In this post I’m going to outline everything we do for clients to launch a successful Amazon marketing campaign, the exact tools & techniques we use and the important elements we also implement to generate insane return on investments for our clients.
With these techniques I’m able to provide a service that rivals the largest agencies in the world and outperform them in most cases.
I’ve built this page to be 100% transparent going through the exact strategies used in all campaigns, something we’ve found has worked for every single client in 2017.
Although we are successful in what we order, we do not like to take on too many clients at one time. As a result we only take on 3 new clients per month and top out at 15 recurring clients and avoid any conflicts of interest.
Have a read of the process and strategies below and if you have any questions feel free to get in touch with me directly on [email protected]
The 3 Stage Approach
As explained on the homepage, our techniques involve 3 core stages. These 3 stages help us systematise Amazon success and this is something we’ve tweaked and continue to test each month.
Stage 1 – On Page Optimisation
The on-page optimisation stage includes everything that is complete before a product starts selling on Amazon or before you start your ranking strategy. This doesn’t matter if the stock has been launched on Amazon in the past, we complete the on-page optimisation element regardless of whether you make 0 sales a month or 100,000 sales. In this stage we optimise the listings for conversions, both users and Amazon’s algorithm. We do this in the following way.
1.) Keyword Research
The first part to any successful optimisation campaign is keyword research. Determining what keywords we are looking to rank inside of Amazon’s search engine both long and short term. The more competitive the keywords the more profitable they will be long term, but the more difficult they will be to rank in the first place.
We start with a process called: common sense. This involves simply thinking about what the potential keywords would be for a specific product. Having close to 10 years experience with keyword research this has now become second nature and starting with just my own thoughts is something I find works incredibly well. Once I’m out of ideas we move onto the next keyword research stage.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner – This is a piece of software that generates keyword ideas from seed keywords. Taking our seed keywords from the process above we can put these into Google’s tool and generate hundreds of variations and more importantly other keyword ideas that may not have been thought of in the first step. The Google keyword planner is also the smartest tool, although it is not directly related to Amazon so the search volumes are not relevant, in the final keyword research stage we can get semi-accurate data in regards to monthly search volume inside of Amazon itself.
By this point we have a large sample of keywords related to your product(s). The final stage of keyword research involves using a tool called MerchantWords to analyse all keywords. This is a great tool but has a few flaws. The first is they only show keywords that have the specific keyword itself in. For example no latent semantic search results (all this means is terms that mean the same thing but do not contain the same keyword, for example; car vs automobile). Below you can see how much data this tool gives you, 220,000+ related keywords for Amazon.com, 48,000+ for Amazon.co.uk and so on.
By the end of the keyword research phase we usually have between 50-500 keywords depending on the campaign that we can use in the PPC (pay per click) campaign later on, as well as in the listing optimisation itself.
2.) Optimisation Of Product Listings
Part 2 of stage 1 is the optimisation of the product listings themselves. This is of course essential for long term Amazon profits, ensuring you rank for the correct keywords once we move onto stage 3 of the campaign and the exponential stage. Our optimisation works as follows.
Optimisation of an Amazon listing requires implementing your keywords and copy in such a way to a.) rank highly in Amazon but also b.) convert visitors into customers which is of course our ultimate goal. We optimise keywords into the content in the following way:
- Title – Your title is the most important place to implement your primary keywords. We want to build listing titles that both draw attention for users but also contain a number of our primary keywords.
- Bullet Points – The bullet points are essential for copy. Many Amazon seo consultants miss this key element and only write for the search engines. With over 5 years experience writing ads we pull principles from experts such as Cialdini, Luntz, Ariely, Ries and many more to write bullet points primarily for users but also write these in such a way to implement our keywords without affecting readability or conversions.
- Search Terms – After the title the search terms in the back-end of your listing should be optimised for specific keywords and NOT multiple terms inside one line. Here we simply implement our 5 most profitable keywords.
- Description – The product description is where we can be more liberal in our keyword usage. 95% of buyers in Amazon do not fully read product descriptions. And 80% make an instant buying decision based on reviews, price and images. This means that we want to write these descriptions with the final 5% in mind talking more about the story of the business whilst at the same time liberally including all of our remaining keywords we have yet to implement into the listing.
- Benefit Driven Images – An optional service. BDI’s are images that show the featured benefits of a product in the image itself. This improves conversions by 30% in almost every case when correctly implemented. A very simple tactic to implement and as 90%+ do not fully read an Amazon listing page we should be looking to get across as many benefits of the product in the images themselves. (Benefit driven imagery is not inside the campaigns themselves but something that must be in place for conversion-optimisation reasons.)
- Copywriting – Another essential element to a highly converting Amazon listing is having the right type of copy. We build your listing from a copy first, optimisation second perspective. Increasing the percentage of people who hit your listing who go on to buy.
3.) Competition Analysis
Another element to the pre-launch is analysing the competition to reverse engineer profitability. We use tools such as JungleScout to analyse the competition and see if there is a large enough market for our keywords. We look to build million dollar product launches, for small markets we can rank a lot faster (and hence generate a faster ROI) but overtime this won’t be as beneficial as investing upfront and ranking for the keywords that generate $30,000-$50,000 in revenue per month. In this part of the campaign we analyse the competition to give you estimates of the profitability of your products, as well as how strong the competition is inside of Amazon.
Stage 2 – The Initial Launch
The initial or soft launch helps us test the market for your product as well as testing Amazon’s processes, distributing, lead time and proof of concept. The soft launch is a simple 4 step process involving testing how effectively the product reacts in the marketplace as well as generating some initial sales and reviews. Below is how the process works.
1.) 5 Initial Sales
Using our contacts we find 5 individuals willing to purchase the product at full RRP price (there are reasons why nowadays you shouldn’t offer discounted products through Amazon but I will come onto that later.) These sales will use one of two techniques to give you even better value. The 2 techniques we use are: a.) The Amazon choice technique (more on that in part 4) and b.) Keyword focused sales.
Keyword focused sales involve an individual searching a keyword inside of Amazon and looking for your specific product. Instead of going directly to the product page URL we ask all contacts to search for the product using a specific primary keyword. Over 5 sales this is a huge trust and authority signal to Amazon for that specific product. Amazon’s algorithm then associates your product with this keyword and as a result rewards you with higher organic rankings. This process scaled will rank you in Amazon on it’s own but its almost impossible to conduct at scale so we’ve built other strategies for the scalable element and instead use this in our intial launch phase to get some sales and reviews.
2.) 5 Initial Reviews
The same contacts that initially purchased our products will go on to leave a review. We cannot ask for positive reviews inside of Amazon but we can ask for reviews. This is something I highly recommend everyone get into the habit of doing but in our case we guarantee 5 reviews inside our campaigns. This is enough to get started although 20+ reviews is always a better starting point of part 3. These are all verified purchase reviews and as long as the product delivers these are usually positive too with images included for some social proof.
3.) Amazon Sponsored Products Campaign
Amazon PPC or sponsored products is Amazon’s version of paid advertising. They allow advertisers to market individual products for specific keywords. These products then appear at the top of the search results for very specific keywords. You can bid on exact keywords or “broad” match ones. Again this is not an evolved platform and reminds me of a very early days AdWords campaign. Although not very advanced it is very easy to set-up a highly profitable campaign with our keywords from stage 1.
The success or failure of a sponsored products campaign is based on the ACOS of that specific campaign or keyword. ACOS simply stands for Amazon Cost Of Sales. This is how much you are spending to make a sale. For example if we spend $100 and make $200 in sales this would be a 50% ACOS. ACOS generally should be kept below whatever the specific profit margin of your product is. For example if we had a profit margin of 30% on a specific profit after all of Amazon distribution and storage fees, we would only want a maximum ACOS of 25% in order to ensure we stay in profit for that products sales.
Although I recommend an ACOS 5% below your profit margins, in some cases it makes sense to make as many sales upfront and even take a loss on PPC adverts. For example if you offer a subscribe and save service, or your product is a disrupter in its industry it makes a lot more sense to take a loss on marketing upfront to gain more traction faster.
Generally speaking we build campaigns that convert around 15-20% ACOS. For some products we’ve even managed to get this down below 10% such as the campaign we ran for a product in the pets niche in mid 2017. This shows a $200 spend and $3,000 in sales that resulted.
4.) Amazon Choice Technique
Amazon Choice is a relatively new initiative Amazon has introduced in the past year to add value to specific product listings. Whereas previously there was only a “best seller” badge. With the growing popularity of ALEXA and Amazon’s voice orientated AI the choice is becoming more and more important and popular for buyers. The Choice badge is shown on the right and it an added element of trust for your listing. The Amazon choice technique is something we’ve tested and implemented for all clients in the past 6 months. The strategy is relatively simple and has a 30-40% success rate at acquiring the badge.
I’m not going to outline the strategy in this guide as it is simply too valuable to our business model but this strategy is implemented for all clients that come on-board for full campaigns. In 2017 we managed to acquire a choice badge for a product listing. This tripled sales from around $10,000 per month to over $29,000 the month following. As mentioned we implement this strategy for all clients.
Stage 3 – The Exponential Launch
In the previous 2 campaigns should result in gaining initial exposure for the product. If the product is brand new you should be getting 3-10 sales a day by this point. If you have been on Amazon for an extended period of time you should see an increase of 25-40% in sales from the above techniques.
The exponential launch phase is where we grow the business and leverage Amazon’s platform. The ultimate goal with Amazon should be to rank inside of Amazon for your primary keywords. This means that when someone searches any keyword related to your product you appear in one of the top 3 results. This is where the passivity of the Amazon business model comes in. Getting to this stage is becoming more and more difficult for sellers as you have probably found.
The process itself to increase organic rankings is actually quite simple = INCREASE BEST SELLER RANK. BSR is a metric Amazon created, similar to PageRank for Google years ago to help them organically rank websites. Amazon uses BSR to help them rank products for organic keywords. The good news is it is very simple to spike best seller rank (it’s just not easy). All you have to do is increase your sales. That’s it! But of course we have to spike sales from alternative methods aside from Amazon. This is why so many Amazon businesses fail. They can’t rank for their keywords organically and hence struggle to make sales and vis versa.
Note: What used to work is being phased out – You used to be able to use discount code sites, give your products away for free, spike best seller rank and then after a week you’d be ranking 1st for product keywords that could earn you $20,000+ a month in sales. This all used to take about 2 weeks and work incredibly well! Amazon is now smarter and doesn’t reward the listing with higher organic rankings when these techniques are implemented.
We Use 3 Core Strategies to Spike Best Seller Rank
Prospecting relevant influencers and reaching out to these in a way based on value exchange. We have an incredible success rate of product placement with influencers who have between 10,000 and 1 million followers on YouTube and Instagram.
The process for finding influencers involves manually searching Google, YouTube & Instagram with the niche of our client’s product. We build a list of 150 influencers who not only have a large following but also (more importantly) we calculate the percentage engagement they receive on each individual post/video. This means we are building a list of the most engaged target audience and not building lists of influencers with thousands of engaged or fake followers.
We also DO NOT use any influencer marketing softwares for this process as the individuals who sign up to these websites usually have very poor accounts with the sole goal to make money through product placements, this is something we aim to avoid.
Once we have a prospecting list similar to the below screenshot, we manually reach out to all 150 prospects over a 2 day period using a simple personalised script that essentially talks about our product & whether their following would be a good fit. If so, we arrange either a free or paid sponsored post in return for a product/payment. The numbers vary based on the client product & the following of the influencer themselves.
Usually there will be approximately a 10% conversion rate to product placement giving us 15-20 influencers we can send products out to on a specific date (the date & timing of the overall campaign is essential as our sole goal is to spike best seller rank and increase organic rankings so we want to integrate influencer marketing with the two other BSR spiking mechanisms below.)
Content Marketing & Link Building
An optional organic ranking technique, one that we have been using successful to generate long term sales for almost 5 years. You can see the entire process of this specific method on our sister agency website here (warning long read).
Briefly – The content marketing and link building campaigns have multiple knock-on benefits aside from spiking best seller rank, but when integrated with influencer marketing & Facebook advertising they add another prospective marketing arm that generates sales quickly and effectively.
In our team we have 2 Facebook advertising specialists that build high converting Facebook adverts and funnels pointing directly to the Amazon product listing. We’ve spend years and thousands of dollars developing the copywriting skills to target end users directly in Facebook and have had incredible success in recent years.
Unlike your average Facebook Advertising campaign where ROI & profit is the sole goal, in this case we want to generate a massive influx of visitors & customers to the product listing at once. As a result I recommend clients invest a 3 month advertising budget into 1 week and ignore the initial investment and cost per purchase that we would look at long term, instead focusing on the keyword rankings that would be achieved as a result of such a campaign.
The Facebook advertising process itself involves building out an attractive ad, positioning the product correctly with smart copywriting & most importantly using advanced targeting options inside of Facebook to get in front of our target audience directly with our product.
The Results Of The Exponential Launch Phase
As previously mentioned the exponential launch process provides 3 core results; builds your brand exposure, helps you generate a huge amount of initial sales but most importantly it spikes BSR and leads to higher organic rankings, and hence a massive increase in long term profitability.
The key to this entire process is TIMING.
Individually these tasks could be completed but when done one by one the benefit is a lot less effective, when completed all at once to spike best seller rank the result is not only tripled, it’s 10X if not 20X in most cases, and you only have to do this once!
Organic rankings for your pre-determined keywords is how you generate the passivity of an Amazon business that many look for from the Amz platform.
If you want to spike your best sell rank and improve your organic rankings get in touch below to book a skype consultation.
Email: [email protected]
“Tom saved me hundreds of hours of headaches and thousands if not tens of thousands in potentially lost sales through poor optimisation.”
Leo Pezzia (Gardening Niche)
I worked with Tom not only inside Amazon but also for our shopify store. Instead of just writing a testionial I thought I’d let the results speak for themselves. Below is a screenshot of our shopify store from September to the end of October. Incredible sales figures for a start-up, very happy.
Dino Santis Director of Ecommerce at: KitSeek
I’m happy to recommend these services for anyone who doesn’t know how to optimise a listing and [who’s] getting started using the Amz seller platform. We had been struggling to improve sales through lack of rankings for several products. Tom explained why this was happening and helped us create a plan both short and longer term to raise sales… not having the initial budget for the full campaign we went with just stages 1 and 2. For a brand new start-up to go from zero sales all way to $12,000 a month within 3 months I thought was really great. We’re now reinvesting into stage 3 with the goal to hit that 10X mark and reach $100,000+ per month before the end of 2018!
Emma Stimpson (Interior Design Niche)
“I’m happy to recommend these services for anyone who doesn’t know how to optimise a listing and get started using the Amazon seller platform. We had been struggling to improve sales through lack of rankings for a number of products. Tom explained why this was happening and helped us create a plan both short and longer term to raise sales from $15,000 monthly, to close to $43,000 a month in only 90 days. I would highly recommend the services to take the pressure off!”
Laura Rollins (Beauty Niche)
For the full stage 1-3 campaign and ongoing maintenance including;
- Stage 1: Keyword Research & Analysis.
- Stage 1: Competition analysis.
- Stage 1: Optimisation of Product Listings.
- Titles Creation.
- Bullet Points Copy & Optimisation.
- Search Terms Selection.
- Description Optimisation.
- Copywriting of Entire Listing.
- Stage 2: 5 Initial Keyword focused sales.
- Stage 2: 5 Verified Purchase Reviews.
- Stage 2: Amazon sponsored products campaign (PPC) Creation.
- Stage 2: Tutorial of the Amazon choice technique.
- Stage 3: 150 Influencer Marketing outreach campaign.
- Stage 3: Custom Integrated FB advertising campaign.
- Stage 3: Content Marketing & Press Release Syndication.
On-page Optimisation (Stage 1) Per ASIN: $385.
Initial Launch (Stage 2) Per ASIN: $875.
Exponential Launch (Stage 3) Per ASIN: $5,850.
Please get in touch for specific details, individual elements can also be custom priced as required.
- VAT is added for UK businesses.
- Discounts are available for multiple campaigns when products are closely related.
- FB advertising costs are paid directly to Facebook.
- 5 Product cost sales will also be invoiced although these return directly to you through full RRP sales.
- Full email support is included, calls must be pre-approved.
- Payments are required upfront, any payments over $15,000 will be split 50% deposit & 50% upon completion.