Those of us that are Amazon affiliates received wonderful news yesterday (you can read my email announcement here – opens in a new window). The Amazon Associates program announced that they will be paying us a flat 12% commission on all sales generated through Native Ads on our sites during the month of November.
This is a big deal! For most of us, the highest commission rate we can get to each month is 8.5% – so Amazon offering a flat 12% is an great opportunity.
But – what ARE Amazon Native Ads? How do they work? How can YOU make them work? How do you use them? Which TYPE of Native Ad block should YOU use?
All of that, and more, in the post below.
What ARE Amazon Native Ads?
They look like Amazon listings meaning: consumers are not only used to looking and buying from those types of product listings, they are VERY comfortable doing so.
Types of Amazon Native Ads
There are three types of Amazon Native Ads that you can use – and one specific Native Ad type that I believe is the whole reason behind offering affiliates a flat 12% commission during the month of November.
Native Custom Ads
The first type of Amazon Native Ads is the type that gives you, the creator of the content, the most control over the products shown.
With Amazon’s Native Custom Ads, you literally choose the specific products that are shown in the ad block.
You type in the type of product you are looking for (just as you would do from the main Amazon search bar) and then scroll through and click to choose the exact products you want to show in your Native Ad block.
When To Use Custom Ads
These types of Native Custom Ads are best for those that need very specific products to show in order for the ads to be 100% relevant to the content of their page.
Your post is directions to take pictures the way YOU do for your blog.
You mention the specific digital cameras that you personally recommend – and those are the only digital cameras you want shown in the Native Ad block.
With the Custom Ads option, you can do that.
This is what that Native Custom Ad would look like:
Native Search Ads
The search ads option for Amazon’s Native Ads do not offer you, the publisher, as much control as the Custom Ads, but the products shown are still very relevant to the content of your post.
When creating the code for a Search Ad block, you simply chose the search phrase (just like someone would type into the Amazon search bar) and then, Amazon chooses the best products to show based on the search phrase.
You also have the option to pick a specific Amazon product category from which you want your ad products shown from.
When To Use Search Ads
Search Ads are great for blog posts where you don’t necessarily need exact/specific products shown in your ad block, but you do want a certain TYPE of product shown.
You also know that these ads will update with the best products from Amazon based on their criteria.
Using the how I take my blog pictures post idea from above, let’s say that you’ve already linked to the digital cameras that you specifically recommend via your text links and/or EPD ad blocks.
You want your Native ad block to display other digital cameras that Amazon deems to be best for conversions as more options for your readers.
In this case, you would create a Native Search Ad – and enter digital camera as your search phrase.
While you, the publisher, have less control over the specific digital cameras shown to your readers, you also know that your page will always show the “best” digital camera options to your readers.
This is how that Native Search Ad block would look:
(note: depending on your ad code settings, you might have one row, or two rows, of products shown)
With Amazon Native Search Ads, the products will change as digital camera seller rankings change.
Native Recommendation Ads
The third, and last, type of Amazon Native Ads are what they call Recommendation Ads.
These types of ads give the publisher much less control over the products shown to their readers, BUT, I personally believe it is THIS Native Ad type that is the reason behind offering Amazon affiliates the flat 12% commission on sales generated through Native Ads throughout the month of November.
(I’ll get to that point in a moment.)
Native Recommendation Ads use the content from your page to display products shown in the Recommendation Ad block.
Your only “control” over these ads are the fallback product keyword phrase your choose when creating the Native Ad code and by the other Amazon products you talk about and link to within your post content.
When To Use Recommendation Ads
Recommendation Ads are best at the bottom of a post as a “save the sale” technique, like I talk about in my New What Works Now Guide.
From Amazon (emphasis mine):
Where should I place the Recommendation Ads?
We recommend that you place the ad unit within your editorial content or at the end of your articles to allow the visitors to engage with relevant product recommendations. In our early testing, we have seen this placement to be the most effective from a performance perspective
note: This year’s What Works Now guide has a strong focus on techniques that work to “save the sale” so you get more clicks and sales from your site visitors.
Again, using the how I take my blog pictures post example, your post already has links to the specific products one would need to take pictures like you do as per your directions (using your normal linking techniques. ie, not other Native Ads)
At the bottom of your post, you would insert code for a Native Recommendation Ad block.
You have very little over-all control over these Recommendation Ads.
Even if YOU look at your published post and see related and relevant products, that is NOT what your readers will see. They will see products relevant to THEM.
They will see not only products relevant to your post content, but also products relevant to each unique reader individually.
In short, everyone that looks at your post is likely to see different products shown.
How Native Recommendation Ads Might Look On Your Page:
This is where it gets a little tricky – yet it’s the exact reason I believe Amazon is offering their affiliates (Associates) the flat 12% commission on all sales generated through Native ads throughout the month of November.
These Recommendation Native Ads very well might look different at any given time.
If you do NOT link directly to an Amazon product via HTML (text link, image link, etc), then your Recommendation Ad Block could look like this:
Yep, that’s right – that Recommendation Ad block might show only ONE product.
However, if you DO link to other Amazon products in a way the Native Ad code understands (ie, text link, image link, etc), then, your Recommendation Ad block could look like this:
(and this is where it gets interesting)
Notice the different color arrows I have pointing to products in that Recommendation Ad example above.
First off, in that Recommendation Native Ad example above, we DO see digital cameras.
However, we ALSO see products NOT related to the content of the how I take my blog post pictures post.
The yellow arrows I added to that picture are for other products one might need if one bought a digital camera. Think like the “Frequently Bought Together” area on an Amazon product page.
The red arrows I added point to products in this ad unit that, are first glance, make you think, “What they heck!??! Why are THOSE products being shown??!”
Those products that I point to with the red arrows are products that are not only selling really well at this exact moment on Amazon, they are also denoted with a “Bestseller” title.
The green arrow I added points to a product that has no relevance at all to the content of the post.
It’s a freakin’ flashlight…lol!
Also note: that flashlight has no price shown and no stars shown and no number of reviews shown.
That the HECK is that flashlight doing in that Native Ad Block?
THIS is why I personally believe we Amazon Affiliates are being offered the flat 12% commission on sales generated via a Native Ad block all throughout the month of November.
That flashlight is most likely a “sponsored product”.
Meaning: the vendor selling that flashlight on Amazon paid Amazon to advertise there (and other places on the Amazon site).
We see these “Sponsored Products” all over the Amazon site.
In my opinion, this is exactly why Amazon is offering us the flat 12% commission.
In short, those that pay Amazon for ad space for their products on Amazon, get more exposure, more clicks, and more sales – which, in turn means those that pay for those ads are happier with their results FROM those ads…. soooooo, they buy MORE ads.
Now, here’s another reason why I believe we are being offered this 12% commission.
Why 12% Commission?
…And Why YOU Should Absolutely Use Native Ads
Have you ever looked at a product on the Amazon site and then suddenly that exact product is showing to you in your Facebook feed and on other websites, etc?
It seems that product you looked at is being recommended on EVERY site you go to.
That is called ad “retargeting”.
Amazon knows you looked at that product by info in your web browser (nothing creepy or wrong, just how all ad retargeting works).
Then, Amazon makes sure you continue to see that product so you come back and buy it.
LOTS of ecommerce sites do this.
In fact, WayFair got ME – and I know what’s happening.
One night, I was browsing the WayFair site and looked at this foyer table thing that I just loved.
I didn’t buy it – then.
Suddenly, that foyer table thing was EVERYWHERE I went online – it was almost comical.
But guess what? I ended up buying it.
Well ok, let me totally honest…
I ended up talking my husband into buying it FOR me for Christmas last year…lol!
That’s how ad retargeting works – and it DOES work.
Amazon also uses the space in your Native Recommendation Ads to show your readers products that THEY, individually, have looked at on Amazon in attempt to get that person BACK to the Amazon site and purchase it.
What’s the Good News for us – the Affiliates?
We get 12% commission when those conversions happen.
AND we get a fresh new cookie set =)
Which Amazon Native Ads Are Best To Use?
Which Native Ads Get The Most Clicks?
Which Native Ads Get Convert to Sales the Best?
Those questions I will answer in my next post with the results from own my testing using all 3 formats of Amazon Native ads since they first came out…. I think almost 2 years ago?
I’ll link to that post here when it’s published.
New follow up post is published!
In the meantime, be sure to get your copy of my What Works Now guide…
Well, that is IF you’d like more sales and Amazon commissions =)
Why not follow me on Pinterest?
that’s where I share all the great posts I’ve read lately.
Maybe your post is on that list =)
If you’re wanting to learn how someone makes 6 figures a year from ONE blog as an Amazon affiliate, you really need to read this. It’s VERY impressive!