Tyler, “Sully” Sullivan is the CEO of Bomb Tech Golf, a premium golf product e-commerce website. Sully has grown Bomb Tech Golf into a seven-figure e-commerce business and has since opened a marketing agency to help other e-commerce businesses find the same success.
Sully’s initial interest in e-commerce was sparked when his very first product sell came while he was on a boat. He immediately realized the ability to capitalize off of e-commerce, while continuing to live the lifestyle he wanted.
Sully’s mindset is, “unless there is room for improvement, quality, or innovation I won’t do it.” He continues to use this mentality as he improves golf club designs and elevates e-commerce businesses using his own innovative email marketing techniques.
Today’s guest is Sully Sullivan, the CEO of Bomb Tech Golf and founder of E-com Growers. Sully has grown his e-commerce business, Bomb Tech Golf, into a seven-figure business. His success became the platform for which he has now grown his marketing agency on top of, E-com Growers. His focus is on helping other e-commerce businesses sell products solely through email marketing.
In this episode, Sully explains how he uses email marketing to drive traffic and sell millions of dollars worth of products. He foreshadows the most important strategy of 2019 and shows us how it is already working to his benefit. Lastly, he walks us through his strategy buying inventory without over purchasing.
This is the Lean Commerce Podcast.
How did you get started in e-commerce businesses?
0:48 It was an accidental business. I wanted to make the best long drive clubs, and the entire business stemmed from that. I started by making niche, long drivers.
2:27 I got my first sail while on my boat and it blew my mind, this idea that I could sell something while I was physically on a boat. It was my ah-ha moment, and I thought, “I need to do more of this.”
5:30 We also have an agency, where we don’t do ads. We drive more revenue without spending more on ads. We run email through Playdio better than anyone else.
What’s your strategy on Playdio?
10:20 There are three main strategies. First, don’t get too fancy with your emails. Second, have a conversation with your email list by placing a question in the subject line (this helps us get 65% open rate). Third, follow the question with a scarcity model (time, quantity, etc.)
17:14 Email is simple, but it’s hard. The hardest part is that everybody as an e-commerce owner thinks they need the latest and greatest strategies. What actually moves the needle? You need traffic. You need email. And you’ll increase your revenue.
Where should you invest talent and money within your business?
20:56 Our customers are everything to us, both in agency and e-commerce. We used to send out handwritten notes, and now we send out thank you voicemails, because they are scalable. Customers freak out about it.
If you had limited resources, how do you suggest store owners find a good agency?
23:49 It’s tough because everybody is selling the dream, but 99% of agencies don’t have the skill.
25:33 I hire agencies for a one hour screenshare where we will create campaigns together. This let’s me learn the process and vet them. If that campaign goes well, then I’ll invite them in for another one hour call. If they do a great job again, then I can hire them.
What are you excited about in the ad and email space for 2019?
29:28 I’m not sure that I’m the guy to ask because I’m so boring about this stuff. I only focus on what drives the lever, not messenger, Snapchat, etc. I believe every business is different and strategies are worth testing if you have the budget, but at the end of the day it’s traffic, email and offer. If you can get those three components to be better, then you’re going to be successful.
33:05 I think there will be a bigger shift in attaching a person to every brand. Faceless brands are already losing, but in 2019, if there isn’t a face attached to your brand you’re going to be done. It’s super authentic. People buy from people.
Where are e-commerce businesses wasting money?
39:30 Fulfillment and shipping. Look at your product offerings and make them as simple as possible. It’s hard because you’re going to think your customer wants all of these options, but it’s not true. Then, outsource shipping to a third-party.
How do you approach product launches?
45:05 I’m a big fan of pre-orders because it takes a long time for us to get the product. Last year at this time, we had so much inventory it was almost scary. Now, we do a step by step process. We create a product page (not a landing page), we use a signup tool, and based off of how many people have signed up we know about 30% will purchase. 45 days out we’ll do pre-orders and give people the option for an early price, and that gives us a chance to see if the product is going to be a winner.
Resources mentioned in the Podcast: