Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi. My name is Matthew Larsen and I run Ultra Growth Marketing. My company is a hybrid between an eCommerce Marketing agency and a holding company that runs three separate eCommerce Brands. I also have an investment wing where I invest in eCommerce companies with high potential. My business model is a triple-threat.
The main product I sell is an eCommerce Marketing Book which has been downloaded by over 19,000 people in the first month since its launch. It is my mission to help over 10 million business owners each month through my books, content, blogs, and services, and this was an important first step in helping me do that.
I give away this book for free (with two free bonuses; a Facebook Advertising Guide and eCommerce Email Flow Templates) and then a small percentage of people who read my free book end up hiring me to help them grow their eCommerce Store.
Through this business model, I am earning over $60,000 per month in recurring revenue, with 100% of leads being captured using Facebook Ads. While most people advertise to a landing page, I have opted to use Lead Generation ads and have had great success doing so. Where it would cost me between $7 - 10 to get a download on a landing page, it costs me between $1.60 and $2.10 to get a download using Lead Generation forms, and the conversion rate from lead to a customer is the same (1.06%).
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I have been in eCommerce Marketing and have run over seven different Shopify Stores (some successful, and some not successful) over the past seven years, so my journey wasn’t exactly an overnight success. I struggled a lot at the beginning because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was great at running Facebook and Google ads from the very beginning, there were other areas where I had big “knowledge gaps.”
After writing and publishing the book, I learned something that I knew all along but didn’t want to believe; that no one cares about your book. Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean people will be lining up to buy it. You have to give them a reason to.
In the early years of my marketing agency, I relied solely on cold outreach and referrals to get clients. Cold outreach is extremely time-consuming, and generally, not very effective, and of course, it is hard to get referrals if you only have a couple of clients.
I was great at advertising Business-to-Consumer products using Facebook and Google, but I had a lot of trouble finding clients for my marketing agency when trying to use the same tactics and techniques that I used to help my client grow their Stores.
The reason for this is that I was trying to use B2C advertising tactics and strategies while trying to get B2B marketing clients, not realizing how dumb that is and that it would never work.
I needed to do a few things; create an attractive offer, prove that I know what I am talking about, and provide actionable advice to help people, even if they didn’t become my client. I thought long and hard about the best way to do this. Videos and webinars are not my strong suit, but I am a pretty good writer, so a book made the most sense.
I ended up writing the book in just over a month. It is over 75,000 words and covers every single part of eCommerce Marketing. It is one of the best step-by-step guides that anyone can follow to create a multi-million dollar eCommerce store.
After writing and publishing the book, I learned something that I knew all along but didn’t want to believe; that no one cares about your book. You have to make them care. Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean people will be lining up to buy it. You have to give them a reason to.
Although I have sold over 2,000 copies on Amazon, the real success came when I started giving it away for free as a lead magnet, which allowed me to capture the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of everybody who downloaded it. I was able to give away over 17,000 free copies for less money than it cost me to run ads to sell 2,000 on Amazon, and I found that the conversion rate between reader/lead to a customer is nearly identical whether they got it for free, or paid for it.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Besides being a good way to generate leads, the main reason that I wanted to write a book is that I feel there simply aren’t many good marketing books out there that specifically apply to eCommerce.
I feel like 99% of books could be condensed and cut in half if the author took out all of the “fluff” and their origin story, and so on, and that is what I chose to do in my book. When I am reading a book, I only care about myself and what the lessons, strategies, and tactics in that book can do to improve my own life. I don’t care about the life experiences or story of the author (as selfish as that may seem).
I took this approach to write a book, and I made the book more into a step-by-step guide to creating a multi-million dollar eCommerce Store than anything else. Imagine you had a large checklist or a mentor that helped guide you and tell you what to do from the very start to the very finish. That is what this book will provide.
When writing my book, I set a goal for myself to write 1,000 words per day, at a very minimum. I felt that this was manageable but meaningful. I set out to write about 50,000 words and figured that if I wrote 1,000 words per day, it would take me 50 days to complete it. I certainly ended up going a bit over my initial goal by writing about 75,000 words in 43 days, but I have so much knowledge and experience with selling products to consumers online, I simply couldn't’ condense it any more than that. If you read the book, I’m sure you will be glad I didn’t cut any of it out.
Describe the process of launching the business.
The launch of the book was not what I would consider being “spectacular” or a “good start.” I got relatively few sales in the first few weeks, except for past clients, friends and family, and some members of my mailing list (about 13,000 people). I didn’t do any planning, any media, or do anything other than some Amazon ads.
The big change and “aha” moment came when I found out I could get leads for $1.60 - $2.10 if I gave the book away for free while using Lead Generation ads. If there was a “turning point” in this relatively short journey, this was it. I went from around a thousand readers to over 10,000 readers in a couple of short weeks (even if they didn’t technically buy the book).
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Let me talk about the approach and setup that I have used to get cheap leads using Facebook Ads because I was not successful on my first iteration or attempt. It took me about 25 different iterations of ad creatives and ad copy before I was able to achieve this result. I am fortunate in the sense that the targeting interests for my ad campaigns are very obvious. I use only the Shopify Interest on Facebook. I am unfortunate in the sense that the Shopify Interest on Facebook is also one of the most competitive on the entire platform and as such, CPMs are some of the highest compared to any other targeting option out there.
One of the most important metrics on Facebook advertising is your Ad Quality Ranking. This is one of the factors that determine your CPM which stands for cost-per thousand impressions. Your CPM is essentially a metric that tells you how much Facebook will charge you to show your ads to people. If you had a $10 CPM, that means Facebook would charge you $10 to show your ads to 1,000 people. If it was a $60 CPM, that means you would have to pay $60 to show your ads to 1,000 people. This is a metric where the lower, the better. You want to pay as little as possible to show your ads to people.
Facebook will give you an Ad Quality Ranking (after your ad has 500 impressions) of 1 to 5, with 5/5 being the highest. The higher your Ad Quality Ranking is, the lower your CPM will be. When I started, I was being charged over $70 to show my ads to 1,000 people, and no matter how a product is, you can’t make money if your CPM is $70. It is just too high. My CPM was so high, because to my surprise, my Ad Quality Ranking was a 1 out of 5. I was making pretty lame photo and video ads using stock footage, and that just wasn’t working. I had to do something different, and once I found the right formula, it changed everything.
I quickly went from a 1/5 Ad Quality Ranking to a 5/5 Ad Quality Ranking when I started using Carousel Ads. One of the main factors in your Ad Quality Score is how “long” someone views your ad for on average. The longer they view it, the better your ad is in the eyes of the algorithm, and that makes sense. I figured Carousel ads would be a good idea, because if people are interested, they will keep scrolling and reading the next ads in the carousel, and that will add up to more time spent on the ad.
Here are the ads that I am currently using. It took me 25+ iterations, and I won’t show you the early versions because I don’t want to make you cringe.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Currently, I am making about $60,000 per month in recurring profit from marketing clients.
About $42,000 of that was generated through leads from giving my book away for free.
My goal is to grow my email list to over 10,000,000 people by December 31st, 2026, and truly make a difference in all of their lives.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
The number one thing when trying to start a business is being able to advertise profitably. If you can’t advertise profitably, especially at the start before word-of-mouth and a lot of organic traffic comes rolling in, it is going to be extremely difficult to succeed.
When you first start, think about what you are offering. If you want to succeed quickly and easily, you need to make your offer so good that people simply can’t refuse.
Focus all of your effort on three things; Facebook/Google Ads, your landing page/product pages, and your email marketing. All three of these things work together and if you improve one of them, you effectively improve all of them.
When you are trying to advertise profitably, you should create a habit of making three new ad creatives and writing three new iterations of ad copy per day. You need volume. If you create 100 different versions, you will most certainly find a few that are good. You never know what your target audience will respond to, and if you aren’t constantly testing, you won’t find the “better” version that can get you a 2x, 3x, or even 4x better result.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
My favorite business tools are as follows:
I use this as an email marketing tool even for non-eCommerce-related projects and companies (even though it is specifically intended for eCommerce). I love the option to have a dedicated send domain, and I find the deliverability on Klaviyo can be twice as good as some of the other options. On top of that, I love how easy it is to segment audiences, and create different types of flows and flow filters.
Although this is not a software or traditional tool, there was a huge shift in my life and productivity when I started working with a timer (just a typical timer you might use for cooking. You could also use the one on your phone or computer). I set the timer for 20 minutes, and then work as hard as I can with no distractions, and then once the timer goes off, I set it for 10 minutes, screw around and take a break and do whatever I want.
Then, once the timer goes off, I repeat the process. I find that I am 25x as productive while working this way as opposed to just one giant eight-hour workday, and productivity is what matters, not how long you work.
Here is a list of my favorite Shopify apps:
- Frequently Bought Together
- Loox Product Reviews & Photos
- Also Bought • Related products
- Pop Ups, SMS & Email Marketing
- Klaviyo: Email Marketing & SMS
- PageFly Landing Page Builder
- PushOwl Web Push Notifications
- One Click Upsell ‑ Zipify OCU
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The most influential book I have read in my entire life is called the 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma. The premise of the book, as you can probably tell, is that you should wake up at 5 AM. I started doing that (although it was absolutely brutal at first), and my life has never been the same since. Funnily enough, you have more energy when you wake up early than if you slept in. Although it was very hard at first to wake up that early, it got easier with every passing day. I would highly recommend this book.
Some of my other favorite books are:
- Psycho Cybernetics
- Awaken the Giant Within
- Goals (Brian Tracy)
- Tools of Titans
- $100 Million Offers
- The Compound Effect
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
When you first start out, think about what you are offering. If you want to succeed quickly and easily, you need to make your offer so good that people simply can’t refuse.
If you want to read a book on this topic, read $100 Million Offers by Alex Hormozi. That book is relatively new and will explain what I mean better than I ever could, but you want to make what you are selling such unbelievably good value that people simply have to buy.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you want to read my eCommerce Marketing book, you can download it for free.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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