EPISODE
7

How to Use Quizzes to Acquire and Convert Customers at Scale (with Phil Kyprianou)

with
Phil Kyprianou

In the last episode of the Minds of Ecommerce Podcast, Gareth Everard, co-founder of Rockwell Razors, Keyto, and a few other eCommerce brands, will share how he calculates and utilizes the lifetime value of his customers to make paid ads ultra profitable and a key driver of profit for his business.

In episode #7, Phil Kyprianou, founder of GothRider, shares how he’s been using quizzes as a traffic acquisition conversion strategy that has been adding millions of dollars to his ecommerce company’s bottom line.

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Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

All right, Phil. Welcome to the show. Thanks so much for accepting the invite.

As you know, on this Minds of E-commerce podcast, it's all about diving straight into your business and really dissecting one key strategy, so our listeners can get the most out of you, out of it, right away, and they can learn from it.

So to get some context, tell us a bit more. When did you launch Goth Rider?

Phil Kyprianou:

So I launched GothRider in 2015. Basically, it almost came by accident because I was already selling T-shirts online for a while, drop shipping stuff from China and things like that. And at a certain point, I was selling biker jewelry randomly. I mean, I didn't have any intention of going into that niche or anything like that.

So selling rings, selling necklaces, and one day I found out a product that was selling very good. And I said, "Okay, that's crazy. There's something happening right there." And then later on I tested another thing, another thing, until I found a watch. And that watch just went like crazy. I mean I sold around 4,000 watches in six weeks. I said, "Okay, now, it is time for me to move everything from my general store and add this on a separate store where everything goes together." So I could have rings, side bags, skulls, things that were much more related to bikers or people who love badass stuff. And there was no idea of building a brand at all around it, it was just like putting things together. Then figure out... I mean the store was continually growing kind of substantially, and I said, "I might try to start building more branded." I added more branded t-shirts with the logo and things like that. Got a look... very good attraction there. And I said, "You know what, now it's much more the time to focus on that."

I still had the other store, always testing new things in the background, but I was getting to it. The brand got me into it much more than it was a part of my plan. I mean, I didn't have any plan at that time. And the plan really came later. And I used multiple different strategies, basically, to acquire customers. For sure, there was all the basic traffic things like free plus shipping, so I could sell things for super cheap and only make people pay for shipping.

Then after that I was looking always for some sort of way of attracting people in a very cheap or a keen way to get people fast as I can so I can put them in the funnel of selling to them and all this kind of stuff. That went super good for a while because at that time the whole e-commerce industry was not very competitive, especially in that niche. We were very few people admiring on these people, on these customers, pushing them stuff and all this kind of thing. So there was no competition, and a lot of people couldn't source the way that we were doing and the price we were doing. So we were staying almost under the radar.

And probably at the end of 2016, things started to change. Facebook started to increase their pricing, we're not getting the same margin, you've got a bunch of people starting to enter this space, drop shipping space, and things like that. In 2017, where things started to work because the ring that I was getting, everybody could get it. So they were selling that probably $15 when I was selling it for $60. So the perceived value and whole thing behind it didn't make sense anymore. So why people would buy from me when they can have for cheaper and all this kind of thing.

So it's really where I started. You know what, I put a lot of effort in that, I don't want to put it away. We paid for trademark also at this time. So we had 80 countries that the brand name is [crosstalk 00:05:04] re-market. So I decided to do a twist on the brand. It took me probably two years because right now we're really into the full stage of rebranding stuff to make the plan work basically. And we went through a couple of stuff because we had to test our supply chain, our logistics. Are we going to continue business in China? And that was a very big decision for us because the main problem was, again, getting copied very fast. So you can get the mold copy very fast on anything you can get, and finally you find your stuff on Alibaba and AliExpress. That's one thing we didn't want to do. And then after that, it's all the quality. The insurance of quality that your product that will get to the people in a fashionably manner, and everything that goes around also. So that was also a very big decision for us.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

It's more than e-commerce. It's sort of you really building it into brand.

Phil Kyprianou:

Exactly.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

Now it's not just how it started. Now it's really building into something much bigger.

Phil Kyprianou:

Exactly.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

And it's something that, a few years into it, you've also achieved that really quickly if we look also at comparables of other brands who's done that.

Phil Kyprianou:

I think the reason why is, seeing the evolution on our e-commerce is turning out, our social media is turning out. So that helped us a lot. And also, I'm going to tell the truth here, all the customer we had just before the rebranding was totally shit. Okay? Because they were cheap people basically. It's not because they were bad people. They didn't want to pay more. These kind of customers, they like really stuff that is accessible, they want fast fashion, they are not willing to pay. And that's basically not the type of customers that we're looking for right now. We're looking for people that have much more appreciation, that will take care of their jewelry that is a part of them, that is part of an emotional part of them. And that's one thing we're building now with the brand is each frame want to give this personal aspect.

So we built the one that is called, "Jesus Skull Memento Mori" and it's all about death, and it's a big topic. But it's all about remembering people. You're buying that piece of jewelry to remember the people that were a part of your life, and you want to keep it for you. You want to keep them with you. So it's much more in this type of connection that we're building stuff now than just random stuff that people can buy and don't have any feeling about it.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

So that, I think, that is already an incredible takeaway. Here you started as an e-commerce store, not a brand. It was an e-commerce store, and your customers were just people who didn't really care - they were price shoppers. They were not shoppers that were necessarily looking for something that meant anything to them. They would not be loyal to you either, right? If they found something cheaper on another website that looked similar, they would probably buy it, and who cares about Goth Rider, right? Whereas, now, what you've done is you put more effort into actually attracting your ideal customer, and I'm guessing in the same time, you've been increasing the lifetime value of those customers. And the revenues are going up as well because you're really focusing on the brand and the emotional aspects, and you're really taking time to focus on the product and how it's described. And what it seems like is that you're really listening to your audience as well. Instead of looking at what products can sell, you're listening to your audience, and then turning that into products that can be sold. I think that is super super smart.

I've been following you for a few years now I think, and you've grown Goth Rider pretty fast. Can you give us some juicy stats of some of the success, some of the growth you've had, through strategies you've employed because you definitely have really cool tricks and you know a lot in e-commerce. You were in a Facebook group for Shopify, some of those as well, what are some of the juicy metrics that you can share? And then we'll dive into one strategy that was key for you.

Phil Kyprianou:

Basically, the one thing that changed in terms of our mindset is basically we try to remove any vanity metrics. That's one thing because we found out getting a high conversion rate didn't mean anything if people were not coming back to our site, or if the lifetime value was not there and things like that. So one thing we're looking much more at is wanting to have a good average order value that is profitable. That's one thing that is very important for us because the cost of goods on our things are quite high compared to things made in China because we made everything in Canada, in Montreal, basically. So the cost of labor and things like that is totally not the same. And our margin compared to, even bigger known brands, are kept relatively okay. We don't do thousand percent margin on selling diamonds like Tiffany's does. We're not there at all. We try to keep it as affordable, but also to make the value real there. So that is one thing that is very important.

The other thing also is, like you said, is we have a tight relationship with people. So for us, the other thing is frequency. Frequency is very important in terms of how many times these people will buy with us and for how long they will buy with us. One time is great, but if I can get them two, three times with other stuff, this is where I'm going to be super happy, because it's never about buying. It's about the relationship that I'm creating. I like to treat my customers almost like friends. So how many times I will be able to see them during a year, that's basically the whole idea there.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

I love it! It was really a shift of focus of, "Hey, instead of looking at the metrics that may not matter that much for a business, let's optimize for the metrics that will really drive us to long term success." And like you said, customer lifetime value, frequency, and recency of purchase, those numbers.

Phil Kyprianou:

Exactly. So it's really almost one customer at a time, and since we offer another personal customized jewelry, we have to do a lot of back and forth with them on some of our pieces It's very important that the connection and we have this similar idea, similar atmosphere as well, similar world is very very important. If not, we're just not a good fit. We try to work within good fit. So that's one part of it.

Now, if we're doing, like what you were saying, the more juicy stuff, now the real goal is not to go after super broad audiences. We used to do a lot of quizzes and things like that. We're still doing it, but in a very different way to get much more precise type of audience than it was before. Just getting everywhere, putting that in the big basket and see which one will fit the best. Now it's much more who are we going to fit the best first, then how we can get them in to a world to they love or they connect with the products that we're doing.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

And you've achieved that using quizzes?

Phil Kyprianou:

Yeah, we achieved that using quizzes, and also in the old sequence after. It's much more about the experience-getting. So we're getting a bunch of people up front, then we'll try to get more into conversational content. One thing that we're going to focus a lot on in the upcoming months and year is video. So we want to create much more, not everything about product because that's another thing that we want to get away from, is most of the brand. Sometimes they focus too much on the products, on the quality. They will say, "Oh, this is a beautiful ring. It's 18 karat gold. It's made with this and that." I don't care about that. People really don't care about that. Like I was saying, at first it's the emotional states that you want to bring them, or what the world or universe surround them. So we are going to launch Goth Rider TV. Goth Rider TV would be about what is the world we're gravitating around. We are all about people that love badass stuff. So could be people that do skateboarding, BMX, extreme sports, or tattoo artists that love that kind of thing. People that are doing anything that seems to be extreme, badass.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

It's really reach all their interest and their emotions so they can relate with the brand.

Phil Kyprianou:

Exactly, and also the thing we found out is if you're too narrow about one thing, that's going to be a problem about scaling your thing. So you need to find, again, emotion is easier to scale than a niche, a specific niche. So if we're able to connect the emotion and the badass emotion, let's say, or death emotion or your loved one emotion, it's going to be easier for us to scale it from there. So all the rest of the strategies are much more based on the content. So from already called, like I said, video, for us, is going to be a very big thing. Podcast, probably, that's one thing I would like to bring more, but again, with people that have experience or experimented something that is, again, out of this whole atmosphere, we'll learn.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

That's awesome. So you mentioned quizzes a bit quickly, and I really want to dive into that.

Phil Kyprianou:

Sure.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

So I know you've grown the company using quizzes. Can you give us an idea of how it performs compared to a lot of the other techniques and "the why" you've gone with quizzes? Because, obviously, there's a business advantage, but I'm sure you've seen maybe a lower cost acquisition, tell us more about that.

Phil Kyprianou:

So basically to give you context, I've been doing Lead Generation for probably more than 10 years from insurance companies, mortgage companies and things like that. And at the end, what we found out is that it's not about the type of leads. It's where you get them. What is the behaviour of the platform you're using to gather these people. And by doing a lot of tests and errors, we found out platforms like Facebook will have different users than Google and Pinterest and Instagram and things and that.

Facebook is probably one of the best examples because if you remember, back in 2007 when it became, let's say, public, where it was not only at a university. They made a partnership with Zenga. The whole idea there was to keep people inside the platform as much as possible inside Facebook, and with that they did games. And the old believers of Facebook was based on part of games, but also the believers was, "Okay, I'm going there to see what my friends are doing, what they're looking at" and things like that. They're not on Facebook to buy stuff. That's not the whole idea. It's not the marketplace. It's not the shopping place. It's nothing like that. So, the first touch point for us was important to match it with their best behaviours. And by doing that, we found out that games, and we did contests also. I will tell you, we did contests and contests work, but quizzes worked better. And just because there was no friction at all, you're getting there to play. On contests there's always this back idea of, "Oh, they're going to get my name, and doing this kind of thing with me, and blah, blah blah, and it's not sure, sometimes it's scammy," and things like that. But with quizzes, that's not a thing. You're just playing, you're getting your results. In exchange, you put your email, and "Thank you very much." It's tricky. It's tricky without give this scammy idea that there's something going on in the background.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

Right.

Phil Kyprianou:

So that's really how we do it now. How we tender quiz is very important because you don't want to get too cheap, too fast, and things like that. So all our quizzes are at a minimum of eight steps, eight questions inside because we want to take them as long to qualify them. So I will say, anything above eight steps will always be better because only the best at the end or only the one that you want to gather will complete these quizzes.

Now if they didn't complete, we always try to run a retargeting strategy around that, but we found out that, even when you're doing the retargeting strategy, if they don't complete one time and if they complete the second time, they will not necessarily be your best bet because they were not in this mindset. And the cost of the lead will even be more expensive, something that is even strange for retargeting because normally you think, "Oh, they've seen it one time, they're going to play, it's going to cost less." No, it didn't work like that with quizzes.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

Interesting. So what you're saying is that quizzes really get people into the engagement mindset. So obviously, they get to the website and they have an easy time engaging with your content and then you transition them into a sales funnel. Now, you're saying about eight questions. What happens after those eight questions... What type of result do they get? Do you show them products?

Phil Kyprianou:

Yeah. So, once they've completed the first eight questions, we ask them for their email to get the answers. So once they enter their email, they get the answer. And after that, we're showing them an offer. And first of all, why do we want to get the offer? Because we want to get transactional right away with them. And if we're not getting transactional, it's okay. It's going to be probably later or probably never, but what we've seen is people that are getting transactional right away is the one that we can start selling right after other offers and offering getting them into this buying circle bowl.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

Got it. So, when they get into that result page, generally what type of questions do they answer before they get there? What are they expecting?

Phil Kyprianou:

So basically, we have one of our most popular quizzes It was "What kind of famous biker are you?" let's say. So they have multiple choice from which they could choose, at the end, if they answer that, that, that, and that question, they would end up being that type of biker.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

How do you transition your products into that result page?

Phil Kyprianou:

Basically, it's on the same page, the same page we were showing "This is a one-time offer", "You can get this for 50% off today" with some scarcity and things like that. And at the bottom, you get the answer. At the time, you're seeing this big image with the offer, but they are seeing also the answer to their question. It's almost like a promoted page. It's like you get that, you get the banner, and if you click, you click. If not, you're not. But one thing we found out is getting the offer at the top of the answer was better converting because people were seeing that first, and depending on the size of the screen, sometimes it was taking much more space. And then after, they were seeing, "Oh, here's the answer and the description, the long description of the answer." But they have to scroll down, but they would have seen the offer before. And that was what was driving the most out right away.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

Very interesting. By the way, before I kind of recap this, what tools are you using for that? Do you have any specific tools that you use for your strategy?

Phil Kyprianou:

Basically, there are two tools that I really love when it's time to quiz. There's one called LeadQuizzes. I would say that in 60% or more case scenarios, we'll use them. And there's another one that is called Interact. It's just because there's sometimes some stuff you cannot do in LeadQuizzes. So bounce between one or the other depending on what I need to do. You can even, now, go much more further, do some personalization inside the quizzes. You can do logic branch and things like that. So you can get much deeper, just don't get too complicated when you start it first. Keep that simple. I think that is the easiest way, and as you get more used to it, you can add an extra layer each time. And you will see that if you're getting much more specific with time and you know your audience is where you're going to find that golden nuggets inside.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

That's awesome, Phil. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm thinking there are so many golden nuggets. So first of all, one of your first strategies is to turn your e-commerce store into a real brand, right? So, you're listening to your customers and building a brand around their likes, around their interests. You're doing that with the channel, the video content. Then product development. Then, you're also looking at, in terms of growth to measure your growth, you're narrowing your metrics and really focusing on the metrics that will drive you to long term success. You want your customers to come back and not just one-time buyers, like the drop shipping world is used to seeing. So by pivoting your brand to a real brand, now you're focusing on your customers to come back through frequency, recency and lifetime value. And one of your main engine for growth has been quizzes. So you're saying eight questions, what type of biker are you, at least for your brand. That is very relevant to your audience. People answer a bunch of questions. They get to a result page where they get their result, but they also get products that are related, and you tie in your offer with the result. That generally gets you much cheaper cost of acquisition, and it seems like it's worked really well for you as well. So much value.

And now, of course, I think one of the key aspects, and I want to repeat this because I fell into that trap myself when I was building automations and things like that. We want to start very fancy and very complicated with hardcore personalization, hardcore... very tailored quizzes, but at the end of the day it's sometimes best to keep it simple and then optimize as we go.

Phil Kyprianou:

Exactly. Exactly. And you will learn as well from the data that you will receive at first. And it's what will bring you to do the tweaks that will needs to get to the next step.

Raphael Paulin-Daigle:

All right. Thank you so much, Phil. That's all the time we have and thanks for coming on this show.

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