3 Bulk File Myths, Debunked

3 Bulk File Myths, Debunked

Bulk files are an absolute godsend. They allow you to look through all the data you could possibly want on your Amazon PPC campaigns, all in one place.

To the uninitiated, bulk files and bulk operations may seem more suited for computers than humans. All of that data all in one place can feel overwhelming at first, but with time and practice, bulk files become a valuable part of your Amazon PPC optimization toolkit.

We’re here to look at three common reasons why some people don’t use bulk files … and how to get around those mental roadblocks.

Reason #1: Bulk Files are Intimidating

We’ve all been there. Everyone has a moment of mild panic the first time they open up a bulk file. It feels like way too much data to swallow.

Just remember: you got this. The more you work with and play around in bulk files, the better your understanding of how they work and how to use them. There’s no reason to throw yourself in the deep end. You can start as small as clicking into a single cell and changing a single number. Step by step, you’ll learn the ropes and before you know it, you’ll be a bulk optimization pro.

Go through each column one by one and familiarize yourself with their metrics. Once you’re familiar with those, look at just a few products at a time or one ad group at a time and optimize bit by bit. Don’t stress yourself out about memorizing all of the different functions or syntaxes; it really isn’t necessary.

The header columns from a bulk file, showing the different metrics.

As you make changes to your Amazon Advertising, like creating a new campaign, challenge yourself to learn how to set it up in a bulk sheet, even if you end up doing it the old-fashioned way. This ensures you’ll be more comfortable with using bulk files to their fullest potential in the future.

Even after you have the basics down, continue to play around with your bulk files. You might one day find that Amazon has added new features or support for new ad types.

Reason #2: You’re Scared You’ll Mess Up All Your Campaigns

The ease and convenience of having all of your data in one place can also breed paranoia. It’s not hard to imagine a single decimal point or typo in a bulk file having a cascading effect and tanking all of your campaigns.

There’s a simple solution to this: keep a backup bulk file by making a copy of your bulk file before you start making changes. This means that even if you do make a mistake, you can patch it back up immediately without having to spend hours searching for the cause of all the commotion.

When making your bulk file backup, give it a name that tells you everything you need to know about it. Make sure that name contains the account name, the date range of the file’s data, and the date that you downloaded it.

Secondly, take things slow. There’s no reason for you to optimize every single one of your bids all at the same time. You can take the data from one of your ad groups, put it in its own sheet, make your adjustments there, copy it over to the bulk file, and voila! You’ve used a bulk file for optimization without losing track of any of your changes.


An Ad group from a bulk file put into its own spreadsheet


If you want to keep track of how you’ve changed your bids over time in bulk files, there’s a hack for that. If a column in a bulk sheet doesn’t have a header, Amazon won’t read or incorporate the data in that column. Thus, you can keep your previous bids in a header-less column for reference and Amazon will ignore them. This gives you a clear view of what bids you changed and by how much, allowing you to understand how your campaign changes over time on a deeper level.

Reason #3: You Think Optimizing with Bulk Files is Too Hands-Off

If you’re in this camp, you’re what some would call an Amazon PPC purist. You think that the only way to truly understand your campaigns is to optimize them on the individual ad level.

If anything, it’s much the opposite: the more SKUs, campaigns, and ad groups you have, the harder it is to keep everything straight in your head and the greater the likelihood something will fall through the cracks. With bulk files, all of the information you need for all your campaigns and ad groups is on clear display in one place.

Not to mention, this sets a hard cap on how much you can grow your campaigns, ad groups, and product catalog. If you’re in the camp of “the only way to truly know your campaigns is to optimize at the most granular level,” break out the Hall and Oates, because you can easily find yourself out of touch and out of time when trying to optimize your bids.

You see everything all at once when optimizing via bulk files. It can be overwhelming, sure, but it’s much better than having to jump from ad group to ad group to ad group.

Key Takeaways

There are a few reasons people cite for avoiding bulk files, but these mountains are barely even molehills.

Bulk files might seem like this big, scary bogeyman at first, but by acclimating yourself to them a bit at a time, you can really cut them down to size. Spend some time just browsing through your bulk files, acquainting yourself with all of the different columns and metrics.

For some, the thought of accidentally messing up all of their campaigns by making a mistake in their bulk file chills them to the bone. To put your mind at ease, make a copy of your bulk file before you make any changes. If you realize afterward that you made a mistake, you can just upload that copy and undo all of your changes.

Some think that the only way to truly be in touch with their ads is to optimize on the smallest level possible, but it’s the opposite. Refusing to use bulk files makes it harder to keep all their bid optimization info straight, and it’s a major time vampire.

What are you waiting for? Download a bulk file and start optimizing your bids at lightning speed!


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