Gretings all,

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on the marketing efforts, and this turned out to be as good an opportunity as any.

I started out continuing the plan I had been working on. Spending $174.47, I had four sales and 1,646 pages read directly tied to the clicks I had.

I say directly tied because I had more than four sales.

The month of December had a was a bright spot for me. I had ten sales, which held true from my last run in November. Continuing in the direction I was going always led to an increase in sales. The problem was that my ACOS (the Average Cost of Sales) was still just too high. Sure, I got orders. Sure, I got reviews. But spending $147 to earn less than $60 isn’t good business. I didn’t want to panic though. I wanted to wait one more more month to see what would happen.

I also wanted to try something new. You see, I read this post (somewhere on Kindlpreneur bout marketing to a German audience. It basically said there is indeed a market for fiction books written in English, so I figured, why not?

So I walked through the process (it was fairly simple) and uploaded a few of my pre-made folders I had already set up. Since starting, I’ve spent about $40, but I did sell a paperback!

Then the numbers for January came in.

I did have another ten sales, and that’s great (sales are always good) but more than $200!? Something had to change. I did a little more research, and came to a conclusion:

No one in their right mind should bid $.45 for a click. I don’t claim to have been in my right mind, so I don’t feel too ashamed. I really started digging into my numbers and the research.

First: Most of my purchases came with great ACOS, the problem was they were buried in keywords that weren’t resulting in (obvious) sales. There were a few keywords where the ACOS was too much, but I was paying out the ear for sales that weren’t making up the difference.

So I started going to my reports and looking out for any clicks that cost more than $.25 cents. This is a good spot to start. Ideally (according to my research), you should expect any keyword to take between 10-20 clicks before you get a sale. So my goal is to work with keywords that are effective at bids between $.15-$.25 while eliminating those above.

How’d it work out? Well, the good news is I’ve brought my cost for February back down to $126.97 (as I type this). That did have an effect on my sales.

As I type this, I only have four sales for February. I’ll admit, for that stretch you see from Feb. 11 – Feb. 23, I felt awful. I kept having to tell myself that it’s just bad business to spend more than $200 for only about $28 in sales. I still lose about $170. I can’t do that, and I don’t want new authors to have that issue. Yes, more impressions leads to more sales. Yes, more clicks leads to more sales. this month proved that even though I don’t see the sales on the Amazon Advertising page, those sales are related in some way.

So the next step in this evolution is to optimize my campaigns as I mentioned above. I’m still going to use keywords to generate more keywords. I’m still going to work on what I call the King Keyword list, a document composed strictly of keywords that resulted in sales and/or pages read.

I will continue to eliminate all campaign bids greater than $.25. I’m also pausing any keywords or campaigns that have proven to be ineffective. For instance “Batman” as a keyword got me more than 60 clicks, but those 60 clicks didn’t net me a single, observable sale.

What I learned in doing that was that I do have keywords that are performing well (a Click Through Rate higher than 1% and ACOS below 70%). I just have a lot of keywords that aren’t working for me, and I have to manage and refine those keywords. Any new campaigns I set will be based on the range from $.15-$.25. I’m letting the Germany Add Campaigns work for a while. Most of the research I’ve seen says it take about three months for a campaign to gain traction. I’ve also started some of AMS’s Product Sponsoring campaigns. Those will also run for three months while I observe the data. Then I’ll start working to optimize those campaigns.

The hope is to evolve on this platform until I earn money from marketing rather than just spend money for the sake of making sales.

I hope this is helping some of you out there to take note of what to watch out for as you prepare to release your books.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

2 thoughts on “Marketing Journal: I Like Sales, But I Can’t Overspend

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