How AI-optimized Amazon ads helped Souper Cubes® achieve significant first year growth
In situ product shot
5 min

How AI-optimized Amazon ads helped Souper Cubes® achieve significant first year growth

Kristie Schmuck, March 26, 2019

Souper Cubes® is the simplest idea that fills a need you didn’t know you had. Together, newly engaged power couple Jake Sendowski and Michelle Strausman, have solved a pain for thousands of food lovers and have become leaders in a growing community of home chefs.

Michelle and Jake saw incredible growth in their first year of launching on Amazon. They originally estimated that they would sell 3-4 trays per day, just to cover the costs of this new passion project. However, within the first few weeks, this number climbed to 10 trays per day and continued to rise throughout the year. 

Optimized Amazon Ads helped them: 

  • Get to market quickly and without barriers

  • Find audiences and generate sales

  • Establish their brand

  • Reallocate time to driving organic growth and running the business

The challenge: Launching a new brand online with no digital marketing experience

You might be hard-pressed to find a more deliberate brand than Souper Cubes®, which exists to solve a real problem the founders themselves experienced. Instead of starting a company to get rich, Souper Cubes® has grown with careful intention. The duo both maintain full-time jobs - Michelle as an educator and graduate student, Jake as a Product Director in the cybersecurity space, and dedicate most of their spare time to growing their company.

"It all started with chicken soup." Said Michelle. "I was thinking one day about how great it would be to have our own stock on-hand for whenever we were making Risotto or any other dish that requires stock. I decided to try freezing in regular ice cube trays but didn’t know how much was in each cube or how much to take out to defrost. It was wasteful, time-consuming and frustrating."

I suggested we look for those large whiskey cube trays, but none had fill lines so that didn’t solve our problem. It seemed like such a simple solution, I figured someone had to be doing it. But when we looked online, it didn’t exist. - Jake
Jake and Michelle Sendowski

Time is a precious commodity for new business owners, which is why finding the right partner for their digital advertising strategy from the very beginning was core to the success of Souper Cubes®.

When we first started out, I felt a sense of anxiety because I didn’t actually know if any sales were coming from our ads or from other sources. What I was really looking for was a solution that allowed us to look at attribution and see exactly where our revenue came from. - Michelle

The Solution: Closing sales with Perpetua and driving organic traffic to Amazon.

Michelle and Jake leaned on their network to get their business off the ground. A friend helped them source the factory internationally that would manufacture the product with premium materials, another worked with them on the design and a third put them in touch with Perpetua.

A buddy of mine in the venture community knows Perpetua's CEO, Rosco. I was telling him about our idea for Souper Cubes® and he said, “do you want to sell like a million of these? You’ve got to check out Perpetua.” We learned a lot with Perpetua about how to build a digital marketing strategy and what our ad strategy should look like. - Jake

With Perpetua managing and executing their campaigns, Michelle and Jake were able to focus on generating organic growth from other channels. Michelle’s natural-storytelling ability made her a strong marketer and advocate for the company. She started to connect with food lovers on social media who were experiencing the same pains she was. This strategy drove new audiences to Amazon where Perpetua optimized ads were ready and waiting to turn traffic into sales.

Michelle and Jake with Perpetua

Our product page conversion is pretty high, about 20%. So, if Perpetua makes sure that people come to our page, whatever they’re searching for, that’s a huge part of our success. - Michelle

The Results: Time saved to focus on the rapid growth of Souper Cubes®

Since launching Amazon ads with Perpetua, Souper Cubes® now employs both a defensive and offensive brand strategy. This dual strategy helps them to capture medium and high intent searches and drive conversion.

We learned that on Amazon, protecting your brand is super important. When we started doing well, we noticed people started bidding on our brand but we’re always at the top and we know that’s because of Perpetua. On our own, it would’ve taken us much longer to figure that out. - Jake

Using Perpetua’s Ad Engine to reach new audiences with keyword and ASIN harvesting has been especially powerful for the emerging brand. In the year since starting their business, Michelle and Jake have learned that whatever their initial intention was for the use of their product, it’s solving problems for consumers in new and surprising ways.

I have appreciated some of the keywords that Perpetua harvests, I definitely would not have come up with many of them. One was, “snow cone machine cube mold”. It was oddly specific and it converted! - Michelle
Jake and Michelle with Souper Cubes
I’m already thinking constantly about our product - the one thing I don’t have to think about is the terms or algorithms on Amazon, which are super unclear to me and complicated. It’s nice just having that off my plate. I can see my Amazon performance and I didn’t have to spend 3 hours of my day on a Saturday managing it - Michelle

Jake and Michelle's first year brought them a national retail partner, Sur la Table, and distribution in 121 stores. Pair that with their success on Amazon, and they are now able to double down in 2019 and set some big goals for the growth of their brand. New partners, new product lines and new features for their original trays are all up for discussion this year.

For us, Perpetua is there to make sure we’re capturing the attention of anybody who’s looking for our product, or something like it but doesn’t know about us yet. We don’t really have to think about that part of the marketing strategy. We can focus elsewhere to drive organic sales. - Jake

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