In this episode of Adspend with Zach stuck we delve into his strategy for building brands, why he just bought a new company, and how he approaches DTC. #Adspend
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Zach Stuck (00:00):
ECommerce is hard for like two things. Cash flow, cash flow management is like extremely hard. And then just even like having the cash to buy the inventory, to sell the products, right? Like those are the hardest things in my eyes right now, coming from me being a, a DSC marketer growth marketer, been doing the marketing side for 10 years. Like those are the hardest things.
Rabah Rahil (00:30):
All right. All right. We're back for the third episode of ad spend. Uh, you might see a different face here. Uh, a better looking face, obviously with Zach stuck, Ashani needed some mental health time after all the Mimi he'll be, he'll be back after the next episode, but he is out Galvant in Dubai. Um, Cody, Cody just hit him a little too hard in the last episode and he need to, uh, take a break. And so now
Cody Plofker (00:53):
What, what happened was he went viral. He went viral. He was like, I don't need these guys anymore. Like, I'm a big shot. I'm bigger than them.
Rabah Rahil (01:00):
Those memes are too good. Weren't they? I could not stop laughing. He's uh, uh, this is gem. We love you, Ash. We love you. And, um, I hope you're having fun in Dubai. I'm actually right on your heels. I'll be heading out to Dubai, um, in a few, actually a few days on Tuesday, I fly out. Um, but my travel plans are not what we're gonna talk about today. We brought on a hitter as always one of the principles over at homestead, Zach stuck. He's gonna drop some bombs on us. He just started a steal startup. So we can't actually, uh, and I feel DHI saying steal startup, but, um, we, we actually can't reveal the name, but we can reveal the playbook in how Zach has actually built it into this not behemoth yet. But this, this sapling that is really starting to gain some real trajectory. And in this environment, that is absolute kudos. I, the stock market is brutalizing me right now. Gas prices you got we're about to go to war. All this craziness and Zach stuck has still found a way to build a business. Zach, tell us a little bit about, about it
Zach Stuck (01:54):
Doing my thing, doing my thing. Thanks for having you guys. Um, yeah, I can give a little bit of background on myself if that's cool. Um, for the listener
Rabah Rahil (02:01):
Don't know me,
Zach Stuck (02:02):
Absolutely anything like that. So I am, um, the founder of homestead work growth marketing shop working with direct consumer brands. Um, we're a team of 22, uh, work with 35 brands, um, you know, managing anything from launch brands, all the way to brands doing, you know, eight, eight figures in revenue, um, in, in their directing consumer channels. So, um, run that and then also, uh, bought a directing consumer brand, which I'm happy to talk about that in a little bit called public supply. Um, it's a notebook company they've been in business for about seven years, bought them in August. Um, it has a pretty cool, it's a B Corp, so pretty cool giving component. We give 25% of our profits over to, uh, public schools to buy school supplies for kids, which is pretty sweet, what that, um, so that's been a fun business to learn.
Zach Stuck (02:44):
Um, and then I launched a, a brand, a DDC brand about 90 days ago coming up, you know, I think in the next day or two, I think we hit day 90. Um, that's been a lot of fun. It's in the apparel space. Um, happy to kind of say that piece of it. Um, but happy to run you guys through kind of the playbook that I've used there. Uh, we did 120 K in sales in the first 30. That's do both the 200 K this month, um, and about 15, 20 K of profit this month. So we're looking, looking pretty healthy already, despite
Cody Plofker (03:12):
That's awesome, man. That's crazy
Zach Stuck (03:13):
The ecosystem. So yeah. Happy to, to run you guys through that playbook whenever we can jump into,
Rabah Rahil (03:18):
Yeah. I actually wanna hear first off about the acquisition. How did that work out? What, obviously you don't need to get into like proper numbers, but give some people kind of was this like a micro acquire, was this, you knew the owner and then you wanted to get in there. How, how does someone go about acquiring kind of a DTC brand? And then in that sense, what were you looking for? Um, like what excited you was there metrics EBTA? Like what, what were you looking at in terms of why you thought this was actually there's some more legs on this brand than where it was?
Zach Stuck (03:48):
Yeah, totally. So, uh, I pay for a small broker to just like kick me deals of brands that are for sale. Some of them show up on microwire, some of 'em show up on just like private listings. Um, this is one that showed up. Um, I was kind of in the market to buy a brand. Uh, I wanted to buy a brand that had a bigger wholesale kind of ecosystem mm-hmm to take advantage of. Um, obviously we're all D TOC over here at homestead. So I wanted to have, you know, the opportunity to learn more about, about just that side of the business. Right. Which we don't spend a ton of time on. Um, I did a lot of B2B kind of SAS work at the last agency I was at prior, uh, to starting homestead. So it was kind of like, Hey, let's give a shot, you know, unique opportunity.
Zach Stuck (04:25):
I paid three X, um, the EBITDA on it, um, which is like a pretty standard multiple, um, as far as how that deal went down. Yeah. I mean, your classic did the LOI did due diligence myself kind of looked at where their numbers were at their opportunity for growth. Um, it was run by a couple guys that do and run like a design shop. They design like some pretty bougie hotels and like really cool stuff like that. They're like very talented artist designers. They're not necessarily direct consumer marketers. Right. So they have this business that was kind of the side thing to be Corp. So it's like for good. Um, but I knew like, Hey, come in, drop the homestead playbook on it. Like we'll be able to scale the D TOC side, but also the wholesale side, like learning how to hack fair, um, learning how to like find more wholesalers. All of that was something new to me that I wanted to learn. So that's been, that's been a fun journey over the last six months since I bought it.
Cody Plofker (05:14):
So, uh, what was your kind of like primary? What was your like primary decision, like for wanting to, to go from obviously agency owner to, you know, obviously you still have the agency, but, but to actually go and start acquiring or building brands.
Zach Stuck (05:30):
Yeah, man. I mean, I think it's, uh, once you learn a playbook, you know how to grow a brand to a certain point profitably, um, and I've been doing this. I mean, I started my first e-commerce business when I was 19 in college. So I've been doing this for, for 10 years. Right. I've been in the e-commerce space. So like I've had enough swings to finally be like, okay, like I think I know enough. I think we have the team equipped to it that I can literally just plug and play that, you know, not a lot of brands can do. Right. When you, when you start a brand, you're usually hired an agency or freelancers, we've got the team behind me. Right. That I can literally just say, we need to build seven flows out. We need to do this. We need to do that.
Zach Stuck (06:04):
And what this brand was doing was like pretty much all organic word of mouth. So like they were doing pretty decent revenue from organic traffic. Um, very little email, like they were using MailChimp. They had no flow setup besides like card abandonment. I'm like, okay, I know we can just come in, plug our stuff in, do some paid on like a micro scale and then grow this like wholesale side, which there's pretty dang good margins on that side too. So, um, yeah, I mean, I would say like the traditional playbook, right? Like we know the type of ads that are working right now. We know the type of like landing pages that are working right now. We know how to run emails really well. Um, we know CRO well enough. I mean, so like for that brand and for the brand I launched 90 days ago, I launched 'em both on Shopify 2.0 themes.
Zach Stuck (06:42):
Like I did that myself in a weekend. That's, that's the, that's the wrap thing about this ecosystem, right. Because it's like, that's great. So my original job, I was, I was a front end developer, so I'm a little bit, got a little bit of skill there that I can still drop if I need to, um, some front end stuff to, you know, tailor, you know, the UI UX of sites. But, um, it was like, Hey, we can come in, we can fix the UI UX of this site. We can throw the homestead playbook at it. And then we can figure out how to like hack getting more sales through fair. Um, and that's been cool. And basically like, just to give you like the, you know, total insight on that is it's a ton of DMS to like just a bunch of, uh, small boutiques throughout the us.
Zach Stuck (07:19):
And as long as you can qualify to fair that you had a conversation with them prior to, uh, fair, you get a better discount as far as like what fair charges you to do wholesale through, through the platform. So like all these boutiques that are buying through fair already can take advantage of using fair, but then it's like, Hey, if you show fair that you've already had a previous relationship with them that that helps your margin significantly. So we started doing more of that. That's been helping already selling out products that way, like that's, that was kind of like the whole methodology behind it.
Cody Plofker (07:49):
Got it. So you saw something you knew was a good business, but you knew you could kind of easily add value with what, what you knew and pay, you know, that, that three X, multiple, you could have been able to pay for essentially it's worth more to you than somebody else who doesn't have your playbook.
Zach Stuck (08:03):
Right. Right. And, and the thing is, is like we drop our play. I mean, it'll be worth four times more than what I bought it for by the end of this year. Like without a doubt, like anywhere, like we're, we're headed. So I think that's, that is the benefit of having, you know, when you, when you talk about why did you, you know, freelance then build an agency, then do brands. It's like, it's kind of the sweet spot. If you want to build brands. Right. You have, you have the agency, which is just access to a ton of information. Right. Um, you can learn a lot, you can learn the different industries that work you can learn. Like, Hey, what are the types of products that have the best Mar landed margin, all that good stuff. Yeah. Um, but then you can also utilize your team when you launch brands. Right. So you don't have to pay all that up upfront costs for dev or totally Landers or, you know, even talented media buyers, all that good stuff. So
Rabah Rahil (08:45):
That's fascinating. I, so in terms of the structure, how does the economics work? So when you buy them out, you essentially, you are the a hundred percent owner then, right. There's no other equity left in the company. And then do you slice that up? Do you keep that all for yourself and then kind of, uh, bring in like basically play homestead, a nut basically to hire out, um, you know, your, your agency to then perform these tasks. Like how, what do those machinations look like? Cause this is actually something that I'm very, uh, you know, intrigued by to your point where I think there's a lot of legacy brands that have, um, you know, fantastic products, but they're just not marketers. They like, they made a really great product and people love the product, but, um, getting to, you know, a hundred K uh, a month is just impossible to them. But for you, that's like the first step. And then you, you know, in six months you're gonna be cranking out half a million because you understand kind of the ecosystem, but like, I guess let's take it a step back. Like, do you hire people? Like how, how do you staff up this company? Do they come with the acquisition? Like how does that work?
Zach Stuck (09:48):
Yeah. So, no, it was just an asset purchase. Um, I bought a few hundred thousand dollars worth of inventory. That was part of the deal, um, that kind of got kicked. And the tough part about that. Of course, it's like, it's not the best sellers. Right. It's probably like the things that are left over that they haven't really necessarily need to restock. So that was mm-hmm <affirmative> I was able to devalue that a little bit, which was nice part of the deal. Um, as far as the deal went, um, I, I had a kicker in there for basically like if we hit X amount of revenue, we'll pay out a little bit more. So that was beneficial for, for me not to have as much cash needed up front on the day of the deal. Um, and yeah, as far as like the team structure goes, I hired one full-time person and again, benefit of having homestead. They work for homestead, but they work on the brands, so sick, um, you know, we can offer them full, you know, good salary benefits, 401k, all that, all that great stuff. Instead of being a launch brand, like again, another benefit of running the agency first.
Cody Plofker (10:39):
Zach Stuck (10:40):
True. Um, and that person is essentially, you know, ops, uh, customer service, um, just like a Jack of all trades. Um, her, her name is Mary. She came from another agency. Um, she actually wanted a job at homestead. I'm like, Hey, I've got this unique opportunity. You can work on brands. You can have, you know, have a lot of hats. Um, you can grow with the, with the brands from like day one is our first employee. So a good fit. And then that, that's kind of how that started, but yeah, so one employee, and then we, you know, the, the homestead team does all of our email and SMS campaigns. They do all of our creative and then I've done the majority of the, of the media buying. Um, but we do have now some, some homestead team helping with media buying of, of both brands.
Cody Plofker (11:19):
Do you think this is something you you'll do more of? Do you think, like now that you've gotten a little bit of this on your, your belt, like you'll plan to actually build out a whole code and like try to either acquire or build multiple brands and just kind of incubate them from homestead
Zach Stuck (11:31):
Dude. Like, I, I struggle with this question every day. Like I've had so many people ask me that I think in all, I've one more product that I want to do start from scratch. Just like this one I launched 90 days ago that I want to do that. I've had it on in my head for like two years. Just haven't done it yet. And I haven't seen so many players roll out a product, like what I want to do for that one. Um, probably not, probably not. I think if anything, we'll launch one more. Okay. Um, I think, think that this notebook, you know, public supply company has the capability to do a few million a year in revenue in like some decent EBIT, but nothing like app crazy. It's more of a lifestyle business at the end of the day, like a small team kicking out some decent profits and donating decent amount of money.
Zach Stuck (12:05):
Like, that's kind of my goal for that. Um, this other apparel brand that I launched 90 days ago, I think has got real legs. I think that, that one I'm gonna put a lot more energy into this year instead of trying to just do more and more, um, yeah, the biggest thing, you know, and you know, this Cody, but like, you know, e-commerce is hard for like two things. Like in my, in my eyes, cash flow cash flow management is like extremely hard. And then just even like having the cash to buy the inventory, to sell the products. Right. Cause it's like, you can't like, those are the hardest things in my eyes right now coming from me being a, a D TOC marketer growth market been doing the marketing side for 10 years. Like, those are the hardest things, cuz it's like this one brand, which I can run running us through some rough numbers.
Zach Stuck (12:45):
Like we launched this, this other brand 90 days ago did 120 K in the first 30 days. Um, I started with a rolling PO. So I was able to like get good terms with the, with the manufacturer where I was actually paying for the product 30 days after it landed at the fulfillment center. Yeah. Which is fantastic. Sweet. Um, but like now I want to, I want to basically ramp things up and that next PO we have is like very, very high six figures of mountain needed and capital to allocate to go do it. And that is like absolutely terrifying. Right. That's so scary. And it's like, if you want to grow at the speed that I want to grow at, you have to take those crazy risks of just cash flow management of like allocating that much cash. And of course there's like partners out there that you can work with.
Zach Stuck (13:30):
But at the end of the day, you're then every little, you know, partner you partner with, like that percentage that you're giving away to them is just like eating into that margin. What, when, when you're a fast growing company, that margin isn't as big as what it might be for growing a little bit slower. So that that's the hardest part in my eyes. And that's kind of like what, I'm, what I'm up against right now with, with the brands. And so if I go launch more, I'm just gonna have more of those same issues, which is just more cash flow management, more whatever. Right. Um, so that's where my heads are right now. So probably not maybe launch one more, but probably focus on these two for the majority of this year.
Rabah Rahil (14:02):
I love that. And I would also say too, that you exacerbated your issue because apparel is notorious for inventory risk, right? Like sizing is a mother effort. Like figuring out what sizes you need, where like that is just it's it's it's I mean, to be fair, it's not perishable, so that's great. Right. So it's not perishable inventory, but at the same time, like that's what for me breaks my brain with I, or with apparel brands, it's just like, how do you do this sizing? Do we're just doing swag stuff. And it's like, it's impossible to do it for that. It's like, can imagine it's figuring out what you need to you stock in. And then, yeah. Also you're, you know, a six K nut just to stock the stores, like you said, that's spicy. And then if you do go get it levered, how much then, then you have that interest nut that you have to pay on the leverage to get that. And then if the cash flows don't hit, are you gonna be able to pay off the labor, you know, inventory? And there there's just like, it's not this like mom and pop. I mean, it's a fairly, you chose a complex vertical.
Zach Stuck (14:58):
Oh yeah. Oh yeah, totally. I think in, you know, to your point, you know, I think that apparel, that the reason why I'm doing the apparel that I'm doing is we have very limited skews. So it is a unique product where the ski count is actually really low. Um, which to your exact point that like, that's where a lot of apparel brands struggle. Right? You find your best seller, you roll out a new collection every season, and then you find your best seller and it's that gray, you know, t-shirt, that's like whatever, and you sell out right away of your mediums and your larges, and now you're stuck with everything else and you got your bright blues and reds to try and sell or whatever. And that's, that's what happened. So yeah, I mean, the concept here is like we have, uh, eight skews and we're only gonna have eight skews until we probably, you know, my goal is to do 10 million a year and two years from now. So like in two total years I wanna do 10 million a year. Um, and I don't plan to roll out any other S skews until we hit that mark. Um, because I don't think, I don't think we, we need to, I think that there's enough legs and there's enough, like, you know, opportunity with this type of product that the more skews is just gonna be more headache in my eyes. So yeah, no, totally, totally agree on that point about apparel being tough though.
Cody Plofker (16:02):
All right. So part of my question was Zach, like, I, you kind of answered it. I was gonna ask you, like, I know a lot of people that are agency side kind of say what you said, which is like, man, we're already doing this for brands. Like we're doing it for our partners. Why not just do it for ourselves? Like, and obviously there are so many truths to that and so many benefits, but you kind of talked about the cash flow issues. Are, is there anything else that you learned that, where you realize that grass is really not greener? Anything that goes into brand building ops people, whatever it is, where you're like, damn like this is actually a lot harder than the agency said
Zach Stuck (16:33):
In my eyes. I mean, I still think the cash flow management is the hardest thing. And then getting that, that cash for, for inventory. I think that, I truly think that is the hardest thing
Cody Plofker (16:41):
Zach Stuck (16:42):
Outside of that, when you aren't an agent, you learn what everyone makes mistakes on though. Right? So like, as far as me doing apparel, I didn't launch with a hundred skews. I launched with eight and I'm gonna plan to stick out with eight. Right. So like I learned that as far as, as, as that goes, as far as the brand building piece goes, like you learn what brands do the right things and what brands do the wrong things again, mm-hmm, <affirmative> because you're an agency, um, the channels, like I'm not gonna, I didn't launch this brand and put all Mon money in Snapchat. Like I just didn't do that. Cuz I know that that's not the channel that I want to invest in. Right. Um, I think that there is a playbook for direct consumer brands to go zero to a hundred K in their first month, if they have the right landed margins. And mm-hmm <affirmative> if they have a product that isn't so niche that they can run it to like a broad audience. Um,
Cody Plofker (17:30):
So let's go there. Can you, can you tell us what that playbook looks like?
Zach Stuck (17:33):
Sure. So I mean like, okay. So when I started and I'll, I'll, I'll try to break this down as much as I can. It it's I feel like it's a lot, so I'll try and break it down. So basically the concept behind this product is I can run this product to a bunch of different audiences, a bunch of different types of people and all of them will like the product for a different reason. So that, that benefit is of, of being able to have that for this product was super helpful because when I started, I was able to run Facebook ads didn't even touch TikTok. Haven't even posted a TikTok yet. Like nothing haven't even touched that platform yet, which I know there's a ton of opportunity. It's more like still kind of getting the groundwork built, cuz we're just 90 days in. But I knew that I could run broad audience, which the majority of our buyers are men.
Zach Stuck (18:20):
So men 30 plus Facebook, Instagram feeds only ads in, in, in validate. If they're going to be a fit based on the creative and that alone was helping me figure out, okay, what are the types of people? Cuz there's a bunch of different use cases for this that are resonating and that are also just impulse buying this product. Once I figured that out, once I figured that piece out of like, Hey, there's specific activities that people are gonna use this apparel for, that they love the concept and what we're, what we're promoting. Once I knew that, uh, instead of just driving traffic to like standard product pages, then I built out listicals listicals meaning five reasons why this product is a good fit for this type of audience that then literally just like cranked up the profitability. Because as soon as I knew I could try, you know, I probably tried 10 different, you know, audiences, types of people, activities, whatever you wanna call it with this one product. Once I found like one or two that were hitting dropped them then to a, Listal add to listical like then I knew, okay, these audiences really resonate with my product. They resonate with why I'm saying it's unique. Why it's different from other products on the market and their impulse buying this product. So there's something here cuz then, then, then I had the, like the right to then go deeper and then you can really turn it up. So I feel like with any brands, so yeah, go for it. Break it.
Cody Plofker (19:40):
I was gonna say so, so step one. Right? Go, go broad. But test again, I'm not even talking about audiences, but test different segments of the audience to kind of see which angles are resonating with, with the audiences, right?
Zach Stuck (19:52):
Cody Plofker (19:53):
And then step two, once you have something that hits right. Double down on that and then create some landing pages specifically for that in your case you're using listicles.
Zach Stuck (20:02):
Yep. Exactly. So let me give you, let me give you an example. Cause I've, I've used this example to, to describe it to other people too, cause this, this is not my product, but I feel like it's very helpful. So let's talk about beanie, like winter hats, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> so a winter hat could be used for a bunch of different types of demographics. It could be hunters, it could be ice, fishing people. It could be people that in skiing, snowboarding, it could be, people are into winter hiking. It could be hip hipsters, just general style hipsters. Like it could be all sorts of things, right? The benefit of starting a company with a beanie, like you could have one beanie, there's no sizes with beanies, right? So it's like you got one product and maybe you do like two colors, you do black and white or gray and red, whatever.
Zach Stuck (20:38):
Keep your, keep your, you know, uh, skews really tight, which helps you kind of understand, you know, just the actual marketing piece of it. Not even like the product that they specifically want mm-hmm so let's just, let's just use a beanie. For example, I then basically made ads with a beanie call it two skiers, two hunters. Yeah. Two everyone. And of those, like there were two or three that really, really resonated. And I was just driving them to a general product page on a Shopify 2.0 theme, nothing crazy like just general information. But then as soon as I found that, like let's say skiing hit. Then I built a five reasons why skiers are switching to this beanie because it actually fits underneath their helmet. And then 1, 2, 3, 5 reasons. So then it was like, as soon as I turned that part of the funnel on it, just like it worked right? Because basically the ad validated that this is the audience, even though I'm running it abroad, this is the audience that likes it.
Cody Plofker (21:31):
Okay, cool. That was gonna be my question. Yeah. Yep.
Zach Stuck (21:33):
This is the audience that likes it. Now they're on a list call. That's talking to them because the ad qualified them and it's giving reasons why them, their type of person really likes this product and why it's unique and why they should buy it and why there's reviews that people love it, all those things now push them to the product page that can still stay, stay more general. Like now the, the benefit of that is like, if you get that one funnel for scheme working, if you can crack that for, for hunting, if you can crack that for hipsters. Now you got three funnels running to the same products and maybe each one of those funnels is doing a hundred thousand dollars a month. They have a 300,000 a month business and you're selling to three different, completely different types of people. They would never know, but they all love your product because of it fit to their, you know, their, their, their buyer demo, who they are, what they resonate with.
Cody Plofker (22:17):
So you're not doing interest target and you're running all of that on broad and you're you're targeting with
Zach Stuck (22:22):
So yeah, I mean I tested interest. I, I tested stacked interest. Okay. And they would work for like five days and then they'd fall off. Yeah, yeah. Um, but when running broad, like they're always, it just gives us more opportunity. Our CPCs were lower cost of traffic was lower conversion rate was about the same. So like at the end of the day, it was still beneficial to continue running broad.
Cody Plofker (22:41):
Um, so I'm a broad guy. I mean, I'm a, I'm a whatever works guy, but like that's what we find best. That's what I think most people are gonna find the most success with a lot of people talk about creative being your targeting. Right. What do you think of that? Like I think a lot of people say that and they don't actually explain what they mean. How are you using that creative to actually find different pockets of people within those broad audiences?
Zach Stuck (23:02):
Yeah. I mean, it needs to qualify 'em in the first half a second, right. If it's a video or if it's a static, right. Like I actually only ran static for the first 30 days had no videos because I knew that that big text, that massive text would be like, Hey, skiers, check out this BIE. Yeah. Like then I, then I qualify them right away. Right. Cause if you're like, I'm a skier, you see that you just flip right past it, scroll past, move on. So yeah. I mean it's a big piece, right? I think the, I think the biggest piece though, truly the biggest piece that people mess up on is not knowing where to put landing pages in the funnel. So like, we can, I can break that down for you a little bit. Yeah. So like when I said, when I said, I like listicals the most, I like listicles the most at the top of the funnel because it's the simplest way.
Zach Stuck (23:45):
Even just resources wise to dumb down your product to a specific type of person mm-hmm <affirmative> right. It's literally number one. This is why you should like it. Number two, this is why you should like it. Like, I feel like people are trained to read and think that way. So it's very easy for them to like, learn more about your product before they even hit your product page. Cause I feel like as soon as you get your product page, now they're thinking about price. Now they're thinking about, let me look at the reviews. What are people saying on like the two and three star reviews? Like before you even get 'em there, like I love listicals there versus even just driving to a product page, top of funnel, because it's like, let's try and educate them a little bit more about what it is actually qualify them a little bit more before I even show them all the stuff that's actually gonna give them like that, that buyer decision.
Cody Plofker (24:27):
Yeah. Pre-sale them never give people the option to buy until they've been sold.
Zach Stuck (24:32):
Yeah. I think it works best big. I mean we've seen, yeah. Yeah. We've seen 'em across homestead clients and obviously even on my own with my own money. Right. That that's, that's what works best.
Cody Plofker (24:41):
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I love that. And then, um, I, I was doing this, this thing with, I did like a live webinar with this Matt, the CEO of octane AI last week and he said something that really stuck with me. We, we were talking about the strategy again, like we run the same thing. Like pretty much all our TikTok, even a lot of our Facebook traffic is too a Listal that goes to a quiz and it's all on broad. And he was like, you know, the old way used to be able to do it was get super narrow on Facebook. And then everyone would just be broad for, with their own channels, with their email, with their Landers and stuff like that. And now it's like broad on Facebook and actually get very narrow or much more narrow on your own channels. One put your, your post click experience. So that's just what you're talking about is getting different, smaller niche landing pages going get, you know, and then again, like if you're running to a quiz which we are like, then you get super narrow and super personalized and talk to people about what they're already telling you. So I, I love to hear that you're, you're thinking about it that way.
Zach Stuck (25:34):
Rabah Rahil (25:36):
Yeah. And I think too, uh, so I'm a big, big, big believer in, uh, or big proponent I guess, is a better descriptor of jobs to be done. And I think that's exactly where you're doing where certain people have jobs to be done and they're gonna have different jobs to be done. And what I like about the Listal is I believe people buy off a non like no regret framework. And so people would rather make no decision than make a bad decision. And so what you're doing there with those listicals is you're giving people really easy sound bites to tell their wife or their significant other or their best friend, why they're so smart or why they bought X, Y, or Z. Um, because that's a huge deal. That's like, I, I'm a again, big proponent of, I think all purchases happen the happen in the mind. And so these people have already bought the product. And then how do you kind of give them that fire power to then complete that loop? Um, but the other question is how many drinks do you have Cody? Is there, is there 78 over there? You have a kid, you
Cody Plofker (26:29):
Rabah Rahil (26:30):
Bottle. What whatcha doing
Cody Plofker (26:31):
There to do?
Rabah Rahil (26:32):
You's sweating in the, my here's Jesus.
Cody Plofker (26:35):
I literally, I think on the golf course today, I had like eight models of water gonna go to the bathroom once
Rabah Rahil (26:41):
Savage. Um, but joking aside, how do you think of, um, going back to the steal startup, um, how are you thinking of like retention or kind of LTV? Because right now it sounds like a bit like a AOV play, right? Like somebody buys once and then you have to go find a new, new set of customers to keep buying that first purchase. Is that kind of just how it's gonna be? Or is there levers that you're looking into to build on those kind of, you know, back end to really push up that LTV or, um, just, can you gimme some color there?
Zach Stuck (27:14):
Yeah. I mean, this is the type of product that you could buy every six months, once a year. Okay. Um, so there's definitely an opportunity for, for the LTB play. A lot of that's coming from email and SMS trip, you know, it flows, um, the, the other side of it that I've debated doing is actually trialing, um, trialing to subscription, which sounds like, oh, everyone's trying to do subscriptions. Right. But here's the thing, here's the thing like this type of product, I think because we're selling a high end product is high priced. I think the people that are willing to spend the money that they are on this product are, are willing to replace it at the time that we tell them to replace it a hundred percent. So like going back to the beanie, if, if we say, Hey, this beanie is all natural, whatever, uh, Marino will, whatever, doesn't matter, organic cotton, but it's only gonna last you a year and it's only gonna last you 10 washes.
Zach Stuck (28:06):
So we're gonna hit you up with a new one every year. So you don't have to worry about before you go out skiing again, next year, before you go, whatever, it's just gonna show up at your door. Um, and then that's the perfect time for you to replace it. Like, I think it's a little bit longer plan. It's not like that annoying subscription that you like order toothpaste and then it shows up and you've only used a quarter of the two, right? Yeah. I think it's a little bit more, but it's also like the, the, the messaging of telling them like this product should only be used, you know, like I could switch it to something else. Like let's say underwear, right? Yeah. Be like men in underwear. I've, I've heard this conversation with some brands that we've talked to. It's like men should replace our underwear more often. So like you just gotta force them to do it and you gotta tell them they gotta do it. So like, if you tell them to do it, then you can just build in that subscription model into your business, without it being a traditional subscription type of product. So I I'm gonna trial that this year. Uh, I haven't launched it yet, but I think that there's some, I think there's some gas on that, on that fire too.
Rabah Rahil (28:56):
I think that's incredibly clever. Um, not only that, especially if you are in that high price vertical, um, you can start playing around with performance. You can say like, you don't need to replace it, but if you want peak performance, you should be on this cadence and we'll do it for you, easy peasy. And then the whole time you're just trickling on them content and building that emotional bond. Oh yeah. I'm gonna get, you know, re-up my beanie in six months or what have you, I think honestly, that's really intriguing to me because, um, one of the things about subscription businesses is you basically have to just convince somebody wants to buy and then not piss 'em off. Whereas when you have purchasing businesses, you, you, every single time, you have to give them a reason to buy your product again. And again, where if you just get 'em in the club, you just have to make sure that, that they don't leave kind of stuff. Uh, that's really fascinating. Um, you wanna jump into some Landers stuff, Cody, or you wanna
Cody Plofker (29:48):
Talk about that? Yeah, let me ask one, maybe one more and then we go it on Landers.
Zach Stuck (29:52):
Cody Plofker (29:53):
So, so obviously if you don't have a, you know, high LTV is not like a, you know, uh, CPG product and or if they're not coming again for a year, like you have to be profitable on, on first purchase. I I'd assume how much organic are you doing? Like I know we talked about, you know, you're obviously paid, you're doing email and SMS. Are you doing anything else organically for this brand?
Zach Stuck (30:14):
Not yet. Nope. I've gotta, I've got an SEO shop lined up, ready to rock. Um,
Cody Plofker (30:18):
Zach Stuck (30:19):
I will probably start with them in the next month. Um, and again, I kind of see that as like a loss, you know, just a loss price for six months and if it starts to compound, it starts to compound. Um, it's more just an investment in the brand more than anything. But yeah, I mean, I think, I think not a lot of D see brands, like put that budget aside for it. I mean, I kind of see it as like, whatever. I don't know if I can swear, but like shitty spend. Yeah. Like it's just like inefficient ad spend Showtime. You're gonna, <laugh> you're going to, uh, you're gonna waste money, trying some things like you might as well do it on something that there's most likely gonna be some compound. So yeah. I mean, we'll, we'll end up driving more traffic. Um, obviously it's a new brands, so it's not like we're ranking super well in, in search yet.
Zach Stuck (30:57):
Yeah. Um, but shopping, uh, sharp shopping campaigns are doing pretty well already. The one thing there that we did. Okay. Which I think is pretty cool is like we do custom feed images and we've been tr we've been testing those interesting. So like interesting. Um, in the apparel space, apparel's known to have kind of crappy shopping images, like white background and then the product. Right. So, uh, we've been trialing like adding a bunch of the, uh, value props of the product with like arrows around the image. So like, that image looks like there's a lot of shit going on, but then you click on it, you get to the, you know, the product page and then it shows that, but we've tried that we've tried like, even just like lifestyle photos in there with Google shopping, a few other tests. Um, and that's been, that's been cool.
Zach Stuck (31:37):
We've, we've definitely learned some lessons from that. So, um, even just on a small scale, like that's, that's definitely helping. So, but yeah, no, no organic, like it's very, very minimal. Okay. So essentially the goal right now was we're running at like, I don't know, five to 10% profit a month. Like that's kind of the goal to sit right there. Sure. Um, I'm still learning a ton, like post-purchase surveys, we're still learning. Like, why are you buying this? Like why, what made you actually buy this? Like sure. I think I know I'm a marketer. I think I know what I'm doing, but there's probably something else emotionally that triggered you to buy it. And what is that? So totally. I definitely wanna know more of that, um, which is why I'm willing to kind of run it at, at closer to break even for right now,
Cody Plofker (32:14):
For sure. Awesome. Really cool. Do you think, do you think to get more profitable, you'll have to do more organic long term?
Zach Stuck (32:23):
Um, that's a, that's a great question. Um, yes. Yes. But I do feel like the compounding effect. So one thing that we started doing right away was, um, a pretty compelling offer for people to share with their friends, to get their friends, to buy the products. Totally. Um, and, and, and the nice thing about like this product kind of back to that had example, I'll just use that, like if you're skier or if you're like an outdoor enthusiast that really likes your thing and you just bought a really expensive product to use for that. If you like it, you're probably don't want your friends to get it too. Right. Like I know like, I mean, you're big into golf, right? So like if someone just got the brand new driver from Nike, I don't know. And they're like, this is, this is the driver this year. You need this driver here, here's $10 off and I make 50 bucks when you go buy it. Like, it makes it a lot easier for, for, for, you know, brands to do that. We've been doing that and seeing like pretty good results. So. Okay.
Cody Plofker (33:15):
Yeah. I mean, I'll call referral organic, I
Zach Stuck (33:17):
Think. Yeah. Yeah. So then, so then referral being, it's a pretty decent slice already, so I can see that really starting
Rabah Rahil (33:24):
To, to come. Is that a golf pun? Zack
Zach Stuck (33:26):
Cody Plofker (33:28):
Indirect. Nice catch. Yeah. Only timeless slice is good. No, but I mean, that probably also makes you feel good. It, it makes you, you know, especially without no, like being a consumable thing, so you're not gonna have the highest LTV and the highest retention. Like that's probably cool to see that people are actually liking what, what you're selling them.
Zach Stuck (33:45):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I've been, I've been fortunate that I feel like I've found a product that's unique enough that there's not a lot of players in space and that people are, are, are truly liking it already. So, you know, the complaints are like, Hey, they sent me the wrong color, the wrong size. And then they send me the right one, three days later, all is good. Three stars. It's like, okay, I'm not worried about that.
Cody Plofker (34:06):
Yeah, yeah, dude, you're gonna be, you're gonna be getting hit up so much in the DMS asking what your product is after this episode goes live
Zach Stuck (34:13):
Rabah Rahil (34:14):
You need to have some red herrings where you can just send people back just like ridiculous products. Like, Hey, don't tell anybody, but this is actually my product and just send them to ridiculous links or it's like, how is he doing a $7 product? This is great. Um, to actually have two quick questions before we jump to the landing page chat. So, um, one, you said, um, you're doing shopping ads. Are you doing any DPA or DBA stuff on Facebook?
Zach Stuck (34:40):
Rabah Rahil (34:40):
This brand. And how is that going?
Zach Stuck (34:42):
Not with this brand, this brand, but we, but we do a homestead. Okay. We do a homestead. Okay. Um,
Rabah Rahil (34:45):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was in the, the specific, the still startup. And then the second question is, do you ever see, um, or think that you'll explore like FBA and Amazon at all?
Zach Stuck (34:56):
Yeah. We have zero Amazon right now. Um, and just even doing some quick search and using a few of the tools, like we're seeing buyers search the brand name. So it's like, okay, well there's our obviously intent just from the small scale that we're at right now. So I think we will, I think we will, um, the product being a high priced, higher end
Rabah Rahil (35:17):
Apparel. I think that's what I was asking.
Zach Stuck (35:18):
Yeah. I don't know how well it will do because it pro you know, there's probably a few other players that can scoop in there and just under underprice us. And I don't really know, so there's, but I think we'll test it. I think we'll test it and see, um, I think that the product is unique enough that there won't be too many. I mean, I know that there's maybe one other player selling on Amazon right now with the same type of product. Not obviously the same exact one, but, um, yeah, I, I'm kind of curious. We, we honestly don't do a ton of Amazon stuff at homestead. We have a lot of our clients that spend a lot to a ton of volume through Amazon, but, um, it'll be interesting. It'll be interesting to trial it out.
Rabah Rahil (35:53):
Yeah. It's a weird beast, especially for, um, it sounds like this is in that kind of luxury vertical. Um, I, I just, I'm very bearish on Amazon building luxury, or it's just, it's, it's a Costco style filling where you just get in there, you want the best price and then availability are the two things. And those are like two things that are 0% conducive with luxury, like luxury is price agnostic. And a lot of times it's very inventory constrained because it's luxury, like there's only so much, and that's the scarcity drives a lot of that value. Um, that's really cool though, man. Uh, you wanna jump into landing pages?
Cody Plofker (36:27):
Yeah. Let let's go Lander. So let let's talk about landing pages. I, I think at least in my eyes it's a hot topic, right? Like everyone's talks about talks about creative and obviously creative is huge and a super important broad targeting. Like we've, we've kind of beaten the dead horse about, uh, you know, on that, on the show. But like, I think landing pages is something that people are just kind of now waking up to, you know, it's kind of funny. Like I come from like a very hardcore, direct response background, like funnels and everything. Like, people don't even have websites. So it's like, to me landing pages are like kind, you know, like not a new thing, but I feel like indirect to consumer, like they're kind of pretty new and I don't think that there's as much. I think it's like, there are just now becoming landing page agencies and like landing page experts.
Cody Plofker (37:06):
But like, you know, it's probably mostly a post iOS kind of thing to kind of forced it. Um, and I know Zach, you, you guys have done a lot. You guys are doing a lot, so I would love to just learn from you a little bit on what you're finding some of the tests that you've ran. I'm sure you found some, some consistencies in terms of like, what kind of layouts work? What, what, what are the, like, let's start with this actually. What are the elements that you think a good landing page has if we're talking about driving cold traffic to it, what are all the elements all like the different blocks that you think are necessary?
Zach Stuck (37:32):
So I could kind of break it down in three different things. So I, I think about landing pages in like three templates. Right. So I think about it, enlist holes, kind of your like five reasons why that I've talked a lot about mm-hmm <affirmative> your editorials, meaning like any type of, um, editorial style content, uh, on a review site or whatever, whatever that might be. Right. Okay. Um, I think about that. And then I think about traditional Landers, like that's kind of how I keep the main three that, that we see in that way. Um, now traditional Landers, let's talk about those. Cause I feel like those are
Cody Plofker (38:00):
Zach Stuck (38:00):
Yeah, yeah, go kind of like the sexy looking cool. Usually more functionality. Let's talk about those. So, um, I think people for the last two years have been trying to get those to work, but didn't, didn't put in the men, like did not put in the energy to think through what they're trying to do. And I, I like blame myself for this partially as well. Now I'll tell you kind of what, what I'm thinking when I say that. So when you drive cold traffic from paid social to a page, and the only option you give them is like an added car button that pushes them to check out. I think that you're doing them a disservice by not giving them an opportunity to learn more about your, your brand, your business, and just read more content in general. The majority of those like traditional landing pages are designed forward first and not necessarily like teaching. So I think those like traditional Landers are, they're
Cody Plofker (38:51):
Like low friction. You're talking like, like they're low friction. Like you can add to cart straight from Thelander. Yep. Which skip the whole checkout, like skip all steps.
Zach Stuck (38:58):
Right. Which I think pre iOS, we ran a lot of these and they worked post iOS just with the diminishing returns. It's just not enough margin, not enough, like conversion rate on those, uh, because you push 'em straight into checkout and they're like, well, what the hell? I just, Hey, add to cart. Like now I'm in checkout. Like I didn't. And then I try to go back and I'm on the homepage and I'm lost. Like I've seen a lot of those funnels kind of go south.
Cody Plofker (39:18):
And even if they do convert, AOV is usually lower on those.
Zach Stuck (39:22):
Traditionally we, we usually make bundles out of those pages. Um sure. Gotcha. But that said like, um, those pages work great bottom funnel because it's like, okay, top of funnel. I've got my Dr. Ad that I drive to a Listal the ad that I run the Listal should just be Dr. Don't mention anything about five reasons. Why in the ad drive that to a Listal just dumb it down. Who are you? Why should they buy from you simple, push them over to a PDP. Now they didn't buy through the PDP process. Maybe they looked at your FAQ page. Maybe they did whatever shops around a little bit. Now, if you are running remarketing in any way, which I still think you should do, people are kind of against this. And there's like a lot of stuff going on where it's like isn't as efficient.
Rabah Rahil (40:02):
Yeah. I'm not against it. You have to have the economics for it. I'm not against it. Now here, I'm basing I'm rooting economics.
Zach Stuck (40:09):
<laugh> hear me on this part though. Now you can push them from an ad, showcasing a bestselling product to a Lander that showcases the best selling product or bundle. Then that added car button goes straight to checkout. Now they're ready now they're ready to be pushed straight into checkout. But if you're top of funnel, that's like such a big ask to be like, boom, literally two clicks, add, click, add a car, click checkout. Like I feel like you need to give them a little bit more time. Um, now when we talk about those traditional lands, I can break down like what we see working and what doesn't. I think people make a lot of mistakes and don't add a fo navigation. And when I say phone navigation, fake navigation, meaning at the top of the page, have your logo, right. They wanna click on it.
Zach Stuck (40:47):
Like you look at heat maps of these lenders. They're clicking on that shit. Have that there have a navigation on desktop. And then on mobile, have your little, whatever, three drop hamburger, whatever you wanna call it. Um, that links to it might say like about us or why, or shop or this, that should link to the sections on the page because they're used to, they're used to seeing a navigation they're used to senior logo. So when they land on the landing pages and there's no logo and no navigation, they're like, well, shit, what do I do? And then they bounce. I think that's the majority of why those traditional Landers don't normally work. So I think adding a phone navigation at the very top is like the best way to do it. I think that that keeps them
Cody Plofker (41:22):
Consuming. I, I couldn't agree with you more a hundred percent. Yeah. Like what we're building out like a, you know, I've talked about Listal a ton, but also like I'm calling it the Trojan horse. Like I'm trying to build a page. And I think I shared with you that like, looks like it's just a straight up homepage, you know, like very on brand, but it's got all like the classic direct response sales elements. Cuz I, I totally agree with you. Consumers are so much more comfortable with that than they are like a page that has no header.
Zach Stuck (41:46):
Right, right. So I think that's one, um, I think, sorry Rob, what were you gonna say? Something?
Rabah Rahil (41:51):
Yeah. I was just gonna ask you, so in terms of like a squeeze page, are you just totally against squeeze pages where like you could add this navigation per se or this phone navigation, but, and have the logo, but the logo is actually not linked to your homepage or so if you click on it, nothing happens. And so like, you know, cuz that was the OG stuff, right? The OG squeeze page of like you get 'em to the page, you want 'em to stay there or by, we don't want, 'em surfing around on our site. Do you think that kind of uh, that's dead now?
Zach Stuck (42:17):
Well, I think that's what the, the phone navigation should do though. Right? When they click on the logo, it shouldn't go anywhere when they click on the, about us. It scrolls 'em down to the about section in that Lander
Cody Plofker (42:24):
When they, yeah. You're still keeping 'em there.
Rabah Rahil (42:26):
You still keep them
Zach Stuck (42:27):
There. It's still the squeeze page, but it's like, let's give them the traditional components of a website that they're used to so that they're not confused. But then just the, that consumer might just assume, oh, it's just a single page website. Cool.
Cody Plofker (42:37):
Love that. Just funnel em, how you want that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm trying to figure. Yeah. And we've tested some of our advertorials some of our quizzes. I haven't done the foe one yet. I'm I'm honestly just trying to figure out how to actually build that. Cause I'm trying to put like a, a sticky call to action on it and, and builder. So it's just taking some time, but we've tested like running some of theses on our website with our normal header and none and header always loses. So I'm, I'm I'm curious now I'm definitely gonna test this foe one and see how that does.
Zach Stuck (43:04):
Yeah. And again, like it, it's not just me assuming that we backed it up by a bunch of heat map testing and they, they love it, like, especially on mobile customers or whatever users from paid love that nav. Um, so that's, that's one of the biggest elements I would say people are missing out on outside of that, the buy boxes. Um, I think there's a sweet spot in the how to build a buy box on one of these call it squeeze landing pages, right. Where you're trying to push 'em straight and check out. I think the biggest thing is like the images that you use in that buy box. It can't just be one image. Like you have to show them like a traditional PDP product page, multiple image, like a grid of images.
Cody Plofker (43:40):
Oh, so you need a carrot on there.
Zach Stuck (43:42):
They, you need it. You need it. Because again, like if you've, if you've got other components, you've got a header. Maybe you've got a, you know, if you, I think Nick Sharma was the OG to kind of lay out this template. That is like, this is the DDC template where it's like, you've got your header, you've got your Ys, you've got your us versus them. And then you've got your pie box. Right? I think that the biggest thing in the buy box that a lot of people miss on is that they have one image of the bundle. It's like, no, no, no, no. You need to have all the traditional things that a product page would have. Mm-hmm <affirmative> where, like, if you're selling supplements, you need to have the little nutritional guides in there. You need to have every little detail because if they're just shopping on that one page and you don't give 'em the opportunity to shop around your website or look at your FAQs or look at your about, like, you gotta give 'em those images that allow them to kind of click through and like shop almost those images, which are heat maps from testing that like people just hammer those images in that buy box.
Zach Stuck (44:28):
Versus when it's just one, they just don't give. Cause it's like, like one image of a smart one image of a product is not enough to convince them.
Cody Plofker (44:36):
You, you guys know. Um, I wanna make sure I pronou her name correctly. Is it Kika? She runs like a landing page agency. Uh she's on Twitter, familiar. K a N I K a. I don't know how that I don't. So she runs like a landing page agency. She she's really smart, but she retweeted something today. I saw. And there were, she was like, whoever originally said it again. I'm sorry. I don't, I don't know who did it, but was like, you know, a good landing page should make the, the user say like, thank you. You did all the research for me. And I, I think that that's a really dope way, way to look at it and kind of like lines up what Zach saying. Like, I think a lot of people focused just on like removing friction, all these like Dr. Aspects of it, right? Like, like no nav remove friction, remove as many steps as possible, but what they didn't do is get like all of the information in there. And I think that that's at least my takeaway from what you're saying is like, people are going to want to search around right. On a typical website, but we know that's not ideal for conversion. Right? Like you still have to give them all of the information. It's not just about removing friction. Is that, is that fair? Yeah. I think the one is that a right way
Zach Stuck (45:34):
To think of it. I think that's, I think that's pretty fair. I think the, the thing that kind of backs up, what you're saying is that what we've tested on landing pages, these like call what I consider traditional landing page, um, squeeze, page, whatever you wanna call it. Um, having that buy box be at the very top underneath the nav, underneath the phone app, they're used to that they're used to that template. Like, why are we putting that down low? Why are we forcing them to scroll 50% of the page to get there? Even if they need to click CTA buttons? Because like, I think having that at the very top makes them comfortable to the point where like, if they're like, Hey, I wanna learn more. Like they can just scroll then. Cool. Then it's like having a more robust product page at the end of the day. And I think that that truly is like the sweet spot, um, is almost making it like a more robust product page that can
Cody Plofker (46:16):
Be similar to what they're used to,
Zach Stuck (46:17):
Similar to what they're used to. But then also, like you don't have to worry about all the constraints that your Shopify site might have. Right. And then also you don't have to worry about your O Kendo review app, like slowing the crap onto that page. Right. Like you don't need that. Right. So
Rabah Rahil (46:31):
That was my, uh, next question actually is, um, do people disregard speed too much? Or do people put it on a pedestal too much?
Zach Stuck (46:41):
Ooh, that's a good question. Um, I think they disregard or neither,
Cody Plofker (46:43):
Zach Stuck (46:43):
Think, I think, I think they disregard it because I think so the, the page builder that, so Ryan Dony is his name. I don't know if you guys are familiar with him or not, but Ryan was our lead developer at homestead for the first year and a half of homestead. Um, over the last, like six to nine months, we've together been building a landing page, a headless landing page builder. Um, and it's been taking a lot of time and it's kinda like, why are you doing this when there's builder dot I on these other ones, like exactly what you know, um, was just mentioned like the phone nav we've got that built in like little, little features like that. Now. Um, the big thing is that our pages lighthouse speed is way faster than anyone else. And I can tell you when we AB test our page, exact same template versus a page built on show gun, ours converse better.
Zach Stuck (47:26):
Was it the traffic from Facebook? That's that was better. I don't don't know. I mean, like, I'm pretty sure it's the speed. Like there's nothing else different about the entire page. Um, and is the, is the difference massive? No, but it's the it's like noticeable. So I think that again, if you're like little components, right? Like, Hey, if you want a phone nav, or if you want like multiple images, if you can build that on all in headless, like they don't have to worry about shit loading, which again is just like trying to make it easy as, as they can and what they're used to. So, um, yes, I think that people don't, you know, don't, don't think about as much as they should, especially when they're driving from, from paid social for the first visit. Cuz again, this is your first time looking at a brand and then some shit's slower image isn't loading or whatever you're like, eh, out,
Rabah Rahil (48:11):
Out. Yeah. I, I totally like that. So,
Cody Plofker (48:13):
So hold up. Are you, are you saying, are you launching, is that like a proprietary tool just for your agency or are you launching a, a SAS? What? That landing page builder.
Zach Stuck (48:22):
So the plan is to launch SAS, eventually building, building SAS is very hard <laugh> yeah. Yeah. So as, as, as you know, people
Cody Plofker (48:29):
In this, damn he does it all well
Zach Stuck (48:32):
Doing it all. It's very
Cody Plofker (48:33):
Brand SAS. Hey,
Rabah Rahil (48:35):
Zach Stuck (48:36):
This is, this is the fun part about running an agency. When you get awesome people to come work for you, they have opportunities that are like, Hey, I wanna go do this. I'm like, yeah, I wanna be a part of it. So let's, let's do it together. That's
Cody Plofker (48:45):
Dope. So are you part you partner with kind of people and giving them equity and that's dope. That's awesome.
Zach Stuck (48:50):
Right, right. So, um, not, not that way with the brands as of right now, but um, with this, with this product. Yep. So far, and again, we're, we're using it for homestead clients right now. We're kind of figuring out if we're gonna roll it out as a service here shortly or not, but, um, Lenny pages are tough. They're tough. Like you have to be of great copywriter. You have to have clean design. You have to have, you know, in our opinion, a headless builder tool. So the page is really fast. Mm-hmm <affirmative> you gotta, you have to be a marketer. You can't just like slap it together and give it a go. Like you need, you need to have a lot of things. Just even try it. So, um, yeah. Anyways.
Cody Plofker (49:22):
Yeah. That's dope. That's awesome. Uh, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see people making with Landers? Like we've talked about a few, obviously speed, no phone nav. What, uh, with these kind of typical product nav, like what, what are some of the things that you, you see on a lot of pages you're like, I we've tested that and that just doesn't work.
Zach Stuck (49:40):
Yeah. That's a good question. Um, so I think making the design feel different than the site, I think is a big, big component. So like, let me, let me break this down a little bit. So we have, we work with some pretty big, big brands at homestead and they have old, they have older websites and they're like, well, we want Atlanta pages to be like, incredible, like amazing design, cool new components. Yeah. All this, like, you know, cool like fast loading functionality, like whatever, um, bells and whistles at the end of the day. Yeah. So we, we try it. None of that shit matters. Like it should be as clean as like a simple website should be. I think that people over design landing pages all the time. Okay. Um, I think that, that is what I've seen done. They overdesigned them. Okay. I think that they, again, it's simplicity, especially if it's first purchase, like, why are you, are you trying to show off like your design and like dev capabilities? Like just for the hell of it. Yeah. People, you know, the average person buying shit from Facebook and Instagram ads has no idea that that is like some crazy new component or cool, like feature mm-hmm <affirmative> they just wanna see the product they wanna learn about it. And if they're interested, they wanna buy it. Like they don't want to get, they don't wanna get, you know, cool bells and whistles in their way.
Cody Plofker (50:48):
So ugly or pretty what converts better. If you had to pick one,
Zach Stuck (50:52):
Uh, people give me shit for this on Twitter all the time. I think ugly, ugly all day, ugly all day, all day. The, the biggest brands that we audit in the, even our biggest clients, their websites are not great. They're not great. It's like the most simple, like I built. So like, like I said, when I started this whole thing, I was a front developer. I built Magento sites back in the day. And
Rabah Rahil (51:10):
There you go.
Zach Stuck (51:11):
I, I absolutely hated the look of Magento sites cuz I saw like all of what the Shopify stuff was going on. I'm like, Hey, Hey, like this is like, when movie watches was happening, I'm like these sites are incredible. Are so cool. Still when you look back even today, like to then the sites that look like stupid Magento websites are the ones that are killing it that are doing, you know, 10 million in revenue a month. And you're like, how is this even happening with this crappy website? It's cuz it's fast and it's cuz it's simple. Like that's it. It's crazy.
Cody Plofker (51:37):
Do you think you can though, do you, do you think there, do you think beautiful websites necessarily convert worse? Or do you think if you really know what you're doing, you keep it fast and you keep it simple that beautiful can convert.
Zach Stuck (51:50):
Yeah. No, I think so. I think so a hundred percent. I think that, I think it's, there's a, there's a definitely like, uh, you know, uh, a spot where you can overdo it though. And I think that a lot of brands have overdone. It like we worked on, I don't want to call this brand out specifically, but we worked on, it was in like the, how can I say this, uh, pet industry? I'll just say that the most beautiful website you've ever seen, like truly incredible. They dropped a bag to get this site made, converted like shit, like terrible. We built these simple Landers and they did better. It's like people that are scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram, we always forget. They're not us. They're we're we're, we're like the small, small section of the buyer demographic. Right? Totally. Middle of America is buying your shit, not the trendy designer,
Cody Plofker (52:39):
Zach Stuck (52:39):
A at a New York, you know, agency, you know? So I think that symbol is, is important. I mean, if you, if you were to, if I shared like the, the brand site that I have, it's very simple. It's not, it's not bells and whistles by any means. It's like short, sweet to the point. Um, and I think that's kind of why it's working instead of over again, over design. I think your point Cody though is like, can you make it beautiful and add brand elements that make it stand out, make it unique. Totally. But there's a level of overdoing it in my eyes.
Rabah Rahil (53:08):
Yeah. And I, I would interject there as well. So, uh, I came from an agency and that's exactly what my experience was. And honestly the aesthetic was, um, again, put on a pedestal and at the end of the day, do you want a bunch of marketers telling you, you have a prettier website or do you want conversions? And that that's pretty much what it comes down to. And then the other thing that you run into is, um, familiarity. So you might actually have like a decent design, but then you flip the switch and people like are just like, where the fuck do I go? How do I buy what's going on here? Like, like this site looks totally different. And then there's just growing pains in that. So I have yet to really be a part outside of high, high, high end luxury where you just wanna shit on people. Like I'm the best I have yet to see aesthetic over conversion because there, outside of that, like it's, it, it just doesn't work. Or in my experience, it is just super challenging to get at work and you get all these accolades and you get all this stuff and then you see the brand goes outta business. <laugh> you're just like, oh, what happened there? I thought they had a dope website. You're just like, I don't know. It just, it gets in people's way, in my opinion, where you, you just gotta get outta their way.
Zach Stuck (54:19):
I agree. I think the one thing, so I was just looking at, is it simulate stim? What is the, the NUS new brand
Cody Plofker (54:25):
Nugs like name?
Zach Stuck (54:27):
No. What? It just like there's I think it's called like,
Cody Plofker (54:30):
It's one of those two. Yeah.
Zach Stuck (54:31):
I don't know what word it is. Anyways. I was on that site earlier today and I was like, okay, you can clearly tell that this is a New York shop that designed this. But what they did is that they designed it with like text. I think they used copy to like make the design feel unique. And I thought that was brilliant. I'm like, okay, it's not like just forcing crazy imagery or like whatever bells and whistles or like, you know, things low differently. It's literally just like adding copy in different spots in the site that kind of draw your eye to those different spots. So I think that there's a sweet spot though, at the end of the day. I think that, yeah. Yeah. You know, we're, we're in agreement on the most part on that,
Cody Plofker (55:08):
But yeah. I mean, we're about to we're I almost got triggered for a second when Robert was saying that, but like now, like now that you guys said like the nugget side, like I know what you mean, like yes, there are so many websites and, and brands that optimize for design over performance, right? Like we're about to do like a PVP overhaul or we're about to launch. No, one's in like, I think they're beautiful. I think that they're like you showed somebody like, damn, this is like a beautiful PDP, but we didn't sacrifice performance at all. Like we have like a really, like, we fixed the UX they're we're making them as fast as possible. We're on two point, oh, like we've got all of the, the elements that are necessary right there. We've got like a sticky add to cart. That's like really good. You know? So I think like you can do both. You just can't sacrifice one for the other and you gotta find that balance as like the diplomatic answer.
Zach Stuck (55:53):
Yeah. And I think even to my point about, about this Nu so site, which is simulate S I M U L a T E simulate.com, um, is you go to this product page that you end up on this added car button is massive. And I love that. Like, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that's so good because if that's, if that's middle of America, if that's trendy people, like they all know how to use it really easily. And I think that that's where using like call it trendy design to, to, to keep those simple elements that you need people to click on, like in their face. Like, I think that that's, that's where you can kind of find that sweet spot between
Rabah Rahil (56:26):
Yeah. I think bite toothpaste does a really good job of marrying aesthetic and functionality. That's a beautiful
Cody Plofker (56:32):
Site. Totally. Yeah. That's my favorite is, is caraway. I think that they've got like the best blend that of in terms of like brand design. Again, it's simple, but in terms of like brand design, but also like really good UX for conversion purposes.
Rabah Rahil (56:46):
Yeah, absolutely. All right, boys, we're bumping up against an hour. Let's uh, wrap this thing up. Is there anything else you wanna talk about? You guys wanna plug homestead? You wanna plug Jones road where you wanna do here?
Zach Stuck (56:58):
Oh man, I, no, I appreciate that. Uh, if anything, just go hit me up on Twitter. Um, DMS are open. I try to respond to everybody. Zach, M M as in Michael, Zach M stuck on Twitter. Um, having to chat, Landers, having to chat D to C stuff, whatever.
Rabah Rahil (57:11):
Um, do not D him DM him asking the brand name. You'll not get answer back.
Zach Stuck (57:15):
You're gonna get a gift back.
Cody Plofker (57:17):
No, you'll get like a link to like some wish site, you know, some wish product
Zach Stuck (57:20):
Cody Plofker (57:22):
Zach Stuck (57:23):
Rabah Rahil (57:23):
Throw 'em off the trail. <laugh> uh, Cody, where can people find you?
Cody Plofker (57:29):
Uh, hit me up on Twitter at Cody plot, uh, and subscribe to my newsletter Lincoln bio right there.
Rabah Rahil (57:34):
Boom, boom, boom. Awesome people. Hey, well, thank you for joining us, Zach. This has been an awesome conversation. Landers, how to acquire businesses, make all the monies while you're helping some people, little charity aspect as well. That's super awesome. Um, if you do wanna get more involved at triple well it's tri triple well.com. We are so can't even speak Friday, sorry. Uh, we're also on the bird app at triple well, and then we also have a newsletter, um, that Cody is a regular, uh, participant in and helps us, uh, get all that knowledge out as well. And you can subscribe to whale mail. It goes out every Tuesday, Thursday on our Twitter profile again at triple whale fellows. This is fantastic. What a way to wrap up a Friday. Cody don't play too much golf. We, we need you. We, we need you back in the seat again. And then, uh, Zach, thanks so much for dropping all your knowledge and everything. Go check out homestead, go check out Zach and then, uh, buy his Phantom products as well as his notebooks. And then, um, we still don't have a sign off Cody. You you're killing me here. You're supposed to, you're supposed to research this. Oh
Cody Plofker (58:34):
Dude. That's not me. That's you? You're you're the host.
Rabah Rahil (58:36):
<laugh> thanks. All right, folks. Well, we're still searching for the sign off, but again, thanks again, Zach Cody, you guys have a wonderful Friday and we'll see everybody on the flip bye-bye.
Zach Stuck (58:44):
Sounds good. So guys, please,
Cody Plofker (58:45):
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