When Auto Campaigns Don’t Work for New Product Launch

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You’ve just launched a new product. Good for you! After launching a product, the conventional wisdom has always been for sellers to create an auto campaign to find keywords that can be effectively used in a manual campaign. But, what if the auto campaign doesn’t work out the way you want it to? 

Sometimes auto campaigns are used strictly for keyword research, and we’ve always been huge advocates for using them in that capacity. However, we’ve recently found a great way to determine whether or not an auto campaign will be successful in finding useful keywords and being profitable for a product launch.

What an Auto Campaign Does for You

Let’s get this out of the way real quick. Auto campaigns aren’t going to give you a good or even close to optimal return on your ad spend. Why? Because you’re going to have search terms on your search term report that have absolutely nothing to do with your product! 

Guess what? That’s okay! 

We use auto campaigns to find keywords that are relevant to our product and optimize them in a manual sponsored product campaign. So you’ll have plenty of garbage keywords, but the consensus in the Amazon community is that the diamonds in the rough make running auto campaigns worth it.

The Theory Surrounding Product Launches

We recently heard from Destaney Wishon about an interesting way to discern whether or not an auto campaign would be the most beneficial way to launch a product.

According to Destaney, looking at the suggested keywords panel is all you need to do.

Why do auto campaigns work for some product launches and not for others? It all depends on how Amazon indexes your product. When a new product is put on Amazon, it can be difficult for Amazon to figure out exactly what it is and find the most relevant keywords for it.

Testing Product Launches and Auto Campaigns

We wanted to test this theory ourselves and decided to use two toothpaste products to see what suggested keywords Amazon came up with.

For our test, we used two different products:

  • Toothnote toothpaste
  • Colgate Total toothpaste

Obviously, Colgate Total is a very popular product and has tons of reviews. Toothnote toothpaste has very few reviews and represents a product that Amazon hasn’t accurately indexed.

We took both products and looked at the suggested keywords generated by Amazon.

Obviously, Colgate Total is very accurately indexed by Amazon. The product’s suggested keywords all seem very relevant.

The suggested keywords for Toothnote aren’t very promising for an auto campaign. We’re seeing quite a lot of suggestions based on certain keywords in the title such as organic herb, green, and jasmine.

One thing that jumps out about the differences between these products is the differences in their titles and how much stock Amazon puts in a new product’s title. 

Toothnote’s title is filled with keywords that could be confusing Amazon. All toothpastes are sugar-free, so why is sugar-free in the title? Differentiating your product from the competition is great, and we’re not advocating for short titles, but there is a point where keywords can make it difficult for Amazon to recognize what your product is.

Where Do We Go From Here?

When PPC beginners get started on Amazon, it’s very important to recognize the tried and true strategy of starting an auto campaign and following the RPSB method. 

Starting with a manual campaign with untested keywords is the biggest mistake we see beginners make. This strategy inevitably leads to keyword dumping, one of the biggest sins in Amazon PPC. 

This new strategy is geared towards sellers who are intermediate to advanced in their knowledge of Amazon PPC. You need to be able to discern whether or not the suggested keywords provided by Amazon will create an auto campaign that produces quality keywords.

By pre-evaluating what Amazon will show for an unindexed new product, you are essentially creating a barometer for the effectiveness of an auto campaign.

The Solution

If you have the experience, and your new product fails the suggested keyword test, we suggest creating a campaign with broad match keywords that ensure your keywords are relevant.

For Toothnote’s toothpaste, you would want to put “toothpaste” as a broad match keyword. Now you won’t be bidding on keywords like “tooth mouth.” 

With this strategy, you are able to speed up the indexation of your product as you are essentially assisting Amazon. After your product is better indexed, you can always check back on your suggested keywords and run an auto campaign.

Key Takeaways

This strategy can be very effective for helping experienced sellers and marketers launch their products. If you see that the suggested keywords from Amazon are irrelevant, just throw on some broad match keywords and help Amazon index your product.

However, if you are a beginner you should be very cautious about launching products without first running an auto campaign. Keyword dumping is costly and it is very difficult for a beginner to pick the right keywords out of the gate.


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
  • 7:30 Launching a new product with an auto campaign
  • 9:15 A caveat to the RPSB method
  • 13:20 How does Amazon determine where new products fit?
  • 15:40 How titles affect new product indexation
  • 17:45 Testing the new method for launching a new product
  • 23:50 Limiting your exposure to a bad auto campaign
  • 30:20 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.