Lindsay Baker is a Team Lead at Bobsled.
In 2021, Amazon released a new email marketing tool to help brands connect more directly with their clients: Manage Your Customer Engagement. MYCE gives sellers an opportunity to use in-house Amazon tools to reach customers outside of the platform, specifically by sending direct email alerts and responses. Though still in its infancy, this free tool offers a new way for established Amazon sellers to invest in off-channel marketing.
On the one-year anniversary of its release, I want to review how impactful the Manage Your Customer Engagement tool has been for the brands that Bobsled works with. Since it’s pretty new and still in its beta version, there are a lot of best practices that our team members are still trying to work out.
While our initial experiences with MYCE have been meek, there is some room for improvement. That’s why I want to review everything there is to know about the MYCE tool so far and how eligible brands can use it to expand their reach on Amazon.
What is the MYCE Tool?
Customer Engagement, or the Manage Your Customer Engagement tool, is a fairly new resource implemented by Amazon in April of 2021. Brands can use it to send email messages to their customers to alert them of new products or discounts. It is as easy as opening a new email campaign and answering questions from a drop-down menu in order to formulate a template.
All MYCE campaigns are templated, making it easy for brands to simply pre-fill some selected options and send the email out. Different themes are available that change over time, with options like “Product Spotlight”, “Holiday Gifts”, “Featured Products”, and more.
Amazon began to preview this tool in early 2021, only making it available to a select number of vendors and brands. Eventually, the tool was more widely released, and it became more commonly available during the most recent holiday season. The idea of a tool like this was very exciting, especially to 1P brands that previously had no way to communicate with their customers outside of Amazon.
There are still a couple of caveats and pitfalls surrounding the MYCE tool that may cause some brands to have limited access to it. Although it has become more widely available over the past year, there are still two very important criteria that must be met in order to use MYCE on Amazon:
- Sellers and vendors must be brand-registered on Amazon.
- Sellers and vendors must have an Amazon storefront.
There are also certain requirements for images and text used within the email campaigns set up through an MYCE template. As an example, there are guidelines dictating what type of text is acceptable to have in an image and what type of image could get you disqualified.
This tool is completely free for all eligible brands to use. Keep in mind, though, that the reach you will earn through the MYCE tool is limited to the number of brand followers you already have at the start of your campaign – or less.
MYCE Updates, Bugs, and Beta Status
Last April, Bobsled showed clients a sneak peek of the MYCE beta program, discussing the new tool’s features and going through the setup process for brands looking to take advantage of this exciting capability. This is a good time to take a look at what’s changed – and what hasn’t – between MYCE upon release and MYCE today.
What Has Changed in a Year?
Unfortunately, a client’s reach through this tool is still limited to its followers. However, posting is an excellent way to increase followers on the platform overall. The tool has additionally been updated to report sales attribution through a convenient dashboard. Personally, I’ve only ever seen one single sale reported from all the campaigns Bobsled has run for our clients across many categories on Amazon. This leads to the belief that this tool is not going to be a groundbreaking factor in boosting growth or profitability on Amazon altogether.
At least the themes have become more expansive. Upon launch, MYCE only had one type of template available: “New Product Launch”. This means you could only send out an alert for products that are available for purchase for the first time on Amazon within the last six months. There are now several new themes available so it is easier to advertise a wide range of products to brand followers.
The good news is that the tool is a lot more widely available to both sellers and vendors than it was a year ago, as long as they met the required criteria for brand eligibility. But a lot of clients are reporting certain bugs and glitches that aren’t up to par with some of the more established tools on the platform.
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Premium Brand Experiences Selection Errors
Creating a new campaign should be quite simple. When you visit the campaign creation page, you should see a drop-down menu where you can select your brand. Ideally, you would see the brands associated with the client’s own vendor or seller account. But for one of our Premium Beauty Brands, that didn’t seem to be the case.
For some reason, this brand has the option to select several other brands, many of whom are this seller’s competitors. They do not even have the option to select their own brand. It’s impossible to proceed with campaign creation for this seller through the MYCE tool due to a lack of support from Amazon’s technical teams. After being transferred from department to department, nobody from any Amazon division was able to help with this specific issue.
Continuing Campaign Troubles
Essentially, any type of campaign that Bobsled tried to schedule with this client that included a promotion was never able to run. If a campaign doesn’t run, there will typically be a “Not Approved” notification on the campaign. But that’s not what was happening with this client; the promotional campaigns simply never ran. And what’s worse, the campaigns that did run and showed a status of “Completed” showed almost no metrics at all, indicating that the campaign didn’t actually run.
So the campaigns that did run showed very meek results, while others encountered unknown errors and couldn’t run at all. Only a small percentage of emails get delivered, and most of them end up with a CTR of less than 0.5%. In some cases, it’s actually 0. You can see our client’s dismal results in the image above. Below, you’ll find another example of another Premium Beauty Brand that Bobsled works with that is encountering the same issues:
It’s not any single niche or brand category that is going through these issues. Our Home & Kitchen brand is also showing meek metrics that don’t line up with the successes of other marketing campaigns:
I would love to see more guidance from Amazon about how this tool will become more accurate and efficient moving forward. Not to mention, it will be good to know how Amazon determines which brand followers will receive these email campaigns since it is apparent that these templates are not reaching the whole customer base.
Should You Be Using MYCE?
The Manage Your Customer Engagement tool is completely free, so there’s no reason not to give it a try. Overall, though, the tool is too new to report accurate metrics on its success. Not to mention it is very glitchy, having majorly different impacts on performance across the board. It would be great to see more in-house support on Amazon’s end so sellers can reduce bugs and boost audience reach.
Ultimately, I do recommend giving MYCE a try since there is currently no cost. Amazon’s algorithm generally likes to favor brands that are utilizing all tools available in Amazon’s arsenal. By creating a campaign with Manage Your Customer Engagement, you are continuing to the improvement of the tool so that it may be more useful and impactful in the future.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve and use every tool on the Amazon platform, request a meeting with our marketing pros to boost your reach where it counts!
Schedule a free consultation with Bobsled today!