5 Things to Know When Creating Amazon Search Campaigns

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5 Things to Know When Creating Amazon Search Campaigns

Post by Leo Martinez, Media Manager

  1. Choosing Your Ad Unit
  2. Selecting Your Keywords
  3. Set Campaign Naming Convention
  4. Create a Budget Pacing Document
  5. Amazon Nuances

Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) has proven to be a powerful platform to reach users and promote products. Below are five things to know when creating your AMS campaigns:

Choosing Your Ad Unit

Amazon currently has three types of ad units which appear on different sections of the Amazon search results and product pages and play different roles within the AMS ecosystem. It is important to choose which ad unit to run on based on your advertising goals.

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Sponsored Products

Keyword targeted ads that appear either above the organic search results or on the right hand rail. Unlike traditional Search ads that have ad copy messaging, Sponsored Product ads show the product image, name and Amazon rating.

Headline Search Ads

Keyword targeted ads that appear above the search results. This ad unit allows you to have a 50 character maximum ad copy messaging along with product images.

Product Display Ads

Similar to Google GDN ads, Product Display Ads target by product or interests, as opposed to keywords, and appear on related product detail pages. This ad unit garners the most traffic however CTR is usually lower than Sponsored Product and Headline campaigns. This ad unit is best used when implementing an awareness strategy.

Selecting Your Keywords

Amazon search queries are more product-focused than those found on traditional Search engines, as users are further down the Search funnel. As a result, higher-funnel keywords, i.e. “reviews”, “best”, “top rated”, etc., will yield less traffic than product terms like “disinfectant wipes”, “headphones”, or “garbage bags”. Based on your advertising goals, it is worthwhile to bid on some high-funnel keywords as they can provide insight into user behavior within your category.

Setting Campaign Naming Conventions

When creating a new campaign, Amazon will create a default campaign name based on the account name and the date the campaign is created. It is highly recommended that the campaign name is changed to reflect the specific campaign theme as this will make reporting and account optimizations easier during the life of the campaign. The more specific the naming convention, the better.

Once a campaign is launched, it is not possible to change the campaign name. The only way to change the campaign name is to relaunch the campaign which will disrupt its momentum. It is important to note, the Headline and Product Display campaign approval process can take approximately 24 – 48 hours while Sponsored Product campaigns can last between 1-2 hours.

Create a Budget Pacing Document

Amazon Search currently does not have Insertion Orders (IOs) available, making it even more important to keep a close eye on spend to avoid exceeding your budget. Since AMS does not have a Client Center, like in AdWords, it will be necessary to download individual account reports, if multiple accounts are managed. Note, the reports pull the data for the entire life of the campaign as customized time frames are not yet available.

It is recommended to format the budget pacing document to allow account managers the ability to see daily performance since AMS does not have customized time frames. This step may require some extra leg work but it will help tremendously when analyzing performance trends.

Amazon states that impression and click data may take up to 24 hours to appear, and this is also true for spend and sales data. Proceed with caution if you are within 90% of your budget as the data lag might eventually bring the total spend to your total budget.

AMS Nuances


Landing Page Eligibility – Headline Search

The criteria for an eligible Headline Search landing page is that it needs to house at least 3 eligible ASINs, or products. If the eligible ASIN count becomes lower than 3, the campaign will be paused. ASINs become ineligible when they are out-of-stock, are not winning the buy box, or do not meet financial thresholds set by Amazon.

Financial Thresholds – All ad units

If promoted products do not meet the financial thresholds set by Amazon, the product becomes ineligible. This means the advertiser is no longer able to promote the product within their campaigns. Note, profitability margins from the advertiser’s perspective may not be aligned with the thresholds set by Amazon. In other words, a product may still get paused even if it has a strong Return on Ad Spend for the advertiser.

To prevent your Sponsored Product campaigns from being paused due to the lack of eligible ASINs, it is recommended to promote multiple SKUs within the campaign. The Amazon system typically pauses eligible ASINs over the weekend so it is encouraged to monitor the email notifications.

User Interface

Since Amazon Search is relatively new compared to other engines, the user interface has limited features and capabilities. The UI is great at showing advertisers a quick snapshot of campaign performance however processes become manual when trying to analyze performance trends. AMS does not currently have custom time frames so reports depict performance for the entire life of the campaigns. Should one want to analyze keyword performance, one would have to pull individual reports from each campaign. This process could be cumbersome if the account has multiple campaigns.

To resolve the reporting pain points, Performics has created an internal proprietary reporting tool which has expedited the data calculations, saving teams a minimum of 5 hours per week in reporting. This tool has allowed Performics to easily dive deeper into the data in a fraction of the time to help make informed strategic decisions.

To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Search campaigns, contact Performics today.

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