Two weeks ago I started an experiment over at Digital Photography School which I think highlights the power of getting people in the door at Amazon using their affiliate program.
The experiment centered around a review that I wrote of a book – Complete Digital Photography.
The book is a brand new release (an updated version of an old book) which I ordered the day it came out so that I could be one of the first reviews on the web going around of it. Having owned a previous edition of the book I knew it was likely to be a good one – and it was.
In the review I linked back to Amazon where readers could get their own copy. The link that I used was my affiliate link and it contained a ‘tracking ID’ which enables me to track what those clicking on the link end up purchasing at Amazon. After two weeks the sales are continuing to come in but I think the initial results give some insights into what people do when following such links.
Here’s a summary of what people bought after clicking the link in this review post:
We’ll start with the books mentioned in the review:
- Complete Digital Photography – (the book reviewed) – 47 copies (not bad considering that it’s not the cheapest book going around)
- The Digital Photography Book – 8 copies (another book that I mentioned in the review)
- Understanding Exposure – 7 copies (a third book mentioned in the review)
OK – so no surprises so far – but what interested me most was in what else people bought – items NOT mentioned in the review:
- Exposure and Lighting for Digital Photographers Only – 3 copies
- A Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers
- Schoolgirl Cotton Poplin tie front shirt and Stretch Plaid pleated skirt
- Champion Men’s Double Dry Short Sleeve T-Shirt, White, Large
- Grosse Pointe Blank (DVD)
- Songs of Faith and Devotion (CD)
- Epson Perfection V100 Photo Scanner
- Canon Digital Rebel XTi 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera (commission of $53.92)
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (commission of $63.16)
- Nintendo Wii Remote Control Skin – Pink
- Charbroil Chili Pepper Roaster (3 sold)
- Wheat Germ Daily Shampoo 250ml by Colorist Christophe Robin
- Fischer & Wieser Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce, 21 Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)
- Popular Mechanics [2-year subscription]
- Adobe Photoshop CS3 [Mac] (commission – $50.03)
The list goes on with 160 individual items shipped so far – the commissions for which total around $500 USD.
The point is that of the 160 items shipped only 62 of were for the three books actually mentioned in the review (totaling around $130) – a further 98 items that were not mentioned in the review have been shipped (totaling around $370 in commission).
You can see that some of the other books purchased were photography related – but the majority of purchases made have nothing to do with photography and many are not books at all.
These purchases came when people clicked through on the links and then surfed on within Amazon to make other purchases. Some would have bought the book mentioned AND other items while others would have bought the book alone, and others still wouldn’t have bought the book but while at Amazon would have picked up something else.
The Lesson for Today
Get people in the door at Amazon with your affiliate link and while the product you’re linking to has a decent chance of earning you a commission, there’s every likelihood that the real earnings will come from other products. The key is to get people in the door and let Amazon’s system do it’s thing.