the conversations to ensure it’s as relevant to us as listeners!
- Nice variety and interesting topicsby emjgreen from United States
Love the variety of topics presented here on this show. Looking forward to listening to more of Mario's show.
- Great Content! Great Interviews!by No BS Mompreneur from United States
Wow! Really enjoy listening to all these fabulous expert authorities!! Lots of valuable take aways that I can implement into my life. I will continue to listen and share with others!! A+++
- A great addition to build authority and create an impactby Cloris Kylie from United States
A great addition to build authority and create an impact. Also, a different twist on the topic. Engaging. 5 stars!
- Filled with motivation and ideasby Thomas O'Grady, PhD from United States
Mario does a great job interviewing and pulling the stories behind people's stories or success. Good pleasant listen. If you are in a journey of your own, these episodes will give some things to bring into your on life.
- spartancvby spartancv from United States
Great job following your passion, your purpose and creating this podcast to help serve others! Keep up the excellent work.
- This podcast is the bombby Posturedoc from United States
Mario always crushed it, and this podcast is another example of his amazing insights and knowledge!! Great work.
- Wow - love the video show.by Thehighenergygirl from United States
Thank you for the encouragement and tips on how to succeed on video and the repurposing idea.
- Motivating and Inspiring!by KatyJoyWells from United States
Mario brings such enthusiasm to his shows and his content is fantastic. I’m always learning new things to implement or new ways to grow, thanks Mario!
- What a great show!by Gene_HPLN from United States
Awesome podcast! Mario brings great topic, great guests, and it is very easy to listen to. I definitely recommend for anybody interested in business success!
- It's greatby Ian Ryan from United States
Just had a chance to check out your most recent episode appreciate the great insight! Great delivery from the host & can’t wait to dig into future content.
- Love it!by Brendan @ Entrepreneurs&Coffee from United States
I love that this interview podcast doesn't feature the same old folks that everybody has on their show. Keep it up, Mario!
- Amazing!!!!by Lindsey Russo from United States
This show is so impactful! Hearing from the experts and how they take authority in their space is so amazing. Looking forward to more episodes!
- Learned what I didin't even know I neededby Camilla-Jean from United States
Great info. I love the Q episode because I get just quic interst snippets that may get me thinking about where my business might go.
- Fabulous Interviews!by Life&RelationshipCoach from United States
Mario does a fantastic job interviewing really interesting and successful business people who explain how they got to where they are - tips you won't want to miss when your trying to grow your business! Keep up the great work Mario! Coach Riana Milne
- A+ Showby Gisele_Oliveira from United States
I love this show. It's so entertaining and I learn a lot from the interviews. I highly recommend this show if you want to level up his game as an authority.
- Inspiration, transformation, success stories!by Chabo101 from United States
The title of this review should just be enough but it is just more than that. Its life lessons, its listening to personal struggles and how they over came those struggles. Love to hear from people that change the world through their struggle and the lessons that i learn from them are just more than amazing. I love this.
- Great interviews!by AlyciaDarby.com PodcastManager from United States
These interviews are well done and his guests are prepared to give really specific insights and stratagies... great podcast, Mario!!
- Inspiring story of courageby StrongHeart<3 from United States
I love that she found gratitude in her circumstances. lorie is an inspiration
- Powerful!by The Food Heals Podcast from United States
Mario's interviews cover a variety of topics and provide great value in all areas of your life! Episode 15 discusses how change is temporary and transformation is permanent which was really powerful for me. I love this message! Thank you!
- Great content!by Blakeob85 from United States
Great answers to common questions many entrepreneurs have! Thanks Mario for sharing your and your guests' insight!
- Real Actionable Tactics!by MattBMaverick from United States
What I like about Mario's podcast is that he pulls out actionable tactics from his guests that we, the listeners, can actually use. Great show!
- Great Listen!by Real Estate Investor from United States
Mario and his guests provide useful techniques to succeed in any business venture. The interview style promotes learning through real life examples of his guests. Great listen!
- Great interviews!by Matt B 1818 from United States
Love hearing these interviews and learning from people who are top in their industry. Mario is a great host and is not afraid to share his emotion!
- Love itby Duffash from United States
I love hearing interviews of successful business women and taking away what I can learn from their journey. Mario is a great host! I have enjoyed what I have learned so far. Congrats on the launch of your new podcast!
- Strong, professional, enthusiastic!by pm legs from Canada
If you're looking for an interviewer who's going to take you to investigative places to help you be your best you, through your professional life, you'll love listening to Mario!
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3 Expert Authority Insights™ To Apply Now
- Own that customer and keep more of that margin to yourself.
- Encourage customer trust.
- Data wins arguments.
- A lot of times people will optimize for the wrong thing.
- We only want to work with these emerging brands and give them the experts in their company that the bigger brands can afford.
Wheel of Whatever™
[46:26] Who’s a company you haven’t worked with or campaign, I’ll say, out of these three, who would you love to have to run their ads for, McDonald’s, a political party, whoever, or Starbucks?
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.**
[0:47] We thank our sponsor, Acorns
[1:30] Where to start
- The most profitable places are always going to be your own website
- Get started with your own Shopify website
- Driving your own traffic and owning the customer
[1:56] Why not use Amazon
- Amazon owns the customer
- You’re not allowed to market to that customer
[3:14] Why you need your own website
- Offer a subscription so you can save more with apps
- Do your own subscribe and save
- People buy direct from the brand if the brand has a really great identity
[4:26] Should every business have a Shopify store
- No, if you can’t make money on e-commerce
- Yes, if your average order value is over $20
[6:25] How effective are Amazon ads
- Ads on Amazon do better when they stay on Amazon
- Facebook to Amazon never perform quite as well as getting your product onto page one for Amazon
- Amazon pride themselves on consumer trust
[7:25] Are reviews important
- Reviews are critically important
- The magic number is somewhere between 21 and 25
- Over 20 reviews, people start to believe it and take those reviews seriously
[9:36] Amazon reviews
- Amazon has an interesting algorithm
- Amazon uses the recency of the review
- They remove fake reviews
- Amazon has an AI built to make sure that you don’t game the system and do fake reviews
[11:02] Is it good to use organic reviews
- You can optimize your organic all day
- If you don’t sell anything, you’re never going to make it to page one
- Pay to play especially when you’re starting out with a new product
[12:32] Why you don’t want a three star product
- Nobody is going to click on your listing
- Nobody is going to buy your product
- Make sure that you have a four or five star product
[13:33] Cost per click
- You need to outbid the next highest bidder
- You can get on page one
- For every dollar you’re spending, you’re getting $4 in revenue
- 25 percent for conversion and 25 percent for ad cost
[16:37] What difference does the product make in ads
- Dependent on how competitive your category is
- The more people see your brand, the more they trust it
- You need to be everywhere
[18:03] How to retarget
- Amazon does have retargeting off of Amazon
- Retargeting works really well for higher priced products
- Know how long you should retarget
[18:03] Google Analytics
- Determines how many times they come to your website before they buy
- Determines page load times
- You can also use Google PageSpeed Insights
[22:23] Why Carolyn left Dell
- Carolyn was stuck in marketing three star products
- People don’t buy Dell TVs so much
- TVs were not on demand
[27:39] Carolyn’s success story
- A brand did a million dollars in revenue from Facebook advertising last month
- They’re not spending a half a million to get a million
[27:39] Another of Carolyn’s success story
- A small mom and baby brand they worked on five years ago
- Got acquired by a massive international multibillion dollar company
[28:59] Start small and then scale up
- You’ll break the Facebook algorithm for the most part
- Give Facebook enough time to process
- You can scale up 20 percent a day
[33:14] How to improve ad spend
- Optimize the bottom of your funnel
- The middle of the funnel or the people that have been to your website
- Create a list of people who have engaged with your posts or ads
- Depending on your budget and how many visitors you have
[35:32] A lot of times people will optimize for the wrong thing
[36:39] Why video is good on Facebook ads
- It is cheaper
- A lot of people engage with videos
- Put four to six images in a campaign and Facebook will tell you the one that’s working
[41:20] Carolyn’s recommendations
- Good creative fail on bad audiences
- Never throw good money out for a bad website
- Pages should load in less than four seconds
- Work with a developer
- Fix your website
- Make sure that you get at least a 2 percent conversion rate
- Don’t pay to get all that traffic to your website just to have them abandoned
[46:26] Wheel of Whatever
- Who’s a company you haven’t worked with or campaign, I’ll say, out of these three, who would you love to have to run their ads for, McDonald’s, a political party, whoever, or Starbucks?
- I would choose Starbucks because it is probably the least controversial
- they’re an interesting brand
- I particularly don’t love McDonald’s.
- I stay far away from religion and politics
- Who would be your ideal brand and dream client to work with?
- Any emerging brand, a challenger brand. Someone like an Outdoor Voices, someone like Magic Spoon Cereal.
[48:41] We only want to work with these emerging brands and give them the experts in their company that the bigger brands can afford.
[49:36] Time out to thank sponsor, Acorns
[50:49] Imperfect Action Round
- The fastest path to the cash is Shopify and paid ads
- The biggest problem your prospects are making is Spending too little or making the wrong actions on paid social advertising
- The best way to maximize customer lifetime value is Use a model like Chewy’s
[51:47] How people choose their brands
- People want to have a relationship with a brand
- They just don’t want to buy something
- They want to work with a brand that cares about them and that knows about them
- A brand that they have a connection to
[54:16]] Thanks to our sponsor, Business Book Checklist
[54:31] Let’s take a moment to thank our sponsor, Acorns
EA Interviews Episode 177. Inspiration, transformation, success stories, and the Imperfect Action Round seven days a week. Join Mario Fachini for today’s Expert Authority Effect Interview.
Mario Fachini [0:13]
Do you have a brand that you want to get the message out? Do you want to have a bigger footprint on the online landscape? Do you feel like you’re emerging but you’re not sure where to start or how to compete with all the different platforms out there? We got Facebook, Amazon, you want to get your products and all the other ones. I know you want to grow. I know I want to grow. And that’s why I’m excited to have Carolyn Lowe, the CEO of ROI Swift. And she’s going to be talking to us today about how to compete on the platforms and get the biggest bang for your buck while making the biggest impact. I’m going to bring her up right after we thank our sponsor.
SPONSOR Acorns [0:47]
How would you like to grow your wealth easier than you think with the change you probably don’t notice anyhow automatically? That’s why I started the compounding interest snowball investing with Acorns and advise you do too. Get started simply and easily today at EAInterviews.com/Acorns.
Mario Fachini [1:05]
Here she is ladies and gentlemen, Carolyn Lowe. Carolyn, how are you feeling today?
Carolyn Lowe [1:10]
I’m feeling terrific. Thanks for having me, Mario.
Mario Fachini [1:12]
Oh, the pleasure is mine. I know there’s so many people out there in Expert Authority World that have a successful business and they just want to grow it and reach out. And I’ve been in that place before in their shoes, and it’s like, where do I start? Where would you recommend they start? And why?
Carolyn Lowe [1:30]
Well, I think depending on your business. I would say, obviously, the most profitable places are always going to be your own website. So we always suggest people get started with their own Shopify website and their own – driving their own traffic and owning the customer. Versus a lot of times it’s easy to get onto Amazon and think you’re going to make a million dollars but that isn’t always the case.
Mario Fachini [1:53]
Tell me about this owning the customer.
Carolyn Lowe [1:56]
So yeah, obviously, when you sell something on Amazon, you don’t own the customer. Amazon owns the customer. And you’re not allowed to market to that customer. So, you know, you don’t have to pay to get in front of those 300 million people. But the problem is, you can’t market to them after you’ve sold to them on Amazon. So we always feel it’s better to own your own customers and own your own experience through your website, if you can. But yet, that being said, we work with many brands that do seven and eight figures on Amazon and sometimes that is a necessary evil.
Mario Fachini [2:29]
Well, this is very interesting because so many people think Amazon is a golden ticket, or Facebook is the golden ticket, or YouTube is the golden ticket. And first off, it’s not Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s a business. And second off, I’ve never heard of one business where any one thing is the make or break deal. Because I’ve published five books, they’re all on Amazon. And Amazon is great. But like you said, owning the customer. That’s something I’ve told my clients and audiences because if you don’t own your list, you don’t own your customer, Facebook can take them away, Amazon, YouTube, any of them can take them away. So if someone’s in that position now, how could they transition and still keep the benefits of it, but start building for a better future?
Carolyn Lowe [3:14]
That’s a terrific question, Mario. We tend to look at a couple of different things. We’ve seen people do things like put in certain packages that say, “Hey, if you would like a free sample, go here and sign up.” And then that’s how they get your email address, technically, against Amazon’s terms of services. But a lot of times, you know, there’s some successful companies that do it very well with direct to consumer like Black Rifle Coffee. So they have a great Shopify site. They’re also on Amazon. But a lot of our clients and a lot of successful direct to consumer brands, even if they are on Amazon, they’ll offer a subscription for their own website so you can save more with apps, like Recharge and other apps like that on Shopify. And you can do your own subscribe and save. And a lot of times that gives people a sticky feeling. And they just sometimes want to just buy direct from the brand if the brand has a really great identity.
Mario Fachini [4:14]
You had mentioned when we started, you’d like to set up Spotify – not Spotify. I’m thinking of podcasting. Who knew? But Shopify. Do you believe every business should have a Shopify store?
Carolyn Lowe [4:26]
It depends. If you can’t make money on e-commerce, I would say no. So if your product is less than $10, it’s a really hard game to make money on e-commerce at less than $10. So typically, if your average order value is over $20, yes, definitely. We’ve seen a lot of even cleaning brands that are typically lower price that are in retail, moving to creating their own direct to consumer stores because they want to own that customer. And retail, there’s a big markup in retail. So if you can go direct and own that customer and keep more of that margin to yourself. We’ve seen a lot more folks go that way.
Mario Fachini [5:04]
Now what if it’s like a restaurant really sticks out in my mind? Because I’ve encouraged clients in the past, you know, sell gift certificates, sell something that you can buy online, but you’d redeem in store, if you will. Because, you know, they’re not selling products. What would you say to a company that doesn’t necessarily have products per se? What could you do to help them?
Carolyn Lowe [5:28]
Yeah. I think that’s great. A lot of things that we’ll do is we worked with a restaurant, we ran some Facebook ads for them, and we did day parting. So from [7:00] to [11:00], we would ask them, we would put an ad in front of them all about lunch, don’t have lunch plans, don’t eat that boring tuna sandwich, come on in for lunch. And then after lunch from [1:00] to [4:00], we would run ads that talk about, hey, don’t sit in traffic. Come and pick up or enjoy our happy hour menu. So we’ve seen it work terrifically for everything from catering to driving in store sales across the board for restaurants.
Mario Fachini [6:03]
Excellent. Now for someone who does have a large product, whether they’re an author or not, there’s a lot of businesses that have products. I mean, we’re looking at some of them right here. How effective is it to be running paid ads on Amazon versus direct consumer or Facebook? Does one play well to another?
Carolyn Lowe [6:25]
Yeah. So what we’ve seen is ads on Amazon do better when they stay on Amazon. We’ve seen folks around Facebook to Amazon, they never perform quite as well as getting your product onto page one for Amazon. You know, I bought a ring light because the lighting is really bad in my office. And so I went to Amazon. I bought that. I probably wouldn’t have bought it direct from a brand because I don’t know very many trusted brands in manufacturers of ring light. So I think that that’s the one thing that Amazon brings and the thing they pride themselves on is consumer trust. You do trust that if it’s on Amazon and Amazon is shipping it, the company is going to go out of business, and they’re not going to take your money and run away in the night time. So I think it helps these smaller brands encourage customer trust.
Mario Fachini [7:13]
How important would you say the reviews are?
Carolyn Lowe [7:17]
When was the last time you bought a two star product?
Mario Fachini [7:22]
Just turning it right back around.
Carolyn Lowe [7:25]
So I think you just answered the question yourself, Mario. Reviews are critically important. The magic number is somewhere between 21 and 25 before people really start to trust that –
Mario Fachini [7:36]
Carolyn Lowe [7:37]
Yeah. If you see a product with five or six reviews, you’re like, “Ooh, what’s wrong with it? Is nobody buying it?” There’s not a good way for Amazon to let folks know that, “Hey, this might be a new product, et cetera.” So really, once you get to that critical mass of over 20 reviews, people start to believe it and take those reviews seriously. So the reviews are critically important. There’s a great company out there, it’s a home decor company. And they say if they have a product that has less than four stars, they will pull it off the market and go make it a four or five star product. So I think that all brands should follow that mantra. If you have a three-and-a-half star product, you’re just going to keep spending money to drive people to a product that maybe isn’t that good. So go make it a five star product.
Mario Fachini [8:25]
That’s awesome. That’s a real Expert Authority insight. When was the last time you bought a two star product? I know the reviews were important. And I got to say that’s more than I really thought it took. I was thinking maybe 10 to 15. But it’s also less than I thought it took also, which basically means I had no clue. But there’s so many – I’m thinking of people that are, like, they’re trying to get to 10 or 15. And I thought for some reason it was a magic number. But I guess we’re not in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. But then there’s other people that I feel like they’re always trying to get over 100 of whatever. So you’re saying 21 to 25-ish?
Carolyn Lowe [9:02]
Is where your product becomes fairly legitimate to Amazon shoppers. Right.
Mario Fachini [9:06]
I’m going to dive deeper here. What if it’s, like, really skewed results where you got five five star, five four star, five three star, five two, and five one. And it’s just – I know what the 80/20 principle. It’s not going to be exactly that. But I’ve seen some that are all over the board. I feel the ones that are all five stars, it’s like – you know, maybe with books, it’s like it’s probably all their friends. And I remember getting my first one star review, and I was like, “Oh, my gosh. Shit. I’m legit now because it’s unbiased.”
Carolyn Lowe [9:36]
That is true. That is true. I think on the review side, too, Amazon has an interesting algorithm. It’s not just a straight average. So it’s the recency of the review. And it’s how credible the review is. And they’ve been removing a lot of these fake reviews. You know, if you have sent something to a friend at that address, and that IP address writes a review of your product, and they know that’s in your account, then they can suppress that review because it’s review manipulation. So Amazon has a lot of AI built into trying to make sure, again, back to consumer trust that you don’t game the system and do fake reviews. Now, does it happen? Of course it happens, Mario. But Amazon is slowly going through these things and removing hundreds of thousands of bogus reviews. So it’s not a matter of if you’ll get caught. It’s a matter of when you’ll get caught.
Mario Fachini [10:30]
And I’m glad you’re mentioning that because there I know there’s still people out there, they’re just, I’ll put something up. I’ll pull together a quick Wix website, or whatever the heck. And then I’ll go buy some reviews. And they’re like, I have a legit company. I’m like, “No. Don’t do that.” I won’t work with people if that’s their mindset. But it needs to be addressed because I know how powerful Facebook and Amazon ads are for paying for them. But would you say it’s even more powerful when you have the paid ads coupled with organic reviews.
Carolyn Lowe [11:02]
Yes. Definitely. I feel like they all work in tandem. We see that a lot. So people will say, “Well, I just want to spend money on SEO or optimizing my Amazon listing.” I was like, “That’s great. But if a tree falls in the forest, is anyone going to hear it? No, of course not. Right?” It’s the same thing with, you can optimize your organic all day. But if you don’t ever sell anything, you’re never going to make it to page one. And if you don’t make it to page one, 70 percent of Amazon shoppers don’t make it past page one. So you really have to pay to play especially when you’re starting out with a new product.
Mario Fachini [11:35]
I’m going to dive deeper on that. I do have to mention what that reminds me of. And it’s what I’m speaking on right now, my Heil PR 40 black and gold microphone. And I hear people asking about podcasting. And to the point of the tree in the forest, they go, “All right. I got a microphone. I want to start a show. What should I do to soundproof the room?” Why don’t you get the best mic that you can and it will isolate 95 percent of it. And then you don’t need to work in a padded room every day. It’s just fascinating to me. And I hear that you’re getting – that people approach it the same way of, you know, they want to do all the SEO, but they might be gun shy on paying for an ad for it. How do you get on the first page of Amazon?
Carolyn Lowe [12:24]
Well, if you’re a new player, typically, you do have to pay to play.
Mario Fachini [12:29]
That’s fine. It’s an investment.
Carolyn Lowe [12:32]
So you pay to play. It’s just like Google, you pay to show up on the front page for podcast microphone. Then you want to make sure that you’ve got that four or five star product. Because nobody’s going to click on your listing and nobody’s going to buy your product if they see it’s a three star product.
Mario Fachini [12:49]
So if the reviews are good, is there a certain number of views or likes on – it’s not Facebook. I’m sorry. Is there a certain number of clicks, whatever they’re called, in the platform? Is it based on how many views per day or how many clicks or anything? And I know the reviews are playing it, but there might be 10, 15, 20 spots. Is there a certain amount? Not the clicks, but even the money. Or is there some metric that you can gauge, “Hey, it takes X, Y, Z days to get on the front page if you’re paying, let’s say, $100 a day in ad spend and you’re getting 100 clicks a day. Would that even do it? Or we’re talking bigger numbers?
Carolyn Lowe [13:33]
Yes. It’s a whole auction system. So it’s, basically, you need to outbid the next highest bidder. Amazon will typically have two or three at the top and then, maybe, two or three sprinkled throughout the results pages. So if you’re one of the top bidders, you can get on page one. And it’s all cost per click. So if they don’t click your ad, you don’t pay. And we’ve seen cost per click as low as you know, $0.20 and as high as $11 a click depending on the category. So it really depends on your category. One of the things we look at though is the advertising cost of sales. We like to see it below 25 percent. So for every dollar you’re spending, you’re getting $4 in revenue. And if we don’t see that, we’ll typically say, “Okay. After ten clicks, we’ll start evaluating. Is this a good search term? Or is there something wrong with the product page? Or Why is this not converting above that 25 percent?”
Mario Fachini [14:23]
Oh, to 25percent conversion, you’re saying?
Carolyn Lowe [14:26]
Oh, sorry. Yeah. So it’s 25 percent for conversion and 25 percent for ad cost as well. We’d like to see both those numbers at a maximum of 25 percent for ad cost and a minimum of 25 percent for conversion. So if you’re getting 100 people to your page and only 10 are buying on Amazon, there’s definitely something wrong with your listing, or you’re sending bad traffic like bad advertising to your listing.
Mario Fachini [14:49]
I love that Expert Authority insight that you just shared. Twenty-five percent, say the metric again. So that way for every dollar you’re investing, you’re getting how many back?
Carolyn Lowe [15:02]
Ideally, you’re getting four back. So you spend $1 and you get $4 back in revenue. We like to see those. Those are good numbers. Initially, when you’re launching, you may have to spend more to get out there and to rank. But once you’re established, and you’ve got reviews, and your legitimate products, we like to see that not spending you more than 25 percent of the total revenue that you get back. We also like to see the 25 percent conversion rate. If you’re converting at 10 or 11 percent, you’re never going to make any money if 90 percent of the people landing on your page are not buying.
Mario Fachini [15:38]
I like seeing that too. And also, I hear profit in there. Because it’s not just how much you make. It’s how much you keep. And I think there are a lot more businesses should have a higher profit margin. And it’s one of the easiest things you can adjust on your own without retooling the whole company.
Carolyn Lowe [15:55]
That’s right. That’s right.
Mario Fachini [15:56]
So from Amazon, let’s take books for example. Do you work with a lot of authors or is it generally shipping product but you still ship books? But do you work with a lot of authors? Or is it other types of products?
Carolyn Lowe [16:08]
We typically work with consumer brands? So we don’t do a lot with books.
Mario Fachini [16:14]
Okay. So have you found that there’s products that just no matter what brand it is and what industry you’re going after, do you find that there’s certain products that just really perform well? And others are kind of it takes some work and then other ones need a whole lot of work? Like, how much does the product itself make the difference in what the offer?
Carolyn Lowe [16:37]
It makes a big difference how competitive your category is. We worked with a nut butter company and that is a highly competitive sort of lower price. You know, you’ve got Justin’s All Natural Peanut Butter out there. You’ve got so many of these category leaders. And a lot of times smaller brands have less of a chance against these bigger brands. So like you said, about not putting all your eggs in one basket, you need to be everywhere, right? You need to be advertising on podcasts. You need to be doing Facebook ads. You need to be running Google Shopping ads. So the more and more people see your brand, the more and more they trust it. So a lot of times people will discover a brand off Amazon and then come back to Amazon to buy it because it’s so convenient. So sometimes people get lured into thinking, “Well, all these other people are making money on Amazon.” I said, “Yeah. But do you know how much Justin’s is spending off Amazon to get the word out about their brand?” So that’s one of the mistakes we see.
Mario Fachini [17:35]
You touched on a great point there that is a smooth segue for me to ask you about retargeting. So you’re on Amazon. Everyone loves shopping on Amazon. Get a Prime today, this, and that. But what if they don’t buy it right there, what are you doing for retargeting or remarketing as some may know it in addition to Amazon?
Carolyn Lowe [17:56]
So in addition to Amazon, are you talking do they come to your website or did they come to Amazon?
Mario Fachini [18:02]
Carolyn Lowe [18:03]
Okay. So if they came to Amazon, Amazon does have retargeting off of Amazon, so you can pay for that. It typically works well but not as well as just spending more to get those additional searches on the sponsored products. So if they don’t buy on Amazon, you can follow them around for a while. But as you know, if your product is less than $50, it’s pretty much an impulse buy, right? You’re not going to hem and haw for, like, three weeks about a $40 item. So we need swimming pool filters for a swimming pool that we got for the summer since we’re locked down in hot Texas here for the summer. And you look at the reviews, you find the one that works, and you buy it. You don’t spend a lot of time hemming and hawing. So we feel like retargeting works really well for higher priced products. If someone’s going to your website, we look at the average time to purchases. So Google Analytics will tell you, “Okay. Here’s how long it takes someone to make a purchase. Here’s how many times they come to your website before they buy.” One of our clients is 85 percent buy within the first 24 hours or not at all.
Mario Fachini [19:15]
Carolyn Lowe [19:16]
Another client is a $400 average order value. And most of them take about 30 days. So we’ll follow you around for a lot longer for those $400 cowboy boots than we will for that $40 t shirt.
Mario Fachini [19:29]
That’s also awesome that you know it and you can track it. Because both are good. But if you don’t know it and you’re not tracking it, both are useless.
Carolyn Lowe [19:39]
Exactly. And you get fatigue, right? If you follow someone around for that $40 shirt, and they’ve decided not to buy it, and you’re following around for 30 days, pretty soon, they’re going to hide your ad on Facebook. They’re sick of seeing you. They’re not going to buy your shirt. And that really hurts you from an advertiser standpoint. So it’s really important to know, “Okay. Do I need to retarget for five days, seven days, 14 days, 30 days, et cetera?” So knowing how long you should retarget is one of the big things that people miss. They just retarget for 30 days. And that may not be the right amount for everybody. So we have a great saying at ROI Swift, which is, data wins arguments. And so we always say, let’s go back to the data and see what the data says.
Mario Fachini [20:22]
That’s impressive. Because what I’m also hearing is if you only need 14 days of free targeting, maybe do 15. But don’t do 30. Don’t do 30 days just for the sake of saying I can follow you for 30 days. And I was going to ask also, is there anyone that’s passed for 30 day into the 40, 50, 60 day? Or is it not who you’re working with?
Carolyn Lowe [20:46]
Occasionally, we’ll go out 60 to 70, not much past two months. You know, there’s a water filtration system and it’s $1,500, yeah, we’ll follow you around until you purchase. But after 60 days, even we give up.
Mario Fachini [21:03]
Okay. And I was thinking maybe if it’s a high end car, or a house, or something where it’s a significant, significant purchase. I know there’s people that do 60, 90, 120 day retargeting. But I just didn’t know for consumer brands. It sounds like your sweet spots 15 to 45 days.
Carolyn Lowe [21:22]
Yes, for most brands. That’s where majority of their purchasers fall.
Mario Fachini [21:27]
Well, thank you for giving me the data, because that’s what I surmised out of it. And that’s awesome. Because that tells me that you don’t need to wait for six months to eight months to ten months to see significant results.
Carolyn Lowe [21:40]
Right. That’s what I love about direct to consumer and e-commerce. You know, when I worked at Dell, I ran a division of Dell’s consumer e-commerce and I could see up to the minute. You know, this was before Shopify. This was 20 years ago. And we had these complex systems where I could get a dashboard and see exactly what was being ordered on Dell.com and how many computers. And we would have up to the minute dashboards, and this was 20 years ago. So I’ve gotten used to this. And now, it’s interesting that e-commerce has kind of caught up to where Dell was 20 years ago.
Mario Fachini [22:13]
Well, let me ask you about that. Because Dell, they’re a pretty decent company. They’ve only been around since forever. Why would you want to leave them and start this?
Carolyn Lowe [22:23]
So the interesting thing is, I left because I, unfortunately had one of those three star products that I was stuck marketing. And as you know, it’s easier to market a five star product than it is to market a three star product. There’s a reason you can’t buy a Dell television anymore. So that’s what I had for North America, Dell televisions and monitors and projectors. And Dell makes amazing monitors and amazing projectors. And there are a couple of key things missing in televisions. And people buy televisions very differently than they buy monitors and projectors. So it was sort of –
Mario Fachini [23:02]
Tell me it had a TV tuner card in it at least.
Carolyn Lowe [23:05]
It did have a TV tuner card. Yes. But it was missing a lot of the connectors for hotels. So there’s a little connector that, you know, all the hotel entertainment systems run off of. And we were missing that little connector. So think about it, Marriott is a client at the time. Star Ward was a separate company. Now, they’re all part of Marriott. But we would have these big global hotel brands that couldn’t use our TVs. And as you know as consumers, are you going to buy a Dell television or you’re going to buy a Sony television? Dell doesn’t make TVs. Sony makes TVs. So it was a very hard consumer shift too. So that’s about when I left.
Mario Fachini [23:42]
So that you didn’t even have that word of mouth working for you either?
Carolyn Lowe [23:46]
Right. The reason that Dell was so successful in computers in consumers was that everybody had a Dell at work, and they trust them, and they loved them, and they worked. And so it was a natural leap to buy your first home computer as a Dell, right? “Oh, I love Dell. I’ve got one at work. It works great.” You didn’t have Dell TVs anywhere. So it’s also a very different buying cycle. We did some really interesting focus groups about how people buy TVs. And basically, it comes down to the man decides on three or four potentials and then the woman decides on aesthetics.
Mario Fachini [24:23]
Interesting. Let me ask you about the – whatever you call it – the plug, the outlet, the thing in the back of the TV for the hotels, how much would it have cost to fix it? I mean, was it an easy fix? Or would it have added another 100 or 200 bucks on the TV?
Carolyn Lowe [24:41]
The part itself was not expensive. But as you know, once you build up a factory, so it usually takes about a half a million to scale up a factory to make a product. And so, you know, that would be a lot of retooling and things like that.
Mario Fachini [24:59]
So it wasn’t so much The part it was you would have had to sell X amount more TVs to even make it viable and even have a small profit.
Carolyn Lowe [25:08]
Right. And unfortunately, TVs were not on demand because they were so much bigger than computers. Computers, you could make on demand. A lot of the computers were made right in the U.S. The laptops are actually made in Malaysia and overnighted on a 747 because that was cheaper than making them in the U.S. So you would order a Dell laptop, they would make it in Malaysia as soon as they got your order just the way you wanted it. And then it would go on a 747 and you would get it two or three days later.
Mario Fachini [25:38]
I remember when those were big and everything. And I do remember the big conference monitors, the TVs, and they were doing all kinds of stuff. And I was like, “Wow. That’s a computer monitor. It’s a TV. A lot of them were combos.” And I remember when the TV’s – I mean now, it’s like, “Oh, it’s a 90 inch. Cool.” It’s 120, whatever. It’s so like passe. But I remember when I was like 29, 32, 36, 39 and it was like that was it. And it’s interesting how often that changes. So I got to ask you this, so now with your company, ROI Swift, do you have clients that you are selling TVs that are five stars?
Carolyn Lowe [26:22]
We do not have any television clients. We don’t have any electronics clients. We have lots of –
Mario Fachini [26:27]
Do you want any?
Carolyn Lowe [26:29]
No. Because it’s very impossible, as you know, to make money in electronics. It’s cutthroat. It’s commodity. The reason that people could get bigger TVs was that the glass manufacturers could make bigger glass. So that was what was the limitation was the the glass factories. So after I left Dell, I went to work for a global market research firm that focused on the display industry. So I know everything about your corning piece of glass that goes into your television. And what I think is in interesting is that TVs got bigger and bigger, more and more expensive to ship. And prices came down. So it’s the perfect storm of prices are coming down. Shipping is only getting more expensive. And this is a commodity market. So it’s really, as you can see, there’s only a few players left in the TV market.
Mario Fachini [27:20]
Interesting. So let’s talk about your clients now. Who would you say is, maybe, not even your biggest client. But who would be the biggest transformation success story that you’ve experienced so far? That you were just able to help them do, basically, the biggest 180 you could think of.
Carolyn Lowe [27:39]
Well, we’ve got a couple. One of my favorite is a brand that just did a million dollars in revenue from Facebook advertising last month. So you know, this is a brand that never thought they’d be doing a million dollars a month in in Facebook revenue generated on their website. So that is one of our favorites, you know, sort of claim to fame. And they’re doing it at a great return on ad spend. They’re not spending a half a million to get a million. They’re spending, you know, 200,000 to get a million. And that is one of my favorite stories. Another one of my favorite stories is a small mom and baby brand that we started working with five years ago. And they got acquired by a massive international multibillion dollar company called Reckitt Benckiser, who makes Lysol and Mucinex and Airborne. And so that’s that’s another one of our favorite stories is five years to an acquisition for small seven figure brands.
Mario Fachini [28:33]
Congrats on both of those and I’m sure there’s a lot more. But let me ask you, you’re saying 200,000 a month on ad spend. The ROI is five to one. Fantastic. Were they with another company before? Were they on their own? Walk me through the picture of where they were in the beginning to even get to 200,000 a month in the ad spend. How long did that take?
Carolyn Lowe [28:59]
Great Question. So it did take about – we’ve been working with them about two years. And what we’d like to do is start folks out at, if they’re 10,000 maybe a month and then scale up. You know, you can’t pour on the gasoline. You can’t spend 10,000 one month and 200,000 the next month. You’ll break the Facebook algorithm for the most part.
Mario Fachini [29:18]
I thought you were going to say the business or something. Because I also know the reality is you need the infrastructure, the systems, the processes. I mean, if you scaled up most businesses, even when I’m speaking to an audience, I go, “Okay. Everyone wants more leads, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I go, if I gave you 10,000 leads today, what would it do? And everyone goes – they know it. You have to be ready for it. But I’m interested in why would it break the algorithm.
Carolyn Lowe [29:44]
Just because you need to give it enough time. So once you’ve sort of dialed in a great profile and a great cost per acquisition, we typically say you can scale up like 20 percent a day.
Mario Fachini [29:58]
A day. Okay.
Carolyn Lowe [29:58]
So you can add, if your budget is 1,000, you can go to 1,200 the next day. If you go to 1,000 and then you go to 5,000, Facebook is going to have a real hard time. They’ll just sort of light your money on fire.
Mario Fachini [30:10]
Oh. And why wouldn’t you want to light your money on fire? You’re telling me that Facebook doesn’t have any safeguards to not spend your money and make sure it’s in your best interest?
Carolyn Lowe [30:21]
No, absolutely not. I mean, I think you know, Mark Zuckerberg will take every dollar you want to give him.
Mario Fachini [30:27]
I know that for a fact because I was putting, I think, 15 a day or 150 a day, one of those. There was one too many zeros. I was rushing out to go probably do something fun. Click Click, click, double checked it. I didn’t talk to my ads manager. And I caught it later that night, but it was ripping through a lot. So what precautions do you take to ensure your client success to make sure in addition to that – is there anything else in addition to keeping it around the 20 percent a day?
Carolyn Lowe [31:02]
Yeah. I mean, we also set rules. So scale up, scale down based on performance with – the same thing that’s on the Facebook side on the Google side. You know, we have a client who came to us and they were on Shark Tank. And their previous agency set a $20,000 a day budget. So they went and spent $15,000 on branded searches, because they were on Shark Tank. And so we have a lot of safeguards in place. Like, “Okay. Don’t spend more than this much a day.” We have a bunch of rules around accounts so that they can’t get out of hand, sort of maximum CPCs, maximum daily budgets, all those things where they can’t go crazy and get out of hand. But I mean, it does happen occasionally. It doesn’t happen to that level with us. We have enough safeguards in place, but yeah.
Mario Fachini [31:52]
Now, are these rules you’re saying that you can put into the Facebook system? Or is it stuff you train your team on when you’re setting up the ads don’t be putting some crazy amount in there? Or is it both?
Carolyn Lowe [32:03]
It’s both. Yeah. So we have sort of a playbook of best practices and a checklist. But then there’s also some built in safeguards within Facebook and Google that we use as well to make sure that we don’t go crazy.
Mario Fachini [32:18]
And you’re saying you like to cap the daily limit around 10 grand a day, if someone’s maxed out?
Carolyn Lowe [32:23]
No. We can spend more than that. But you know, the nice thing is, is for these brands that are nationwide that have global appeal, national appeal, you can easily spend $10,000 a day. You can spend more. We’ve got clients who spend more than that and a lot of brands do, I mean, the big guys, Starbucks and Procter and Gamble, I mean, they’re spending – I want to say one of them was spending 70 million a year on the platform.
Mario Fachini [32:51]
Some nice amount to just give it a shot and test some things with. For someone that’s spending, let’s say 1,000 to 4,000 a day, what is something they could do to improve their ad spend and get that four to one, that five to one ratio if right now they’re currently only getting maybe two to one or three to one?
Carolyn Lowe [33:14]
Yeah. So it’s all dependent on the brand. We like to look at the three different parts of the funnel. We like to look at the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel. So obviously, you want to optimize your bottom of funnel. Like to your point earlier, if you’re following someone around for 30 days retargeting and your average time to purchase is five days, you can probably cut out some of that spend from retargeting. So the first place we look is, you know, the low hanging fruit of that retargeting. The middle of the funnel, the people who have been to your website but visited a product page. Or more importantly, a lot of times people overlook this, you can create a list of folks who have engaged with your posts or your ads and those are very warm leads, too, even if they haven’t been to your website. They’re familiar with your brand and they’ve engaged with your brand. So you want to be having a conversation with them on social. And then the top of the funnel. So a lot of times what we’ll see is that either people have too many campaigns and the algorithm cannot learn. You know, they’ll throw, like, $50 on this campaign, and 50 on this one, and 50 on this one. And they’ll have overlapping auctions and audiences. And so we’ll really sort of dial in a really good top of funnel campaign that maybe is spending $200, 300, 400, or 500 a day. And then depending on your budget and how many visitors you have, that really dictates how much you can spend on your bottom of the funnel and middle of funnel folks.
Mario Fachini [34:44]
That is a very intelligent way to look at it. Because I’ve heard for so many years, people, whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Amazon, just name something, it’s like the whole “I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work.” It’s like you can apply that to anything in life. And it’s so easy to just – you know, I tried it. Well, what did you do? Well, I was throwing $1,000 a day at it. Did you have a landing page? Did you have a website? Did you have a call to action? You have to look at the whole process. Not just they didn’t click on the ad. Well, if they didn’t click, then maybe your headline was trash. Maybe the image was trash. Maybe the messaging was trash. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Because clearly, there’s people knocking it out of the park, like you are.
Carolyn Lowe [35:32]
Yeah. And a lot of times people will optimize for the wrong thing. Or they’ll say I want to optimize for conversions. I want people to buy something on my website. Well, Facebook needs 50 conversions in a seven day period for it to optimize in your best interest. So if you’re only throwing $20, or 30, or 40 a day at it, you’re never going to get 50 conversions. So people will sort of slowly burn $2,000 or 3,000 a month. And by the end of the year, they said I put 30,000 in Facebook and it doesn’t work. So really, one of the things that we’ll do is with those top of funnel people, if it’s a really expensive item, we’ll do a great video. They’ll give us a great video. We’ll run video ads. And then you retarget the people who watched the whole video. Because the video ads are a lot cheaper. So you got to sort of build a warm audience. If you don’t have a warm audience, rather than just, like you said, trying to get them to click through to your website. So there’s ways that you can sort of move them down the funnel. “Oh, well, they watched the whole video.” Well, let’s serve them up the next in the series of this amazing cargo carrier for your SUV.
Mario Fachini [36:35]
Sounds interesting. So you’re saying video is a good thing to have on Facebook?
Carolyn Lowe [36:39]
Video is a great thing to have. It’s typically cheaper and a lot more people engaged with it right and it’s thumb stopping. So as you know that first frame is really important.
Mario Fachini [36:49]
Let’s talk about that because I’m familiar. But I know not everyone in Expert Authority World is. The thumbnail, it’s why – I don’t know. I’m just sarcastic, or humoristic, or whatever. But it’s like, in all seriousness, if you have a trash headline, a trash message, or a bad image or trash image, they’re never – it doesn’t matter if you have the funnel in place. Now, I’m not saying don’t have a funnel in place. You have to have it the whole thing optimized. But it’s that first step. You have to just work one piece at a time. How important is the image? And what would you say of the three things I mentioned, the headline, the messaging, or the image, what’s the first one you go after to improve the campaign in short order?
Carolyn Lowe [37:36]
The image is easy, because we typically will put four to six images in a campaign. And Facebook will tell you the one that’s working the best and it’ll keep serving up that one and not serving up the trash one anymore. So a lot of times we will put six different creatives in the same one. And then the winner – because, you know, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Like you said, you throw up one image and you say, “Well, it didn’t work.” “Well, did you test the creative? Was it the picture? Was it the headline? Was it the image?” And so if there’s a clear, creative winner, then we know it’s the creative. If none of them do well, then we say, “Okay. It’s definitely the audience.” Right? The audience was not the right audience. So going back to my direct mail days, that’s what I was brought to Dell to do in 1999 was to run direct mail because people were buying their first computer, social media didn’t exist. So you know, it all came back to with direct mail. Who you sending it to? What are you putting in front of them? And what’s the offer? So audience offer, and list, and creative were the three things that really matter. And it’s the same on social, there’s a little bit more attention paid to creative versus direct mail. I mean, it gets in their mailbox. But I really think that we’ve seen good creative fail on bad audiences.
Mario Fachini [38:53]
But even with the direct mail, to your point, you could have the – there’s a lot of people that designed the postcard or the mailer or whatever, the piece of direct mail wrong. In the IndeceA, they have the message on the wrong side. And for anyone listening that doesn’t know by Federal Law, you have to have the in IndeceA facing out. So if your messages on the opposite side, they might not even flip it over. So for your headline and the message, you said the creative is easy to switch for the ad. How do you fix the copywriting? Has Facebook came out with any copywriting tweaks to make better headlines and messaging?
Carolyn Lowe [39:30]
Yeah. So there is Dynamic. So you can do dynamic advertising. And Google is doing the same thing, where you can put in five or six different headlines and they’ll mix and match them. And those are called responsive ads on Google. And Google will find you the winner. You know, a lot of times people do the same thing. “Oh, my Google Ad didn’t work.” “Well, let’s see.” The words that are in your ad are not anywhere on your landing page to your point. So they click through and it says nothing about what you said to them in the ads. You’re going to get penalized pretty heavily for that from Facebook.
Mario Fachini [40:04]
Excellent. You are sharing so much knowledge and I appreciate you for it. I got one last question before we do the Wheel of Whatever. And we’re talking a lot about people that are underway things they can do to already improve. But what if someone is on the fence. They want to do this. They’re going, “Man, I got a great product that got a great business.” Regardless of what revenue they’re doing per year, they know they want to go to that next level, and they’re just hesitant to start. Because maybe they didn’t put the investment or commit to it the first time around. Maybe it’s their second, third, or fourth. They’re giving it a try. What would you say – it’s not a secret because you know it. And for the people who are making ads work, it’s known. What would you say it really takes to say, “Hey, I want to make this work”? Do they need 30 to 60 days? How much money? How long does it take to tweak? And would you say it’s worth giving it a shot? Because they went from 200 grand. They invest 200 grand and make a million a month. When you’re like, “Oh, a month.” I mean, who wouldn’t want that. But you can’t get to that point two years later and to your other client five years later if you never get started. So if someone’s listening right now and they haven’t got started, what would you suggest?
Carolyn Lowe [41:20]
Well, I’m going to back it up a little bit, Mario. And I don’t know if you’re going to like this or not. But we always say never throw money – good money out for a bad website. So before we take someone on, we’ll look at their Google Analytics. And if your pages don’t load in less than four seconds and if your ecommerce conversion rate isn’t more than 2 percent, we don’t recommend you run ads. We recommend you go work with a developer, fix your website, and make sure that you get at least a 2 percent conversion rate. We’ve never seen anybody be able to make money with less than a 2 percent conversion rate. So that’s the first thing we’ll ask is, what’s your conversion rate? What’s your average order value? And then we’ll look at their Google Analytics. And we’ll run some page tests and see how fast the pages load. So my advice is, do not throw any money at a website until you know it’s a website that’s going to convert. Now, once you know that, I would say yes, do what it takes. And I would say hire an agency. I mean, Facebook is changing every day. We haven’t seen anybody sort of successfully run it themselves and see those kinds of returns. So put aside, you know, maybe 10,000, maybe 3,000 for an agency and 6,000 to 7000 a month for ads, and put 20,000 in. And if after eight weeks, you can’t make it work and if you’ve got a good agency, then there’s definitely something wrong. We say basically give us six to eight weeks to dial it in. And if we’re not doing any better, we’ll give half of the fees back.
Mario Fachini [42:53]
So six to eight weeks and fix your website. And you can’t say anything I’m not going to like because I’m investigating the truth. And if the truth is, don’t put money at it, fix the website, you did create a new question though. If you have Google Analytics, how do you check for the page load times? And if they are low, what do you do to improve those?
Carolyn Lowe [43:16]
Yes. So the page load times is part of Google Analytics. You can go under pages and see your page. And you can see which pages load slowly versus others. There’s also a free tool out there on the web that Google does. It’s called Google PageSpeed Insights. And it’ll tell you how fast your pages are loading. And then if they are over four seconds, I would say find a great developer. So most of our clients are on Shopify. And we have two or three developers that we really trust that have made significant conversion improvements for our clients. One of them took them from a 1.75 percent conversion rate to a 2.5 percent conversion rate.
Mario Fachini [43:54]
Just from PageSpeed times?
Carolyn Lowe [43:56]
PageSpeed and they redesigned the product detail page.
Mario Fachini [43:59]
Wow. That’s pretty impressive. I mean, that’s not, hey, we’re throwing all this money on ads and we tweak this and that. That’s just simply – it’s a better user experience.
Carolyn Lowe [44:08]
That’s right. And I think the whole project was less than 12,000. But that’s going to have long term benefits, right? Every product you add is going to convert that much better. So we see that a lot of times. We’ll come in and, “Oh, boy. This page is taking five seconds.” And Google here in Austin has shared with us – we’ve done some work with them at the Google Austin office. And they’ve shared with us that for every second over four seconds, you lose 40 percent of your traffic. So don’t pay to get all that traffic to your website just to have them abandoned.
Mario Fachini [44:41]
That’s kind of what I was joking about with creating a padded room that’s going to cost you probably 500, 1,000, if not even more money in soundproofing when you can get a microphone that does 90 percent of it. Forty percent for every second?
Carolyn Lowe [44:56]
After four seconds.
Mario Fachini [44:58]
So basically after six to six-and-a-half, seven seconds, you’re toast.
Carolyn Lowe [45:03]
Yes. I mean, next time you do that, you load a web page and look at a stopwatch and see how long six seconds is. It’s a long time. It’s like dial up from the ’90s.
Mario Fachini [45:16]
Welcome to AOL. You are connected.
Carolyn Lowe [45:20]
You have mail.
Mario Fachini [45:22]
Wow. That’s impressive. And you got me thinking about my own stuff. Because I’ve talked to a lot of people about SEO specific and things. And you got me half wanting to ask you plugging questions about caching and lazy loading and different stuff like that. But that’s a great Expert Authority insight, fix the website first. If you’re on Amazon and you’re focusing there, obviously, they’re going to already be as optimized as you can. But you’re talking specifically for your own website where you’re going to make the most and you get to keep all the profit.
Carolyn Lowe [45:52]
Mario Fachini [45:54]
Excellent. So I’m going to ask you – it’s time for the Wheel of Whatever. And this thing always ends where I need it to. Always on the right question. Originally, there was going to be questions on it but I found it’s actually better this way. Because now I can ask you whatever I want. And look at that, it did it again. It ended up right where I needed it to with the right questions. So you were talking about Starbucks earlier? Do you like healthy food? I do need to know this. Do you like healthy food? Or do you like junk food?
Carolyn Lowe [46:24]
Moderation, I guess, in both.
Mario Fachini [46:26]
Okay, I’m going to stick with McDonald’s then. And that wasn’t the question. But I’m curious, who’s a company you haven’t worked with or campaign, I’ll say, out of these three, who would you love to have to run their ads for, McDonald’s, a political party, whoever, or Starbucks?
Carolyn Lowe [46:49]
Well, let’s see Starbucks just announced they’re boycotting Facebook. So it would be hard to work them. But I would choose Starbucks because it is probably the least controversial. And I particularly don’t love McDonald’s. I think my kids have probably eaten McDonald’s once or twice in their life. And I stay far away from religion and politics.
Mario Fachini [47:11]
Okay. And I was trying to think – and I should have asked you before we started, but you gave me the idea halfway through. And I was like, “Ooh, McDonald’s and Panera.” I was like, who are the most opposite restaurants I can think of. But when you said Starbucks, I’m like, “I wonder if she’d like to work with them or not?”
Carolyn Lowe [47:28]
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, potentially, I think that they’re an interesting brand. I’d rather work with someone like Black Rifle Coffee, which is an amazing brand. I mean, I’m not in the military, but I love their branding and I love their identity. Brands that I love to work with are natural brands that we’ve worked with. There’s a brand we’re taking on tomorrow to take over and fix their Facebook advertising called Esker Beauty. They’re a natural beauty brand. So we prefer to work with brands who have a mission.
Mario Fachini [48:01]
Excellent. So I’m going to throw an audible here and who would be your ideal brand and dream client to work with?
Carolyn Lowe [48:09]
Wow. There’s a long list of folks that we would love to work with and love to help. Basically, any emerging brand, a challenger brand. Someone like an Outdoor Voices, someone like Magic Spoon Cereal.
Mario Fachini [48:23]
What about The Honor Company?
Carolyn Lowe [48:25]
Not Honest Company? The Honor Company?
Mario Fachini [48:28]
I probably said it wrong. Jessica Alba’s brand. It’s all natural. Is it Honest?
Carolyn Lowe [48:33]
Yeah. Honest Company.
Mario Fachini [48:36]
Cool. I was close. They seem like they’d fit everything you just mentioned.
Carolyn Lowe [48:41]
They are a great brand. They are owned by L Catterton Private equity. So we do a lot of work with Catterton brands. We’ve helped quite a few Catterton brands in the past. And yeah, we’d absolutely work with The Honest Company. Although typically our model is, we work with companies 3 to 30 million. And then we give them the expert advice that, you know, you normally can’t afford as an emerging brand, a smaller company, you know, 10 to 20 employees. So once they get big enough, they typically hire in-house folks. And so The Honest Company would be a great one to work with. But they are big enough now that they’ve got a team. So that’s why I said, we don’t want to ever work with Nike. We only want to work with these emerging brands and give them the experts in their company that the bigger brands can afford.
Mario Fachini [49:29]
Excellent. Well, I have loved this very much. We’re going to thank our sponsor and come back with the Imperfect Action Round.
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Mario Fachini [50:49]
And we are back with the Imperfect Action Round. Carolyn, are you ready to take imperfect action?
Carolyn Lowe [50:55]
Mario Fachini [50:56]
Rapid fire questions, 60 second answers. What’s the fastest path to the cash?
Carolyn Lowe [51:00]
Shopify and paid ads.
Mario Fachini [51:03]
Excellent. Number two, what’s the biggest problem you see your prospects making and the fastest way they can fix it?
Carolyn Lowe [51:08]
Spending too little or making the wrong actions on paid social advertising.
Mario Fachini [51:13]
Or having a jacked up website that doesn’t convert under 2 percent – over 2 percent, right?
Carolyn Lowe [51:19]
Mario Fachini [51:19]
Okay. Number three – it’s a good one. I’ve only asked it 100 times – what is the best way to maximize customer lifetime value?
Carolyn Lowe [51:29]
Use a model like Chewy’s. Chewy’s literally writes their customer’s handwritten notes. And they know their pets names of all their customers. And that is the – they have some of the highest retention in any industry I’ve seen.
Mario Fachini [51:43]
Tell me more real quick about this company that you just mentioned.
Carolyn Lowe [51:47]
Chewy’s is an online pet brand. And the way that they’ve really differentiated themselves is by focusing 100 percent on customer service. So like I said, you do the first order. And you get a handwritten note from customer service. And then you call back in. And they really have a relationship with them. And these days, people want to have a relationship with a brand. They just don’t want to buy something. They want to work with a brand that cares about them. And that knows about them. And that they have a connection to.
Mario Fachini [52:21]
Wow. When you set the handwritten notes, that’s a huge thing to do. And just wanting to care that much speaks volumes and then implementing it. Love the advice. Thank you. What are some books that have made the biggest impact in your life?
Carolyn Lowe [52:38]
So most recently, since I started the agency in the last five years, Gino Wickman’s Traction is a required reading for everybody. We’ve been implementing EOS since last Q3. And we are on track to double what we’re doing. We’re doing the right things for customers. And we’ve got all A player. So I love that. Who’s Going To Do What By When is another great book. So most mostly a lot of business books, Predictable Revenue, How To Be A Good Boss, I love a lot of those in those series. And of course, Built to Sell, and Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up.
Mario Fachini [53:17]
Excellent. All great recommendations. Well, Carolyn, I’ve enjoyed this very much. Where can we learn more about you and your company?
Carolyn Lowe [53:25]
Well, you can go to our website, www.ROISwift.com and learn about us there. We are the cobbler with no shoes. We probably have one of the worst websites out there. But you can just get our contact info and and ping us, and we’ll be happy to do a free audit of your Facebook advertising spend or your Google spend or your Amazon account. So find us on the web or you can find us on LinkedIn. Again. We were like the worst with our own social so I apologize in advance.
Mario Fachini [53:55]
But you’re the best with your clients.
Carolyn Lowe [53:58]
Mario Fachini [54:00]
Thank you very much for that. I’ve enjoyed this. And it’s been a pleasure having you.
Carolyn Lowe [54:06]
Thanks for having me, Mario.
Mario Fachini [54:08]
All right. Expert Authority World, we have another great episode here today. I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a great day and God bless.
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Hey, thanks for listening to today’s episode. I hope you got a lot out of it. I know I sure did. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to subscribe to the show. And also be sure to check out EAInterviews.com for complete show notes, the full interview video experience, links to the resources we mentioned, and more. Have a blessed day and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Learn More About Carolyn
Carolyn Lowe founded ROI Swift in 2015 to help emerging consumer
brands get expert help in Amazon, Paid Ads for Facebook/Instagram, and
Paid Search. So many smaller businesses were being taken advantage of
by paying agencies big dollars for no results, and Carolyn thought that
was wrong. Her team grew an apparel and footwear company from $0-
12M in 18 months through paid Facebook and Instagram ads. Carolyn’s
goal is to help 1000 brands grow profitably. So far, they have helped 102,
so she is 898 away from retirement!
Fun facts about Carolyn: She once won $10,000 on the radio and wished
she saved it to invest in Google or Amazon two decades later. After leaving
Dell, she founded ROI Swift to follow her passion of helping emerging
businesses grow. She is the mother of two children and has her pilot’s
license, though no time to actually fly anymore.
Connect with Carolyn
- Website | Public Figure/Speaking Site
- Website | Company
- Facebook | Public Figure Page
- Facebook | Company
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