We’re continuing our blog series on readerLinks (RL), a phenomenal tool for authors that collects all kinds of data and helps you analyze your data. If you haven’t read the previous posts yet on how to set up Readerlinks, how core links work, and series sell thru and read thru, make sure to do those first as we’re progressively digging deeper into the options. This week, we’ll have a look at analyzing Amazon ads, which is super helpful in determining what ads work best, what your max spend should be, and whether you’re actually making a profit. Let’s get started!
Downloading Amazon Ads Reports
As always, open RL and log in. On your home screen, click on Upload Ads Report.
You’ll see this screen. Pay attention to the second field you have to fill out. If you upload Amazon ads reports, you always need to indicate what date you’re uploading. Otherwise RL won’t be able to use them, as it will have no clue what date the report is for.
To get the report we need, head on over to your Amazon Ads dashboard and log in. Make sure you have ALL campaigns selected and that you don’t have a filter on (like “active campaigns”). Then choose a day. Ads reports are PER DAY, so only choose a single date. Now, Amazon is notoriously lagging when it comes to their ad dashboard, so don’t download yesterday’s report today. I always wait at least four, five days before downloading that day’s report so Amazon has had a chance to catch up. Once you’ve selected the right day, hit “Export”.
If you want your RL analysis to be accurate, upload as many daily ad reports as possible. It needs at least 37 consecutive days to do an accurate analysis, but the more you upload, the better.
Once you’ve downloaded the first report, have a look at the file name. It will have today’s date, not the day you selected for the report.
That’s why I make it a habit to immediately change the file name after downloading and give it the correct date, meaning the day the report is for. That makes it a lot easier when you upload reports in batches to RL, like I do (or my PA does it for me, but same process). Now when I upload, I can see what day the report is for and select the right date in the second field.
Uploading Amazon Ads Reports to Readerlinks
It’s time to upload the reports. So go back to RL, select the right report, change the date to the correct one, and hit “Import Ads”. You’re gonna have to do this for as many days as you’re gonna upload. It sounds like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, this is ten minutes per week max.
Now, once you’ve uploaded all your report, click on “Reports” in the top menu, then select “Manage Ad Assignments”. RL doesn’t know which books your ads are for, so you’ll need to assign each ad. That’s a one time thing every time you start a new ad.
When you click on “Manage Ad Assignment”, you’ll get the screen below. You’ll see all the new ads show up as “unassigned”, so now all you have to do is go down the list and assign them one by one. And by the way, the reason I blacked out my ad names is because I name them in a way that reveals my targeting, and that’s not something I’m sharing, haha.
Amazon Ad Analysis
When you’ve assigned all ads, click on “Reports” again in the top menu, and this time, select “Ads CTR Analysis”. CTR stands for click through rate, and this analysis will show you for each of your ads what the click through rate is, meaning the percentage of clicks you get in comparison to your impressions. So click a time period, eg last 60 days, select a book, choose whether you want to see just Amazon ads or Facebook ads as well (we’ll talk about how to upload Facebook ad reports in a later post), and then select the ad you want to see the CTR for.
When you’ve done that, you’ll see an analysis that looks like this (this is one Ad we ran for Daddy):
So, you may wonder what you can learn from this. One example is that you can compare ads with custom text to ads with standard text and see which one performs better. Or compare different ad texts to see which performs better. And in general, it will help you see whether you have the right targeting, whether your blurb/cover maybe needs work, etc.
There’s another ad analysis that Readerlinks offers. Click on “Reports” again, and now select “Series Ads Analysis”. If you have series that you run ads for, you’ll see something like this:
And below, you’ll see much more data but I can’y screenshot that because it would give away too much of my numbers, sorry. But if you look at the columns, it should be pretty self-explanatory, as it shows you the ads spend per series set off against the series revenue, thus calculating a ROI (return on investment) for the series. If you consistently upload all ads reports here (Amazon and Facebook), this will give you an accurate numbers over time of how much profit you are making on your ad spend. If you run any other ads, like BookBub ads or newsletter promotions, you can add those in another way, but we’ll look at that next time.
In the meantime, I hope this was useful. Hit me up with any questions!