How to personalize your Amazon Affiliate Table and get more engagement

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Personalizing your Amazon Affiliate Table makes you more successful.

Why?

Americans see over 4000 advertisements per day1. That’s almost 1.5 million per year.

Consumers are drowning in marketing & advertisements.

For your compare chart to stand out, affiliates need to personalize their content.

Personalization means that the recommended products should match the buyer’s intent. Furthermore, the visual appearance needs to be intuitive enough for your visitor to follow your advice.

Not yet a TableLabs customer, check pricing for our Amazon Affiliate Table tool.

BASICS – Why should you personalize your Amazon Product comparison chart?

Imagine the following:

You have high quality content. Visitors are coming to your website. Views are increasing.

But your commissions do not seem to increase.

What is the blocker?

Customer engagement is dependent on how relevant your offer is to your audience. To see high engagement, clicks & commissions, your content must be highly relevant to your audience.

Relevant content pays off.

Personalization for Product Comparison tables has positive impact on customer engagement
Personalization for Product Comparison tables has a positive impact on customer engagement

Sources: 1: Accenture; 2: Smarterhq; 3: Smarterhq; 4: Adweek; 5: Hubspot

Affiliate marketing personalization are becoming table stakes as almost all (91%) visitors are expecting relevant content.

Plus, expect your competitors to leverage personalization tools, as most digital marketers (75%) are investing into supporting software. Affiliate software, like TableLabs, makes personalization and Amazon Affiliate Table design a quick & easy.

As we see in the chart above, personalization translates into superior performance for your Amazon product comparision chart.

Personalization can drive higher customer retention, higher revenue and higher conversion.

Sounds good right?!

So – How do you make your content highly relevant?

THEORY – Amazon Affiliate Table as product recommendation, not advertisement

Amazon affiliates earn money by promoting products.

That is OK. Your audience expects that, your disclaimer makes this transparent.

However, your customers do not want to be fed generic product comparison. After all, the main reason to visit your website was to get a tailored product advice.

Amazon affiliates are the linchpin between a product and its customers. Your fingers need to be on the pulse of your customers buying decision criteria.

To evaluate your personalization strategy, start by validating your customer understanding and if your content strives to be relatable.

A good way to do that is the Call To Action affiliate framework. The CTA framework helps you to assess the positioning of your customer, your recommended products, the context and your competition. This gives you an insight into how you can personalize your Amazon compare chart.

You can find an in-depth affiliate framework walk-through in our TableLabs Academy lesson on the Best Call To Acton buttons.

Thinking about the needs of your visitors, allows you better engage your audience and, eventually, increase conversions.

Once you find a winning strategy, let’s look at how you can implement personalization in practice.

PRACTICE – Opportunities for personalizing your Amazon Affiliate Table design.

By displaying a personalized product comparison chart, you provide your audience with a recommendation that caters to their preference.

There are five key levers to personalize your Amazon Affiliate Table:
  1. Custom columns & text: Modify the wording to connect product specs with buyer intent. While Amazon is providing you with a product description, that might not be in sync with your content.
  2. Product highlights: Visually lead your customer to a decision. This can be done via color highlights and/or assigning a ‘top pick’.
  3. Size: The more products, the more options. The more columns, the more information. More can be helpful, but also overwhelming. Finding the right balance is key.
  4. Location: Longer product compare charts are often placed at the article beginning or end, while product highlight boxes can be found throughout the article.
  5. Color scheme: Your compare chart design should fit seamlessly into your website layout.

Her is an example, illustrating how these key levers can be implemented.

Personalization best practices example for product comparison charts
Personalization best practices for a Amazon product comparison chart
In the example, we can see how the five levers can be applied.

A custom column (Pro’s and Con’s) is created to tailor the product information to buyer’s intent. By doing research on your recommended products, you can find the key buying considerations for the respective product. In this case, relevant features were price, lifetime and certain functionalities.

A top pick is selected to spotlight your favorite favorite (‘MVP mobile’).

Giving your product a personal touch through custom columns, top pick & rating, has attractive benefits. Personalizing your Amazon Affiliate Table led to higher engagement for both clicks and click through rate.

clicks and conversation impact by customizing a product comparison chart
Data: Impact on clicks and Click Through Rate through table customization, sample: 41,797 product comparison charts

For example, just by assigning a custom column, compare charts have almost twice (1.9x) as many clicks and a 30% higher Click Through Rate (1.3x), that the average chart.

For more statistics on conversion, read our post on best practices for Amazon comparison tables.

Given it’s small size & only three products, the location of the product comparison table within the article is flexible. Adding an extra column adds width, so for the compare chart to be appealing to mobile visitors, choose a smaller font.

For the color scheme, we choose different types of blue that are similar to our brand logo.

Being diligent about how to portray your affiliate links can go a long way. To make life easier, using an Amazon product comparison chart software will save you a lot of time.

TABLELABS – Personalization and Amazon affiliate table design leveraging TableLabs

If you create a new product comparison chart, you start with adding your desired Amazon product. In the chart view you can modify columns, the call to action, and other organizational elements.

Let’s bring our example chart from above to life.

First, let’s add the desired products to comparison table.
Personalize product compare chart by tailoring descriptions and the order of your table.
Personalize product compare chart by tailoring descriptions and the order of your table.

For each of your products, you can adapt the product description to your liking, as well as the call to action buttons. Plus, we assigned each product a rating and selected our top pick.

Most importantly, we created a custom column (Pro’s and Con’s). The crisp depiction of a product goes a long way, especially if it’s summarizing the key considerations that you already mentioned in the related blog post.

Every Amazon affiliate table is mobile responsive.

In addition, to ensure that the visual appearance is equally appealing for mobile, you can select which columns should be hidden once a table is contracted. You can choose to only show the custom column when it’s a desktop and don’t show it for mobile visitors.

To set the appropriate viewing options, simply click on the toolbox icon when creating the chart and select the desired options.

Size consideration to ensure mobile responsiveness for product comparison charts
Ensure mobile responsiveness for product comparison charts by setting the appropriate viewing options
Next, let’s implement our desired product comparison table design.

As we said initially, the design should fit into the overall color scheme of your website.

Clicking on the ‘preview’ button in your chart view, takes you to the chart design tab.

Personalization for product comparison chart example
Personalizing your compare chart with TableLabs

As you can see on the menu on the left, you can modify the appearance of the Amazon affiliate table.

Here, you can modify the colors for rows, fonts and buttons to your choosing.

An important advantage: You can save your theme. Once you find your desired color layout for your tables, you only have to design it once. With the click of a button it will be applied to all of your future charts.

In the chart preview tab, you can click save your product comparison table theme under a preferred name.

Personalized color themes can be saved and applied to future compare charts.
Personalized color themes can be saved and applied to future product comparison table

Once you saved a theme, your design is readily available, and you can load it for your next chart.

For a new chart, after adding products, simply select the desired theme in the chart view.
Load your personalized color themes for future product comparison tables
Load your personalized color themes for future product comparison tables

To conclude: The guiding principle of TableLabs is to make it as easy as possible for Amazon affiliates to be successful.

With the above features for content modification and design, you can create an Amazon product comparison chart to personalized to your audience.

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Earn Commission from international traffic via OneLink for your Amazon product comparison table

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If you are only using the standard (US) affiliate link for a Amazon product comparison table, then you’re missing out on international visitors. Amazon OneLink allows you to get commissions from your global traffic.

So how do you setup OneLink? And why should you?

Let’s take a look.

Not yet a TableLabs customer? Check pricing and start creating create an Amazon comparison table with ease.

Amazon OneLink

BASICS – Don’t miss international commissions

Amazon OneLink is a free (!) service that redirects your product compare chart clicks to the appropriate country page. A visitor from Germany lands at Amazon.de, a visitor from Canada at Amazon.ca.

The best thing: This happens automatically, in the backend. As an affiliate, you still have only one link (that’s why it’s called OneLink) that is valid for multiple countries. Amazon acts as traffic cop and redirects your global visitors to where they need to go.

The advantage is that, if you setup your product comparison table or affiliate link with OneLink, you can capture commissions from visitors outside your core markets.

If you use an affiliate software like TableLabs, you only have to log your OneLink once (!) in your profile. A straightforward setup.

However, having one Amazon account and then making that count globally does not work. Amazon affiliates actually have to sign up for each Associates program individually, country by country.

OneLink ‘bundles’ your existing accounts, it does NOT extend it’s coverage.

And there are other technical limitations.

For instance, OneLink is not capturing your global traffic. It is only available for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Japan.

It’s also worth mentioning that, if you scout the official forum for affiliates, you sometimes read about instances, where international commissions were not credited, despite having OneLink setup properly.

Still, since it’s the easiest way to get your foreign clicks monetized. It’s an incredibly easy quick win as you get more commissions from your existing audience.

So – do I need OneLink for my Amazon product comparison table?

THEORY – When it’s worth to set up Amazon OneLink

Imagine the following. Peter from Germany reads your post on the best mosquito nets and likes your recommended product. He clicks on your Amazon product comparison table.

He ends up at Amazon.com, where he does not have an account, leading him to leave the page, without purchase, without commission for you.

Loose, loose.

In contrast, with OneLink, Peter would have landed at Amazon.de. Since he has an account there, he follows through with the purchase and you get a commission.

Win, win.

Let’s break down what you need to consider for setting up OneLink.

For starters, check if your recommended products are sold abroad. There are a few products only available in some markets, specifically if it’s a niche product. For the top pick of your Amazon product comparison table, make sure that the product is available in both markets, e.g. on Amazon.com and Amazon.de.

Let’s say the products are available. How can you proceed?

PRACTICE – Find your target markets for OneLink

As we said in the beginning, you need to create an affiliate account for each market.

OneLink only bundles those accounts together for your Amazon product comparison chart.

To determine which market(s) to enable, you need to understand how many visitors outside your core market you have.

To find out how many cases like Peter you have, start by analyzing the location of your audience.

Any audience tracking software will work, the key is to find a view from which geo your audience is from.

Let’s take a look at TableLabs as an example.

 First, we look at the traffic our Amazon product comparison table receives and see:

  1. The US is our core market (= the deepest blue color).
  2. There are multiple other countries blue and potentially worth pursuing.
Global traffic map for an Amazon product comparison chart (via Google Analytics)
Global traffic map for an Amazon product comparison chart (via Google Analytics)

Furthermore, below the map, you see which share of your audience is from which country.

That gives you a clear picture: If your audience is 100% US (or 100% of a single market), you can stop reading here. There is no international traffic to monetize (yet).

For example: If your post is in a language other than English, global traffic can be limited. Nevertheless, expatriates and people living abroad, might still be interested in your recommendation and can make up a decent share of your traffic.

For TableLabs, only 32.85% of traffic comes from our core market, the US. In this scenario, capturing global traffic is vital. Without doing that, only one out of three clicks on your Amazon product comparison table could be monetized.

You can get the global traffic for your product comparison table via google analytics
Traffic for an Amazon product comparison chart by country (via Google Analytics)

Just by adding the next best country, the United Kingdom (9.18%), is already a big approvement. Enabling UK through OneLink, increases our utilization to over 42%.

That is a whopping 28% growth rate (=((32.85+9.18)/32.85)-1)!!

28% more potential commission for an Amazon product compare chart without growing your audience

Not bad at all.

TableLabs – How can I monetize my international traffic for your Amazon product comparison table

The OneLink setup for TableLabs is easy: You only need to insert your OneLink embed code in your account dashboard.

That’s it. Going forward you are now capturing global traffic for you Amazon product comparison table.

OneLink setup for product comparison table
Setup OneLink for your Amazon Product Comparison Table

Moreover, since TableLabs is using the Amazon API, it will automatically enable OneLink for every single Amazon product comparison table in your account. Past and future tables.

Once OneLink is enabled, all your compare chart links are updated. This ensures that when your visitor clicks on your compare chart, they always land on the right Amazon country page.  

If you have not yet located your OneLink code. Here is a video that explains how to get it.

How to use localize links with Amazon OneLink in TableLabs

You want to create a product comparison chart with ease but you are not yet a TableLabs customer?

Go to our website and register today: Check out our pricing options

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The Best Amazon Product Comparison Chart – 13 insights to run your affiliate business by

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Thinking about using a product comparison chart?

You want to understand the dynamics behind views, clicks and commission for your Amazon affiliate business?

This guide is a deep dive on what makes an Amazon affiliate marketing strategy work using product comparison chart.

It’s worth it – the top affiliates have +13x as many views, get +23x more clicks and earn +3x more commissions.

Key Performance Indicator for amazon affiliates product comparison chart
Data: Key Performance Indicator by peer group, sample: 41,989 product comparison charts

Following best practices go a long way.

1. Why should you use a product comparison chart?

As an Amazon affiliate business, you are offering research on a product category that helps a person to take a decision whether to buy a product and which product to buy.

A product comparison table answers the two key question your audience has, namely

  1. Which products are available by presenting multiple options in one view and
  2. What product should I buy by outlining the decision criteria (like features, price, images, ..).

Alternatively, in case you want to space out your recommendation, fill in just one single product per table. This gives you a product highlight box with consistent format for all your affiliate links across your article.

2. How many products should a product comparison chart have?

A table can take on any shape or size, a few or a lot of products.

It’s important not to overload charts, viewers do appreciate to have the most relevant, rather than all, options displayed.

Looking at the average clicks per item position, we can see that, the further below the item, the lower the average number of clicks.

For instance, the top slot, the first item in the table averages 250 clicks or almost 6 times (!!) as much as an item in tenth position (only 43 clicks).

Too many products are diluting the focus on key products. Adding a lot of items to a compare chart, while offering more options, rarely turns into clicks. The average number of clicks for items after position tenth is only 17.

Average clicks per product comparision chart position
Data: Average clicks per item by position on table, sample: 41,989 product comparison charts

3. What products work on a product comparison chart?

A common misconception to think that a compare chart only works for cheaper products.

The truth is, any price category can work but it’s important to understand that depending on the price category of your affiliate products, your customer behavior is going to be different.

This also means, that Amazon affiliate key performance indicators like clicks and views, vary drastically. It is important to break down aggregated statistics, in order to make it comparable to your business.

Views, clicks, Click through rate CTR and earnings per click EPC for porduct comparison chart by price category
Data: Average key performance indicators for tables by price category, sample: 6,797 product comparison charts

What we see in the data is, the lower end products tend to get more views, fewer clicks but a higher average Earnings Per Click. People that look for simpler products tend to be more need-driven. If they see something they like, they are likely going to buy it – that is why we are seeing a higher earnings per click.

Products on the upper end get more clicks and a better conversion. For larger purchases, people want more education on their product and click, but might not be willing to buy on the spot.

The net effect is that on average, the average earnings per table are surprisingly similar across price categories. While the average is comparable, depending on if your compare chart is outperforming or underperforming, the differences in earnings per table is significant.

This means, in theory, a product comparison table can works for any products, in any price category.

4. How should I customize my product comparison table to my content?

Customization of a product compare chart is essential for setting up your affiliate business for success. A copy & paste Amazon product comparison summary can be seen as low quality advertising.

To tailor your product comparison table, three simple actions can significantly improve your results.

  1. Assign a top pick: From all products listed on your table, highlight the one product you would recommend the most. Top picks get on average more than twice as many clicks as other items.
  2. Assign a five-star rating: Your viewers don’t want any product, they want the best. A top rating is a good method of making that distinctions.
  3. Create a custom column: The most underrated action on this list. Your viewers want to understand a product comparison table in context with your content. Go beyond image & description and add custom columns, like GB for memory cards, watt for blenders and battery duration for … battery’s.
clicks and conversation impact by customizing a product comparison chart
Data: Impact on clicks and Click Through Rate through table customization, sample: 41,797 product comparison charts

It’s important to tailor columns, ratings and highlights to your content and audience. A product comparison table design tool, like TableLabs, helps you to create and modify your compare chart, allowing you to adapt individual tables in minutes.

5. How do I create a product comparison chart?

TableLabs allows you to create and design a product comparison table within minutes, automatically pulling Images, description & price and adds all products into a table template, that you only need to copy on your website.

To start designing a chart, simply click the ‘create chart’ in your customer dashboard and then click ‘add products’. In our Amazon search bar. Here, you can find products by name or ASIN. A simple click on the plus logo of each item will add the product to your compare chart.

You can edit the table to your liking (e.g. changing the color theme, sorting rows & columns and designing a Call To Action button). To integrate the chart in your website, click on ‘Embed’. This shows your table code that you need to copy and paste it into your website editor (like wordpress) in the text/code tab and save.

Besides simplicity in comparison chart design, your TableLabs dashboard tracks the number of views and clicks for all of your tables, giving you a perspective on what is working (& what is not).

If you are not a TableLabs customer? More information on our Amazon product comparison chart tool pricing.

More details on how to create a table – click here for to see a TableLabs tutorial.

6. What is the best Call To Action button?

Your content informs your audience on their buying decision. Which product is the best, which features to consider, which price to buy at?

Your Call To Action (CTA) button converts interest into (potential) commissions. Clicking your CTA, such as ‘Buy now!’. enables your customer to buy a product from your affiliate partner.

To maximize commission, you want to convert your readers into clickers. Key is – Different buttons lead to different click through rates.

Click through rate for best call to action buttons
Data: Median Click Through Rate for top ten Call To Action buttons, sample: 39.240 buttons used in product comparison tables

How well a button works does not only depend on which button you choose – but also where.

A CTA needs to fits in to the holistic experience of your location and website.

To help you decide, the Amazon affiliates Call To Action framework helps you to find your best choice.

Call to Action framework for Amazon affiliates
Dimensions to consider when choosing your Call To Action

For instance, for an affordable product, addressing an urgent need, in a competitive market, your Call To Action can be a more aggressive ‘Buy Now!’.

In contrast, an expensive product that people only scout for a bargain, a less aggressive Call To Action, ideally highlighting an additional piece of information, like ‘Check price’, might work better.

For more examples and an in-depth walk through the Call To Action affiliate framework, click here for a full TableLabs academy lesson on the best Call To Action buttons.

7. What is the affiliate marketing funnel?

The affiliate marketing funnel describes your customers’ journey.

Each stop on the journey is a juncture. Customers decide to stay (clicking your affiliate link after viewing your content) or exit (view but not click; click but not buy).

Affiliate Marketing Funnel: Understanding your customer journey to drive more commissions
Affiliate Marketing Funnel: Understanding your customer journey to drive more commissions

To understand the levers that improve your affiliate business, it is crucial to narrow down which part of the funnel to tackle. Only then, the actions you take can than be targeted and effective.

Depending on which part of the funnel you target, the levers to achieve higher commission are different..

For example, if you have many views, but few clicks, this indicates low conversion and that your call to action can be improved.

Or you see many views, many clicks but low commissions. The reason here might be a disconnect between your recommendation and the description on your partner page.

Narrowing down, where in the affiliate funnel you can improve, helps you to derive at the right action.

Click here for a full academy lesson on the affiliate marketing funnel.

8. How many views should my product comparison table get?

The number of views you get depends on your marketing strategy.

A good compare chart should bring over 1,000 views. While almost half the tables only get a few hundred views, the top tables can bring views north of 10,000.

Number of views for product comparison chart
Data: Chart views per peer group, Underperform (25 quartile), Median and Outperform (75 quartile), sample: 41,989 product comparison charts

Let’s look at how you can calculate views for YOUR article.

If you use outbound marketing, such as google ads, the number of views is a direct function of your budget and how much you pay for a click. If you budget is $100 and the cost per click is $2, you will get 50 views (= 100 / 2).

How to estimate your article views for outbound marketing
How to estimate your article views for outbound marketing

For inbound marketing, or content marketing, your expected views can be estimated by looking at the number of keyword searches and your market share. You can get the number of searches for a specific article via a keyword analyzer tool. If you compare the number of searches to the views of articles you have already published, you get your market share.

How to estimate your market share to estimate your affiliate marketing views for inbound marketing
How to estimate your market share to estimate your affiliate marketing views

In the example above, we can see that our market share is around 1%.

If you want to write a new article about a similar product, such as ‘best shaver’, which might have 50,000 searches, your expected views would be 500 (= 50,000 * 1%).

9. How many clicks should my product comparison chart get?

The number of clicks depends on your number of views and your ability to convert interest (a view) into an action (a click).

A product comparison table usually ends up getting more clicks than an individual product highlight box. A table summarizes all the information and urges your viewer to make a decision. Especially in longer articles, +3,000 words, individual links can get lost.

If we compare clicks for a table to single items, we can see that the number of clicks for the median comparison table is more than 7 times (!!) as much as for individual items.

clicks comparison between affiliate links and product comparison chart
Data: Clicks per chart and individual items by peer group, Underperform (25 quartile), Median and Outperform (75 quartile), sample: 41,989 product comparison charts

Secondly, especially for the successful tables (high number of clicks), the difference is increasing to more than 8 times. In our study, great compare charts outperformed individual product highlights by clicks.

10. What is the Click Through Rate?

While views and clicks measure the attention volume of your comparison table, the Click Through Rate (CTR) is a proxy of how well your content is converting viewers into buyers.

CTR measures the conversion of views of your compare chart to clicks on your affiliate link. The metric is key to assess how engaged your audience is after reading your content.

A high CTR indicates that your content is relevant to your audience. A high share of viewers follow your recommendations and click on your affiliate link. In contrast a low CTR indicates a content problem or an uncompelling Call To Action.

A good CTR is 20% or higher – starting at 11%, you are already above average. Note that the rate varies depending on your recommended products, the need it addresses and the price category.

Cklick through rate CTR for product comparison table
Data: Click Through rate for three peer groups, Underperform (25 quartile), Median and Outperform (75 quartile), sample: 41.989 product comparison tables

11. What is Earnings Per Click?

Earnings per click (EPC) measures the ratio between the clicks your affiliate links generate and the commission you earn.

Most affiliate programs usually break out clicks and commissions in their reports. If you are an Amazon associate, you can find your commission and clicks under your commission summary on your earnings report.

If you made $1000 in commission and had 500 clicks, your Earnings per click are $2 (= 1000 / 500).

EPC varies greatly depending on your product category, Click Through Rate and content quality. Only the top affiliates have a EPC of $1 or larger, the median dollar earned per click is $0.20.

Earnings per click ETC for product comparison table
Data: Earnings Per click Click Through rate per peer group, Underperform (25 quartile), Median and Outperform (75 quartile), sample: 71 Amazon affiliates using product comparison charts

An affiliate tool, such as TableLabs, allows you to track your clicks (or even EPC) by product comparison table.

12. How can I estimate my affiliate earnings?

You can estimate your earnings for a product comparison table by looking at the keyword search volume as well as your market share, Click Through Rate and Earnings Per Click.

How to estimate affiliate marketing earnings
How to estimate affiliate marketing earnings per article

Let’s say you want to write an article on the best TVs. Assume, ‘Best TVs’ is searched for on google 30,000 times and in previous articles, 3% of the search volume landed on your page. In this case, you could expect 900 views (= 30,000 * 3%). If your average Click Through Rate is 10%, the article likely gets around 90 clicks (= 900 * 10%). If your Earnings per Click is $2, you can estimate to earn $180 (= 90 * $2).

13. How do I use Return on Investment to prioritize my content marketing strategy?

You can prioritize articles based on the Return on Investment. Return on Investment is the ratio of your (expected) earnings, called the return, and your investment.

The investment describes the effort required. This could be the your cost to pay a freelancer or the time it takes for you to research & write an article. The return is your expected earnings based on your estimation.

For example, to write an article on the best TVs, it takes you five hours. And you value your time at $20 per hour. That means your investment is $100 (= 5 * $20). You estimate the earnings for the article to be $180, which means your Return On Investment is 1.8x.

Consider you have the four more campaigns in your head. After getting the investment and return for each article, you have the following overview:

Return on Investment ROI for affiliate marketing
How to use Return on Investment (ROI) to help prioritize your articles

The highest Return On Investment has the ‘Best Laptop’ campaign, as it yields the highest return for your time.

Best practice is to set yourself a minimum hurdle (like 2.0x). Then only pursue campaigns with Return On Investment above that value. That ensures that you utilize your time as efficient as possible.

Thank you for reading through our insights to create the best product comparison chart. Any open questions? Email me at Felix@TableLabs.com

Interested in learning more? Check out Tablelabs features and pricing options

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The Affiliate Marketing Funnel: How views become clicks & commission and how to get more for your (Amazon) affiliate table

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Learn in this lesson everything about your Affiliate Marketing Funnel and how to pinpoint your competitive advantage (or disadvantage) and get more commissions.

Affiliates’ make money on commissions – A click on a Amazon compare chart can turn into a dollar.

Looking for an easy to to use Amazon product comparison chart tool like TableLabs?

Amazon Affiliate Marketing Funnel

BASICS – The importance of understanding you funnel

In order to setup your business for success, it’s important to understand how your customer flows through your sales process.

A good framework to assess your strategy is the affiliate marketing funnel. Lower than expected commission can have a variety of reasons.

For instance, let’s say your content is absolutely perfect, drives traffic to the website, but your Amazon product comparison table sees only few clicks. Here, low commission are caused by a customer problem (converting views into clicks), rather than a lead problem (getting views), and you would benefit from re-thinking your Call To Action strategy.

Or consider a second example – Your conversion rates from views to click (also called Click through Rate) is extremely high. This indicates that your content is addressing your viewers need very well. To increase your commissions, you should focus on getting more people on your website, as you have a lead rather than a customer problem.

What these two examples demonstrate are two things:

  1. If you can narrow down where a problem originates, you can take targeted action.
  2. Narrowing down a problem requires that you track and analyze your affiliate marketing funnel.

Let’s start with understanding the different funnel stages and how they affect your affiliate business.

THEORY – Your affiliate marketing funnel

The affiliate marketing funnel has four stages: First, there is a market, an internet user that has a specific need or just wants to know more about a product. Secondly, content that addresses the interest, converts that market participant to a ‘lead’, bringing him or her to your website. If reading your content drives the viewer to an engagement, a click on your Amazon product comparison table, now the lead has converted to a customer, as your lead followed your recommendation. In the fourth & final stage, clicks can turn into buys, customers are now at your recommended endpoint (like Amazon) and can purchase the product.

Your affiliate marketing funnel is the answer to low commissions and actions you can take.
Affiliate Marketing Funnel: Understanding your customer journey to drive more commissions
Affiliate Marketing Funnel: Understanding your customer journey to drive more commissions

What are the top four reasons why your affiliate commissions are too low?

Someone …

  1. … interested in your content choose a different side (e.g. search keyword is too competitive).
  2. … views your website, but decides to leave (e.g. content is not addressing the readers need properly).
  3. … views your website, but does not click (e.g. low Click Through Rate due to less engaging Call To Action).
  4. … follows your affiliate link, but does not buy (e.g. low Earnings Per Click due to disconnect between content and affiliate product).
Let’s take a deeper look at the corresponding marketing actions.

Important to recognize is that not all sales stages are created equal, as your customer influence is different by stage.

Affiliates can directly influence primarily stages two (Leads), e.g. through their content & three (Customers), e.g. through engaging Call To Action buttons on your product comparison chart.

The first stage, market, it is difficult for you to drive demand for a product. As an example, the number of people searching for the best mosquito net is unlikely to change and can be viewed as fixed.

In the same way, affiliates have little to no authority over the fourth stage, Commission. After guiding your customer to your affiliate program, your partner (e.g. Amazon) controls the user experience and checkout process. If your customers don’t follow through with their purchase, because of technical or any other difficulties, there is little one affiliate can do.

Now – that doesn’t mean that affiliates can take action across all phases. As a former US president famously said, ‘Yes, you can!’.

PRACTICE – Tracking you affiliate marketing funnel and taking data driven decisions

Each stop  in the affiliate funnel is a juncture at which your customers can decide if they want to follow along (progress from view to click to commission) or drop out (e.g. view your product compare chart but not click; click but not buy).

To receive a commission, the consumers’ needs to buy the product – views & clicks itself don’t generate revenue. So ideally, ALL of your visitors end up successfully transacting on our recommendations.

But in reality, we don’t see all of our customers following through the way. It’s not even most customers but rather some or few. And this affects an affiliates revenue by a lot.

It’s best to think of your marketing funnel, quite literally, as a leaking virtual funnel, between the market and your wallet. On the bright side, the market continues shoveling money in (= someone searching for recommendations to buy products). The bad thing is, that through the holes in your pipeline (such as visitors not clicking or not buying), money leaks from the pipeline and does not flow into your wallet.

That brings us to the key question – how do I track my affiliate marketing funnel and identify leakage?

Affiliate Marketing funnel with respective key metric to observe by stage.
Affiliate Marketing funnel with respective key metric to observe by stage.
Let’s look at an inbound marketing example:

The classic inbound marketing strategy for affiliates is content marketing. Imagine you write a well-researched blog post about the best mosquito net, aiming to drive organic (=unpaid) traffic to your website. Those visitors then hopefully turn into customers and eventually commission.

The tracking starts in the first stage, market, analyzing relevant searches.

For mosquito nets, we want to know how many people are, for instance on google, searching for the keyword ‘best mosquito net’. Also, we want to know how competitive the keyword is (meaning if other websites are also offering similar keywords and articles on mosquito nets). Ideally the number of searches is high and the competition low. Finding that disparity might be rare, but those keywords are gold nuggets.

Low search volumes and competitive keywords limit your ability to generate views. If your commission are too low, you should explore moving to related keywords. For example, instead of ‘mosquito net’, evaluate keywords like ‘insect mesh’ or ‘pest web’.

After searching for mosquito nets, someone finding your webpage reached the second stage, lead.

Our viewer is now on your website, reading through your article. Obviously, more views are for your affiliate links and product comparison table are always better. Putting your number of views in relationship with how many times the keyword has been searched for, is a good way of assessing your SEO competitiveness.

In third affiliate marketing stage, a lead that clicks on your affiliate link.

It’s important to emphasize, that you should track views and clicks separately, otherwise you are missing out on key insights. The ratio clicks over views is referred to as Click Through Rate, which shows you how well your content is converting interest (a view) into action (a click).

A low Click Through Rate indicates that there is a disconnect between the viewers intent and your content. In this case, working through your Call To Action will be essential to derive which modifications might yield a better outcome.

Lastly, in stage four, the commission (and money) stage, your viewer exited your website by clicking on your referral link and is landing on your affiliate partner like Amazon.

From this stage, your affiliate partner controls the further journey of your customer.

If you see low commission despite high clicks on your Amazon product compare table, this means that your customer did not went through with the purchase. One reason could be a disconnect between your recommendation and the information on the affiliate page, e.g. different price points, ratings or product details. Best practice here is to use the affiliate API, rather than manually inputting information in your product comparison tables.

TABLELABS – Take control over your affiliate marketing funnel

Because marketing concepts are often vague, we wanted to enable affiliates to take data driven decisions.

Key to track your affiliate marketing success is the TableLabs Chart Dashboard. It shows your views, clicks & Click through Rate for your Amazon product comparison table.

How to assess your SEO competitiveness with TableLabs?

In the first affiliate marketing funnel stage, use the number of views you received per chart and compare that to the expected searches (e.g. on Google). The number of views for each chart is displayed in the TableLabs Chart Dashboard. To get the number of searches, you can use a keyword analyzer. The ratio views over searches, shows your market share for the respective keyword. For instance, if you have 20 views and the keyword is searched 1000 times, your market share is 2%. (= 20 / 1000).

Not only does this assess past performance, but it also can be applied to evaluate your opportunities for future tables. If you consistently hit a 2% market share, you could estimate the views you could receive for similar keywords.

How many views should a product comparison table have?

In addition to benchmarking your views to searches, comparing the view of your own product comparison tables can help determine which tables might be over- or underperforming. Most of our affiliates offer similar products in one specific niche. Since your search rank might be comparable for similar tables, big differences in product comparison chart views indicate a marketing issue.

Benchmarking your own tables also helps you to test the influence from other marketing campaigns. Comparing the views of one table that you actively influenced, for example you bought keyword ads or mentioned the article in a newsletter or on social media, against a control group (= tables for similar keywords with organic traffic only), shows you the impact of such a campaign.

What is my Click Through Rate and why does it matter?

You should pay attention how the Click Through Rate compares across your Amazon product comparison tables. A lower rate, can indicate, that the content of that particular page is of lower quality or that your Call To Action is less engaging. Along with views, your TableLabs dashboard shows you the number of clicks your generated on each table and the corresponding Click Through Rate.

A great Click through Rate is 20% or higher – that’s what the top 25% charts achieve with TableLabs. The median table likely be far lower than that, at 11%. Note that depending on your content, the rate could be higher (e.g. affordable, urgent-need items).

Data: Click Through rate for three peer groups, Underperform (25 quartile), Median and Outperform (75 quartile), sample: 41.989 product comparison tables
Data: Click Through rate for three peer groups, Underperform (25 quartile), Median and Outperform (75 quartile), sample: 41.989 product comparison tables
What my commission tell me about my views and clicks?

To assess the leakage between your affiliate clicks and actual purchases, it’s important to tie back your clicks from your product comparison tables, to your commissions. Your TableLabs chart dashboard has a column EPC (‘Earnings per click’), which you can edit. The Amazon associates earnings report has a commission summary, listing your clicks and earnings. The ratio earnings over clicks yields your EPC. Entering your EPC into your TableLabs dashboard gives you an indication of how much commission you earn with which table. If you market diverse product categories or just want to be more accurate, setup different tracking id’s for different tables. Especially if the product is in a different price or commission rate category, you might prefer a more granular EPC.

Learn more in our tutorial about the use of the TableLabs dashboard and how to create an Amazon product comparison chart.

How do I forecast my commissions?

A simple way to forecast your commission is the product of the number of the overall keyword searches, your market share, your Click Through Rate and your Earnings Per Click of your Amazon product comparison table.

Imagine you write an article on the ‘best mosquito spray’, which has 20,000 searches. Assume you can hold your 2% market share that you have for ‘best mosquito net’, which would yield 400 views (= 20,000 * 2%). If your average Click Through Rate is 10%, the article likely gets around 40 clicks (= 400 * 10%). If your Earnings per Click is $2, you can estimate to earn $80 (= 40 * $2) with your article on mosquito sprays.

Interested in learning more? Check out the Tablelabs features and pricing options

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The Best Call To Action button for Amazon affiliates

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In this lesson, we focus on what makes money for YOU: How to create the best Call To Action button.

Practical best practice guidance for product comparison chart design to increase your conversion rates.

You want to create a product comparison chart with ease but you are not yet a TableLabs customer? Pricing options for Amazon Affiliate tool.

Best Call To Action (CTA) for Amazon Affiliates

BASICS – The Call To Action button

As an affiliate, your content tells your audience what products exist, features to consider and much more. This ideally creates interest in a product.

At the end of the day, you want to convert interest into commission. This happens with the help of a Call To Action (or short ‘CTA’) button, such as ‘Buy now!’.

The truth is – your reader does not really care about your button. An arbitrary message, an unfortunate placement and other characteristics can easily make your button look like cheap advertisement than thoughtful product recommendation.

The Call To Action button effectiveness is measured by the Click Through Rate (‘CTR’). CTR measures how many of your viewers click on your affiliate link. If ten people viewed your article and two click your Call To Action button, your CTR would be 20% (=2 clicks /10 views).

Especially for niche products, where your audience is limited in size, there is a ceiling for the maximum number of views you can expect for your content. In that case, increasing your revenue is easier by increasing your Click Through Rate then by increasing views.

Your reader wants to be engaged – intellectually, visually AND verbally. Meaning, your commission is not only depending on your content and the overall appeal of your site. It also depends on your verbal cues, meaning the text you choose to captivate your audience.

In this session, we will focus on options for verbal cues and how to choose the best call to action button.

THEORY – What is the best Call To Action for Amazon affiliates?

A good Call To Action captivates your audience and converts interest into commission.

‘Buy Now’ is the (gold) standard for Amazon affiliates. It’s concise, it’s clear, it’s our default. Not surprisingly, it’s by far the most common choice for a CTR button. Almost two out of three Amazon affiliates choose to stick with the standard.

The advantage is a clear message to your audience. If I click this button, I can buy the item.

Byu now is the most common call to action botton
Data: Share of ‘Buy Now’ buttons of all Call To Action Buttons, sample: 39.240 buttons used in product comparison tables

While ‘Buy Now” is the most common choice, there are viable alternatives for CTA buttons. You should consider other options as we can see a noticeable difference for Click Through Rates for different Call To Action buttons.

The two common modifications are

A) in length, instead of ‘Buy Now’ you can say ‘ Buy now on Amazon’, and

B) in intent, instead of ‘Buy’ we can take a step back and say ‘Check’ or ‘View’.

What we see in the results, is that our standard “Buy Now” only ranks somewhere in midfield. The median Click Through Rate of 7% is only half of our CTR study champion, ‘Check Price’, at 13%. This indicates that you can increase the Click Through Rate by optimizing your Call To Action.

Click through rate for best call to action buttons
Data: Median Click Through Rate for top ten Call To Action buttons, sample: 39.240 buttons used in product comparison tables

Does this mean, you should only choose ‘Check Price’ as Call To Action for all of your product comparison tables? The answer is – it depends, which brings us to our next section.

PRACTICE – What CTA button should I choose?

In short: Choose a Call To Action that leverages best practices and is tailored to your content.

In practice, there are more dimensions to the button itself. Through our study, we identified that something simple, less aggressive like ‘Check Price’ is working really well. But would that work for you?

Let’s look at the rationale why one button might be working better than others and how you can apply these insights to your CTA.

The highest Click Through Rates are observed for buttons that fit in to the holistic experience for the respective stakeholder of a website.  What works best for YOU is depended on what we call the Call To Action framework for affiliates.

Call to Action framework for Amazon affiliates
Dimensions to consider when choosing your Call To Action
Let’s work through one example – Clara Clarinet, is a music expert and affiliate for music instruments.
  1. Context: Clara’s articles are in-depth and well-researched. Her CTA can focus on ‘check prices’ or ‘buy now’, rather than something unrelated to the actual sale.
  2. Product: Music instruments are expensive & prices vary greatly. Price is a major buying decision criterion for her audience.
  3. Customer: Her audience are self-thought musicians who are looking for a good deal. Her CTA should be tailored around the key decision criteria for her customers, which is price.
  4. Competition: For most of her pieces, Clara ranks high in search engines, in her niche are only few players. Since Clara is a leader, she can give customers space with a less aggressive CTA like ‘check prices’ rather than ‘buy now’.

Therefore: ‘Check Prices’ would be a great Call to Action for Clara.

In contrast, let’s say you affiliate product comparisons focus on ‘convenience at home’ and you write concise articles on topics that address somewhat urgent needs, like ‘best mosquito nets’ or ‘best spatula for cakes’.

Your customer main objective is to resolve his or her pain point with the help of your product recommendation and you are active in a highly competitive market. In this case, your Call To Action needs to be on point. In this scenario, a ‘Buy Now’ might work better.

This means, while some Call To Action buttons work better than other’s on an aggregate, for your specific audience, article, or even within your product comparison table, what is the best button can be very different.

TABLE LABS – How to create your Call To Action buttons and track its success?

The most effective way to test what CTA works best for you is an A/B test. You can do a simple A/B test with TableLabs.

Simply choose a different CTA for two tables. When you create a new product comparison table with TableLabs, you can edit the Call To Action for your table, either for all buttons or just a few selected.

An effective way of remembering which CTA you used in a chart is to add the butoon at the end of you chart name, e.g. ‘Best mosquito net_buy now’ and ‘Best mosquito spray_check price’.

After logging into your account, you can track your Click Through Rates in your Chart dashboard. After a certain time period, like one month, compare the Click Through Rates. If one is higher than the other, you know which CTA seem to work better for your content.

To test your CTA, choose articles that are similar in content & expected views. For instance, if you have two articles, one on the ‘best mosquito net’ and another on the ‘best mosquito spray’.

Table Labs dashboard shows your clicks, views and click through rate CTR
View: Chart Dashboard for your TableLabs account. The Click Through Rate ‘CTR’ is automatically calculated for you.

Any questions how to use TableLabs? Contact our support team right here

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