Affiliate Marketing With Amazon
Learn how to use Editorial Recommendations on Amazon to increase your e-commerce sales. How do you start doing affiliate marketing on Amazon with Editorial Recommendations?
Kris Gramlich and Dustin Kane are joined by Curt Humrichouser from SellerRocket.io to talk about Editorial Recommendations on Amazon
How can sellers increase their sales and brand awareness using Editorial Recommendations?
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Affiliate Marketing With Amazon – Increase Your Ecommerce Sales With Editorials
– Hello everyone, and welcome to episode 78 of Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone, brought to you by Sellozo. Today, Kris and I are super excited. We have on with us Curt Humrichouser from SellerRocket.io. Curt, what’s happening?
– Hey, great to be here, thanks for having me, Dustin and Kris.
– You’re welcome, and for those listening, Curt is rocking a serious mullet, like its legit. So if you check out the live stream, you’ll see it, it’s fantastic.
– Yes, that is very solid, well done. Well, Curt, we’re really excited to have you on to talk all about Seller Rocket, all the cool things that you guys are doing over there, and how you’re helping out e-commerce people like Kris and myself. So, we’re just talking about it but let’s start with just a little bit about you. Give us a little bit about your background, how you got into the space, and what you’re doing with Seller Rocket right now?
– Well, overall, I started my entire career doing door-to-door sales. And I’m just really passionate about the process and making people better at selling. And then it’s totally evolved like my middle step between door-to-door sales and here, I was selling software for healthcare. And so that kinda was a step to this ’cause this is sort of software and now I’m helping sellers to sell more. So it works out really great, it came full circle for me. I’ve been here for, we’ve been doing this for about two years. We started right around the time that the editorial recommendations were just going live on Amazon when they were testing things. So, we saw the inefficiencies in that whole process and that’s what we’re solving for. Making easier for the sellers, making it easier for the publishers as well.
– Let’s go to right to that. So, editorial recommendations, some sellers should know what that is. But people out there that don’t know what that is. Describe where that is on the page, what that process looks like, and just why you got involved with it?
– Yeah, so the editorial recommendations, they kind of pop up at random it seems. But there’s one that consistently, like every time I can get it to come up. And it seems like everyone else that I tell to search gets to come up too. So if you search vacuum on Amazon, about a third of the way down the page there should be an editorial recommendation by Purewell. And it should have a Dyson, a Hoover, and an eye robot I think, I’m I right?
– Yes, you’re right.
– Yeah, so, it’s there every time. Luckily that one just, it works perfectly. I don’t know why that one in particular shows 100% of time on such a high volume search term. But, in general, those editorials can go live and then show on five different search terms. Or they might only show on one search term 10% of the time. They may rotate with other editorials. They behave really strangely compared to everything else on Amazon at least. Not what most sellers expect. They think it’s a paid ad or something that they could just buy that spot. And it’s great advertising. It is, I mean, it takes up a lot of space on the search page and you’re being recommended as one of the top products, if you’re in there.
– And you mentioned these came live about two years ago. What have you seen with the transition? Like, ’cause we Kris and Dustin are both sellers we’re like, where did these come from? How do we get our products in there? We’re trying to reach out to influencers and trying to get on that. Like what have you seen with the growth? Is it just, are there more spots coming available or is it always gonna be on the front page? What kind of stuff are you seeing?
– So they are testing different variations of it. I’ve seen multiple editorials on the same screen. I’ve seen a section that it’s right there where those editorials go, but you can click on, then it opens up like four editorials they’re testing all sorts of cool things with these recommendations, different ways to make them more effective. But the green space is actually running out on these editorials. So they’re not gonna be available forever. I mean, they’re gonna be available, but like it’s not gonna be as easy to get into them in the future. These publishers they’re in invite only program with Amazon. And so these are, I think they’re affiliates that have done a certain amount of revenue to be invited into the program. And so they’re publishing that content directly to Amazon. It’s not shared anywhere else. It’s not also going on their site. There are some publishers who do put it on their site but they’re more like duplicating the same content. It’s not a post that, they don’t funnel into the same place.
– And that’s interesting ’cause my… I’d like to come at this from people that don’t know anything about this whole process about how these, I mean, my initial question what you just answered was who’s writing these editorials and can you write your own? And obviously you can’t, you’ve got to have authorized publisher submitting this stuff to Amazon.
– Yeah, and when these publishers are picking their products they’re really just looking at the top of the category guessing like these three look good. Let’s put them in there, or sometimes they have six or 10 of them in there, but really the top three are the ones who get the most transactions. So they’re just picking these products off the top of the category and guessing like I think these products will do well with vacuum the three the example with the vacuum section those products that actually they hit the bullseye on that one because the show is all the time. But depending on the products that they pick or the search term that they’re going for with the titling of their article, can make it just not appear on Amazon. And so there’s a lot of editorials out there that are floating around that just don’t have any traction, they’re not being shown very often. And so the difference of when we work with these publishers is we’ll talk to the brands, we’ll vet the products, we’ll vet the seller, and then we’ll also get keyword information, that we can send over to the publishers. So we’re suggesting the product, we’re suggesting the keyword that they should aim towards, and then if they want to pick up the product, then and it matches to the content that they’re producing for that month, then they can pick it up and put it in their editorial. And by giving them the keyword information, it’s more likely to show up on the page right next to where your organic listing is or your paid ad. Just the paid ad, isn’t really enough to make it like effective on that search term. You wanna be on that first page organically. This isn’t like PPC where you can stake your flag. And if you’re willing to pay that price you can get onto that search term. This is you need to be on that first page organically if you wanna be on that term with an editorial recommendation.
– So Seller Rocket is like the bridge between sellers and publishers?
– You’re connecting sellers with publishers we’re better yeah you’re connecting publishers with sellers, I guess. And then those publishers create the article. And then how does Amazon decide? Like if I wanna be a publisher for vacuums as well, how has Purewell gonna continue to get it? How can I do it like does it rotate?
– So if you were invited into the program and you produce an article that is for vacuums you titled it as the best vacuum or best whatever variation of how you wanna title it. And if it gets introduced to that search page it will be tested against that vacuum article. And so Amazon’s optimizing for conversions. Whichever is gonna sell the most products for them is what they’re gonna show on the page. And they should be relevant if they’re selling on that page, it’s not just, we’re searching for vacuums, but I saw this new, some other product that’s just so cool I had to buy it. They’re looking for vacuums, they wanna see vacuums there. Sorry, I lost my train of thought.
– What do you see as an impact once these, if these editorials get picked up and they are shown what’s the impact on sales?
– Oh, it can be huge, it can be really huge. I can’t promise across the board, it’s gonna be huge for everyone. ‘Cause it depends on the search page. It depends on how competitive things are. If there’s no clear winner on the page and you get yourself wedged in there, you’re gonna perform at the big dogs. So I talked with a seller, he sells an espresso refill capsules and he somehow got him spells, he got himself wedged in between espresso and whatever other huge brand. And he was getting their level of sales. He said it was like two to three X in his overall sales for his entire business. Just by being in that editorial. In general, though, I would say it’s a 10% lift over your organic sales. And then if we can get the organic placement and your paid ads to show on the same screen, you’ll see a 25% lift in both of those pieces of real estate.
– My gosh, and then if you have a video ad, I’m sure it’s even higher.
– Oh, the video ads right above the editorial recommendation. So I tell people every time, if you have video ads you got to win it on that search term. If we can get the editorial to show on there then you wanna win that bid.
– So this is really interesting to me because Kris and I talk all the time when we’re talking about ads and so that is if you’re not taking up real estate on Amazon, your competitors will. So like if you’re not doing some sort of ad spot, like the sponsored brand ad or sponsored video, your competitor is, and they’re gonna be there. Well, this is interesting to me because this is the same thing. If these editorials are on the page and your competitors are in there, but you’re not, even though you don’t really have a ton of control over it, that’s a missed opportunity. So it’s really interesting to me. And I’d love to just learn more about the impact of these.
– Yeah, so by being on the screen multiple times, it is helpful. But the editorial recommendation is more than just a piece of real estate. You’re being recommended by a trusted third party. So you’re getting that external validation. And some people, that editorial is gonna do enough validating for them. That’s gonna make them, hey, let’s buy it from this one. I feel confident that out of these three products I’m gonna choose this one. It says, it’s the best, I’ll buy it. But some people that doesn’t check the box for them. So they go to Google to find external validation. And so that’s why we do external traffic as well with these publishers. We’ll have them place you in editorials that are on their website. If it matches up to their content it’s all of this, is always up to the publisher. We don’t guarantee any of it. We have a high likelihood because of our scale of the number of publishers we work with. But, so if the publishers wanna pick you up and place you on their site, then potentially any customer who doesn’t get the validation from that editorial recommendation, they’re gonna search your brand ’cause they see you being recommended but they don’t trust it yet. So they search for your brand on Google, they see you in four different articles and they’re like, oh yeah, there’s my validation. It’s all over the place, I’m gonna buy it.
– How hard is it to get an editorial recommendation without using a total excel rocket or using your software, like, it seems like it’s just–
– It’s completely right.
– If you’re one of the top producers in your category, like you are one of the best sellers overall, there’s a good likelihood that you can get picked up organically but it’s gonna be inconsistent, like the espresso refills client that I have, he was in an editorial, and then he dropped out and that’s why he called me, is ’cause he’s like, hey, how do I get back in there? So usually like, if you’re picked up organically for an editorial, they only last about six months three to six months is how long they last, and then their publisher is gonna wipe out their products swap them out for different ones, they’ll maybe change the wording. They refresh their article because the more recent the article, it plays into whether Amazon start showing it.
– Interesting, so you could have been in one and now you’re not the bestseller anymore, and they take you out of it, for their new products.
– Or they were just trying it at random. They didn’t know like, didn’t know if that was a good result. So they’re like, oh, let’s try it with some different products, even get better results. And then once they find like, oh, that one was good we’ll go back to that one. So that, the pure one article we were looking at for vacuums, I assume they have to know they hit the button. You have to know it’s sewing every single time. And vacuums are one of the top sellers like across the board for months and months and months, like everyone’s always buying vacuums off Amazon.
– So these publishers, what’s the benefit to them for writing all of these editorials, like what do they get out of this deal?
– This is an affiliate revenue for them. It’s an easy affiliate revenue. They just have to grab the products and post them. And then they get money off of them. If they pick the right products, they get more money.
– And they write the content, right? Like, let’s go to the process. I’m a seller, I come to you, I said, okay, I wanna do editorial recommendations run me through the game, like, what do you look for first? Like, ’cause you can’t just throw a new product on this like there’s rules here on some of the stuff. So what does it look like, if the seller comes to you?
– So a product needs to have four stars, at least 100 ratings or reviews. And if they don’t have 100 ratings they better be doing a lot of tens of thousands every month for us to be like, okay, this it’s a hot seller. We put it in there. And then the most important thing is that the best seller ranking needs to be in the top 20% for the sub category. Sub category BSR and the top 20%.
– So I meet that standard, we’d move on to the next phase, which is what?
– So I’ll ask you for keyword information. I wanna know which keywords you’re on the first page for organically and sorted by search volume. And then we will send that over to the publishers and then they’ll title their article in a way that should align with your search terms. They don’t always take our suggestion. Maybe they might pick another product and say, this is the product we’re putting first. And so they’ll try and angle it towards that product but it’s generally it’s titled in the way that we ask them to, ’cause they’re more likely to make more money. So they take our suggestion most of the time.
– And then how long before the article is live, like, do I see this live the next week, or like what’s the timeframe?
– Great question, actually that’s a really great question. So, once we send your information over to the publishers, they will write the article and then they’ll send it off to Amazon for moderation. This whole process, Amazon moderation takes the longest and it’s about six to eight weeks before that article goes live on Amazon. And then once it’s live, it goes through an indexing period where it’s tested against other articles to see what’s gonna convert better. And what the testing looks like is, it’ll be shown for just a small window one day and then it’ll take a couple days off and it’ll be shown for just a small window another day, maybe a little bit more of a window, and then it’ll take less days off and then it’ll be shown a little bit more and take less days off. And it just builds and builds and builds until about month three. Usually month three is when things are just rocking and rolling for a brand. And then, yeah, so it’s a long process. It’s like four to five months before you see really great results. You could see results, in the first month of it being live too, but it’s generally not compared to month three.
– So a lot of stuff can happen to a product between the time we wanna do editorial condition but before the time it goes live, so one of those things can be maybe the product is no longer flipped that I’m doing anymore. Maybe I’m just, it got suspended or it just moves onto another product. What kind of communication do I need to say, like, hey, Curt sorry this product is no longer gonna be available anymore. What do we do there like–
– Yeah, you just let me know. And I’ll shop it, I’ll see what I can do, I’ll make some calls and stop it from going live. If it goes, it wouldn’t go live if your product was out of stock anyway, the publishers would notice that or moderation would notice that, somebody would see it. I don’t know where they would see that along in the process, but they’d notice it, and they’d say, no, this one ain’t gonna work.
– So, and if that happens, we don’t charge you for anything. If you’re not live, you’re not drawing transactions, we’re not gonna charge you. So we make it as easy as performance-based and easy as possible.
– So a lot of these editorials like the publishers just writing one are they typically doing like a comparison? Like these are the three that we recommend the three products for… Three vacuums that we recommend or when we get one written with help of you as a whole article about just our product or do they throw others in there as well?
– So there’s other products in there. We don’t choose all the products for an article, we just choose one and then send that off to the publisher.
– So typically every editorial has got multiple products in it.
– Yeah, and I’ve seen an editorial that has all one brand in it. And I think that’s, I don’t know how they arrange that deal. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. To me at least I don’t think, I would assume that Amazon doesn’t want it to work like that. I think they want variety.
– For sure, are your products being sent as a sample to test,–
– So, some publishers may buy the products, some publishers might just go through the reviews that are already there on Amazon. If you’ve read any of these editorials, some of them have, they’re like written by a fourth grader. I don’t know what some of these publishers are up to, but some of them are better quality than others, but honestly, the contents of the editorial don’t really matter. Only about 10% of people actually click into the editorial to read them. And I don’t know if they read them, they just at least click on the link.
– Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely social proof though. I mean, if there’s an article on Amazon about a product and there’s not one about another product you’re looking at, you’re gonna lean towards the one where you’re seeing somebody bought it and used it and tested it, according to the article.
– Some sort of suggestion that it’s good.
– Exactly, another thing I wanna touch on, ’cause you brought it up is, the publishers are also potentially writing articles on their website or blogs or whatever. And that just caught my attention because that could be a huge impact on your SEO and Google or how people find you and all that traffic drives back to Amazon.
– Yeah, we’re working on being able to send it to your.com site, but right now just Amazon, because it’s super easy. They’re all Amazon affiliates already. We get the data from it’s great. So well you know exactly what we’re doing for you. And a lot of these, I talk to brands all the time who they pay a bunch of money to some PR firm to get placed on some site. They never know what it does for them. They’re just like, yeah, I was on the site, I could put it on my website that I was on the site but I have no idea what that did for me at all. So we actually give you the data on all of this, the attributed sales that the publisher is getting credit for from Amazon.
– Oh, that’s nice.
– So you have a dashboard where a seller can walk in or log in and they can see, how many sales they got from the recommendations, is that right?
– Yeah, from the recommendation or for the external traffic as well. And so the external traffic you brought up, we see that is as powerful or more powerful than editorial recommendations. We tested with a dog bowl, I think I, did I tell you about this story, Kris?
– So yeah, we had a dog bowl that we had featured in the LA times is like a deal newsletter saying, hey these are the deals for prime day. And this dog bowl didn’t get very many sales attributed to that features. Like not enough for us say that it 11 X their sales, week over week, because that was the effect that it had by being featured here, because it was featured by the LA times, Amazon must have recognized, hey, if the LA time is to talk about this product, it must be important. So they raised it from the third page up to the first page and it bounced around between the second and third position. And because of that move the sales increased to 11 X week over week.
– That’s a big jump for a seller. You imagine like all of a sudden 11 extra sales, I mean you got to have the inventory. What happens if I sell out?
– It’s not as big of a problem for the external, being featured on, whatever CNN or best reviews or something. But if you’re in the editorial recommendations that are on Amazon, if you stock out that editorial will stop showing.
– And then you got to be back in stock here’s a whole process to start all over again. I got to wait another six weeks or?
– Yeah, so, well, not exactly. We would, yeah, it might. If you were the one who stocks out it would take another six weeks. Yeah, I mean, we got to wait for you to get back in stock and then we’ll submit for a refresh. Refreshes don’t take as long just because they only have to moderate like that one item that they’re swapping out. This actually happened with another seller, their product didn’t go out of stock, another product in the editorial went out of stock. And so the editorial stopped showing. And so they let us know, we contacted the publisher and said, hey, that product is out of stock, can you swap it out for a different one, so that it’ll start showing again and we’re waiting. I think it’s probably, I should check to see if that’s live to see what’s going on with that one. But yeah, it’s a simple process. I mean, we’ll make it work for you. You’re not gonna be invoiced if you’re not showing. So it’s not like, there’s a lot of nuances that we have to deal with rather that’s where the article is showing. If the article is showing, so, and none of this works the way that anything else does on Amazon. So, for corporate sellers who need to look a lot like corporate brands, they need a lot of proof before they make decisions. And for me, sometimes it gets a little hard to be like, okay, these dates it’s gonna happen this way, this is, so a lot of times I just ask sellers to trust me it’s gonna work out, we got your back, we’re gonna make this sell for you.
– We’ve been there before.
– Just that I need to build your confidence real quick, just for a second.
– Oh, that’s true across everything on Amazon, and a whole what I mean, when someone’s like, well how much budget do I need for ads? You’re like, what?
– We’ll see.
– We’re gonna find out, yeah I mean, it’s like, are you running out at 9:00 am, or do you need more budget? Yeah, I’m fascinated by this, I mean, in all honesty, I did not realize just the full impact of what you’re able to do with these editorials. I didn’t realize that you could, that there was a service like yours out there. We could have a partner.
– We’ve been in stealth mode for a while. So we’ve been laying low trying to move fast and quiet.
– Keep it that way. Yeah, that’s right.
– Maybe a little bit louder now, but not too loud.
– Yeah, okay, so let’s talk about the process of… Kris already talked about getting started with you. So we’re selecting the product, we meet the criteria, you’re submitting the stuff to the publishers. They’re writing, are we telling them, hey, we want, one editorial on Amazon and like three articles on your website or how’s that, are we dictating that, or are they–
– Sort of, so for off of Amazon, the way that it works is, we just have a list and the publishers are picking off what matches with their content. So if you’re selling a seasonal product, that’s just it’s what people are buying in April or May, there is a more, there’s a better likelihood that you’ll be picked up by multiple publishers all at the same time, it just that we don’t charge you any different. If you get picked up by five publishers, that’s awesome. If you get picked up by one publisher, I hope it’s a great one. They’re all great, but honestly, a lot of times publishers it’s like one or two publishers at a time that are picking up a product for external traffic and we’re continuously growing our network, so that’s gonna turn into three or four four or five, six or eight. So it’s gonna be extremely powerful in the future. Sorry, lost my train of thought again, get me back on track.
– That’s all right, so can we dictate like how many articles we want or where we want them to show or that kind of–
– Yeah, for the Amazon editorials, I mean, we can try, we don’t know if for sure it’s just gonna show up on those search terms but if you have three different keywords that you’re on the first page four, they have really great search volume and they’re not really real, like you don’t, the editorials are SEO based. So if those three keywords aren’t gonna overlap, yeah, let’s do it, let’s request three articles and have them all directed towards your keywords. If they all three get picked up, they all get shown on Amazon. That’s gonna be really great for you. And eventually down the line, as we see articles go live, we see, okay, it got on one out of the three keywords that we really wanted to be on. We may request another editorial and title it towards the second or the third, we wanna build a moat around your product so that anytime your product is on the first page, you’re also being one of the recommended products.
– What’s next for you guys? I mean, I know you’ve been in a kind of stealth mode, but what’s coming down the pipeline that is gonna keep you different from providers out there. I mean, there’s a lot of software in the space. Where are you guys seeing in the future?
– So, DTC is the future, it’s really close to. We’re really close to being able to do direct to consumer. And if we can just, all we need to do is just be able to track it without using some system we’re building our own, so we don’t have to use the tracker.
– And that’s where you’re gonna direct traffic to someone’s website.
– Yeah, from these high quality publishers that we work with, so. And then after that, we’re gonna go for other marketplaces.
– Walmart, I’m assuming you’re talking about?
– Yeah, all those marketplaces, like Walmart they’re a lot like Amazon, they got third party sellers in there that doll it sends some traffic into them.
– Is Walmart right now doing anything like the editorials?
– I don’t think they have editorial recommendations on their search page. I don’t think any of the other marketplaces have an editorial recommendation, that’s like built into the page. So everything for right now is gonna be external traffic.
– And you brought up marketplaces which brought a question to my mind. What about different marketplaces in Amazon, like what about the UK or Europe?
– Oh, great question, thank you, UK, we can do UK to. US and UK right now and Canada’s next. And then if I start speaking another language we’ll be somewhere else.
– This is so cool, I mean, that’s what I love about this space is you just learn something new all the time. I mean, I’m on Amazon all day long and I see those editorials and just didn’t know how I could put that into my back pocket as a win for my friend. But this thing does it well. Tell anybody out there who’s listening, if they wanna get started with you, get set up, what do they need to do? How did they contact you? Where do they need to go?
– I would say, if they go to SellerRocket.io, it’s our website. There’s a ton of information that they can read more about. Then there’s some contact us forms that they can go to or they can just email me directly, Curt@SellarRocket.io, and that’s Curt with a C, C-U-R-T@SellarRocket.io.
– Great stuff, I highly encourage everyone out there. If your products meet the requirements that we talked about earlier, you should reach out to Curt and see what they’re doing with the editorial, as it can make a big deal.
– Yeah, definitely would recommend it. He’s a straight shooter. I’ll tell you exactly where you need to be at. So I’ve had a couple of conversations with them, Curt you’ve been fantastic.
– Yeah, all right, well, thanks so much Curt, we’re gonna have to have you back on. We got to maybe we’ll get you back on every couple of months or so, just so we can talk about what’s new ’cause the landscape changes fast. That’s why we wanna stay on top of this and that’s why we do this. So this has been great Curt, thanks so much for coming on, thanks everyone for tuning in. If you like content like this, if you wanna learn about different things that are going on in the Amazon space, like editorials, then you need to be subscribing to our podcast, so you can find us on every podcast platform that’s out there. Subscribe to us, leave us a little review if you don’t mind, let us know how we’re doing and you can also see our live streams on Sellozo’s Facebook page and Sellozo’s YouTube channel. So make sure you like those turn on notifications so that you’re notified when we go live with great cool people like Curt. And if you do watch this live, you get to see things like mullets, that are saying you can’t hear them on the podcast. So you gotta definitely watch the live stream and so. Anyway Curt, we can hear it there, that’s awesome. Curt thanks so much for joining us, everyone thanks for tuning in and we’ll be back at this tomorrow, have a great day.
– Thanks guys.