While I’m aware that the Product Winner Blueprint came in way before Tristan’s other course (Google Ads Ecom Academy) did, I thought I’d review the latter first as no pre-existing in-depth reviews of it existed at the time I posted the review, and because I have a bigger preference for using search engine product listing ads. Nevertheless, since I’ve already reviewed Google Ads Ecom Academy, it’s only fair that I do one for the Product Winner Blueprint as well, so that you, too, can get an idea of what to expect.
Though the Product Winner Blueprint isn’t marketed as a drop shipping course, the majority of materials found in this course do heavily revolve around product sourcing from AliExpress and testing them with Facebook ads until you find a winner. Of course, even if you don’t run a store which involves sourcing from AliExpress, this is a course to consider if you’re completely inexperienced with Facebook ads, want to improve your understanding of them in general, or looking to diversify your traffic sources.
It’s currently priced at $197 USD, though this will be increased to $997 USD at some point, so you’ll want to get in ASAP if you’re thinking of getting started.
(If you buy the Product Winner Blueprint + Google Ads Ecom Academy bundle, you will pay $497 USD, a $97 USD saving compared to if you purchased each course separately. There are no other discounts available for this course.)
Without further ado, let’s dive into the review and see whether or not it’s worth the investment.
The course is hosted on ecomladder.com, and the checkout page runs on Thrivecart. You have the option to pay directly with your credit card details, or PayPal. There are no hidden fees, no upsells, and no ongoing costs. The checkout page mentions that you get access to the following:
- Six modules with over 30 videos detailing the formula used by the course creator
- Lifetime access to the course with future updates + requests
- Access to private Facebook group
- Bonus module on increasing your store’s average order value (AOV)
Checking out was a smooth process, though I had to reach out to support directly for my login details as I didn’t receive them in my inbox (including spam) even after allowing 15 minutes; fortunately, I only had to wait slightly less an hour to hear back from the support team for my login details. Here’s what the landing page looks like upon logging in:
The course currently contains the following modules:
- Module 1: Store setup
- Module 2: Product Research
- Module 3: Facebook Pixel & Backup
- Module 4: Facebook targeting & testing
- Module 5: Facebook Retargeting
- Module 6: Facebook Scaling Roadmap
- Module 7: Increasing AOV
- Module 8: Automation & Team Building
- Module 9: Email marketing
- Course updates
Before we actually dive in to the actual course’s contents, it’s preceded by two important videos, the first detailing how the course works, and the mentality you should adopt when testing products using Facebook ads. Be sure you watch these before you get started.
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to look into the course’s modules.
Module 1: Store setup
Here, Tristan walks you through on setting up your Shopify such that you ensure you can attract the best conversion rates possible.
If you’re just getting started and you don’t have a store set up yet, Tristan recommends you start off with a general store so that you’re not restricted to testing products within a single niche, especially if you’re uncertain whether or not those products will sell at all. Again, you only need one store for all your products.
Tristan also provides his personal recommendation on the paid theme Shoptimized. If, for whatever reason, a paid theme is not an option for you at the moment, he advises to go with the free Shopify theme, Brooklyn. You should, however, consider transitioning to a paid theme (not the ones that are officially backed by Shopify, however) at some point for reasons including faster loading times and being integrated with features also available as separate apps (e.g. currency converters, countdown timers), which also effectively saves you hundreds of dollars annually worth of paid apps in the long run.
Despite his personal recommendation on the Shoptimized theme, I went against his word and opted to purchase eCom Turbo instead, as I’ve heard many great things about the latter; not to mention, I find the price point for usage on an unlimited number of stores to be the best deal compared to what the other themes’ price points offer, never mind how many stores you intend to run (for all you know, you might consider opening up more stores at some point in the future!).
Next up, how to structure your product pages and descriptions, which include using high-quality, non-watermarked images, 2-3 sentence descriptions, listing the product features/specifications in bullet points, and adding delivery times and customer promises.
I’m personally not a fan of adding items like delivery times (by region) and customer promises/guarantees directly into the product descriptions, so I instead have them hard-coded into the product template of my store’s theme directly below the product description. This way, I won’t have to repeatedly add the same thing every time I create a new product, not have to worry about whether or not I have them added to each individual product description, and there won’t be any redundancy issues. If you’re comfortable enough with basic coding, I’d encourage you to do the same.
You’re then taught how you should price your products, and what products not to test that can’t be sold at a certain price point and above. Tristan recommends using $5 price points which end in .99, e.g. $14.99, $19.99, $24.99, $29.99, etc.
Finally, you’re shown an importing app which imports product reviews directly from AliExpress, and which ones to import and what not to import.
Fortunately, this module overall doesn’t waste your time handholding you with basic setup of your Shopify store (which many courses promoted by “gurus” appear to be guilty of), as those can just be easily found in the form of free content.
Module 2: Product Research
Eight videos here – the module starts off with a video on what not to test due to issues concerning liability, sizing issues with clothing, and trademarks.
Now onto the fun part…
The first approach to searching for a winning product is to spy on and swipe products from other AliExpress drop shipping stores which are actively running Facebook ads. You’re shown which Chrome extensions to install so that you’re ready to spy on other stores, how to decide which products to test based on certain criteria, taking advantage of lesser known drop shipping stores, and using a very specific search term to use on Facebook to uncover product video ads posted by other stores.
The second approach is more advanced, and involves advertising a unique product not being advertised by competitors, and which platforms to utilise so you can check whether or not similar products are also being sold on AliExpress. You’re also shown how to decide whether or not to make a purchase from a supplier based on their ratings, how long they’ve been running for, how long it takes to process an order, and if ePacket shipping is available.
The module concludes with a bonus video on Tristan’s new research method of searching for winning products, using a very specific search term, utilising Google as well as Bing as a secondary search tool.
Module 3: Facebook Pixel & Backup
Four videos here which walk you through on how to set up your Facebook ad account – creating backup ad accounts so that you can continue advertising in the event your main ad account is suspended, using a third-party app to segment conversion events on a product level, how to set up your store such that it’s ready to track said conversion events, and how to share your pixels and audiences between your various ad accounts.
Module 4: Facebook targeting & testing
Okay, now it’s time for the nitty-gritty of the course. This module is packed with a total of 11 videos, which understandably can be quite a lot to take in! Here’s an overview of what to expect:
It starts off with not being too hung up over trying to look for the “perfect” interest targets, and is followed by an introduction to Facebook audiences along with the most profitable countries outside of the US you should target once you land a winner.
Then you’re shown how to set up your campaigns starting with paid per engagement (PPE), what interests to target based on the products you’re testing (using both stacked and flexed interests), a brief overview of the Audience Insights Chrome extension and the Facebook ads manager, and the interest targeting that Tristan uses personally.
Next is an overview of video ads (which is also the kind of ad you should use for the purposes of higher audience engagement potential), how to create your videos, and what kind of thumbnail to use.
Following the video ad overview are the data points you should analyse when monitoring your PPE campaigns and deciding whether to continue an ad or kill it on day “x” based on certain criteria. Then we have a guide on retaining audience engagement while transitioning to website conversion (WC), and how to determine profitability using a spreadsheet included in the video description to help you automatically calculate and compare your cost per purchase (CPP) and return on ad spend (ROAS).
The module concludes with a guide on writing your ad creative for your video ads, which includes a sample ad creative so you know how to structure your own ad creatives. I’m not sure why this is thrown at the end of the module rather than it being an immediate follow-up of the video ad overview.
Module 5: Facebook Retargeting
Three videos here, the first of which starts off by highlighting the importance of retargeting to prospects who have already seen your ads but haven’t taken any action. Don’t, however, get too hung up on trying to attract prospects who have already seen or interacted with your ad in some form and motivate them to make a purchase as you should focus on impulse purchases on first-time visits, which is the key to a winning product.
Next up, how to set up your Facebook ad account such that it’s ready for dynamic product advertising.
Finally, how to structure your product variant retargeting ad; very helpful if you’re selling products that come in different variants, e.g. sizing, colours.
Module 6: Facebook Scaling Roadmap
Before moving on to scaling, this module starts with a document detailing the dangers of scaling a product and what you should do before you scale, especially so you don’t get hit with too many chargebacks. Make sure you thoroughly read through this so that you don’t deal with too many headaches later on.
Next is a two-part video series on how to transition from PPE to WC, with downloadable PDFs of the documents used in the videos to view at your own leisure.
Following these videos are a couple more videos on duplicating your ads, and how to scale to look-a-like audiences both within the US and outside of the US – these are the people you’ll generally see the best results with!
Then the module concludes with another document detailing Tristan’s methods for further scaling.
Module 7: Increasing AOV
This section starts off by highlighting the importance of AOV, as without using third-party tools to increase your AOV, you risk missing out on pocketing additional profits.
This module recommends motivating prospects to take advantage of your free shipping offer, how to get them to take action by using a little hack in the product description, discounted bundling offers, order confirmation cross-sells, setting up Limespot, and using post-purchase upsells.
Module 8: Automation & Team Building
Next is a module on how to automate your store by searching for virtual assistants to handle customer service enquiries, Facebook ads managing, and all the other boring stuff – also ideally how you should structure your team.
You’re then directed to the platforms you should visit to look for freelancers; in this case, VA service companies, Upwork, and Onlinejobs.ph. You’re also shown how you should write up the descriptions for the jobs you post on Upwork, and you’re given a sample job description template so you have an idea on how to write your own.
If your store isn’t making a significant amount of sales, I would worry about this module later and return to it once you have a scalable winning product.
Module 9: Email marketing
Finally, this module, consisting of five videos, focuses on email marketing for a general store – especially important for attracting customers who have added to cart and/or reached checkout, but never went through with their purchase.
Following that are two videos on how to set up campaigns for Recart, utilising Facebook Messenger by sending automated messages to reach out to customers who don’t go through with a purchase, and following a purchase how to compel a purchasing customer to (hopefully) make a second purchase and beyond.
(NOTE: Sadly, due to changes with the pre-ticked widget whitelist policies, Facebook no longer accepts applications for the widget whitelisting process (since around mid-October 2018), so you’ll overall struggle to get customers to subscribe to Facebook Messenger notifications by ticking the widget. The only closest alternative you really have in this case is to switch to the Discount Widget instead.)
Finally, a video on how to structure your discount coupon email using Mailchimp which is sent to the prospect after they opt in to email marketing via Wheelio. Overall, this is more relevant for branded niche stores, so this won’t help you much if you’re only running a general store since email marketing overall works better for branded niche stores.
There apparently was also going to be videos on how to set up your follow-up emails which come after the coupon confirmation email, though I can’t seem to find them anywhere, so I’m uncertain what exactly happened there?
Because the Facebook algorithm is constantly changing to the point that the methods taught in the above-mentioned modules may not work as effectively anymore (especially due to increasing CPMs, not to mention more and more people getting into the Facebook advertising game), you’ll need to adapt to any changes as they come.
Be sure you’re actively following updates from the private Facebook group, so you’ll know when the course receives updates which detail new testing methods that will not only keep your CPMs as low as possible while still attracting high quality traffic, but also help you effectively scale campaigns to the point of profitability.
As Tristan also advises, you should also watch the videos detailing the older methods first before you watch the videos in the course updates module.
Money Back Guarantee
While the course only comes with a 7 day money back guarantee, it’s more than enough time for you to go through the course and implement everything taught into practice. If you consistently make an effort to take action and don’t get the results or value you were hoping for within that period, you can ask Tristan for a full refund; no questions asked.
Overall, despite the steep learning curve of Facebook ads in general, this is a great course to help familiarise yourself with the Facebook ads platform, regardless of the store model you run. It also comes jam packed with additional content which, even if you’re not actively running Facebook ads, offers helpful strategies to increase your store’s AOV and profitability. This is a course created by a well-respected individual (to reiterate: no BS, no fluff), and comes at an affordable entry price point. If you’re thinking of getting started, now’s the time to do so.
If however, for whatever reason, you find the work associated with Facebook ads to be a headache (which I can personally reciprocate), I would strongly consider Google Ads Ecom Academy as an alternative. The course offers an in-depth guide on finding winning products using Google product listing ads, and how to scale winning products to the moon using the Google Ads platform. It’s much easier to follow, and overall boasts better chances of attracting immediate sales. Check it out here or read my review.