Email lists can help Amazon sellers build a stronger business by making sales on and off Amazon, and building deeper customer relationships and brand recognition. Sounds good, right? But doesn’t collecting emails go against Amazon’s Terms of Service?
Let’s see exactly what Amazon has to say on the subject. Here are the Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions related to email marketing taken directly from Amazon’s site:
Attempts to divert transactions or buyers:
Any attempt to circumvent the established Amazon sales process or to divert Amazon users to another website or sales process is prohibited. Specifically, any advertisements, marketing messages (special offers) or “calls to action” that lead, prompt, or encourage Amazon users to leave the Amazon website are prohibited. This may include the use of email or the inclusion of hyperlinks, URLs, or web addresses within any seller-generated confirmation email messages or any product/listing description fields.
Inappropriate email communications:
Unsolicited emails to Amazon customers (other than as necessary for order fulfillment and related customer service) and emails related to marketing communications of any kind are prohibited.
Direct email addresses:
Buyers and sellers may communicate with one another via the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service.
So it’s pretty clear that you cannot use emails to redirect customers from Amazon to another website. And it’s also clear that you cannot send marketing messages of any kind to Amazon customers. Amazon has its own messaging service to contact buyers.
So they key to building email lists without breaking Amazon’s Terms of Services, then, is collecting emails before a potential customer reaches Amazon. Why is this ok? Because if you collect an email off of Amazon, then it’s not Amazon’s customer.
There are two criteria for building email lists without getting into trouble with Amazon:
- Collect the email off of Amazon
- Collect the email before a sale is made on Amazon
By following these rules, you aren’t redirecting customers away from Amazon. If a sale is later made on Amazon, then you are directing customer to Amazon.
And you aren’t messaging Amazon’s customer. You collected the email all on your own, so it’s not Amazon’s customer, it’s yours.
Methods for Collecting Emails
Five years ago, it was much easier to sell exclusively on Amazon, but today, the Amazon marketplace is very, very crowded.
So the general strategy that I am recommending is an integrated approach. Take advantage of all that Amazon has to offer while also building your brand off Amazon – which will then help you generate more sales on Amazon.
And if you use the right tools, you can take advantage of Amazon’s popularity and built-in trust factor to collect emails.
1) Email Opt-in Forms on Your Website
Including forms for people to enter their email on your e-commerce website is probably the simplest way to collect emails.
With a tool like Sumo, when visitors come to your website, an email capture form pops up, prompting them to put in their email. Enticing potential customers to join your list with a newsletter on new product releases is one way to collect emails.
2) Content Giveaway with a General Purpose Landing Page
Another way to collect emails is by giving away a valuable piece of free content.
What types of content work?
- A recipe e-book if you sell cooking appliances.
- A PDF workout guide if you sell exercise equipment.
- A 5-day mini-course (sent through an email autoresponder).
Basically, you want to give away something that your target customer will find a lot of value in and will help them use your product more effectively.
The goal of the content is to lead them toward eventually becoming your customer.
You can give away this content through an automated email when someone enters their email address through an opt-in your site. Or you can use a landing page tool like Leadpages. Then you can drive traffic to the landing page through Facebook Ads, influencer partnerships, or other sources.
3) Discount Promotions with Amazon Landing Page Tool
While the two methods above are very effective among people who sell info products and even e-commerce businesses, this third method is especially effective for Amazon sellers, as it utilizes a tool like LandingCube, specifically built for Amazon sellers.
A landing page is generated from an Amazon listing, and on the page, single-use promotion codes are offered in exchange for email addresses.
Amazon sellers can use a tool like this to build a sales funnel for their Amazon business.
Just as with method two, you get in front of potential customers on social media, paid ads, blogs – basically you go to where your target customers spend time on the web – invite them to click on the link, and they arrive at the landing page. There, they see a page similar to the Amazon listing where they are offered a discount code for your Amazon product. If they are interested in the offer, they enter their email address. Then they go to Amazon to buy the product at a discount.
And you have their email to further develop a relationship with them, promote your brand, and get repeat sales.