How to Use Amazon Attribution to Track & Improve Ad Performance (2023 Guide)


Amazon Attribution is a (relatively) new feature introduced in late September 2022 for books. It allows you to create tracking links for traffic sources like Facebook Ads, BookBub Ads, email campaigns, social media, etc. that track the sales and page reads coming from that specific source. You can use an Amazon Attribution link essentially anywhere you can use a regular Amazon link.

Amazon Attribution is available for free on the Amazon Ads dashboard; you don’t have to be running any Amazon Ads to use it.

This is a complete gamechanger when it comes to running ads for your books. There are an almost unlimited number of use cases here (some ideas can be found at the bottom of this page), but the most powerful is tracking and and comparing the performance of specific ads relative to one another. This allows you to turn off poor performers and subsequently focus more of your budget on your best ads.

The video above goes over the key things you need to know about Amazon Attribution, best practices, and how to set up an actual link. You can refer to the notes below as a summary and refresher on the process.

A few notes on Wistia:

  • You can watch the video at 1.5x – 2x speed by clicking the gear at the bottom right.
  • You can access the chapter timestamps and jump to a specific section by clicking the three horizontal lines at the bottom right.
  • You can make the video full screen by clicking the rectangle at the bottom right.

Setup Process

  1. Head over to the Amazon Ads dashboard and go to “Measurement and Reporting” at the top left to find the Amazon Attribution section. Make sure you’re in the Amazon Ad dashboard region where you’re running the ad (e.g., if you’re running a Facebook Ad to the US, you need set up the attribution link on the US Amazon Ads dashboard).
  2. To create links for a new book / ad platform, click “create campaign.” I generally have one campaign per book + platform (e.g., all BookBub ad links for Drop Dead would go in the same campaign for organizational purposes), unless it’s an ad platform like Facebook or TikTok (in which case I’ll have multiple campaigns on the Amazon Attribution dashboard that correspond with the various campaigns for the book on the ad platform; you do not need to create a new attribution link every time you re-run an ad in a new campaign).
  3. Add only the advertised book to the attribution campaign rather than the entire series or your whole catalog. Just tracking the advertised book will give us a more accurate snapshot of how many sales / reads the ads are generating for that specific book.
  4. Make sure to use a clean link to build the attribution link: this has all the extraneous stuff removed from the URL.
  5. When running ads, create a unique attribution link for each different ad creative. This will allow you to compare the performance of the ads relative to one another and turn off your poor performers. For more on how to compare the performance of different ads, sign up for my newsletter below to receive another video breaking that down.
  6. Make sure the attribution link name matches with the ad’s name on the ad platform.
  7. Use the attribution link wherever you would normally use the regular Amazon link. Don’t use any sort of redirect services like; just use the attribution link as-is.
  8. In the future, add new links (ad groups) to the existing campaign for that book / ad platform. This keeps all the data organized in one place for easy analysis / exporting.

That’s it. For non-ad platforms, tracking each social media post etc. with a unique attribution link is likely overkill. Having just a single attribution link that you use to track for the entire platform gives you insight into how many sales / reads that traffic source is driving while making the tracking much more manageable.

Amazon Attribution: Overview

  • Currently available in: United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, and Netherlands
  • Last touch attribution model: this means if, say, you have three tracking links set up for Facebook ads, Pinterest ads, and TikTok social, and the user clicks on all three, but clicks on Facebook last, the sales / reads will only be attributed to Facebook. This is because it was the last click in the chain.
    • A more common scenario might be that you have three tracking links set up for three different Facebook Ads, and the user clicks on all three at various points. The same principle applies: the sales / reads will only be attributed to the last ad that was clicked.
  • 14 day attribution window: the user needs to buy / read the book within 14 days of clicking on the attribution link to be counted on the dashboard. E.g., if they click February 1 and buy February 7, they’ll be counted. If they buy February 16, however, they won’t be counted since that would be outside the 14 day attribution window.
  • Data accuracy: Amazon indicates that a 10 – 15% difference in reporting between their dashboard and the traffic source (e.g., Facebook Ads dashboard, BookBub Ads, your email service provider etc.) is normal and to be expected. In my experience, the Attribution dashboard over-reports Facebook clicks by 5 – 10% and BookBub clicks by 10 – 15%.
  • Reporting: the data doesn’t sync in real-time and updates a few times a day.
    • It generally takes about 8 – 12 hours for clicks to start showing up; other metrics like DPVs (detail page views), sales, and reads come in gradually over the next 24 – 48 hours.
    • For sales, the data is generally stable enough to analyze 3 – 4 days after the day in question. E.g., the sales data from February 1 would be stable enough to analyze around February 4 / 5.
    • For reads, the data is generally stable enough to analyze 5 – 7 days after the day in question. E.g., the reads data from February 1 would be stable enough to analyze around February 6 / 7 / 8.
    • For sales and reads, the attribution captures around 80 – 90% of what the ads are generating within the first 7 days (e.g., if the ads sold 10 books on February 1, the attribution link will likely show 8 – 9 sales for that day by October 8).
      • The accuracy is around 85% – 95% when you allow the full 14 days for attribution. It’s slightly less accurate than the Amazon Ads tracking, and the reads are a bit less accurate and slower to attribute than the sales.
    • For ads that have been off for more than 3 days, you can export the data for the full date range they ran.
    • For ads that are currently running, I tend to leave off the last 2 – 3 days of data when exporting since it won’t be super stable yet. Sometimes doing this leaves you without enough data to analyze, however. Experiment with different timeframes here when performing your analysis.

The reporting delay makes Amazon Attribution more useful for backlist ads than launches or promos; they’re still useful for time-sensitive scenarios, but the data will be much more reliable when you give it a chance to stabilize.

Using the Links

  • Campaigns refer to the container that hold the links you create. This is mainly an organizational tool (you also select what book(s) you want to track sales and reads for at the campaign level)
  • Ad groups refer to the attribution links themselves. Make sure the name of the Amazon Attribution ad group matches to the name of the ad on the ad platform so you can easily cross-reference the data.
  • At the campaign level, you can either have the link track just the advertised book (e.g., just add that one book), or you can have it track multiple books (all the books in the series, your entire catalog, etc.). I generally recommend only tracking the advertised book when using these with ads. This gives you the greatest level of data precision. If you’re tracking something like your newsletter or a social media platform, then including all your books is generally recommended.
    • When you add multiple books, the system will track people who click the link and then buy / borrow the other books during the attribution window as well. These people may or may not have purchased / borrowed the advertised book. You can use this as a way to roughly estimate sellthrough / readthrough from a traffic source, which can differ.

Use Cases

  • Tracking and comparing the performance of specific ad creatives (most common / most useful)
  • Tracking and comparing the performance of specific audiences on an ad platform (e.g., “romance novels” v. “EL James” on Facebook)
  • Tracking and comparing the performance of specific ad platform features (e.g., the Sales objective versus the Traffic objective on Facebook, or CPM v. CPC on BookBub)
  • Tracking and comparing the performance of various social media channels
  • Tracking subscriber value from various sources (e.g., from a giveaway versus organically from the front / back matter of your books)
  • Tracking and comparing revenue per sale (sellthrough value) and revenue per borrow (readthrough value) from various traffic sources