Sending external traffic to your Amazon product without a sales funnel is a big mistake. You’re going to end up missing out on some of the big benefits of external traffic, such as building a list and retargeting, and you can easily wind up doing damage to your search rankings.
Luckily, building a simple Amazon sales funnel is not rocket science, and doing so will supercharge the results you get from external traffic campaigns.
What is a Sales Funnel?
Funnels are a marketing term referring to the process people go through before making a purchase.
The basic steps of a sales funnel are awareness, consideration, conversion. To make it through the funnel a customer will:
be aware of their problem/need,
consider your product,
convert (buy your product)
Another way of detailing a sales funnel is like this:
Most products are made to solve a problem. For example, supplements to help with low levels of Vitamin D. The first step is then to make people aware of the problem (Vitamin D deficiency).
Once someone is aware there is a problem, they move on to the next step of the funnel, which is becoming aware of a solution to the problem (in this case, supplements). Now their buyer-intent is higher, as they are aware there are products that solve the problem.
The next step is becoming aware of particular products. Rather than searching for “Vitamin D supplement”, they may search for “ABC Brands Vitamin D supplement”. Now you’ve got a highly-targeted potential customer.
How Does a Sales Funnel Work for Amazon?
On Amazon, most people will come in at the “Solution Aware” stage. Meaning they are looking for something to buy, and searching for keywords that reflect this.
If your only source of sales is organic traffic, your sales funnel works like this:
Customer comes to Amazon -> Searches for keywords -> Clicks on your result -> Buys
This is fine – it’s the backbone of Amazon FBA as a business model. It can be very lucrative if properly optimized.
There are a couple of problems with this being your only sales funnel, though.
First, you don’t have a lot of control over your funnel. There’s only so much of your customer’s journey you can manage.
You can’t retarget people who enter this sales funnel but don’t convert, which results in a loss of potential customers.
It’s also missing the first step of a funnel – awareness. Your customers are entering the funnel at the consideration stage, which means there are a lot of people you missed a chance to add to your funnel.
If you’re only advertising to people at the awareness stage, that means you’re ignoring a lot of potential customers who are not yet aware of the problem or solution.
By all means, optimize your on-Amazon funnel first. This is the lowest-hanging fruit for Amazon sellers. But you should complement this with an external traffic sales funnel.
Most of the time you’ll start your sales funnel with Facebook or Google Ads. What you do after first contact will make or break your funnel.
Two Biggest Mistakes with Amazon Sales Funnels
Time and time again, Amazon sellers make two big mistakes with external traffic funnels. Lucky for you, you’re about to learn what they are, so you can avoid doing the same.
Mistake One: Poorly Optimized Listings
The first thing people do wrong: not optimizing their product listing before setting up their funnel.
After your funnel does all the heavy lifting, your product page better be set up to convince people to buy. Otherwise, you’ve just wasted a lot of effort, and most likely money too.
Even worse, with the amount of sponsored placements on Amazon these days, you could have just set up a sales funnel to drive traffic to your competitors.
You could have a beautiful sales pitch, gorgeous ad copy and a great deal, but that will all be wasted if your listing looks like garbage.
Listing copy is something that many sellers overlook. The first instinct is to get as many keywords as possible, but it has to be readable and convincing too. Remember that a human being needs to be able to read (quickly – people have short attention spans) your copy and decide to take action. If your title, bullets, description etc is too hard to read or doesn’t clearly describe your product and its features/benefits, your would-be customer is probably going to bounce.
Images are another big thing to think about. A lot of shoppers digest information easier in visual forms, so clear, high-quality images are a must. You should use as many images as you can, and show off as many use cases, features and benefits as possible. Give potential customers as much as they need to be able to picture themselves using your product.
Images are especially important for mobile customers, since they dominate the screen when someone first lands on your listing.
Along with images and copy, you should also make sure your keyword strategy is fully fleshed out. This doesn’t directly impact your sales funnel, but will help you capitalize on the sales momentum you generate, translating it to higher rankings for more (or more important) search terms.
The second mistake Amazon sellers make with their sales funnel is using a bare Amazon link as the destination URL.
Most sellers want to reduce friction and give the straightest path possible to Amazon. Here’s why that’s not the best idea.
First, traffic from Facebook (or other traffic sources like Google) is often unqualified and low buyer-intent. Audiences on these channels are often not in the mode to buy something right now.
In comparison, internal traffic on Amazon is hyper-targeted, and obviously, high buyer-intent. That’s why Amazon has a much higher conversion rate than most other online platforms.
What this means is traffic from outside Amazon will convert at a lower rate, and result in a drop in conversion rate for your product listing. As a ranking factor, a low conversion rate can mean lower rankings.
Also, sending people on a direct flight to your product listing means you miss out on one of the most valuable pieces of external traffic – building an audience. You haven’t captured any contact information from them, and now if you try to get that info, you’ll be in violation of Amazon’s terms.
A smooth sales funnel going straight from Facebook/Google can work, as long as the traffic you’re sending is highly targeted, and your goal is to drive sales velocity (rather than building an audience). But make sure you use a special link, which allows you to add a pixel, enable retargeting, and include your branding – rather than using the plain old Amazon URL.
The solution to this problem is to use a landing page or Messenger bot in between the initial traffic source and Amazon.
This way you gather all the information you need before the shoppers go on to Amazon, and you offer enough knowledge about your product to decide whether they want to buy, before going on and hurting your seller metrics.
Drive sales and run promotions with the push of a button
Send people to buy on your own site
Retarget customers on Facebook
Grow your audience by building lookalike audiences on Facebook
An email keeps working for you and has value well after the sale is done. So while a low-friction funnel that’s focused on making sales may offer more immediate return, think about setting up your funnel so that it’s focused on capturing emails too. A landing page offering a discount or lead magnet is most effective for this.
Different Types Of Amazon Sales Funnels
Here are a few different ways you can build an external traffic sales funnel for your Amazon product.
External Traffic – Landing Page – Amazon
Very simple, very effective. You get in front of someone, usually on Facebook or Google Ads. The ad links to a landing page, which replicates all the details from your Amazon listing (minus the sponsored ads of course!).
The page serves as a filter, for people to decide then and there whether they like your product and if they want to buy. You can also embed analytics on this page, such as Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel. This allows you to track what kind of people you’re attracting, build powerful customer avatars, and retarget.
You can also use single-use percentage off discount codes as an incentive to capture emails on the landing page (this is a great incentive for people to buy, too!).
External Traffic – Shopify Store – Amazon
This works basically the same way, except you replace a standalone landing page with the product page on your Shopify store. You then direct traffic from Shopify to Amazon.
Why on Earth would you do this, you ask? Why not just make the sale on your own site and keep a larger cut?
Well, although your profit margins on Amazon are going to be smaller, there’s greater upside. The more sales you generate on Amazon, the higher your rankings, and the more chance for organic sales.
That means it’s often worth sacrificing a little in profits up front, so that you can rank higher and make more sales in the long run.
(We say Shopify here, but this works no different if your store is built on another platform, such as WooCommerce)
External Traffic – Messenger Bot – Amazon
This works best for driving traffic from Facebook Ads, as it reduces friction by keeping the customer on one platform until they go through to Amazon.
You’ll get in front of your potential customer on Facebook, with an ad that generates a Messenger flow when clicked on. You can use the Messenger flow to offer details on your product, instructions on how to use it (or how to buy it), and give out a unique discount code.
The Messenger flow also serves as a way to filter and qualify potential customers before sending them to Amazon. But with less space to show off your product, you want to be more descriptive in the previous step (your Facebook Ad).
Finally, when someone interacts with your Messenger flow, they’ll be added to your ManyChat audience, where you can send paid broadcasts to them in the future or add them to additional flows. You can also use your audience for Pixel retargeting and audience building.
External Traffic – Amazon (via special link)
Finally, if you just want to generate a lot of sales quickly, you can send people to Amazon without an intermediate step. In some cases this makes sense over using a landing page. For example, if you’re trying to get rid of stock of a product you’re discontinuing, or if you have traffic that’s high buyer-intent (from an email list, for example).
You can cut down on friction by using a link direct to Amazon. However, you’ll want to use a link that allows you to retarget with tracking & analytics. A link with the Facebook Pixel embedded lets you do that.
Effective Sales Funnels for Amazon
Customer journeys are important. Without taking this into consideration, you’re going to end up scrapping for each sale you get, instead of building a sustainable external traffic flywheel.
A well-crafted sales funnel not only helps your paid ad campaigns be more successful, it also helps you get more value out of each customer, by enabling retargeting and list building.
This is how you can take your external traffic game to the next level.