How to Use Bulk Operations on Amazon to Crush Your Competition

bulk operations amazon image

Back in 2016, Amazon made PPC campaign management a thousand times easier by introducing Bulk Operations. While the entire process may not be very user-friendly, it’s certainly more efficient!

With Bulk Operations, you can upload and manage thousands of campaign changes at once, saving you countless hours. It also allows for precise control over bids, budgets, and targeting across multiple campaigns, ensuring your strategies are executed flawlessly.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about Bulk Ops and how it can help you dominate the marketplace.

What are “Bulk Operations” on Amazon PPC?

Bulk Operations in Amazon Advertising are how you can make thousands of changes to your ad campaigns with a single upload. You can make any of these changes en masse:

  • Add or create new Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords, and Ads (SKUs in an Ad Group)
  • Pause or archive Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords, and Ads
  • Adjust budgets for Portfolios & Campaigns
  • Adjust placement settings for Campaigns & Ad Groups
  • Adjust bids for Ad Groups & Keywords
  • And much, much more

In this guide we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Bulk Operations, as well as a few advanced tactics to keep you one step ahead of the competition. Here’s everything we’ll cover:

  1. How to Download/Upload Bulk Sheets
  2. How to Create New Campaigns
  3. How to Create Ad Groups
  4. How to Add SKUs
  5. How to Add Keywords
  6. How to Adjust Bids
  7. Advanced Tactics

How to Download/Upload Bulk Sheets

To download a bulk sheet, you’ll need to login to Seller Central, go to Campaign Manager, then click on “Bulk Operations.”

Or you can just click this. (We like to make it easy on you 😉).

When you see this screen, just click “Create spreadsheet for download” and Amazon will begin preparing your bulk file.

bulk operations amazon bulk sheet download
Spreadsheet, bulk sheet, bulk file... they're all interchangeable.

Depending on the size of your account, your bulk sheet could take anywhere from one minute to one hour to be prepared.

So feel free to take a bathroom break at this point, but if you’re impatient like me, you can just keep refreshing the screen until its ready 🙂

For making campaign optimizations, these are the settings we suggest:

  • 60 day timeframe
  • Exclude terminated campaigns
  • Include Campaign items with zero impressions
  • Exclude Placement data for campaigns

That will provide you with enough information to use bidding strategies and other optimizations.

Once downloaded, your bulk sheet will look something like this:

bulk operations bulk file example
The Badger loves spreadsheets. More data = <3

Any changes you make on this sheet will be applied to your campaigns in Seller Central once you re-upload the bulk file. You can:

  • Rename campaigns or ad groups
  • Adjust bids
  • Adjust budgets
  • Change placement settings

But we’ll talk more in detail about how to make these changes later on.

IMPORTANT: Never, ever under any circumstances should you change the “Record ID.” This Amazon’s way of locating the objects you are modifying, whether it’s a keyword, ad group, or campaign.

To upload your changes to Amazon, navigate back to Bulk Operations and click “Choose file” to attach your newly modified bulk sheet.

bulk operations amazon bulk sheet upload
The upload can also take several hours, depending on the size of your file.

How to Create New Campaigns with Bulk Operations on Amazon

If you’re trying to create a new campaign (or twenty), you will need to use Amazon’s Bulk Operations Template.

You can find the template on the Bulk Ops page as pictured below.

Or you can just click HERE to download the same template from us (again, we like to save you time 😉).

bulk operations amazon template download
It's a subtle little link. Took us a while to find it.

For a new campaign, you will need to enter the following information on your spreadsheet:

  • Record type (should be set to “Campaign”)
  • Campaign (this is where you name it)
  • Campaign Daily Budget
  • Campaign Start Date (will default to today if left blank)
  • Campaign End Date (optional)
  • Campaign Targeting Type
  • Portfolio ID (optional)
  • Campaign Status (“enabled”)
  • Bidding Strategy

NOTE: When creating new campaigns/ad groups/keywords/etc., you do not need a Record ID. Amazon will assign an ID to each record (i.e., each campaign/ad group/keyword/etc.) when you upload your bulk sheet. The next time you download a bulk sheet from Amazon, you will see these newly added records with their own Record ID.

bulk operations amazon new campaign
I'm the Champagne Campaign Charlemagne.

How to Create Ad Groups with Bulk Operations on Amazon

For a new ad group you will need to enter the following information on your spreadsheet:

  • Record type (should be set to “AdGroup”)
  • Campaign
  • Ad Group (whatever you decide to name it)
  • Max Bid
  • Ad Group Status (“enabled”)
bulk operations amazon new ad group
Max Bid will be the default bid for new keywords.

How to Add SKUs with Bulk Operations on Amazon

For a new ad you will need to enter the following information on your spreadsheet:

  • Record type (should be set to “Ad”)
  • Campaign
  • Ad Group
  • SKU
  • Status (“enabled”)

Note: You must upload the SKU for the Ad, not the product’s ASIN (because there can be multiple SKUs listed under the same ASIN).

amazon bulk operations new ad
Adding Ads.

How to Add Keywords with Bulk Operations on Amazon

For a new keyword you will need to enter the following information on your spreadsheet:

  • Record type (should be set to “Keyword”)
  • Campaign
  • Ad Group
  • Max Bid
  • Keyword or Product Targeting (the keyword or ASIN)
  • Status (“enabled”)

Note: Every keyword or ASIN needs to have its own individual row.

bulk operations amazon new keyword
If you do not set a bid for a Keyword, the Ad Group's Max Bid will be applied as the default.

How to Adjust Bids with Bulk Operations on Amazon

Making bid adjustments is easy. In the Max Bid column, you can simply click on a cell and change the number. When you upload your bulk file to Amazon, the changes will be made to your campaigns!

how to adjust bids with bulk operations amazon
Easy as that!

Advanced Tactics

For the agencies, entrepreneurs, and people who are just plain nerdy, we wanted to provide a few ways to use Bulk Ops in your campaign management strategies. Here’s a list of four tactics to help you kick ACOS.

#1 — RPSB

For those who are familiar with our signature RPSB strategy, you know this process includes:

  1. Running an Auto Campaign
  2. Peeling out the list of Converting Search Terms
  3. Sticking them into a Manual Campaign
  4. Blocking those same terms from the Auto Campaign with Negative Keywords

This entire process can be quite lengthy, but thanks to Bulk Operations you can make all these changes within a single upload. It’s important to be familiar with the Search Term Report. Check out our Search Term Report guide if you need to brush up before getting started.

After you’ve gotten your list of Converting Search Terms from your Search Term Report, copy the Campaign, Ad Group, and Search Term data over to your Sponsored Products Template {link to download}.

By the way...

Did you know Ad Badger can compile a 6-Month Converting Search Term Report for you in under 2 seconds?

You will need to shuffle some of the data around to make sure it’s aligned under the correct column since the layouts for the Search Term Report and the Sponsored Products Template are slightly different. 

The Search Terms should be placed under the Keyword column and should all be set as “NegativeExact” with the Auto Campaigns from which they came in the same row.  

Then, duplicate the Search Terms under the Keyword column again and set them as “Exact” with the new Ad Group for your Manual Keyword Targeting Campaign.

#2 — Negative Keyword Optimization

Similar to blocking out converting search terms from your Auto Campaigns (see RPSB above), you can block out bad, non-converting search terms as well. When looking through your search term reports, you may find certain queries which fall under one of these three categories:

  • High spend, no conversions
  • High clicks, no conversions
  • High impressions, bad CTR, no conversions

We talk more about these conditions and how they negatively affect your Ad Rank in addition to wasting your money in our Complete Guide to Negative Keywords.

If you find these kinds of vampire search terms draining your campaign budget, simply copy them from your Search Term Report with Campaign and Ad Group data and paste them as “NegativeExact” Keywords in your Sponsored Products Template.

#3 — Copy/Paste with International Marketplaces

It’s the bane of agencies who spent months optimizing a US advertising campaign to have to start all over again to launch a Canadian or UK campaign for their client.

Luckily, with Bulk Ops, this process is as easy as downloading the US Bulk Sheet and re-uploading it to the UK/Canadian marketplace.

NOTE: This only works if the different marketplaces speak the same language, in this case, English.  Otherwise keyword targeting does not copy/paste into foreign languages very well!

#4 — Advanced Bid Strategies

We’ve previously talked about how to calculate the perfect bid, but with Bulk Sheets this process is even easier.

Before Bulk Operations, we needed to go through each keyword and manually adjust the bids based on our Target ACOS bidding formula.

Now, we can optimize bids for thousands of keywords in just a couple of minutes following these steps:

  • Download a Bulk Sheet with 30 or 60 days of data
  • Add a new column titled “New Bid” next to the Max Bid column
  • Enter the formula for one keyword: Total Sales / Total Clicks * Target ACOS %
  • Copy this formula to New Bid column for all keyword records
  • Delete the Max Bid column
  • Rename the “New Bid” header to “Max Bid
  • Upload changes to Amazon Bulk Ops, and you’re done!

Common Mistakes with Bulk Operations on Amazon

When using Amazon Bulk Operations, small mistakes can have big consequences. Knowing these common pitfalls and how to avoid them can make your life a lot easier.

How To Use Bulk Operations On Amazon To Crush Your Competition

#1 Improper Formatting of Bulk Sheets

A frequent issue is improper formatting of bulk sheets. Amazon has strict guidelines for how data should be organized, and any deviation can cause upload errors. Common mistakes include incorrect column headers, wrong data types, and missing fields.

To avoid these problems, always refer to Amazon’s Bulk Operations documentation. Use Amazon’s bulk operation templates to minimize errors. Running validation checks before uploading ensures that everything is correctly formatted.

For example, ensure that columns like “Campaign Name,” “Ad Group Name,” “Keyword or Product Targeting,” and “Bid” are filled out according to Amazon’s specifications. Even a small error in these fields can prevent the bulk file from uploading correctly.

#2 Overwriting Important Data

Another common mistake is overwriting important data. This often happens when changes are made without keeping a copy of the original file, leading to the loss of critical campaign settings and historical data.

To prevent this, always save a backup of your original bulk sheet before making any changes. This backup serves as a safety net, allowing you to revert to the previous state if something goes wrong.

When updating fields such as “Max Bid,” “Daily Budget,” or “Campaign Status,” make incremental changes rather than extensive updates all at once. Keeping track of different versions of your bulk sheets, with each version clearly labeled with the date and nature of changes, helps maintain organized and trackable updates.

#3 Not Reviewing Changes Before Uploading

Failing to review changes before uploading the updated bulk sheet is another common mistake. Errors can easily slip in during the editing process, leading to unintended consequences.

Carefully review all changes before uploading. Look for any discrepancies or unintended alterations in fields like “Match Type,” “Placement,” and “Campaign End Date.” If possible, have another team member review the changes. A fresh set of eyes can catch errors that might have been missed during the initial review.

Consider doing a test upload with a smaller subset of changes. This allows you to ensure that everything works correctly before making extensive updates. By taking these precautions, you can increase the likelihood of successful and error-free bulk operations.

The Bottom Line

Bulk Operations cuts down time spent on campaign management from hours to minutes. For larger campaigns, even Bulk Ops can take several hours to prepare a single sheet for a bulk upload.

There is an even faster way, though—automation.

Repetitive, formulaic tasks can be performed by PPC Tools like Ad Badger, which rips bad ACOS to shreds, increases conversion rates, and reduces wasted Ad Spend.


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