The smartest marketers in the world. Learning from Amazon

Original author: JIMMY DALY
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Earlier, we translated and published an article in which we tried to reveal the secrets of Dropbox's success. Judging by the number of views, the topic was in demand. Therefore, we decided to translate another article about the company, which for many, including for us, is a benchmark in certain areas. So, Amazon has 237 million active customers . If they all lived in one country, then it would be the fourth in the world in terms of population. In the United States, for example, Amazon owns 30% of the e-commerce market - such a market, even with all the desire, cannot be called a niche.

How did this company become so large? After all, she has access to exactly all of the same tools, people, software, and infrastructure as any other retailer. The answer to this question is simple, but it covers every little detail in the business: Amazon is based on an innovative culture . Let's try to figure this out? If you share your thoughts on this, we will be grateful.
In 2013, the company spent 6.5 billion on research and development. Although this is certainly an impressive amount, it is only 5% of how much the government spends per year. It is fair to say that investing in research and development cannot be equated with innovation. The key to the latter is not money. This is a desire to tirelessly try something new, often make mistakes and quickly improvise.

At Amazon, innovation has crept into every aspect of the business, from the top to the bottom. Here is an excerpt from a speech by Jeff Bezos from a meeting of the board of directors (2011):

If you are constantly inventing something, but at the same time ready for failure, you will never reach the point where you need to put the whole company at stake. The Amazon Web Services project started around 6 or 7 years ago. At the moment, we are committed to planting more and more seeds, which it is too early to talk about, however, we intend to plant them further. And I can guarantee you - not everything that we do will work. And I never worry about it. We are unshakable in our vision, but flexible in detail.

Unshakable in strategy, flexible in tactics

The purpose of this article is not to praise Amazon. Rather, it is a consideration of the practical implications of their innovations, especially email and content marketing.

In the regular advertising department, email marketing is heavily dependent on advertising messages and newsletters. Coupons, discounts and product information are sent to a huge number of customers and potential buyers. Occasionally they acquire something. It is like a shot in the dark.


I am not saying that template messages and calls to action do not work, this is not so, however, at best, they are addressed only to a small proportion of recipients.

Amazon has a completely different approach. Each email is personalized using the share of information that the company has about its users: behavior on the site, past purchases, spent amounts, location, age, gender, etc.


Instead of showing you random samples drawn from inboxes in our inbox, we created a new Amazon account, made a couple of purchases and started collecting emails. What we found is really interesting, and very impressive. Below you will find both the letters that we received and the reasons why we received them (our behavior, purchases, etc.). You can use these templates in another business to compose the right messages and send them at the right time, always.


The method of sending letters from Amazon

This method is not beautiful, it is functional. A company like Apple devotes a lot of time to aesthetics, while Amazon - to efficiency. The whole purchase process is completely debugged, from start to finish.
When it comes to emails, Amazon doesn't waste time on “special effects.”

However, Amazon has message templates that can be personalized based on your behavior. And, the longer you are their client, the more information they have on you.


1 Welcome Letter


Since Amazon knows little about me so far, they can hardly do anything to personalize the message. They offer a brief overview of their services and show where to find the most important information about my account. There is a clearly defined call to action, and the yellow button contains a clear, harmless message.

Why? - One of the questions that is often asked in business. This is a good question. No less good question: Why not?

Jeff Bezos

It is worth noting that the information that Amazon added to the message is not vital for a new user, but it may well prompt him to action, and, therefore, will allow him to collect more data about him. The letter mentions the following: a support service, the best product, the availability of digital content, a special mobile application, and a link to Twitter and Facebook. (Remember that you can actually shop on Amazon via Twitter!)

This message, in fact, is transactional, but it contains much more. Amazon has sent over 200 million welcome letters - they have narrowed down the options for templates and content so that people visit their site and make purchases as quickly as possible (for those who work with SAAS, you should learn how to reduce the path from trial to paid access) . A transactional letter with skillfully interspersed advertising is a juicy fruit that you really want to pick.

2 Receipt


From receipts that are sent by e-mail, the only thing required is that they should be useful. They are intended to provide information about purchases. So the buyer is much easier to keep track of the latter.

Amazon has taken such letters to a new level, adding additional functionality. Take, for example, the links in this post. By clicking on the order number, you will go directly to the page with the order itself. There you can track it, write a review, or purchase something else.
We can afford to focus on the smallest defects and eliminate them at the root. This reduces costs simply because it works.

Jeff Bezos

There are links right under the product name to share them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Why not? It is unlikely that a lot of buyers do this, but by sending millions of receipts a year, Amazon can turn an ordinary customer into a seller. Social proof is, without a doubt, one of the key factors through which a company makes sales.

You may also notice that Amazon has added the “Your Recommendations” link in the email. This signals the start of data collection. Clicking on this link allows you to go to the recommended products page, dynamically created specifically for a particular client.

3 Delivery Confirmation


This letter is almost identical to the receipt, except that the button here indicates information about the tracking of the parcel, and not the details of the purchase.
No need to disassemble this message in bricks, as we did above. However, you need to ask yourself one question: how effective should this letter be if Amazon sends the same content and call to action twice?

4 Thank you note

“Thank you for your purchase on Amazon. Here are some ways to help you make more purchases, on any device and platform. ”


Essentially, this letter means exactly what it says, however, Amazon does an excellent job using it to work with new customers. Let's take a look at everything that is in it:

• Amazon Prime: Pay an annual fee and get a free two-day delivery and other membership benefits.
• Amazon Mobile App: Shop for your smartphone.
• Gold Box: Promotions for products, downloadable content, and even events in your area.
• Subscribe & Save: Subscribe to any product and Amazon will automatically purchase it every month.
• Kindle: Read (and buy!) Books.
• Fire Tablets: Amazon's rival iPad, which also has shopping apps.
• Amazon Fire TV: An analogue of Roku and Apple TV, gives users access to digital content through a premium subscription.
• Fire Phone: A smartphone that comes with a premium subscription and enhanced customer support from Amazon.
• Facebook: Stay on top of various promotions.
• Twitter: Add items to your wish list on Amazon using the hashtag.

This letter, without any doubt, is advertising in nature, however, for all the time that I bought on Amazon, I had no idea about the existence of these things. This is really useful information. Few companies welcome their customers this way. If you can offer more than one service, why not introduce the rest of your business to new arrivals?

5 Invitation


Maybe because I made a purchase just a few days after creating a new account, Amazon decided to forge the iron while it’s hot. In this letter, they invite me to register on a site called, which oversees sales of clothing and other fashion products.

There are two things in this message that I find very interesting:

1. There is a clear trend
. Within five days from the time of registration of the account, I made two purchases.
• October 21: Account Registration
• October 23: Purchase No. 1
• October 26: Purchase No. 2
• October 31: Invitation to visit
My shopping history speaks for itself. They needed to do very little to seduce me to purchase goods. They see this as a signal that I am ready to spend my money, and they are trying to instill in me the habit of frequent shopping.

At Amazon, we have three main principles that we have been following for 18 years and which are the reasons for our success: Put your customer first. Invent. And be patient.

Jeff Bezos

According to what Nir Eyal, author of The Hooked Buyer, writes, frequency is the fastest way to develop a new habit.

In a recent study at University College London, participants tried to inculcate the habit of flossing. It showed that the more often new behavioral elements appeared, the more the habit intensified. Like flossing, frequent visits to sites or using applications are more likely to form new habits.

2. Here you can see the use of demographic data
This letter, like the site itself, shows men's clothing in people around my age. When I click “Show Now”, instead of the home page, it throws me to the men's page. It depicts stylish-looking guys whose age ranges from 25 to 30 years. sells me the best version of myself, and it does it right through email.


* Translation of the picture: A person who is a potential buyer + your product = Awesome person who can do drop dead stuff!

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