From 0 to $ 28K in 30 Days – Dropshipping Supplements with a NutraFunnel
A step by step Do-It-Yourself Guide
My brain just farted. And the flatulence from the expelled brain gas has exhausted out of my ears and into my nose. That’s what inspired me to create my first private label supplement and dropship it through shopify.
Okay – that is not what happened and that’s not what motivated me to do build this business.
I was broke and living in a basement after years of failing at everything. I failed at maintaining a job, I failed at post secondary education (dropped out twice), I failed at being a friend too. I also failed at getting any girl to go on a date with me – or convincing anyone to believe in me.
So after hitting my wall and realizing that I’d rather (legit) die, rather than continuing to live my life in that manner- that my friends is when everything began to change.
That was when I first started exploring internet marketing – which I believed saved my life – as hard as that is to believe. But that’s not what this post is about.
I got lucky. The first attempt I ever made at internet marketing worked – I studied a lot and I’m good at learning. I learn quickly – as my old middle school tutor once told me.
So what was the first online business I took a stab at? Drop shipping supplements – initially through Ultracart (which I still use for other stuff to this day). But then I switched to shopify for simplicity sake.
When I launched my first supplement – I did not do it via a typical shopify store theme or any type of typical e-commerce store.
I used a direct response NutraFunnel™ to sell hundreds of units a day. You’ve probably seen a lot of these pages around the internet.
Now I want to clarify one more thing before I keep writing this. I only use business models that work. I don’t always agree with them and I am forever guilty of investing time and money into things that I wouldn’t always be a customer of.
I just like shit that works – and running a NutraFunnel™ Works extremely well.
Also please note the ™ symbols attached to NutraFunnel ™- yes that is my term and yes I might end up selling you something if you want.
The reason we use a NutraFunnel ™ is to do 2 things. 1) Increase the perceived value of the supplement and 2) Increase the likelihood of someone buying the supplement.
These funnels are kind of like TV informercials – just on the internet instead. TV infomercials follow a specific format (think Billy Mays or the ShamWow whacko) . Those infomercials have a format and the format WORKS to this day. NutraFunnels ™ are no different – they’re just used exclusively for health and beauty products.
Now without further ado- I’m going to walk you through every single step of how I pulled this off – and I hope you get some value out of it.
Here we go – this is gonna take awhile to write – “better put on the coffee Marge, this could take awhile.”
Step 1) Find a supplement that’s currently doing well
Historically the supplements.that do the best are Weight loss products (known as weight management for FTC compliance sake) , Muscle/workout enhancers, brain nootropics, and skincare products. Also male enhancement products are popular to.
Each of these is marketed on one specific evergreen angle- including (but not limited to).
- Lose Weight (careful of Claims)
- Increase brain power (get smarter)
- Look younger
- Get ripped
- Get a bigger dick
- That’s it. Very simple.
So how do you find a supplement that’s doing well. I’m going to go over 3 ways to do this.
Method 1- Clicking around.
When you click around the internet doing your thing, you will find ads that are being used to promote supplements.
Sometimes you see ads running on native ad networks like taboola or outbrain. Sometimes you seem them running on the adwords network, or even yahoo gemini.
We’ll go into that later – I just want you to learn how to find what’s working right now.
Method 2 – Using an offer marketplace
Just like Amazon is a marketplace to buy stuff, there are also marketplaces for affiliates to find offers. So you can pretend you’re an affiliate and search these marketplaces for a good offer to compete with.
You can go onto all of these sites and type in keywords for whatever offer you’re interested in building. Words like “brain, skin, diet” etc will help you find what you’re looking for.
You will also see a list of affiliate networks on here that are running these offers. Take note of these networks and that will lead us top method 3.
Method 3- Contact a CPA network and ask (optional)
This method is a little bit sneaky but it works well. You can contact a couple of the networks that you find on the marketplace listings and pretend you’re an affiliate looking to promote a Nutra (supplement) offer.
The network will connect you to one of their Affiliate Managers – and they will hopefully reveal to you what’s doing the best on their network right now. That’s how you get the best answer really but not everyone will go to that length to get that information.
It’s also best to not attach yourself to one particular product – best to stick to what’s currently doing well. After all, you’re after success here right?
Now once you are given a URL of an offer that is hot – you’re going to want to sniff every component of it and put it in your swipe file.
- A swipe file is a file of marketing material you have snagged a copy of for “inspiration”.
That brings us to
Step 2) Sniff and Swipe the NutraFunnel ™
Now this is where things really start to get quite fun because you get to spy on people who are already making a bunch of money with their supplement Funnels. Now I don’t advocate that you simply go and steal someone’s funnel because it’s wrong and won’t really get you what you want.
But I do advocate for using other funnels for inspiration and building your own off of that.
There are a couple of ways to do this. Now before you do sniff and swipe the competition NutraFunnel – you should already have the URL of the funnel you want to swipe. This would be obtained in Step 1 – so do not proceed to this step until you have finished step 1.
Once you have the URL – there will be 4 key pieces you will want to look at .
Piece 1) The Pre-Sell
Page – This is actually the page that comes before the customer hits your main offer page. Oftentimes this page will be provided by a CPA network or by an affiliate via the CPA network.
The purpose of this page is to essentially “warm up” the traffic to the idea of purchasing your supplement – before you even give them the option to.
This page often looks like a blog post or a product review – disguised cleverly as a promotion for your supplement.
You have to be careful with these pages because some affiliates will take it to an extreme. Some will use fake celebrity endorsements or fake news outlet logos. These are illegal and should not be used. But you can find or create pre-sell pages that are compliant and will still convert well.
Here’s an example of what a good pre-sell page should look like.
Now this example is just for illustrative purposes. But this article will go on to get the reader to click through and purchase a recommend supplement.
Note at the top where it says advertisement – and there is no bogus news outlet logo. It’s all legit – these are the kinds of presell pages you want to make.
Now oftentimes this page will be provided by a CPA network so you don’t necessarily have to make this page yourself. I’m just trying to show you every piece of how this little puzzle works.
Piece 2) The Offer Page
I’m going to refrain from calling this a landing page – because I find that term can confuse a lot of people. A landing page is technically the page where the customers arrives after they click on an advertisement for your offer. So with a NutraFunnel – the landing page is technically the pre-sell page. So I refer to the main page of the NutraFunnel as the “Offer Page”.
The offer page looks similar to this.
So on this page you have your product featured right at the top, and usually some sexy looking female or male model to make it look good. Then the order form is always on the top right with the claim your bottle CTA (Call To Action)
Here are a couple of other screenshots of this page for you to look at.
If you notice, the design elements of the page are key. The copywriting is important, especially the headlines. But the design elements are really so important. So if you’re going to make a NutraFunnel then DO NOT skimp on this. It’s very important.
Anytime someone clicks on the send my order now button, it will bounce them to the top of the page where the order form is.
Now we’re going to move on to the next page.
Piece 3) The checkout page
This is the of the funnel where you collect the money – yay! These checkout pages are structured in a very specific way – You want to offer the customer a few different options to checkout with. Usually a single bottle, 3 bottle, and 5 bottle package.
Now the goal here is to convince the customer to buy more from you so that you make more money. You want to sell mostly 3 and 5 bottle packs here – so the way you do that is by offering “tiered discounts”. The more they buy, the cheaper each bottle is. Retail stores have been using this concept forever. It’s no different.
If you notice on this particular funnel we offer an auto-ship option – but it’s black and white right in their face. A lot of people will build these funnels and will try to force a customer onto an auto-ship (or re-bill is the technical term) and this is not a good way to do business. People will chargeback and get pissed off. Just be honest up front and you’d be surprised how many will buy.
Now after this checkout page, the customer will usually be hit with an up sell offer. This is usually a complementary product or sometimes even an offer for multiple bottles of the same product. Note: This is REALLY important. You MUST have an up sell if you want to make this whole thing work.
Again let me repeat, YOU MUST HAVE AN UP SELL! A lot of your money will be made there. A common up sell for a weight management product would be a colon cleanse. An Up sell for a brain product would be an energy booster product. An up sell for a skin care product would be a phytoceramide capsule.
Usually this comes in the form of a pop-up – right after the initial order is placed.
Once this order is placed – the customer is then presented with an order confirmation – known as the thank you page. This page is important because your conversion pixel from the affiliate network will go here. Every time a customer places an order and the thank you page is loaded – the pixel will fire to your CPA network to tell them a sale was made from their traffic. But we will get to that later on in the tutorial. Lets move on to the next part.
Step 3) Find a Private Label Supplement Manufacturer
Now there are quite a few manufacturers out there these days and it can be a little bit overwhelming to figure out who to run with. You need to make sure that a couple of criteria are met by the manufacturer you choose before you decide to do business with them.
The first is that the manufacturer adheres to what are known as GMP – Good Manufacturing Practices. The other thing you want to make sure of is that the manufacturers facility is FDA Approved – not the supplements themselves. Very important to distinguish the difference here. The FDA does not approve or endorse ANY supplements for use – only the facility that manufactures the product.
You’re also going to want to do your homework on whichever company you choose to go with – since some of them sell low quality products. I’ve even seen some suppliers try to compete with their own customers on the retail side of things via a cheap house brand that they list for sale on Amazon. When I see that I stop doing business with them – your supplier should not compete with you. Fuck that.
I’m not going to recommend or discredit any suppliers in this post – just know the facts above and do your research.
Now when I started in this business 5 years ago – all of the suppliers made you order a minimum number of units when you started. These days most of them have gotten rid of that which is dope.
Suppliers these days will start you “on demand” as they refer to it – also known as dropshipping. I only use suppliers that will dropship – at least in the beginning until I can get my numbers right on a campaign.
Usually drop shipping will cost more per unit than if you bought a minimum – but it’s definitely worth it in the beginning. If you end up getting to 200 orders a day like many do – then you’ll want to buy bulk in advance.
Also a note on Fulfillment: When I started out, the fulfillment and manufacturing were two different companies. You would have to order your product and ship it to a fulfillment center. Some still do that – but many of the manufacturers these days will manufacture and fulfill for you. All under one roof! Isn’t life magical?
This is actually another big one to pay attention to believe it or not. When you’re up and moving orders you’re going to want to have automated fulfillment. This is a lot of the beauty in this business. So you’re going to want to find out what software solution the manufacturer is using for processing orders.
The reason you want to find this out is because not all of them will plug directly into Shopify.
In the last couple of years there has been a really great tool that has popped up called “ShipStation”. This tool has revolutionized fulfillment. Many suppliers are switching to this , and it plugs into Shopify (and many other carts) very easily. So ask your prospective supplier if they use this or something similar when you’re doing your research.
I get asked this question a lot. “Should I use a custom formula”? The answer is – Fuck No. Do not do that. Here is why.
It will cost you a lot of money up front that you don’t need to spend. If you’re new to this industry, then you need to learn how the marketing and the mechanics work before you switch to a custom formula. I know a lot of you reading this have dreams which is great – but do yourself a favour and do not go down that road until you’re a seasoned advertiser.
And advertiser means product/offer owner FYI
Step 4) Design Label
This step is very crucial. You need to get this right but it’s also not difficult to do right. Since you’re selling a private label supplement, your label is the main thing you’re really selling. So it needs to look good. The best way to do this is to pull inspiration from the label design of the funnel you are reverse engineering.
The first designer I hired worked for the supplier. I find those designers are not the best even though they are cheap.
Then I found a new designer and he came up with this
Note the difference here. The second version is cleaner and has the product name and benefits as front and center. This made a huge difference.
I find that 3rd party designers are the best. You can easily find good ones on fiver these days – just type in supplement label or supplement bottle and you’ll see what I mean.
Disclaimers: A lot of people ask me what has to go on a label to make it kosher. If you see above in the bottom left – there is a typical FDA required disclosure. “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease.”
Also there are supplement ingredients and nutritional facts on the top right. You can obtain this information from the supplier directly and the designer will put them on the label for you.
Once you have your label done you should ask the designer to put the label mock up on a bottle design for you and then you’ll give that product shot to the funnel designer.
Step 6) Hire a designer to design your funnel for shopify
If you recall, part of the beauty of running a NutraFunnel is that we outsource everything – including the setup and the traffic.
We do not use shopify built in themes for running a NutraFunnel because most of them suck for this application. If you work for shopify and you’re reading this post right now, I am sorry. But you need better direct response themes.
The best way to do this is to take the URL of your funnel that you’re reverse engineering – and find someone on Fiverr to build you a similar looking site – and then code it for Shopify. Ideally you want someone that can design and code for shopify – since shopify uses a different type of coding for their themes then normal.
If you cannot find anyone that can design it to your specifications AND code it for shopify – then you can use two different outsourcers. One to design, and one to turn it into a shopify theme.
Oftentimes you will not find a person on Fiverr that explicitly advertises that they specialize in building supplement pages. You will have to show them what you want and see what they say.
Just to recap, you’re going to have to get the designer to build the following pages.
Your Offer Page, Your Checkout Page, Your Up Sell Pop, and Your Thank You Page.
The Pre Sell Page can be done as well but I find more often than not those are usually made better by other designers. And sometimes the CPA network will provide the pre sell to you so you don’t need to have one made.
Remember before you do this, your product label should be done.
Step 7) Plugins - Up Sells and Auto Fulfillment
There are two plugins that you’re going to NEED in order to use shopify as an effective NutraFunnel building platform. The first is simpler than the second so let’s go over that.
Shipstation: This is the software that you should be using to fulfill your orders automatically with. In order to use it with shopify you will have to install the ship station plugin. This can be found in shopify’s plugin store by searching for it. Very simple.
Zipify One Click Up Sell: This is the only plugin I’ve ever been able to find for shopify that actually does what it’s supposed to do. The most effective up sell sequences happen after the user has put in their order information (including their credit card information).
I’ve looked at and used a lot of these plugins and this is the only one that does up sells properly for Shopify. Not that I’m super into promoting other marketer’s shit- but this plugin is really good. And it’s not cheap but you get what you pay for and they seem to have the only good plugin for this
So when using this plugin what will happen is that the user will receive an up sell pop up for the up-sell product AFTER they submit their credit card info. This is when they are in buy mode and already committed to a sale – so psychologically (and statistically) they are more likely to buy more products at this time than any other.
- Amazon uses the same type of technology called “one click” ordering – this is very similar. It’s called a “One Click Up Sell”.
Here’s a screenshot of what a one click up sell looks like.
Here is my affiliate link for this plugin. And again I will get a payout if you buy it. Feel free to look for other similar plugins but as of this writing you won’t find any.
Step 8) Merchant Account Heads Up
When you’re just getting started with this you can plug in a stripe or paypal business account into shopify to process your payments.
However – these platforms do not allow you to process payments for supplements FYI. You won’t have an issue with your first few sales (100 or less) but afterwards you will need proper merchant accounts.
There are many suppliers of these merchant accounts that you can find by googling around for supplement payment processing.
All of these merchant accounts can be run through multiple different gateways – including authorize.net. Shopify is directly integrated into authorize.net so if you get a merchant account with this gateway you will be good to go. If you use another 3rd party gateway then please check with Shopify to see if they support it.
Step 9) CPA Traffic
This is another crucial step to this entire process and I could probably write a blog post just on this topic alone. This is where the traffic comes from. Now a lot of people will probably ask be tempted to go learn how to run their own traffic- but that is an entirely different skill set. I teach people how to do this as well but for the sake of simplicity , using a CPA network with affiliates is the best way to go.
How it works is you pay them a flat rate to get you a sale. You don’t pay them until the sale is made. This is extremely beneficial to you because its a performance based model “ pay for performance” so to speak.
Not all CPA networks are created equally so you should do your homework first. Not all networks have supplement traffic as well.
What you’re really paying for here is the convenience to have someone else ( a seasoned affiliate/media buyer) send traffic for you.
In the world of supplements this can be confusing and annoying because a lot of traffic platforms don’t like supplements so they make it hard to advertise there. Affiliates know all of the little tricks to get around this.
Now when you put your offer into a CPA network you will be given a “conversion pixel” for tracking. You simply take this conversion pixel code and copy and paste it onto the thank you page(receipt page) of your funnel. That way when a customer places an order and the thank you page is loaded – the pixel will fire and tell the network that they made a sale.
Important: You want to try and negotiate your CPA to be equal to the sale from a single bottle. That way you are “breaking even” on your initial order – and then any up sells or multi bottle add-ons or even repeat orders will be where you make most of your money.