The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

NOTABLE! [Progress] Sanctus Nutrition - Supplement Company (and first real entrepreneurial pursuit)

OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
Looking good my friend!

  1. I'd nix the 'Home' button too. I've watched thousands of user session recordings (HotJar.com) on various e-commerce websites that I have worked on, and users seem to have an expectation that the logo brings them to the homepage. I believe it's safe to say that it's a best practice at this point, unless you are selling to a much older, less savvy crowd. Plus, the homepage is the absolute top of your funnel and the idea is to capture their attention and get them further into the funnel as quickly as possible. That should free up some room in the navigation.
  2. This looks solid as well. I'd recommend adding a sub-menu that presents those products when you hover over "Supplements." Shortens the number of steps a user has to take to get to your product pages.
  3. This is where having a developer may help-- you can change the background image size to cater to difference device breakpoints (mobile/tablet/desktop) so that it looks solid on each device. This can be done with CSS.
  4. For changing the button colors, this line in the theme.scss.css file (your theme's stylesheet):
    .hero__btn {
    background-color: #fff;
    color: #000;
    margin-top: 27.5px;​
    }
    Should be changed to:
    .hero__btn {
    background-color: #b8442a;
    color: #fff;
    margin-top: 27.5px;​
    }
  5. Looks good! Hopefully it gets a few more free sample conversions for you.
  6. I like Drift the best, followed by Chatra and Olark. All three should have a free tier.
  7. Additional Idea: Consider adding a "Free Samples" button in the navigation, now that you have extra room (assuming that you remove the "Home" button).
  8. Additional Idea: Add HotJar to your website so you can look at heatmaps and recordings. This will help you identify areas for improvement, website issues, and potential obstacles your shoppers face. You can also launch polls and surveys to get real, actionable feedback and insights from users/customers. It also has a free plan that should be suitable at this stage in the game.
1. home button is gone
2. sub-menu added
3. I'd LOVE to have a developer and never have to edit the website again but I am no where close to being able to afford that
4. reminding myself to do this tomorrow
6. Installed Chatra
8. Added HotJar

Really appreciate your recommendations! I'll keep you posted on how they go
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

JoshM

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 12, 2017
12
29
23
30
Houston, TX
1. home button is gone
2. sub-menu added
3. I'd LOVE to have a developer and never have to edit the website again but I am no where close to being able to afford that
4. reminding myself to do this tomorrow
6. Installed Chatra
8. Added HotJar

Really appreciate your recommendations! I'll keep you posted on how they go
Not a problem! Now, for another idea:



That image you have further down the page? It fits perfectly with the copy at the top. See image above. Perhaps it's a more suitable image for the homepage header section?

Another question for you -- Have you gotten any free samples sent out lately, and if so, do those free sample orders tend to convert?
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
Not a problem! Now, for another idea:



That image you have further down the page? It fits perfectly with the copy at the top. See image above. Perhaps it's a more suitable image for the homepage header section?

Another question for you -- Have you gotten any free samples sent out lately, and if so, do those free sample orders tend to convert?

Glad you asked re: free samples. I was logging on to make a post about those...

HUGE pain point/source of frustration: free samples.

1. They are not converting as well as I want them to.
2. The majority of people who receive a free sample do not reply to my follow-up emails seeking feedback. I email each customer 3 times seeking feedback.
Example email:
"Hey ____! Checking in to see if you tried the Focal Force sample we sent you. How did it go? I would love to hear any feedback from you, good or bad.

Thank you!

Alex Brewer, PharmD
Founder - Sanctus Nutrition
sanctusnutrition.com"

3. Perhaps the most frustrating part - people who DO reply and indicate they like/love their sample still don't buy a full bottle. We got a variety of excuses in December - "no money due to holidays, I'll buy in January" kind of stuff. We reach back out in January - silence. People who like the sample and I offer the 30% off deal? Silence.

Example exchange:

Me:
"Hey ____! Checking in to see if you tried the Focal Force sample we sent you. How did it go? I would love to hear any feedback from you, good or bad.

Thank you!

Alex Brewer, PharmD
Founder - Sanctus Nutrition
sanctusnutrition.com"

Customer:
"Hey!
I loved it! Most preworkouts that I have tried have made me get the ‘tingly’ feeling, and this did not at all!

Thanks so much!"

Me: "I'm so happy to hear that! Because you loved your sample, I wanted to make sure you knew we offer 30% off your first purchase of a full bottle. I've set up a draft order for you below - just click and finish checking out. We'll have Focal Force in your hands ASAP!" (the email is a Shopify draft order, with the 30% discount pre-applied, making it as easy as possible for them to checkout and get 30% off).

Customer: silence.

I have countless stories like this.

I've removed all links and mentions of the samples on the website, for now. They simply are not performing.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I'm at a loss.
 

susty

New Contributor
Jul 16, 2017
5
16
18
28
Singapore
1. They are not converting as well as I want them to.
2. The majority of people who receive a free sample do not reply to my follow-up emails seeking feedback. I email each customer 3 times seeking feedback.
I'm selling a product in a somewhat similar industry (think meal replacements, healthy snacks etc.), I faced the same issue for free samples.

To give you more context: I ran a FB ad, offering my target market a free sample in exchange for their email, address, mobile contact and honest feedback on the product. I got 70 leads over a very short period. I mailed out samples to 35 of these leads, along with handwritten messages and a discount code. I only got one sale on a small ticket item and feedback from about 5-6 other people. I think free samples work well when you have a physical booth/store and a face to face follow up with the customer, but not online.

I'll share with you my outreach efforts besides just FB and google marketing. Most of these efforts are at a fetal stage, so it's too soon to gauge whether they're working. I'm just sharing them with you so that you can spin-off some new ideas and keep going. Here's a short list:

1. Flyer distribution (in places where your customer will be at) - I'm just getting the hang of proper flyer design, I'll keep you posted on whether this works. For now, even with shitty flyer designs on normal A4 printing paper, it seems to be working alright (about 1-2% of recipients inquire about the product).

2. Influencer marketing on instagram - About 5 out of the 100+ micro influencers I contacted agreed to do a review in exchange for a free sample. I paid one high profile influencer some money to consistently post about the product on instagram over a few months and leave a detailed blog review. I'll be mailing out the samples this week, I'll let you know what my ROIs are for this. I have a feeling this should work out well for me, because my target market is very small and tight knit. Getting trusted 'insiders' in on the product should help a lot with credibility.

3. Reddit - Neither running ads nor posting organically on reddit worked for me. Of all the forums, I got the most flak on reddit. People were generally very skeptical, even when I kept self-promotion to a minimum in my organic posts. You should give it a shot anyway. There are very little places on the internet where you get easy access to a community of customers organized neatly into sub-reddits, actively discussing things that tie up very closely to your start-up.

4. Facebook groups - I took a similar approach to my FB/insta ads for these posts; I offered free samples in exchange for the customer's information and feedback. Although I didn't get any sales from this, some of the most valuable feedback on the product, website etc was from here.

5. Online 3rd party marketplaces (anything else but Amazon) - I'm in the process of listing the product on 3rd party marketplaces that are smaller, but also less competitive than amazon. Some of these marketplaces have more qualified traffic for my product. I'll post an update here if this works.

6. Pop-up booths - I've signed up for a couple of pop-up booths next month. Because my product appeals best to a niche market, I can't bank entirely on walk-in customers for sales. Many of the ads I'll be running from now will be to raise awareness and channel my target customers to the pop-up booth; I think I'll be able to do a much better job selling when the customer is in front of me.

7. Offline distributors - I've contacted about 50 small shops to carry the product on consignment terms with a 30-40% cut. 3 have tentatively agreed. Again, I have no idea if this will bring any notable revenue, but any sort of expansion to offline channels should be worth a shot.

8. Word of mouth - This has been the most effective approach for me. When I started the company, I reached out to my network and asked them to put me in touch with people who would find the product useful. Every person I followed up diligently with not only bought the product, but also referred another hot lead. I always hear conflicting advice on this matter, but I'll let you be the judge. Although I've stopped relying on first degree connections, I make sure I incorporate word of mouth marketing in my current outreach efforts, just because of how effective it is. For example, when I ship out a new order, I make sure I include a unique referral code with the customer's name, which entitles both the customer and up to 2 of their friends/family to 20% off their first order.


Before I wish you well, I'd just like to add that you should absolutely validate features with customers when you're building a differentiated product. I've pivoted my product about 5 times now, I would've saved myself a lot of pain if I just went to the market and validated a feature before building it; I wouldn't have added differentiating features that the market didn't care about. In your case, you could A/B test ads with your current selling point and other variations that are the industry norms (e.g. 'Energize your workouts with zero crash, jitters, or racing heartbeat' VS 'the most potent pre-workout formulation in the market). If the industry norms are significantly outperforming your main features/selling points, you know you've built something that people don't really care for. Some parts of feature validation can be very counter-intuitive. For example, I realized that people don't care much for the 'all-natural', 'organic' and 'non-GMO' labels in my niche only after validating them with the market, not by reasoning or reading papers on forrester.


I'm more than happy to share with you my startup in private. We're doing somewhat similar things and we're halfway across the world from each other, so it would be great if we can pool ideas and work together. All the best and keep at it!
 
Last edited:

Paul Thomas

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 9, 2013
264
335
182
  1. We are still figuring out Facebook & Adwords advertising. The ads are improving - we're getting engagement (likes & comments), and CTRs aren't bad, but still lots of room to improve.
Disclaimer: did not read entire thread, but have some solid experience selling healthy/beauty products through paid ads

Are you running engagement ads or conversion objective ads

What type of CPAs are you seeing on a full purchase of your produce with Facebook ads and Adwords ads? Are you just running image ads directly to your product page? What are the CTRs on your ads? How broad/narrow is your targeting -> what CPMs are you seeing?

You have a money machine if you can get CPAs to a sweet spot as you probably know.
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
Disclaimer: did not read entire thread, but have some solid experience selling healthy/beauty products through paid ads

Are you running engagement ads or conversion objective ads

What type of CPAs are you seeing on a full purchase of your produce with Facebook ads and Adwords ads? Are you just running image ads directly to your product page? What are the CTRs on your ads? How broad/narrow is your targeting -> what CPMs are you seeing?

You have a money machine if you can get CPAs to a sweet spot as you probably know.
  1. I've been running the ads for traffic/link clicks.
  2. Re: CPA. We aren't getting purchases from our ads. I've had 3 total purchases that, per Ad Manager, came from the FB ads. 2 of those came this past Monday when I launched another re-marketing campaign to visitors who were on the product page but didn't buy. Another came from a previous re-marketing campaign. We've yet to have a single cold buy from ads.
  3. Yes, I'm running image ads to the product page.
  4. I'll DM you re: CTR and CPM

I'm aware of the cash potential, which is why I'm so frustrated with the lack of results I'm getting :) appreciate you stopping by and for your advice, thank you!
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
I'm selling a product in a somewhat similar industry (think meal replacements, healthy snacks etc.), I faced the same issue for free samples.

To give you more context: I ran a FB ad, offering my target market a free sample in exchange for their email, address, mobile contact and honest feedback on the product. I got 70 leads over a very short period. I mailed out samples to 35 of these leads, along with handwritten messages and a discount code. I only got one sale on a small ticket item and feedback from about 5-6 other people. I think free samples work well when you have a physical booth/store and a face to face follow up with the customer, but not online.

I'll share with you my outreach efforts besides just FB and google marketing. Most of these efforts are at a fetal stage, so it's too soon to gauge whether they're working. I'm just sharing them with you so that you can spin-off some new ideas and keep going. Here's a short list:

1. Flyer distribution (in places where your customer will be at) - I'm just getting the hang of proper flyer design, I'll keep you posted on whether this works. For now, even with shitty flyer designs on normal A4 printing paper, it seems to be working alright (about 1-2% of recipients inquire about the product).

2. Influencer marketing on instagram - About 5 out of the 100+ micro influencers I contacted agreed to do a review in exchange for a free sample. I paid one high profile influencer some money to consistently post about the product on instagram over a few months and leave a detailed blog review. I'll be mailing out the samples this week, I'll let you know what my ROIs are for this. I have a feeling this should work out well for me, because my target market is very small and tight knit. Getting trusted 'insiders' in on the product should help a lot with credibility.

3. Reddit - Neither running ads nor posting organically on reddit worked for me. Of all the forums, I got the most flak on reddit. People were generally very skeptical, even when I kept self-promotion to a minimum in my organic posts. You should give it a shot anyway. There are very little places on the internet where you get easy access to a community of customers organized neatly into sub-reddits, actively discussing things that tie up very closely to your start-up.

4. Facebook groups - I took a similar approach to my FB/insta ads for these posts; I offered free samples in exchange for the customer's information and feedback. Although I didn't get any sales from this, some of the most valuable feedback on the product, website etc was from here.

5. Online 3rd party marketplaces (anything else but Amazon) - I'm in the process of listing the product on 3rd party marketplaces that are smaller, but also less competitive than amazon. Some of these marketplaces have more qualified traffic for my product. I'll post an update here if this works.

6. Pop-up booths - I've signed up for a couple of pop-up booths next month. Because my product appeals best to a niche market, I can't bank entirely on walk-in customers for sales. Many of the ads I'll be running from now will be to raise awareness and channel my target customers to the pop-up booth; I think I'll be able to do a much better job selling when the customer is in front of me.

7. Offline distributors - I've contacted about 50 small shops to carry the product on consignment terms with a 30-40% cut. 3 have tentatively agreed. Again, I have no idea if this will bring any notable revenue, but any sort of expansion to offline channels should be worth a shot.

8. Word of mouth - This has been the most effective approach for me. When I started the company, I reached out to my network and asked them to put me in touch with people who would find the product useful. Every person I followed up diligently with not only bought the product, but also referred another hot lead. I always hear conflicting advice on this matter, but I'll let you be the judge. Although I've stopped relying on first degree connections, I make sure I incorporate word of mouth marketing in my current outreach efforts, just because of how effective it is. For example, when I ship out a new order, I make sure I include a unique referral code with the customer's name, which entitles both the customer and up to 2 of their friends/family to 20% off their first order.


Before I wish you well, I'd just like to add that you should absolutely validate features with customers when you're building a differentiated product. I've pivoted my product about 5 times now, I would've saved myself a lot of pain if I just went to the market and validated a feature before building it; I wouldn't have added differentiating features that the market didn't care about. In your case, you could A/B test ads with your current selling point and other variations that are the industry norms (e.g. 'Energize your workouts with zero crash, jitters, or racing heartbeat' VS 'the most potent pre-workout formulation in the market). If the industry norms are significantly outperforming your main features/selling points, you know you've built something that people don't really care for. Some parts of feature validation can be very counter-intuitive. For example, I realized that people don't care much for the 'all-natural', 'organic' and 'non-GMO' labels in my niche only after validating them with the market, not by reasoning or reading papers on forrester.


I'm more than happy to share with you my startup in private. We're doing somewhat similar things and we're halfway across the world from each other, so it would be great if we can pool ideas and work together. All the best and keep at it!
Sorry for the slow response - have been busy with the business and have not logged in for a bit.

Thanks for sharing your story and your experiences so far! I appreciate the insights.

We're going to a large convention next week so, in a way, I'm giving #6 a shot.

Here's my experience with other things on your list:

#2 - influencer marketing has gotten us next to no where. I know of 5 purchases that came from influencer posts/reviews.
#3 - I tried reddit ads way back in the beginning; waste of money. Anything I ever do on reddit would need to be organic and even then, not sure it is worth it. Way too cynical of a community.
#5 - I got us listed on Bonanza and eBay last week, so too early to judge results.
#7 - I have a few gyms/supplement stores selling our product. I'm trying to grow this line of business more.
#8 - I recently sent an email out, segmented to deliver only to customers who have made a full purchase. I thanked them for their business, and asked them to refer their friends, offering $10 in store credit for each and every new customer they recommend. Only two people signed up to get a referral link, so I'm guessing we won't get much, if anything, from this.
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
643
2,167
550
30
Pennsylvania
I often get hit with your ads (I assume I'm in a re-targeting list somewhere because I visited your page from this thread).
I don't use supplements (or quite honestly, even work out with any consistency), but I'm always left with the impression after seeing your ad that it's just so dark. I would be more likely to click on something more crisp and clean. I'll try to remember to take a screenshot next time, but I'm sure you know what your own ad looks like.
 

Rob Tennant

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Dec 29, 2013
25
47
25
I havent read through the whole thread here, but has anyone actually tried the product?

Anyone here that is.
 

racyred09

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 28, 2017
97
326
164
USA
I havent read through the whole thread here, but has anyone actually tried the product?

Anyone here that is.
I have!! I've been talking with him about it. I think it's great and I've noticed a big improvement in my workouts lately.

Here is the testimonial that I told him he could put on his site if he needed on- all true of course:

I'd wanted to try a pre-workout supplement for a while but hated that they were all full of caffeine, to which I am very sensitive. Then I came across Focal Force, and I am glad I did! It's just what I was looking for- no dyes, artificial sweeteners, and just a small amount of caffeine! It has a great fresh taste and it makes me get pumped up for my workouts and I really feel focused when I'm doing them. I've been PR-ing on almost everything since I started using this stuff and I'm killing my Crossfit workouts! Time for me to buy another container!
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

rogue synthetic

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2017
351
1,044
359
ALCAR with tyrosine and theobromine is a hard to go wrong with.
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
I often get hit with your ads (I assume I'm in a re-targeting list somewhere because I visited your page from this thread).
I don't use supplements (or quite honestly, even work out with any consistency), but I'm always left with the impression after seeing your ad that it's just so dark. I would be more likely to click on something more crisp and clean. I'll try to remember to take a screenshot next time, but I'm sure you know what your own ad looks like.
Thanks, this is helpful and you are spot on. The images are dark.

I have!! I've been talking with him about it. I think it's great and I've noticed a big improvement in my workouts lately.

Here is the testimonial that I told him he could put on his site if he needed on- all true of course:

I'd wanted to try a pre-workout supplement for a while but hated that they were all full of caffeine, to which I am very sensitive. Then I came across Focal Force, and I am glad I did! It's just what I was looking for- no dyes, artificial sweeteners, and just a small amount of caffeine! It has a great fresh taste and it makes me get pumped up for my workouts and I really feel focused when I'm doing them. I've been PR-ing on almost everything since I started using this stuff and I'm killing my Crossfit workouts! Time for me to buy another container!
^ this is why I keep at this. Seriously, it means the world to me!
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
Sorry I have been so quiet lately. In the past I've had a problem with doing lots of reading and little action - being a "wantrepreneur". I've kicked that habit, but it means less updates here!

THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS I AM FACING:
  1. Conversions
  2. Traffic
#2 is easier to solve. FB/Adwords. Social media. YouTube reached out with a promotion they have going on - agree to spend $350 in ads on their platform, and they set you up with a professional videographer, marketing expert, etc. So, I'm shooting a promotional video next week and meeting with said marketer to go over strategy. I've been looking at options for having a video made and this essentially fell in my lap, which is awesome. Excited to see how it goes! I'm also launching a video podcast to get our Youtube channel up and going.

#1 is where I am stuck. I HAVE to start converting "random" site visitors - the vast majority of sales are from referrals - either personal, affiliates, or via other customers. This is great - I'm glad the customers I have are passionate about getting other people to try my products. But, this is much harder to scale - my customers and affiliates are people w/their own lives, their own jobs/businesses, etc. Getting referral sales from them involves a LOT of constant "nudging" and there is a fine line I have to walk between being annoying and getting results.

So, I'd rather optimize my site for conversions. Free themes are not getting it done.

I want to make sure I've done all my research before purchasing a theme.

My main question: what Shopify theme(s) do you recommend for optimizing for conversions?

I'm especially looking to improve my product pages. From analyzing visit recordings and heat maps on HotJar, I can see that most of my visitors are not scrolling through the entire product page (surprise!). So, I need to get the biggest benefits for my products directly adjacent to the product photo. I like the bullet style - examples here, here, and here.

A few recommendations I've gotten:

Appreciate any and all insight, as always!
 

InformationH

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 20, 2016
76
181
147
.

My main question: what Shopify theme(s) do you recommend for optimizing for conversions?

Appreciate any and all insight, as always!
A good shopify theme is important, but I'd be focusing on getting a good landing/sales page setup that you can drive cold traffic to.

The page sells them on the product way better then a normal ecom page normally can and then when they click the buy button etc it takes them to your shopify page

I would set some money aside to hire someone to do the copy writing for you.

Also make sure you have your tracking setup properly before sending traffic

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

rogue synthetic

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2017
351
1,044
359
I'd be focusing on getting a good landing/sales page setup that you can drive cold traffic to.

The page sells them on the product way better then a normal ecom page normally can and then when they click the buy button etc it takes them to your shopify page

I would set some money aside to hire someone to do the copy writing for you.

Also make sure you have your tracking setup properly before sending traffic
Seconding all of this.

I've got a background with your market in supplements & fitness. If you want to have any questions about how to make moves on this, feel free to get in touch @Brewer07
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
A good shopify theme is important, but I'd be focusing on getting a good landing/sales page setup that you can drive cold traffic to.

The page sells them on the product way better then a normal ecom page normally can and then when they click the buy button etc it takes them to your shopify page

I would set some money aside to hire someone to do the copy writing for you.

Also make sure you have your tracking setup properly before sending traffic

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
Seconding all of this.

I've got a background with your market in supplements & fitness. If you want to have any questions about how to make moves on this, feel free to get in touch @Brewer07
Ok, making sure I understand:

Current approach: drive traffic to website. Goal is to improve optimization by improving site design, copy

New approach: drive traffic to specific landing page. When customer clicks "Buy Now" they will be directed to Shopify checkout. I'm assuming I select the "direct checkout" option when building a "Buy Now" button in Shopify?

I'll take it one step further - I offer all first-time customers 30% off their first order. Is there a way to build this into the landing page/Buy Now button, so that customers don't have to input it themselves?

I know I can build landing pages using Mailchimp. How does the URL integrate into my Shopify page?

I like this. I'll get it on it ASAP and put that Ca$hvertising knowledge to use! Really appreciate it!
 

DClaiborne

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 14, 2014
23
31
29
Houston, TX
As someone who has worked in the supplement business from the fitness side, worked in the neutraceutical business selling to health care practicioners, owned a gym, sold fitness products online, and was a ghost copywriter for other online supplement and working program products, I love the idea and work you are putting into this.

I have no input on the science side of things (you seem to have that down pat and agree on a lot of the same principles I do), but can definitely help you out on the marketing/sales side of things.

The quickest way to start finding high converting sales/landing pages, is to register for a clickbank account as an affiliate. Then browse the industry and find the highest converting affiliate products and view their web pages. This gives you a base idea of what type of copy/layout is currently working and these guys/companies are spending lots of money on testing so let them do the hard work.

From an influencer stand point, start reaching out to high end people who have very knowledgeable strength & conditioning, fitness, etc blogs and start sending samples to them or talking science with them. If you want a list of these types of blogs, shoot me a DM and I can give you a great network to start with.

IG is a very difficult platform to sell supplements off of because most people there are getting smart and realize people are getting paid to promote stuff and you can think crap companies like Shredz and all the fat loss teas for pretty much turning everyone into a skeptic on there.

I'm definitely going to follow and will help out as much as I can. If you have any questions or specifics you would like to discuss feel free to shoot me a message or let me know.

Best of luck... It's a tough nut to crack, but when you do it's definitely fast lane.
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
As someone who has worked in the supplement business from the fitness side, worked in the neutraceutical business selling to health care practicioners, owned a gym, sold fitness products online, and was a ghost copywriter for other online supplement and working program products, I love the idea and work you are putting into this.

I have no input on the science side of things (you seem to have that down pat and agree on a lot of the same principles I do), but can definitely help you out on the marketing/sales side of things.

The quickest way to start finding high converting sales/landing pages, is to register for a clickbank account as an affiliate. Then browse the industry and find the highest converting affiliate products and view their web pages. This gives you a base idea of what type of copy/layout is currently working and these guys/companies are spending lots of money on testing so let them do the hard work.

From an influencer stand point, start reaching out to high end people who have very knowledgeable strength & conditioning, fitness, etc blogs and start sending samples to them or talking science with them. If you want a list of these types of blogs, shoot me a DM and I can give you a great network to start with.

IG is a very difficult platform to sell supplements off of because most people there are getting smart and realize people are getting paid to promote stuff and you can think crap companies like Shredz and all the fat loss teas for pretty much turning everyone into a skeptic on there.

I'm definitely going to follow and will help out as much as I can. If you have any questions or specifics you would like to discuss feel free to shoot me a message or let me know.

Best of luck... It's a tough nut to crack, but when you do it's definitely fast lane.
DM'd you! Getting reviews published on blogs/etc is a big focus right now actually - nice timing!
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

RoadTrip

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Nov 27, 2012
216
281
177
Alright all. I've worked with @rogue synthetic this past week - as well as using everything everyone has taught me so far - to re-design my product pages.

I'd love your feedback.

Focal Force Low Caffeine Pre-Workout
Focal Force Caffeine Free Pre-Workout
Great job, the product/landing page has certainly improved. Great copy too!

One suggestion: have you considered placing your guarantee right on top with the free shipping and 30% discount?

Your biggest promise is that your product is the best performing product out there. What better way to convince people with a guarantee? Also, I would consider removing the 30% discount. You want your high quality product and company to be perceived that way.

EDIT: I would actually test both, with the discount and without the discount.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
Frustration is at an all-time high. This business is going bankrupt unless things turn around quickly.

Product is not moving. Traffic isn't high, but what traffic we are getting, we are not converting. At all.

Our only sales are coming from personal networks/referrals. Which is not scalable. And it's slowing, big time.

I have tried so many modifications to the website that I'm at a loss for what else to try.
  • I've removed every page not related to selling product (ex: "Meet Our Athletes", "Find A Retailer") because these pages had high exit rates. Still no improvement in conversions.
  • I installed Hypervisual to re-design the product pages, about page, landing pages, etc. No difference in conversions.
  • I lowered prices from $39.99 to $34.99. No difference in conversions.
  • I reduced the discount offer from 30% to 15%. No difference in conversions.
  • I've put a graphic detailing our 60-day money-back guarantee right under the "Buy Now" button. No difference in conversions.
  • I made a chart comparing our pre-workout to C4 ("The highest-selling preworkout on Bodybuilding.com", didn't call the product out by name). Analyzing on HotJar - people scroll down, read this chart, then leave the site.
  • Further analyzing on HotJar - visitors scroll down on product pages, read 5-star reviews for the product (verified reviews via Yotpo), then leave the site.
  • Different Sumo popups for collecting emails in exchange for discounts. Decent sign up rates on some popups - but the only people who actually use the discounts are my friends and referrals. No "random" purchasers.
  • Recently installed ReCart as an alternative for capturing Messenger leads, reducing cart abandonment, etc. It hasn't collected a single lead.
  • Recently installed ReCharge with a 10% discount for customers signing up for a product "subscription". Not a single person has purchased this option.
  • I've lost track of how many times I've modified the home page, product pages, etc. Nothing works.
On the occasion I get an abandoned cart, nothing I do works to recover them.

Other things:
  1. Affiliates are not generating sales. They are barely generating traffic.
  2. Current customers are not referring new customers. I send out a monthly email detailing our referral program, describing the incentives, etc. I've had 1-2 customers total sign up and no referral sales from this.
  3. The people who do interact with discount offers (ex: Sumo popups to collect emails) don't even use their discounts.
  4. IG account is not growing. It's been stuck at ~2800 followers since March.
  5. Adwords ads have decent CTR's (2-6%) but zero conversions.
  6. Retailers have been an absolute fail.
The customers I have love the product. But my customer base is not growing. At all.

I'm sorry if this comes across whiny, or as me just venting/bitching, but I'm at a loss for what to do. I feel like nothing I try makes any difference, because I have the stats to prove that nothing I've tried makes any difference or impact.

I have 6 interviews recorded so far for a video "podcast" to launch our Youtube channel. But, I'm struggling to get traffic to the website, so I'm not feeling confident in my ability to generate traffic to any channel I launch this on (Youtube, Shopify, Stitcher, iTunes podcasts, etc.). So, I'm not sure how much this is going to help.

I've been reaching out to supplement reviewers with large audiences and I'm getting zero responses (not even a "no") besides 1 so far who has agreed to do a review.

I took up Youtube/Google on an offer - in exchange for spending $350 in Youtube advertising, they set me up with a videographer, shot a commercial, set up an ad campaign, etc. It has been an absolute nightmare. They can't even get the video set up on the proper channel (they keep loading it to my personal Google account, not the business). As if I didn't already hate Google enough for making Adwords such a pain in the a$$, this experience has somehow been even worse.
 

B. Cole

In thine hand is power and might.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 5, 2017
583
1,755
552
38
East Coast
Frustration is at an all-time high. This business is going bankrupt unless things turn around quickly.

Product is not moving. Traffic isn't high, but what traffic we are getting, we are not converting. At all.

Our only sales are coming from personal networks/referrals. Which is not scalable. And it's slowing, big time.

I have tried so many modifications to the website that I'm at a loss for what else to try.
  • I've removed every page not related to selling product (ex: "Meet Our Athletes", "Find A Retailer") because these pages had high exit rates. Still no improvement in conversions.
  • I installed Hypervisual to re-design the product pages, about page, landing pages, etc. No difference in conversions.
  • I lowered prices from $39.99 to $34.99. No difference in conversions.
  • I reduced the discount offer from 30% to 15%. No difference in conversions.
  • I've put a graphic detailing our 60-day money-back guarantee right under the "Buy Now" button. No difference in conversions.
  • I made a chart comparing our pre-workout to C4 ("The highest-selling preworkout on Bodybuilding.com", didn't call the product out by name). Analyzing on HotJar - people scroll down, read this chart, then leave the site.
  • Further analyzing on HotJar - visitors scroll down on product pages, read 5-star reviews for the product (verified reviews via Yotpo), then leave the site.
  • Different Sumo popups for collecting emails in exchange for discounts. Decent sign up rates on some popups - but the only people who actually use the discounts are my friends and referrals. No "random" purchasers.
  • Recently installed ReCart as an alternative for capturing Messenger leads, reducing cart abandonment, etc. It hasn't collected a single lead.
  • Recently installed ReCharge with a 10% discount for customers signing up for a product "subscription". Not a single person has purchased this option.
  • I've lost track of how many times I've modified the home page, product pages, etc. Nothing works.
On the occasion I get an abandoned cart, nothing I do works to recover them.

Other things:
  1. Affiliates are not generating sales. They are barely generating traffic.
  2. Current customers are not referring new customers. I send out a monthly email detailing our referral program, describing the incentives, etc. I've had 1-2 customers total sign up and no referral sales from this.
  3. The people who do interact with discount offers (ex: Sumo popups to collect emails) don't even use their discounts.
  4. IG account is not growing. It's been stuck at ~2800 followers since March.
  5. Adwords ads have decent CTR's (2-6%) but zero conversions.
  6. Retailers have been an absolute fail.
The customers I have love the product. But my customer base is not growing. At all.

I'm sorry if this comes across whiny, or as me just venting/bitching, but I'm at a loss for what to do. I feel like nothing I try makes any difference, because I have the stats to prove that nothing I've tried makes any difference or impact.

I have 6 interviews recorded so far for a video "podcast" to launch our Youtube channel. But, I'm struggling to get traffic to the website, so I'm not feeling confident in my ability to generate traffic to any channel I launch this on (Youtube, Shopify, Stitcher, iTunes podcasts, etc.). So, I'm not sure how much this is going to help.

I've been reaching out to supplement reviewers with large audiences and I'm getting zero responses (not even a "no") besides 1 so far who has agreed to do a review.

I took up Youtube/Google on an offer - in exchange for spending $350 in Youtube advertising, they set me up with a videographer, shot a commercial, set up an ad campaign, etc. It has been an absolute nightmare. They can't even get the video set up on the proper channel (they keep loading it to my personal Google account, not the business). As if I didn't already hate Google enough for making Adwords such a pain in the a$$, this experience has somehow been even worse.
It looks like you have gone into full blown push mode instead of pull, bad place to be and there must be a reason. Are your competitors experiencing the same, indicating a change in the market? Or perhaps you are losing market share to a competitor or have been out-innovated and out-valued by someone else?
 

DVU

In Progress
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Sep 24, 2016
256
575
253
21
Croatia
dotcomsolutions.org
It looks like you have gone into full blown push mode instead of pull, bad place to be and there must be a reason. Are your competitors experiencing the same, indicating a change in the market? Or perhaps you are losing market share to a competitor or have been out-innovated and out-valued by someone else?
What are you talking about?

Have you read his thread?

He just started the company. There is no "market share". You are talking like he is a big fish and has big competitors that are pushing better products faster than him.

He is trying to get the brand off the ground and it's not going well at the moment.

Read the thread first and then try to help.
 

B. Cole

In thine hand is power and might.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 5, 2017
583
1,755
552
38
East Coast
What are you talking about?

Have you read his thread?

He just started the company. There is no "market share". You are talking like he is a big fish and has big competitors that are pushing better products faster than him.

He is trying to get the brand off the ground and it's not going well at the moment.

Read the thread first and then try to help.
I did read the thread in its entirety earlier this year. Been awhile but I skimmed through the last few months. I thought they were valid questions.

I’m sure people shopping his supplements are looking at others, I was simply inquiring if someone else was providing more value and getting his customers. Surely that applies to a business this small too, he’s getting a little traffic, but they then leave, only assuming that they were either “window shopping” with no intent to buy, or leaving to buy from a competitor.

He does have market share, albeit not much, but any sales are a piece of the market. If some of the big boys put out new product and everybody’s trying it out, or if there is a noticeable decline for supplement sales for some reason overall, I would expect it to affect him.

Not claiming to understand his situation or even be helpful, just asking questions-
 

rogue synthetic

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2017
351
1,044
359
It's interesting to see this. I mentioned this to you before, but I don't really think it's your offer or your web page that is the problem. There's something we aren't seeing here about the people you're reaching, and how you're reaching them.

I'm with @B. Cole here -- are you aware of any big shifts happening in the supplement space, anything going on with pre-workout supps? I stopped paying attention to all that stuff 5-6 years ago so I have no idea. But it's worth asking if there's been an upset in the space here, and what you could to about it if so.

What are you talking about?

Have you read his thread?

He just started the company. There is no "market share". You are talking like he is a big fish and has big competitors that are pushing better products faster than him.

He is trying to get the brand off the ground and it's not going well at the moment.

Read the thread first and then try to help.
It isn't a bad question. Sanctus is operating in a big space with lots of competitors, direct and indirect. If you don't believe me, do a Google search for "preworkout supplements" and see what happens. Then do it for all the suggested keywords that Google spits up at the bottom of the page, and repeat for the next hour or two.

If there's been a dip in the market, if other companies are seeing a similar difficulty in attracting attention and getting conversions, that would be useful to know. It would also help to know if the market itself is just saturated, and he isn't reaching the right people.

I'm all for being a jerk on the internet, but you want to be riding first-class on the Clue Train Express when you do it, you know?
 

fiola

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 17, 2017
18
34
25
25
Cluj Napoca
I took up Youtube/Google on an offer - in exchange for spending $350 in Youtube advertising, they set me up with a videographer, shot a commercial, set up an ad campaign, etc. It has been an absolute nightmare. They can't even get the video set up on the proper channel (they keep loading it to my personal Google account, not the business). As if I didn't already hate Google enough for making Adwords such a pain in the a$$, this experience has somehow been even worse.
I have almost 0 experience regarding online marketing, but here's something I do to get more visibility: I'm doing a daily (Mon-Fri) 30 min live video on youtube and facebook at the same time (if you need help setting this up, PM me). You can choose a topic for each day and do this everyday at a time when a lot of people are online. If you provide value trough the video and engage your community, you will get fans and at some point you can start asking them to tell people about your product.

You can also try IG live as it gets on top of the other stories and should help you reach more people.
 

AndyNZ

Contributor
Apr 19, 2017
10
25
22
30
New Zealand
This has been a really interesting read, and i fully commend you on everything you have done this far, massive effort!! I hurts me to hear your business is struggling and i want to add some thoughts, whether relevant or not they might help in some way.

Let me just say i am, from reading through this, what would be defined as your target market. I am a 29 year old avid gym junkie who also has a hoard of supplements in the cupboard. I am health conscious and look for products that i deem to be "superior".

1) Target market. When i am searching for pre-workout, this would be the one supplement where i would stray from my typical health focus. I buy pre-workout for the same reason i eat McDonalds (sometimes), for me its a satisfaction product. The benefits are debatable (disregard the McD's analogy here), but its the way it makes me feel, that's why i buy it. If i feel a product has been formulated "differently", or in your case by a pharmacologist, its superior in some way due to magic i will never understand, i take the impression it has an edge, it will make me bionic!!. I feel like this is something you need to focus on more, the health focus i feel is more suited to plant based protein etc, people buy that for health reasons, people that truly want a healthy pre-workout would just have black coffee. Your product does have an edge too, clinical doses of the right stuff, yet i don't get this when i see your product, i get "natural", i don't think natural is the primary benefit, rather extra value for money and something for people to say "its really great, AND it's all natural". Pre-workout is one of a few products in this category where "artificial" is good, like test booster for example.

2) As mentioned earlier in the thread, people buy from recommendations. In the crowded fitness influencer market, especially in the athlete space you are targeting, these influencers are questioned constantly, is this just marketing?, or does it actually work?. Reviews from un-biased sources may help you to bridge this gap. For example, Bang energy, huge marketing effort, but its so fake to me id never try the crap, even if it was the best thing in the world.

3) In my opinion you've done super well with all your marketing and website, if the product is not selling then i don't believe the website will be stopping this. You need to really nail down EXACTLY why your customer buys your product and for what reasons. As in point 1, if it were me, i'm not buying because its natural, im buying because it will give me an edge. Move the focus from "how does my website look" to how does my product create "value" or an "edge" for my customer. I dont think that "pre-workout" and "health" or "natural" go together, just like i'd never go to "McDonalds" for a "salad". However, some days i might just have a salad with a burger.

Good luck, and remember this is just my 2 cents, but some of the best advice i was ever given was "listen to the customer", they're always right, not trying to plug my opinion btw, rather simply "talk to people who by pre-workout and understand why.
 

DVU

In Progress
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Sep 24, 2016
256
575
253
21
Croatia
dotcomsolutions.org
If there's been a dip in the market
How could he know this?

if other companies are seeing a similar difficulty in attracting attention and getting conversions
How can he get this information about other companies?

It would also help to know if the market itself is just saturated, and he isn't reaching the right people.
It is. But he is not targeting your average gym dude with his pre. And if I remember correctly he said there is no other pre like his.

So he either isn't putting the product in front of people who would be interested or people don't care that much about the ingredients of a pre to switch to his.

I'm all for being a jerk on the internet, but you want to be riding first-class on the Clue Train Express when you do it, you know?
Do you mind explaining how exactly I was being I jerk?

I'm all for helping him but when someone comes in and just throws completely irrelevant advice, acting all smart then I'll call them out.
 

Argue

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 1, 2016
646
2,328
555
27
NYC
Hey @Brewer07,

This is my feedback.

Part 1. The Website



1. The copy is bad. There's no personality. Just scientific jargon about clinically this and that. Talk with me as a friend, not my chemistry teacher (I hated chemistry lol)

2. The image should be different. Emphasize more focus on your bottle. All the attention is on the female.

3. This is a bad button. What does I want better supplements mean? First, you need to add color to the button for contrast. Next, change the text to something more friendly. Try grab yours now, for example.


1. This is bad copy. It's just a bunch of jargon telling me I deserve better supplements. Why do I deserve better supplements? What's in it for me? Add more life and personality to your copy. Instead of the above, try: Our drink turns you from geek to all-star. Stop training like a wimp and start training like a UFC champion. Conor McGregor agrees.
(This is really bad, but I'm trying to get my point across that adding real life to your copy will be beneficial.)

Part 2. Examples of a Successful Brand



1. When I land on G FUEL's site, there's personality. Look above at their copy. It is brilliant. They're using DJ Khaled favorite line: you smart, you loyal, to persuade the reader. It's funny, resonates with the young crowd, and it converts.


2. When I check out their about page, it's organized. The "our story" tells us in a few sentences about the creation of their product. It has personality, it resonates with the target market, evokes emotion.


3. Your about us section has no life, sorry. It just talks about jargon, 300 mg of ginger, etc. Spark life into your copy, share your story on how your product was created in a fun story-telling way that evokes emotion. It should resonate with your visitor. Instead, it doesn't and scares them away.


4. G FUEL does a great job at executing in a few sentences what the product can do for their customer. On your site, I can't say the same. The main idea on your site is how natural your ingredient is. Remember, what's in it for the customer?



5. G FUEL does an excellent job with their CTA. Notice how the box is border red as if we entered the wrong email. I suggest adding a CTA to your site to collect emails. In exchange, your readers can read your newsletter.

Part 3. Conclusion

1. I know it's not fair to compare a mega brand like G FUEL with yours, since you're just starting out. But, take some notes on what they're doing. I bet it will work.

2. Currently, your does not resonate. Go back to your buyer persona, and find out what they like to do for fun, what music they listen to, who are their favorite celebrities. Then incorporate that into your site.

3. For example, g fuel caters to the gaming community in a fun way. With Focal Force, try to be fun and engage with your target market who say stuff like cross fit is life, do you lift bro, etc. I really don't know because I'm not sure who focal force is for.

4. Your website can be a huge success, I believe in it and I love your progress. But it's going to be an uphill battle. You need to reimagine your product in a fun, exiting way that resonates with your customers. I honestly believe the problem is your copy. There's no life to it, just numbers and ingredients on how great of a supplement it is.

5. You can still make this work. I think instead of building up sales at the moment, focus more on your content marketing. Build more awareness through your social media. Also, create a twitter page. I tried searching but couldn't find a twitter page. Engage your market with stories, pictures on how to's, etc. Look around at successful brands and see how they're doing it. Take some of their ideas and create your own for Sanctus.

6. I'm not writing this feedback to be mean. Im writing this feedback from a consumer perspective. I know you and g fuel are different but take some ideas from big brands and try to incorporate their "formula" into your own. I genuinely hope this can help spark some ideas and get things rolling. After all, take this advice with a grain of salt.

P.S. I wrote this really quick, sorry in advance for any mistakes or inaccuracies.
 
Last edited:

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom