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

 

Top Trends: KETO as an eCommerce Business

Google reports that the top trending health question of 2018 was people looking for information on the KETO Diet. And according to Google Trends, it has been at its peak popularity since the start of 2019.This trend makes any products related to KETO hot commodities in the eCommerce world.

Why is the KETO diet so popular?

The benefits of being KETO are quite wide, especially since at its core you’re burning fat as opposed to carbs for energy. According to recent studies some benefits may

Include:

  • Steady weight loss
  • Increased levels of good HDL Cholesterol
  • Reduced Blood Sugar & Insulin
  • Therapeutic for several brain disorders such as epilepsy

What does the KETO diet do for you?

Besides dropping weight and getting healthy, the ketogenic diet allows you to truly experience a boost in energy as your liver produces more ketones that act as a substitute for glucose for the brain.

Essentially, it’s like putting your brain on stevia over sugar. While counter-acting a lot of the negative effects of high-carb consumption, KETO diets actually are fairly simple to take on as it allows you to still eat meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, and more. You can even have some carbs but you want to keep those to a minimum.

How does this affect you and your business?

Besides the health benefits, the ketogenic market is looking at a growth of an accelerated 5% annually which means by 2022, the market is estimated at a $400 billion worth. As time has shown, the health market grows and is profitable. And as the ketogenic market continues to grow more products will be available, maybe even one that you’ve created.

What should you do about it?

If you were thinking of going into the health market, while other diets and health offers will work, KETO products are still proving to an incredible growth opportunity according to Josh Noble, Director of Business Development at ShipOffers, who has said: “Not many things have caught fire as the KETO Diet in my three plus years in the industry.”

 

This multi-billion dollar industry is an excellent example of a trend that can lead to a successful eCommerce business.

 

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.

 

3 Keys to Living Your Best Life Now – Kevin Stark

In 2016, I was working at a San Francisco-based software company. It was a “normal” job, typical 9-5. It had great benefits but the downsides were straightforward – I couldn’t take time off to do what I wanted, like play golf or attend my kid’s activities. At least, without worry that I’d get a call from my boss.

One day, I had a conversation with my neighbor, Doug Roberts (of ShipOffers) and we started sharing what we both did for a living. He mentioned he was partners in a products and logistics company with Tony Grebmeier. That conversation piqued my interest, and was the day I was introduced to internet marketing.

I saw an incredible opportunity for me to be successful because of the unique blend of my technical background and other skills I had picked up. I wasn’t in a position to just take the leap full-time — I had a family, mortgage, bills, etc — but I started to explore the path.

Identifying the right partners early on was crucial to my success. I looked for vendors that were true partners, who cared about the longevity of my success and not just their own. My first venture was with a Green Coffee product, and unfortunately it wasn’t really taking off. I talked to the team at ShipOffers, and they immediately said; “Let’s fix this”. Tony helped me make the connections I needed to get the business off the ground. That was the turning point for me.

I didn’t initially recognize how important connections would be in developing a successful business. Networking really pushed me outside of my comfort zone. After my first show, I quickly learned that every time I went to a conference, I would meet someone who could open a door that wouldn’t otherwise be opened or solve a problem I didn’t even know I had.

To those looking to get started or grow their business, my advice is to work with reliable vendors who have your best interest at heart and to cultivate a strong network.

So if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably asking, “Now what?”

How do you achieve the success you dreamed of at the start of your journey? Many entrepreneurs struggle with “shiny object syndrome.” They jump from idea to idea and project to project rather than focusing on the drivers that will move their business toward success. However, others have adopted personal traits that allow them to harness their vision and develop a highly successful business. We asked the growth managers at ShipOffers about the most vital traits they’ve observed among the successful business owners they work with. Their response?

 

Keep your word.

 

This is plain and simple: if you don’t keep your word, you will lose credibility. It’s easy to make a promise, but if you stop and think before you make a commitment, you’ll maintain integrity. These four traits will help you do just that:

  • Be organized! Check your calendar for scheduling clashes and review project lists to make sure you have the time to fulfill a new request. This way, when you say, “I can do it by next Wednesday,” you know that timeframe is reasonable. It’s far better to push a deadline out than to miss a promised date.
  • Be motivated! Don’t just agree to something for the sake of pleasing others. Make sure it’s something you believe in and can get behind. If you say yes just to be agreeable, you won’t have the conviction to get it done well or on time. Make sure you ask questions to understand the need behind the initial request. You may find a deeper need that you can relate to.
  • Be honest! Just tell the truth – if you can’t do it, don’t say you will. Turning down a request may feel like you’re letting others down, and no one wants to do that. But it’s far better to say you can’t do it than to give someone false hope and then disappoint them.
  • Be ethical! When you miss a deadline because you were busy, it doesn’t just affect that project; it affects your reputation as a whole. Be guided by your values and principles, and do as you say you will. Despite our best efforts, sometimes we will disappoint people. When you do – no excuses! Recognize the disappointment and apologize. If you own it, people will give you the benefit of the doubt next time.

 

Be consistent.

 

Running a business can often feel like a never-ending fire drill, darting from place to place to address the hottest issue. Use these simple ways to slow down and take control of your day.

  • Time-blocking. Review your key tasks for each day, week, and month, then schedule time blocks for each of them. For example, set aside two hours every morning for client calls, then one hour in the afternoon for budgeting, and another two hours for special projects. Set aside three hours on the first of each month for business planning. If you schedule each day, you’ll become more consistent in completing tasks. Look back at what you didn’t complete and carry it over to the next day.
  • Establish systems. Establishing a consistent process for completing tasks will make the company run more efficiently and give you a truly repeatable business strategy. Your company will be process-dependent; not people-dependent.
  • Accountability. Everyone needs help. We entrepreneurs can often benefit from mentoring from others that propels our personal and professional development. Consider a mentor, mastermind group, or accountability partner who can help you stay on track, overcome challenges, and hone your strengths.

 

Cultivate a vision.

 

Your vision is a picture of your future that generates passion. What do you want your business to be one year from now? Three years? Ten? If you can paint a vivid picture, you’ll have a clear focus that will steer you in the right direction. Keep your vision next to your bed or on your desk and review it often to make sure you stay on the right track in every choice you make.

Your vision will help:

  • Guide your decisions.
  • Catalyze long-term thinking.
  • Maintain balance in your life.

 

Check out Ryan Levesque’s new book, Choose! This book helps readers avoid making the single biggest mistake in starting a business and guides them through answering the all-important question: What type of business should I start?

Grab a copy with FREE shipping at www.shipoffers.com/choose while supplies last!

 

Direct Response Solutions: A People-Centered Approach

Discovering the direct response industry.

Travis Gomez, current VP of Business at Cambridge Business, studied business in college. While there, Gomez secured an internship with Cambridge Commerce. “Our primary focus at the time was in the echeck business,” he notes.

Eventually, he took on a full-time role. “As we kept our options open, we got into the direct response infomercial space,” Gomez says. That space will quickly test whether an idea will move the proverbial needle, he asserts.

Keeping merchants in compliance as they scale up.

“Often, what happens is a merchant begins to scale quickly, and once you exceed about $100,000 in processing a month on an aggregated account like Stripe or PayPal, it goes into a different category, and those have to be fully underwritten,” Gomez explains. “It’s just like having a real merchant account, but it’s still a Stripe or PayPal merchant account; not yours.”

People don’t always realize this. “[PayPal or Stripe] may not have cared when you were running $15,000 a month in sales, but when you start processing a quarter million dollars, they’re going to look at what you’re doing very carefully,” he emphasizes. “People think that they can just run anything there, but if you read through their restricted brevity business models, you actually can’t.” “This is where you may seek to obtain your own merchant processing account from a reputable provider,” he notes.

Designing pragmatic, people-focused solutions.

Entrepreneurs turn to Cambridge because of the way they work with people. “We look for vendor partners that have the same type of mentality and values,” Gomez emphasizes. “We look for clients that share the same kind of attitude and values. They are in it for the long haul and not just a quick buck. When we do that, it’s so much more fun to come to work.”

How would Gomez respond to someone just diving into the realm of ecommerce today? “I’d be his fan. I’m a fan of our clients. I’d work with him to help find pragmatic solutions that fit his needs. I love spending time with people to help them understand what their objectives are, both short-term and long-term,” he affirms. “I enjoy designing plans and strategies on how to get them from where they’re at now to where they want to go.”

What makes a good partnership in ecommerce?

“It’s having somebody who’s helping walk you through what to do in the midst of chaos or tell you honestly, ‘That’s what I’d want,’” says Gomez. “That’s what we look for in our partners, from fulfillment to manufacturers to customer service. Many people undervalue service because service is not just coming back with an answer. It’s anticipating what the need is,” he notes.

Quality service may address a client’s pain points before they even become aware of them. In terms of back-end support, Cambridge Commerce strives to provide streamlined solutions for clients that allow them to focus on the core elements of business management. “I love when the client can focus on the marketing elements and the way they’re running and operating their business.

They shouldn’t have to worry about the vendor partners or having to babysit a fulfillment company or management company or not getting the inventory report,” says Gomez. He describes the frustrations that have brought clients to Cambridge Commerce. Some clients were getting their product on backorder. “They’re waiting for their product to come out. They’ve got orders that are coming in; they’ve set aside or held transactions. The systems are going to charge the order and hope it comes in on time.” “Those things can get you in a lot of trouble. It frustrates customers,” Gomez asserts. “That inevitably is going to lead to disputes and chargebacks for products that didn’t come in time.

Our partnership with ShipOffers just makes it so easy because [customers] don’t even have to worry about that entire element of their business. Everything’s taken care of.”

 

Travis Gomez, VP of Business, Cambridge Commerce

Learn more about Cambridge Commerce or get the conversation started at www.cambridgecommerce.com!