A few days ago Aylio’s resistance bands hit #1 of our Daily Top 40. This made me very curious. What makes these resistance bands so hot? What is their secret? I quickly emailed Max, CEO of Aylio International Inc. and he was happy to answer a few questions.
Rishi: What is the story behind your company? How did you get started? and Why resistance bands?
Max: I’ve always been a fitness junkie. After many years with a gym membership that was running me over $1,000/year, I got fed up with it. The gym was always crowded, the benches were always drenched in sweat, the floors were dirty, the machines were constantly in need of repairs, and the place smelled like old gym socks. I began searching for an alternative and that’s when a friend of mine recommended that I purchase a set of resistance bands.
My experience with resistance training was phenomenal. I was able to target every muscle group in my body from the comfort of my own home, and adjust the level of resistance accordingly for each exercise. I also took the bands with me when I traveled. After a few months, I started noticing that the resistance training was actually giving me better results than my old gym routine. I was able to reshape my body, give it great definition, lose all excess body fat and I even put on a significant amount of lean muscle. Also, I noticed a great improvement in my athletic ability. I was running faster, jumping higher, and generally feeling more fit and healthy than I had ever felt before. Best of all, my exercise set cost me less than a one hour session with a personal trainer and I was able to cancel my costly gym membership with no regrets.
I was so happy with my exercise bands that I began buying similar sets for friends and family as holiday gifts. Everyone loved them, regardless of age, gender, or fitness level. Whether their goal was putting on some muscle, losing that excess fat, conditioning, or even rehabilitation, the resistance bands did it all. It is at this time that a light bulb went off in my head and I saw a great business opportunity lurking. I took it upon myself to educate others about resistance training and share the benefits that I experienced with the rest of the world. Through fortunate personal connections and months of sampling, I was able to get my hands on the safest and highest quality resistance training equipment on the planet. This is how my company, Aylio, first came into existence.
Rishi: Love the story! I am totally going to work out today in your honor. So what is your secret sauce? How are you driving sales and traffic? Can you give our ecommerce readers some tips or advice?
Max: There are millions of ways to advertise on the internet. If you’re selling a product, my suggestion is to take advantage of every marketplace on the internet that you can find. Setting up your website is crucial but don’t forget about other great eCommerce venues such as eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and others. Selling on multiple websites gives you much greater visibility, which translates into more sales.
Also, get creative. Take advantage of social media websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Digg, YouTube, and others. These are all free and powerful marketing tools. Write an article that relates to your product and post it to as many websites as you can think of. Do a Google search for “submit your article” and you will find hundreds of sites that will post your article. Similarly, make a quality promotional video and post it to as many video sites as possible. Google likes placing popular videos in the first page of search results, which will in turn make your video even more popular. Persistently work on improving your visibility in any imaginable way because this will always lead to better sales. To avoid being labeled a spammer on these Web 2.0 sites, participate in other aspects of the sites and do not use them ONLY for promoting your product/service.
Other free ways to market your product include posting on forums, commenting on blogs, and asking customers to write reviews for you. With reviews, you will probably need to give the customer some sort of incentive such as store credit or a free gift but it will pay off. A positive review has the power to turn a hesitant potential customer into an actual customer. On a side note, remember to treat your customers well and they will treat you well in return. You will be surprised at how many repeat customers you will get. A happy customer will also recommend your product to others.
If you have some money for an ad campaign, I highly recommend Google Adwords. A good Adwords campaign will bring loads of traffic to your site. You will need to set your budget and choose appropriate keywords for your products. Naturally, the higher your budget, the more traffic Google will bring your way. If your budget is very large, you can even run television ads through Google Adwords, which are highly effective if done right. Be sure to set up Google Analytics, which is free and will give you valuable insight into which aspects of your marketing campaign are working and which are not.
The last thing I would like to mention is search engine visibility and SEO (search engine optimization). The best way to rank high at Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine is through frequent updates and high quality content. The more content you put out, the more people will be directed to your website. An active blog is a great way to get friendly with search engines. Your page rank will improve with time as more and more sites link to your website. The more popular the linking sites are, the more effective they will be in boosting your search engine visibility. When building up page rank, it is important to be patient but stay consistent. Remember to add new quality content to your site on a regular basis.
Thank you Max for your story, tips and tricks!