In a word, yes. It’s absolutely, 100% possible to make an extremely comfortable living promoting products through the Amazon Associates program.
Plenty of people dismiss the Amazon affiliate program because of its low commission percentages and short cookie times. But the truth is, Amazon’s program has several things going for it that no other provider on the market can compete with. It is these advantages that make the program so appealing to affiliates around the world.
For example, you can’t beat Amazon’s brand recognition or reputation for superior customer service – both of which are known to convert visitors more effectively than most other affiliate programs.
Think about it – who would you trust more to offer a good product for your hard earned dollars? A seemingly fly-by-night affiliate website with a few pages of content and a bunch of banner ads? Or Amazon – the web’s largest retailer, whose A-to-Z customer satisfaction policy guarantees every transaction? When it comes to reputation and trust factors, you just can’t beat Amazon.
Amazon also has another major advantage over most affiliate programs, and that’s the number and breadth of product lines, which can increase the dollar value of your visitor substantially. Although Amazon’s cookie length is short (you only have 24 hours to convert a visitor into a buyer), most customers who click through your link will wind up buying more than just the product you’re promoting.
As an example, say you run a site that promotes scrapbooking products. If your site visitors click through your affiliate link to purchase scrapbooking die cut machines, they might also add scrapbooking stickers, die cut cartridges and decorative papers to their orders to save on shipping costs, which could easily double or triple the amount of the sale. With absolutely no work on your part, you’ve increased your commission substantially.
Now, there’s no arguing with the fact that Amazon’s affiliate percentages are substantially lower than most other affiliate providers. You’re going to start at a 4.00% commission rate, and you’ll have to sell over 3,131 products to reach the highest payout level – which is still only 8.50% for most product categories. Compared with affiliate products that pay out 50-75% per sale, this can be quite a shock to new affiliates when they first join Amazon’s program.
However, there are two factors that make these low commission rates a non-issue. The first is the tendency of visitors to purchase more than just the item they were referred to, which effectively increases your commission rate, as described above. And the second is a choice that you, the affiliate marketer, can make to only promote products over a certain dollar value.
So again, say you’re promoting scrapbooking machines, as in our earlier example. Instead of promoting entry-level machines, which might retail for $50-$100, why not go after the higher end models, which can sell for $500+ or more? For the same amount of work, you’ll earn more money, which will more than compensate for the lower payout rates.
But don’t take my word for it. Look at example like Chris Guthrie, who earned a substantial monthly payout promoting netbooks on his “NetbookReviews.com” website before selling the site in a five-figure deal.
Top Amazon affiliates take advantage of Amazon’s unique perception as being the lowest cost provider of goods, online and offline. They count on their affiliate site visitors to remember Amazon’s free shipping policies, helpful reviews and extensive buying resources – all of which help them translate these visitors into more sales and more income.
To get signed up with the Amazon affiliate program, simply navigate to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/ and complete the application. Please note that, at this point, affiliates in some states – including Rhode Island, North Carolina, Illinois and, most recently, California – aren’t currently eligible to participate in the program, after these states passed laws that require internet affiliates to collect local sales taxes.
However, if you are eligible for the program, signing up is a breeze and integrating Amazon affiliate ads into your current website is easy to do. So start taking advantage of the unique benefits of partnering with the web’s largest retailer and enjoy what the Amazon affiliate program can do for your bottom line.