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Overwhelmed by how to manage Amazon automatic ad campaigns?

Maybe you tweak bidding and negative keywords every week but you’re still just spending more money?

Before you go ask an Amazon advertising agency for help, or dive in to awesome Amazon software like Helium10, ZonTools or Sellics, here are 5 hot tips for you to SELL MORE PRODUCTS AND STOP THE CHAOS IN YOUR AUTOMATIC AD CAMPAIGNS ALREADY !

TIP #1. Should you be running Amazon PPC campaigns at all?

Are you sure that your product has a USP? Really?

Take my advice. Go ask your grandma or your neighbour to look at your product listing. Anyone who is outside your company. Do a sense check and find out if a normal person browsing on Amazon would consider the product attractive and want to buy it.

Done? Now make sure the product text is readable and sounds good (again, ask grandma).

Nail the basics before you start throwing money at auto ads.

Because PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION is always going to work better for you than crazy Amazon PPC hacks.

TIP #2. Do you know how much your Amazon ads cost?

Seriously, hear me out. I work with lots of business owners who are not sure what their Average Cost of Sales (ACOS) should be to remain profitable after ad spend.

It’s not good enough to say “ACOS can stay the same as long as I sell more.”

Figure out how much you can spend on ads after everything else. I mean, how much MORE money do you want to give to Amazon out of your profit?

Keep an eye on your PPC budget and your Amazon Sponsored Products Report and you won’t have nasty surprises, or throw money away on useless ads.

TIP #3. Have you chosen the right products for your auto campaign?

Every product needs a good price, an attractive main image, good product copy and Amazon SEO keywords. But not every product needs an automatic advertising campaign.

I talk with many businesses who have been running ads on

  • Low profit items
  • Products which are going to be out of stock soon
  • Out of season products
  • All of the child variations of a parent ASIN
  • Products where you already know all the keywords

Checking the above and pausing campaigns which aren’t worth it is a good way to stop money leaking out of your business.

Stopping ads on the first three are a no-brainer but I have worked with many companies that NEVER considered this and gave money to Amazon for nothing.

Typically, running ads on all your child ASINs means that your campaign is seen as less relevant to Amazon than if you run an ad on one parent item. Only choose the top one or two variations to put money on.

And if you know all the keywords, why pay Amazon to fish for them? See below.

TIP #4. Is automatic bidding working for you on Amazon. Or really, is it time to kill it off and do manual bidding?

Many Amazon sellers start by using auto campaigns to harvest all the different keywords which might be relevant for their products. This is a great strategy at the beginning of a launch, or if you are unsure about buyer intent. 3 years into selling your product, ask yourself whether you still need automatic targeting at all.

For many sellers, auto campaigns are good for initially establishing a bunch of keywords which work well. You should run auto campaigns initially for around 6 weeks. After that time, go into Amazon campaign manager, click on advertising reports and download the sponsored products search term report for that 6 week time frame.

Sort the report in order of product sales (Column O – sort largest to smallest) and hand pick the best converting search term which you then put into a manual campaign with either exact or phrase matching in order to get the best results.

If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to kill auto campaigns, maybe check if your auto campaign is older than January 2019 when there was a new Amazon sponsored ads feature for auto campaigns – did you miss it?

Before, auto campaigns just ran. Apart from adding NEGATIVE keywords to the campaign, there was little control over what kinds of searches Amazon showed your ad on with automatic campaigns.

After January 2019 you could run default targeting options for Amazon auto campaigns.

  • Close Match/ Loose Match: these are keyword based, and allow your ad to be shown in the search results if your ad product closely or loosely matches searches results from shoppers.
  • Substitutes/Complements: these are linked to the product category you are in. A substitute is when a shopper searches for a competitor of your product, and a complement is more like a “frequently bought with” product.

If your auto campaign is older than 2019, you can try out a new auto campaign and be more focused.

Not sure? You can always pause auto campaigns for a week or two – don’t be afraid to try. After all, why give even more money away to Amazon for nothing?!

Tip #5: Do you know how to read an Amazon Sponsored Products Search Term Report. Are you sure?

OK I am assuming you know how to look at the funky Amazon advertising graph with all the colours. The problem with this report is that it hides where you’re wasting money, especially for auto campaigns.

To really get down to the details of your auto campaigns, you need to venture into the reporting section of Amazon advertising.


This first means downloading an Excel report which is painful for some.

And then you have to BE LOGICAL about how you read this report and not go crazy and chaotic on me.

OK. Select the Amazon Advertising menu on Seller Central. Click “Search Terms”from the report type drop down menu. On the Report Period menu, decide which dates you need to view (last 6 weeks? Last month? Max you can view is last 90 days).

Download it and OPEN IT NOW. Don’t put it off. You can do this.

Select all the cells and then click on that funky AZ sort filter box. When it opens up, you should sort according to 2 criteria – “Campaign Name”, and then click the plus sign and add “7 day total sales”.

So now, served up on a plate, is a way of saving money.

Then go through every single asin and keyword that Amazon has fired ads at and check whether, as a HUMAN BEING (rather than an algorithm) they make sense as likely choices for a buyer in your product category.

Are there keywords that have NOTHING to do with your product or category. Amazon is firing ads at these people and you need to stop it.

Copy the keyword into the “negative keywords” menu section of your auto campaign. You can choose “negative exact” or “negative phrase”. Your choice will depend on how insane the word is.


  • Phrase if nothing to do with this word relates to your product (e.g. “cup holder” when you sell “tea cups”)
  • Exact if the keyword is a little off (e.g. “wrist guard” when you sell a “mouth guard”) and you need to be super specific

And then do this at least EVERY MONTH for as long as your auto campaign is running.

So How Do I Run Amazon Automatic Ads?

Here’s the truth. Ads aren’t a silver bullet. There’s no point spending money on an auto campaign until

Your product copy is good

You’ve calculated your profit margin for running ads

You know which products would benefit from an ad campaign

You understand when you should use an auto campaign, and when you should fire up an exact campaign

You know how to save money on auto ads by reading a sponsored products search term report and acting on the data.

So there you have it: Sell Beyond’s five easy ways to sell more and stop throwing money on Amazon automatic PPC campaigns. And you didn’t even have to break a sweat.