Negative ASIN & Negative Product Targeting in Automatic Campaigns

amazon ppc negative asins auto campaigns

Ladies and gentlemen, we are excited to announce that Amazon PPC has reached the Promised Land. Over the past two weeks, Amazon has rolled out a feature that will change the way every seller thinks about Amazon PPC. 

What is this feature? Sellers now have the ability to add negative product targets to their automatic campaigns.

How Automatic Campaigns Used to Work

The foundations of automatic campaigns for Amazon PPC are essentially unchanged by the recent addition of negative product and ASIN targeting. You’re still going to build automatic campaigns and ad groups the same way. 

Before this feature was rolled out, we seemed to constantly be getting questions from sellers asking if it was possible to have a negative ASIN target for Amazon PPC. Until now, we’ve had to tell them there was not.

We even conducted a test to see if negative ASIN targeting could work (before this new feature, of course), and found some interesting things.

Testing Negative Targets and Auto Campaigns

To test the ability of sellers to have negative ASIN targets we took an auto campaign and found some unprofitable ASIN targets. Instead of adding the ASINs as negative keywords, we took the keywords from the titles of these ASINs and added them as negative phrase-match keywords. 

Did Negative ASINs in Auto Campaigns Work?

After adding a keyword from the title of a product as a negative, we learned that the impressions from that ASIN were not blocked! Even though we negative-phrased the keyword, it still didn’t work.

Blocking Brand Names

Did a negative-phrase work with blocking brands? If you were trying to negate any impressions from your competitors products, brand blocking was huge. Let’s say Nike wants to block all of the impressions from Adidas ASINs. That would be a game-changer. But was it possible? It was not.

We tested this theory for fourteen days, and we still got impressions for the brand name.

A Lack of Consensus

We also talked to numerous Amazon consultants and other PPC experts and their opinions were varied. No one really knew how the old system could potentially work for negative targets, which is very odd. For the vast majority of clicks, we know exactly where they came from and how to build an optimization strategy around them.

Clearly there were gaps in what Seller Central allowed us to do (prior to this update and added feature). The good news for everyone is that Amazon has fixed the problem.

What Negative Targets Mean For Your Amazon PPC Campaigns

With the addition of negative product targeting for auto campaigns, the entire game has changed. Sellers can now block irrelevant products and get the most out of their ad spend when using auto campaigns to conduct keyword research or to simply make sales.

Adding negative targets is the easiest way to see improve your conversion rate, click-through rate, and ACOS. It’s honestly a no brainer. 

How do you add negative targets to your auto campaigns?

negative product targeting auto campaigns

Once you’ve set up your auto campaign, you’ll now notice a tab labeled “Negative product targeting” near the bottom of the page. Simply enter in the ASINs you want to block, and you’re ready to launch your campaign.

Using Negative Products in Amazon at Scale

Obviously for every seller there’s a different strategy and circumstance, so one size doesn’t fit everyone even when it comes to a certain feature, like negative targets for auto campaigns. 

After exploring these targeting options over the last few weeks, we’ve found that blocking every single ASIN that you simply deem as “irrelevant” isn’t a worthwhile strategy. 

First, without seeing a decent amount of data for a certain ASIN, it’s impossible to know if it should be blocked or not. Second, you’ll want to have a benchmark for adding an ASIN as a negative. This ensures the same standard is applied to every ASIN target. We recommend blocking any products that have 20-30 clicks and zero sales. 

Key Takeaways

The addition of negative targeting to auto campaigns is great news for every seller. Now you can rest easier knowing that Amazon isn’t just burning your ad spend in an auto campaign. 

If you’re going to utilize this feature, which you obviously should, make sure to set-up a system that works for you instead of you constantly working on it. Set a point of no return, and if an ASIN reaches that certain number of clicks without a conversion, make it a negative. 

With the ability to add these negative targets, sellers have more control over their auto campaigns than ever before. Make sure to use that control to your advantage when it comes to staying ahead of your competition.

Discover Us on our PPC Den Podcast

If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with audio, we cover this topic on our podcast as well. 

Listen to it in the episode below or find us on your favorite streaming platform, like Apple, Google, Spotify, and more!

  • 1:10 Intro
  • 3:00 Our prayers have been answered
  • 5:15 Negative product targeting for automatic campaigns
  • 11:30 How to use this feature with search term reports
  • 16:00 Using Amazon Detail Page to find ASINs
  • 18:45 Closing thoughts

Watch Mike & Stephen on YouTube

If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with video, well, hot diggity dog, you’re in luck! We cover this topic on our YouTube channel too. 

Watch it below and please don’t forget to ‘like’ and subscribe.

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