So you’re up and running as an Amazon FBA seller, perhaps with decent sales, but still you desire greater business growth. While Amazon is a great place to sell products, it’s almost impossible to cultivate a customer base there.
As an Amazon seller, you have to take the good with the bad. You’re taking advantage of Amazon’s astronomical traffic, gold-plated reputation and of course their invaluable fulfillment service. However, you have to accept the fact that the users purchasing your products are Amazon’s customers… not yours.
Amazon wants to protect their own business, ensuring customers come back to purchase on their platform as much as possible. So you can’t exactly blame them for keeping their customer’s data under lock and key!
Amazon does provide you with some limited customer information, such as customer’s names, addresses and phone numbers, in case you need to smooth over any shipping or product issues. But they will under no circumstance provide your customers most important asset… their email address. You are forced to use Amazon’s messaging system if you want to contact your customers and you prohibited from sending outbound links or conducting any other marketing activities.
Why is building email lists so important?
If you don’t know already, there is real money to be made from building email lists. Owning and controlling a list of previous customers, interested individuals, and potential future customers is a business asset you can’t afford to be without!
Email marketing continues to reign supreme in the online marketing and eCommerce world. Email consistently delivers the highest ROI (return on investment) out of any marketing channel. According to EmailExpert for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $44.25!
Owning an email list of past and potential customers, gives you a direct communication channel, greatly increases your marketing impact. You can use this channel to launch new products, share educational material, run promotions and much more. You can even raise revenue by carefully promoting affiliate products to your lists!
How you use your email lists is completely up to your discretion, but employing email marketing strategies well suited to your Amazon brand is incredibly lucrative.
So, what are the best methods to build an email list for your brand?
List building techniques
Offering a high value newsletter
This method should be handled carefully as Amazon doesn’t appreciate you ‘stealing’ their customers. But by being creative and finding ways to encourage customers to sign up to a high value email newsletter, you’re taking an important step in building a lasting customer base.
An age old technique (that still works!) is offering “exclusive” offers/discounts, only available to those who sign up to your newsletter. Your customers will save money on their future purchase and choose you instead of your competitors. It’s a win-win scenario that’s relatively easy to implement and hard to beat.
Again, you’ll need to find a creative way to pull this off without upsetting Amazon. Amazon is very strict when it comes to preventing sellers from marketing to buyers, and you could easily wind up on the wrong side of their policy if they deem your actions inappropriate. Whatever you do, do not advertise your newsletter through Amazon’s messaging system.
To stay completely safe, you’re best sticking to advertising your newsletter through your own websites, social media, blogs and other channels. This works best if you have your own, preferable shareable, content. You can share this content to wherever your audience hangs out and then have your newsletter signup form in a strategic location on your own website.
Adding an insert card into your packaging
In the same vein as the previous method, many sellers have had success shipping “thank you” or “warranty” cards . This is a bit of a grey area and you should ensure that what you are doing is not in violation of Amazon’s TOS.
At the time of writing:
– You may be able to provide a link to a social media or blog site, which could, in turn, link to your email list.
– You may be able to use a QR code to send to your website.
As long as the warranty card is an actual warranty card, you should be in the clear. If, on the warranty site you need to register your customers email option to click on a link that reroutes them to your own website, it should put you in the free and clear.
Use this method at your own discretion and make sure Amazon doesn’t have a new policy in place to forbid its use.
Using opt-in forms on your websites
You should leverage every platform you have at your disposal to help build your email lists. Your example, you may already have your own eCommerce site or perhaps a blog in a related space. On these assets you should include opt-in forms wherever appropriate. Fortunately, there are software solutions thats make this easy, such as SumoMe.
SumoMe provides many different variations of opt-in forms such as smart bars, pop-unders and embedded forms. You can integrate SumoMe with your preferred email marketing software, such as Mailchimp, so any email address that is captured will automatically be pushed to the appropriate email list.
These apps come with a free trial but after that you will have to pay a small monthly fee, which is definitely worth the investment.
Using AMZPromoter to run promotions
Another way to boost your email list is to run promotions with AMZPromoter. AMZPromoter enables you to quickly create highly converting landing pages (with a capture form) and automatically distributes coupon codes.
Once you have created your page in AMZPromoter you can advertise your landing page on your own website, via email, on social media, forums, blogs or a multitude of other traffic sources.
If your prospect likes your offer then they will enter their email address to receive their coupon and be redirected to Amazon. If you use email marketing software such as Mailchimp you can integrate AMZPromoter which will automatically push the prospects email to your list stored within your email marketing software.
(ADVANCED) Giving out a free informational product
You’re already on Amazon, the largest eCommerce store in the world. It just so happens that it is also the biggest online bookstore as well. Providing a free eBook is a great lead magnet that can increase the perceived value of your brand and can be a great way to start building a relationship with your customers.
You don’t always have to write a giant eBook from scratch. Since it’s free, it doesn’t need to be too extensive, as long as it provides value to the reader. It could even be an existing large blog post that has been reformatted.
You may include a short list of tips, recipes, or a guide relevant to your field. Then you can place it on one of the biggest booksellers on the planet, for free! Best of all, there is no reason you couldn’t include links and funnel people to your own sites.
Also, it may be worth including other incentives to further encourage readers take a desired action. You could even recommend your own product in the eBook and include a link to an AMZPromoter landing page where your customer could claim a discount coupon. Start thinking, testing and tweaking and you are bound to outperform your competition!
While Amazon masks buyers email addresses and restricts marketing through their marketplace, there are still many tried and true methods to start building your customer base, without violating Amazon’s Terms of Service.
Like with any effective technique, the ones that require the most amount of effort usually offer the biggest payoffs. Your greatest success will come from experimenting with different methods, listening to your audience/customers and playing to your strengths.
Subscribe and stay tuned for the next post in the series which will discuss email marketing tactics and strategies.