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I won’t be talking about only sponsored products per se but also about how to optimize sponsored products, how to leverage the knowledge and intelligence that Amazon gives you through sponsored products in order to better your listing, and overall, not just sell on PPC but also organically.
What should you expect out of Q4?
This will be my 5th Q4. Over the years, I’ve noticed that you get a spike in sales from 15th of November until 21st of December. An increase in traffic from the 1st of November onwards because people start to be ready to buy, start to look out for presents, start to prepare for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and festivities like this.
Throughout this period I have experienced an increase in conversion rate, overall conversion rate because buyers are more ready to buy because they’re looking for stuff to buy themselves as a present at the end of the year as I described earlier, as well as to buy for their loved ones. The conversion rate improves. Also in my experience the click-through rate slightly improves throughout this period since people are less egoistic and are looking to make a good impression to whoever they want to present the stuff to.
Again, in my experience, based on the data we collected on my brand, they are also less sensible to high pricing. It’s the period of the year where you can get away with slightly high pricing, a better profit because people are just happier to buy.
Something you need to know that probably has been covered and will be covered, is the important dates. The cut out of the very important dates is the inventory cut out date. So, the latest dates in which you can send inventory to Amazon to be sold throughout Q4 is generally mid, to the end of November. You need to know Thanksgiving is the 22nd of November, Black Friday is the 23rd of November, Cyber Monday is the 26th of November. Christmas cut out date is 21st of December. Of course, Christmas is 25th of December but as far as the Christmas cut out date, what I mean is the last date to buy or order from Amazon Prime in order to get a delivery before Christmas, and that is the 21st of December.
19th to the 24th of December is the period you see the last huge spike before everything dies out after Christmas because every one needs to make the famous last-minute presents. So, 19th to 21st day is that time.
How to plan for Q4?
If you’ve already been through a Q4 in Amazon, you must probably know your data. You can go back in time and see how much you grew your business, how much you grew your volume, how much you grew your profit margins and base your planning for this year on the previous years.
If you hadn’t, I would say that a good rule of thumb will be to allow for thrice the average for November and December. So, whatever you’ve been doing on average whenever you started selling, take the average and multiply same by three. That’s in my opinion, a good rule of thumb to understand how to plan your inventory and how much stuff to order from your supplier, and how much to ship to Amazon, ready to be sold. And again, make sure it’s received before the cut out date.
Now let’s talk about preparation, what I’ve been doing and still do to properly prepare your PPC structure, your PPC campaign structure in order to be ready, not just only to take care of the Q4 but to have a solid and healthy set-up which is easy to manage. In my opinion, a good structure is composed of three or four campaigns.
Depending on your budget, I’d advise you to create a set-up which has three campaigns: an exact campaign, a broad campaign, and an auto campaign. This set in my opinion should be done one for each product. Each product should at least have three campaigns: an auto campaign that will fish for longer tail keywords, a broad campaign that will also fish for long tail keywords, and an exact campaign. When you take all the fishing you do between the broad and the auto and you have everything to be exact to nail the bids and improve your positioning while adjusting and bettering your performance.
This set-up is what I advise you to do if you don’t have a big budget but if you have a bigger budget, do an EPBA set-up.
So, I’ll have an Exact Campaign, a Phrase Campaign, a Broad Campaign, and an Auto Campaign. I’d pretty much follow the same process, so I’d use the Phrase, Broad and Auto as fishing campaigns in order to find longer and longest tail keywords that then gets back to the Exact Campaign where you can nail the bid down and be really aggressive while having control of your profit.
How do you do it?
You create one campaign for each match, assign a specific budget for each campaign, keep your negative terms centralized at campaign levels, leverage the intelligence you created at campaign level with the negative terms, and expand within each campaign match with a different series of ads.
Let’s say you have more than 1000 keywords, you will need to set up ad groups. If you want to extrapolate very well performing terms out of one ad group and put them alone in a specific ad group, you can do it within the same campaign, keeping the intelligence and knowledge of the negative terms at the campaign level. If you want to test lower bids in a separate test ad group, you can do so. If you just want to run whatever test you want, say a specific keyword or outbidding a competitor, it can be done. Simply create an additional ad group within whatever match campaign you want without having to move around and over all the negative terms.
This is why I advise, rather than having one campaign with separate match ad groups inside like most managers do, simply create one campaign per match. It’s just easier to scale and manage. This is the first step in preparing the structure.
Now, the second step. Let’s discuss here, what do I mean by one product per set or one product per EPBA?. There are two ways to go about this. Either to create one set of EPBA (I’m referring to Exact, Phrase, Broad, Auto) per parent or to create one set of EPBA per SKU.
There are pros and cons with both strategies. Personally am lazy and that’s what pushed me to automate whatever I do.
What I generally do is to always start with one EPBA set per parent item and include in this set, all the variations of this item. In the first stage I optimize at the keyword level. So, I find what keywords bring the most traffic, filter out bad terms, andl add/mine the good terms. I dedicate the first let’s say, 3-6 weeks into optimizing this EPBA set towards lowering the ACoS and finding what keywords work. At this stage, when I find a bunch of keywords that work, bringing volume and staying within my profitability and ACoS margin, I will look at the SKU level and keep advertising for this set, only the SKUs that bring the highest CTR.
Why is that?
It’s simply because in my opinion, first you should find the keywords that bring volume and then let users vote with their click on the items they are most likely to click on. Then, you want to show only the ads that get the most clicks because if you don’t get a click, you don’t get a sale.
In my opinion, for the first stage, optimize for keywords. For the second stage, optimize for CTR at the SKU level. Pause all the SKUs that are not performing well on CTR basis, keeping the initial set. All the SKUs that are performing with brilliant CTR. The SKUs that you paused from the initial set can at this point be incorporated into their own independent sets.
You could create an additional EPBA set per SKU or per color or per size or whatever kind of variation style you have. The important thing at this point when you take out the SKU from the initial set and create those independent sets is to isolate your keywords and customer search terms. Make sure that if you take out the Pink T-shirt from the initial EPBA set, you are bidding only on pink related keywords. This will make it extremely relevant to the SKU you’re advertising. Hence, greatly improving the CTR of the new isolated SKU.
Let’s talk about what proper campaign naming is.
You can understand that if you start having four campaigns per product at the source stage and perhaps at the second stage, four campaigns per SKU, you might lose track of what you’re doing. You might lose track of how you to do things within all the data you have. So, proper campaign naming is very important to help you filter your data on Seller Central as well as if you download the Seller Central report, the custom search term report or the bulk edit file. Proper naming will save you hundreds of hours of time.
Each campaign name should start with a product nickname that humans can read. Continue with the product SKU so that not only can humans read, but so you’d know what SKU is in there. For the initial one, I’d say use the parent SKU. Whenever you split them out, use the variation SKU of course.
You should put the item characteristics in case of colors, multi-packs, sizes, materials, or style in the title. Again, you’re a human so you want a human to be able to read it. You have a VA, he’s going to be a human too. It shouldn’t be only numbers and dates and stuff but also the stuff that humans can read. I highly advise you to follow that, as well as the match type. It’s also very important.
Your campaign name should look something like this. Let’s say that you’re selling Silicon Spatula, all the colors. The initial campaign name will be Silicon Spatula. Silicon is the material. The SKU, in this case, is most likely the parent because it’s all colors.
For the match of the campaign, you could have “Spatula-Bamboo-‘SKU’-Broad”. Another example is “Baking Mat-all sizes-SKU-Phrase. This will be the naming at campaign level.
For the ad group level, simply copy-paste whatever the campaign is called and add a number, 1. Whenever you go above 1,000 keywords for this campaign, for this match, create another ad group. Name it Baking Mat-all sizes-‘SKU’-Phrase 2 and so on. This will make it easier for you to search for the data and know what is what and where is what without having to open part of the windows and a lot of other waste of time processes.
Now, let’s go over how high I optimize my listing based on my PPC data.
First of all, what everybody should do is to check the PPC data. Look at every keyword. Make sure that they are indexing for all the important keywords, the ones you based your market research on, as well as the keywords the buyers voted are the good keywords for your listing. Those votes you can understand, and look in the PPC reports.
Take that knowledge and not just check if they’re indexed for, but also improve your listing quality leveraging that knowledge and putting those keywords in the right places to make your listing even more relevant for those keywords.
Having a high listing quality, a listing that is highly relevant to the keywords users are typing will do two things. It will influence your ad positioning because your CTR will be better. Once you have a better CTR, you will also experience a lower cost per click across those optimized keywords.
Once you’ve found out the keywords that are the most important for you, make sure they’re indexed. Put them in strategic places in order to make your listing quality better than your competitors’, and be highly relevant to the searches.
Also, split-test. You might have a different variation of titles. You might have a different variation of the main image. Split-test them with split-testing tools online and find the one that brings you the best conversion rate.
How to proceed?
I will advise you to download the 60-day search term report from Seller Central and go through it. Identify the 20% of the search terms that have 80% highest conversion rate. Those are your very high conversion search terms. Also, identify the 20% terms that bring 80% of your sales volume. Put these two lists together and sort them by the most sales volume.
Right now, you should have basically a list with your highest conversion rate terms and another list with the highest sales volume terms. Some could be the same. Some terms will be on both lists. Some terms will only be in the sales volume list. Some terms will only be in the conversion rate list. Put those lists together. Sort by volume, descending and add them (in order of importance/volume) according to title, subject matter, and back-end KWs. At the same time, always check for indexing.
Look at what your buyers voted you’re relevant to, what you’re making the most volume from, and make sure they are in strategic places which are, in the order of importance, title, subject matter and back-end keywords.
After your listing, after you’re sure that your listing has been optimized, the quality has improved and you’re much more relevant to whatever term you want to be relevant, then it’s time to start ranking for some keywords. Now, something that we all know is that ranking is expensive. Wherever you use a launch service, either Facebook ad, Instagram, Pinterest, PPC ad, or when you hit your email list, chances are, you’re going to be at a loss.
But, what if I told you that there is a way to pretty much know upfront 90% of the time, with 90% certainty, what keywords you’re going to be able to easily rank for, and to especially stick your ranking? There is!
The answer is in PPC data.
The first step is to find keywords or search terms for which we already have a very high PPC conversion rate. Those keywords having a high conversion rate on PPC means that your listing or your ad is showing up at the top of the searcher’s ad, and it’s a sponsored listing. People click on it and convert, so, you have chances to rank for the keyword and stick the ranking since you already know that your top positioning of ads is performing well. The ranking will also perform very well and stick. I would advise to find those terms.
Basically, look at the search term report that we did before, identify all the keywords or custom search terms that have a conversion rate above your organic unit session percentage. Increase your bids up to 50% on those terms on PPC. Now, don’t take my word. Don’t do exactly 50%. I said, up to 50%. Chances are, if you end up having a very high conversion rate, a conversion rate on PPC that is higher than your organic conversion rate, your ACoS might be quite low. There is a lot of room for improvement, to increase your bid just to be more productive and more aggressive than that.Identify those terms. First of all, increase your bid. Secondly, rank them. Hit them very hard with ranking.
Going back to this part here, you can use a launch service. Use Facebook Ads but start ranking those very high conversion PPC terms because those are going to be very easy to rank for. And, it’s going to be extremely easy to maintain your top ranking. Additionally, when you add one, then two, three, and up to ten of those long tail keywords which you’re ranking for very easily and they’re up there, they’re going to start bringing in a lot of sales velocity which will ultimately help you for what I’m going to show you in the next step.
The next step is simply to leverage the velocity that we created in the first step. Leverage the velocity that we created ranking on high PPC conversion rate terms and ranking them. Leverage that asset that we just created in order to rank higher volume terms, perhaps, your top keywords.
By now you should be top ranking for the high conversion rate terms, most likely long terms. You should be dominating the top position for sponsored ads because you’re bidding harder on them. You should have overall higher listing quality on higher volume terms because the first type was optimizing your listing.
Now is the right time to go after the higher volume terms. Start with PPC. Understand what you should do with your lower hanging fruits, and only after you have sustained sales volume, go after the high volume terms.
How to find your high volume terms? How to bid them?
Again, we go back to the search term report. I advise you to look at the last 60 days of data. Identify the 20% of the terms or keywords that are bringing 80% of the orders. Not sales, but orders. Sort them by descending CR (conversion rate) so that you have among the 80% of the most volume keywords, one with the best conversion rates.
Start ranking them one by one from top to bottom. Start from the first one, to top five positions. Once you achieve a ranking, give it one week and see if the rank sticks. If it sticks for one week, it’s going to stay there because we prepared for this in the previous steps. Then move to the next keyword.
Most likely, high volume terms are very close to your maximum ACoS threshold. So, you may not have much room for increasing bids on those but if you do have room for increasing bids on your high volume terms, go ahead and do that. Do this only if the conversion rate and ACoS of these terms allow you to.
A word of CAUTION:
Choose, especially in this second step, your terms and keywords wisely.
If the term or that keyword is experiencing a bad conversion rate, there’s a very high likelihood that you can rank it, run or push your ranking to the top position, but in may not stick. If you’re having a poor conversion on PPC, you most likely will have a poor conversion organically on this term. It will not stick.
Choose your term very wisely. If you’re experiencing a very poor conversion rate on a PPC term that you know is relevant, the issue could be with your listing or your copywriting.
Troubleshoot the conversion rate first, go back a few steps, look at your listing, improve your listing. Improve the conversion rate of the specific term. And only when you have a favorable conversion rate, a good conversion rate, go for the killing, go for the ranking.
Let’s move to slide 7.
So far, we’ve been through how to properly structure your campaign and ad group set, properly structure and troubleshoot if you have a variation or parent, and what to start with, how to follow-up and maintain. We also went through how to build a better listing based on the data the PPC will bring you, and how to pick the right keyword to rank for without wasting money.
At this point you should have a fairly optimized listing. You should have a fairly optimized campaign structure. How do you maintain it? I have a few weekly maintenance points that I still do. We have a tool automating for us. That’s pretty much the gist of it.
you want to do what we call mining. Look at your report and find customer search terms from the broad match, from the phrase match and from the auto campaigns which have generated sales and that are sales within your ACoS threshold, within your profitability and that are relevant to your product. And of course, you want to make sure that they are relevant, and you want to add them back into your EPBA sets.
Of course, you cannot add the keywords back to the auto – that’s why you see only the EPB here. So, you’ll add them in the exact campaign as exact, in the phrase campaign as phrase, in the broad campaign as broad and do not forget to isolate the match, isolate the terms which means you want to negate the exact match at phrase level because we are bidding already on the exact match.
Also, you want to negate the phrase match from the broad. Because, again, we are bidding on a phrase at phrase level. This means isolating.
The first weekly task is to mine terms.
Look at your customer search term reports, find terms that have been converting within your threshold, and add them back as keywords in the different matches so they get to work for you, finally giving longer terms and keywords. But at the same time, you want to terminate, negate those terms that haven’t been performing.
Again, we still look at the 60 days search term report. We find search terms that have not converted after a specified amount of clicks depending on the conversion rate you expect, or that have spent a lot of money without a conversion. All those terms are material best fitted for termination or negation, and you find those. You should add them as negative exact, in the auto, the phrase, and the broad campaign. Never negate in the exact campaign. In the exact campaign, you have 100% control of what you do. So, there’s no need to negate within the exact campaign. Simply pause the keyword, pause the term and you’re done. Do not negate, never negate in the exact campaigns.
Additionally, depending on your budget, if you find relevant terms that have not been performing well you might want to take them out and test them as exact bid with an adjusted lower bid. You can use the conversion rate and target ACoS to understand what the best adjusted bid is. I will cover the best bid equation we use in our business later in another slide.
We’ve covered the weekly maintenance on the customer search term side, which is done from the reports. As far as weekly maintenance for the keywords is concerned, the major action at the keyword level would be to pause action. Identify keywords with excessive ACoS, keywords with excessive spend and zero sales and pause them.
You might want to maintain a high conversion rate, though this is very optional. So, once you identify a keyword that has a very high ACoS within your margins but having a very low conversion rate, that could mean that the keyword is not relevant. So, you might want to pause that one too.
The first action is pausing.
The second is re-enabling.
Most of you guys would be aware that there is a 7-day conversion window in Seller Central on Amazon, meaning that if you pay for a click today and Seller Central tells you that you have zero sales today, it’s referring to the ad spend, right? That click you paid for today might register a sale up to 7 days in the future. This is to say that if you pause these keywords over here simply because they have a very high ACoS, in 7 days time, that keyword might have registered new sales and move toward the favorable ACoS. Therefore, always check your keywords and re-enable any keyword that registered a sale, a delayed sale and moved within your favorable ACoS threshold.
That is in my opinion, a must. A lot of people forget about this step. They just pause a keyword because of their ACoS and never check back. Consequently, they miss out many sales, many profitable sales.
For keywords that have good ACoS and good conversion rates, test a higher bid. For a keyword with a favorable ACoS and also a good conversion rate, you may want to test a higher bid. Later, I’ll show you the formula.
For keywords that have been paused for a while, that have been paused outside this famous 7-day conversion window, and for which you have sales and therefore ACoS data, you may want to test. Create an additional test ad group and test those keywords at a lower bid, a bid based on a calculation given by the conversion rate and your ACoS goal, which is a spoiler that I’m going to cover later.
This is pretty much the two-step weekly maintenance.
For monthly basis, I’ll rinse and repeat slides 4 to 6.
Study the customer search term and keyword reports. Look again at the best conversion rate terms and the best sales volume terms and feed them back into the listing. Make sure I’m relevant. Make sure I’m indexed for those. And if I’m not ranking, if I find some new terms which are killer terms, I’ll hit them out and rank.
This is in preparation for Q4 but as I said here, product positioning is key on Amazon. This is the stuff that you can brgin doing now in order to get ready and well-positioned for Q4. But now that you know what to do, you should work for it always. Not just for Q4, but all-year round. Especially now because you’re getting ready for Q4 but since you know this has to be done, get someone from your staff doing this weekly/monthly, and you will see how much growth you can bring to your business.
How does it feel to dominate?
If you follow my advice, and if you have a good product, again, that’s a key component that I did not discuss but you got to have a key, good product. So, if you follow my advice and you have a good product, right now you should be top ranking for most of your short and long tail keywords.
You should be winning profitability, top ad positioning for most of your keywords, both short and long term. And, you should be experiencing great organic sales and profits. So, you should be dominating the above default search page on Amazon.
This is a fantastic position to be because it allows you to not just defend your position, but rather attack somebody else. You no longer need to be proactive in chasing a ranking, you just need to be reactive in protecting your ranking. What I mean is, you’ve got to remember that it takes only one sale more than the guy below you to stay at the top. So, you’re already moving a lot of volume just because you’re dominating page 1 both on PPC and on organic.
If you see some competitors coming in hard, your average cost per click goes up and you know it is coming, so, you just up your bids. When you see his PSR going up, you know it is coming. So, rather than doing a full launch in order to rank for your keyword, simply make a mini launch or a mini Facebook mission, Facebook messenger, Facebook bot, Facebook promotion, just to sell a few more than what you normally do and as long as you do that, as long as you keep track of what competitors below you are doing, and make sure that you oversell them by at least one, you’re going to stay at the top. You’re going to keep dominating and ideally, you want to keep doing this all the way through December from now.
Let’s go a little bit more, and dive in a little bit on what I do and what I advise to do about bids and budgets.
You’ve probably experienced already from prime day what Amazon does, sending emails to everybody regarding bids. It’s like a casino. Amazon is the house. Amazon always wins. Of course, they’re not going to tell everybody to double their bids. Why? Because they’re creating bidding wars. They have everything and nothing to lose in doing so. Only you as a seller has something to lose because you follow Amazon’s price and you just bid double. The guy next to you bids double. The guy next to him also bids double. At the end of the day, you pay double and eat into your profit. You lose, Amazon wins and makes more money, and that’s why they do it.
So, in my opinion, upping your bids doesn’t always make sense.
The reasoning is, what’s the point of entering Q4, being able to have a chance to sell thrice your normal volume and thrice your monthly average, if you make no profit out of it? There’s really no reason. Yes you want to sell thrice, but you also want to maintain your profit margin. Otherwise, I think I’m just going to maintain my sales and make more money than sell thrice without profit.
We use a concept in our business, a very quick rule of thumb in order to identify what the best bid should be for any search term, either profitable or non-profitable. And, it’s a very simple concept.
It’s sales price multiplied by your target ACoS % which gives you the maximum dollar amount you’re willing to spend for a sale. Product sales price multiplied by target ACoS. Your maximum target ACoS should be your profit margin.
Then, multiply the maximum amount you want to spend for a sale by your conversion rate %. That gives you a figure which is the best bid for that keyword.
The best bid will always change. So, run the best bid on a keyword now, and adjust the bid with the new best bid. You’ll notice that the conversion rate will change. The conversion rate highly fluctuates depending on where you’re positioning. In my experience, the top position has a lower conversion rate; the bottom position, the second page or the third page position has a much better conversion rate.
The best bid is an ever-moving target but you can use it to refresh, recycle keywords or search terms that have been paused or negated because the ACoS were very high.
You can create a test ad group in whatever match you want. I would advise you to do it in the exact match and test those keywords or search terms that have been paused or negated for that ACoS, applying the best bid concept. Calculate it this way and see how they behave. That’s about bids.
As far as budget goes, I never want to run out of budget, so I’d say, go nuts with budget. If you have a good product and follow through with all the steps explained, you should have a pretty lean and efficient set-up on the PPC side, as well as a pretty good ranking. A lot of volume and profit coming from your organic ranking.
I’d like to ask, if you put $1 into PPC and take out $1.1, why would you limit it? That’s what I’m saying. You can optimize it but as long as I put $1 and take out more than $1, why should I limit it? Go as hard as you can with budget. If you’re out of budget and the campaign is behaving properly, increase the budget. Don’t worry. I personally go up to ten times normally for Christmas. I don’t want to run out of budget.
A note over here. If your budget is limited, and you want to stick to your limited budget, I would highly advise you to manually pause and unable your budget and have your campaigns running between 8 am and 10 pm. This is because, that is when most of the sales action happen. Any click outside 10 pm – 8 am is generally a click that doesn’t really have much buyer intent.
Question from tutorial participant:
Actually, I have a question. the West and East coast, if we’re talking about the US market, has a 3-hour difference. If we would start at 8 am Pacific coast, it’s already 11 Eastern. So, we should start at 5 am Pacific and finish…
I will base this on the reports I see on Amazon. I’ve beeen looking at my account and at several hundreds of our user accounts, and the trend is that on Seattle time most sales happen between 8 am and 10 pm. So, in response to your question, I’d use 8 am to 10 pm Seattle time.
Aside from the bids and budgets on your setup which I have explained earlier, what you could do, and what we do in our business is to create a specific set of campaigns we call the catch all campaign. This is a concept that Amazon introduced but I modified it slightly.
Basically, we take a broad match campaign, create a broad match ad group, an ad group within this broad match campaign, and put all our catalogue inside that campaign, that ad group.
I created one of those for each big date. One for Thanksgiving, one for Black Friday, one for Cyber Monday, and each of those campaigns and ad groups will have keywords specific to that time of the year.
The Thanksgiving catch all broad match campaign will have all the keywords that we learned have worked in Thanksgiving. The same for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Then we’ll have a longer one throughout the Christmas period which I forgot to mention here. But, yes, we’ll also have one for Christmas that we generally launch on the 5th of December and keep running till the 19th of December.
We turn them on 24 hours before the big dates because that’s generally when people start looking around. They get ready for the big dates because Amazon does a very incredible job at marketing big dates.
So, shoppers generally go out looking for what they’re going to buy in the lightning deals, and add them to their cart ready to snatch the lighting deal when it comes live.
You can research the keywords. There are so many research tools out there and I can’t recommend any particular one. You could probably use them all and make a huge list.
A word of caution over here. The conversion we’ve seen on these broad match keywords is pretty low because you’re bidding on stuff like ‘Black Friday Gift’. At least in our experience the conversion rate was very low, around 5%, sometimes lower, sometimes slightly higher. Keep this in mind when deciding how to bid on those words.
Again down here, I put what we use for our best bid. Sales price and our target ACoS multiplied by the conversion rate. That’s the bid we generally start with and then adjust over time.
A thing we do that you could also do, is to negate whatever terms you find are relevant to Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Thanksgiving, and the terms you’re bidding within these set of campaigns. Negate phrase match out of your current set-up because the bid you’re using for this specific set of Q4 campaigns will be lower than the bid on your normal set of campaigns, and you don’t want Amazon to overbid you on these terms that convert purely. Definitely, if you’re bidding on them on these Q4 campaigns, go ahead and negate them out of your normal set of campaigns, the EPBA set of campaigns that I mentioned earlier.
This is really not related to PPC but definitely go ahead and apply for lightning deals. Apply for as many as you can possibly get. Remember to plan your inventory wisely. You don’t want to apply for the lightning deals, win the lightning deals, get the lightning deals, and then run out of the inventory. That will be very wrong. But definitely go ahead and apply for as many as you can.
In my opinion, from my experience, the price is worth what you gain because the lightning deals will go on throughout Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re on the lead of a niche and taking the lightning deals, you will consolidate your ranking and stick it throughout December.
How do I go about doing this?
I normally open the same deals in 7 different tabs and submit all the tabs at once. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work. Amazon would say you can’t but I still do it. Again, it doesn’t always work. I do this for all my products, even at the SKU level and sometimes it’s possible.
After Amazon tells me exactly when the deal will go live, I simply cancel the ones I don’t like because there’s so many I can choose from. I simply cancel the trash, mostly the ones happening during the night. I generally keep the ones happening between 8 am and 10 pm which is the prime time everybody buys.
Set up coupons. That’s something that has been working very well for us. By coupons I mean the stuff you see on this link over here. We’ve seen that the coupons improve our CTR as well as our conversion rate because we’re actually giving a discount on our products.
So, the CTR improved twice both on organic and PPC because the coupons show up, as you see the word sponsored over here. When you have coupons going, they show up on PPC and on the ads.
If your competitors are not having coupons, you have more chance to get the click. Once on your listing people can use the coupon, will have a discount compared to this price. So, they will have a better conversion rate.
You might test raising the price. So, if you’re offering a $5 coupon, you might want to increase your price by $3 or something like this. But again, test. Run a lot of tests. See what formula of coupons work for you.
But again, why do I use them? Because definitely, you will have an improvement on CTR.
If you have a good product and listing, you will also experience a very good conversion rate which will eventually help on PPC, getting you cheaper clicks.
The last Bonus is Gift Lists.
If this is your first Q4, you might not know but there’s a huge business going around on holiday gift blogs, magazines, email contests.
I would advise you to google them and find them out in Facebook groups, blogs, and be on as many holiday gifts communications as possible because this will improve your brand awareness and increase the amount of people who will be looking specifically for your brand/product on Amazon throughout Q4.
When people look specifically for your brand and product, you will have a better conversion rate and of course, a better CTR. As well as improving your organic ranking, improving your velocity, helping on PPC and how much you’re paying for clicks.
There is a resource I use called ‘HARO’ (Help a Reporter Out) and the site is www.helpareporter.com.
Sign up, and you’ll receive a weekly newsletter of reporters, of people looking for content and often times, you’ll also see people looking for a gift publication content. Just answer them back and tell them that you have a product and other details.
You may ask, “can I participate in your gift publication?” Sometimes you get to pay money and some other times it’s free.
Again, this is something we tested over the years. It’s something we like, we keep doing it, and it works for us.
That’s it. Thank you for watching!
Also published on Medium.