Amazon is an ever-changing merry-go-round. Your amazon marketing strategy has gotta stay up-to-date. Things change on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis.
But, before we get into what’s changed, let’s talk about some of what is working, right now:
- You still need a well-optimized page
- You still need to regularly check your conversion rates
- You still need to test different price points
- You still need to ensure that all (yes, all!) of your image slots are perfectly utilized
- You need to explain each and every single benefit possible (and update them with review insights!)
- You need to create/update your infographics so they captivate and clearly showcase the information for your customers without cluttering things too much
- You need to be sure to hit all of the pain points for your product (and sometimes, hit ‘em more than once)
So, after you do all of that stuff, you’ll want to tackle and optimize your Amazon advertising campaigns. This is still the greatest bang for your back.
New Amazon Features To Utilize
In fact, Amazon just came out with a new feature: “Headline Search Ads” (HSAs) in Seller Central. Some advantages of HSAs:
- Good CPC
- Profitable for most companies and products
- Underutilized by the “mainstream” amazon seller crowd at the moment
Another new feature is the “Amazon Giveaways”, where you decide how many units of a product to give away for free to potential customers. So, for instance, you tell Amazon that you’re willing to give away 2 products after 3,000 people have entered. You can even create entry conditions, like having them watch a testimonial or promotional video to enter. The really nice thing about the “Amazon Giveaways” is that you can give a 5-10% coupon to all of the losers, which has a pretty good conversion rate right now.
To be clear, this is not selling 500 or 5,000 units of something at $1 or some low price to spike Amazon’s metrics. This is more of a contest than what we would traditionally think of like an Amazon giveaway.
Another neat feature is Amazon lightning deals. Lightning deals are not the right fit for every Amazon product, but they do work well for some.
- Protip: Amazon approves a deal but doesn’t tell you the time or day. So, sometimes they give you a crappy slot like 1am-5am. These crappy slots cost the same as a great slot. So Jeff recommends checking on when your timeslots are and cancel them. Book the lightning deals every week and cancel the bad ones as soon as you find out when they’re scheduled.
- Sellers who do this sell 100 units or more
- Costs about $150 a deal
- Even if you’re breaking even or doing slightly better, do this and other Amazon advertising practices as much as possible
- The more you can shove your traffic through the Amazon pipeline, the more often you’ll organically show up in searches and “People also bought this” boxes
Also, coupon clippings is a great Amazon feature. By listing your product in coupon clippings, your product will get showcased on a special page for bargain shoppers looking for offers and discounts.
- Coupon clippings cost nothing to post
- You don’t even get charged when they digitally clip the coupon
- You only get charged when customers check out
- Coupons can be as little as $1.00
- A great rule for this and other things: if it helps you breakeven, do it
What Is Outdated
Now, let’s discuss what doesn’t work anymore: using greyhat / blackhat stuff like buying 1,000 reviews from a review club. This type of thing is just too risky now. Amazon has been cracking down, removing reviews and suspending accounts. You need to think long-term about your business, not just in generating short-term spikes. Don’t let short-term hacks and shortcut strategies that aren’t compliant get in the way of you building a valuable robust asset.
Jeff Lieber’s take on reviews:
- This is the most drastically changed front in Amazon
- Build and control your own audience (#1 most important strategy)
- You need to control your list of customers
- Follow up with them with email or facebook, or–if all else fails–the amazon autoresponder
- Ideally, find people from email list and Facebook following
- Don’t be non-compliant though!
You can outsource your reviews to a company (like Turnkey Management) who have compiled an internal list for boosting sales and reviews. You can do this yourself, though. Focus on your customer experience and you will eventually be the top-rated and most reviewed product out there. WARNING: If you live and die by the number of reviews your products have, you don’t really have a business!
Before you do anything (even change the sales copy), you should look and do a full competitor analysis. Look at your top five competitors.
- What are they doing good?
- What are they doing bad?
- Take notes about their images
- Read competitors customer reviews
- Read competitors answered questions
- Spin what they do and improve on it
For “neglected” brands, Jeff aims to increase conversion from 10% to 12-14%. Usually, customers’ Amazon stores have keyword research that’s been neglected a bit or half-done. It’s important to ensure that your keyword research is fully optimized both in the front-end and the back-end of any amazon listing.
Look for the places where your Amazon listing isn’t yet fully optimized including where you could be ranking better organically. This ensures that when you start to pay for the right keywords, your conversion rate is already well optimized and you get the most out of any exposure, paid or organic.
What should you do off of Amazon to drive traffic to Amazon? Jeff says that most of their clients have other assets that they are building outside of Amazon.
- 10,000 or 20,000 person email group
- Social media groups
- Doesn’t count to just have these things, you need to use them!
- Recommendation: use some sort of off-amazon paid traffic.
- Where from? –it doesn’t really matter.
- Facebook ads
- Instagram ads
- Pinterest ads
- Just needs to be outside of Amazon
- Amazon tracks outside links and will reward you if you drive traffic to them!
What type of focus do most of Jeff’s clients have with regards to Amazon and off-Amazon?
- 90-95% on Amazon would be where most clients are
- But! Most clients know that they need other ways of listing, contacting customers, and selling their goods.
- So most of them set-up a shopify or something on their own websites and get their traffic down to 70-75% on-Amazon.
- Why is it important to go down to 75%?
- Clients need to automate the most time-consuming tasks and free up their capacity to think about other things.
- You can hire internally or outsource to a team
One key step to move your Amazon store to a legitimate business is to automate your day-to-day management tasks. By having others manage your Amazon presence, they can continue your trend growth and get you from $2M to $3M while you are freed up to grow your off-Amazon revenue from $1M to $4M!!
- This will help your whole business grow by 2x and 3x
- Once Amazon is automated, what things should you invest your time in?
- Email lists
- Custom facebook messenger bots
- Build a facebook messenger list because the open rates are phenomenal, way above email
- Focus on paid ads in Facebook and/or youtube
- When one grows, Amazon grows. There can be a multiplier effect when off-channel and Amazon revenue streams grow simultaneously!
Some Other Advice:
- Move fast, but don’t stop testing things first
- Grow fast; don’t be afraid to fail
- Don’t look at your ACoS every single day
- You need to adopt the mindset (it’ll be one of your greatest assets) that you are growing this company for the long-term
- Don’t forget the importance of the off-amazon stuff: growing product lines, kickstarters, etc.
Before we go, what does Turnkey Management do?
First off, they offer lots of free resources for everyone:
- Standard Operating Procedures
- Amazon audits for your listings
Turnkey Management also has two types of packages:
- Full Service
- Everything is done for you: setup, listing, ad campaigns, promotions, customer review strategies
- Flat, monthly rate
- Minimum monthly rate with performance-based fees for companies with lots of upsides and not a lot of cash-on-hand
- Turnkey “business in a box”
- If you don’t want to hire anyone and want to keep everything in-house, Turnkey has boxed up all of their amazon systems, strategies and checklists…literally, everything they do for their clients boxed into one plug-n-play module.
- Can be used by one person or an internal team.
- Comes with a complimentary 1-on-1 business implementation strategy session with one of Turnkey’s expert business coaches
Right now, physical product brands need to be very heavily invested in things NOT Amazon-related. This means:
- Being well-exposed on social media
- Having your email list built
- Having a raving audience
Be sure to automate and outsource anything that’s not your genius. So if delivering speeches and motivating teams is your genius, focus on that and hire someone or hire a firm to handle the other stuff. Only then will you build the lasting, world-changing business of your dreams!