Updated: May 9
If you are searching for legit strategies to launch and market your products with Amazon FBA, this is the place to be.
In this full guide, I’ve included all the proven profitable methodologies that allow you to launch your product on Amazon, rank higher for specific keywords and successfully advertise your listings on Amazon Advertising (formerly AMS: Amazon Marketing Services).
As always, all of my marketing strategies are perfectly legit and you won’t find shady cheats or shortcuts that violate Amazon policies.
If you have an Amazon Vendor Central account you won’t be able to exploit all the strategies mentioned in this article, since you might have different options and tools available. Not to mention the different business relationship in place with Amazon itself, since you are the supplier and Amazon is the client.
For laymen, having an Amazon Vendor Central account means you are selling directly to Amazon. The latter is your client and you are its supplier. Having an Amazon Seller Central account means you are using Amazon as a marketplace.
Well, without further ado, let’s begin.
Table of contents
GET YOUR PRODUCT REVIEWED BEFORE LAUNCH WITH AMAZON VINE
The first strategy I want to show you is how to launch a product with Amazon Vine. The objective is to get your listing reviewed before you invest in advertising or other publicity.
While reviews are not necessary to launch a product (read the next chapters to discover why), they surely increase trust and contribute to higher ranking.
What is Amazon Vine?
Amazon Vine is a program that gathers Amazon’s most trusted reviewers and invites them to share their opinion about a new or pre-release product… after they have tested it for free, of course!
Users have to satisfy several criteria before they become Vine voices and the program is invitation-only.
Leaving a review is not mandatory, but Amazon updates the voices pool regularly in order to keep the most active reviewers.
On the other side, businesses must:
Be a brand registered in Amazon Brand Registry;
Sell the product with the FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) program;
Sell a non “adult product”;
Have less than 30 reviews on the product detail page;
Have already launched (published) the product at the moment of enrollment;
Have available inventory;
Have an image and description.
Amazon Vine might charge an enrollment fee depending on the season, product sponsored and other internal marketing criteria.
Usually, it’s pretty much affordable and sometimes there is no fee at all!
There are some limitations, tho.
For example, the quantity of Vines available (the products that you can enroll in) can vary. So, you should be very selective and only enroll your best items.
You may also have caps for the amount of units you can give away per each Vine.
Basically, if your ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers) is eligible for enrollment, your Vine will be active in 24 hours and you’ll start seeing reviews after15 days (based on Vine’s worldwide reviewer population as of December 2019).
Why you should use Amazon Vine
If you believe in the uniqueness and quality of your product, you have nothing to fear.
In fact, you don’t have any control over Vine reviews and aren’t allowed to contact the voices directly.
So, if your product isn’t up to par, Amazon Vine may become a double-edged sword.
You don’t want to flood your listing with negative reviews even before starting, do ya?
Agreed with this pre-requirement, this method will boost the social proof on your listing.
The higher your social proof is, the higher the likelihood visitors will purchase your product.
Who doesn't read reviews, after all?
HOW TO GET MORE REVIEWS WITH AMAZON MARKETING AUTOMATION
According to Amazon Advertising guidelines, one of the parameters to consider an item retail ready is to attain at least 15 reviews.
So, how can you request more reviews for your listings?
You have two choices:
Manually. You can manually invite buyers to leave a non-biased review by using Amazon’s Request a Review button;
Automatically. You can automate review invites by using a third party marketing automation software for Amazon. There are many tools out there like FeedbackWhiz, Seller Labs Feedback Genius or Helium10 Follow-Up. In this article, I’ll show you how to use Follow-Up, since Helium 10 is an industry standard for Amazon keyword research and on-page optimizations.
How to get more reviews with Amazon’s Request a Review button
This manual method is not scalable, but it can be useful if you are a new Amazon seller with low budget, low sales volume and can’t afford Helium 10.
The Request a Review button is a free Amazon feature that becomes available in the order details page once the transaction is complete.
From your Amazon Seller Central console, navigate to the Orders section and click on Manage Orders from the drop down menu.
On this page, you can find the history of your orders. When you see an order with a green badge Payment complete next to it, you can invite the buyer to leave a review.
So, click on the seller order ID link to reach the order details page.
Once you are on the order details page, find the button Request a Review on the right.
After you click the button, Amazon will remind you that you can request just one review per order. It means that if you use this free feature, you can’t send another notification to the buyer for the same order requesting a review.
This issue can occur when you are already using an Amazon marketing automation software and click on the Request a Review button.
The image below represents what an Amazon email looks like when you request a review to a buyer.
How to automate Amazon product review requests
If you are serious about selling on Amazon, you should set up a marketing automation to request reviews from your buyers.
Automating this process is the only scalable solution available and it is a one time process.
Basically, you “set it up and forget”.
As mentioned before, I really recommend using Helium 10 Follow-Up, since you will be using this platform for other Amazon optimization activities.
Do I recommend this tool because I’m a Helium 10 partner?
Dude, I recommend this tool, because it really is the best on the market when it comes to Amazon organic optimizations and email marketing. I use it every day with my clients.
And yes, I tried Seller Labs, Jungle Scout and other tools. Helium 10 is the best.
The first step to setting up Amazon email marketing automation is to click on the profile image on the top right corner and select Connections from the drop down menu.
You need to integrate your Amazon Seller account with Helium 10 first.
Then, click on Add Seller Account beneath Connect Your Seller Accounts. Follow the wizard to complete the set up.
One of the information required in the integration process is your merchant token or seller ID.
You can find this information by logging in your Amazon Seller Central console, then click on Settings > Account Info > Merchant Token (in the Business Information section).
To be faster, just log into your Amazon Seller Central account and click on this link. It will direct you to your merchant token page straight away.
Once your seller account is connected to Helium 10, use the side menu to reach the Follow Up - Email Automation Tool button in the Operations section.
In this page, you will find different email automation templates. If you are looking for Amazon reviews, use the Request a Review template.
Follow the configuration wizard and personalize your email automation.
WARNING: you can’t ask for biased reviews. So, don’t ask for positive or only 5-star reviews: it’s against Amazon policy.
HOW TO GET MORE REVIEWS WITH AMAZON PACKAGE INSERTS
Another technique every business should utilize is the power of Amazon inserts.
In other words, you can insert a poster (or other marketing material) in the product’s package to prompt buyers to leave a review.
I’ve created the example above to make you understand how easy it is to make a difference, in terms of reviews count, with just a basic flyer in the package.
You should include:
One single and clear CTA (Call To Action) which is, in this case, to leave a review;
Your company contact point. It can be your email address or phone number according to the product and type of business.
The direct link to your product feedback page on Amazon (keep reading to know how to generate it);
Short and clear text. Now, it’s useless that we debate on the meaning of “short”. Just get straight to the point and give essential information. Don’t dwell on secondary details.
Disclaimer: if you have an e-commerce store, you should use Amazon package inserts to drive traffic to your website instead. But this is not the scope of this article. Schedule a digital marketing consultancy with me to learn how to seize the full potential of Amazon package inserts for your business!
WARNING: don’t exchange discounts for a 5 star review or you will break Amazon policy. Amazon can randomly open your packages for quality check and see that your behavior breaks their rules. You risk having your Seller account suspended or worse.
Where to find the direct link to “leave a product review”?
In your Amazon package inserts, I recommend using a QR code (read the next section to learn how to generate free QR codes) and a written plain link to the product’s Amazon feedback page.
You have two choices:
Universal link: amazon.com/review/create-review. You can provide this link to display all buyer’s recent purchases for which they can leave a product review. Buyers will need to locate your particular product from what is displayed. Products are listed by newest orders first;
Modified universal link: amazon.com/review/create-review?&asin=XXXXXXXXXX. In this second case, the link is more difficult to memorize, but it directly leads to your product. Substitute the series of “X” with your ASIN. This formula will move that ASIN product to the top of the list, so buyers won’t have to scroll through past orders to find your product.
How to generate free QR codes for your Amazon products
You have really many options to generate QR codes, just hit Google search and find hundreds of tools.
What I like to use is QRCode Monkey.
QRCode Monkey is a free QR code generator that gives you a certain degree of personalization, in terms of design.
As you can see from the pictures below (slide to the right to keep viewing images in the gallery), after you set the destination link, you can customize colors, patterns and even add your logo.
QRCode Monkey is free, but if you want to track and edit all your QR codes in one place, you should get the paid version called QRCode Studio.
Why you should use Amazon package inserts to get reviews
With this strategy, you will achieve much more than getting your product reviewed.
Once Amazon customers directly connect with you, you can use their contacts for other marketing activities.
This point is critical for growing your online business.
In fact, Amazon doesn’t give you access to buyers data. You can only pay for Amazon Advertising or other third-party marketing tools that will never share shoppers data with you.
When buyers use your contact point from the insert, you can collect their details and prompt them to move forward in their journey.
For example, you can remarket them on external advertising platforms, like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and so on.
On Facebook Ads, you can eventually use Amazon buyers’ contacts to generate a lookalike audience. In this way, you’ll target people with similar characteristics to those who have already bought from you.
Another tactic is to use their data for email marketing or other workflows (chatbot, sms marketing...).
Be aware of privacy concerns. Above all, if you do business in the European Union.
If you don’t want trouble, ask users if they want to get in touch for further commercial communications, discounts and promotions.
HOW TO LAUNCH AND MARKET A PRODUCT ON AMAZON WITH ADVERTISING
While you should read my Amazon Advertising Bible to become a real PCC evangelist, I want to give you some basic tips and high level best practices on how to structure your product launch campaigns.
While reviews are not fundamental for a product launch, advertising is.
In fact, advertising increases sales velocity which is the main metric Amazon uses to rank listings.
Basically, you have 3 different ways to drive traffic to your Amazon product page:
SEO: you optimize the listings with images, text, keywords and A+ pages in order to help Amazon search engine easily find and index your product;
Email marketing: you use third party tools like Helium 10 Follow-Up, FeedbackWhiz or Feedback Genius by Seller Labs to retarget previous customers and bring them back to your Amazon listings;
Advertising: you use third party platforms (like social media ads) or Amazon Advertising to drive paid traffic to your listings.
Your product launch formula should include all three.
What type of advertising campaigns can you launch on Amazon Advertising?
As of December 2020, Amazon Advertising offers three different types of campaigns: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display.
You use Sponsored Products campaigns to drive sales and have a conversion window of 7 days.
You use Sponsored Brands campaigns to drive awareness and should evaluate their performance according to impressions rather than conversions. In fact, the conversion window is 14 days instead of 7. In other words, their conversion window is too broad to be reliable.
You use Sponsored Display to disturb competitors and steal their customers. Even if they have a conversion window of 14 days, you can evaluate their performance according to the sales driven because of their specific placement. They are placed beneath the Buy Box and the description’s bullet points, so they actually represent a direct attack to the competition.
How to structure your campaigns on Amazon Advertising
Let’s consider 3 tiers of budget available: low, medium and high:
If you have a low budget, just focus on Sponsored Products campaigns;
If you have a medium budget, add Sponsored Display campaigns;
If you have a high budget, use a combination of all three campaign types.
In general, follow this scheme (this is a very simple structure, but effective):
1. Sponsored Products campaign with automatic targeting.
Create a Sponsored Products campaign with automatic targeting to sponsor all of your items.
Leave Dynamics bids - up and down selected and consider $10/15 per day, per product as a starting budget.
Create an ad group per each product or products category sponsored. If you place multiple products in the same ad group, you must be sure they are strictly related or very similar.
You use this automatic campaign to find profitable search terms to use in a manual campaign (see next steps).
After a week (or less) this campaign is going, select the Search terms tab and extract the most profitable keywords.
How can you decide whether a search term is profitable or not?
The most important metric to watch is the ACoS (Advertising Cost on Sale). For example, if you have an ACoS of 30%, it means you spend $30 in advertising for every $100 of sales.
What is a profitable ACoS?
A profitable ACoS depends on the margins you have for each product. Each product has a production cost, then you have to add Amazon fees, shipping cost and so on.
So, calculate the margin for each product (item price - overall costs).
The ACoS shouldn’t be higher than your margins. If ACoS is equal to your product margin, you are at break even (you are not losing or making money).
Copy and paste on a Google Sheet all the search terms from the auto campaign that have a profitable ACoS.
For example, in the image published before, the search term “rainbow glitter polish” gives me an ACoS of 7.30% which is very profitable for me.
So, I save this keyword for the next step.
Remember that an auto campaign also generates profitable target ASINs!
If a search term is not profitable (has an ACoS higher than your margin), add it to your negative keywords. If it is an ASIN, add it to the ad group’s negative products.
In this way, you won’t spend budget on those search terms anymore.
Remember to add negative targeting to ad groups and not to campaigns: work at an ad group level to be more precise and organized.
2. Sponsored Products campaigns with manual targeting.
Create a Sponsored Products campaign with manual targeting for each ad group that you had created in the auto campaign.
Start with a $10/15 daily budget and select the option Dynamic bids - down only. If you don't have a strong understanding of bid management, use Dynamic bids - up and down instead.
Create two ad groups per each manual campaign according to the targeting match type. You will call them ASIN match and Exact match respectively.
In the ASIN match ad group, target the profitable ASINs found by the automatic campaign. Remember to insert the ASIN of the item you are sponsoring for brand protection.
In the Exact match ad group, target the profitable keywords (or search terms) found by the automatic campaign. When you add the keywords, remember to select only the exact match type option!
So, retrieve your Google Sheet document and copy and paste your data.
Keep optimizing the campaigns by repeating this loop.
Stay tuned and subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you won’t miss my Amazon Advertising full guide when I release it.
If you want me to manage your Amazon Advertising campaigns, schedule a free digital marketing assessment with me!
HOW TO RANK HIGHER IN THE SEARCH WITH AMAZON GIVEAWAYS
With this strategy, I’ll guide you through the process of using social ads, chatbots, Amazon giveaways and many other tools to boost your listing’s ranking on Amazon search.
The bulk of this strategy comes from Myles Dunphy, alias Nomad Millionaire, a multiple 7-figure Amazon Seller. I’ve improved his product launch formula by simplifying the tool set and substituting some paid tools with free ones.
With my guide, you’ll spend less money and achieve the same goal faster.
Before I deep dive into the topic, you need to understand the fundamental concept on which this strategy is based on.
What is a super URL on Amazon?
A super URL on Amazon is a product’s URL which contains a specific keyword. Whenever visitors land on your product page through this URL and add the product to the cart, that product receives a ranking boost for that keyword.
Whenever you hit the search button on Amazon search bar, the AI inserts the keyword used in the URL.
For example, in the image below, I searched for “best dumbbells for home” and this keyword is also present in the URL.
Let’s say I’m interested in the second result displayed and click on it. As you can see from the image below, the URL of this product contains the keyword I used in the search.
This is the super URL.
So, if I click the button add to cart, Amazon will boost the organic ranking of this product for this specific keyword.
In other words, whenever another user will search for the same keyword, this product has more probability to be displayed higher in the search result page.
Your main objective, as an Amazon seller, is to exploit the super URLs to rank your listings higher.
You can achieve it in many different ways, one avenue is the use of giveaways.
Keywords to use in the super URL: short-tail vs long-tail
The first step to create a super URL is to research for profitable keywords. As profitable, I mean keywords that are relevant for your listing and drive consistent and high traffic volume.
Usually, you have two macro-categories of keywords.
1. Short-tail keywords.
They are general and highly competitive keywords that drive a lot of traffic.
For example, “sneakers” is a short-tail keyword: it drives a lot of traffic and many sellers will compete to rank for it.
When someone searches for “sneakers”, Amazon will display a series of general results. You’ll see sneakers of different colors, models and brands. Users that search for short-tail keywords may not know what to choose yet and they are still exploring all the options available.
2. Long-tail keywords.
They are specific, drive less traffic than a short-tail keyword, but they are also less competitive.
For example, “blue sneakers for men” is a long-tail keyword. If you want to be even more specific, you can add details like “blue mens sneakers for gym”.
When users search for long-tail keywords, they usually know what to buy and aim at specific products.
When launching a new product on Amazon, you probably want to focus on long-tail keywords, since your brand is not popular yet and you don’t want to clash with your competitors’ wallet.
In the image above, I pulled search volume data from Ubersuggest to show you how conversion rate is strictly related to keywords specificity.
Long-tail keywords match users’ intent and generate more relevant results than short-tail keywords. That’s why long-tail keywords have a higher conversion rate.
The challenge for your Amazon Seller account is to find profitable long-tail keywords that are not too competitive and drive enough traffic to generate consistent sales over time.
How to research for profitable long-tail keywords on Amazon
Let’s suppose you haven’t started your advertising campaigns yet, so how can you know what keywords to use on Amazon?
The first and only free method that you can use for Amazon keyword research is to exploit Amazon’s search bar autofill.
As you can see from the screenshot above, when you start typing your keyword on Amazon’s search bar, the AI gives you a few suggestions based on what other users search.
This method works well and is perfectly reliable, but has its limits.
The major limit is that you need to start from a keyword to prompt the autofill.
So, what if you want more seed-keyword ideas?
In this case, you need a paid tool that helps you research the right keywords for Amazon.
While there are plenty of free keyword research tools for Google SEO, I haven’t found 100% free ones for Amazon.
If you know free keyword research tools for Amazon, please share them with me by posting a comment below.
For Google SEO, I usually use SEMrush (or Ubersuggest which is free), but if you want a specific tool for Amazon, I recommend Helium 10.
The image above represents Magnet, a specific keyword research tool for Amazon by Helium 10.
Helium 10 allows you to generate a list of keywords from an ASIN (a product listed on Amazon) or from a seed keyword.
You can generate keywords from a successful product (in terms of sales) listed by your competitors. In this way, you’ll be able to see for which keywords it is ranking for and eventually use them too.
This dashboard gives you many useful parameters to evaluate the efficacy of a keyword and, besides the search volume, I will focus on the recommended giveaways (CPR 8-Day Giveaways, pointed by the red arrow).
Since it’ll help us calculate how many giveaways we need to finalize our strategy.
Here are the column definitions as stated on Helium 10:
Phrase (not in any particular order): keyword or phrase used by customers in a search for a product;
Magnet IQ Score: score based on the ratio of estimated search volume vs. number of competing products. A high score means a relatively high number of searches compared to the number of competitors. A lower score means the opposite;
Search Volume: estimated number of times this keyword phrase is searched for monthly;
Sponsored ASINs: number of ASINs detected running sponsored ads recently in search results associated with this keyword phrase;
Headline ASINs: number of ASINs detected appearing in Sponsored Brands (formerly called Headline Search Ads) recently in search results associated with this keyword phrase;
Competing Products: total number of products returned in a customer search using this keyword/phrase;
CPR 8-Day Giveaways: Cerebro Product Rank (CPR) estimates how many units of the ASIN need to be sold in total, over an 8-day period, resulting from a search for this keyword/s, in order to rank on page one for that keyword/phrase. ;
Match Type: source from which a keyword is drawn.
Use Magnet to explore relevant keywords related to your listing: use both the search by ASIN (Cerebro tool on Helium 10) and keyword.
Select the top 3 keywords according to their Search Volume and Magnet IQ Score (if you select more than 3 keywords, you’ll have to spread the budget too much in the next steps).
In other words, you want to select keywords that represent very closely the content of your listing and also drive a high volume of traffic. For this specific strategy, I wouldn’t pick keywords that trigger less than 20,000 monthly searches.
Do you want to learn how to do a keyword research like a pro? Read my guide on Amazon keyword research!
Decide how many giveaways you need to rank on page one
Once you have your keywords for which you want to rank on the first page, keep using Magnet to find out how many giveaways you need to a