“I did $454,096.78 in Amazon sales in my first 96 days…”
I’ve been earning commissions with the Amazon Affiliate program for the last 20 years.
I made $454,096.78 in Amazon sales in my first 96 days by building a small network of niche affiliate sites, monetizing them with Amazon Associate links and ads, and generating free traffic to those niche websites with search engine optimization (SEO).
However, Amazon’s Associate program has NEVER been my biggest money maker, but I still get a kick out of occasionally looking at my earnings report while I drink my morning coffee.
So, yesterday morning, I thought I’d start my day by browsing through last quarter’s earnings from one of my affiliate blogs in the survival niche.
It only took me about 10 seconds to see that one Amazon Affiliate ad format was outperforming all others when it came to generating sales and earning affiliate commissions.
Here’s The Interesting Part
The ad format that generated the greatest number of affiliate sales did NOT have the highest conversion rate (it converted about half as many clicks into sales as the other top ad formats).
And it did NOT have the most impressions (it had approximately half as many impressions as the second-best ad format).
However, the Amazon Affiliate ad format that generated the most sales also had the highest Click Through Rate (CTR), by far.
In fact, its CTR rate was so insanely high compared to the other ad formats that I thought it might be a mistake, but it wasn’t.
I went back and reviewed the Amazon affiliate stats from each quarter last year, as well as the stats from the entire year.
In every single case, the winning ad format crushed the others for both CTR and total sales made, with no exceptions.
Here’s The Best Amazon Affiliate Ad Format
The Amazon Affiliate ad format that produced both the highest CTR and the greatest number of sales for my survival-niche affiliate blog was a combination of the Image Only Product Link with a text link.
Here’s what an image-only product link looks like after you post it on your blog:
That’s it. The “Image Only” ad format looks like an image of the product you’re promoting… it does NOT look like an ad.
You generate the ad code inside your Amazon Associate account and then simply paste the code into your page (or your ad server) and you’re all set.
Why The Amazon Image-Only Product Link Works So Well
I believe there are three primary reasons why the Image Only Product Link from Amazon’s Affiliate Program performs so well.
Tip: The free ad server plugin that I use for showing and split-testing ads on my WordPress affiliate blogs is Ad Rotate.
- The Image Only Product Link doesn’t really look like an ad, so it doesn’t trigger the “banner blindness” effect that regular display ads tend to produce.
- The Image Only Product Links were shown in the areas on my blog that my split testing had already shown would produce the highest CTR in general (e.g. the top left and right corners of the page, above the fold, etc.).
- The Image Only Product Links were posted inside product description paragraphs along with text links that have clear “calls to action” and “reasons why” they should click the ad (e.g. click here for the best available price, click here for a list of the highest-rated…, check out this list of the bestselling…, etc.)
As I mentioned earlier, the key is to use a benefit-rich “call to action” or give them a compelling “reason why” to click the image.
If they click the image, they’ll be taken to the product page on Amazon.com via your affiliate link and you can earn a commission.
Tip: The Amazon Associate SiteStripe is one of the fastest and easiest ways to generate Amazon ads for your website, and it’s free.
Amazon Native Shopping Ads
The Amazon Native Shopping Ads format was my second-best performing format in terms of overall Amazon sales made on my survival-niche blog.
Amazon Native Ads also had the highest sales conversion rate of all the ad formats.
In fact, Amazon Native Shopping Ads converted clicks into sales at just over twice the conversion rate of the Image Only Product Link… that’s twice as many sales per click.
Unfortunately, Amazon Native Shopping Ads had such a low Click Through Rate (CTR) compared to the Image Only Product Link ads that the native ads only accounted for about 13% of my overall Amazon Affiliate sales.
However, not all Native Shopping Ad types produced the same results…
There are 3 types of Amazon Native Ads available to Amazon Affiliates/Associates.
- Recommendation Ads allow Amazon to automatically recommend products related to the content on your page as well as items they believe will be the most appealing to your visitors.
- Search Ads, which are search boxes that you host on your website that allow your visitors to search Amazon for specific products based on the keywords they enter (or on the default keywords you choose when you create the ad).
- Custom Ads, which allows you to choose the specific products from Amazon that you’d like to appear within the ad.
The Click Through Rate (CTR) of all three Native Shopping Ad types were so close that I’d call it a tie… they all had effectively the same CTR.
However, when it came to the sales conversion rate… converting clicks into sales… there was a clear winner.
The Recommendation Ads format produced more total sales than the other two Native Ad formats combined… by a HUGE multiple… it wasn’t even close!
Why Amazon Recommendation Ads Convert So Well
I believe there is one simple reason why the Recommendation Ads from Amazon convert into sales so well…
Amazon automatically chooses the products to show in the Recommendation Ads based on what they know about the content on your site and, more importantly, based on what they know about the person reading the article on your blog.
The chance are pretty darn good that Amazon knows who half the people visiting your website are… and what those people like to buy based on the data Amazon collects when they visit Amazon.com
One of the things I learned from my testing… after tens of thousands of impressions and clicks…
Any new Amazon Native Shopping Ads that I produce for my survival-niche blogs will be pretty much be exclusively Recommendation Ads… because they convert significantly more clicks into sales than Search Ads and Custom Ads combined.
I also learned from my testing that the best performing Amazon Affiliate Ad format… the one that generates more Affiliate sales and Affiliate commissions for me than all others combined… is the Image Only Product Link.
How To Earn More Money As An Affiliate
However, I think it’s important to mention that although the Image Only Product Link was the best-performing Amazon ad format, it wasn’t even close to the highest-earning affiliate offer shown on that same blog.
The highest-earning affiliate offer for that survival blog is a Clickbank offer for a survival product that is given away for free (yes, I said free).
The moral of the story is…
If you want to make more money as an Affiliate (including bigger Amazon Affiliate Commission payouts), then you need to test everything including different products from different Affiliate programs, as well as different ad formats and placements.
Here are two more posts about making more money with Affiliate Marketing… 3 simple ways to triple your affiliate commissions and the secret to selling high ticket affiliate products to your list.