The Founder's Club is Launching This Week
Good morning friends!
Incredible 48 hours for me. I surprised my mom for Mother’s Day with a two day trip to Raleigh, North Carolina to go see the Dead & Co. For those not into music, it’s the remaining members of the Grateful Dead, one of the most influential bands of all time. To see my mom in her element boogying for four hours straight of music made me the happiest son alive. After all this is why we work so hard right? To make memories off our laptops with people we love.
We were at dinner last night and my mom looks over and says “Who’s this guy Al I keep reading about?” I almost shot the ice tea right out of my nose laughing.
The world is changing fast and it’s crazy that my own mother is even becoming aware of artificial intelligence.
Here are some quick ways CROSSNET is using AI 🤖
Customer service - We went from a CX team of 5 virtual assistants down to 1. Siena is an AI bot that responds to every customer as if it was me or my brother responding.
Creating sales & chat prompts - Need assistance creating templated responses? We use ChatGPT to create 1-2 paragraph prompts that are targeted for sales pitches towards big-box retailers, schools, churches, etc. This is also great for creating customer service answers for different situations (out of stock, warehouse sale, late delivery, etc.)
Legal docs - Use ChatGPT and prompt it to create a legal document for whatever situation you need. For example, our performance marketer is moving more into an agency role and he hit me like a 10 page agreement created by ChatGPT. I’ve also seen companies create long legal documents for whatever they need and then send it to their legal team to spruce up and punch up. Rather than them starting from scratch and paying for 40 hours of work, you’re now paying for 3-4 hours of editing. Every dollar counts!
Midjourney - To create photoshoots for your products. Eliminates the need for expensive shoots and can be done in a matter of minutes. Rob from Outway does a great job of this
Where is the year going? May is already over!
This past month was extremely rewarding for CROSSNET as we improved so many of our processes. The longer you stay in this game, the more you realize that doing less is actually more. I actually laughed out loud yesterday when I was talking to my mom about how CROSSNET used to have a 7 person marketing team. Who did we think we were? Make great products, create and organize good content, spend on Facebook, stay in stock on your website and Amazon. Rinse & repeat.
This newsletter actually started by me publishing an internal memo that I sent to our team that I thought was too good to not share publically.
So here were some of our biggest wins 💰
Found a trucking company that I absolutely love. They import freight at a fraction of the cost of my other suppliers, work on net-60 terms, and most of all is always a text or phone call away. Not only are they handling all my importing, but also trucking shipments for my B2B customers who ask us to charge them freight later on. Probably will save roughly 20% annually on freight due to this find.
Review your damn bills! In our financial forecast I had been planning on us paying $19 per shipment to ship out one of our main SKUS. The all in cost was actually only $17. This means we were making $2 extra per unit in profit, thousands over the course of the week. This means we could have scaled our ads just a bit more due to this unaccounted for efficiency. If you’re not already doing this you should be reviewing your freight, Shopify, and bank account transactions at least every other week to notice anything glaringly off.
Built a good relationship with our new 3PL. These guys bust their ass to get thousands of orders out a week for us. It’s easy to think of your warehouse as just robots shipping boxes, but they are real people that can only get so much done in a day. Building priority lists for them, establishing communication, and having open conversations about your bill will allow you to find tons of ways to save. For example we’re now going to process orders manually in our 3PL’s online Airtable, instead of sending them in Slack and this will save us $10 per B2B order.
Paying down debt. Keeping cash on hand is super important, but we’ve been operating under the premise of any spare dollar we are paying to debt and of course the debt with the highest interest rate first.
Year over year our marketing spend was down 22%, but sales were up 42%.
Best of all, retail sales are up year over year, even with the reduced spending. I wish we could have spent more with efficiencies like this but sadly we were just so badly out of stock. Customers were ordering on May 1st and not receiving their order for 3-4 weeks, just a terrible experience. We just received nearly 10 containers to the warehouse so we are all stocked up for summer and it’s time to make up for some lost revenue!
Selling more CROSSNET H2O’s than ever before!
Social Snowball ❄️
If you’re a brand looking to extend their lifetime value or have a massive fanbase you need to have your customers do the selling for you. One of the best apps we’ve ever downloaded for CROSSNET is a helpful tool called Social Snowball.
Our entire affiliate program is run on it and we see more customers turning into affiliates week over week. Anything to reduce our acquisition cost, right?
The secret sauce to our checkout process.
Here’s how it works in Good Sport terms:
We acquire a customer for $20.
After they purchase they get a discount code that says have your friends save $10 on their next purchase with this coupon code. The friend then gets to save $10 and the original customer makes $10 per sale.
Have a hungry college kid looking to make money? Or a loyal customer who happens to have a massive fanbase, watch how quickly the discount codes are used.
Social Snowball pays out your affiliates once a week
Looking to lower your acquisition costs, get your customers paid, and make more money then you need to try Social Snowball. Let your best customers do the selling for you.
Big Wins 🎉
Outside of Social Snowball, here are some other things that are working well for us as we hit our summer stride.
Scale up the winners! We have 2 ads that are absolutely crushing it for us. Rather than focusing on trying to launch new content and make a bunch of different things work, we’re constantly scaling these ads up nearly 20% a day until we lose efficiency.
Facebook & Instagram shopping are coming in at nearly 20-30% of our daily sales. We’re seeing a massive push to shopping on the platform and Meta is rewarding brands who are driving traffic towards their FB & Instagram shop. Something to know there is a 5% transaction fee for selling on here that I was unaware for and didn’t have baked into our financial model.
Tapcart - We’re seeing sales almost daily on our app now. It’s so sick to see. Exclusive discounts, push notifications, and soon products you can only get on the app.
Updating your product page to show shipping dates rather than keeping customers guessing
Getting on Net-30 payment terms with Facebook. Creating a better cash conversion cycle is the most important thing you can do for your business. Not to say these bills aren’t real bills and you shouldn’t just push everything off for another day, but being able to pay for your advertising 30 days after you run ads is huge. It allows for the products to be shipped, money to be collected, and for you ultimately to buy time. I don’t know a single business that would not prefer selling their goods and getting paid for them, before they owe the bill for the advertising or to the manufacturer (important you get on Net terms with your supplier too).
The Founder’s Club
Did you see?! Aaron and I are officially launching The Founder’s Club this week. Here’s what’s included:
Get connected with amazing entrepreneurs from $0-$100M+ in revenue
Access to game changing resources and advice
Networking of mentors
Weekly coaching & group calls
Networking dinners & happy hours that are actually fun
Much, much more
Want to join? Apply here in 20 seconds and you’ll be on the early access list when we go live.
Have an incredible week!
*Social Snowball is a sponsored partner of the CROSSED COMMERCE newsletter. We have been using Social Snowball since 2021 and its been an incredible source of new revenue and brand affinity.