The purpose of this lesson is to continue with the overview of what it takes to get ranked within Amazon.com. Again, you won’t need to worry too much about the details as the idea here is to get a conceptual view of how the whole process works with each individual part covered in greater detail in later lessons.
As mentioned in “Part 1” of this two-part lesson, there are a number of ways that you can get multiple accounts acting on your behalf. For the benefit of information flow, we’ll repeat some of those points and continue on where we left off (with “Multiple buyer accounts”):
• Existing list (“power of the crowd”) – if you have an existing list of customers, you can send out an appropriate communication (postcard, snail mail, email, Facebook message to Facebook list, tweets to Twitter list, etc.) to get them to buy and review your Amazon product(s).
• Affordable traffic source – If you can purchase email lists at a reasonable (i.e. profitable) rate from a site like lists.nextmark.com or banner advertising and are willing to spend some money, then you can drive that traffic to purchase your Amazon product. Why would you do this and have to pay Amazon their fee instead of just driving them to your own site? By driving traffic directly to Amazon, you boost your Amazon rankings via more purchases, reviews, likes, and tags which will lead to more purchases from Amazon visitors (a compounding benefit you will not get from just driving traffic to your own site).
• Friends, family, colleagues, employees – while it is best that people use a product before reviewing it, you could still point your friends, family, people who know you, etc. to your Amazon product and ask them to write a review, e.g. “He is a credible author” or “His products are all excellent products”.
• Multiple buyer accounts – Amazon doesn’t seem to be cracking down on individuals having multiple buyer accounts (if you’ve purchased on Amazon before, you probably already have a seller account and buyer account) so this may be an option to consider.
To create extra buyer accounts, you are going to want to do it on different computers using different internet connections and using different credit cards. This will help keep your multiple buyer accounts separate from your seller account which is important in the event Amazon does decide to crack down on having multiple buyer accounts.
The easiest way to set this up is to use the Amazon gift card trick. What you do is purchase a number of Amazon gift cards which you should be able to pick up at your local Wal-Mart and other stores. To be able to do reviews, tags, likes, etc. with a buyer account, the buyer account has to have purchased something. By purchasing multiple Amazon gift cards, you can easily fulfill this requirement by using the cards to buy cheap items, resulting in multiple buyer accounts being set up.
As mentioned, you want to make sure you are on separate computers on separate internet connections when creating the buyer accounts. Ways to do this are: o USB modems – you can purchase these on a prepaid basis. o Library – either you or someone you know can use the computers at the local public library.
o Coffee shops – this will at least give you separate internet connections. o Outsourcers (e.g. Odesk.com) – you can give them the Amazon gift card codes to set up buyer accounts. This is safe to do since you’re not giving them any credit card information.
o TIP: use “CCleaner” (Google it) – a free download. It isn’t 100% protection in the event Amazon does decide to crack down but it will clean out your cookies and such for when you log into different buyer accounts.
Fiverr/Odesk/Elance – some of these outsourcing options can be a bit shady, but if you give due diligence in your search you can find some reputable outsourcers who can use their accounts to give you reviews, likes, tags, etc. Here are a couple of examples from ‘Fiverr’. Both are U.S.-based (see the flag) and indicate how they will help you with your product:
Your website – there are a number of ways to use your own website to promote your Amazon products and thereby leveraging the traffic that is coming to your website: o ‘Hello Bar’ (http://www.hellobar.com/) – this little tool can be installed on your site and sits at the top of the page. An example of it being used for promoting an Amazon product can be found on the blog of Tim Ferriss. o Posts – if you have your own blog, you can point to Amazon products in posts. o Sidebar – you can add links for your Amazon products to your site’s sidebar.
Real Amazon customers – this goes along with the compounding effect covered in the previous lesson. After 21 days of customers actually buying your products, you can send an email to your Amazon customers through Amazon asking them to review your products. This is fine by Amazon as Amazon likes reviews on their website because it gets them more organic ranking and social proof and approximately 70% of the reviews are positive.
In this section you’ll see an example of effectively putting the Amazon promotion strategy to good use.
Tim Ferriss is the author of the book ‘The Four Hour Body’. It is a book basically about body hacks – how to do things with your body using uncommon techniques such as learning to run ultra-long distance races using sprints and weight-lifting (which is somewhat counter-intuitive), swim efficiently and effectively, boost testosterone with natural methods, etc. It’s a good physical performance book with lots of cool stuff on health, fitness and even weight loss.
In order to promote this book, Tim did (at least) four things:
• Created an awesome book trailer – he created the video “The 4-Hour Body: Official Video Trailer”. You can see it on his blog or on YouTube (here). He used this hardhitting video to promote his book, which generated a viral buzz because it made people want to know what goes on inside the book.
• Leveraged existing blog traffic and Twitter followers – if you don’t have a blog or Twitter account or some other social traffic entity (e.g. FaceBook, etc.), then this is not really going to be a factor for you, but is something you can keep in mind. You can use traffic from other places to promote your Amazon products. People trust Amazon and they won’t have any problems buying from there, so getting people to go there for your products is good policy. Tim did this with his existing traffic with awesome results. At the time of creating this lesson, Tim had 305,092 followers on Twitter.
• Sent out more than 1000 advanced copies – this is arguably the most important thing that Tim did. He basically gave 1000 copies to friends, family, other people who bought books from him, blog followers, etc. These were all people he knew would take some action on his behalf. This set him up well for the next thing he did.
• Sent out an “Urgent” email – on the day of his Amazon book launch, Tim sent out an email to those he gave a book to with the subject line “Urgent”. In his email he asked them to write an Amazon review within 24 hours, whether they liked the book or not.
What were the results?
o more than 140 reviews within first 24 hours o 200 positive reviews in first week o now has over 1600 Amazon reviews
Note: You can read about Tim’s “12 Lessons …” on his own site (link).
As can be seen from these two lessons, setting your goal and following an effective strategy can produce great results. This is true anywhere, but in the Amazon world this means that leveraging Amazon promotion strategies for a good product will have great … and profitable … results.