For as much as Amazon is an excellent platform – for product launches or otherwise – there is one critical element that hinders our ability as Brand owners from scaling massively and quickly:
We don’t own the data.
Yes, Amazon shares name and address with us, but the two elements that would make our lives easier in terms of building our audiences and cultivating a true tribe of passionate consumers who have bought into our Brand’s vision and purpose – phone number and email address – simply aren’t available to us.
The reason is fairly straightforward: they’re not our customers. They’re Amazon’s customers and they just happen to be buying our product.
Most of us understand how this is largely out of our control so we look for ways around this so that we can at least capture some of Amazon’s customers and place them into our ecosystem.
We include product inserts that implore, beg, plead, and perhaps sometimes bribe customers to visit our squeeze page or site and connect with our Brand, typically via email request on a squeeze page.
This works 2%, 5%, heck maybe even 10% of the time in some niches.
But it definitely doesn’t work nearly as often as we’d like.
To scale massively, to ensure longevity of your Brand, to perhaps even one day exit your Brand at a respectable multiple, you need to control your audience. You need to have a passionate tribe of individuals who have bought into your company vision, love what you stand for, have purchased one or more of your products, and will help you get your Brand to where you want it to be.
Which is why you need to make use of the data you do have available in Seller Central.
Today we’re going to walk you through a process that will allow you to Bridge the gap between Amazon’s customers and your Brand’s ecosystem, allowing you to expand your footprint beyond just Amazon.
How to Bridge the Gap
First, we need to leverage your Seller Central data.
In Seller Central, go to Reports > Fulfillment > Sales > Amazon Fulfilled Shipments/All Orders
On this page, drill down into how far back you want to look for orders. Note: this is limited to one month. If you want to pull additional orders, you’ll need to manually pull those prior reports. Yes, if you’ve been selling for multiple years, that can add up to a significant amount of time if you’re looking to capture ALL order information.
When the report is available, download it and open it in Excel or Google Sheets.
To ensure Facebook correctly captures relevant information and matches as many customers as possible to an audience, you’ll need to ensure that only the following columns appear in the CSV. Delete all other columns other than those pictured here:
We’ve captured the precise data we need from Seller Central…now let’s dive into Facebook Ads.
From your Ads Manager, go to the audience tab and select Create Audience > Custom Audience.
Now choose the “Choose File” option.
Select the “Customer File” option.
On this page, you’ll be able to upload your CSV, or alternatively copy and paste data. Be sure to manipulate your data fields in the spreadsheet prior to upload so that they contain Facebook-ready values.
Click “Next,” and within hours you’ll have an audience ready for you to utilize in your own Facebook Ad campaigns. Caution: don’t expect 100% match rate. Example: if you bring in 1000 individuals from Seller Central, you won’t have 1000 available to you in your Facebook Audience. Reasons include an Amazon customer not having a Facebook account or Facebook not being able to match a name/address from SC to a FB user.
At this point, you’ll have a reasonably sized audience in Facebook ready to be used for a virtually unlimited range of campaign-types.
If the list is large enough, Lookalike Audiences can become a very good option. Facebook will create an audience that closely approximates the “type” of customer that typically buys from you. This can allow for hypertargeted messaging despite these leads otherwise having been viewed as being “cold.”
You can use that audience to analyze metrics, gender, common page likes, and more via Facebook Insights. This is truly powerful and can allow you to build a true avatar – a model of your ideal customer – such that you are now incredibly dialed in to your customers’ needs, desires, wants, home life, work life, and more. It’s almost creepy considering how deeply you can analyze your customer data in Facebook 🙂
And of course, you have a number of options with the audience you just created.
Want to run a like campaign to people who already purchased from you? Easy.
Want to run a review request campaign that allows you to “filter” leads? Example: run an ad campaign to your new custom audience, send them to a squeeze page that asks them to rate your product on a scale of 1-5 stars. If they rate you 4 or 5 stars, immediately send them to an Amazon review page for your product. If they rate under 4 stars, let them know that a representative will be in touch soon to help with their purchase or to otherwise make it right.
That’s a one-two punch. You’re taking care of your customers who aren’t as happy as possible…and you’re “filtering” reviews on your Amazon listing in a clean, white-hat manner, which can help your overall star rating stay as high as possible.
You can also utilize that audience to run your own private promotions, lightning deal-esque promotions, or even customer appreciation deals that only buying customers will be able to see.
Now that you’ve created your first audience, set a reminder on some set interval to go into Seller Central, pull that data, and upload to a new audience. Not interested in taking the time to do it yourself? Then this is a perfect opportunity to write out an SOP (or simply link this post) for a VA or an already existing team member.
Either way, follow the steps on a regular basis to ensure you’re taking ownership of your audience and reaching out to Amazon’s customers – customers you’d otherwise not have access to.