With recent commission reductions for Amazon Affiliates, many influencers are seeing the advantages of direct brand relationships. In addition to higher commissions, a direct brand relationship functions as a true partnership with benefits including advanced notice on promotions and new products, product samples and aggressive campaign contracts. However, while influencers are seeing the benefits, the fear they share with me is that their followers will not. Amazon lures their audience away with fast, free shipping and the convenience of 1-Click® purchasing. As a confessed Amazon Prime addict, I totally get the appeal. In this post, I will illustrate how influencers can overcome the Amazon temptation leading to higher commissions and solid brand relationships.

Give Your Followers A Solid Why

Don’t assume merely including an affiliate link in a post means people will click on it. Give your followers a solid reason why they should click the link. Your call to action should be powerful no matter what site you are linking to. Here are six solid ‘whys’ to get your audience using your affiliate links.

Loyalty Programs Loyalty program aren’t just for coffee shops and juice bars. Most merchants offer a loyalty program for shopping directly with their brand. The reality? They are in the same boat as affiliates…trying to get customers to buy direct versus Amazon. Loyalty program rewards can include free gear as well as other benefits like free shipping and first dibs on new product.

Gift with Purchase Is your merchant offering something not available on Amazon? It could be samples, free product or ‘cash’ toward a future purchase. Make sure your followers know all they will get outside of the products you are promoting.

Free Shipping Most brands offer free shipping either for a minimum purchase or on all orders. Be sure to let your followers know this so they don’t automatically assume they need an Amazon Prime membership to get it shipped for free.

Support me Be honest and upfront with your audience that link you use may be part of an affiliate program and that the commission earned helps offset costs associated with your online presence. The most direct way to do this is with an FTC disclosure statement: like this one Jules, one of my affiliates, uses on her blog, Om & The City:

Note: This post was sponsored by 100% Pure. All thoughts and opinions are completely (and always will be) my own. I receive a commission if you purchase products from the links in this post. The commissions are used to keep my blog running and to provide you with awesome content that I strongly believe in. Thank you for your continued support! x Jules”

Of course, you should customize this language in a way that resonates with your specific audience.

Proper Link Placement Thanks to our increasingly short attention spans, most people don’t read an article in its entirety. Some people skim. Others simply stop as soon as the post has met their needs. As such, don’t wait until the end of the article to include your affiliate links. Relevant links should appear throughout the post.

Make It Obvious Don’t be shy about your call to action/affiliate link, especially with the ones at the end of the post. Use phrases such as, ‘click here to get’ or, ‘offer expires in 3 days so click here to buy now’. You get the idea. You should also include subtle product links in the body of the post, but the statements at the end need to tell your followers exactly what they need to do to claim the offer.

What do all these ‘whys’ have in common? Don’t be shy! While content is still king your site, you want to ensure your followers know why and how to click on your affiliate links.

What are your best strategies for preventing users from hitting up Amazon?