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What Is the Amazon Associates Program?
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Amazon Associates is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, which boasts more than 900,000 members globally and has existed for more than two decades. You can participate in the program if you are a website owner, web developer, or brand-owning Amazon seller, and the best practices included in this summary are geared toward the latter.
Brand owners can leverage the free Amazon Associates program to drive traffic to their Amazon product detail pages while monetizing this traffic at the same time. According to Amazon, you can refer customers from your own website, blog, or social media channels to buy your products on Amazon by using links, widgets, and banners. When customers buy any of those products on Amazon, you earn an advertising fee that is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price.
Benefits of Amazon Associates
With nearly 62% of the U.S. population using social media, having a presence and a cohesive, cross-channel messaging strategy that is visible and engaging will be pivotal to meeting your customers, both current and prospective, where they are. Here are the most compelling benefits to the Amazon Associates program:
1. You can funnel relevant traffic to your Amazon listings and increase sales at the same time.
2. If done well, you can recoup costs that you are spending in other areas on Amazon (such as long-term storage fees) with the advertising fees you earn from the program.
3. The tool is easy to use and you can make and customize links on your own.
4. The links bring customers to the point of purchase, which is likely where they want to end up after browsing the product of interest.
5. The program is free to use and there is no minimum referral requirement or quota you need to hit.
Getting Started With Amazon Associates
Before you begin, be sure to read the Associates Program Operating Agreement to ensure that you understand and comply with the terms of the program. Then, fill out Amazon’s brief online application form to sign up for the program, and select “Vendor” as your site type.
Amazon mentions that it looks for associates who “are a value-add for Amazon customers.” Check your websites, mobile apps, and social network pages to ensure they meet Amazon’s customer experience bar. All sites must have strong original content and at least 10 posts that are publicly available and not gated or behind a paywall. The content on your website must be recent, generally from the last 60 days.
You will have to include your contact information, what your website hopes to accomplish, Amazon topics your links will likely target, how you drive traffic to your websites, how you typically build links, and how many visitors your site drives each month.
Once you have applied and your application gets approved, you will receive access to Associates Central and can start earning fees for sales derived from your links. Earnings and traffic reports are available in Associates Central and can be used to view the products purchased and your earnings, which are paid out on a monthly basis. You can also check Associates Central for the latest news and opportunities available to you through the program.
While you can incorporate static, Associates-linked URLs to your website’s home page, you can also promote your Associates links across Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social channels to take shoppers directly to Amazon. You can set up different tracking IDs to differentiate between unique campaigns or initiatives.
Amazon recommends starting with static links, such as with “Where to buy” or “Available at” links on your website’s home page. Your storefront link will follow the format of “amazon.com/YourName.” You can sprinkle the links throughout your website, such as on your home page and product pages, so customers know where they can purchase your products as soon as they land on your website, as well as when they are browsing your products.
If you do not become a member of the Amazon Associates program yourself, but you are leveraging social media promo codes to offer discounts on eligible products on Amazon, you can share the codes with members of the Amazon Associates and Amazon Influencers programs to amplify your promotions’ reach.
Once your promo code is approved, Amazon will share it on Associates Central and members can browse and ultimately share links to any relevant promo codes with their audience. If there are relevant influences or associates interested in your products, Amazon can also notify them about your promotion through email with instructions on how to share with their audience.
Given that 46% of Amazon sellers promote their products using social media, you are innately at a disadvantage if you are not already utilizing social media to drive external traffic to your Amazon listings. With the Amazon Associates program, you can leverage your social media strategy — once it is developed and built out — to monetize the valuable traffic you direct to your Amazon listings.