How to Use Amazon Attribution to Track & Improve Ad Performance (2024 Guide)

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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 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:

  • Watch the video at 1.5x – 2x speed by clicking the gear at the bottom right.
  • Access the chapter timestamps and jump to a specific section by clicking the three horizontal lines at the bottom right.
  • Make the video full screen by clicking the rectangle at the bottom right.

Step-by-Step Setup Process

Critical note: be sure to set up the link on the Amazon Attribution dashboard that corresponds to the region you’re advertising in. I.e., if you’re running a Facebook Ad to the Amazon US store, the attribution link must be set up on the Amazon US Attribution dashboard (e.g., from your Amazon Ads US account). If you’re running an ad to the Amazon UK store, the link would be set up on the Amazon UK Attribution dashboard.

  1. Head over to the Amazon Ads dashboard and go to “Measurement and Reporting” along the left-hand side to find the Amazon Attribution section.
  2. To create links for a new book / ad platform, click “create campaign.”
  3. Add only the advertised book to the attribution campaign (e.g., one book only) 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. Adding multiple books will throw your analysis off, since the data will include sales and reads for the other books you include along with the book you’re actually advertising.
  4. Clear, consistent campaign naming conventions help keep things organized and allow you to easily search for books and ads on the dashboard.
    • Campaign Naming Convention (Facebook): Objective/Region: Abbreviated Series Name Book # [you can place additional information at the end if you want – e.g., putting “FB” allows you to easily search for all the Facebook campaigns on the Amazon Attribution dashboard]
      • Regions: US / UK / CA / AU
        • Ex. 1: T/US: TS1 FB -> Facebook Traffic campaign running in US for Tess Skye Book 1
        • Ex. 2 S/CA: HDRBOX FB -> Sales campaign running in Canada for Half-Demon Rogue Box Set
    • Campaign Naming Convention (BookBub): Bid Type/Region: Abbreviated Series Name Book #
      • Ex. 1: CPM/US: TS1 BB -> BookBub CPM campaign in US for Tess Skye Book 1
      • Ex. 2: CPC/AU: EH2 BB -> BookBub CPC campaign in Australia for Eden Hunter Book 2
  5. Clear, consistent ad naming conventions help you easily cross-reference ad platform and attribution link data. When using the coded naming convention you must be consistent down to the order of the elements and the spaces between them. Otherwise you’ll be unable to use spreadsheet formulas to match the BookBub ad data to the Amazon Attribution data.
    • Regular ad naming convention: descriptive, e.g., “Dog in Park” or “Man in Suit.” This works perfectly fine, it just doesn’t allow the depth of analysis that the codes do. Make sure that the attribution link name and the name of the ad on the ad platform match exactly (down to any spaces). This allows you to cross-reference the data manually, and if you ever use spreadsheets to crunch the numbers, you can quickly tie the attribution and ad platform data together since the names match exactly.
    • Coded Ad Naming Convention
      • Start at 100, then count up across your entire account. E.g., if you create two images for Book A, then switch to Book B, you’d start at G102. You can also assign a specific range to each book to more easily identify them; e.g., Book A could be the 100s and Book B could be the 200s. That way, at a glance, you know an ad with the code G202 C235 H201 is for Book B.
      • If you’re using the coded naming convention for both Facebook and BookBub, maintain separate keys for each. The codes don’t need to match across the platforms (e.g., G101 on Facebook and G101 on BookBub will apply to completely different images).
      • Only use the audience part of the code when you’re testing audiences, since tracking performance down to the audience massively multiplies the # of attribution links you have to create.
    • BookBub
      • Image = G100
      • Headline = H100
      • Sub-Headline = S100
      • Audience = A100
      • Full BookBub Creative Code + audience  = G100 H100 S100 A100 (must be in this order)
    • Facebook
      • Image = G100
      • Copy = C100
      • Headline = H100
      • Audience = A100
      • Full Facebook Creative Code + audience  = G100 C100 H100 A100 (must be in this order)
  6. Use a clean Amazon link to build the attribution link. This has all the extraneous stuff removed.
  7. 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.
  8. Use the attribution link wherever you would normally use the regular Amazon link. Don’t use any sort of redirect services like bit.ly; just use the attribution link as-is.
  9. In the future, you can add new links (ad groups) to the existing campaign for that book / ad platform. This keeps all the data organized in one campaign for easy analysis / exporting.

That’s it. For non-ad platforms, tracking each social media post etc. with a unique attribution link is 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. With social media or your newsletter, you can also add your entire catalog to the campaign, rather than just one book.

Amazon Attribution: Overview

  • Currently available in: United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, and Netherlands
  • 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). I generally recommend only tracking the advertised book (e.g., one book per campaign) when using attribution links with ads. This gives you the highest level of data accuracy.
  • Ad groups refer to the attribution links themselves (these are also referred to as “attribution tags” – ad groups / attribution tags / attribution links are used synonymously). Make sure the name of the Amazon Attribution ad group matches the name of the ad on the ad platform exactly so you can easily cross-reference the data.
  • 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 click 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%. I’d recommend getting click stats from the ad platform rather than the Amazon Attribution dashboard for this reason.
  • 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 2 – 3 days after the day in question. E.g., the sales data from February 1 would be stable enough to analyze around February 3 / 4.
    • For reads, the data is generally stable enough to analyze 4 – 7 days after the day in question. E.g., the reads data from February 1 would be stable enough to analyze around February 5 / 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.
  • Columns: leave these as the default; none of the other metrics are useful when selling eBooks.

The reporting delay makes Amazon Attribution easier to use for backlist ads than launches or promos; the links are still useful for time-sensitive scenarios, but it’s more challenging to analyze the data when it’s not stable yet.

Use Cases

  • Tracking and comparing the performance of different ads (most common / most useful)
  • Tracking and comparing the performance of different audiences on an ad platform (e.g., “romance novels” v. “EL James” on Facebook)
  • Tracking and comparing the performance of different ad platform features (e.g., the Sales objective versus the Traffic objective on Facebook, or CPM v. CPC bidding on BookBub)
  • Tracking and comparing the performance of various social media channels versus one another
  • Tracking subscriber purchases from various sources (e.g., from a giveaway or cross promo versus organically from the front / back matter of your books)
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