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Unprepared Ep 36 - Marketing Strategies for Restricted Industries with Adam Walker

Timestamps: 

  • [00:00] - Intro
  • [01:22] - Ways to grow for restricted industries
  • [03:11] - Leveraging owned marketing
  • [07:00] - More about restricted industries
  • [07:30] - Where to find Adam
  • [08:37] - More about PushOwl
  • [09:35] - Sponsor: Rewind

Resources:

Key Points:

  • It’s almost impossible to advertise restricted industries which includes things like CBD, vaping, pseudo pharmaceuticals, sex toys, etc.
  • These product categories have some restrictions on sites like Google, Facebook, and more. 
  • Some brands make them because it's a hot issue but they don't realize how hard it is to market restricted products. 
  • Merchants of restricted products can do owned marketing instead of focussing on ads.
  • Owned marketing is harder to set up because it takes brain power and strategy to utilize and build an actual process to use it.
  • Owned marketing is your website, your content for your blog or for social media, and then use different communication channels like email, SMS, and push notification.
  • With these channels, you can replace FB and Google for retargeting. It's a form of retargeting and optimization without being dependent on big ad platforms.
  • The cost that you will likely have is the cost of the app which is a fraction of what you should be making from that channel.
  • For example, you can make the content informational and educational with CBD when it comes to the effects in the body. 
  • Focus on your owned relationships using email, SMS, push notifications, build content, influencers, and testimonials. 
  • Take advantage of these methods even if your business is not a restricted industry since they're effective, there's no competition, and it's also cheaper. 
  • PushOwl does browser-based push notifications. People have to opt in to push notifications which can be done at the little pop-up on the storage website.
  • Push notification is a unique channel to leverage your unique customer base.
  • With push notifications, you can send campaigns and have trigger-based automated campaigns like cart conversions. Browse abandonment can also trigger follow up messages.
  • Click-through rates are higher in push notifications so our abandoned cart recovery sees a 10% click-through rate.
  • You'll see your highest returns from those channels without the ads especially when your leads gave you their contact details. 
  • If you're not hitting 30% of your revenue from your email, you need to work on your email strategy. 
  • There’s a good Klaviyo article for more tactics for restricted industries with owned marketing strategy.

Transcript:

Chase Clymer  

Alright everybody, welcome back to another episode of Unprepared. We had a lot of technical issues this time, but we figured it out. And today I welcome into the show Adam Walker from PushOwl. How are you doing today, Adam?

Adam Walker  

Doing great. How are you doing Chase?

Chase Clymer  

I'm doing fantastic. Thanks for sticking in there with the whole issues with the technical cool stuff. I got a new camera, you guys can see I'm still trying to figure all this stuff out. 

Adam Walker  

Oh, good. 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. So what do you want to talk about today? Let's do it.

Adam Walker  

Let's talk about restricted industries or restricted products. 

Chase Clymer  

Oh, absolutely. 

Adam Walker  

It's all that sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Actually, maybe not rock and roll but mostly sex and drugs. 

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. So when we're talking about restricted industries, sometimes also kind of known as vice industries.

Adam Walker  

Right.

Chase Clymer  

There's a key element to them other than being a kind of taboo. Not taboo, I guess. But in the advertising world, it's almost impossible to advertise them. 

Adam Walker  

Yup. Hundred percent. Very problematic. 

Chase Clymer  

So what do you see? If I am in that space, so an easy one would be THC or CBD?

Adam Walker  

Yeah. 

Chase Clymer  

Sex toys. I can't think anything else off top of my head. Sometimes pseudo pharmaceuticals.

Adam Walker  

Vape is a big one. Right? 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, vaping. Yeah. So if I can't, if I have a brand, or product in that space, I can't advertise. How am I going to grow my business? 

Adam Walker  

Right? Yeah, so definitely challenging. So when people are thinking about paid ads, they're thinking about Google and Facebook.

And for most of these product categories, there are restrictions. Some things are opening up, for example, CBD, you now can advertise on Facebook. 

But in general, if you're in those categories, you got to look carefully about what you can and cannot do on those advertising platforms.

And so generally speaking, this is gonna be product problematic for top of the funnel marketing, as well as retargeting, because both those platforms are very powerful for those two steps to the customer journey. 

So what merchants can do is this general category of marketing called owned marketing. So that is your website, producing content for your blog [and] for social media.

And then using different communication channels like email, SMS, and push notifications. And with those particular channels, you can replace Facebook and Google for retargeting. 

Normally, if you use, say display ads in Google for retargeting. But you can also do a form of retargeting with push notifications or SMS.

If somebody has come to your site, and they've given their phone number to you, they visited a certain product page, or even if they added something to the cart. 

You can trigger an abandoned cart reminder to the customer using email, SMS, [and] push. So it's a form of retargeting and conversion optimization and not being dependent on the big ad platforms. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, and honestly, I would argue that even if you weren't in a restricted industry, these are tactics that you should be taking advantage of wholeheartedly because it's so much cheaper as well.

Adam Walker  

Right, very true. You own the customer, right?

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. And you're not having to pay per click, essentially to run these things in. 

Adam Walker  

And you're not competing, right? 

Chase Clymer  

Mhm

Adam Walker  

Like ads. You're competing with other companies and buying those ads. It's a rivalrous product. 

Chase Clymer  

Yup.

Adam Walker  

So when you're owning the customers’ communication, it lowers your costs and customer acquisition dramatically.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, and it will definitely. You'll see your highest returns from those main channels. For example, email or SMS. If you have that, if you have the ability to contact them that way, they've given you permission. 

Same with push notifications. It's going to be so much cheaper. I would say, 10 to 20 times cheaper to contact people that way. 

Adam Walker  

Yeah. For sure. 

Chase Clymer  

The only expense you have on your email or SMS list is probably the cost of the app, which is a fraction of what you should be making from that channel. Regardless.

Adam Walker  

Exactly. 

Chase Clymer  

The statistics I know is if you're not hitting 30% of your revenue from email, you need to work on your email strategy. 

Adam Walker  

Wow. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That's interesting. 

Yeah, and push notifications. I'm bringing this up because a lot of our customers fall into these restricted industries. 

And when push can be a really interesting channel of communication for them that takes advantage of some of those features of the kind of good UX that you would see say in an Instagram ad. 

You can replicate with a push notification where you get a notification on someone's phone, and they see the full page or a whole product image, and they click it, and then it takes them directly to the merchant store. 

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. I think that's a great strategy. I think it comes, those types of brands come in two-fold, there is someone that thinks they're going to make a lot of money in that space because it's a hot issue that you saw that with CBD. 

Everyone made a CBD product. And most of them failed because they didn't realize with those restricted industries, how difficult it is to market them and how you need to you essentially, the easy way to grow is through Facebook and Instagram.

And through Google, that's the easy, easiest path. You can't do that with these restricted industries. 

So you need to do...these aren't secondary tactics or anything. It's just, these are harder to set up because it takes brainpower and strategy to utilize and build an actual process within your business to use these things. 

Adam Walker  

Right. 

Chase Clymer  

I feel like I give the same advice to people in these industries all the time. It focuses on email, focuses on those owned relationships, build out so much content you don't know what to do with it.

And influencers [are] probably the only other route that would be a pretty quick way and I'd say. 

Adam Walker  

Influencers and also testimonials, right? 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah.

Adam Walker  

You can share content on social media. So if you talk about, you can talk about, say hemp. And the active, how CBD impacts the body and different kinds of more health-related types of content, informational, educational content. You can do that for sure. So, there's opportunities to leverage social media, but it's like you said it's a content play.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. So if people are picking up what you're putting down, and they want to learn more about this, do you have any information over on the PushOwl site dedicated to kind of these restricted industries yet?

Adam Walker  

Actually, no. But we do want to write a blog post about this. And there, I can refer you to maybe we can put this in the notes. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, absolutely. 

Adam Walker  

There is a good article from Klaviyo, actually about restricted industries. 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. 

Adam Walker  

And some of the tactics for owned marketing strategy. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, we'll definitely link to that in the show notes. And if people want to reach out to you, Adam. If they're curious more about push notifications, which are cool. We have them on the Honest Ecommerce website. Powered by you, guys. Thank you. 

Adam Walker  

Yeah, just saw them. Subscribed. I subscribe to your notifications. (laughs)

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. Well, I have to, here's the thing cobblers, kids don't have any shoes. I need to get that figured out for ourselves.

But I always have too much on my plate. But anyway, if I went up right here, if someone wants to reach out to you, how do they get hold of you?

Adam Walker  

They can drop us an email that just do support@pushowl.com, super responsive there. Or we've got live chat on the website directly.

Or you can install PushOwl that's even better, right? (laughs)

Chase Clymer  

 (Laughs) Yeah, I guess they could do that

Adam Walker  

And then you could reach out to live chat. I'm also adam@pushowl.com. So happy to also answer people's questions directly.

Yeah. I thought maybe Chase, if we've got another minute, just maybe sharing something about push notifications, because I think we're the first push app on your YouTube channel?

Chase Clymer  

Perhaps, yeah, I think so. Quickly. 

Adam Walker  

Okay. Cool. Yeah. Cause I think, just generally speaking. I think awareness of push notifications is relatively low. So push, the type of push that Push Owl does is browser-based push notifications. 

And so just like email and SMS, people have to opt into a push notification. You'll see a little pop up on a storage website, it'll ask you to subscribe.

And then with push notifications, what's nice is you can send campaigns, you can also have trigger-based automated campaigns like cart conversions. 

You can also do interesting things, we call it browse abandonment. So people see a particular product, and then they leave, they don't even add it to the cart. Then you can trigger a follow-up message. 

Generally speaking, click-through rates are much higher with push notification. So our abandoned cart recovery sees a 10% click-through rate. So it's a unique channel to leverage a unique customer base.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, that's awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Adam Walker  

Yeah, Chase. Appreciate it. This is fun.

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