As affiliates, we are all in this business to make money, and getting a little extra money doesn’t hurt. Amazon Associates is the affiliate program for Amazon which pays affiliate marketers whenever they refer a sale on the Amazon website. Now Amazon lowered the commission percentage being paid to affiliates to about just 4% for starters which is low, especially for affiliates who are interested in big margins and those who use paid traffic.
However, affiliates cannot totally despise Amazon because it provides higher conversion rates compared to individual brand affiliate programs and a better shopping experience for the visitors. The only thing brands can give in their affiliate programs that's better than Amazon associates is a higher commission rate for affiliates.
So Austin Tuwiner, the founder of Afflytics, came up with a tactic to make use of the stronger elements of each of the two parties (Amazon associates and individual brand affiliate programs) in order to make more money. In this article, we are sharing with you the killer tactic realized by Austin , which has helped him to get over 20% commissions off the sales he refers to Amazon.
The Main Idea
The main idea behind this tactic is to combine the powerful conversion rates of Amazon and the high affiliate commissions offered by individual brands. To achieve this as an affiliate, you need to negotiate your way with brands so that you can send them traffic to their Amazon product sales pages instead of their own affiliate programs. In turn, they pay you the same commission that they offer on their affiliate programs. So you are basically using their amazon listing as the main sales page instead of the one on their website because amazon is proven to convert better.
Doing this will help you as an affiliate to earn a bigger commission while taking advantage of Amazons great conversion rates and also it will help the brand generate more sales.
So the tactic can be implemented as follows:
1. Identify the Companies to Outreach
So the first step to this tactic is identifying the companies to outreach. Assuming you have a yoga website. So you have to search for "yoga mat" on Amazon and start researching all the brands that show up to find their website links and contact details if available.
Once you've got a bunch of yoga mats websites, create a list and add it to a basic excel spreadsheet. Your sheet must have columns with the website name, URL, email address, and contact name. If you can't find the email address, then follow step number 2.
2. Lookup for the Contact Details of the Owners of the Companies
In order to find the email addresses, you're going to want to use a website like Hunter.io. In this website, you can fill in the company’s website URL and then it will bring out a list of emails associated with the staff behind that company.
3. Contacting the Companies
After gathering all the information into the spreadsheet to a Spreadsheet with their company name, email, and contact name, and prepare them for a mail merge. You can use the Mixmax tool or other options online.
Obviously, we only have two sites here but in your case, it's going to be a lot bigger. It's time to use a mail merge tool to send a script. Here's an example script that we can use for this outreach.
This is just a format or a template you could use that will probably be a good starting point. There are also plenty of emailing tools out there so the choice is yours.
Basically you have to adjust this strategy to every single relevant page on your website and outreach a lot of brands and potentially create some deals.
4. Negotiating the deals
Negotiate with those who respond, follow up in a few days with those who don't until you get to close the deals. Assuming you do the strategy and get a few responses, we're now going to talk about the implementation of the strategy. Here's an example of when one of Austin’s emails was responded to.
We are blurring some of the fields out for privacy reasons. But as you can see, the potential clients are definitely very interested.
"When it came to negotiations, I even sent them a picture of my page's traffic. I asked for a 25% commission but they shot for 15%. They said because their profit margin doesn't allow that and then I went ahead and got them to agree on a 17.5% commission rate. Keep in mind this also includes 3% or 4% more in commissions that Amazon Associates is paying me — leading to over 20% in commissions, which is pretty good if you ask me." Austin says.
So if you set up a bunch of deals like this on your site, you really have the ability to transform its earnings potential.
5. Invoice them Based on the Sales via Amazon Associates Tracking
Once you have closed the deals, you're going to want to insert the client’s links into your affiliate articles and use Amazon's tracking or whatever you guys agreed upon to track the sales. You can use Afflytics to track this too.
Afflytics is a software for affiliate marketers that allows them to view all of their affiliate programs in one dashboard rather than having to log into multiple websites with individual affiliate programs. Afflytics helps you to gather all your affiliate programs in a single dashboard hence saving time.
Austin also advises affiliates to use contracts for these deals:
"For the first (or I don't know how long) time, I did this without any contracts. Basically, it was a trust system where we settled every month based on the sales or on the commission. So if someone scammed me out of one month of commission, I'd probably need the money more than I did, but luckily that never happened. As the volumes grew, I figured it'd be better to get a contract in place, so I paid a lawyer $500 to make a custom contract for this type of agreement.", — Austin says.
6. Watch Your Site's Earnings Skyrocket
This simple tactic took one of Austin’s content sites from $1 200/ month to $4 536/m in just one month after sending a few emails.
"Amazon typically charges sellers a 15% fee for listing products, so keep that in mind when asking them for commissions. The highest commission I've been able to negotiate is 17.5% (+3% from Amazon Associates) for 20.5%." — Austin says.
Austin was able to multiply his site's earnings by about 4x after applying this strategy. He went straight from $1 200 per month to $4 536 per month in just 30 days which was a very quick impact.
Amazon's conversion rate is very good, but most affiliates shy from it because of how poor their commission rates are. With this strategy, you will be earning extra commissions for products you're promoting anyway. For affiliate site owners, Amazon remains the perfect place to send traffic and this strategy makes it more enticing.