Monday, July 24, 2017

Amazon Ads revisited. 5 Million impressions later

Bryan Cohen ran an amazing tutorial this week about how to scale up your Amazon Ads campaign.

If you have ever used Amazon Ads, you know how hard it is to get them to spend your budget. You can set a five hundred dollar budget, and they will spend fifty bucks.


It's an uphill battle. The more money you throw at them, the less they spend.

Don't believe me? Revise your budget to $250 or $500. Most times your impressions won't budge.

Bryan put an interesting spin on things.

First off, he shared his view that half the battle is waiting for Amazon to start spending your money. Too many authors give up after three to five weeks because their ads haven't taken off. 

Cohen thinks that's a big mistake.

He thinks authors should take the long view.

The real magic doesn't happen until your ads have been running for four to six weeks, sometimes much longer. You need to give the Amazon Elves enough time to sprinkle their magic fairy dust. 

It's frustrating. Especially if you are impatient and demand immediate results. 

It's not going to happen over night.

If you are willing to wait. I can guarantee you good things will happen.

Here's a chart showing the results of ad campaigns for my two most popular books - History Bytes and Shot All to Hell. If you look closely you will see three separate campaigns have gotten over one million impressions. Better yet, they have made some great sales.

Here's the good news!

Amazon Ads work.

They can make you a lot of money. In the example above, I spent $287. I made $1498 in sales. That doesn't include Kindle page reads, audio books, or paperbacks.

So, no matter what you think, Amazon Ads can be an author's best friend. You just need to have a little patience and be willing to tweak your campaigns.

Where I disagree with Bryan is in his definition of a successful campaign.

He suggests that we are looking at the wrong metrics. He says you should concentrate on overall dollar sales. As long as you are making money, your Amazon Cost of Sales (ACOS) doesn't matter.

Some of the examples he showed made me shake my head. He had an ACOS of 100 to 300 percent or more!

That's a lot of red ink.

His justification was that he is getting a big return on Kindle page reads which aren't included in your ACOS score. 

Cohen shared that the ads are helping him launch a new series and to date, he has received over a half million page reads. If he includes that money in his sales calculation, the numbers look much better.

I agree with that.

Before I started running Amazon Ads, I rarely sold paperback copies of my history books. Now I sell twenty-five to thirty copies a month. The royalties from paperbacks alone, almost cover the cost of my Amazon Ads.

That makes the payoff much more substantial.

If you haven't used Amazon Ads, you need to give them a try. If you are currently using Amazon Ads, and you aren't getting the result you want, you need to shake things up a bit.

  • Run more ads
  • Include more keywords
  • Test different ad copy
  • Give your ads more time

Finally, I think, it comes down to the books you promote. My history books are a natural for Amazon Ads. They draw a lot of attention. My business books are mostly dogs. They make decent sales on Amazon, but Amazon Ads don't drive sales to them.

Do your homework. Experiment. And, make more money.

What do you think? Share your experiences with Amazon Ads.


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