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The Amazon Files, hosted by Kristin Ostrander, Amazon business strategist and one of the founders of Mommy Income, hits the airwaves every Tuesday with the real truth about selling on Amazon. This show isn’t about sugar-coated reality. It’s real truth - the good, the bad and the ugly - shared with practical action steps and strategies to help both new and experienced sellers tackle the world’s largest retail sales platform.

Nov 14, 2022

If you have ever run an ad on Amazon you know how complicated and expensive it can be. Today we have a special guest, Mina Elias, who is going to help us change the way we perceive Amazon PPC and empower us to take back control and dominate our ads.


Today's guest is off the chain. We are so excited to be talking to Mina and talking about Amazon PPC strategies. You guys know we need all the help that we can get.


Mina is looking forward to sharing PPC strategies that can help you launch products on Amazon, whether it's private label or wholesale bundling. A very data driven approach. Very logical and fundamental in concepts you can follow no matter what you're doing. 


So his normal beginning came to America in 2011. He was born in Egypt and grew up in Dubai. He studied chemical engineering, graduated top of the class, got his bachelor's and master's. Got a 9-5 corporate job in a new product development for a medical devices company. Worked there for five years. After changing jobs a few times, he realized corporate was not for him. And so he decided to start a supplement brand business since he is an MMA fighter and still trains. He fought and competed many times. He got interested in creating a supplement brand that helps him as an MMA fighter.  So he created MMA nutrition, which is an electrolyte powder. It is still on Amazon. You can go check it out. He created a few other brands after that. 


Later on he realized is all marketing, you're just putting a bunch of words and you make it sound cool to people and then you market it through influencers and to Amazon, and then you sell the product. 


At first, he went from gym to gym and door to door supplement stores. No one would like it. He would take one and take one out but no one wanted to take it. And so he decided to figure out how to sell it on Amazon. He went super obsessive, deep dive, read every single article, video, YouTube, podcast, everything. He consumed every single possible piece of content out there in 2018. Then he called Amazon and told them that he wanted sell his product on Amazon. They sent him a starter package and an email. He filled out those and after that, he got a seller central account. He submitted Certificate of Analysis and an invoice since he will be selling supplements. He was rejected four times and on the fifth time, he was approved. Sales reviews and PPC are two things to make your products sell on Amazon. They are the biggest needle mover. And then SEO, images, and keywords. PPC is in charge of bringing people into the listing. Reviews get those people who are at the listing to convert. And by 2020 he was doing $94,000 a month in revenue with  just one supplement. 


Covid hit. He decided to have some podcasts and Facebook groups to share what works for him. People like it very much and would love to hear more of what he is doing. And then, this aggregator hits him up and invited him to provide training in advertising. They tested him for one of their brands and then four months later to six other larger agencies but all failed. He performed the best. Then he looked back. He might be good at supplements, but he is really good at PPC stuff. So he decided to start an agency because he figured out that people need PPC help and he can earn through that. If they don't pay him, if he don't exist, they are going to pay someone else. 


He wanted to do it as a service to people. He wanted to share everything and give people all of his knowledge. Currently, his business manages 72 brands, 4 of them were his brands, and he has four of his team managing their own brands and other people’s brands. If they want to do it themselves, they can. If they don't have the time and they need the execution, then that is where their company comes in.


3 Do-it-Yourself PPC Tips


  1. Look at your portfolios


If you have a parent asin, separate each parent ASIN into one portfolio. This way everything is kind of clean and easy and simple to separate. And you can see the performance per product. Then move into, if you have a bunch of portfolios, this is time to clean it up. Then go into campaign nomenclature. Campaign names are very, very important. 


Naming campaigns: It is your product code. So for example, my H unflavored was hu and then space, Space, which is my spacing, it will be SP or SB or SD based on sponsor product, brand or display. 


  1. Type of ad


Is it close match, loose match compliments or substitutes, broad phrase or exact product targeting, category targeting?


Purpose to that campaign: is it a ranking campaign, general campaign


Where that keyword came from: search term report or Helium 10


These all help you in terms of pattern recognition. So you can go and say, let me type in SP and look at all your sponsored products and then type in SP and look at all of your sponsored brand. And then you can notice your overall performance if it improves or worsens? As you launch your sponsored brands, they show up in the same place as your sponsored products, they end up eating budget but not actually. 


  1. Campaign budgets


Go into the campaign. The structure that he follows is one campaign should have one ad group and then maximum of five keywords. You can audit this. If you look at the multiple ad groups, you'll notice that the budget is not splitting evenly. What he would do in that case is go into the ad group with the least amount of sales, pause anything that is not working. So that you are not spending money on campaigns that are not making any sale. Just to get rid of it. 


For the other ad group that there is, go look at the keywords. If you have more than five keywords sort by sales, and if you notice that five or six of those keywords are generating sales and the rest are not, pause everything that is not generating any sales in the last 30 days. You can take those and relaunch them in their own campaigns. And when you do that, you will notice that maybe in this campaign it was not generating sales because there is a big keyword there that is sucking up all the budget. But when you launch in its own campaign, it might generate two or three profitable sales and that adds up.


Running Multiple Campaigns on the Same Product and Why is it Important


The goal of Mina’s PPC is to drive as many sessions as possible into the listing at the lowest cost possible. Do not look at rows. Do not look at ACOs. All of these things are one indicator, and that indicator is like, did you convert? Did you spend money and convert? But conversion rate is a huge portion of that equation. So when looking at how effective Mina’s PPC, you are looking at how much money you spend on PPC and how many sessions you are getting, and if you are able to bring more and more and more sessions into the listing at the same cost per session or the lower cost per session, then you know you are winning on the ad side. And if that does not convert into profitable sales, that is not on the PPC, that is on the conversion, that is on the listing. Main image, price reviews, title, bullet points, enhanced brand content, questions, videos, all of that stuff that are on the listing. 


Bring as many People into the Listing


You have to track sessions. If you do one campaign, you do whatever you can to bring a certain number of sessions. Put the keywords in, bring budget, dig bids. At some point it is going to get capped. How do I get more sessions? A session is a unique Amazon account, a visitor. We are not tracking clicks coming from one and the same person. We are interested in more unique people. And so when you launch a new campaign again with five different keywords, you'll notice that you are getting more sessions. The more campaigns that you launch with unique keywords, the more sessions you get and then it is all going to come down to how much am you spend to get those sessions. If the spending is proportionally going up, then maybe you are overspending and you need to stop and optimize. And if it is going down, then that is amazing. It could also be that because you are spending more on ads, your organic rank goes up. When your organic rank goes up, you get that free sessions into the listing. And so then the strategy becomes okay.


Launching Campaigns Targeting Keywords


Start off by having your four auto campaigns broken up. They are close match campaign, loose match, compliments, and substitutes. Close match and substitutes usually perform better. Loose match and compliments not as much. Have the auto campaign go and do keyword research to find your main keyword. Go into helium. Go into Amazon. Type in the main keyword that you think would find the top 10 competitors using x-ray then launch them into Cerebro. And then use a few filters. You should have at least eight out of the 10 minimum ranking competitors. You should see the intersection of keywords between all of those competitors, at least 300 searches a month or more. And no more than position 60 because maybe someone's ranked a position 120 for a keyword. It's not that relevant. It will give you a refined list of keywords, and you start with the most relevant high search volume ones. Let's say, take five or 10 of those and launch them in their own campaigns. Do broad and phrase and exact keyword. They behave completely different. So even you use the same keyword as exact or broad, broad could perform 10 times better than exact because broad is cycling through different keywords at different times of the day. So it just might have different performance than exact. That's targeting one keyword at a certain time of the day. From those auto and broad and phrase campaigns, go into the search term report and find which ones converted profitably. Take those out. Make sure that you are not already targeting them, not some of the main keywords, and then launch them in their own campaigns. And so that is the cycle of launching keywords, finding which ones worked, launching in them in their own campaigns and then the ones that worked, spend more money on them, find new search terms, launch them, the ones that didn't work, lower the bids.




“This world is tough. Competition is fierce, and everyone is screaming at you to do more, be more and hustle more. But what I do know about all of these hard things, no matter how exhausted we are, hard times bring out our strength and benefits. So make a change and keep pushing forward!” - Kristin Ostrander