UST: Leading the Field of Supplement Manufacturing

Meet two key staff members of UST: Adam Miller and Dr. Michael Felley. They’ll tell you how their zeal for supplements manufacturing initiated a life-changing journey.

A winding path to a passion for supplements.

“I actually started in direct response, buying print ads and running radio to host real estate seminars,” says Miller. With a background working in real estate in Florida, he joined a direct response call center when the economy tanked.

While going through another transition away from the call center, a former competitor connected him with UST. He loved UST’s emphasis on meeting customers face to face. It felt like he’d stumbled onto a fast-growing family business.

Coming to UST benefited him on a personal level, too, as his health had reached a low point. “About ten years ago, I weighed about 75 pounds more than I do now,” he says. “I kind of went down a fitness journey. Coming to UST and being able to formulate and work on products that I was passionate about was amazing.”

What sets UST apart from the crowd?

“Our customers are our lifeblood,” Miller asserts. They’re committed to full transparency and always having their customers’ back. “We have a handful of billion-dollar clients, which is kind of rare for a company of our size. It comes down to their peace of mind because if you hit it big in this industry, the FDA is going to come knocking – and UST has a spotless track record.” “In fact, on the last two FDA visits, they had no recommendations, which is almost unheard of,” Miller says.

World-class experts also set UST apart from the competition. Dr. Michael Felley came to the industry via a career in medicine. He’d previously worked as the assistant CEO at Ranger Medical in Denver. Word of a position at UST immediately intrigued him.

The three on-site laboratories particularly impressed him – he knew he’d be producing the best-quality product. He read voraciously, absorbing every peer-reviewed article he could find. “I just got hooked,” Dr. Felley says. “I don’t know everything. But I can point you in the right direction and give you a quick answer as to what you need to put into your formula.” Sometimes clients come to him with only a vision; others have a rudimentary formula. They might need help making the active ingredients more absorbable or ensuring they’re at safe levels.

Supplement manufacturers often have a “fingers-crossed” attitude, Dr. Felley says. That’s not good enough. “That’s another good thing about having a doc on board,” Dr. Felley points out.

Who is UST’s ideal customer?

“The ideal clients are serious marketers who want to do things the right way,” Miller says. UST’s founders launched the company 20 years ago “to help the little guy who had the big idea that couldn’t hit the minimums of the big boys,” explains Miller. “We’re still true to that.”

Their 345 staff formulators are adept at helping clients hit their price point for their dream formula. Sometimes lowering the volume of active ingredients by adding ingredients that get them into the bloodstream faster reduces costs. “Obviously, the goal is to help them scale [and] keep the cost down so that they can build a business with lots of recurring volume.”

What are some red flags in a manufacturing lab?

Many labs drive prices down by leaving out vital controls. UST cuts no corners. “We have the nation’s leading botanists literally just looking at samples under a microscope to make sure that the plant parts are what they say,” Miller says. “Every single thing that comes in, we test.”

They’ll test a sample to ensure it’s safe, uncontaminated, and at the appropriate potency level. “After we blend and encapsulate it, we retest again,” Miller notes. “We’ve never missed a test as well. There’s never a time where we go, ‘Well, we’re running late on this product to ship it through, and we’ll just cross our fingers that everything went well.”

With 40 of 180 employees in the quality department, quality control is UST’s primary strength. It even has its own building. In fact, Miller says, “Most manufacturers are going away from quality as a business model. We’re one of the very few who are actually going the opposite direction – we’re making very large capital investments into quality because we want to separate ourselves from the pack.”

Free Up Your Time While Gaining Traction

Marketing Tips For E-Commerce Entrepreneurs

Perhaps your sales have begun to plateau. You’re still doing steady business, but you only have so many hours in the day. How can you boost your sales volume without devoting time you don’t have to marketing?

It’s time to hone your sales strategy with this three-pronged plan.

Up-sell and cross-sell to existing customers.

Your most valuable customers are the ones you already have. You could spend a lot of time and money on new acquisitions, but consider this: some simple upsell and cross-sell systems have the potential to raise your revenue faster.

Don’t we all love a system we can set up quickly and reap the benefits of for a very long time? Up-selling is offering more to people who already know they can trust your brand. If any of your customers don’t know you offer a premium product or a related product, you’re the only one to blame! Be sure that every product is tied to a relevant upsell.

Don’t have a premium product that’s an obvious upsell from a lower-tier product? Create one. Expand your catalog.

  • Use a higher-quality material to produce a deluxe version of an existing product.
  • Add a bulk size option.
  • Find out the one thing customers wish an existing product could do and create a new and improved model that does exactly that.

Cross-selling is equally important. Accessorize your offer.

  • Have a weight-loss product? Pair it with exercise equipment or an info product to help  with home workouts.
  • Have a skin-care product? Offer a facial scrub, mask, or toner.
  • Have a kitchen appliance? Pair it with a cookbook, cooking utensils, or a related accessory.

Remember – your bottom line is only as valuable as the offers you make.

Popularize your brand on social media.

Instagram has introduced shoppable posts, and Facebook features shops and a marketplace. Ignoring the millions of active users on social media will lead to a massive loss for an ecommerce store. Many of the tools you already utilize can easily integrate with these systems. If you use them strategically, you can reap big rewards. Here are a few key pointers:

  • Design your Instagram and Facebook accounts to look completely different from what other companies are doing – from the content you post to the features you implement.

These platforms make retargeting with advertising a piece of cake.

  • Incorporate 2018’s hottest trend of using Facebook’s messenger bot for cart abandonment, subscription reminders, and upsells, and you’ll have automated a massive portion of sales work.
  • Leverage your influencers. Use visual search to spot that celeb who wore your product; ask that Twitter maven to write a guest post.
  • Share content that delivers value in and of itself. Gone are the days of just slapping up an ad – now, educational posts, infographics, and short videos that both entertain and inform are all the rage.

Get segmenting.

Simply capturing emails isn’t enough. Drip campaign automation won’t cut it anymore, either. Your customers are getting bombarded with email and text notifications every

minute. If you want to rise above the white noise, you need to speak directly to them. How can you do that without spending all day on it?

  • Be sure your email and text marketing is segmented and automated by purchase history, products viewed, cart abandonment, personal information (allowing you to send, say, happy birthday emails), and types of feedback.
  • Leverage the most powerful but overlooked customer responses. Did a customer have an amazing experience and leave you five stars? Great! Maybe they’re a good fit for an ambassador or influencer program. (If you don’t have one, launch one and invite them in!)
  • Did they only have a two-star experience? Make it up to them. A few discount codes and a little extra love from a customer satisfaction team could recover your customer and take them from “meh” to “must buy.”

The best part? Once the automation is set up, your selling happens on auto-pilot. Your customers will get a personalized response, which will keep them coming back for more.

Have some tips of your own? Submit them here: shipoffers.com/ecommercemarketingtips

 

The ClickBank Advantage for Strategic Sellers – Thomas McMahon

If you work in the ecommerce space, ClickBank is no stranger to you. Meet Thomas McMahon, Business Development Manager with ClickBank, who will give us a sneak peek of what’s on the horizon for ClickBank.

Getting His Start In Direct Marketing

“I’m from a super small town in Hope, Idaho with a population of just over 100 people,” says McMahon. He got his start in the digital world at a link-building firm called Page One Power.

“After three and a half years with them, I joined the powerhouse team at ClickBank as an account manager,” he says. “I thought I knew about internet marketing and SEO and realized that I only had a sliver of internet marketing knowledge under my belt.” He actively built his knowledge over the following year and then moved into a business development role.

ClickBank: An Insider’s Perspective

What does ClickBank do?

“At the core, we’re a merchant processor with a robust affiliate platform built on top of it,” explains McMahon. “We handle a lot of the unsexy back- end work. Without us, you’re tracking affiliates yourself and paying out affiliates yourself.”

They’ve been in the online retail world for 20 years. “We’re kind of in there with eBay and Amazon.” They eliminate a lot of the tedious legwork of online selling for a business owner. “You can have a $2 million sales day as a single vendor and be just fine,” he says. “The best types of clients are the ones that have the resources to do it right and do it quickly,” says McMahon.

Physical Space, Digital Company

“We are built on digital, but roughly five to six years ago we jumped into the physical space. We help you get qualified for a physical or even a digital offer.”

How do they do this? “We look at all the compliance for the FTC and FDA,” McMahon explains. Having a physical product frequently creates higher average order values and better payouts to affiliates. “Your margins might be lower, but the average order value can be higher,” he continues.

Simply adding an element such as a printed book into your funnel can get you started. A tangible item like a book or supplement can play a key role in your overall content strategy because it will be seen, remembered, and even shared.

Streamlining the Physical Product

“If you don’t know how to sell, or if you’ve never sold a supplement, you don’t know the hoops to jump through,” he explains. That poses a tremendous hurdle for newer sellers.

Clickbank’s partnership with ShipOffers has not only provided the benefits of ensuring compliance for affiliates; it’s also dramatically simplified the process of on-boarding new

physical products, says McMahon.

Once you know your product has a market, the partnership with ShipOffers will help get it into the hands of that market as quickly as possible. “It’s a very tactical and strategic

advantage to have a partnership where we’ve pre-approved large swaths of white label supplements,” he emphasizes.

When someone wants to offer a product through ShipOffers, all that remains to be done is to ensure that the labels meet compliance standards and show the product name and that no one has drastically altered the facts panel. According to McMahon, through this partnership, many entrepreneurs can launch a product in as little as a week or two as long as their copy is compliant with regulations.

ClickBank’s Journey to Continued Success

“We’ve got a lot on our roadmap to improve our platform,” says McMahon. “We keep rolling out new features that our existing clients have been asking us about! We have an

improved UI coming down the pipeline. We want to make sure that our affiliates are as high-converting as possible. In the industry itself, we’re seeing much good wind at our back right now.”

Who Benefits from working with ClickBank?

“If it’s physical or digital, high-ticket or low-ticket, anything that can run on a rev share base, it’s worth looking into connecting with ClickBank. If there’s a way to work together, it can be an excellent driver to your bottom-line profit margins.”

 

Learn more about how to get started with ClickBank by visiting their website: www.clickbank.com.