You’re selling books, that’s great. But, are your Amazon ads actually leading to those sales? Or is it something else? Here are three reasons your sales are likely from your Amazon ads, even if the data isn’t conclusive.
Once you’ve launched your Amazon ads, it’s natural to wonder whether your sales are actually coming from those ads or not. At Best Page Forward, we believe that most post-ad sales come from Amazon ads… even if the limited sales data Amazon gives you doesn’t seem to support that idea.
Read on to learn why.
But first a caveat…
Caveat: Are You Running Other Ads?
Many writers run several promotions at once. For example, you might purchase a newsletter promotion from Fussy Librarian, Bargain Booksy, or other providers, run ads on other platforms, and/or promote your book via social media posts.
If you’re doing these things, it’s possible that some of your sales are coming from these other ads. However, it’s still likely that the bulk of your sales are coming from your Amazon ads because those ads are ongoing promotions and put your book in front of more of your ideal readers than ads from other platforms.
If you are running ads on other platforms, you can always experiment by turning those ads off temporarily and seeing whether your sales take a nosedive. If your sales stay roughly the same, then that is good evidence that they are coming from Amazon and not other platforms.
Now, let’s dive into why you can conclude that Amazon ads are helping you get sales.
Amazon’s Sales Data Is Not Always Accurate
Writers sometimes look at their Amazon advertising dashboard and conclude they are throwing money away. The advertising dashboard may list that you spent several dollars on ads… and got no sales in return.
The problem is that it’s not always accurate. Sometimes, if you look at your KDP dashboard, you’ll see royalties that weren’t recorded on your Amazon advertising dashboard. You might actually be making a profit!
KDP sometimes also has delays in royalty reporting, so you might also want to use a tool such as BookReport to get a more accurate assessment of your sales.
In any case, given the limitations to getting sales data, it is foolish to assume that sales you see that are not recorded on the Amazon advertising dashboard are NOT coming from ads. It makes much more sense to assume all your sales are ad-based unless you have specific evidence to the contrary (such as someone messaging you privately that they bought the book after seeing your social media post.)
Sometimes People Don’t Buy Right Away
Sometimes, Amazon doesn’t record a sale coming from an ad because there was a delay between when the person saw the ad and when they bought the book.
There can be a number of reasons for this. Sometimes, people put books on a wishlist or otherwise save the listing for when they get paid or when a friend’s birthday is coming up.
Or they might click on your ad because they’re curious but decide that since they were really on Amazon to get a different book, they’ll wait on getting yours. Or life might have gotten in the way — e.g. right when they were about to buy their toddler threw a toy into the toilet or the cat puked on the rug, and by the time they took care of it they’d lost track of what they were doing. They may remember later and go looking for your book again to buy it.
In these cases, Amazon won’t connect the sale to the ad because the person didn’t buy directly after clicking the ad. However, it was your ad that got the sale.
Similarly, Kindle Unlimited users often download books days or weeks before they read them, and in that case the page reads you get paid for may not register as connected to your ad.
Amazon Can’t Track Word of Mouth
Sales can also come indirectly from Amazon ads. For example, a reader might click on your ad and then share your Amazon listing with a friend who would love your book. In this case, Amazon won’t record the sale as having come from the ad.
Similarly, someone might mention your book in passing after clicking on an ad, which can lead to sales
The bottom line is that there’s no real way to track exactly how many of your sales come from Amazon. However, the chances are that any sales that seem to have come out of the blue are connected somehow to an Amazon ad.
Rather than trying to check whether your sales are coming from Amazon, focus on your conversion rate — how many sales you’re getting compared to the number of clicks on your ads. If you are selling to roughly one out of every 10 people who clicks on your ad, the ad is in good shape.
Need more help with Amazon Ads? Click here to get our Top 10 Amazon Advertising tips!.