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Ever get stuck at home with nothing to do?

That happened to me last Friday.

My wife was napping with Prince Valium after having LASIK that morning, our kids were at school, our baby was napping, and my car was at the dealership for annual service and a couple of upgrades. And because I am clinically incapable of relaxing, I decided to do invent some work myself.

I'm fortunate to be in a position to give help, so I posted on Twitter and Facebook that I'm open to questions with hope that it might make a difference for a few people.

I thought you might benefit from some of the Q&A, so here are the most helpful or thought-proviking questions...

Is a Shopify store a good fit for a mix of physical and digital goods? A knitting friend of mine is thinking about selling kits but also digital stuff (e.g., patterns in PDF format, and "how to" video instruction)

Yes, absolutely. Shopify integrates with several services to perform the fulfillment of digital goods automatically. In fact, one of the very first Shopify apps, Fetch, did just that.

What is the largest quantity of skus that Shopify can effectively handle? I.e many auto part sites aren’t on shopify because of xxx,000’s of skus

Officially it’s unlimited. The real limitation is being able to sort through it! I recently worked on a project for store with 10,000 SKUs. We were able to easily sort it using “power tools filters” app

What are the top Ecommerce marketing strategies or tactics you'd recommend to get more *repeat* customers?

Use auto-responders to cross-promote products post-purchase. Use Klaviyo to automate "win-back" email campaigns. Offer subscriptions. Segment purchasers and retarget them separately on Facebook with cross-sells.

You have 280 characters to send a single tweet to *yourself* in 2016 about Ecommerce/Shopify marketing to grow a store.

"Your most impactful efforts all evolve around audience-building. Gain focus by fiercely shedding distractions that don't support that goal. Teach everything you know, work in public, share your journey, live your truth, be your authentic self. Profit and be fulfilled."

What do you feel are the main things that separate "successful" (7 figures) eCommerce shops from those that fizzle out?

The successful ones have a total clarity of purpose. They know (through data, not best guesses) exactly who their customers are, how to reach them, and how best to serve them. They delegate instead of micromanage to scale via standardized processes. Don't let ego interfere!

What's the service-side benefit of Shopify Plus? Besides the additional features and functionality, what type of support and resources do I get from Plus that I don't get on Advanced?

Aside from access to Plus-exclusive apps like Scripts, Launchpad, and Flow to streamline and accelerate your business operations, with Shopify Plus, you'll get:

  • A dedicated point of contact at Shopify called a Merchant Success Manager.*
  • Reduced merchant service fees with the lowest possible credit card rate offered by Shopify Payments.
  • Peace of mind knowing Plus' 24/7 priority support means someone always has your back.
  • Up to nine clones for selling in different currencies, locations, or wholesale.
  • Collaboration with other high-end merchants in the exclusive Plus Facebook community.

* I’ve seen Shopify’s merchant success managers suggest promotions and outside the box growth tactics that have made our clients up to a half million with a single suggestion

How many Shopify sites get 500 unique visitors a day? I'm struggling to get traffic to my site. Any secrets to get to 500 to 1000 uniques per day?

Use Google Analytics to determine your highest-revenue traffic source and double down on that. Each month, pick one strategy to try then evaluate at the end of the month.

Most stores get their traffic from Facebook ads though.

I think you’re a fascinating guy. I’d love to know, Where does Kurt see himself in 5 years?

Thank you, Jay! I'm fully convinced you're one of the nicest people on the planet.

I have total confidence that I have pitched my carts to the right horse with Shopify, so in five years I still envision myself within the Shopify ecosystem.

Maybe I'm being small minded in my vision, but I truly hope to be doing this at an even larger scale in 2023. It has been consistently rewarding to provide so much value to people's lives that I want to keep going. I started this business in 2009 and I'm in no way bored of it yet. The last two years we've seen incredible growth, and I want to keep that rocketship going!

What's your favorite Facebook strategy(s) to attract "cold audience traffic" to new stores?

This is flat out the hardest part of marketing a store. It's why we always say "start building an audience on day1!" We've found the best results are buying using a lookalike audience of past purchasers and then segmenting it to improve relevance when combined with highly-targeted messaging.

For example, if I was selling baby products, I would create a lookalike audience from past purchasers, then segment that to just "new moms"

I’m a podcast listener and know some of your background and your ecommerce journey. I’d love to hear more about your business/personal growth and what you focused on to level up and how you plan to continue?

That's a great question. I'm going to answer it candidly.

I've been working on e-commerce projects my entire adult life. In college, I ran not one but two gray market resale businesses. I was so inexperienced I didn't even know they were gray market.

After school, I got my first job as an e-commerce product manager for a local aftermarket auto parts drop shipping company.

After that, I tried to start my own e-commerce platform for bike shops which failed but became my current e-commerce agency. (I suppose it's not a failure if you pivot and succeed, right?)

My personal growth is a different but equally important story. Entrepreneurs are so hard on themselves and can all benefit from self-care. I was no different. Fortunately, I met a wonderful woman who became my wife...but before she was willing to marry me, she made me go to therapy with her. It was absolutely one of the best things I ever did for myself. Had I not gone to see a therapist, There's no way I'd be where I am now.

I now spent a considerable amount of time every day thinking about my mindset and mental health.

Klaviyo or MailChimp? And why?

Klaviyo because their core focus is e-commerce and Shopify. They're specialists. MailChimp is great but they're generalists. Why wouldn't you use the best tool for the job? Who do you want to perform your brain surgery: a family physician or a brain surgeon?

Is Twitter marketing at all effective?

While I have greatly enjoyed Twitter for networking, I’ve never found it to be a good source of leads, qualified traffic, or anything else that would move the needle on a growing business. I say all of that with love. I greatly enjoy Twitter, but I sincerely doubt if we all deleted our accounts today, it would make any difference in anyone’s business.

Finally, to wrap things up, Joe Glennon writes, "Don’t have a question, just want to say I love this thread as much as your podcast! Thanks Kurt."

You're welcome! Hope this helps.

Want to increase revenue? Increase conversion, AOV, and CLTV.

Trick question. Of course, you do. No one was ever, "Ugh, no, I won't have anywhere to put all that money unless I get a bigger mattress."

My go-to apps to do that are:

  1. Bold Upsell
  2. Bold Brain
  3. Bold Recurring Orders
  4. Klaviyo
  5. ShopMessage
  6. Hotjar
  7. FOMO
  8. Privy
  9. ShipTimer*

*one of mine

Just search in the app store for any of the above.

Somebody ran a negative SEO campaign against us.

Apparently, I founded the ecommerce community’s go-to source for "buy viagra/Cialis online." 😂

In today's drive, I'll explain what happened, how we found out, what impact it had, and exactly how we fixed it.

Watch now.

Hope that helps!

Talk soon,

We all know that entrepreneurs have a different mindset.

What sets a successful entrepreneur’s mindset apart from everyone else?

Is it a penchant for risk-taking, big thinking, or a preternatural charisma?

And if we can identify it, can you cultivate it for yourself?

2017 has been, without a doubt, my best year ever. And it wasn’t an accident. It was largely the result of a concerted focus on my own mindset.

As you begin planning for 2018, I’ve put together simple, practical tactics you can use to achieve your business goals.

Hope this helps!

Yesterday we hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law. The 12’ Christmas tree presently in our family room was unavoidable, and turned into quite the hot button issue. Some people felt it was fantastic while other more grinch-like folks felt it was strictly too early. (My wife gets the final word: “We call it the Thanksgiving tree because it’s my house so don’t worry about my up-before-Thanksgiving tree.”)

Tree or no tree, Black Friday is closer than ever.

Over at our new office, we’ve been working on preparing our clients for Black Friday, and doing some really clever stuff with Shopify Scripts and Launchpad.

Here’s an example of a Black Friday sale script we made last week for a client that I’m really proud of:

It's safe to say I’ve been thinking non-stop about Black Friday Cyber Monday lately, and I have three quick wins for you.

In today’s drive I’ll reveal:

  1. an app combo that will increase your average order value one out of every three times
  2. and two outside the box ideas to increase customer lifetime value the week after Black Friday.

Watch now!

Talk soon,

Are you putting off creating a holiday email marketing plan because planning emails is a chore?

Save yourself hours of research and planning with our 2017 Holiday Email Marketing Guide. It's a no-fluff executive summary that will show you every opportunity to send holiday emails, examples of subject lines that get opened, how many emails to send to maximize revenue, and one tip to not annoy customers.

Get it now

If you are less than 100% satisfied with your purchase and email me saying so, I will immediately click the Refund button and return 100% of your money, no questions asked.

My wife and I are hosting Thanksgiving for this first time year. That means we just over two weeks to get ready.

That also means that you have just over two weeks to get your store in the best possible position to make the most out Black Friday.

To help you, I’ve put together the absolute easiest optimization tips I could think of that any store owner can implement in an afternoon.

Today’s video starts with a cameo from my wife, who loves the holidays as you’ll see.

Hope that helps!

A 17-year-old High School student and entrepreneur reached out to me and asked for help.

He said, "My biggest frustration is the Facebook ads. They just don’t convert for me. I’ve been following the methods that I found on YouTube and what other people told me like, to be specific. It just doesn’t work."

Here’s what I told him, and I thought I’d share it with you.

The ad itself is almost less important than the audience. Figuring out the targeting is the hardest part of Facebook Ads by far.

Here’s one hack that may help:

Leverage other people’s audiences.

Two ways to do it:

  1. Facebook lets you share audiences now. So you could approach other merchants and ask if they’d be willing to swap audiences with you. Then you advertise to their audience.
  2. If you can get your hands on an email list of customers from someone, you can upload that as a custom audience, and then advertise to them.

But what if you have no audience at all. Then build a FB page first and put all your ad dollars toward getting page likes. Done right, they’re pennies. Then target people who engaged with that page. Build a lookalike audience from that page.

That’s what we discuss in today’s drive.

Talk soon,

PS: Get the 2017 Holiday Email Marketing Guide:

Did you know you can try Shopify Flow for free with a Shopify development store account?

I love automation in general, and I know Shopify Flow is the killer app for Shopify Plus.

In this quick screencast tutorial, I demonstrate the power of Flow with two workflows that will automate risk analysis and tag customers based on purchases for future segmentation.

If you think Flow could help grow your business, contact me, and we'll set up a time to talk it through.

A few weeks ago a member of my Shopify Facebook group had asked about email pop-ups. (The answer is to use Privy.)

But what do you offer in your pop-up?

I like to offer several things. We generally put together a welcome series based on existing content, but in this instance, there was no content to work with.

Usually, I'd do something like this:

  1. Welcome email with quick intro
  2. How we discovered the pain our product solves
  3. The surprising root of the pain our problem
  4. Our solution
  5. Reviews & Testimonials
  6. 48-hour flash sale using dynamic coupon code
  7. 24-hour warning that sale is ending

Each would be separated by one day, Making a purchase automatically removes the person from the workflow. In today's drive, I'll talk through this sequence in more depth.

After having talk to dozens of successful entrepreneurs for my podcast, and having run my own business for close to a decade now, I realized that I ton of success is dependent on your mindset and how you see the world and make decisions.

In today’s drive we’re going to talk through the mindset of successful entrepreneurs, how you can apply it to your own business, and what happened at the endurance race that I competed in this weekend.