Program: Amazon Associates
Price: FREE (to join as an affiliate)
Rank: 90/100 – overall a great affiliate program, but relatively low commissions compared to other programs. It is free to join as an Amazon Affiliate, but remember, you need training, tools and support to make it work! Check out this awesome educational platform and community for learning affiliate marketing here!
What is Amazon Associates?
Amazon is currently the most popular e-commerce site in the entire world, and with that they’ve obviously established an extremely reputable brand. Their associate (affiliate) program is widely used by affiliate marketers and can conve
rt quite well if you know how to market properly. As long as you live within an approved state or country (residents of Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, and Rhode Island are not allowed to participate) they aren’t very picky about accepting people into the program.
Beware of SCAMS from people claiming to work with Amazon!
NOTE: If you found this page because you’ve been contacted by a sales rep to become an Amazon Associate for a fee (ranging from $100 – $1,000’s). Those people are scam artists and do NOT work for Amazon. My review here is in reference to the real program and has no association to those types of scams.
Easy to join? Why some people may have problems getting accepted
However, if you find yourself denied to the program make sure you are adhering to their terms and conditions. Usually it’s either because you’re violating their agreement (Amazon doesn’t approve websites with sexually explicit material, violence, discrimination, or ones that promote illegal activities) or because your site isn’t developed enough. When first starting out in affiliate marketing, many people get anxious and start applying for affiliate programs left and right, before they even have a solid foundation for promoting the material.
You can always wait and reapply after you’ve tweaked or added more content to your site. They welcome applicants to reapply at any time, so not getting in on the first attempt isn’t the end of the world.
But once you’re accepted, is it realistic to expect to make money as an Amazon Affiliate?
You can definitely make money using Amazon’s program, but the amount of income you make is going to be highly variable. There are right and wrong ways to market online; posting Amazon’s affiliate links around your website and social media isn’t going to be enough to make money. Sure, you may get lucky and get the odd sale here and there – but if you’re not providing value to your readers, there’s no reason for people to buy from your link.
Another huge chunk of the equation is the types of products you are selling from Amazon. Their commission rates are generally lower than average, so if you’re promoting a $5.00 product at 4% base commission, that’s only 20 cents per sale! You’d have to make a lot of sales to even earn anything worth while, and it probably isn’t worth it.
The key is to promote higher priced items – ones that earn you at least $4 or $5 a sale, but preferably above $15. Keep in mind the more you can make per sale, the less sales you have to make to earn money; which ultimately comes down to less work for you.
Amazon isn’t a “way” to make money online, but it’s a tool you can leverage to help you out with the battle. The program only will “work” for you if you put in the effort to make it work. It takes proper training and guidance to get started no matter what affiliate program you’re using.
But let’s talk a bit more in detail about Amazon….
I’ve used many affiliate programs as an online marketer, and at least in my experience, Amazon’s program has a relatively high conversion rate compared to other affiliate programs.
Many people prefer not to use the Amazon Associates program largely because the commissions are pretty small compared to some other programs. And that is very true, as it is not unheard of for other affiliate programs to offer up to 75% commissions. Let’s face it – compared to the 4-8% rate for Amazon, it sure seems a lot better.
But keep in mind your conversion rate is an extremely important aspect to your affiliate campaigns. And yes, your personal campaign will have a high impact on your conversion rate, but did you know the actual program you’re promoting also has a huge impact as well? If you’re promoting through a little known sales outlet people are going to be less likely to actually buy, and not many companies have a conversion funnel as powerful as Amazon’s.
However, average commission rate largely depends upon your niche and what you’re promoting – so for many niches, 4-8% is about average. It really comes down to what you’re selling , so keep in mind that the Amazon program really isn’t the best option for every niche.
How the Amazon Associates commission structure works
Amazon has two different commission structures for their affiliate program – volume based rates and fixed rates. For certain product categories (as you can refer to the table bel0w) the commission rate you receive will remain constant, whereas for their general products your commission rate can increase up to 8.5%, depending on how much you sell.
It’s important to note the rate for volume based product commission resets at the beginning of each month.
Say you’re promoting something somewhat expensive, say around $400-$500 (like an iphone or tablet). Amazon has a fixed commission rate of 4% for electronics.
500 x 4% = 20
Even at just 4%, you’re still earning $20 per sale. What if you were able to make many sales per day? It’s easy to see that $20 would add up pretty quickly! (Note: While 4% may seem low, it is quite a high commission for electronics. Most affiliate programs within the niche, i.e. Apple, Tiger Direct, Toshiba, etc are much lower, starting at just 1 – 3 %!)
Obviously if you’re promoting things that aren’t so expensive you’d have to sell many more to add up, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
Reasons why Amazon’s affiliate program can be very profitable for marketers
It’s a very reputable and trusted brand
Let’s face it, who hasn’t heard of Amazon? They’re the #1 E-commerce site in the world – millions of people buy from them every single day. This is good news because it means there’s already an existing trust factor between your customer and the brand. Most likely your audience has purchased something from Amazon.com in the past, so they would be less hesitant to buy from them again and you’re more likely to make a sale.