So the theory goes that with increased sales velocity on Amazon comes improved position on the page….And with improved position on the page comes increased sales velocity.
There’s definitely a cause-effect argument to be made in either direction. It’s likely this will be unique based on the market, and the page positions we’re talking about. i.e. bottom of page vs top of page positioning.
Regardless, promotions keep stock moving. Stock that moves builds momentum. Cost effective promotions however are key to being able to even consider this as a strategy, therefore here are a few ways we’re working with.
Facebook Offer Ads – Single Use Coupon Code Distribution
Here’s a link to a tutorial on how to distribute coupon codes using Facebook Offers Combined with Facebook Ads.
Bonus Side Benefits Of using FB Ads
Using super URLs you can boost the rank of your product against a keyword of your choosing – meaning you can target one keyword at a time!
Using a 2-step storefront URL, you can also take the “Super URL” one-step further. The 2-step storefront URL ultimately overcomes the issue with the duplicated timestamp that is problematic with the “Super URL” method. As it forces the visitor to click, but still retains the keywords you specify.
Here’s another tutorial on how to create the 2-step storefront URL
Built-in Amazon Coupon Code Snips
$0.60 per coupon code paid to Amazon
Amazon distribute your codes and promote your products using emails to their customers on your behalf. This is effectively like paid email marketing.
You can’t target specific keywords, meaning building sales rank for a particular keyword isn’t going to happen with this method.
JumpSend (Ok so it is a Launch Platform too)
But as you may be using this for your email follow up anyway, the ability to promote your products comes as a free bonus.
Once again, you can’t target specific keyword ranking, it’s just generic sales ranking boost as with the Amazon Coupon Code Snips.
Email List – Emailing Offers
Having built an email list, we’re utilising this to promote products where we’re trying to boost sales rank. Using a 2-Step Storefront URL or Super URL you can also focus on driving sales for a specific keyword or set of keywords.
Mixing offers in with a weekly email that’s already being sent prevents the whole “Offer Overload” problem the leads to high unsubscribe and Spam report rates. The challenge is creating the continuous content that isn’t “just an offer”.
Update: Using AMZ Coupon Server WordPress Plugin
As a result of using the AMZ Coupon Server WordPress Plugin to distribute coupon codes, we’re also capturing email addresses.
Ultimately these people are more inclined to “discount offers”, therefore how we use these emails has to be linked to discounts first and foremost.
When launching a new promotion, these are the email addresses we send that offer to first.
On a weekly basis, we then send an update to these email addresses, telling them about our latest offers (even if we’ve already told them).
Cross Promotion from Existing Products
Utilising the sales rank of existing products you’re already selling on Amazon to boost the sales rank of new products is achieved through creation of a “Money Off Promotion”. i.e. Buy this product and get 20% of this other product.
After a while, the association between the products is picked up by Amazon and they start promoting it more formally on the listing page – you’ll see “Frequently bought together” appear usually on both listings.
PPC for Launching Products
This may sound expensive and problematic. Recent experience shows that launching and targeting a few of the top keywords (10-15) for the product you’re selling using Phrase Match targeting is effective.
This isn’t a standalone strategy anymore, and in the past it was. But this is probably true for any of the launch mechanisms listed here.
Amazon Early Reviewer Programme
This programme doesn’t advertise itself as a product launch mechanism, but it’s definitely a way to get some more traction. Mixed results have been gained, and it costs $60 to sign yourself up for this per product. Not really a lot in the grand scheme of things.
The pro is that it’s aimed also at getting you a review.
The negative is that it isn’t going to get you high sales velocity. But a bit of sales velocity from this, a little bit from the email list, a little bit from PPC, a little bit from a launch service like Jumpsend – it all adds up.
There’s a fee per lightning deal. In the USA this is $150, then on top of this you have to put a number of units into the lightning deal at a reduced price. Lightning deals have to be scheduled ahead of time, so there’s a degree of planning that needs to be done.
The cost of lightning deals means that you do need to factor these into the monthly advertising budget and track closely how much the deals are costing.
Lightning deals have also allowed us to keep stock flowing, BSRs up and rankings higher. The drawback here is that lightning deals are only available on products which have a sales history. This means it’s not an accessible strategy for brand new product launches, but it can be perfect for product “re-launches” when you’ve come back into stock.
AMZ Coupon Server Single Use Coupon Code Distribution
As we operate on WordPress, we have the ability to use plugins within our website. AMZ Coupon Server is a plugin that allows you to capture email addresses and distribute unique coupon codes. It take a little to setup AMZ Coupon Server in WordPress, but essentially it puts you in control, and enhances the UX in comparison with just using Facebook Offer Ads (the UX on those is horrifying).
Once you’ve got your Landing Page setup using the plugin, it’s simply a case of setting up a Facebook Ad directed at your landing page.
Essentially, this is just like running a Jumpsend Promotion. HOWEVER, you have more control over the audience. i.e. you can run a Facebook Ad to ONLY visitors of your website (using the Facebook Pixel). That way, you’re sending Ads to WARM-RELEVANT Traffic – not just out into the ether for the deal chasers to grab!
Drawbacks – there isn’t a “daily distribution limit” for the coupon codes. Therefore you do need to “tend” to the plugin on a daily basis to feed it with codes if you want to cap the number of codes distributed per day.
On the plus side, once the codes have run out, the plugin does notify visitors to the page that the codes have run out. Surprisingly, this is a novel feature amongst the competitor plugin offerings.
Promotions To Amazon Influencer Program (Amazon Social Media Promotions)
There’s a “new” type of promotion available within the Amazon promotion line-up. It’s called a “Social Media Promo Code”. The codes are not “single-use” and they can be distributed via social media. Amazon provides a landing page link for the promotion on the Amazon website, and as far as UX goes, it’s probably the best example. When visitors click on the link, the promotional discount is already applied. No need to fumble around with copy and paste…
Drawbacks include the fact that you can’t set an inventory limit. The code has endless reach and the promotion could get out of hand. However, if you “hold” some inventory by setting up a “removal order” but opt to “Hold Inventory for 2 Weeks” on the confirmation page (instead of confirming the removal) you can limit the number of units that can be sold. Liran Hirschkorn talked about this on Danny McMillan’s Seller Sessions Podcast in the video below.
The benefit of this type of promotion is that Amazon will (if you select the check box) share your Promo code with Influencers who have signed up for their “Amazon Influencer Programme”. This basically means that someone from that program, or multiple influencers, could pick this up without you ever interacting with them. This is a really “lite-touch” way of getting into influencer marketing.
See the screenshot below which shows Amazon’s explanation of how they will use the Promo Code if you “opt-in” to letting them share the Promo with their influencer network.
We’re pretty sure that this type of promotion, as with influencer marketing, is going to be more successful in certain markets than others.
You can find out more about the Amazon Influencer Program at affiliate-program.amazon.com/influencers
Video Marketing with YouTube Ads
Ezra Firestone has been talking about this recently and I’ll put some links in to key videos and articles.
Influencer Outreach for Social Posts and Review Articles
Using a loyal base of influencers (micro and medium) who have blogs and social following to write articles and posts about the products creates buzz.
This approach is definitely not “direct marketing” but the content that’s created; images and videos especially, can be used in other direct marketing activities.
There are a few other methods we’re working with, we’ll add them in here as we get results. Watch this space.