Many parts of the Amazon ecosystem have become aggressively pay-to-play. Each month brands need to invest more marketing dollars into the channel in order to keep up with the competition.
Therefore, when a new tool allows you to boost sales on Amazon without spending a dime, it’s guaranteed to turn heads.
The new Manage Your Customer Engagement Tool definitely falls into this category. To learn more about how this program can help you connect with more Amazon customers via email, check out our overview below.
What is the Amazon ‘Manage Your Customer Engagement’ tool?
The tool, which is currently in beta, allows brands to manage content and initiate email campaigns to “customers who have purchased products from you [the brand] in Amazon stores.”
Above: Example of a new product email alert that was facilitated by the Manage Your Customer Engagement Tool
To be clear, Amazon is not handing over any of their customer email data to brands. All of the campaigns are created within the ‘Manage Your Customer Engagement’ tool, and then Amazon sends out the alerts on your behalf.
Here are the things we know about the tool at this point in time:
- Brands must be enrolled in Brand Registry to gain access
- Only available for US sellers
- The beta version is free
- No direct sales attribution yet
How does the Amazon ‘Manage Your Customer Engagement’ tool work?
The process to set up a campaign is very simple. Brands in the beta program simply nominate the ASINs they wish to target, select a campaign start and end date, and then the email alert is sent to their followers. You are provided with Open Rate and Total Reach data for each campaign.
Above: Screenshot of the Manage Your Customer Engagement dashboard
How does a brand get followers on Amazon?
The main avenue through which brands get followers on Amazon is via their Amazon storefront.
Above: The red arrow is pointing to the +Follow button on Yeti’s Amazon storefront
How does Manage Your Customer Engagement tie in with Amazon Posts?
Amazon Posts are social media-style posts with product images and captions. They appear on
product detail pages on the Amazon mobile app. Posts offer another way customers can ‘follow’ brands selling on the Amazon platform.
Above: Example of an Amazon Post, note the +Follow button in the top right-hand corner.
A Bobsled client has been repurposing Instagram content for Amazon Posts since August 2020 and in that time has earned approximately 1500 followers. Initially, the strategy was to use the Posts as a way to appear on competitors’ product listing pages (PDPs) and block real estate from the competition on their own PDPs. But it seems like an additional advantage is that this brand has now acquired more followers they can target via email alerts through the Manage Your Customer Engagement tool.
For more information about Posts check
out Amazon Posts: Guidelines, Best Practices & FAQ
What are some limitations of the Manage Your Customer Engagement tool?
In her recent Forbes article The Paradox Of Growing A Brand On Amazon, Bobsled CEO Kiri Masters shared the main problem with this new feature.
“A customer can opt to follow a brand through various paths, but most consistently this is done through the brand’s “store” page,” Kiri says. “But Amazon’s user interface does not generally drive shoppers to brand stores unless a brand is running paid advertising campaigns or organic outside traffic to that page. On a product detail page, where much of the shopping activity occurs on Amazon, the link to a brand’s store is offered once – as a tiny URL under the product title.”
Above: A product detail page on Amazon.com which includes a link to the brand’s storefront
Therefore, even though Amazon is providing brands with more tools to reach Amazon shoppers directly, the design of the marketplace makes growing an audience challenging.
Furthermore, Amazon is fiercely protective of their customer base. In the article Kiri discusses Amazon’s core philosophy regarding brands selling on the platform interacting directly with Amazon customers.
“In a promotional video for brands that was shared last year,” she says, “Amazon shared its motivation for launching such programs. “Customers love when brands list and sell their own products on Amazon,” the video explained. But this does not mean that Amazon wants brands to get too close to the customer, or more specifically, Amazon’s customer.”
Read the full article – The Paradox Of Growing A Brand On Amazon
Takeaway for brands
Here are the main things brands should be considering when developing a strategy for the Manage Your Customer Engagement tool:
- This feature does not signal a change Amazon’s point of view in respect to owning their customer data. However, it does offer brands a new way (that’s free of charge) to grow revenue on the channel.
- If you have not yet registered your brand on Amazon, look at doing this immediately. More and more Amazon marketing features are going to require brand registry, so those without it are going to be at a massive disadvantage. For more info check out Amazon Brand Registry FAQ
- Make sure you have an active Amazon Storefront. More info – Best Amazon Brand Stores: Tips, Mistakes and Examples
- If you have been invited to participate in the Manage Your Customer Engagement beta, we would strongly recommend starting so that you can start experimenting with campaigns and acquiring some valuable performance data!
- If you have not been invited to participate in the Manage Your Customer Engagement beta, we would recommend experimenting with Amazon Posts, which can help gain your brand more followers on Amazon
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