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Robert: Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast. Today’s guest is Chad Rubin from crucial vacuum and Steuben welcome to the podcast Chad.
Chad: Thank you.
Robert: So if you can just let us know about crucial vacuum and cubana. What you do there? What those companies are and how you manage both.
Chad: Yeah so crucial vacuum I started in 2009. Its direct-to-consumer ecommerce business where we manufacture and sell home appliance filters and accessories online. and I was scaling so rapidly that I needed to find a software that would run and automate my business and I couldn’t do I couldn’t find one I lost a ton of money, hair and time. I then ventured off to build a software to run and automate my business and now we sell it everywhere, it’s called subana for high-volume merchants online.
Robert: And so when you say you needed something to automate your business and then it funded cubana. What needed automating?
Chad: Alright so if you think about it most traditional ecommerce sellers today are essentially using spit and duct tape to with technology to run their business. So they have some spreadsheets maybe they use a shipping tool, maybe use an inventory tool and by having disparate information in many different places you lose visibility. So you can’t diagnose your business so that was why we want to unify everything and put together into subana to run your business. so we’re an operation system where we have orders inventory management, purchase order management, analytics everything after the check out to run your business but then when we found out that when you take all that data and put it in one source you now can actually see like hey what’s my profitability [02:31 inaudible] with every cost. Right your filo cost in there. The fees from amazon per se or the fees from eBay. Even getting at a surgical as your shipping costs.
Robert: Okay and since you’ve had experience in e-commerce with crucial vacuum and before created cubana. A lot of the listeners are also selling online. So I wanted to go over some marketing strategies that you’ve used for crucial vacuum and you’re probably seen are trending right now for 2017 onwards. So what are some of these strategies that you are using for crucial vacuum entertain some listeners should be paying attention to or using in their businesses.
Chad: Yes so marketing strategies would be number one email nurturing. Two I would probably focus on Facebook cookies.
Those are the prior top two things I think we’re doing right now, where we’re getting a ton of attraction.
Robert: Okay so when you say Facebook cookies you’re talking about adding the Facebook pixel and just tracking and creating ads targeting that traffic.
Chad: Yeah that’s at a high level that’s what we’re doing we’re creating Facebook orthoclase campaigns as well. We are cultivating an email list and constantly getting those trust mars to become repeat buyers on our site.
Robert: Okay so let’s dive into both the strides you started with an email Nigerian. What’s your goal with your email [03:59 inaudible] right now and what are you doing to get that goal?
Chad: Well our goal is to make more money, our goal is to convert customers into repeat buyers. So not just one time buyers not just to time buyers but we want them to get into our subscription funnel as well. So that’s our goal and what we’re doing to get there I mean we’re putting out content on a weekly basis to help get to that goal.
Robert: Okay so how do you ask for the email? Because with email interne when you get your customers to subscribe what are you doing to have them subscribe to your list? Are you giving them, what are you using for the lead generation to get them to give you the email?
Chad: So we have pop-ups that were up on the screen that’s the first piece. We have follow-up email campaign to go out through Flavio for remarketing purposes as well. So even if someone doesn’t buy we’re trying to collect their email address. If someone buys we select the email address and we still remark it to those customers.
Robert: Okay and for the popups will be used for creating those pop-ups?
Chad: [05:04 inaudible]
Robert: What’s the name of the company?
Robert: Okay and do you have any drip emails that you’ve said for your email Dodger sequence?
Chad: Oh yeah, yeah so full disclosure I have no relationship with that business [05:26 inaudible] they do a good job also at clavier. so clavier really remarket to our customers biggest spenders most frequent offenders and just constantly hitting them to make sure that we’re relevant and staying focused is again the goal is how can we take those emails and turn them into dollars.
Robert: Okay and let’s move over to Facebook. So what are the things that you guys are doing with Facebook? What types of campaigns are you running in Facebook?
Chad: So yeah it’s really interesting. So Facebook right we sell vacuums out there’s in parts. That’s typically the last thing you want to see when you, like think about it. When you leave a conference or you have free time you go on Facebook and you go to Facebook to check out. So you don’t want to grow it at Facebook to check out and see a dirty vacuum filter. So we actually are using Facebook just for remarketing. So people that have already purchased from us, we will remark it to those individuals.
Robert: Okay and with your remarketing campaign in Facebook how much effort are you putting in to create the campaign? What type of research or resources are involved in creating but Facebook campaign?
Chad: Well we have a marketing team here. I run a fairly large e-commerce business. We’re doing about seven million and I only have two employees. So we’ve automated a lot of the processes with Subana. So we can floats on high value activities like marketing and operations. So it really its one person but we outsource say design and we take ownership of who we’re going to target and how we cookie those customers and how we remark to those customers.
Robert: Okay you’ve mentioned a lot about the retargeting and the remarketing can you walk us through the process of the campaign’s you’ve set up for the retargeting and remarketing.
Chad: For Facebook or for clavier?
Robert: We can do Facebook first then clavier after.
Chad: Yeah so Facebook we have, we’ve [07:22 inaudible] our site. We segment the audience and so we, and we also have looked like campaigns. But for people that buy or don’t buyer that are interested in certain parts we remarket those parts to those individual customers if they bounce off of our site. In terms of the actual tactics of like step by step of what we do of creating that campaign that would be, I would be getting Andrew who runs our marketing team on the phone to handle that question.
Robert: Okay so what about clavier? What do you love about clavier and how you are using it and why do you think some businesses that are in your position or in different industries should consider them or look at them?
Chad: Right so Flavio is remarketing software its automation software for remarketing emails and with deep segmentation. So we use it to focus on people who come to our site, spend a lot of money to get them back to spend more money with us. So for me it comes down to dollars and cents. The reason why I love it is that you’re able to take an email and convert it into money. Right get revenue directly from those emails and we nurture those [08:27 inaudible]. So maybe they forgot about us. Maybe they just threw away their vacuum bags and they don’t know where to go next and boom they get an email on their bottom, it says by the way you need vacuum bags we got them.
Robert: Okay and other than your website what other distribution channels that you use for crucial vacuum?
Chad: Well we sell on different channels so not just our own site which is built on magneto. We sell on amazon eBay, route sears, Newegg, Wayfarer, jets, Walmart, over stock, price falls. So for us we want to be on every single channel to win and that’s part of our strategy to win an ecommerce is you want to be in front of as many eyeballs as possible and that’s how we get there.
Robert: Ok and out of those channels which channels do you think are easier to get in and that are cheaper compared to others like it’s going to be easier for other businesses to get their listings and start selling there for cheaper price compared to other channels.
Chad: I think Amazon is certainly a gateway drug. Once you get on there and you get hook you never leave. It’s important to leave. It’s certainly a very crowded place. So while it may be easier to get started I would say that it’s harder to keep those dollar where’s at the end of day. Whereas if you went to Walmart which is a new they just opened up their marketplace to sellers. It’s a new ripe opportunity for you with a lot less competition and so maybe there’s [09:51 inaudible] opportunity to make more money on that marketplace. At least right now.
Robert: Ok Walmart. And let’s jump to cubana. So it’s cubana you said you had this need, you wanted to automate your business. So that you can run your business more efficiently and that’s why you develops cubana. So as far as promoting cubana. What are some of the digital marketing strategies that you’re using right now?
Chad: So subana is all word of mouth actually. If you built such a great software yours need a ton of referrals. So for us the driver is customer feedback, the referral process. We do a lot of inbound marketing as well so we create content that’s valuable that people actually can learn from. It’s not just brand ilium where we just put something out there. you open up, you know you get you get a touchy subject line and you open it up and you’re like wait a minute I just wasted 40 seconds of my time looking at this this email and looking at opening up the blog and it’s junk. So we put out quality content where we’re becoming a thought leader in the space and I think our software reflects that.
Robert: Ok for the content what are the different types of content and media using. Is it just blog posts and articles are you also do in video and you have some content in social media.
Chad: So we do video. I’m a big believer in video. I still think it’s very ripe right now and there’s a major opportunity. So we have subana ecommerce TV on YouTube. That’s how a lot of people hear about us. I also wrote a book cheaper easier direct that’s also on Amazon. That’s been helpful to get things going viral. We do a ton of blogging at least three to four blog posts a week. We really don’t care about creating PDFs or eBooks. You know its [11:36 inaudible] to have one. But it’s not going to really drive the needle for our business. But yeah those are at a high level those are all the things that are moving to make the, make cubana succeed and to get attraction.
Robert: Okay and have you tried to cross promote or if you’ve seen opportunity where you can sell you know cabana in crucial vacuum or crucial vacuum audience to cabana. Have you seen an opportunity like that and have you used it?
Chad: Yeah there’s no opportunities like that. But funny thing is, so we have an app store. That’s also been really helpful thanks for reminding me about that. The app store allows us to have to extend the functionality of subana through other applications. Right so we have an API that others connect to. So once they connect to us then we actually leverage that integration and we submit a call to action through our newsletter. They submit a call to action to their newsletter and boom right like we get an exposure cross. And that’s how we cross pollinate.
Robert: Okay so using your app store in your API you’re able to outreach and reach out to different companies and different apps that complements cubana and once you’ve done an integration and you guys together. You just market that app to your audience and they will do the same for you.
Robert: Okay, have you had since you’re running two businesses and running a business is always difficult and you know every day it’s always a roller coaster. What have been some of the struggles for you running two businesses at the same time, two successful businesses at the same time?
Chad: It’s actually, so there’s every day is a struggle. Right but it’s a beautiful struggle and I think that’s one of the things that’s beautiful about being an entrepreneur. When it comes to running two businesses the nice thing is that because I’m do-gooding, because I have my own software running and automating my e-commerce business for example I’ll just give you an example of automation. We didn’t talk about automation. Because that’s super important when you’re scaling businesses, is automation. So subana is like this 24/7 365 employee. It will create me a purchase order awaiting my approval at the right place, at the right time with the right vendor, at the right cost. Accounting for my lead time as well. So imagine doing that across 3000, listings across 20 channels. That’s a lot of work to do to diagnose. So what usually takes the human person perhaps days and weeks to do, this software is doing in a matter of seconds. So it’s a leveraging technology. So in terms of struggles right the biggest hurdle for me is always talent. Right how do I find the right people? The nice thing is that with crucial I’ve been able to run a business with just two employees. A lot of automation between there and subana is kind of like this crying baby that just needs a lot of love. So I focus my love and attention right now mainly on subana to grow that business. Help it mature.
Robert: Okay so the main struggles for Sub ban is just trying to find the right talent and help the scales cubana at this point.
Chad: Yeah because we’re not outsourcing it. You know outsourcing definitely helps you open up the talent pool. But everything that we do for this business our development team, our account management team everything in the United States. Because we are a system. We become the central nervous system of your business. It’s like the heartbeat of everything that’s happening and everyone that’s in the United States using our software wants to speak to somebody in the United States. And so we’re a complex software for high-volume sellers with complex needs and we need to match that with support.
Robert: Okay and I usually ask this question at the end. I’m going to ask it right now but for since you’ve been in e-commerce if you had one piece of advice that you are going to give any e-commerce business out there listening, what would that advice be? What would you tell them is the one thing that they can do right now to scale their business?
Chad: Well I mean we talked a lot about tactics here. So to scale their business I would tell them that they should build a foundation from the onset. Right systemize, systemize from the beginning. Because if you build on mud it becomes mud and I know we do that, we build on mud all the time or swampland in New Jersey. Those buildings are sinking and I’m from Jersey so I can talk about it. You need to make sure that you set up a system that doesn’t depend on you to grow your business. And once you do that and you can automate the lower value activities. It’ll tremendously help you scale and work on it versus in it.
Robert: And how come people reach if they have any questions I just wanted to chat with you and down, engage with you?
Chad: Yeah you can email, email@example.com. You can find me, my tag across social media is ecommerce renegade and looking forward to reach and I always like hearing new voices and talking to new people.
Robert: Okay thanks Chad for being on the podcast. Any final thoughts?
Chad: Oh thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.
Robert: Ok Chad Thank You take care.
Chad: All right thanks.
Robert: Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast. join the e-commerce marketing podcast Facebook group to learn, connect, collaborate and grow with other e-commerce marketers at e–commercemarketingpodcast.com/FB, e–commercemarketingpodcast.com/FB. Subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for e-commerce marketing podcast and please leave a rating and a review. Thank you for listening see you next time.