Hack 75 Associates Program Best Practices


Five tips that could improve your referral fees.

As you use the associates program, you'll learn ways to maximize your referral fees for your own site. If you're new to the program, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Use only URL formats prescribed by Amazon. Though all of the URL patterns [Hack #59] mentioned in this chapter are known to work with the associates program at printing time, Amazon is free to change the syntax of associate links at any time. Be sure to visit Associates Central (http://associates.amazon.com/) regularly to keep up with any changes. Using the wrong format could mean missing out on referral fees.

  • Link directly to individual products whenever possible. Linking directly to a product may increase the chance that someone will add that item to their cart. It's also the only way you can earn the coveted 15% fee for qualified books (see [Hack #59]). Even if you only use banner ads to link to Amazon, you can take advantage of their product recommendation banners [Hack #62] to link to specific products.

  • Make it easy for people to buy. To get referral fees you need your visitors to add items to their Amazon cart. Add to cart buttons [Hack #60] place items directly in people's carts. You can also add Quick-Click Buying buttons [Hack #61] to allow people who have 1-Click buying enabled to purchase from your site.

  • Tell your visitors you're an Amazon associate. It's important to let people know that you get referral fees if they buy products through links on your site. If they know they can help you out while buying something they want anyway, they'll probably feel good about purchasing through your site?and may return the next time they want to buy something.

  • Measure your results, adjust, measure again. Check out your associates report frequently by logging into Associates Central and clicking "View Reports." You'll see a quick snapshot of your account status, but be sure to also check out the more detailed reports [Hack #73]. If you try a new linking method, measure how effective it is for a certain time period, adjust its placement, and measure again. Collecting this sort of data is the only way you'll know what works for your site.