Heidi Thorne is a self-publishing advocate and author of nonfiction books, eBooks, and audiobooks. She is a former trade newspaper editor.
Finally! Amazon has introduced a way for authors to measure sales generated by non-Amazon channels like organic social media posts and paid ads. It is called Amazon Attribution.
To date, how you generated book sales on Amazon was a mystery unless you did Amazon ads. And even then, there were questions about a customer’s journey to your book product page.
Because I just got the email about this program’s introduction just prior to posting this, I’m not able to provide any insight on the effectiveness of it. But I did want to provide you with some quick basics of the program so you can start figuring out how to integrate this into your book marketing, because that’s what I’m doing.
What is Amazon Attribution?
Amazon Attribution provides a way to track and measure your non-Amazon advertising and promotions. This is accomplished through customized destination URLs that you would use in your non-Amazon ads and organic posts.
Who is Eligible to Use Amazon Attribution?
Amazon Attribution is open to KDP authors, meaning self published authors who use Kindle Direct Publishing, and other eligible sellers on Amazon.
Amazon Attribution Terminology Explainer
In reviewing the information on Attribution, I have to say that it’s full of online advertising jargon that can be confusing. Here’s an explainer.
To help organize your campaigns, you can create ad groups. On Amazon advertising support, it suggests setting up a separate ad group for each media strategy, tactic, or creative. For example, a media strategy or tactic might be all your Instagram promotions for a book launch. Your creative would be things like ad artwork. You can get pretty granular in your organization and monitoring. But I’d caution you not to get too detailed that measuring and monitoring gets unwieldy and doesn’t really provide any valuable big picture insight.
When Amazon refers to publishers, that is where you are placing your ad or promotion. Most likely, KDP authors would be choosing publishers such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter. I didn’t see a selection for YouTube which I thought was odd, though there were selections for Google programs such as AdWords. If your preferred publisher isn’t listed, you can add your own.
Channel means the type of ad or promotion you’re running. At this point, your choices are social (meaning social media), video, email, display, and search.
Click-Through URLs and Attribution Tag URLs
Here is where it’s gets really confusing. So stay with me here. When you set up your campaign, you will be asked to select the products you want to track sales for, meaning which of your books are your promoting. It can be more than one. For authors, that might be separate books or separate formats since each format is a separate product choice.
Then you have to indicate what click-through URL on Amazon you want people to visit when they click your ad outside of Amazon. This click-through URL is your book product page for one of your products, even if you’ve selected multiple products to track.
Don’t get confused between the click-through URL and the customized attribution tag URL! The click-through URL is NOT the one you will use as your destination URL when you set up an ad or post off Amazon. You will use the customized attribution tag URL for those posts and ads. You might want to think of that click-through URL as the Amazon landing page you want your potential buyers to see first.
Where to Find Amazon Attribution Instructions and Details
Currently, all the step by step details on the Amazon Attribution program can be found on Amazon ads website under Ad Tech. I’d suggest getting the latest details there.
How Quickly Can You Get Analytics?
In the Amazon Attribution support documentation, they suggest giving it a couple of days to check if the reporting is running correctly. They also caution that there might be a 10 to 20 percent discrepancy between the stats shown on your Amazon advertising reports and the publisher’s stats (such as on social media analytics).
Amazon Attribution is a Big Deal for KDP Authors
This is one of the biggest good things to happen to KDP authors yet. I’d love to hear about your experience using it. And I’ll be reporting on any experiments I do. So stay tuned.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2022 Heidi Thorne