We recently spoke with Danny McMillan – a well-known influencer in Amazon circles and the host of Seller Sessions, the largest podcast in Europe of Advanced Amazon Sellers.
In this interview edition, we picked three of the most common questions we receive to get his expert insights.
Danny did not disappoint! As a firm believer of a no-nonsense approach, he had some incredible advice for anyone selling products on Amazon.
If there’s any chance you don’t know who Danny McMillan is, we’ll give you a brief introduction before we jump into his top tips.
Danny got his start in the music industry and spent years innovating and contributing to the music scene throughout the world. He has always had an entrepreneurial streak that has shown up whether he was working on music or focusing his skills on new endeavors.
Since 2015, he has taken his vast array of skills and experiences and applied them to running a successful Amazon business.
Today, he is a highly regarded FBA specialist and public speaker. He is driven to share his deep learning and research with anyone in the community to create open collaboration and widespread success.
With that commitment in mind, Danny opened up and shared with us some of his best tips for everything from how to deal with negative reviews on Amazon to how to scale your business.
Let’s dive in and see what he had to say:
How to Deal With Negative Amazon Reviews
1. Email Sequences
''A lot of people use email sequences as a way to get reviews, but you can also use them as a way to counter negative reviews.
You may have an Amazon product that people get confused about in terms of its usage. A great way to keep that confusion from turning into a bad review is to simply cover those possible pain points in an email to the customer.
For example, if you sell clothes on Amazon, many customers can get confused or upset by how the clothing fits once it arrives.
While you should do your best to counter this in your product listing, you can also send instructions for measurements inside an email sequence, and perhaps even attach the instructions as a PDF that they can download.
You can also use email sequences to directly ask customers about their pain points.
Put “Action Required” in the email subject line and ask them to respond with any issues they may have run into with the product.
This will get most of the frustrated customers to reach out and contact you before they leave a negative review.
Another way to counter negative reviews is to include an insert with your product when it is delivered and deal with the pain point there as well.
For many Amazon customers who have issues with a product when it arrives, their first reaction is to jump on Amazon and leave a negative review because they don’t know how to contact the actual seller.
If they go that route, the horse has obviously bolted by then.
You can get really creative with inserts.
One company created a card that says ‘Happy’ and ‘Not Happy’ that a customer can then open and flip over to whatever response fits their situation.
If they’re not happy, it will give them the contact information to resolve the issue like firstname.lastname@example.org and then the website/contact-form.
People will contact you quite quickly to resolve stuff that way.
Another creative option is to create an insert that says, “Please keep me! ☺ Do not frown me away.” The idea is to grab people’s attention so they’ll hold on to the card and remember it if they ever run into an issue down the road.
3. Moonpig Cards
If a customer has already left a negative review, the battle is not lost yet. One option is to send these dissatisfied customers a Moonpig card.
You won’t be able to do this if you can’t find the data on the person because you won’t have an address to track the order.
This is a bit of a gray area in terms of Amazon’s Terms of Service, but you usually won’t even be able to find out who the reviewer is if they’ve opted out of marketing.
However, if you can find their mailing address, you can send them a Moonpig card.
Just set up a Moonpig card account in the UK, US or Australia and you can create a batch of “sorry” cards that you can send to customers who left a negative review or sent in a complaint about the product.
The price generally works out to be about $3 a card.
Some people may look at this and say that $3 a card is a lot of money, but it isn’t in the grand scheme of things if the person changes their mind.
It can take ten five-star reviews to lessen the blow of a single one-star review. When you put that into monetary costs, $3 isn’t that much to remove a negative review.
4. Direct Email
Another option you can use to reach out to a customer who has left a negative review is to simply email them – of course, this only works if they haven’t opted out.
This also works to prevent customers from leaving negative reviews in the first place.
Whenever I get a notification from Amazon that someone wants to do a customer return for whatever reason, I will always send a message to them saying,:
“No problem. ☺ Sending back the return. Can you let me know if it is related to the use of the product or was Amazon was delayed in sending it, etc.?”
In the three years or so that I have been doing this, in the US especially, whenever I’ve had a return and I’ve sent an email to the person asking if they’ve had problems with the product, I’ve never then had a negative review.
How to Scale Your Amazon FBA Business
I’ve been experimenting with contract manufacturing here in the UK, which has proven to be an effective way to scale a business.
For example, if you’re getting paid every two weeks by Amazon and your manufacturing cycles are every three weeks, you can begin to create some cash flow with your business.
Then, after a period of time with your suppliers, you can begin to create terms that are 30-60 days instead of three weeks and you can literally scale your business and leverage your supply chain for cash flow rather than using your own cash.
Obviously, at some point it will tip out, but with two bi-monthly payments from Amazon and a manufacturing cycle of three weeks, you can stretch your lead time with manufacturing and suppliers and with a little bit of jiggery-pokery, you’re looking at growing your business quite quickly without actually putting a chunk of your own cash into it.
In contrast, when you send stuff over from China, your cash is tied up for at least 90 days, if not longer.
Sometimes, it can be tied up for up to six months because your inventory is sitting at Amazon FBA centers and it may not be moving because it’s got seasonality or it’s just after Christmas.
There are many reasons why your cash could be tied up, but by reducing this time and even getting ahead of it, you can begin to scale your business without having to invest too much cash up front.
Ways to Promote Your Amazon Listing For More Sales
There are numerous ways to promote your products on Amazon to increase sales, from building email lists to including inserts in packages to existing customers to finding a decent channel to drive external traffic.
One tip that can prove to be very effective is to use influencer marketing.
A quick way of finding influencers is to use Google Ads and set up YouTube placement ads. If you do this, you can then search by video and channel and find the more prominent videos and channels that have a lot of views.
For example, if you’re in the fitness niche, you might type in “skipping rope sports” and then look at the videos of the influencer that you might want to work with.
Look at their videos, their number of views, and then look at the publish date on the video.
If they have 900,000 views and it was published three months ago, that’s roughly 300,000 views a month.
You can get an idea of how stable and regular the views are and then you can approach the influencer and create a mutually beneficial relationship.
In some cases, you won’t even have to pay out any money because, while there are known influencers out there who charge to collaborate, there are some people who are happy to get free products who are not monetizing their channel in the traditional regime. ''
There you have it, expert answers to some of your top questions from someone who has walked in your shoes and found the path to success.
What other tips have you found to work to scale your business, deal with negative reviews on Amazon, or promote your product listing for more sales?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
And feel free to ask any additional questions you may have in the comments section or contact us directly. We’re here to help!