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#576 – Amazon PPC Masterclass for Prime Day

Do you want to outperform your competition on Amazon Prime Day 2024? Join us as we explore cutting-edge Amazon PPC strategies with the esteemed Destaney Wishon of BTR Media, who shares her expert predictions and actionable insights to help you skyrocket your Amazon advertising game. With Prime Day 2023 setting a new benchmark at $12.7 billion in sales, we decode consumer behavior shifts and the unique opportunities presented by this mid-year retail extravaganza, differentiating it from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Our discussion dives deep into the art of managing Amazon ads around Prime Day, emphasizing the importance of defining your primary goal—be it maximizing profit or driving sales. We also unpack the extended attribution window’s impact on ad spend, conversion rates, and ACoS. From the advantages of increased pre-event ad spend to capture window-shopping customers to the phenomenal conversion rates during Prime Day itself, we provide a holistic view of how to capitalize on this massive sales event. Destaney’s insights reveal the significance of targeted ad strategies in enhancing your organic rank and BSR, alongside the long-term benefits of acquiring new customers.

Get ready to maximize your Prime Day advertising efforts with practical advice on Adtomic Day Parting Schedules. Learn how to control CPCs and optimize conversion rates during peak traffic times, identify high-performing search terms, and strategically adjust bids. We also tackle the challenges of regaining momentum post-stockout, realistic budgeting, and leveraging coupons to boost conversion rates. As we navigate the new pricing rules and the competitive landscape with events like Walmart Plus Week, we arm you with strategies to ensure your brand is well-prepared. Whether you’re a seasoned Amazon seller or a new brand, this episode is packed with invaluable tips to help you make the most of Prime Day 2024.

In episode 576 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Destaney discuss:

  • 01:22 – Amazon PPC Readiness for Prime Day
  • 04:20 – Prime Day Impact on Shopping Habits
  • 08:56 – Amazon Prime Day Advertising Strategies
  • 13:23 – Maximizing Sales Opportunities Beyond Prime Day
  • 19:29 – Prime Day PPC Optimization Strategies
  • 21:00 – Optimizing PPC Strategy for Prime Day
  • 27:18 – Maximizing Creative Impact in Ads
  • 32:06 – Prime Day PPC Strategy and Sales
  • 35:48 – Maximizing Sales Strategy for Prime Day
  • 36:42 – Price Matching and Marketplace Strategies
  • 39:15 – PPC Spend Strategy for Prime Day

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

We continue in our series and helping you guys get ready for Amazon Prime Day 2024 with a special Tacos Tuesday episode with best practices for advertising, not just on Prime Day, but before it and after it. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think. If you’re like me, maybe you were intimidated about learning how to do Amazon PPC, or maybe you think you just don’t have the hours and hours that it takes to download and sort through all of those sponsored ads reports that Amazon produces for you. Adtomic for me allowed me to learn PPC for the first time, and now I’m managing over 150 PPC campaigns across all of my accounts in only two hours a week.Find out how Adtomic can help you level up your PPC game. Visit h10.me/adtomic for more information. That’s h10.me/adtomic any level in the e-commerce world.

Bradley Sutton:

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that is completely bs free, unscripted and unrehearsed, organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in e-commerce world. Welcome to a very special edition of Tacos Tuesday. If you guys have noticed, for the last few weeks on, like the podcast and other live streams, we have been focusing on Prime Day readiness. We wanted to make sure that 2024 is your best Prime Day and today we wanted to go deep in specifically talking about Prime Day readiness for PPC. All right, because that’s one of the things that you can still kind of like control up until the day of Prime Day. So that’s why we’ve invited the number one expert in the entire world on Amazon PPC Destaney Wishon here. Destiny, how’s it going? Welcome back.

Destaney:

Hello, hello. Thank you so much for having me very excited to be here, as always.

Bradley Sutton:

Before we get into your training here, do you have any predictions for Prime Day. Like, are you expecting things to be just kind of like normal, business as usual? Are you expecting anything new and unusual this year?

Destaney:

I am going to predict that this year is going to be even bigger than last year, which is saying something, because I distinctly remember being up at like 4 am having to adjust budgets last year because everyone was expecting it to be a little bit lower, just due to the state of economy and kind of where we were at with inflation. And it was 9 am and we’re like out of budget across the board and conversion rates were double what they were the two weeks prior. So, I was like you know, we’re driving a ton of sales, our ROAS looks fantastic, let’s maximize this. So, I’m expecting it to kind of see a similar trend and be pretty big this year.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome. I hope that that prediction comes true. Share it. All right, I’m going to go off screen and let you go ahead and take it away. Destaney, that prediction comes true, share it. All right, I’m going to go off screen and let you go ahead and take it away, Destaney.

Destaney:

I think when it comes to inventory and deals and content, it’s a little bit more of a one size fits all solution. But when it comes to Amazon advertising and Prime Day, there are hundreds of different strategies that you can run depending on where your brand’s at from a profitability perspective, from a cash flow and a lifestyle perspective when it comes to repurchasing, inventory and things like that. That’s going to influence your Amazon advertising strategy. So, I’ve always been a big fan of not giving one size fits all solutions. I think everyone who follows me is very familiar with that, and this is no different. Some people are going to go online and say do not increase your budgets, do not change your bids. And some people are going to say, to maximize that opportunity, but it’s going to be really dependent on where your brands at. So, kicking things off, let’s talk about Prime Day 2023 and why these matters.

Destaney:

$12.7 billion in sales. It was an absolute record for their largest annual event 375 million items sold. 37% of US households took part in Prime Day. That is really important. And also consider how many people share accounts you know grandparents, cousins, things like that so it’s probably even higher. For being honest, the reason this matter is last year was the largest single sales day in all of Amazon history, and the reason I’m calling this out is because, as customers become more and more familiar with Prime Day, it’s changing their shopping habits. For one, everyone knows that the first two to three weeks leading up to Prime Day you log into your app, it’s the first thing you see. Right, they do a homepage takeover, letting you know it’s Prime Day. They’re also starting to drip out Prime Day deals. Now what this means is customers are going to stop their normal purchase habits. If I buy Tide Pods once a month on a Thursday, I’m probably going to hold off on buying my Tide Pods until Prime Day. If I have back to school items that I want to purchase, I’m going to hold off on buying those until Prime Day. Now the problem is customers are still shopping, they’re still opening the app and they’re clicking around, but they’re not always purchasing. This is important to call out because the two weeks leading up to Prime Day and really the week before leading up to Prime Day, you’re almost always going to see a drop-in conversion rate. Customers are still shopping, they’re on the platform, they are clicking, they’re adding to cart and they’re building their list, but they’re not checking out until Prime Day. So that’s really important to consider.

Destaney:

The second part to consider is think about Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Everybody knows what time of year Black Friday, Cyber Monday, is and everyone builds their baskets beforehand. You know they get the magazines for Walmart and for Target. They circle all of the items they want to buy. The difference is those items are holiday specific. The consumer habits are still similar, but the items are different.

Prime day is smack dab in the middle of summer. People aren’t necessarily buying their Christmas gifts yet. They’re buying all kinds of gifts and they don’t necessarily have specific items going into it. I, for example, will hop onto the Lightning Dill app and get caught up in all the excitement and the craze and just scroll until I find products that I want. So naturally, due to the flooding of customers on the platform, everyone is getting increased visibility. I think that’s the biggest thing to consider. So, whether you have deals or whether you don’t have deals, you’re probably still going to see an increased visibility, but Prime Day is synonymous with savings. So, if you don’t have a deal and you don’t have a badge, you may not get that visibility.

Destaney:

Now another small screenshot I added here is from one of our accounts. Last year we had 101 campaigns almost out of budget. This is not due to Amazon trying to spend more money on Prime Day. This is just due to the nature of how the auction works. When you have five times, 10 times as many customers on the platform clicking around, your ads are going to get clicked more, and the more clicks you get, the more you spend. So, the more your budget’s going to be spent. This is why the first level of optimization is almost to increase your budgets, because we know there’s going to be so many more customers on the platform. They’re going to be clicking so much more because they’re shopping around. So, increase your budgets and we’re going to dive into that optimization later.

Destaney:

But I thought it was really important to set that context and understanding just how many customers are on the platform during Prime Day and how that trickles down to your brand, whether or not you participate. Now there’s kind of three important things to consider. You have lead-in Prime Day, lead-out, Prime Day either or. And why this matters is because the week before Prime Day is historically some of the worst performance you will ever see when it comes to Amazon advertising on the platform. Why? Well, as we mentioned, customers are still shopping. They may not be purchasing, but they are window shopping. Lead in period is really important because, again, people are logging onto a platform and they’re starting to add to cart. They’re starting to build their list for the products that they may want to purchase. This is important to understand because you can make your optimizations as early as 10 days prior or 14 days prior, and you need to optimize towards what you’re wanting your outcome to be. So, if your only goal is profitability, then you should probably lower your budgets the week before. On the flip side, if your goal is maximizing sales and understanding consumer habits, you’ll start to realize that those customers are adding to cart and clicking, so you probably still want to continue to run ads there, even though they’re not purchasing.

Destaney:

Yet we all know that attribution is extended on Amazon. The majority of the time, it’s a 14-day attribution, sometimes longer. What’s happening here is the customers are going to add to cart and click on your ads, but they may not purchase until later. So, your clicks and your spend are going to be much higher and your sales are going to be much lower. At its simplest, conversion rate is going to be down because people are clicking and not buying, and a cost is going to be up. People are clicking and not buying, so some people will just say you know, it’s fine, let’s continue running my ads full speed ahead, knowing it’s going to pay off later. That’s typically what we recommend our brands do, but some people who are only focused on profitability that is it. They don’t necessarily care about the Prime Day customer because they know they’re too price conscious. They’re going to lower their bids and budgets the seven to 10 days before Prime Day because they don’t want to attract the customer who’s not going to convert until later on. So, keep that in mind. The second thing to keep in mind is that there is a lead out period, which pretty much means that a lot of shoppers are going to continue to stay on the platform after Prime Day. As we know, Prime Day has now been extended to almost Prime Week and when you have Walmart and Target and every other major retailer running these discounted days and deals, you’re going to see a much longer timeframe. So, we’ve actually seen the week after Prime Day have some of the highest conversion rates because shoppers are still ready to buy, but some of the lower CPCs because most advertisers actually pull back on their budgets after Prime Day. So, lead-out’s another really big opportunity for brands. So, keep these things in mind as you’re building out your strategy.

Destaney:

Here’s just some kind of quick insights that I pulled from our personal accounts. As you can see the timeframe here impressions are definitely relatively high before Prime Day. Prime Day one last year was insane. It was one of the craziest days I’ve ever managed. Truly Before 9am we had blown through most of our budgets because there were that many people on the platform, I honestly kind of put the brakes on quite a few of our brands because I was worried that it was an attribution issue. But at the end of the day our conversion rate was about 2x 3x what it was on normal days during the beginning of Prime Day morning. You can also see the day after Prime Day there’s definitely a drop off. This is influenced by the majority of our brands run deals, but impressions still stayed relatively high or back to average kind of a week afterwards, spend is the same thing.

Destaney:

So again, our brands we recommend continuing to spend at a higher-than-average pace leading up to prime day, because we understand customers are window shopping, so we want to go ahead and catch their eyeballs before the day even hits. We want to stand out, so we personally increase our spend for the majority of our brands. Now, again, if a brand comes to us and says, hey, my only goal is a cost, my only goal is profit, then we’re going to pull back on spend the week prior. But that is a decision that needs to be made at the brand level, not the agency or software level. So, knowing all of this, I think, before we dive into some really specific strategies around how you manage your ads, from an ad type, from a bid, from a budget perspective, you really need to decide is your goal on Prime Day to maximize profit? Is that your only focus, yes or no? The second thing is do you want to maximize sales? Now, a lot of people argue of you know a Prime Day audience isn’t the best, it’s, you know cheaper, it’s discounted audience. They’re not actually looking for your product, they just want a discount and save money. But at the end of the day.

Destaney:

We’ve seen some two really strong effects from Prime Day. One, when ran appropriately, in an incredibly targeted way, you can take advantage of the heightened conversion rate on Prime Day and 100% improve your BSR and your organic rank on the page. We have run multiple tests with that. The second question I always get well, does your organic rank stick? Yes, if it’s ran strategically in a very precise way. So, for us, we do like to maximize our presence on Prime Day because we know it’s an opportunity to improve our presence on page one and improve our organic rank because our conversion rate is higher than our competitors. That’s something really important to remember.

Destaney:

The second part to remember is, as we saw earlier, around 40% of households are participating, so think of all of the new eyeballs you can get in front of. So, anyone who has a product that’s purchased more than once whether it’s a supplement that’s repeat purchased, or whether it’s a brand that has multiple products, like fitness gear Prime Day is a huge opportunity to get in front of a very warm audience that’s ready to buy. So sometimes you can bring them into your brand and then they’ll come back post Prime Day to purchase your other products. So those are things to consider when you’re deciding. You know, is your goal to maximize product profit and just take advantage of the wave of traffic and do nothing, or do you want to maximize sales and build on all these other opportunities and make sure that you’re investing in a much longer-term strategy than just Prime Day? Once you know those two, you can start optimizing beyond that. So, for all of those here that their main goal is maximizing profit, there’s kind of a few things that we want to look at here.

Destaney:

One bid management. We don’t recommend making aggressive changes to your bids. In general, we see that brands who do not run any deals and are only focused on profitability will maintain around the same ACOS or ROAS. Sometimes it improves if they’re in a category that does well during Prime Day. Sometimes it’s worse because they didn’t run any discounts and all their competitors did so. Now their conversion rates decreased. The traffic’s going to your competitors and not you. If you’re not running any deals, we do typically see a lower conversion rate. So, we sometimes recommend going ahead and lowering your bids a little bit, maybe 5% to 10% across the board, because customers are going to continue to click but not purchase, and again, this is because maybe your competitors are running heavy discounts and deals. If your competitors are running heavy discounts and deals and someone types in toothpaste and you’re the only one not running a deal, you’re not going to drive sales and you’re going to have a lower conversion rate than everyone else. So, keep these things in mind. Lead-in is another strategy where maybe you need to lower your bids and budgets because your ads are not going to perform well leading up. Right, you can’t sacrifice the increase in ACOS leading up because you’re not going to drive sales on Prime Day without deals or discounts.

Destaney:

Budget management’s another really big one. At the end of the day, if you don’t run deals or discounts and your category is known for deals and discounts, you’re going to perform worse. So maybe it’s worth decreasing your budget on everything that is not in line with your performance expectations. So the two easiest ways to do this are just go into Ad Console or Campaign Manager or, if you’re using Adtomic, you can easily make adjustments throughout there and look at your targeting tab in Ad Console or the search term tab in Adtomic, which is the better tab to look at, and you can filter by everything that has an ACOS that is not in line with your expectations the last 30 days and go ahead and decrease that bid, knowing it’s probably going to perform even worse on Prime Day, right, and it’s not always a drastic difference, but it’s usually enough to make a difference. Same thing with your budgets. Maybe you leave your budgets or you decrease your budget slightly on everything that has over 100% ACOS, right, Everything that’s just out of line.

Destaney:

Go ahead and decrease, and what’s going to happen is you’re going to optimize towards a little bit more profitability. You’re going to get a lot more customers viewing your listing. Naturally, usually you know anywhere from 10% to 20% if you don’t run deals or discounts. So, you’re still going to drive more sales, but you’re going to do it without advertising a ton. So, you’re going to usually have a much higher profit on these days if you run this style of strategy. Again, the downside to this is, if all of your competitors are running deals and discounts, their conversion rate is going to be higher. They’re going to drive three to four times the amount of sales as you and, as we know, the digital shelf is not unlimited. So, if they’re doing much, much better and their organic ranks pushing up, yours is going to be pushing down on the page and that can be hard to make up for unless you’re doing a ton externally or have other plans right outside of Prime Day. So, keep those things in mind.

Destaney:

Now the second half of the strategy maximizing sales is where we’re going to have a lot more very specific strategic recommendation. If you’re not running deals, you can still expect a lower conversion rate, but across the board, what you really want to look at is increasing budget. That’s the first and foremost way to maximize sales. Everything, all of your campaigns that have a ROAS or ACOS within your target, go ahead and increase your budget 20 to 30% and what’s going to happen is, again, your organic sales are going to increase. So, if you’re also increasing your ad sales and your ad spend with an increased budget, your tacos is typically going to stay close to the same, but you’re seeing an overall sales increase. So, your overall profit’s going to increase just due to economies of scale. So that’s kind of the first thing that we look at is making sure everything converting really well, everything within a cost of a row, as we’re increasing our budget on. The next thing we do is increase bids that are in a similar situation, but we’re a little bit more strategic on this. Again, I’ll open up my search term tab and I’ll say, hey, my average conversion rate for my account is 12%, but these five keywords that are my most important keywords they’re converting at a 20%. Let’s go ahead and increase my bids on those, because I want to drive as much traffic as possible to those precise keywords that are going to improve my organic rank as well as improve my overall performance if my conversion rates higher. The next thing we’re going to do is we’re going to be very strategic with our campaign creation, and that’s what we’re going to get into in our next few slides. We’re going to create campaigns that are specifically focused on maximizing visibility.

Destaney:

A really quick pro tip and I’m only calling this out is because Prime Day traffic comes in waves. We typically see the morning of the first day of Prime Day as one of the highest. You can use Atomic Day Parting Schedules. So, if you’re nervous to go in and just increase bids and budgets 24 hours because you don’t know what performance is going to look like, you can use Adtomic Day Parting Schedules to choose those certain time frames where you can actually see your conversion rates higher and your CPCs are lower. So, we all know that your conversion rate does fluctuate throughout the day. You can use something like the day parting schedules to build out rules throughout the day if you want to balance that line of profitability and sales. So, keep that in mind, All right.

Destaney:

So, leveraging the search term tab this is a really quick screenshot pulled directly from Atomic that I wanted to shout out because it’s one of the best ways to have a lot of control. So, a lot of people will go to every single campaign and add a crazy placement modifier, increase sales or top of search by 100%, increase budgets. But that’s not very strategic because you’re going to have some search terms that don’t do well, some that do well. So, if you pull Adtomic, you can leverage the search term tab. If you’re an ad console, it’s the targeting tab and you can filter top down by spend. I’m a really big believer of operational efficiency and 80-20. So, I almost always go top down by spend efficiency and 80-20. So, I almost always go top down by spend.

Destaney:

What I am personally looking for are the terms where my conversion rate and click-through rate that’s another good metric to look at is higher than average. So, as you know, we can pull our category average from insights and planning tab. More on that probably later when we hop into Q&A. But you can also pull it from your account average. So maybe your account average again is 8%. So, what I’m really looking for here are there any terms that have insane conversion rate that I know is better than the category? If so, you can assume that during Prime Day it’s going to perform even better. So, I’m going to go control my bid and increase my bid on all of those terms, especially if my ACOS is lower than what my target is. This specific account does have a 30% average ACOS, as you can see here. That is our target. So, I’m probably going to increase performance on these terms. But if I see a term that’s performing less than our average maybe it this 3% and 8% and it’s not a strategy that the brand wants to run, I’m going to pull back my bids, right, Unless I’m running a dealer discount. This is a way that really helps improve your total sales and your organic rank while still maintaining some of that level of profitability. What you don’t want to do is spend a ton of money on a term that has a terrible conversion rate. All that’s going to do is hurt your organic rank because Amazon wants the products that are converting the best at the top of the page. So, keep that in mind when you’re running your bid magic and be a little bit more strategic around these increases and decreases during Prime Day.

Destaney:

The second thing we want to do is if we’re running deals or discounts, this is even more so. We want to create a couple of campaigns focused on winning top of search. Now, Bradley and I have talked quite a bit about this area and whether or not to use high bids or whether or not to use placement modifiers, but for Prime Day specifically, especially if we have a deal badge on our ad, we create campaigns for the top of the page. The reason being is, as we know, customers are looking for deal badging and the best place to see that deal badging is the number one slot on the page. Now, most people can’t afford to win this 100% of the time. It’s just incredibly expensive. In the supplement space it would cost you around $90,000 in spend to win one keyword over 80% impression share $90,000. And this was last year. So, this is why we create separate campaigns is because we don’t want to compete with all of our other campaigns that are focused on profitability.

Destaney:

We create one to two campaigns for one to two top keywords that convert better than anything. Profitability we create one to two campaigns for one to two top keywords that convert better than anything else and our one to two keywords that we want to improve our organic rank on and we’re going to set insanely high bids and probably put also a top of search modifier on it. And when I say insanely high bids, people always think it’s three to four dollars. No, that is not going to compete during Prime Day, especially not in a competitive market. For some of our campaigns where we only want to win top of search, we don’t care what the return on ad spend is during that timeframe, because people repeat purchase or because we have a good deal. I’m talking $10 to $15 bids or in the supplement space it’s $40 to $50 bids. That is the kind of bid that is often needed in competitive categories on Amazon. And again, why we do this is because our conversion rate is so much higher with our deal. We drive so much traffic because of our deal badging that our organic performance will improve and stick for the next four to six to eight weeks. And if we continue to maintain that high and heightened level of traffic, organic rank will stick the whole time.

Destaney:

So, we don’t do this with all of our campaigns. We don’t do this with every keyword. We cannot afford it, we would hemorrhage money. But we create one to two campaigns with one to two keywords and we set a budget that we can control in order to piggyback off of that conversion rate and those sales. So, think very strategically around this what keywords in your account are you converting better than everyone else? What keywords can you afford to win top of search on and create some of these campaigns so that way you can start improving your organic positioning on the page through PPC during Prime Day. Another quick thing to note is when you create your campaign, put top of search, put Prime Day in the campaign name or whatever you need to see, so that way when you see a poor ACOS or poor ROAS you don’t pause it, because that’s not the objective of the campaign. The campaign is to improve your BSR and to improve your organic positioning, not to drive profitability. So that’s kind of a really quick tip and we’ll probably talk more on that in the Q&A section.

Destaney:

The next thing that’s incredibly important is to consider how many people window shop on Prime Day. So more frequently than probably any other time of the year, customers are clicking around sponsored display almost always does really well during prime day because this positioning on the page is really valuable. So, what we do is we create really specific sponsored display product targeting ads where we only target all of our own products and we run these with the increased budget on prime day. And we run these with an increased budget on Prime Day because we know that customers are less loyal. Now it can be argued how much brand defense campaigns you should run throughout the year and I have some good data to kind of back into those areas but during Prime Day I’m of the opinion that customers are less brand loyal. They’re looking for deals, they’re looking for discounts. So, make sure to protect your listing, especially if you have a deal. If you have a deal, the last thing you want them to do is land on your page, see a better competitor ad and click out. So, we increase and run specific prime day targeting strategies for sponsored display. Don’t throw in hundreds of products to target. Don’t put expanded product targeting. Only target your own brand name to make sure you are defending your listing. Other sponsored display strategies we can talk about later whether or not it’s audience targeting, category targeting or retargeting, but this is something that needs to be ran in almost every single account.

Destaney:

Profitability or scalability focused. Maximizing your creatives is another big one. So almost all headline search ads are being forced to move to a custom image regardless, but even more so on Prime Day. It’s needed to maximize your creatives because you need to stand out on the page, and when there are hundreds of deals, hundreds of discounts, you need to stand out on the page, and when there are hundreds of deals, hundreds of discounts, you have to stand out by how you’ve built your brand. So, look at the differences in these two ads. They’re both selling the same product, but one of them is way more eye-catching. The bottom one also will typically drive a 200% increase in click-through rate, which is incredibly, incredibly important, because as you’re running these ads, everyone’s running deals right. Almost everyone in your category is gonna run some level of dealer discount, so if you’re not, you have to stand out.

Destaney:

Adding a lifestyle image is one of the number one way to improve the performance of your sponsor brand ad and your sponsor display ads. So go in there and get that done If you don’t have the creative to make this happen, use Sponsored Brands AI Builder. Is it fantastic? No, not always. I said no really aggressively, but we actually have used it for a lot of brands. It’s not always as fantastic as a professional shoot, but is it better than nothing? Yes, because even if it’s a poor AI creative, you’re not getting charged. A list of customer clicks. Sponsored brands ads are pay per click most of the time, right. So, get it up and running to bring eyeballs to your listing and then, if the customer is still interested, they will click on. So that is kind of the biggest thing that we recommend from a sponsored brand sponsored display ad perspective. Immediately get your lifestyle images uploaded.

Destaney:

The other thing we’re going to discuss is creating remarketing campaigns. So, one thing that you have to consider is, again, 40% of households are on the platform. This is your opportunity to get your brand in front of hundreds of hundreds of thousands of customers. Now, some of them may not purchase. Some of them may look but not buy, as we know. So how do you take advantage of that traffic? The 30, 45, 60, 90 days after prime day, you create remarketing campaigns. You can create remarketing campaigns directly with an ad console with sponsored display. As you can see, there’s a target added section here. Remove all of those targets. Amazon auto-populates some of them. Remove them. All you want to do is create a remarketing campaign within the look back window that you would prefer. Why this is so important is because if a customer was looking at your product during Prime Day, they are interested in it probably throughout the year, right? So, you’re able to capture that customer ID and then serve them an ad 45 days later when maybe they’re ready to repeat, purchase or buy a new one, right? This is a really valuable way to take advantage of all the traffic you’re getting on Prime Day and monetize it later on throughout the year. If you run this same campaign within DSP, you can also get even more targeted. Within DSP, you can say hey, I want to go ahead and serve everyone an ad. Who viewed my page on Prime Day but did not purchase. Or who viewed my competitors but did not purchase, right? If I’m selling TVs, you don’t want to continue serving someone an ad. If they already bought a TV, they probably don’t need another one, maybe.

Destaney:

So, within DSP, you can set up and create that audience where you own that customer ID that viewed within your category and you can get really targeted of negating and or highlighting certain audiences. So, this is incredibly, incredibly important. If you’re not a fan of DSP or if you have any concerns red flags you think it’s terrible drop those concerns in the chat because I can answer them. Around. 90% of the time, DSP does not work because it’s not ran appropriately or expectations weren’t set or it was spent too much money without highlighting how granular you can get and, if that’s the case, run sponsored display ads to dip your toes in and play around with getting really granular with your remarketing audience to take advantage of Prime Day traffic. Those are all the biggest things that we had here, so I wanted to leave it at that and then hopefully answer some of the follow-ups we had.

Bradley Sutton:

That was good. The main takeaway guys. I mean, there’s tons of takeaways you guys should have, but I hope one of the main takeaways that maybe opened some of your eyes is that when we’re talking Prime Day, PPC readiness, it’s not just July 16 and 17 that you have to keep in mind. There’s stuff you have to do before Prime Day PPC readiness. It’s not just July 16 and 17 that you have to keep in mind. There’s stuff you have to do before Prime Day. There are things that you have to keep in mind, like this last slide about after Prime Day. Prime Day has a big impact and it’s outside of just two days, so just keep that in mind. If there’s one takeaway, make sure you remember them. One question of somebody made about 10 minutes or so ago not necessarily about prime day, but it’s especially important because of prime day coming up is she’s been sold out a month and I’ve actually talked to some sellers like this. They’re worried. Like prime day is coming back. Um, how do I regain my momentum? As far as you with PPC to make sure I’m okay for Prime Day, so what would you say to Paula?

Destaney:

Well, I think Prime Day is actually a fantastic time to launch if you can find out or carried away to stand out on the page. The biggest thing I would say is you almost need to restart your honeymoon period. I know this is more Bradley’s area of expertise, but a lot of people will go out of stock and then come back into stock and expect to have the same BSR, same positioning on the page, same traffic as they did prior. That’s almost never the case. From what we’ve seen, we see a huge drop in just organic positioning. So, the biggest thing is like setting expectations and making sure you’re preparing your budget. When you come back into stocks, you’re probably going to have to spend more money up front to make up for the sales volume that you did receive organically. Now, with it being Prime Day, I almost recommend at least having a coupon or something on your page to improve your conversion rate relative to your competitors and then just spending maybe a little bit heavier up front, knowing you’re going to make up for that once your organic position goes back to normal.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, what else we have here? We’ve got, Gianna from. She says if I’ve paused keywords in the past, I’ve not performed well. Is it worth reactivating them with low bids during prime to generate visibility and perhaps sales, or is it better to leave them paused? Oh, that’s a nice and juicy one right there.

Destaney:

I wouldn’t say that they’re gonna perform that much better on prime day, unless maybe you’re a lot cheaper and you have a good you know deal badge or something along those lines. I would say why did you pause them instead of lowering your bids? Right, if they’re absolutely converting terribly and you’ve got 50 clicks and no orders like, okay, that makes sense, pause it. But if they’ve driven any sales in the past, maybe you do start them with a really low bid just to see what can happen. But this is again drawing. If you’re only focused on profitability, probably not. It’s probably not conformed that much better out of the blue. But if you are focused on maximizing sales, maybe it is worth looking at. You know, last 90 days what keywords have driven an order, even if not profitably, and what should my bid be, knowing my conversion rate may be higher.

Bradley Sutton:

One quick question I have for you before I go back is I think one of the things differently this year is Amazon’s new rules on like sale prices and coupons and things like that, where, hey, you’ve got to be lower, you can’t just artificially raise your price and then. And then you know, like some people do, and then people see, oh my goodness, it’s 60% off, but it’s just because they raised the price by 60%. Now, that being said, obviously there’s going to be some people who still game the system, maybe from variation, abuse or some black hat stuff. But one thing that I’ve found now is, you know, like me personally, what I would do in the past is I would still have some kind of sales discount before prime day a little bit, just to get some momentum going and maybe increase on my organic. But now I’m all of a sudden, I’m trigger shy because I’m like, oh shoot, whatever discount I do now, that’s setting my, my baseline price for this month, which means I’m going to have to do it even bigger. Uh, you know discounts, even getting a coupon approved. So, has that new rule changed any of your strategy at all? Or? Um, are you doing less pre? Uh, prime day discounts um, or what’s your strategy there?

Destaney:

Yeah, I would say, less pre-prime day discounts and or just being a lot more thoughtful around our overall pricing strategy. Because I think, like that’s always, like the biggest complaint I see with Prime Day is some brands like, no, don’t do anything, don’t make any changes, it’s not valuable. Everyone’s looking for discounts and it’s like, yeah, that is true, but also, as we discussed, you’re getting in front of 40% of households in America. So, I think, just being a lot more strategic around the timing, also realizing that if you overlap high spend and PPC and steep discounts, you’re not going to be making any money, so you better hope you make up for it with inflated conversion rate and improved organic rank. Another big factor I think is, as we’re starting to see more with Walmart and other retailers and external influencers, is just price matching as well. It’s making sure that you have price parity across all of your platforms and your discounts are lining up in a similar fashion.

Bradley Sutton:

That’s actually important, because last year Walmart Plus Week was the same week as Prime Day, but then this year Walmart has two of them and they’re both not on Prime Day. One was already last month and one, I think, is this week or next week or something. So, yeah, definitely what Destaney just said Keep in mind, guys, because if you could lose the buy box on one or other marketplace, if you’re running discounts on one but not the other, Sydney says, alright, during Prime Day she’s going to have a deal badge. But she’s asking would you run an ad on a keyword that you already have your product organically ranked on the first page, or would you target keywords based on the conversion rate, regardless of organic ranking?

Destaney:

Great question. So, the line that I usually draw on my sand is if I’m ranked in the top four, then I’ll pull back on PPC. That’s kind of the line. Page one does not matter. In my opinion. 80% of click share goes to the number one carousel on the page, the top four, that’s 80% of clicks go there. So even if you’re ranked on page one but you’re at the bottom of the page, you’re not getting near as much visibility and you can be booted really quick. So, we typically say, hey, if we’re in the top four, that’s a great place to be. If I’m five through eight, sometimes that’s okay as well. It really depends on the category. But you got to think as a customer. If you’re shopping on mobile, you see a headline search ad, you see three sponsored product ads and then you see your four organically ranked, and then you have another sponsored ad carousel. So, a customer has to scroll quite a bit just to get to 10 to 50. So that’s kind of the area that we see. Cannibalization starts happening when you’re ranked in the top four and you’re advertising in the top four. Other than that, you really don’t need to worry about it too much. Maybe you lower your bids a little bit and you focus on that mid-point in the page. But yeah, good question.

Bradley Sutton:

Johnny says sponsor display as CPC or VCPM for protecting your own listings.

Destaney:

For protecting my own listings, I do recommend a CPC model. VCPM gets a little murky when it comes to attribution because it’s quite a bit different, so I like just controlling my CPCs and only targeting the specific ASINs I want to target.

Bradley Sutton:

Danica says in order to maximize the sales, what percentage uplift or down of the PPC spend will you do in two weeks ahead of Prime Day, a week ahead on Prime Day, after the Prime Day?

Destaney:

Good question Really depends on ROAS and overall budget. If we’re being honest, we have some brands that will do a 15% increase in spend for lead-in. So, we’ll segment our campaigns that we want to increase. We know that performance is going to be terrible. We’ll invest in DSP. We’ll do a lot on the awareness side 15% to 20% heavy. Some brands that have a specific marketing budget will go even higher. But if it’s like a traditional brand that’s focused on tacos, ACOS, then we’ll only increase 5% to 10% for lead-in. And then on Prime Day, again it really depends on budget because you can maximize your spend if you want to, but you got to make sure you’re hitting sales targets. You spend if you want to, but you got to make sure you’re hitting sales targets. Lead out, as mentioned, was stronger last year than we’ve ever seen it before. So, I believe our lift for lead out was around 12% the two weeks after.

Bradley Sutton:

Another good one here from Dion. He’s, or she, is still in launch phase, so it’s only been a little over a month since they created their listing, so he’s not profitable. He’s still trying to get that traction. Should he or she stay away from doing you know, prime Day activities and just keep going with his launch, or what is your suggestion there?

Destaney:

Honestly, as mentioned, I’ve seen multiple brands launch products on Prime Day and have an amazing head start because their traffic is so much better, even from a review positioning standpoint. If you can get 50 people to buy your product on Prime Day and 5% of them leave reviews, that’s a really, really good start. If you don’t have the money for it, then, yeah, probably stay away. But if you have enough reviews even in your launch phase to have a decent conversion rate, then it’s a really big opportunity to get in front of a lot of customers. That’s going to drive sales volume and increase your review count.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Last question of the day is any specific strategies for advertising listings with lightning deals.

Destaney:

Nothing too specific. You can create specific sponsor brand ads and shout out the deals in your headline. You can also. Usually what we’ve seen historically they change this frequently is if you run additional auto campaigns not necessarily additional, but if you have auto campaigns on the ASINs with lightning deals, they typically do win unique inventory on the page, whether it’s frequently bought together, the lightning deals page on Amazon or other segments of like sponsored deals. So just make sure you have the maximum exposure we discussed

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so now, what homework do you have for everybody from now until next week? Again, like I said, guys, this is like the third, fourth, fifth thing in a row that we’ve been doing about prime days. We want to make sure you guys have the best prime day. What do you want people to do from now until next week? Uh, and then report back to you on when you come on.

Destaney:

I would say the biggest things are we released a prime day checklist which covers things outside of amazon advertising as well, so I would 100% check that out. The second thing I would do is really define is it that profitability or that scalability strategy? What are you trying to accomplish? And then go through the deck that I shared today I’m sure we’ll send it out and just look for any of those low hanging fruit opportunities. Do you have your brand defense campaigns covered? Do you have your bids and budgets ready for lead-in, which starts really soon? Do you have the appropriate creative assets, custom imagery, video, lifestyle images, all of that? Do you have it ready to go? And then I think the reason we actually wanted to do a follow-up campaign is because a lot of the items that I mentioned are hands-on keyboard. You need to log in and make these adjustments. You need to look at your search terms tab in Atomic. So, we wanted to put a follow-up of like hey, here’s everything we think you should do. Once you’ve identified what you want to accomplish, let’s actually hop on and do a Q&A for everyone who maybe tries to launch a sponsored display ad and gets confused. You know, sponsored display is now overly complex. You have reach and sales and audiences, so we really wanted to give everyone the opportunity to then come in hot and ask questions. For hey, I tried to do this. It doesn’t work, or this is what I’m seeing, this is what I’m not.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, all right. So, guys, I don’t have the signup sheet yet for next week’s live, but just if you’re watching this on YouTube, make sure to hit the notification for when we go live and look out in your email, we’ll send you a message to register for that uh workshop. You guys have got your homework uh cut out for you. I’ve got. I put the link that she referred to right there. There are some tips from Carrie, some tips from Destaney and others there. h10.me/primelist. h10.me/primelist. Destaney, thank you so much for coming on here and sharing your knowledge. I got to kick back for half the workshop here and chill. I just listen and learn like everybody else. So, thanks for that and we will see you back here next week. You, Destaney, and also everybody else out there as well. Thanks a lot, everybody.


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Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

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