Your private label product has been manufactured, you’ve got some great photographs and created a winning product listing and it’s finally arrived at the Amazon warehouse. You’re now ready to start selling! Your product listing appears on page 12 and you have no product reviews. You’re also a new seller so you have no seller reviews either. How can you get any customer to view your product and buy it?
Launching a product is one of the most critical parts. You may have spent a long time researching products to sell and speaking to different factories to find a great product, which beats your competitors on Amazon. But without potential customers knowing about your product it’s not going to sell, meaning your product could be a flop.
Let’s see how we can grow sales early on to make your product launch a success…
- 1 Amazon Sponsored Ads
- 1.1 ACoS
- 1.2 Automated Sponsored PPC Ads Campaign
- 1.3 How to set-up an Automated Sponsored PPC Ad campaign:
- 1.4 Download and Analyse the PPC Report
- 1.5 Manual Sponsored Ads Campaign
- 1.6 How to set-up an Manual Sponsored PPC Ad campaign:
- 1.7 Sponsored Brand Ads and Product Displays Ads
- 1.8 My Product Still Does Not Rank on the First Few Pages after Using Sponsored Ads
- 1.9 Getting More Reviews from Customers
- 2 Promotions
- 3 Create a Website
- 4 Create a Buzz about Your Product on Social Media
- 5 Influencers
Amazon Sponsored Ads
Your aim during a product launch is to get as many sales as possible as early on so that Amazon starts moving your product up the search rankings. Once those sales start rolling in you will start to see an increased organic ranking which in turn means more potential customers will get to see your product which leads to even more sales!
There are number of ways of marketing your new product. A recommended one is Amazon Sponsored Ads. Amazon Sponsored Ads as the name suggests is a form of advertising on Amazon which allows you to increase product visibility to potential customers.
Amazon use pay-per-click (PPC) ads which means you pay Amazon a pre-determined bid amount when someone clicks on your ad. You can bid on different keywords, for example, if you’re selling a dog toy, you can place a maximum bid of let’s say £2 for the keyword “Dog Toy”. When someone types “Dog Toy” into the Amazon searchbox and clicks on your ad you will be charged up to £2, irrelevant of whether the customer buys the product or not.
What you will be charged per click will depend on what you’re competitors are bidding. Let’s say someone else is bidding only £1 for the keyword “Dog Toy”, this will mean you will only have to pay £1 per click instead of the £2 which you initially bid for. Naturally with more competitive keywords the cost per click will be higher.
Ok, let see sponsored ads in action. Let’s assume we’re searching for swimming goggles on Amazon, as we can see below, the first two listings which have the word ‘Sponsored’ above the product title are sponsored product ads which means these are paid search results and therefore appear on the first page of the search. Scrolling past these two products, we get to the top organic listing in the search results which Amazon deems the most relevant product for the keyword that the customer has entered.
Before we move on to explaining how to set-up an Amazon Sponsored Ads, we must first explain an important term. Advertising cost of sales (ACoS) refers to the percentage of attributed sales spent on advertising. This is calculated by dividing your PPC costs by the sales which has resulted from your PPC advertising campaign. For example, if you spent £10 on sponsored ads which resulted in sales of £50, your ACoS would be 20%.
Ideally your aim is for the ACoS figure to be below your profit margins for your particular product. If your product has net profit margins of 35% and you have an ACoS of 20% then this means you’ve made a net profit of 15%. Before spending any money on sponsored ads, always ensure you know what your actual profit margins are.
Within the first month of launching a product, your aim is to make as many sales as possible so don’t worry too much about making an initial profit as long as you’re breaking even on your PPC ad campaign you’re doing a good job. Concentrate on increasing those sales initially and climbing up the listings and once you’ve achieved that then you can think about making a profit.
There are two types of Amazon Sponsored Ads. One is Automated Sponsored Ads Campaign and the other is Manual Sponsored Ads Campaign.
Automated Sponsored PPC Ads Campaign
When you first start off, you should use automated sponsored ads. This is where Amazon will choose what keywords to bid on and the ads are run on autopilot. Using the results of your automated sponsored campaign, you can then find out the main keywords customers are using to find your product which you can then use for your manual campaign.
Some of the benefits of using Automated Ads when first launching a product include:
- Amazon will analyse your product listing to come up with the relevant keywords for your automated ad campaign. Once your ad campaign is live, you can analyse how well Amazon is displaying your product ad for the relevant keyword searches. If it’s doing a poor job, it may mean your product listing needs to be optimised better and you will then need to see how you may need to improve your product title, product features, product description or back end keywords.
- As Amazon knows what customers are searching for and what keywords convert well for particular products, they are likely to know the best keywords to use and they may come up with new keywords which you initially didn’t think of.
How to set-up an Automated Sponsored PPC Ad campaign:
- Log into your Seller Central account.
2. From the top menu bar Hover over ‘Advertising’ and select ‘Campaign Manager’.
3. Click on the ‘Create campaign’ button.
4. Click on the ‘Continue’ button under ‘Sponsored products’.
5. From the ‘Create campaign’ screen, enter the campaign name, enter the start and end date. Never leave the end date blank just in case you forget to turn your ad campaign off and you may end up having a large unexpected advertising bill to pay Amazon. Enter your daily budget you want to spend on advertising and then select ‘Automatic targeting’.
Don’t forget to always calculate the total advertising spend for your ad campaign. For example, If your daily budget is £30 and you’re running it for 3 weeks, you’re total advertising spend could be up to £630.
Remember that once you reach your daily budget, your ad will no longer show.
6. Next enter the ad group name, select the product/s you want to use ads for and then enter the default bid amount.
7. Finally click on the ‘Launch campaign’ button.
Download and Analyse the PPC Report
With sponsored ads you’re paying Amazon regardless of whether your customer purchases your product or not. It is vital therefore that you know what keywords are converting well in order for you not to waste money on irrelevant keywords that are not profitable.
Once your automated sponsored PPC ad campaign has ran for a few weeks, you can start evaluating the results to see what customers are specifically searching for.
Once you have downloaded the automated sponsored ad report (see the below steps), you will need to look out for keywords that are converting well. Ideally you want keywords with an ACoS of 20 or below, you should therefore filter by ACoS in the report. Create a list of these keywords and also create another list of keywords that aren’t converting especially well.
How to Download the Advertising Report:
1. Log into your Seller Central account.
2. From the top menu bar Hover over ‘Advertising’ and select ‘Campaign Manager’.
3. Select the relevant ad campaign from the grid box.
4. Click on ‘Advertising reports’.
5. Next click on the ‘Create report’ button and then once the report has generated click on the ‘Download’ link. The report will download in xlxs format.
Manual Sponsored Ads Campaign
Once you have analysed the automated sponsored PPC ad campaign report, you should have two lists. One list should be the keywords which are converting well and the next list, the ones that are not converting especially well and where you should stop focusing your advertisement spend on.
There are also a number of third-party tools out there which you can use to also come up with suitable keywords for your manual PPC campaign. MerchantWords is a powerful tool as it collects the search terms used by Amazon shoppers from Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. You enter the product name into MerchantWords and it will list search term variations and it will also list the total monthly search estimate for that particular term, so it’s ideal to find keywords that are commonly used amongst shoppers.
While automated sponsored campaigns use broad match keyword types, with manual campaigns, you can also use phrase match and also exact match types (see below for the differences).
|Keyword Match Type||Description||Positives||Negatives|
|Broad Match||Search term can contain keywords in any order and can contain acronyms, plural forms, abbreviations|
Used to target a wider audience using broad keywords
|Ideal if you’re looking for new keywords to be used in your manual sponsored ad campaign |
Allows for broad traffic exposure for your ads
|Broad ad campaigns can prove costly as your ad will appear for all sorts of search terms even when they are not that relevant|
May result in fewer sales than phrase or exact keyword match types as they are less targeted
|Phrase Match||Search term must contain the exact phrase or synonyms, singular, plural or their variations |
More restrictive than broad match
|Useful if you’re trying to reduce spend on advertising and target specific customers but still allow for some variation in keywords|
Results in more relevant placements for your ad
|May not result in such high sale conversion as exact match keywords as ads may not always be 100% relevant to what the customer is searching for|
|Exact Match||Search term used by customer must match the keyword exactly for the ad to show|
Most restrictive match type
|Useful when keywords that are relevant and convert well and you want to target with high keyword bids|
Should result in higher sale conversions as the ad displayed should be specific to the search term entered by the user
|Involves more research to find exact match keywords that convert well|
If you use exact match keywords that are not relevant, your ad won’t show and may result in reduced sales
Using phrase and exact match types allows you to make your ads more relevant to what your customers are actually searching for so ideally it should result in higher conversion rates. This naturally assumes that you’re using keywords that customers are searching for, so you should always spend analysing your ad campaigns thoroughly.
The following table shows the type of search terms generated for each keyword match type:
Ok, let’s see how we can create a manual sponsored ad campaign which targets the keywords that are converting well…
How to set-up an Manual Sponsored PPC Ad campaign:
Perform the same steps as you did for the automated sponsored ad campaign, but once you get to step 5 perform the following step instead:
- From the ‘Create campaign’ screen, enter the campaign name, the start and end date for your ad campaign. Select the daily budget and then select ‘Manual targeting’.
2. Enter the ad group name and then add the products you want to create a manual advertising campaign for.
3. Under the ‘Keywords and bids’ section, from the list you created earlier, enter the keywords that are converting well. Under the ‘Suggested’ tab, Amazon will have a list which you can use.
Select the ‘Enter Keywords’ you can no enter all the keywords that convert well. Select ‘Phrase’ or ‘Exact’ from the ‘Match type’ section. Once you have entered the relevant keywords click on ‘Add Keywords’.
NOTE: Your daily budget and the default keyword bid amount you use will determine how many clicks per day you can get. Let’s assume that your daily budget is £15 and your keyword bid is £1, this will mean you can receive a maximum of 15 clicks on your ad (assuming your bid actually costs you £1, the next closest bid could be 50).
As you know, these keywords are converting well, it makes sense to increase your daily budget and the bids for these keywords.
4. Next under ‘Optional: negative keywords’ section, enter the keywords that are not converting well (make sure you select ‘Negative phrase’ or ‘Negative exact’ for the ‘Match Type’). Once you have added all the negative keywords click on ‘Launch Campaign’ to go live with your manual PPC ad. As these are the keywords that have converted well in the past, you will want to bid higher for these keywords.
There’s no exact science to running PPC campaigns, it will mostly be trial and error. After running an ad campaign, you should always analyse the results and tweak whenever necessary. If you find a keyword that is converting well you should modify your ad so that these keywords appear as exact matches.
Remember to keep running your ads so that you climb through the list rankings. Once your product appears on the first search page, you can start scaling back on your sponsored ads and allow your organic traffic to take over.
Sponsored Brand Ads and Product Displays Ads
Apart from manual and automated sponsored ads, Amazon offers other forms of PPC advertising which include Sponsored Brands (formerly known as Headline Search Ads) and Product Display Ads. In order to use these type of sponsored ads, you will need to sign up to Amazon’s Brand Registry.
Sponsored Brands is where you can promote your products and brand to potential customers and the ad will be visible at the very top of the customer search results page and stretch the entire page (as shown below). The ad will feature the seller’s logo, a custom tagline and display three of their products.
As Sponsored Brand Ads are shown in such a prominent area of the search results page, they are very effective way of increasing sales and raising brand awareness and it may allow you to beat the competition. Unlike Sponsored Ads, your ad will feature up to three products so a great way of promoting multiple products in one go.
While Sponsored Brand Ads allow you to target customers based on keyword searches, Product Display Ads allows you to target ads based on specific products and customer interests.
You can use Product Display Ads to target your own related products. Let’s say you want to promote your new make-up cases, you can set-up an ad to promote these when someone purchases your make-up brushes. This allows you to cross-sell other products that your customers may like or need and increases the probability that they will purchase multiple items from you.
You can also use these ads to target your competitor’s products which is an extremely useful feature. For example, you can make your Product Display Ad appear on your competitors listing by selecting a particular keyword or ASIN. These ads will allow you to steal customers from your competitors or piggyback off their customers’ purchases. If you’re just launching a product it can be useful to use Product Display Ads to promote it on your most popular related competitors’ products. If you’re undercutting them you could drive sales to your product instead of theirs.
As your sales start to increase you will notice that your search ranking will start to improve. What happens though if your product is still not appearing on the first few search pages of Amazon?
My Product Still Does Not Rank on the First Few Pages after Using Sponsored Ads
The first thing to do is to see how many sales your main competitors are doing compared to you. In order to do this, enter a relevant keyword and note down the products that are appearing on the first page of the search. Next use JungleScout to work out how many sales they are making per day. Next, subtract your daily sales from your competitors and the result is the extra sales you will need to make in order to get onto the first page. In order to make up for the extra sales, apart from sponsored ads, you can also run promotions which we go over in the coming sections.
Getting More Reviews from Customers
We all know that product reviews are critical on Amazon. Customers are more likely to buy a product that has loads of good reviews over a product that has no reviews, even if the product is more expensive.
In the past, sellers were able to give away discounted or free products in exchange for customer reviews. This allowed someone who was launching a new private label to quickly gain reviews, however Amazon has now stopped this.
If you remain passive about getting reviews, you’re not going to get many, so it’s important you try to automate this process in order to get as many as quickly as possible. In order to automate the process you can use tools such as Feedback Genius.
Using Feedback Genius you can automatically email customers who have bought your product. For example, you can get Feedback Genius to email the customer once the order has been dispatched. Once the customer has received your product, you can send another automated email asking them to provide a product review.
We would recommend not to send too many automated emails to your customer after their purchase as no-one likes to be spammed. We would recommend sending a maximum of 3 emails:
- In the first automated email, mail the customer once the order has been dispatched. Thank them for their order and introduce yourself and the brand. Try to also include some additional extras which the customer may find useful. For example, depending on the product explain how they can care for it after their purchase.
- A week after the customer has received their order, send them another polite automated email asking for them to leave a product review. Remember you can’t ask or force the customer or provide any incentives for a positive review.
- If after a week you still haven’t received any review, send the customer one last email asking if they could kindly leave feedback.
Amazon has recently allowed customers to opt out of receiving emails from third-party sellers. If you do send emails requesting feedback, not all will be received by your customers. Despite of this, it’s always best to at least try to request product feedback as it’s key for sales.
Another great benefit of Feedback Genuis is it alerts the seller if a customer leaves a negative review. This is especially useful as you can contact them rapidly to resolve any issues they may have. If you resolve their issue, you could politely ask the customer to remove their negative feedback or update it if they are happy with the service you provided.
You can also include product inserts, which you can include in your product’s packaging asking your customer to leave a review.
Running promotions are also a great way of increasing sales early on. When you first start off you will have no reviews, so in order to tempt your customers and gain sales traction you can offer them a discount, using a promotional code.
How to Set-Up Amazon Promotional Codes
- Once you have logged into you Seller Central Account, from the top toolbar hoover over ‘Advertising’ and select ‘Vouchers’ from the drop-down menu.
2. Next click on the ‘Create a new voucher’ button.
3. Enter the ASIN for the product you want to create a voucher for and then click on the ‘Add to voucher’ button and then click on the ‘Continue to next step’ button.
4. Next you need to specify if you want to create a ‘Money Off’ or ‘Percentage Off’ voucher and enter the percentage/money off amount.
You will then need to decide whether the voucher can be redeemed multiple times or just once by the same customer.
Then enter your budget for your promotional offer. Once your budget has met, your promotional offer will end and then click on the ‘Continue to next step’ button.
Now give your voucher a name, enter a valid start and end date for your voucher which can be up-to 90 days and specify whether you want Amazon to target all customers, prime customer, student customer or Amazon family members and then click on the ‘Continue to next step’ button.
5. Review the details of your voucher you’ve created and if it’s ok click on the ‘Submit voucher’ button.
External Deal Sites
There are a number of external deal sites which you can use to promote your product as well. A good one is JumpSend which is popular amongst price-conscious shoppers looking for discounts and deals.
In order to promote your product on JumpSend, you will need access to the “Launch” feature which is directly available from the Jungle Scout Web App where you can set-up your promotion. Once a customer clicks on your offer, JumpSend will provide them with the coupon code to buy directly from Amazon.
You can also use Amazon’s Lightning Deals to promote your product as well. The promotions are time-sensitive and will appear on Amazon’s “Today’s Deals” which is one of Amazon’s most visited pages.
The requirements to list your product on the Lightning Deals include such criteria as:
- The product must be in new condition.
- Have at least a 3-star product rating.
- There must be more than 20 units in stock.
- Must be prime eligible.
- The lightening deal must be 20% off the buy-box price.
Create a Website
Another great way of attracting potential customers to your products on Amazon is by having your own website which promotes your brand. Nowadays anyone can create a great looking website in a few hours cheaply (see our article on creating a WordPress site)
You should be creating a website anyway, as you can then get your brand registered under Amazon’s Brand Registry. This provides a number of benefits providing you have an active trademark (check out article to find out more about Brand Registry).
You may also want to consider adding a blog to your website. If for example you sell a private label fitness product, write about fitness related topics. If you post good in-depth articles regularly on your blog, your site will start to rank on Google and you’ll be able to promote your brand and products on Amazon, resulting in increased sales.
When you create your website, you should think about adding an email list so that you can build a list of potential customers, which you can mail regularly about blog updates as well as your products on Amazon.
Create a Buzz about Your Product on Social Media
Don’t forget about using social media, create a Facebook page, use Pinterest, and promote your product using Instagram. There are a number of tools to help you schedule posts on Facebook such as Buffer which allows you to automate the process saving you time and effort. You can also create Facebook ads to get more likes for your page. Send them to your website and offer them incentives such as discount codes to get money off your product on Amazon.
Nowadays influencers play an important part in promoting brands and products. If you find an influencer with a large following and good reputation they could work wonders for your new product. Contact them directly and see if they would like to work with you. Some influencers may promote your product if you offer them it for free, while others may require a fee, especially well known ones.
Here’s a couple of ways in which you can work with your influencer:
- Provide them your product free in return for a YouTube video, blog post, Instagram post.
- Provide a discount code for the influencer’s audience.
- Affiliate deals, Amazon Associates. The influencer gets a commission when one of your product sells which they have promoted.