Anthony Lee talks about the Amazon policy violation emails that some sellers have been receiving over the last couple of days and whether it is something we should be worried about…
Email from ‘Listing Report Proactive’.
- It’s a very broad email saying you’re involved in black and grey hat tactics across a very broad range of possible policy areas.
- Anthony has seen this exact email months ago in a previous account and he’s dug through all the possibilities and gone through it with Amazon. It was a blanket email and it went out to a bunch of people a while back and Anthony recalled it from the feedback sequence furore a while back.
- There has been no official word come down from Amazon other than a Seller who has contacted Seller Support. They have said there was a technical glitch that impacted the North American marketplace that is being investigated and apologies for the inconvenience caused.
- People are speculating on the reasons for this email and the cause. From the blow up of only sending one email in a sequence, or event the A10 algorithm (!) that’s part of the future of Amazon…..
Things may be true but we’re all on the outside looking into Amazon, none of us really know. It’s like Fake News!
Anthony’s view on Amazon Policy Violation
- Anthony sells products too and is not keen on getting suspended
- Anthony’s view is that this email does not change anything
- The policies are all the same, no ToS changes in this as far as he sees
- Amazon came down on the policies a while back to cleanup things up for Buyers and improve the marketplace to avoid drifting into eBay practices
- About two years ago Amazon went on a rampage and was quite strict in controlling listings (200 chars limits, etc)
- They do these things to clean everything up and make the experience as good as possible for the customer
- There is no new initiative in this email, there is no reason to believe they are going after something here
- No reason for them to limit the emails out, specially as buyers can now opt-out
- Are they targeting 3rd Party hires who inflate your ranking, they are always doing this
- This does not mean running sales and discounts but black hat is a no-no
- People can do discounts and so they do it
- Some traditional people don’t use discounts as they don’t want to use these as it takes off their profit
- Others just do giveaways and try that but if it doesn’t work immediately they complain
- No two sellers are the same
- Some people are sat rubbing their hands in the hope this letter going out means Amazon will stop ‘promo-coupon codes’ service and they don’t need to invest in these anymore
What’s OK in email sequences
- Email sequences
- My email sequence is in terms of service – but your wording is really important in your email content
- Anthony has seen almost everything from all of his clients
- He has seen people get suspended for their email sequences but always with warnings from Amazon before it happened
- Feedback emails are monitored and Amazon will let you know when something you’re doing is not right
- They got their accounts back and worked out what it was that caused the problem.
- If you say ‘If you’re happy leave us a review’ is okay but then if you add ‘otherwise click here’ directs the buyer and so causes a problem for ToS
- When freebies are offered in the same email as feedback then you’re sailing against the wind
- There’s such a small number of Feedback emails that actually get through after deliverability and opt-outs, etc
- Play it safe
- Review your email sequence and cut back any poor wording
- Marketing 101 – always have a reason to communicate – use customer service as your reasons for emailing
- Leave out any links for access to freebies from emails for reviews
- Keep emails separate, i.e. Instruction email, Incentive for next time email and then the please leave your feedback email
- Tickling for reviews seems to be aligned with risk of suspension
- Anthony had a client who got suspended and went to a suspension service. They suggested that as he was using a blast service and so he submitted his appeal to Amazon saying he won’t use these services.
- Amazon came back and said they can’t have their account back as that’s not what they are looking for, which meant Amazon are not worried about your promotions.
- They dug deeper and found that the client was asking for reviews in their emails. Their suspension was lifted when they stopped this.
- On promotions, Amazon gives you coupon codes and doesn’t let you do ‘free’ but you can do 90%. These must be things they like otherwise they could take it away – and they do.
You Promote Amazon and pay for ads to bring people there
- We as Sellers promote Amazon’s brand and give discounts out of our pockets (90% discounts) which makes Sellers think Amazon are great!
- We as morons pay out for all these promos to bring customers to Amazon
- The idea Amazon doesn’t like Facebook ad traffic is ludicrous
- They want you running FB ads and sending traffic to their site, why wouldn’t they?