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BACKSTORY: About a month ago, I got an email from a friend of mine saying "the Icelandic Trade Council develop an event to help motivate the locals that ecommerce is a good thing and was looking for someone (not a big company) who has done ecommerce successfully so I immediately thought of you."
Man, I can identify with folks in your situation. In 1979, I was 11, and my family lost everything we owned when the Pearl River put six feet of water in our house. We didn't have flood insurance. Earlier that year my parents had committed full-time to their dog supplies mail order business and most of their inventory was lost in the flood.
Man 1: Rob, I have just briefly
introduced you to the Icelandic audience. Maybe the only word
you understood was Yahoo! Stores. But anyway, the floor is yours. Welcome.
Rob: Howdy. How ya'll
doing? My name is Rob Snell and I am from Starkville, Mississippi.
And I am going to talk today about how e-commerce saved our family business.
How E-commerce Saved Our Family Business Rob Snell, Co-owner Gun Dog Supply [email_address]
I understand you guys have had a hard
year, had a little trouble with some bankers or something like that.
I understand where you are coming from. Today I am going to talk
about how our company business has survived two catastrophes, two extinction
level events that should have put us out of business, but it didn't.
And I am actually going to go through how we got online and how we grew
our company, and I am going to tell you how you can take advantage of
some of the opportunities that are available on the Internet.
Gun Dog Supply is our family's company.
We sell training supplies for hunting dogs. I grew up in the business,
Rob, Steve, and their mullets
Who is that good looking guy over there
on the left? It is me and my baby brother Steve, and we started
our own company, Gun Dog Comics, or Snell Brothers as it is now known,
back when we were college students at Mississippi State selling comic
books and baseball cards doing anything trying to get out of the dog
In 1996, we opened up a copy shop.
I don't know if ya'll have Kinko's here or not, but the Kinko's
in our town closed, and within two weeks we were able to open up a copy
But then in 1997, I got into e-commerce
and started doing e-commerce consulting once I launched our family's
business online. And I have a weird relationship with Yahoo.
I am an unofficial evangelist for Yahoo! Store, which is a very, very
small part of Yahoo. I have been building stores and talking to
store owners. There are about 45,000 Yahoo! Store owners and they
are my best friends.
Yahoo Store for Dummies
In 2006, my book came out, which is
'Starting a Yahoo Business for Dummies', which should be called
'Starting a Yahoo! Store for Dummies. I don't believe it has
been translated yet, but Christian is working on it. And hopefully,
by the end of the week he will have it for me.
Speaker: PUBCON / SES / SMX / IRCE
I speak a lot about e-commerce and
small business at search marketing conferences and small business conferences.
And last year, I had the honor of testifying
in front of the United States Congress on behalf of small business folks.
I wasn't in the hot seat or anything like I was going to prison or
How E-commerce Saved Our Family
But today, I am going to talk about
our family business and how e-commerce literally saved the family farm.
Gun Dog Supply is our online business.
We sell training supplies for hunting dogs.
Steve & Roxie
Here is my brother Steve with Roxie
out in the field. This is our typical customer. Most of
our customers are hunters. They have a birddog or a retriever.
This is Click, one of Steve's birddogs.
Steve has got 13 dogs. And if you notice on his neck, there are
two products. There is a $5 collar at the bottom of his neck,
and then there is a beeper collar at the top of his neck which is a
$100 collar. That is kind of like keeping up with your birddog.
Warner & Anne Snell
My parents started Gun Dog Supply back
in 1972 on their kitchen table. My dad is a hunter. My brother
got the hunting genes. I got the marketing genes. I don't
understand all this hunting stuff. But he ordered a bunch of dog
supplies back in 1972 from a mail order company, and he got back a bunch
of junk. And he said, 'I can do better than this.' He
had been working for the government, and he wanted to own his own company,
so he started making his own dog supplies.
So he started making collars, and leads,
and leashes to sell them.
And instead of just selling them where
he was, he actually started buying these tiny little bitty ads in specialty
hunting dog publications. And we still do today. That is
why the website is in there.
And people would call over the phone,
or they would order over the mail, or we would send them a catalogue.
Here is American Field. This magazine has a circulation of 5,000
copies, so this is a pretty small niche, these types of places.
And then later on, we expanded our product line and sort of carried
more stuff, and we had a mail order catalog. I mean this is back
in the '70s.
1972 Family Business > Mail Order
You can tell we were pretty high tech. We are hand addressing our labels here. I don't know if ya'll
do that in Iceland or not. The funny thing is this is actually
my brother's mother-in-law. Little did he know that he would
be marrying her daughter in about 20 years. It is a small world
in Mississippi, too.
We are hand addressing our labels here. I don't know if ya'll do that in Iceland or not. The funny thing is this is actually my brother's mother-in-law. Little did he know that he would be marrying her daughter in about 20 years. It is a small world in Mississippi, too.
Dog on the Floor
And back in 1979, my parents decided
the business was growing, and they were selling some stuff, and they
really liked being self-employed. And they said, 'Well hey,
let's quit our jobs and let's go full time.' And I don't
know how many people out here actually own there own business, but I
mean it is a really scary thing to make that leap. And they did
and they started up.
Friday the 13th,
And then we had something happen; the
first catastrophe. On Friday the 13th, April 1979,
the Pearl River flooded.
Flood House Pic
We had six feet of water in our house.
This is about six months after my parents decided to start their business.
Outside of House
We lost everything. We didn't
have flood insurance because we didn't know we lived in a flood zone.
We lost cars, we lost furniture, clothes. We basically got out
with the clothes on our back. My uncle actually came up to my
house in a boat at two o'clock in the morning to take me and my little
brother to safety.
The other thing is we lost our entire
inventory. We had all of our dog supplies inside the garage and
it was all gone. And you guys know. It is hard enough to
start a company when things are good. But when things are bad,
I mean we are starting in the hole.
And here is my dad after the flood.
I do want to say, that dog saved his life. Him spending time,
training that dog, working with that dog, that shows how important that
bond is that our customers have with their dogs.
Another thing is that I understand
when you say the economy is bad, because back then, this is 1979, 1980.
I was only 11 years old, but even then I knew that the economy was bad.
They had 20% interest rates. I mean people weren't loaning money.
Money was tight.
And then to add insult to injury, my
dad's banker had a heart attack and died. And the new hotshot
young banker showed up and he looked at us and he said, 'You are a
poor credit risk,' and he called the note. And we literally
lost our family farm.
So here we are starting our company
out in the first year. I mean it is difficult. But we made
it. We worked hard. This is Gun Dog Supply's retail location.
When we had the catalog business, we noticed that a lot of folks in
Mississippi actually wanted to come and shop at a store and not order
through the catalog.
And so, we got a retail location and
we started selling premium dog food in our retail store because all
of our customers had dogs, right? But you couldn't get this
stuff anywhere. I mean you could get it at a vet, but we were
one of the only places that you could get it.
Collars and Leads, and Leashes and
And we sold collars and leads and leashes
and bells. And we used to sell stuff to hunting dogs. But
now, more of our customers look like this dog.
Look Like This Dog
This is Marco. Marco is not a
hunting dog. Marco is a foo-foo dog, is what my dad used to call
him. He hated talking to these little old ladies with their foo-foo
So we changed the name of our company
to the Dog Store to reflect our current customer base. And we
still have that little bitty Gun Dog Supply at the top.
And my parents had built a pretty good
little business. I mean look at this. From 1989 to 1996,
this graph shows the monthly sales. And my parents worked hard
for 15 years. And here we are in 1996. They sent us to college.
I mean, you know. They weren't getting rich by any stretch of
the imagination, but they were doing all right. Uh-oh. Here
is another one of these date slides again. That is not good.
March 20th, 1996.
I don't know if you guys have the same problem over here in Iceland,
but back in the United States we have this trend in retail that has
been going on for the past 20 years. In retail, these huge companies
come into a town. They open up these huge big box category killer
stores, and they put little guys out of business. And it is not
just Wal-Mart. I mean it is pretty much in every single category. And in the pet's category, it is Pet Smart.
And in the pet's category, it is Pet Smart.
And Pet Smart announced that they were
opening up literally across the street from the Dog Store.
All right. This is Jackson, Mississippi
in the Southeastern United States for those of you who are geographically
challenged. Ya'll probably never heard of Jackson Mississippi. But this is where our customers were, in Jackson, Mississippi.
And so, our showroom used to be a warehouse and we moved up the street
to, actually, a pretty decent location here, and we were doing fine.
But then Pet Smart comes in, and guess where they open up. In
a high traffic, more convenient, more visible location, and you can
imagine what happened.
But this is where our customers were, in Jackson, Mississippi. And so, our showroom used to be a warehouse and we moved up the street to, actually, a pretty decent location here, and we were doing fine. But then Pet Smart comes in, and guess where they open up. In a high traffic, more convenient, more visible location, and you can imagine what happened.
1989-March 1997: Dog Store
Here is a graph that shows our sales
12 months after Pet Smart opened. And look, we didn't just roll
over. A lot of our competitors in the market just gave up.
They folded up their tents. They went home. They said, 'We
cannot compete with this company. They have too much money. They are going to kill us.' So 50% of our competitors immediately
They are going to kill us.' So 50% of our competitors immediately disappeared.
And we said, 'Look. We are
not going to just let them have it. We are not going to give up
the business.' We got aggressive with our marketing. We
started a loyalty program. We lowered our prices. We extended
our hours. Anything we could do to fight these guys. This
was war to us.
B&W Catalog: Plan B\
And at the same time, we wanted to
have a plan B, because we knew that we were fighting a losing battle.
And plan B for us was to reboot the catalog; to go back to our roots,
to focus on the niche that got us in business in the first place, which
is selling dog supplies. And man, we got into the catalog business
way back in '72. Things had changed. We had desktop publishing.
It was a lot cheaper to make something. It was a lot cheaper to
print stuff. Postage costs were still really high.
But we spent hundreds of hours on this
catalog. I mean this catalog is a small little dinky catalog.
It is maybe 40 pages. But one of the things that we did that our
competitors didn't do is we actually wrote a ton of information about
the products that we sell. And we sold training supplies, tracking
supplies for hunting dogs.
So we send out 5,000 of these catalogs
to the folks who are on our mailing list, and we are really excited,
because we worked for three months knocking this thing out. And
what happened? Nothing.
So we are all sitting around the dinner
table, and what the hell are we going to do now? I guess we can
all go get jobs. My mom was watching TV and she kept seeing this
commercial over and over and over again for AT&T's e-commerce
And this lady got obsessed with the
Internet. I mean this is 1996, 1997. You wouldn't expect
your mom who is 60 years old to be, 'We got to get on the Internet!'
I was like, 'Mom, the Internet is just about porn!'
And she is like, 'Maybe we need to
get into that. But we gotta get on the Internet.'
And I mean she would not let it go.
I was like, 'Come on woman.' So just to get her to be leaving
me alone'I mean I had my own company at this point. We had five
retail stores selling comic books. I was working the mullet. Ya'll saw that a little while ago. I was playing in a rock band.
I had a life. It was a good life with a good mullet, you know?
Ya'll saw that a little while ago. I was playing in a rock band. I had a life. It was a good life with a good mullet, you know?
I didn't know anything about Internet
marketing, about how to build HTML webpages, about secure servers, about
shopping carts, about programming. I mean I went to graphic design
school so I could be a cartoonist and not have to think about this kind
of stuff. But mom was like, 'Look. We are in trouble. The family needs it. You are smart. Figure it out.
Get online now!' And if ya'll knew my momma, you would understand.
When she gets her mind made up, it is going to happen!
The family needs it. You are smart. Figure it out. Get online now!' And if ya'll knew my momma, you would understand. When she gets her mind made up, it is going to happen!
April 1997: www.gundogsupply.com
So we built a little bitty website.
I went and got a domain, April 1997. I mean I am embarrassed.
We didn't even save the website. I kinda had to rebuild it using
some old images up in Photoshop. Because you know, you don't
archive every single thing you do, and I didn't realize anything was
going to happen.
But I mean it was like the typical
brochure website. And this goes to a point that somebody made,
I think in Icelandic. My Icelandic is not as good as it use to
be. But I think somebody said, 'Just building a website isn't
enough.' And that is true. This is a terrible website.
Letter from the Snells
We had an 'about us' and a letter
from the Snells. Like you want to read a letter from the Snells
written to everybody about how great we are.
GDS Products and Services
We had a list of the products and services
that we sold.
FREE CATALOG Request Form
And the only actionable item on the
site was a free catalog request form. Ya'll remember that catalog,
the one that didn't work?
Yahoo was the Google of 1997
So I spent all this time working on
this website. And I am a glory hound. I like getting credit
for what I do. And I wanted people to come see my work, because
I was so proud of this website that I had built.
And so, I said all right. Just
building it isn't good enough. If you build it, they will come? That is crap. That is not going to happen. You have to drive
traffic to your website. And back in 1997, Yahoo was where the
traffic came from. Yahoo was the Google of 1997. And right
in the Yahoo directory listing was the secret to getting traffic.
That is crap. That is not going to happen. You have to drive traffic to your website. And back in 1997, Yahoo was where the traffic came from. Yahoo was the Google of 1997. And right in the Yahoo directory listing was the secret to getting traffic.
So I did my homework. I did my
research. I learned what I had to do and I wrote a great Yahoo
directory listing. And this is the Yahoo Directory listing that
to this day actually still exists. And it was awesome. We
got tons of catalog requests; hundreds of them. My dad was freaking
He is like, 'I am not sending hundreds,
and hundreds, and hundreds of people catalogs that lose money for us.
Get the store online. Put the catalog on the web or shut down
the website.' And after all this work, you know?
Online Store Builder
My brother found ViaWeb, which is now
Yahoo Store. Yahoo bought them about a year after we got online. And they had an online store builder. And this was the answer
to my prayers, because I had been playing around with a shopping cart,
and a CGI bin, and secure server stuff, and I don't understand a lot
of propeller head stuff. And this was one of the first online
web apps. I mean Paul Graham, the guy who created this, got $50
million from Yahoo back in 1998. I mean they got a bargain.
And they had an online store builder. And this was the answer to my prayers, because I had been playing around with a shopping cart, and a CGI bin, and secure server stuff, and I don't understand a lot of propeller head stuff. And this was one of the first online web apps. I mean Paul Graham, the guy who created this, got $50 million from Yahoo back in 1998. I mean they got a bargain.
Build the Store in your Browser
I feel ya. And uploading these huge pictures.
I feel ya. And uploading these huge pictures.
But we had all this content from the
catalogue. Remember that 90 days in hell with my dad writing all
these catalog descriptions and laying that sucker out? You know,
you upload a picture you type in the name, you hit update, and boom.
You have a product page.
Built-in Shopping Cart
It had a built-in shopping cart.
I didn't have to do any of that propeller head stuff; no heavy lifting
on my part. Yahoo is going to take care of all that.
It had a secure checkout. I didn't
have to deal with security certificates or virus protection and that
kind of stuff, hackers. I didn't have to deal with that. Yahoo took care of that.
Yahoo took care of that.
Back End: Order Manager
And on the backend, it had an order
manager. It had all the bells and whistles. And this is
back in 1997. I mean this was awesome. And one of the main
points I want you guys to get form this is that they have already invented
it. You don't have to go and redesign something from scratch. There is somebody out there who has a product, a service, that allows
you to get online doing whatever you do. And I know all of you
aren't retailers, but doing whatever you want to do online, there
is a way for you to do it without having to pay $100,000 to build out
There is somebody out there who has a product, a service, that allows you to get online doing whatever you do. And I know all of you aren't retailers, but doing whatever you want to do online, there is a way for you to do it without having to pay $100,000 to build out a website.
Now you have an online store
But you do this, and now you have an
online store. And this is the homepage, the way it looks today.
I guarantee you it didn't look like that in 1997.
And we already had traffic coming form
our Yahoo directory listing. Remember that? I wrote a great
Yahoo directory listing. We were getting hundreds of catalog requests.
My dad was freaking out. We actually had visitors coming to our
website. Two days later we launched, there were about 100 people
a day hitting the website. That was pretty good. We didn't
have 100 people a day coming into the store. They were all going
to Pet Smart.
E-commerce makes it easy for folks
to give you money
E-commerce makes it easy for folks
to give you money. This is the second point. If you cannot
take payments online, you are missing out. If you just have a
brochure website'Anything you can possibly do to allow folks to give
you money online, if you can possibly do it.
June 5, 1997: First Online Order
I logged into the store, and on day
three, we had our first online order, two days after our soft launch. And you can even see on here, I didn't even charge them shipping.
Whoops! I hadn't set that up yet.
And you can even see on here, I didn't even charge them shipping. Whoops! I hadn't set that up yet.
And this is what the guy bought.
The first thing I ever sold online was a dummy launcher. This
thing uses blanks to fire. The gas comes out the cylinder and
it shoots this dummy for the retriever to get 250 yards, because you
can't throw that far for your retriever. I have more fun doing
this at this presentation, because I get to look back on all this stuff
that I never have time to. This page still exists on the Internet
today. We are still making money selling this same product for
$75, just like we did 13 years ago. This same page that I made
back in 1997 is making me money right now. I probably just got
an order for one. And it beats the hell out of getting your butt kicked
by Pet Smart.
'97 Graph: Number of Orders
And we didn't set the world on fire.
In 1997, we got online. Here are the first six or seven months.
But it was enough to go, 'This is the future. This is growing
like a weed. This where we gotta be. Forget Pet Smart.
Forget selling dog food.'
'97: Revenue $$$
And that is the first month there.
But if you look at our revenue, we did $88,000. That is OK, but
for a little project, it was something to get momma to shut up.
You know? That is not too bad. I love my mom. Ya'll
don't take it the wrong way.
And so, we wanted more. How can
I get more? I got a Yahoo directory listing.
Bought Banner Ads
So the next thing that I did is I did
a little bit of research. I said, 'Well OK. Where are
my future customers hanging out so I can go introduce them to me?' And I found a site called Working Retrieval Central that had thousands
of people who were retriever enthusiasts. Remember I was talking
about how few people there are in the United States who have dogs?
Well, half of them are on this website.
And I found a site called Working Retrieval Central that had thousands of people who were retriever enthusiasts. Remember I was talking about how few people there are in the United States who have dogs? Well, half of them are on this website.
And I contacted the owner, and I said,
'Hey, how much do buy some banners on your site?' And he said,
'$750 for three months.' So I told my dad, and I thought his
head was going to explode. '$750?!?' So I bought banner
ads on my credit card and not on his.
1989-1996: Dog Store Sales
And it worked like gang busters.
We started getting orders in. And if you go back on that graph,
you can see kind of about August. That was revenue coming from
those Working Retriever Central banners. And my dad was like,
'See! You don't have to buy advertising to make money on the
Internet!' I was like, give me my $750 old man.
1989-1997 Dog Store
So let's recap. 1989-96 Dog
Store sales. Retail store sales to fu-fu dog people. And
then here comes Pet Smart. Boo! Terrible. Making my
Year 1: Store vs. Web
And here is Year 1. This is where
it starts to get exciting. Year 1: Store versus the web.
And within the first six months, the web sales caught the Dog Store.
And part of that is because the Dog Store was sucking at that point.
I mean you can see Pet Smart was kicking our butts.
And one thing that somebody said at
the break that I want to reiterate is this is harder than it looks.
If every single person in this room opened up an online store selling
the exact same thing that we are selling or something else, 90% of ya'll
would go out of business in 90 days. It is tough. It is
very difficult. You have to have some sort of competitive advantage.
Year 2: Store vs. Web
And we did because we focused on these
dog folks. It was a niche. We weren't selling fu-fu dog
stuff. We weren't selling stuff for everybody. We sere
selling stuff for hunting dog folks. Here is year 2, and you can
see at this point, the web is just killing the dog store. And
Dog Store continues to slide. You can tell where we are putting
Year 3: Store vs. Web
Year 3, the same thing happens.
And notice the scale of the graph keeps changing. See that line
down there at the top, that dotted blue line? That is the best
the Dog Store ever did, which was just a little bit over $65,000 in
a month. At this point, we were like, 'I love this Internet.
Let's get into it.'
But that was 1997
But that was in 1997. I mean
just showing up was half the battle.
Cashing in on Search Engines
And so, what I am going to talk about
now is how we got from 1997 to 2003. I am talking about cashing
in on search engines.
When customers are looking to buy
what you sell, show up.
This is the most important thing I
am going to say all day and probably in my entire career. So if
I could stand up here and just say this over and over again and ya'll
wouldn't leave, I would probably do it.
When customers are looking to buy what
you sell, you need to show up. You need to sell it to them.
When customers are looking to buy what you sell, your store, your site
needs to show up in the search engines. And if that means you
get in the organic natural free results and you get free traffic, that
is great. And that means if you have got to buy an ad to get to
them, that is great, too. And if you have got to do both, that
Search engines Google graph here
Well what search engines are important?
Well you guys know this. It is Google. And I think it is
the same over here as it is back in Mississippi. I mean we have
got a little Bing and a little Yahoo, but 75% of my traffic is coming
Keywords (the key to search engines)
The key to search engines is keywords.
And boy, I am obsessed with keywords. My friends tell me to shut
up. I keep talking about keywords. Oh, I love keywords.
I will show you why in a minute.
Orange Dog Collar
When somebody does a search on Google
for 'orange dog collar', the search engine results page appears.
I know you have all seen this before. One thing I did notice in
Iceland is that ya'll don't have a bunch of ads. There are
tons of opportunities out there. In Mississippi, this whole thing
is full up of ads. But when I do searches in Iceland, it is like
there may be one or two people advertising. So those one or two
people want me to shut the hell up right now, but the rest of ya'll
go kick their butts.
Natural Search Results
On the left-hand side is the natural
search results. Some people call it organic. They call it
natural. They call it free. What that comes from is when
Google spdyers the web, they have this huge index where they keep all
their webpages, and they go and they see what your webpage is about,
and they basically give you'when somebody does a query, a search,
it gives you the results in descending order by the most relevant webpage.
And the way they do that is with an algorithm. And the algorithm
is causing my hair to fall out.
Google hides it. It is a secret
recipe. They don't want everyone to know what it is so you can't
just automatically do the right little dance and make your website appear. I spend tons and tons of time thinking about search engine optimization
and how to get here.
I spend tons and tons of time thinking about search engine optimization and how to get here.
Inside the natural search results,
you will also sometimes see shopping results if the keyword you are
using like an e-commerce term, or image results, for those of you taking
pictures of polar bears or whatever you take pictures of, and sometimes
So it is like three or four separate things you gotta kind of master to show up on Google. And if you will notice, I am not showing up in the shopping results, and I shouldn't be here talking to ya'll. I should be back at home fixing this, because we are about to hit the busiest time of the year right now for us. But if you will look at that last one down there, I actually have a video on Youtube that I made that is showing up.
Paid Search/Sponsored Links
On the right-hand side are the paid
search or the sponsored links. And I heard a little bit about
that in Icelandic. I heard, 'Blah, blah, blah, sponsored links,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Google.' And I think he was talking
about sponsored links. Oh, ya'll have a beautiful language. Please don't take that the wrong way. It makes me a little nervous
that it is a room full of Vikings! We knew about ya'll!
Please don't take that the wrong way. It makes me a little nervous that it is a room full of Vikings! We knew about ya'll!
How I found search engines
How I found search engines. Remember
that first order I got? Well every time I get an order, if there
is a referrer, and a referrer is a place on the web somebody came before
they came to your website. If there is a referrer, it will tell
you what the referrer is. And so I had people from the Yahoo directory
come in. I had people from those banners I bought on Working Retriever
But then all of a sudden I started
getting all this traffic from places I had never heard of. And
here is an example. MSN. We had traffic from Hot Bot.
We had traffic from Excite, from Infoseek. We had traffic from
this place I had never heard of called Google. You know back in
the '90s, I didn't know what this stuff was. And when a referrer
comes from a search engine, it will tell you the keyword phrase. And I was like, 'Hmm'this is pretty cool!'
And I was like, 'Hmm'this is pretty cool!'
And so what I would do is go to the search engine that they came from and type that same word in and see where we came up. I know this sounds pretty basic, but back then it was an epiphany to me. If we were ranked higher, we would get more clicks and more traffic. I was like, 'Man, we gotta rank higher. That is important.'
Web Analytics Software
Well how do you keep with what your
referrer is? How do you know what your referrer is? Web
Analytics Software is how. And most of the people in here who
are propeller heads, you guys know about Google Analytics.
Fortunately for us, it was baked into
the Yahoo Store platform, so I didn't have to do a whole bunch to
figure stuff out. But I also run GA or Google Analytics, this
web analytics software. What it does is it tracks users. You guys have probably heard of cookies. You go to a website or
you go to a page and it keeps up with where individual people go.
But then overall, you can kind of see these trends. You can see
how your traffic is going day to do. You can see where it is coming
from. You can see specific sources and what keywords folks are
You guys have probably heard of cookies. You go to a website or you go to a page and it keeps up with where individual people go. But then overall, you can kind of see these trends. You can see how your traffic is going day to do. You can see where it is coming from. You can see specific sources and what keywords folks are using.
Where Traffic Comes From
See that right there? 73%. That is why I love search engines. And I ain't paying for more
than maybe 10% of that. 73% of my traffic is free.
That is why I love search engines. And I ain't paying for more than maybe 10% of that. 73% of my traffic is free.
What Pages Customers Visit
This shows me what pages customers
visit. Ya'll see that orange dog collars page? I just
made that page up for some talks like this. I got 3,500 people
that have already hit that page. That is pretty good.
What Keywords People are Searching
Google Analytics will show you what
keywords folks are searching for. But more importantly, it will
show you how much revenue they generated and how many transactions,
and the average value of the transaction. So you can tie a dollar
amount to a keyword phrase. You know what keyword phrases are
Collect Converting Keywords
And this is how you get found when
people are looking to buy what you sell. You collect converting
keywords. And you use your web analytics to do that.
21,358 Converting Keywords
Right now in my personal collection,
I have 21,358 converting keywords. And a converting keyword is
a keyword where somebody typed it into a search engine, clicked on my
ad or on my result, went to my site, poked around, shopped, used the
shopping cart, and gave me money at the end of the day. They searched
for this, this is what they bought.
$6,264,243.60 from Keywords
These keywords have generated over
$6 million trackable revenue to the keyword level. And this isn't
for all time. This is just for the sample that I did for this
presentation. I know what keywords generate revenue.
Gun Dog Supply/Your Company/Domain
And let's talk about some examples.
When somebody does a search online for your company and your domain
name, you better come up. That is the easiest thing to rank for.
They are looking for something like your homepage.
When somebody is doing a generic product
category, they haven't made up their mind who they are going to buy
from yet. If they are looking for leather dog collars, they are
probably looking for something like this. You have got to show
them what they want when they come to your webpage.
And keywords have intent. When
people are searching for something, you can tell what they are interested
in, what their intentions are on your website, and you need to make
sure that your pages on your site actually can meet that demand.
Because if not, they are going across the street. They are going
to buy it from me instead of from you.
Garmin GPS Specific Manufacturer
Specified manufacturer phrases like Garmin GPS, one of the manufacturers we sell. We have a shop by manufacturer page. A specific brand model product. They know what they are looking for. They are looking for a very specific product. At this point, they have already made up their mind. They are price shopping right here. I hate it when people come in on product pages, because they already know what they are going to buy.
How can I stop my dog from barking?
A query question. A lot of times,
people will search for an answer to a question. 'How can I stop my
dark from barking?' Well, answer these questions on your website
and you can get traffic for these phrases.
What about New Projects?
What about new projects? What
if you are sitting in this room and you don't have a website, or you
are sitting in this room and you want to do something different. What about new things where you don't have a bunch of history?
What about new things where you don't have a bunch of history?
Well back in the day, you whipper-snappers,
you have it so easy today. Back in the day, we had no idea how
many people were doing searches for certain keyword phrases. There
was a top 100 searches on the Internet list that I had in 1997.
And this was like the holy grail of information. And half of the
words on there were porn. Not very helpful if you are not in the
Now there are keyword tools.
And today I am going to talk about a free keyword tool called the Google
Adwords keyword tool. Google collects all this information about
people who do searches on their website, right? They know how
many times a month somebody searches for every single keywords phrase.
They also know what advertisers you guys are willing to pay for those
They make this information publicly
available. You don't even have to be an advertiser. Go
to Google, type in keyword tool, hit enter. That first result
is a keyword tool. Just click on that.
Doghouse Heater Results
So you type in whatever keyword phrase
you want to see, in this case, 'Doghouse heater,' and man, last
night I think I needed one of these. It is cold here. If
I knew it was going to be this cold, I would have brought a jacket.
When you do a search, the results show
up, and this is what you are looking at. It will show you the
keywords. It will show you the estimated average cost per click,
what you are going to have to pay Google every time somebody clicks
on your ad and goes to your website, and it is going to show you the
competition-how many other advertisers are actually advertising on that
phrase. And I can see right here there is a nickel phrase that
has less than half of the advertiser slots taken. I need to get
to work. I am not buying that.
It will also show you the number of
searches per month. And there is a cool seasonality thing here
where it shows you the highest volume occurred in what month.
So there is my search phrase. If you notice above and below it
are two different phrases where it is suggesting things to me.
It will tell you, 'Hey, here are some more ideas,' because Google
wants you to buy more ads. They are pretty smart about that.
The last thing is, if you have an Adwords
account and you are using this tool, you can click on this little 'add
exact' and it will add it to your Adwords account immediately.
And once you do this three or four times, you can build up this huge
list of keywords that gives you a great amount of information as far
as research goes. You can see how many people are searching for
stuff. You can see what the average cost per click is. It
It's not a Choice Between Quantity
And it is not a choice between high
value phrases and low value phrases. Here is an example.
And I am going to use a real example, but I am changing the keyword
phrase, because I am giving a lot away, but I ain't giving it all
'Dog Beds' High Traffic
Dog Beds. Trust me. It is very
similar. It is a high traffic phrase: 40,000 searches a month. Everybody is like, 'Yeah! I want to rank number one for dog
beds!' Well there are only 10 spots on the front page.
And who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people are actually
selling dog beds?
Everybody is like, 'Yeah! I want to rank number one for dog beds!' Well there are only 10 spots on the front page. And who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people are actually selling dog beds?
'Dog Beds' HIGH traffic: 40,000/
'Large Dog Beds' MEDIUM traffic: 8,000. REVENUE PER VISITOR
So 'dog beds', a high traffic phrase.
A more specific phrase, 'large dog beds.' This isn't the
phrase that I am talking about, but the data is real and it is kinda
similar in terms of comparison.
It is a medium traffic phrase with
8,000 searches a month. The revenue per visitor that I get on
my website that I know about from my analytics for 'dog beds'?
$1. For 'large dog beds'? $11. Why? I sell
great big large dog beds. They are awesome. But anybody
searching for dog beds for those fu-fu dogs, they don't want a bed
that is this big.
The inventory value. If you take
the 40,000 people in the world per month searching for that and you
multiply it what the value is to me, it is $40,000. Now, if you
sold fu-fu dog beds, your revenue per visitor for dog beds might be
The inventory value for me for 'large
dog beds' is $88,000. And I know I am getting deep, deep, deep
in the weeds here, but there are probably 15 people who will benefit,
who will be able to hire some new folks and grow their businesses because
of some of this detail. And I will go back out and get macro in
just a second.
I want you to prioritize your keywords
on revenue. When I do keyword research, I want to look at how
many visits I got for the keyword phrase, how many orders, and how much
revenue it generated.
Here is a bucket, and I overwrote the
phrase with some fake words, but it is real data. I am not giving
all my secrets away. Some keywords are more valuable than others
to me. Look at that $9,500 phrase. I mean I got 86 orders
for that. And these are all similar keyword phrases relating to
the same product. They are manufacturer searches, they are generic
searches, but they are talking about the exact same unicycle seat.
Revenue per visitor is totally different.
What this means is the average person searching for 'Wobble Unicycle
Seat' spends $11 when they come to my website. But if you go
on down, you see that $29? I mean that is almost three times as
much revenue per visitor. I want to focus on those keywords.
You see that $7 red block right there? Something is wrong.
That tells me right there that my landing page that ranks really well
for that phrase on row three, something is wrong. That sticks
out like a sore thumb to me. I need to stop right now and go fix
The other thing I do is I actually
compare my Google traffic with these phrases. How do I rank on
Google for these keyword phrases? So the rank 1 column is what
page of mine appears first, and rank 2 is what page of mine appears
second. And if you notice, sometimes on Google you will see indented
results, two listings from the same company on the same page, you can
double your Google traffic by chasing after these clustered results.
And there are about four people in here right now who get it, and you
will make a lot of money off of that. And I apologize for being
so micro on that.
What do you do with all these keywords?
So what do you do with all these keywords? You know, you collect your keywords?
You know, you collect your keywords?
Optimize for FREE traffic (for best
Well I want you to optimize and advertise.
Optimize for free traffic, for your best keywords. You need to
write content for that. I am going to talk about that in a minute.
Advertise with PPC ads (for keywords
where you make money)
Advertise with paid search ads, PPC
ads, pay per click ads, for keywords where you make money with your
Free traffic. My favorite thing
in the world: SEO. My girlfriend is like, 'Please shut up about
SEO. I am so tired of hearing you talk about Search Engine Optimization.'
Everybody here, have ya'll ever heard of search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is making
your website Google friendly. That is like using text on the page,
using the keywords that folks who are searching to buy what you sell
will find those keywords on your page.
You want Google to be able to find
your website, read your website, index and store your website, give
you credit for the content that is on it, and then send you traffic
because you actually have relevant webpages for whatever you sell:
Icelandic Viking helmets or whatever your store is.
Dog House Heater
Dog House Heater. This is what
you want to happen. When you do search engine optimization, this
is the purpose. Number one out of 22,000 webpages on the Internet.
Right now my momma is number one for dog house heater, and I hope she
will ship me one tonight.
How I do SEO
How I do SEO. I am going to do
this real quick.
Pick a Keyword: Dog House
Pick keyword. 'Dog house heaters'.
The first thing I do is I pick the most relevant page. What page
on my site is a perfect page that I would show somebody? Instead
of dropping them on the homepage, give them the real page. Well
this is it. This is my section page for dog house heaters.
Put keywords in TITLE/TEXT (on most
The first thing I do is I put the keywords
I want to rank for in the title and the text of the most relevant page.
That means you need to write good page titles. See? Dog
house heaters, heater/heaters? That is the page title. The
second thing is put it in text on the page. I have got the word
heater on there. When Google comes to my site, Google goes, 'Hey! This site is about dog heaters.' That is one of the reasons
why I rank.
This site is about dog heaters.' That is one of the reasons why I rank.
Put Keywords in LINK TEXT (on other
The other reason is you want to put
the keywords in links to the page on your site. So if other pages
on your site are pointing to the dog heaters page, you would like it
in the anchor text using your keywords phrases. And some of that
stuff is pretty deep stuff you see. Dog house heaters, dog house
Create Keyword-rich Content
This is super important. You
don't have to know anything about SEO to do this. Create keyword-rich
content. I was talking to a travel guy a minute ago. Hey
travel guy. You want to have articles on your site about travel.
So when I search for 'Icelandic whaling tourist expeditions', you
know, because my girlfriend likes'She is an eco person. She
said she wanted to go whaling, I think? Oh, whale watching. Oh. Sorry doll. Man, I am going to be in so much trouble
after this thing is over!
Oh. Sorry doll. Man, I am going to be in so much trouble after this thing is over!
Steve writes content. Steve talks
about this stuff all the time. He talks about where we live in
North Mississippi, he doesn't need a dog heater, but if you live in
Iceland, you do. And I have got the keywords sprinkled all throughout
the phrase. I mean he is just writing in natural language like
how he would talk to a friend of his about, 'Hey, you need a dog house
heater so your fu-fu dog doesn't freeze.' And he writes this
'Steve Says', and we put this content on the product pages or on
the section pages.
And like I said, 220,000 competitors
in the world. My momma ranks number one. And we optimize
for all 20 some odd thousand phrases.
All right. What if you don't
rank? 70% of the folks on Google are clicking on the left-hand
side on those free search results. But 30% are clicking on the
ads in the United States. It may be a little different over here.
You need to buy ads.
How I do PPC
Pick a keyword: Automatic Dog
Waterers (and figure out how much you can pay!)
This is how I do PPC. I pick
a keyword: 'Automatic dog waterers', a keyword that say I
don't rank really well for. And then I figure out how much I
can pay based on my conversion rate. If you are selling a $5,000
B2B package, or something that a university would buy, or something
that has a huge average sale, you can probably pay a lot more per click
than you can if you are me and you are selling an automatic dog waterer
that is $20.
Write a good ad
The next thing you do is you write
a good ad. Put the keyword in the name of the ad and you want
people to click on your ad. The way ads work on Google is you
get to tell Google what searches trigger your ads. So if somebody
says 'Dog waterer', 'automatic dog waterer', 'auto dog waterer',
'auto waterer', I mean just any of those keyword phrases, I want
my ad to show up for those.
Create a relevant landing page
The next thing you do is you create
a relevant landing page, a page that actually has what the searcher
is intent on finding. Remember intent from a minute ago?
Look. I got automatic dog waterers on here. I got five different
automatic dog waterers. I got articles about it. I got a
link to it. I mean if you are looking for an automatic dog waterer,
this is the page you are looking for. But I tell you that so the
customer gets to the website and they go, 'Hey! That is exactly
what I am looking for!'
'and monitor results
And then you monitor the results.
Google is really good about giving you some tracking software so you
can actually see which ads and which keywords actually work for you.
And you call the losers and you improve the winners.
Appear for both
And you want to appear in the search
results for both free and paid.
Lots more here: Buy yours
There is lots more information.
I can talk about this stuff all day. I hear there is another book
coming out; maybe more current than mine. I could only look at
the pictures, but they were pretty nice. How about say, 'Rob
said buy my book,' and he has to give me a dollar. Appreciate
that. That will help pay for my jacket.
So what happens when you maximize
SEO and PPC?
All this is theoretical talk.
That is great. Blah, blah, blah. Marketing guy-all right.
Year 4: Store vs. Web
Year 4. Look at those sales. Again, look at the scale on that graph. The Dog Store is toast.
We actually sold the Dog Store to the manager so we could concentrate
on the web. It took us four years, but we got out of the fu-fu
Again, look at the scale on that graph. The Dog Store is toast. We actually sold the Dog Store to the manager so we could concentrate on the web. It took us four years, but we got out of the fu-fu dog business.
Things ALWAYS change
Things always change. We were talking
earlier about hey, it is going to be 2010 soon and this is back in 1997.
It was like, 'No, doing what worked in 1997 isn't going to work
today.' You have got to be current. You have got to stay
on top of all this stuff. You have got to focus on what works. You don't need to get distracted by Twitter and Facebook unless you
are in the relationship business. If you are selling products,
and it is like I have got Facebook ads and I have got stuff on Twitter,
I am not making any money doing that. I am making money putting
content on the web, and Google is finding it and sending me traffic.
I am making money by buying profitable ads for the keywords that my
customers use to find what I am searching for.
You don't need to get distracted by Twitter and Facebook unless you are in the relationship business. If you are selling products, and it is like I have got Facebook ads and I have got stuff on Twitter, I am not making any money doing that. I am making money putting content on the web, and Google is finding it and sending me traffic. I am making money by buying profitable ads for the keywords that my customers use to find what I am searching for.
In September 2003, my dad died.
He was out on his farm. He was working with his dogs and just
out of the blue, he had a heart attack. It devastated our family. And this would probably qualify as catastrophic event number three if
we thought about it that way. But it wasn't business.
And this would probably qualify as catastrophic event number three if we thought about it that way. But it wasn't business.
My brother stepped up. He was
pretty much already running things anyway, but my dad was making the
decisions. I mean it was his company. It was his name on
the sign. It was like anything major, he had to sign off on it,
the way we approached customers, our marketing materials. He wanted
the company to be done a certain way. And my brother stepped up
and he did a fantastic job. And for the first six months, everything
Year 7: Store vs. Web
You can't tell by looking at this
graph, but this is year 7. And look at the Dog Store. That
is a long time ago. I feel like I am up in the airplane above
Raciavik [sp] flying. $250,000. Look at the scale of this
graph. This is monthly sales.
You can't tell by looking at this,
but this was like the worst three or four months of my life, because
here it is happening again. Everything is changing. We were
growing, growing, growing. We were hiring new people. We
got a bigger building, blah, blah, blah, and something changed.
I mean our sales, they didn't tank, but we are still not growing,
and we had some months that were off, and we had new product.
I mean there was not reason that this should have been happening.
Looking back now, it is really easy to see.
More & More Competition
In 2004, which is when this was, every
single one of our competitors who used to be offline, they are now online.
And every single one of our competitors who was online had a shopping
cart. And every single one of those guys was selling all the exact
same products that we were selling with the same pictures and the same
descriptions from the manufacturers. So you had 1,000 people competing
with you, whereas, I would say four or five years before, you might
have had 50 people. And then three or four years before that,
you had one guy.
But we had a secret weapon
But we had a secret weapon. We
had to come up with something that they couldn't copy. Anytime
we would do something, the competitors would copy it. Anytime
the competitors would do something, we would copy them. I mean
we were neck and neck. It was driving us nuts.
Selling Stuff & Self-Proclaimed
And one thing about my dad, he had
two philosophies that I just would bump heads with him endlessly about.
Selling stuff and self-proclaimed experts. He would prefer to
offer you products in a store that you could come in and buy them if
you wanted to, but he wasn't going to put a hard sell on you.
'Here is the display. Here is the cash register. I am
reading the newspaper. If you want to buy something, let me know.' Kind of old school.
Kind of old school.
So my dad was against being pushy and
selling stuff, whereas, I like somebody who actually knows what is going
on. And I don't mind being sold. I know he is working
for a living. I know that guy is on commission. I know he
is trying to make a buck. But if he wants me as a customer next
time, he better take care of me. He knows what I don't know.
He knows what my options are.
The second part was self-proclaimed
experts. My dad knew more about selling dog supplies, and about
dogs, and dog training, and hunting, and that kind of stuff than anybody
I have ever met. And he would never ever say that he was an expert. He was so humble and he just wouldn't say he was an expert, and he
was. And we missed out because of that.
He was so humble and he just wouldn't say he was an expert, and he was. And we missed out because of that.
On the other hand, I am probably from
the other side of the family. If I don't know something, I will
tell you I don't know it. There is a lot about online marketing
and selling online that I don't know about. I don't know about
Amazon. I don't know about EBay. PPC, I got my little
foot in that, OK? But if I tell you I do know something, you better
believe me. If I know something, and I believe it, and I believe
it to be true, I mean I will fly all the way from Mississippi to Iceland
to tell people about it.
And so we made the decision to change
the way we did on the website. We had a secret weapon. My
brother Steve Snell, supermodel, holding a shotgun up here on the cover
of Pheasants Forever magazine, believe it or not. I was like,
'Steve, they didn't put your face on there buddy. Why?
What is wrong with that?'
Yeah. He is not even up yet.
Let's call and wake him up.
Steve and Dog
My brother is more of a dog expert
than my dad was. Steve has 13 dogs. He has trained, and
hunted with, and lived with, and gone swimming with, and cared for dozens
and dozens of these dogs. And he loves these dogs. He loves
them more than he loves me.
Steve in the Field
If it is hunting season, he is in the
field. He is hunting. He is out in Texas. He is out
in Montana. He is in the field doing research and development.
He tells his wife, 'I have to, honey! It is the job!'
Steve Photo Montage
Here are pictures from a Texas trip
I went out there and took. I created content for Google.
I don't know if ya'll have ever heard about that, but it is important.
He is talking the whole time. I am recording stuff. I got
Steve and Sam
Here he is with Sam. Steve does
unofficial product development consulting for these companies, because
Steve will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.
The engineers selling these very complex systems love Steve, because
man, they get what they need. He says, 'This sucks. This
switch needs to be put on the other side because you can't reach it.
I was in the Dakotas and it was 20 degrees and the wind was blowing
and I dropped it because it hurt. It didn't fit in my hand right.
You need to change this. Your competitors are doing a better job
at that.' He is in the field. He knows more about selling
dog collars than anybody I know.
People buy from People
Why don't we put ALL this on the
I was talking to Steve about this,
and I said, 'Hey, why don't we put all this on the web?'
I mean he talks about this stuff nonstop. The other thing I didn't
say a minute ago, he is great on the phone. I mean he may be rude
to these manufacturers, but man, if you are a customer, and you have
a dog, and you are like Steve, and you are one of his buddies the second
you talk to him on the phone, I mean he wants to hear what your problems
are and he wants to give you suggestions as far as what you need to
get. He is not pushy at all. He lays out your options.
He says what is best for you and your dog.
And we decided to put this on the web.
We put Steve's 13 dogs on the web and we put this training collars
buyer's guide. On this, we had a 50% increase in conversions.
When somebody comes to my website and they come in on this page, they
are 50% more likely to buy than if they just came in on a category page
for the same exact product. Man, I say that in e-commerce conferences
and people get up and leave and go make buyer's guides. I mean
that is big, big money if you sell stuff online that is complicated
and needs information.
We make these comparison charts.
Steve actually picks the products for specific purposes, and he actually
lays out, 'This is what you need to buy if you are training a yard
dog, a fu-fu dog. If you are training a big running birddog to go hunt
quail out of Texas, you need one of these long-range two mile collars.'
And it is really difficult, but when
I am buying a coat or something, I don't know what I don't know.
I don't know what features are important and what features are the
marketing department getting excited over some new technology or something.
I don't know what I need to know.
Here is the detail on what you want
to do with your dog determines what you are training your dog with.
What collar do you want to buy? And none of this is like super-high
technology. This is HTML. If I can code it, you can code
it. You don't need an engineer to do this. I was an art
major. I built this in notepad. That is a picture that I
took, or that Kathy took, and that is simple HTML. Your web person
who works for you can do that.
How to choose a pet containment
Here is how to choose a pet containment
system, an invisible fence, to keep your little fu-fu dog from running
off and getting eaten by the coyotes. We have a problem with that.
I don't know if ya'll got coyotes out here or not. Artic foxes
Here is a review where he talks about
the Garmin Astro, which is a dog tracking collar. It is kind of
like analytics for birddogs. You can keep up with your dog.
The other thing I want to push is you
need to leverage how you do business to the web, how you take care of
customers. In this, Steve says, 'Hey, I don't expect it to
come back like new. I want you to use it, and if it doesn't
work, send it back and we will take care of you.'
And we don't have a high number of
returns. We might get 1 1/2 %, 2% maybe. And these are pretty
complicated products to use. But we just say, 'Look. We
will take care of you.' Buying over the Internet is scary. They don't know us. They do because we are personal on the website.
They don't know my competitors at all. I mean my competitors
charge you'If you get free shipping to get a product, if you ship
it back to them because you don't like it, they charge you to ship
it back. But then again, they charge you for the free shipping
that they had to pay to send you the thing in the first place.
They don't know us. They do because we are personal on the website. They don't know my competitors at all. I mean my competitors charge you'If you get free shipping to get a product, if you ship it back to them because you don't like it, they charge you to ship it back. But then again, they charge you for the free shipping that they had to pay to send you the thing in the first place.
I mean we actually call the people
on our telephone lines dog product experts, because they are dog product
experts. They know what you need if you got a problem with a barking
dog, or if your dog is running off, or whatever. I don't know
if any of you all do, but this works internationally and we will be
happy to take care of ya'll.
We ship stuff out fast. We have
a 7,500 square foot warehouse. We have about 15 employees at Gun
Dog. I mean if somebody places an order at 3:30 in the afternoon,
it is going on the UPS truck at 4 o'clock. I mean our supply
chain is like from me to you over there.
We also tell people why they should
shop with us. We have our guarantees. We will take care
of you. If you need help, give us a holler. But this is
what you guys want to see right here. And I am showing stuff I
am not supposed to be showing, so ya'll need to forget these numbers,
and please don't blog this stuff.
Shhh. Don't tell! Momma
is going to kill me. Christian said you need to motivate a nation.
I am like, man. I just want to motivate one guy, one person.
I appreciate you guys inviting me to come speak to you guys, because
I know where you guys are. I know the situation that a lot of
ya'll are in. But you individually are not responsible for the
entire situation. You are responsible for making sure that your
situation is covered.
And you can do this online. You
can do this. If you have a product that people want to buy and
you are interested in taking care of them as customers and doing a good
job, not just showing up and making a buck, if you are interested in
taking care of people, you can do this online.
And this graph shows that. I
want to get a t-shirt of that graph and I want to wear it everyday and
say, 'Look at this! This is what I did. Rob Snell in Starkville,
Mississippi, the poorest state in the United States.' I graduated
from Mississippi State University. You know that top 250 colleges
in the US book? I don't think'Look at Starkville. It
is a cow college. And I am proud of Mississippi State, but you
know, it is the 50th state in the union in almost everything
you don't want to be 50th in.
And we are remote. It takes me
two hours to drive to go shopping. I mean there are 25,000 people
who live in our city. We live out in the boonies and I love it.
It is quiet, it is nice, it is clean, it is green, it is natural.
But this is what you can do. You don't have people in between you and your customers. It
allows you to be personal like you can be in a boutique, but to anybody
in the world. You guys can do this.
You don't have people in between you and your customers. It allows you to be personal like you can be in a boutique, but to anybody in the world. You guys can do this.
Look at that. $700,000. Now
we haven't hit that yet for a month. Ya'll gotta be quiet
about this. Keep this on the DL, OK? I mean Pet Smart isn't
even a wrinkle in our equation.
And look at that line. That is
when we started being very helpful, is the word I like to use.
My dad would say pushy. We suggest solutions to people's problems.
We say, 'If your dog is barking, buy this. If you are afraid
your dog is going to run off, get that.'
Look at the vector on that. That
is nuts. I am not a technical person. I was an art major. Like I said, my Icelandic isn't as good as it used to be, but I think
somebody said earlier today that you need to hire experts, and he is
absolutely right. When you get to the point where it is above
your pay grade, you need to hire experts. But I did all our stuff.
I am still such a control freak, I still do most of our own stuff ourself.
It is very difficult for me to turn this stuff lose. You can do
this kind of stuff.
Like I said, my Icelandic isn't as good as it used to be, but I think somebody said earlier today that you need to hire experts, and he is absolutely right. When you get to the point where it is above your pay grade, you need to hire experts. But I did all our stuff. I am still such a control freak, I still do most of our own stuff ourself. It is very difficult for me to turn this stuff lose. You can do this kind of stuff.
All right. Seven things I want
you to take away from my presentation today. I am going to have
this up on Robsnell.com, my website. I have got tons of free information
about how to sell online. So many people helped us make it when
we were in trouble. People taught us stuff. You know how
they say, 'When the student is ready, the teacher appears?' It seems that way in my life all the time. I mean people helped
us, and so that is why I am giving this information away. So,
sshh! Don't tell anybody now.
It seems that way in my life all the time. I mean people helped us, and so that is why I am giving this information away. So, sshh! Don't tell anybody now.
Get online now!
Get online now. If you don't
have a website, get online. If you don't have your toe in the
water, you are not doing anything.
E-commerce makes it easy for
folks to give you money
But e-commerce is the way to go.
If you just have a website and you are not selling anything, if you
don't have a way for people to pay you, get some sort of way for people
to pay you. I mean you saw those stats as far as some of these
big, big, big brands, what they were getting as far as the percentage
of orders that were now coming over their Internet.
This isn't a get rich quick scheme.
Like I said, I don't want to discourage anybody from going online
and trying something. If you saw the list of things that I have
failed at online, things that I have tried and not made it, I don't
have enough slides to show you all that. You have just got to
When Customers are looking to buy
what you sell, show up.
When a customer is looking to buy what
you sell, show up. I know that is really basic, but you want to
be where they are. And right now, it is Google. And next year,
it may be Facebook, but right now it is not. You can spend a lot
of time wasting time chatting with people on Facebook. If you
are in the relationship business, if you are selling real estate'a
friend of mine got a $100,000 client for his advertising agency'
Uh-oh. I guess I am done. It is time for me to wake up in Mississippi.
It is time for me to wake up in Mississippi.
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And look. You are your own best secret weapon. Leverage
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Conclusion: Sometimes the
worst thing is the best thing ever.
Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to you is the best thing ever. And that is me. Thanks.
How E-commerce Saved Our Family Business Rob Snell, Co-owner Gun Dog Supply [email_address]
|by Rob Snell|