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Top 10 tips to prepare your AMS campaigns for Q4 and the winter sales

The highest trafficked and most profitable quarter for sellers is by far the last one of the year (Q4: October, November and December). As Q4 is full of promotional events (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day), most people will be looking to buy presents for themselves and for their close ones. Here are some marketing strategies that you can use to convert customers with your AMS campaigns during the winter sales season.

I. If you cannot afford to let your campaigns run for the duration of the entire quarter, save your budget for November and December.

The highest traffic volume will be on the Black Friday, and Cyber Monday weeks – you should expect an increase of up to 5 times the regular search volume. This means that there will also be many competitors trying to win as many impressions as possible with their AMS campaigns.

II. Start your ads early November so they have enough time to build relevancy before Black Friday. Don’t start your campaigns on Black Friday, or on Cyber Monday as these won’t have the relevancy to run at full capacity – this happens even if you are the highest bidder.

Launch your campaigns a couple of weeks before the promotional events. Do this especially with Headline search campaigns, as these take longer to build relevancy.

III. Plan running with all 3 types of campaigns. If your budget allows you, combine Headline search campaigns with Sponsored products and Product Display Ads.

If you have a limited budget, focus on Sponsored Products Ads as these have the highest conversion rate.

IV. Use smart messaging. The Amazon creative guidelines don’t allow using words like “Christmas”, “Black Friday”, or “Cyber Monday” in the headlines. You can still use titles like “special offers on our products”.

V. In your targeting, also add keywords with promotional terms in them. E.g. “Laptop deals”, “iphone deals”, etc.

VI. Bid smart. If you don’t afford to bid for general keywords (e.g. “laptop”), bid for more specific keywords like “laptop 8 RAM”, etc. Use negative keywords with your Sponsored products campaigns to avoid spending money on keywords that don’t convert to sales.

VII. Play smart. You don’t need to win all of the bids. Q4 is extremely competitive, so your costs are going to increase drastically, especially during the peak promotional events (Black Friday, Cyber Week, Christmas). If you try to win all the bids, you might end up burning all of your budget without maximising your profit.

Don’t be afraid to lower the bid of a keyword that isn’t performing well from the point of view of sales.

VIII. Increase your campaigns’ budgets on the day of the promotions (x5), and increase the bids for the most performant keywords. Customers will start searching on Amazon at least 2 days before Black Friday/Cyber Monday. They will look for information about products and potential deals. The peak of the traffic is on the day of the events, so if you wish to be competitive, increase your budgets and your bids (but do it in a smart way – see point 5, 6 and 7).

IX. Use a landing page to promote your products. You can use the Stores functionality in AMS to build a custom page for your products, or you can use the AMG team to build one for you (there is a cost associated with this second solution).

Don’t hesitate to add Christmas/Black Friday creative/messaging, but don’t overdo it. Focus mostly on highlighting your products, more than promotional banners. Also, price promotions are expected, so it wouldn’t hurt to have some products with price promotions on the landing page.

X. Combine your AMS campaigns with price promotions. In November and December, consumers are expecting price promotions and prefer choosing a product that is on offer compared to one that isn’t (even if the prices are the same).

In your targeting, also use keywords to target your competitors (e.g. “asus laptop”, etc). If your price promotions are competitive, your are more likely to pull a customer from them to your own brand.

What are the strategies that worked for you?! Leave a comment below.

Happy selling.

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