TAS 426 PPC Strategies for 4th Quarter We Are Using to Triple Sales

It’s that time of year again, 4th quarter! Are you positioned in the best possible way for your brand to get the exposure and results you need? What will it take for this year to end well for your bottom line? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott and Chris as they help prepare sellers like you as the fourth quarter of 2017 kicks into full swing. The guys discuss their planned PPC strategy, when to use PPC and when not to in the 4th quarter, how to use Bid Plus, when to use headline search ads, and much more! You don’t want to miss this crucial episode!  

Increasing PPC Usage

Have you thought of or developed a plan for using PPC during the 4th quarter? How do you think your usage will change during this time of year? Should it change? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris jump right into how they plan on using PPC this final quarter of 2017. One aspect that the guys touch on is regarding sudden increases versus a steady increase in PPC spending. At the end of the day, both Scott and Chris encourage sellers to lean more toward a steady increase over a sudden increase. If you’d like to hear them expand on this topic and more, make sure to catch this episode!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday PPC Effectiveness

Are you prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? What lessons will you integrate from your experience last year? How do you plan to document your experience this year in order to make changes for next season? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott and Chris as they explain their approach when it comes to using PPC during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both Scott and Chris agree that if your product is performing well up to those days, there is no strong reason to change your PPC spending. To hear the guys dive deeper into this subject, listen to this episode!

Headline Search Ads

Is it a good idea to take advantage of headline search ads during the 4th quarter? Have you considered using headline search ads before? Not every seller has access to this feature, but for those of you that do, this is an important question to consider. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Chris shares his thoughts on this important feature. If you have multiple products listed for your brand, Chris encourages you to take advantage of this helpful tool. Don’t expect to use this tool and see explosive or massive results, make sure you use it as part of a larger 4th quarter strategy. Don’t miss this episode to hear further thoughts on headline search ads and more!

Using PPC with Lightning Deals

Have you been able to utilize Amazon’s Lightning Deals feature yet? What has been your experience using that promotion? Do you plan on using PPC in addition to Lightning Deals? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris give their take using PPC while running your product through Amazon’s Lightning Deals promotion. The guys conclude that it’s not the best idea to continue using PPC while you have a product featured in the Lightning Deals program. Make sure to listen to this episode as they elaborate on their reasoning and share additional helpful insights – don’t miss it!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [3:00] Chris opens up about PPC use in the 4th Quarter.
  • [9:00] The wisdom of slowly increasing your PPC usage.
  • [15:00] Making PPC adjustments and increasing spending for 4th Qtr.
  • [20:00] Is it worth running PPC on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
  • [23:30] What is Bid Plus?
  • [28:30] Should you use headline search ads?
  • [34:00] Is it a good idea to have PPC on in addition to Lightening Deals?
  • [36:30] Chris recaps his strategy for 4th Qtr.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 426

TAS 426: PPC Strategies for 4th Quarter We Are Using to Triple Sales

 

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 426 and today we’re going to be talking about a really, really hot topic..

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…and that is pay-per-click. We’re going to be talking about our pay-per-click strategies that we’re going to be using for fourth quarter. Maybe you guys can take some stuff away here and use it in your own business or even launching your products because some people say, “Should I still use pay-per-click in fourth quarter?” We’re going to ask that question to Chris.  Chris, are you there man?

[00:00:39] Chris: What’s going on?

[00:00:42] Scott: Whoa, whoa.

[00:00:43] Chris: I am fantastic.

[00:00:44] Scott: Whoa you hit that note that was nice.

[00:00:46] Chris: I made the note up myself so it’s fine I can pretend that that’s what I was intending to do.

[00:00:54] Scott: Well, hey we’re going to talk about I know you love talking about pay-per-click and anything. People they assume that you are that data guy. They are right, you are the data guy but you don’t like to be I guess so.

[00:01:07] Chris: I’m a business numbers nerd, I’ll throw that out there. I’m not a math guy don’t give me math but you can give me business numbers. That’s one of the things that I love Scott is looking at stuff and looking at businesses and you and I have had this conversation and you know our good buddy Joel. He and I are very much of the mindset that we can look at just about any business and find a way to improve it by looking at the business math. PPC is definitely one of those areas.

[00:01:31] Scott: Absolutely, yeah and I think the big question that a lot of people ask and I mean for anyone that’s listening right now we’re going to be really covering some strategies, some thoughts and planning on what we’re doing moving forward for fourth quarter because we are approaching fourth quarter depending on when you are listening right now. Chris what is the official date of fourth quarter?

[00:01:54] Chris: October 1st.

[00:01:55] Scott: Oh, so we are already in fourth quarter by the time we’re airing this and recording it. We are officially in fourth quarter. Okay so we’re in.

[00:02:02] Chris: That’s a math problem I can do Scott. See there is 12 months in a year so if you divide that by four that would be three months. The last three months would be October, November, December.

[00:02:09] Scott: I just set you up for success. What I want to really do though Chris is I want to talk about number one a lot of people not just two people. A lot of people think that we’re going to have a lot of traffic anyway I should probably just dial my pay-per-click down and back.

I’m not really on the same plane there as far as that because I think that with the increased amount of traffic it gives us more opportunity to get more eyeballs. Number one what’s your thoughts on that and then let’s brainstorm together moving forward with our ad spend in pay-per-click in the new brand.

[00:02:56] Chris: What are my thoughts on PPC and fourth quarter entirely?

[00:02:58] Scott: Yes.

[00:03:00] Chris: For me it’s no different than any other time of the year Scott. You and I get this question quite often. Every time we do a workshop, every time we do a Facebook live like a power hour on Fridays people ask, “When should I turn off PPC?” My answer of course obviously is, “It depends but then it’s only if it doesn’t work.” That’s the only time that I would ever suggest anybody turns it off.

Fourth quarter isn’t really an exception for that and you and I are going to dive into some details here but it tends to be a little bit more expensive because there is more people running ads because there is more traffic. If it’s still bringing you in breakeven profitable or even sales slightly at a loss depending on where you’re making them and if you want to rank for that keyword which you and I have talked about in the past. Then it’s still worth running.

Now if everybody in your space is running at $20 a click for a bid and you’re selling a $15 product. Then maybe not, but you have to look at the numbers before you make that decision. I definitely would not turn it off just in general because your competitors are going to be running it. We want to at least be seen as often as them to have the same chance to convert and to make those sales. Does that make sense?

[00:04:09] Scott: It makes total sense and I think again I mean I just interviewed a gentleman the other day and he talked a lot about his ACOS. He is like, “It starts to go up a little bit but then once I turn my pay-per-click off for a day or two my sales drop.” He knows he is getting organic sales because of that even though he is not getting it 100% from pay-per-click.

I just think people get caught up in those numbers in the ACOS and I know, I get that right. We have to be profitable but a lot of times people aren’t taking in to effect that those organic sales could be the cause of you ranking better because you’re driving sales through these other paid searches. I think it’s really, really important to highlight that. I think moving into fourth quarter, I mean again unless we’re talking about an inventory issue. Now Chris we have a product right now that we’re not running pay-per-click on. Why aren’t we?

[00:05:03] Chris: We can keep it in stock so we don’t need and that’s one of those things where Scott if we didn’t have our consistent inventory issue on that, we should be running PPC and it’s actually a question since we’re talking about some of the strategies we’re going to be using because our goal is to triple sales during Q4 in this brand.

Are we going to be running PPC in Q4 for that product even if it means we run into an inventory issue to achieve that goal? That’s something I wanted to discuss with you anyway. The reason that we’re not currently is because we are selling enough organically that we have inventory issues to begin with.

If you’re running PPC on a product we generally say and I’ve said in the past I wouldn’t turn it off necessarily to slow those sales down if you’re going to run out of stock. We just know that organically we’re selling enough that we’re going to have stock issues. We don’t exasperate that. Does that make sense?

[00:05:53] Scott: Yeah.

[00:05:55] Chris: It’s one of those things where we should probably turn PPC on for that product if we think we’re going to be able to keep it in stock.

[00:06:03] Scott: Yeah, I agree. I mean it’s one of those decisions. It’s like we know how painful it is to run out of inventory because we’ve done it and it didn’t take long to get back because we had a list. We’ve built our email list, we’ve got a Facebook group page. We’ve also got people that help us share in other bigger pages and all of that stuff.

That stuff is all in place but for someone that doesn’t have that I think it’s critical that you use pay-per-click because you have no other way to get exposure and I think that’s a bigger part of the launch process right now. It’s really like Dom says maybe a lower barrier to entry by going with a little bit of a lower price but then dialing up the pay-per-click and being aggressive on that side of things.

Really just depends on where you are in the process but I don’t think that you shouldn’t be running pay-per-click unless you’re selling so well and you’re ranking so well that you don’t need to right now because inventory is going to be a problem. You don’t want to force yourself out of inventory either to where now all of a sudden you’re going to be playing catch up all the time.

It is a balance but for most products… Even the other ones in our brand pretty much we’re running pay-per-click for and we’re selling through those every single day. It’s helping our rank, it’s helping the organic side of things. It’s something that we’re going to definitely be doing more of moving forward. There is one product actually Chris that we’re going to be getting back in stock.

It’s in stock right now. We have a very limited amount right now. If we’re not careful we’re going to run out, we’re not running pay-per-click on that one but we’re getting about 1,500 units in I believe it’s going to be middle of next week. That one there we will be dialing back up and I was running pay-per-click on that one on a regular basis. Again not much like a lot of people I know like how much are you running? That one there I think we’re doing like 25 bucks a day. I think that was it.

[00:08:01] Chris: That I think is probably a great place to start Scott is are you going to double or triple or quadruple budgets for PPC or are you just going to see where it takes you? The goal in all of this is not just to spend money on PPC obviously right?

[00:08:14] Scott: Right.

[00:08:14] Chris: It’s to make sales that are at the very worst break even for us so we’re not losing money and we’re still capitalizing on that traffic. Ideally we’re going to be making money on that. I guess that would be a place that I would want to start in terms of if I was curious what to do in Q4. What are your thoughts on what you’re going to do with budget in Q4?

[00:08:35] Scott: Well I’m going to turn that back over to you because I know you do have some thoughts on this. Again my first thought is we have to wait to see what the numbers are doing. I would slowly increase, I wouldn’t just say I’m going to go from $25 to $100. I would increase that to probably $50 and then keep an eye on it. Then from there we can continually add to it. What’s your thoughts on that? Do you go 100% from $25 to $100 or do you slowly scale it?

[00:09:03] Chris: It’s funny because I’m pretty sure you know how I’m going to answer this question because we had this conversation for some of the other stuff like the all famous on stuff that we’ve been doing but I’m a fan of always slowly scaling. The reason for that is really twofold. One I don’t know how it’s going to scale until it starts to scale in terms of how well it’s going to perform right.

If I throw 50 bucks in Amazon is going to try to spend that 50 bucks. We’ve talked about this in the past with we turn PPC on like 11am and turn it off at 11pm because that’s when we found that we make the most sales. We get the best return on investment in general. If we leave it on throughout the day Amazon seems to stretch that budget out and they’ll be running it at 3am and we’ll get some clicks but we don’t really get any sales.

The same thing applies with extra dollars in the pot. If I’m going to double that budget, Amazon is going to try to spend double that money in a day which doesn’t necessarily work out for me in terms of ACOS. I might take it from $25 to $35 and then from $35 to $45 if I see my ACOS is staying about the same. I’m going to continue increasing that budget until I’m not spending my daily budget. Does that make sense?

[00:10:14] Scott: Yeah, it makes total sense. One little side note there I would let people know of. One thing that we started to do is I’m taking it auto campaign I’m turning that one on maybe 20 bucks, I’m doing a lower bid let’s say 30 cents and I'll let that one run all the time. I haven’t been turning that one off I don’t know if I even told you that Chris but I have been letting them pretty much run.

It doesn’t seem to go out of budget because again I’m only trying to get exposure at that point at a really low cost per click. It also allows me to be there if another seller runs out of budget and now there is nothing there to fill the spot. I’m going to fill the spot. That really hasn’t hurt us, actually it’s done pretty well picking up a few extra sales and not spending a ton. I don’t go to the $20 a day. It might be like I don’t know maybe like 8 bucks.

[00:11:12] Chris: Scott are you doing one campaign for each product or did you just bundle…

[00:11:15] Scott: Yeah.

[00:11:17] Chris: Okay. You’re running the manual campaigns that we’ve been running?

[00:11:22] Scott: Yeah.

[00:11:22] Chris: Which is your manual broad match and then we move the winners around if we find something that works really well in phrase are exact, then we’ll start to incorporate those. You’re also then taking the products so you have your manual campaign for the garlic press but then you’re also running like a 30 cent bid auto campaign that’s just on in the background to pick up some of that extra ad inventory that might be out there.

[00:11:44] Scott: Exactly and it doesn’t hurt you.

[00:11:46] Chris: That’s a really cool idea actually and I haven’t heard a ton of people talking about doing it that way. I like the idea of using the auto campaign for that because we’ve talked about some keyword discovery, benefits that come out of the auto campaign and some of that stuff. You’re going to cover the majority of the things that the keywords and search terms that your customers are typing in with that manual campaign.

Any other things you didn’t think of you’re going to get some inspiration. Some of the lower cost terms you’ll see come up over and over again in that auto campaign which I think is really cool. Then you also get the added benefit of showing up if somebody runs out of budget which I think is a really cool idea.

[00:12:22] Scott: Yeah, again it doesn’t really hurt you and it’s you might not spend that much but it’s there. You’re getting that exposure and we’re getting some impressions and we’re getting some clicks and we’re getting some sales and it’s not hurting you. It doesn’t cost all that much and you’re getting some more data in the meantime. I think this would be a good spot though…

I want to let people know I should have probably did this in the beginning Chris. Some people are new or some people are coming back to pay-per-click and they’re still a little confused on the structure and how to get things set up. There is two resources. The first one is we did what was it Chris like five Facebook Lives and we talked all about the structure, the setup, how to mine for keywords and search terms and the differences and all of that stuff, that resource can be found at theamazingseller.com/PPC.

Totally free, it’s Chris and I and Jeff Cohen and Seller Labs those guys over there helping us out with really trying to teach it and just giving you more ideas. Then also trying to understand on how it really works. The other cool thing is they just told me that they created a book, a guide that goes through and breaks it down visually which I really love and I’m really digging it because I'm a visual guy Chris and I think you are too.

It’s like when you see something and you can get it better when you visualize it and everything is really broken down. If you guys are interested in that again another free resource theamazingseller.com/PPC book and you can go grab that and it will really give you a visual and also I think there is also a case study in there. It shows you how things were structured before and now how they’re structured and how it's helped.

Definitely go check out those two resources because I know it can be overwhelming at times. My biggest thing is just getting started with a small ad spend, getting your feet wet and then slowly starting to increase. Let’s just say at this point you’re coming into this game fourth quarter. We want to take advantage of this fourth quarter the best that we can, why not?

The eyeballs are there, the traffic is there. We want to capitalize on that. Chris let’s talk next about, we talked a little bit about budget, we talked a little bit about like campaigns, do you run or do you suggest running new campaigns or do you just want to take the ones that have been converting the best? Where are you making adjustments if you’re making any at all or are you just increasing the ad spend?

[00:14:56] Chris: I think that's a great question Scott because there is multiple answers there, it depends. If you have campaigns that you have been running and you know how they perform obviously I would recommend continuing to run those. If you’re not doing something like that auto trick that you just brought up or you’re running just an auto campaign in the background that is super little bid like 25 cents or 30 cents turn that on. If you’re not running PPC I would suggest getting it started probably now so that you have a couple of weeks worth of data before everything really rolls in like the end of October, first week of November when everything really starts to pick up. If you have campaigns that are running I would suggest just increasing the budget. The other thing you’ll have to keep an eye on during Q4 Scott obviously is the bid.

You’ll have to keep an eye on your impressions and see if you have to raise your bid. You should know you be able to know at a glance by looking either inside your Ignite dashboard or inside your seller central advertising dashboard if your impressions are changing from week to week or month to month. If they are staying fairly static, then you’re probably okay with the bid you are at now.

If not you’re going to probably need to increase that and I know last year we had to increase it 25%, 30% to stay in the same range. We were okay with that because we actually improved our ACOS because more people were there just to buy stuff. Even though we were paying more per click we actually had a better conversion rate because the people were clicking and buying at a higher frequency.

[00:16:22] Scott: Yeah, and the other thing I think to think about here is people come to me all the time and they’re like, “I have products that I want to liquidate and I’m not really sure how to do that. Should I run pay-per-click to liquidate them?” The answer is, “Yeah.”

If you can figure in your breakeven point and price your item to be competitive or to be lower than your competition and you want to run some ads to it, I think fourth quarter is the best time to do it as well because you have more eyeballs. Chris what’s your thoughts on that?

[00:17:01] Chris: In terms of running PPC to liquidate a product?

[00:17:03] Scott: Yeah.

[00:17:03] Chris: As long as you can do it at breakeven or profitable or whatever your “acceptable loses” there right then I think it’s fine. It’s definitely worth trying. If you have a product that just isn’t working for you, it’s definitely worth trying. I would couple that with a price reduction. Make it price competitive and then run some ads but you’re going to have to keep an eye on that ACOS and make sure that you’re not overspending and all those things.

Just like you would on any other product. It’s just a little more difficult if you’re coupling that with a price reduction. You have to be really careful about where those margins are. Now if you’re just trying to clear it out then that’s really easy right. If you’re trying to break even or even make a little bit from that product then you have to be a little more careful with that but Q4 would be the time to do that.

Absolutely, because you’re doubling or tripling the number of eyeballs that are going to be on the site over the next two and a half, three months.

[00:17:52] Scott: Yeah, because again I mean even for us we’ve got two SKUs that we’re going to want to liquidate. To be honest with you I’m even willing to take a little bit of a loss and here is why. Number one I want to get most of that money back I don’t have to get it all back. Let’s say I spend $3,000 on inventory, if I get $2,500 of that back, I’m okay with that.

I lost 500 bucks let’s call it, but now I’ve got $2500 more in my possession that I can then roll into my new product or maybe even more inventory that of products that are selling. Many people get stuck on, “I’m going to lose money.” You’re not necessarily losing money as a whole but as like that one product you could feel like you are and technically you are.

Well, here is the other thing too and I’m not an accountant or anything. If you lose money in a business in part of a product or whatever you actually act or that acts has a deduction because it’s not money that you’ve earned. You’ve lost so again not an accountant and actually Broody I think he is but he is laying below me sleeping and snoring so he is out of commission right now.

I just look at it like for us in this new brand and I had this conversation with our partner Chris. I talked to you about it as well. There is so many products that we want to launch but you’ve got to draw the line until you can free up some more cash inside of the business, unless you constantly want to keep borrowing. We don’t want to do that. My thought was we’ve got two SKUs that are mediocre selling, two sometimes five a day but rare.

We have to lower the price in order to get it there. We’re not going to really be able to make a lot of money on this thing in the long run. We want to liquidate the product so we might have 300 of one we might have 100 of another. We’re just going to break even or even lose a buck a piece who cares at this point. I want to get that money back so I can roll it on those two other products that I want roll out that I think are going to do better.

Again I know that’s not pay-per-click talk but it’s a question that gets asked a lot. I think fourth quarter is a great time to get in front of those eyeballs of people that you can liquidate a product. Just think about that. Chris what else did you want to talk about here fourth quarter stuff even for ourselves as far as moving forward something that you think that people would get value from?

[00:20:04] Chris: There is a couple of things. One I want to talk about days to avoid or days to watch like a hawk Scott and there is two big ones that come mind which should be Black Friday, Cyber Monday. I wanted to get your thoughts on if it’s even worth running PPC on those two days. Then I’ll give mine as well.

[00:20:22] Scott: Yeah, that is a tough one and I think it depends on.. I just said it Chris. I just said it depends.

[00:20:29] Chris: I know.

[00:20:30] Scott: Man, I got to get you a shirt. I think if you are already selling at a pretty good rate and you’re ranking well. I don’t think you need to increase it but I don’t think I would turn it off. Again that’s going to be a per-basis decision it’s like you’ve to look and see where you are. I know of with ourselves if we’re looking at the new brand on those days…

I mean we’ve got so many ways of driving traffic that I don’t think that it’s going to be a problem. I’m probably going to say we keep our ad spend close to where it is right now because we have an email list that we’re going to be doing like 10 days to Christmas type stuff or right around on the holidays or even thanksgiving.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday like there is all of those things that we’re going to be able to reach people that some people might not be able to because they didn’t spend the time to build the list or connect to an influencer or any of that stuff.

I’m torn there a little bit. I think for us I’m going to probably say we leave things where they are. Then we keep an eye on that on those bigger days because those bigger days we’re already going to be driving a ton. Now for ramping up a new product I would say 100% yes. That’s my thoughts Chris.

[00:21:48] Chris: I’m in the same boat as you and we had this conversation back on Prime Day which it functions very similar to a Black Friday, Cyber Monday type day. I’m not of the impression or of the mindset that we should be tripling our budgets, taking it to $150,000 because there is going to be traffic there. If our product already ranks well organically, we’re going to get to take advantage of that day.

I am however willing to say okay, even if we spend our 25, 30 bucks and don’t make a single sale, oh well. If I take that to 150/200 bucks that then becomes really annoying to me as a business person. That’s just my way of threshold there but for the extra few sales that we might pick up through PPC there it’s going to be a more expensive day.

We’re going to be paying more per click during that time because everybody else raises their bids. To me I would leave it at status quo. Now the other thing that you may do Scott and this is another thing I want to talk to you about is take advantage of something like Bid Plus. Where if you’re not in some of those top spots, Amazon will raise your bid by I think it’s up to 50% to try to get you in there.

Generally I’m not a huge fan of Bid Plus but on days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday it might be worth turning on if you’re willing to pay a little bit more and that way you don’t even really have to mess around with your bids. You can just enable that feature and then turn it off after that if you’re not using it otherwise.

[00:23:16] Scott: Let me stop you right there, pause, time out like I’m calling time out in the game. Talk about Bid Plus real quick. I know people are like, “What the heck is that?” Give us a little quick summary and how that works for Bid Plus inside of your sponsored product ads.

[00:23:33] Chris: Bid Plus is a feature that Amazon has inside of their sponsored products and it automatically boosts ad groups or keywords up to 50%. I think it’s 50%.

[00:23:42] Scott: Is that the budget or the click or what is it?

[00:23:44] Chris: The bid, the cost per click bid. Basically they are trying to get you into that like top row from what I have seen like the top three, top five ad spots. If you’re already in those ad sports they’re not going to raise your bid. That’s one really easy way to get and take advantage of that traffic with your existing budget without having to monkey with your bids because I know you and I bid differently on different keywords, different search terms in a lot of cases based on what’s been working and what’s not. Something like Black Friday, Cyber Monday it’s really easy to just turn that on and say Amazon go ahead and run with it. Then I don’t have to worry about resetting all my bids to what they were before that. I can just disable that feature. Does that make sense?

[00:24:26] Scott: Yeah, I know, I get that yeah.

[00:24:27] Chris: Bid Plus is cool if you need it. In a circumstance like that where you know all your competitors are going to be raising their bids so basically by turning that option on you’re just saying, “Hey Amazon, I’m willing to pay 50% more than the dollar that I bid. Does that make sense?

[00:24:41] Scott: Yeah, so now you’re willing to spend it up to $1.50. It’s basically just taking that and adding to that. Now the other thing that you could do because some people will be like, well gosh they’ll just keep spending, spending and spending then I’m going to be showing up. I’m going to be bidding a little higher. You can also set your daily ad budget limit and then you can do it on your entire account too.

I’ve talked about this before and again guys we go through all that stuff at that free resource theamazingseller.com/PPC and break down all that stuff. Really at a high level like you can look at your ads account. Your sponsored product ads account all of your campaigns everything. You can set that daily ad budget for the entire account. You’ll never go over $100 let’s say or $200.

If you don’t engage that and you have let’s say five different campaigns running and one is $25 daily budget, the other one is $25 and that next one is $50, the next one is $25 and then maybe even another one for $50, you could technically go over that because it’s going to spend what you’re allowing it to spend and you’re not capping that. The other thing that you need to understand and Dom points this out all the time is if you don’t spend that it will go on a 30 day run, right Chris?

[00:26:01] Chris: Yeah, the way that Amazon budgets work is it’s not really a daily budget per say. It’s like a budget times 30, right?

[00:26:08] Scott: Yeah.

[00:26:09] Chris: If you haven’t spent that in the past they can actually overspend that budget. Facebook does the same thing. If you have a lifetime budget which is how Amazon looks at this. Scott I think your account level budget is super important for days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

[00:26:25] Scott: Totally.

[00:26:26] Chris: If you have a set amount that you’re willing to spend on those days, $200, $300, $500, whatever that amount is make sure you set that at the account level because if you have three, four or five SKUs and you’re running multiple campaigns on each of those it’s really easy to forget that each one of those has their own campaign budgets. If you go in and tweak those and say, “Okay, I’m going to take my budget, I am going to double my budget for Black Friday.” You go and you take everything from $20 to $40 but you only set aside $200 for the day. Well, congratulations now you just spend $400, right?

[00:26:56] Scott: Right.

[00:26:57] Chris: If you don’t set that campaign level budget. If you have a top line number that you want to cut it off at no matter what, definitely take advantage of that feature. Days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday are definitely times that you want to have that enabled because you’re very, very likely to hit those numbers regardless of what you set your daily budgets are.

[00:27:18] Scott: Yeah, and for anyone that’s wondering, if you just go into your advertising and then you get into your sponsored product ads you’ll see three tabs at least right now currently, the time that I’m recording this. This is how it looks but you have campaigns. You have a tab that says ‘campaigns' you have another one that says ‘book operations' and then another one that’s ‘advertising' settings.

Then inside of there is where you’ll go and it will say ‘sponsored products daily budget cap'. Then it says use it will default to use campaign level budgets only or you can update the advertising or you can update that by putting in an amount. That’s how that works so just you can dig around in there find it but that’s where it’s listed and that’s where you can find it. Some people have asked me like, “I can’t find that setting.”

It’s right there and that’s at your account level. It’s over the entire account and it takes all of your campaigns into account. The other thing to do and that’s why we like to turn things on at 11 in the morning and turn them off at 11 at night is because then we can monitor that but then we can also just turn it off and then we don’t have to worry about overspending. We can see where we’re at or if it starts to overspend we can cut it off by pausing our campaigns.

[00:28:26] Chris: We can pull it back in.

[00:28:27] Scott: Yeah, just pull it back, all right cool. Okay, I wanted to talk about that what else do you want to discuss here Chris before we wrap up for fourth quarter?

[00:28:36] Chris: In terms of PPC Scott the only other thing that I wanted to talk to you about was are you going to take advantage of the headline search ads during Q4?

[00:28:44] Scott: Well, and that would be the question that I would be asking you Chris. Do you think we should take advantage of the headline search ads? I’ve told people I’m not the tech guy, I’m not the pay-per-click expert and I know how to run, I run my own campaigns and stuff but that’s where I would probably lean on you for this one. I’m going to lean on you Chris should we run headline search ads?

[00:29:07] Chris: The answer for me there is most likely yes. If you guys have access to this feature it’s worth at least testing. Scott this is something that we’re going to have to clean up and tidy up a bit because I know not everything currently falls under our brand registry that we have for that brand. I noticed that the other day because I went to actually run some headline search ads just to set everything up.

We do have to check that so if you guys are brand registered you should have access to the headline search engine. If you guys don’t know what those are, those are the banner ads that show up across the top. If you have one product they are not really usable but if you have more than one, they are a very good experience for people. Now Scott the thing that I will say is these are not going to be the single thing I know we said at the beginning what are we going to do to try to triple our sales.

We’re going to increase our budgets, we’re going tune in our bids, we’re potentially going to use some Bid Plus. This I think is not going to necessarily triple it by itself. It’s definitely going to help you pick up some additional sales. The thing with headline search ads and the disclaimer that I was going to throw out there is they cost less per sale. They have a better ACOS generally. They also perform at a much lower rate. Does that make sense?

[00:30:21] Scott: Yeah.

[00:30:21] Chris: You get your clicks which means you’re getting fewer sales but those sales cost you generally 30%, 40% 50% less than the through sponsored products because the bid cost is lower. Now with the increase in Amazon traffic you can potentially take what would be one or two additional sales a day through something like the headline search ads and turn that into an additional three or four sales a day because there is that just additional amount of traffic.

Now again you are spending to acquire those so you’re going to have to keep your eye on all of the metrics, your click throughs, your cost per click and your ACOS. It’s definitely worth trying to see if it picks you up some additional sales because even though they perform at a lower rate because they increase in Amazon traffic, that rate just grows exponentially.

If they are getting you one sale a day out of ten but Amazon doubles their traffic well now that’s two sales a day. You just increased your sales through that by 50% which doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s initial 30 sales a month for not doing anything else other than having that running. It’s worth at least trying for a few weeks.

If you guys have access to that I would try it now so that as traffic starts to increase throughout the rest of October and into November and December that you have that in place and you can figure out what’s working and what’s not working. Another little ninja trick with those Scott you guys have existing PPC data and you have a keyword that performed really well in terms of sales but had a bad ACOS.

You had to pay a lot to get clicks on it so you weren’t necessarily profitable but you had a good conversion rate on it. Try running headline search ads on that keyword on that search term because a lot of times you’ll be able to get a lower bid through headline search ads than you can through the traditional sponsored products. You may actually be able to make some of those keywords profitable that weren’t profitable inside of the traditional sponsored products placements.

[00:32:13] Scott: I like that a lot yeah, so guys you might want to rewind that one and listen to that one again. That was good. That was good. It makes total sense. I mean like you said you’re not going to probably get as much from the headlines search ad engine at least right now but like you said if you have some keywords or search terms that have performed well but they’re expensive you may be able to reduce that cost and add a few extra sales by using the headline search ads just by using that data.

That’s why we say it’s so important to look at the data anyway and to look at your sponsored product ads, your report and see the search term. Again guys we talk all about that in the pay-per-click resource that we did for you guys and that can be found again at theamazingseller.com/PPC. Again some of the stuff is also discussed inside of the book that Seller Labs put together and that can be found at theamazingseller.com/PPCbook.

I’ll put everything, all the links that we talk about inside the show notes to this episode. One thing I did want to say before we wrap up here Chris and this gets asked a lot is well let’s say that I’ve got a lightening deal happening and it’s happening let’s say it’s happening in the fourth quarter. There is going to be an increased amount of traffic so that’s awesome.

We get that all the time, should I run lightening deals during this time? Again that ‘it depends' comes up and it depends on really like what other forms of traffic are you going to be able to drive because this is a way for you to do it if you don’t have a list to be able to get in front of eyeballs of people that are potentially your buyers.

We’ve just felt that they don’t perform as well as they used to. I think they’re becoming more common. I also think that when you have your own way to drive traffic it’s just better. The question we get is…

[00:34:04] Chris: And it’s free.

[00:34:06] Scott: And it's free. Yeah, and lightening deals aren’t, so and they are more expensive in the fourth quarter or at least around Black Friday, Cyber Monday any of those things. Let me ask you though Chris if we’re running a lightening deal are we turning off pay-per-click?

[00:34:23] Chris: Yeah, I would definitely have it paused during a lightning deal and the reason for that and again this is purely anecdotal but I’ve seen it multiple times in accounts that I work in. Scott I know you’ve seen it as well, I know Dom has seen it. If you’re running a lightening deal people will just go to Amazon and they’ll see it in the email and they won’t click on the link and they’ll go to amazon.com and they’ll type in Scott’s garlic press because they know it’s on a lightening deal they saw it or their wife yelled at them or their husband yelled out from the bathroom as he was scrolling through on his phone that, “Hey honey, the garlic press you wanted is on a lightening deal.”

She jumps on Amazon types in Scott’s garlic press and then it clicks on the sponsored ad and that is obviously not profitable for you because you’re running the lightning deal and you’re paying that ad cost.

What I’ve noticed in situations like that and again purely anecdotal but I’ve seen it multiple times. For me, for our brand Scott I would be turning it off is you do see that you spend basically through that budget during the period of the lightning deal because there is people specifically looking for the product. They’re going to come to amazon.com type in the name of the product.

Then click on the sponsored ad which well that’s normally what we want, during a lightening deal that’s not necessarily what we want because there is more people looking for our specific thing. What I would rather save my budget for is for people just typing in garlic press that haven’t already made their decision on the one they want to buy. Does that make sense?

[00:35:42] Scott: It does. You want to be careful with that I think and I would say the same thing. I would turn it off, you’re putting that energy and the money into the lightening deal we want to get as much as we can from that you don’t want to pay for people that are finding your product and then clicking on your ad but they could have just clicked on the link to go buy it.

[00:36:04] Chris: Right and plus I want to see what the lightning deal does on its own.

[00:36:08] Scott: Yeah, absolutely because that would be a great way to see that is by looking at those numbers. Yeah, I think that’s huge and again that’s another question that a lot of people ask. All right, so I think that’s good, Chris is there any last things you wanted to discuss? Are we ready to wrap this up?

[00:36:26] Chris: Well I think I just wanted to recap Scott. I want to recap some of the stuff that we’re going to do in fourth quarter and we talked about it but we didn’t necessarily talk about it from a strategy perspective. We’re going to be increasing our budgets. Now we’re not going to just double them, triple them like we said earlier. We’re going to slowly start to increase those until we see them not spending to budget or not being profitable for us anymore.

Same thing goes with bids if we need to raise our bids we’re going to slowly raise those bids until we reach a point where either we don’t need to raise them anymore or it’s not profitable from an ACOS perspective. The other thing we’re going to be doing is we’re going to probably avoid some of those days where we would be spending a lot of money.

Our Black Friday, Cyber Monday we’re not going to really do anything special in terms of PPC for those. Then we’re going to be dialing in some headline search ads just to take advantage of the additional lower cost traffic and see if that will help us pick up another 10%, 15%, 20% in sales.

[00:37:20] Scott: Yeah, no yeah, I think that’s it’s a great plan and we’ll let you guys know how everything goes. The other part of that plan is not necessarily pay-per-click related but we are actually in the process right now at the time that this is going to be airing. We’re doing another contest inside of our brand and we’re going to be driving traffic there building our email list even bigger and using that.

Actually Chris was just telling me before we got on here that he is in the process of writing some emails to do some of our promotions to our email list for fourth quarter. That’s really what we’re going to be focusing on as well. We’re doing a little bit of everything but our, we’ve seen the most growth with building the email list and driving traffic and building our Facebook page and reaching out to other people in our market and getting in front of the right people.

Pay-per-click is a great way to get in front of the right people because they’re searching inside of Amazon which is a search engine for buyers and you should be using it and we are going to using that as part of our fourth quarter strategy to triple sales. I’m saying triple I hope we quadruple to be honest with you.

I hope we do even better than that but we’ll keep you guys posted. If you guys want to check out the resources that we’ve put together I’ll link everything up in the show notes and that could be found at theamazingseller.com/425 and you can get all that right there. Yeah, Chris let’s wrap this up, are you ready to wrap it up now?

[00:38:58] Chris: I am.

[00:38:59] Scott: Are you going to do the ending, the official ending with me?

[00:39:02] Chris: I think I’ll say it with you, I’ll say it loud and I’ll say it proud.

[00:39:08] Scott: All right let’s do this guys as always remember I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, Chris are you going to do it with me now?

[00:39:22] Chris: I am.

[00:39:22] Scott: On the count of three one, two, three, “Take action.”

[00:39:25] Chris: “Take action.”

[00:39:27] Scott: Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode and go out there and get fourth quarter.

[00:39:37] Chris: What’s going on?

[00:39:41] Scott: Whoa.

[00:39:41] Chris: I am fantastic.

[00:39:43] Scott: Yeah, you hit that note that was nice.

[00:39:45] Chris: I made the note up myself.

[END]

 

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6 comments
  • Hey Scott,
    I have a private label product in the toy category that sold very well in Q4 but it is not what you would call a seasonal item. Things have slowed down now (which is normal, I think) but I wondered about trying increasing my ppc again. the most I have ever done was 10$/day for ppc. the average cost is about .35
    Is it crazy to try just for one day a budget of $100 at $1 per click. I have the cash and even if I don’t make money or break even it should be a great bump to my BSR. Right? This is still a new product that launched just before the holidays (and did well) and there is nothing like my variation on Amazon. Thoughts?
    Jason

    • Hey Jason, I don’t see a huge reason to jump to $100 unless you “want to”. I would just slowly raise the budget and see what happens. That way you’ll be able to see how it scales

  • Scott I liked episode #426 and went changed my overall PPC budget to $100 daily instead as I some days I was spending $200 or even $300 with a average cost per click at 60 cents… with hours my CPC jumped to 80 cents and I was going to be out of budget 1/2 way through the day.
    I chickened out and reset to back to the originally setting…for now I will let it ride as I don’t want to mess with a good thing. Despite the increased budget my ACoS is still the same at 17% but I’m on target to do 88K for Oct this year versus 71K last year.

  • Scott,
    You mentioned in this podcast that you were turning PPC on and off at 11am / 11pm. Is there a setting for that like in adwords, software or are you doing it manually?

  • Hey Scott,
    Love the show. Just listened to this episode. Chris mentioned that he runs ads from 11:00am – 11:00pm for ppc. Where can I change that on Amazon to have PPC run from 11:00am to 11:00pm?

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