Updated: Jan 27
Last year, Janel and I started to develop an SOP to prepare Amazon campaigns for promotional events and we are happy to share this first version.
Promo events are frequent during Q4 such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, yet throughout the year we also have Valentine's Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Prime Day, etc. There will always be an event to accelerate sales. Campaigns need to be updated to capitalize on traffic and maximize return for media dollars to make the most bang for their buck.
This checklist below helps plan and get campaigns ready for promo events:
1. Know Your Objectives:
If the goal is to increase customer acquisition you may want to allocate a higher % of Ad Spend towards your Non-Branded campaigns.
Retention & Retarget
Customer Acquisition / New-to-Brand
(For the sake of simplicity, we will skip DSP for now)
2. Plan for Priority Products
Is the promo running for the entire portfolio or do we have specific ASINs to focus on? This will help prioritize optimizations and budgets per campaign and product line. It's worth optimizing the listings and customizing the event messaging for those ASINs to facilitate conversions.
Below we have an example of a set up we used during T5. We sectioned off the campaigns with the prioritized ASINs.
(Note: BF stands for Black Friday and CM stands for Cyber Monday)
3. Determine Promo Length (How many days?)
For example, if it’s Black Friday the promotion will most likely run from Thanksgiving until Cyber Monday (sometimes referred to as “T5”). That is 5 promotional days in a single month. Therefore, we'd split the month into 4 phases:
1. Average days: November 1st - 20th
During the first 20 days, we keep our average daily budgets with average keyword bids.
2. Lead In: November 21st -23rd
As we get closer to the "event", we increase the bids and daily budget by x% as traffic and competition increase. Focus on Priority ASINs but slightly increase for “Others”.
3. Event: 24th - 28th
The promotion is on during this week. Daily budgets increase by 5X more than average daily budgets and bids increase 10-15% more than the promo suggested bid price.
4. Lead out: 29th-30th
As the event ends, daily budgets and bids start to drop. Based on past experience, we’ve noticed that budgets are higher during this phase than the Lead In phase.
4. Know the Budgets
Average budgets: It’s helpful to know what your daily budget is in a "business as usual” month when there’s no promotion. One way to calculate it is by running the Budget Report available for Sponsored Products. The second is to check your pacing. If pacing is performed twice a week, you’ll have a good estimate on how much the spend is per day/month on average.
Promo budgets: We recommend looking at historical data from past promotional events to use as a reference for calculating bid increases and daily budgets. This can vary depending on the event. For example, we expect Black Friday to have higher traffic than Father’s Day. At the very minimum, the promo budget should be 2x more than the average.
Using the Budget Report can help you estimate the % increase in each phase. Here’s an article about this: Ad Budgeting & Strategy for Prime Day
5. Audit Keywords
Once we know the priority ASINs, we revise the keywords in each of the corresponding campaign. If there are specific keywords to rank for and/or we aim to capture a % of impression share, then we can focus on these and pause other keywords during the event. This could prevent campaigns from running out of budget and going dark during key times.
In case we are not working during the “Event”, we take advantage of Amazon’s Budget Rules feature to set daily budget increases per campaign during specific days. We can also set rules using SKAI to increase keyword bids during those days while we are off work.
Once the event has ended, it is time to analyze the results. Remember the attribution window for each campaign type and know that it may be subject to change if you pull it the day after. Focus on the metrics that align with your client’s goal. For example, if your client is only interested in overall sales, check to see which keywords and ASINs brought in the most sales.
It’s time to build a report for the client. It is important to include graphs and any other visuals in your report. When deciding what metrics to focus on, think about your client’s goal. For example, if the main goal was conversion then be sure to include new-to-brand (NTB) sales and the ASINs with the most NTB sales. These are some of the metrics we focus on:
Total Orders/Units Sold
Total New-To-Brand Sales
Best selling ASINs
If you can, we recommend waiting for the attribution window to pass to ensure you get the most accurate data to send to your client.
As always, we look forward to hearing from you and hope your campaigns are successful in this new year.