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Ramping up your Amazon Affiliate Game – Going Global

Guest Post
Guest Post
July 3, 2019

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Jesse Lakes, co-founder and CEO of Geniuslink


The name of the Amazon affiliate game is to maximize commissions, and there are countless ways to tweak your site and eke out a few more dollars each month. However, that is often significant work for not much return.

One of the fastest ways to make a noticeable improvement in your monthly commissions from the Amazon Associates program is to go global with your links. 

It’s often a surprise, to both new and seasoned affiliate publishers, that Amazon’s affiliate program is incredibly fragmented. Amazon currently has 16 regional storefronts (e.g. Amazon.fr for France and Amazon.in for India), and 14 public affiliate programs (plus a private one) worldwide and each operates independently. 

amazon storefronts

From the bottom of Amazon.com, you can select any of the many storefronts that Amazon has spent hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars to optimize for the region.

associates central site

From the Associates Central site, you can select which store’s affiliate program you’d like to visit. Turkey is not shown as it’s currently private.

Without taking advantage of specialized services or plugins, your affiliate links for Amazon.com aren’t crediting you for your work when your audience ends up purchasing from their local Amazon storefront, like Amazon.com.au (for Australia) or Amazon.com.jp (for Japan), after clicking on one of your affiliate links.

The good news is there is an easy solution for this!

Quantify the Opportunity

Before you spend any time implementing a solution to start monetizing your international traffic, it’s important to know how much international traffic you have. 

  • Most websites use Google Analytics, which can give an overview of your global traffic (once in your Google Analytics account click “Audience” then “Geo” and “Location”).
  • If you don’t have easy access to your website’s analytics, then a tool like SimilarWeb can also be helpful to get a rough idea of your international breakdown.
  • If you primarily post your affiliate links on social media, you’ll find that the top platforms offer analytics that will give you a breakdown by country.

What you are looking for is that at least 10% of your traffic is international AND that you have at least 1,000 engagements (views/clicks/visitors/followers) that are outside of your primary market. 

However, if you have less than 10% international traffic but have substantial volume, feel free to proceed. Conversely, if you have more than 50% international traffic but less than 1,000 engagements a month, you are also a candidate for seeing a good return for the work in setting up your links to operate across the multiple Amazon Associates programs.

If you want a rough rule of thumb for measuring the upside of making the move to “intelligent” affiliate links that work globally, follow these steps: 

  • Take your international traffic and divide it by two.
    • For example, if 40% of your traffic is international, your value is 20%.
  • Take this new value and multiply it by the commissions you earned last month from your primary Amazon Associates account. This will give you your potential upside from implementing geo-aware affiliate links.
    • For example, if you earned $1,000 from Amazon.com last month, then you could likely make an additional $200 / month from the international Amazon affiliate programs.

It’s important to note that this is a rough number, as many factors impact your actual earnings, including the distribution of your international traffic and if the products you are recommending are available in those international Amazon storefronts.

Getting Started

Choosing a Service

By default Amazon affiliate links aren’t intelligent and will send everyone to a single destination no matter where in the world they are. To start earning commissions from your international traffic, you’ll need to first select a link management service. I recommend Geniuslink, the original and premium intelligent link management platform for Amazon Associates, (but of course I would – I’m the co-founder). Another option is OneLink

You can find a comparison of the Geniuslink and OneLink services here, but the gist is that OneLink is strictly Javascript based (so it doesn’t work for links on social media), is limited to only translating Amazon.com links (or amzn.to links built from Amazon.com) and only supports link translation for seven programs. Geniuslink offers multiple ways to create a link (Javascript, API, short links, programmatically built links) and works for 13 Amazon affiliate programs storefronts no matter which Amazon store your link is from. 

Signing Up for International Programs

Once you’ve signed up for the service you plan to use, you’ll need to sign up for the Amazon affiliate programs you plan to monetize. We strongly recommend signing up for the US and Canada programs first, and then for the UK program. A trick with the UK program is that at the end of the application process, you can use the same information to apply for the other four programs in Europe automatically (Amazon.de/Germany, Amazon.fr/France, Amazon.it/Italy, Amazon.es/Spain). It’s likely these seven affiliate programs cover most of your international traffic and signing up shouldn’t take more than 30-60 minutes, as the applications are all the same. 

Once you’ve started seeing your international traffic convert into commissions, you can make the call on which other international Amazon Associates programs are worth your time. The remaining eight affiliate programs have some unique challenges and may require more than a few minutes to sign up. However, once you are signed up for a new program, it’s very simple to add your affiliate tracking ID to your link management service and unlock a whole new set of affiliate commissions.

Getting Paid

Earning international commissions doesn’t matter if you can’t spend them! This is where Payoneer does a fantastic job and helps save the day. Previously, I spent countless hours at the bank trying to deposit checks of various amounts in multiple different foreign currencies. With Payoneer’s Global Payment Service, I’ve set up each of the international affiliate programs to pay directly into my Payoneer wallet so that I can then seamlessly move the money into my checking account. 

Conclusion

There are lots of ways to optimize your Amazon affiliate links to earn more commissions per click. Very rarely, however, do they compare to the return on your time you’ll see from moving affiliate links over to an intelligent link management platform that lets you capitalize on your global audience. 

After you see a boost in your Amazon commissions from this tweak, you can start thinking about applying the same method to your other affiliate programs so you can begin earning globally from them as well.

Jesse LakesAs the former Global Product Manager for the iTunes Affiliate Program at Apple and consultant to the Microsoft Store Affiliate Program, Geniuslink co-founder and CEO Jesse Lakes has seen his fair share of affiliate programs from both the advertiser and publisher perspectives.

Geniuslink is an “intelligent” link management platform, with a deep background in affiliate marketing. Their patented technology helps all types of marketers get more out of their links by taking the most crucial web marketing technologies, such as geo-targeting, pixeling, click tracking, UTM support, and A/B testing and baking them into a short link that can be used anywhere and should be used everywhere.