How To Effectively Use Amazon Automatic Targeting To Build Your Ads

July 2, 2023

Navigating Amazon Advertising can seem quite overwhelming with all the diverse features it offers–but it’s so worthwhile! One of the simplest campaigns to set up, though, is a Sponsored Display ad with automatic targeting, so even if you’re a beginner, you can benefit from trying it out. 

Ready to find out more about how you can effectively use Amazon automatic targeting to build your ads? In our MerchJar guide, we’re going to share our best advice to help you make the most out of this useful feature. 

What is Amazon Automatic Targeting?

Automatic targeting is an ad feature that allows Amazon to decide where and when to display a product ad. With this ad targeting type, Amazon’s algorithm focuses on keywords that are relevant to various elements of a product listing, such as the title and description. 

When you’re using automatic targeting, you won’t have to worry about optimizing your ads yourself. Amazon will take care of it by collecting data from customers’ purchases and adjusting the ads accordingly to make sure you increase your conversions and click-through rates. This makes it more appealing to PPC beginners compared to manual targeting, where you’ll need a more extensive background in using online ads. However, automated targeting doesn’t give you as much control over your advertising performance as manual targeting does. 

A superior benefit of automatic targeting, though, is that you can get insights into new relevant keywords and search terms that generated clicks in your running ads to include in your future ad campaigns. 

Different Match Types of Amazon Automatic Targeting

Amazon sellers can choose from four different match types when creating Sponsored Product campaigns with automatic targeting:

  1. Close match
  2. Loose match
  3. Substitutes
  4. Complements

With Close Match, your products are shown to customers who use search terms that are very closely related to your products. For example, if you sell gel nail polish, close match terms could be ‘red gel nail polish’ or ‘gel nail polish kit’.

With Loose Match your products are shown to customers who use search terms that are loosely related to your products. For example, if you sell manicure sets, loose match terms could be ‘UV nail lamp’ or ‘nail files’. 

Substitutes show ads to customers who visit product pages of products similar to yours. This would usually be the same type of product, just sold by a different brand. For example, Nike tennis shoes instead of Adidas tennis shoes. 

Complements show your ads to customers who are visiting product pages of items that complement yours. For example, if you sell dog beds, the complementary product could be a dog bowl. 

A fortunate part about this structure is that you can individually enable or disable each target group. You can also place separate bids and get individual reports of impressions, clicks, sales, ACoS, and more. 

Why is Amazon Automatic Targeting Beneficial? 

  • Easy to set-up: As opposed to manual campaigns, which require a good amount of testing and trial and error, automatic ad targeting is pretty easy to set up. 
  • Intercept more customers: As automatic targeting leverages the quick intelligence of Amazon’s algorithm, it’ll factor in a whole lot more targeting strategies you wouldn’t have thought to factor into your campaign had you done it manually. 
  • Help you identify the long-tail search terms: Automatic campaigns are great for helping you identify difficult long-term search terms that lead to a higher conversion rate. This will, of course, make it easier for you to optimize your future campaigns. 

How to Build Campaigns Using Amazon Automatic Targeting

Now that we’ve covered the basics and benefits of Amazon automatic targeting, let’s look at the ways you can effectively use it for your campaigns. 

Step 1: Create an Amazon PPC Automatic Campaign

When setting up your automatic campaign from your Amazon ads dashboard–as we mentioned–it’s relatively simple. The first thing you’ll need to do is input your campaign name, portfolio, start and end date, daily budget, and select automatic targeting. 

  • Campaign Name: In your campaign name, it’s best to include the product you’re advertising, the campaign type (e.g., auto), and the date you’re launching it. 
  • Portfolio: This field will help you organize your campaign by allowing you to create portfolios based on the types of products you want to advertise. For instance, if you want to advertise different types of jewelry, you can create portfolios for every type, such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, etc. 
  • Start and End Dates: Your start date can be whatever you choose. However, when it comes to your end date, it’s best to leave it blank so that you can extend your campaign as long as you need to without it automatically stopping. 
  • Daily Budget: It’s more beneficial to start with a low budget so you can collect data and test for an affordable cost. You’ll have the opportunity to adjust your budget over time. 

Step 2: Set Your Bids

Now, you can set your bids. For automatic ads, you’ll get two options for this:

  • Set default bid: This is the easiest option because you’ll be setting a default bid for all your match types. Regardless of your product, Amazon suggests starting with $0.75. 
  • Set bids by targeting group: If you want to dive into more advanced automatic targeting, you can place different bid amounts for each match type. Amazon will also provide some recommendations for these individual bids based on other sellers’ bid amounts. 

You’d benefit from selecting “Set bids by targeting group” because you’ll find that as your campaign runs, your bids can vary widely between each of the four target groups. 

Step 3: Select a Campaign Bidding Strategy

Next, you’ll need to choose your bidding strategy. For automatic campaigns, you’ll get to choose from three bidding options:

  1. Dynamic Bids: Down Only - This option can decrease your bids by up to 100% in real-time when the algorithm identifies that it’s less likely to lead to conversions.
  2. Dynamic Bids: Up & Down - This adjusts your bids by up to 100% in real-time when your ad is either more likely or less likely to convert to a sale. 
  3. Fixed Bids - For this option, the exact bid you put is consistently used. You’ll get more impressions but fewer conversions from your ad spend budget. 

To maintain your ad spend budget, we recommend you select ‘Dynamic Bids: Down Only’ as your default setting. Once you’ve had some time to collect data from your automatic campaign and see good performance, then you can try out ‘Dynamic Bids; Up & Down’.

You can boost your bidding strategy further by using an effective Amazon ad automation tool like MerchJar. It includes a powerful feature called Smart Bids that will help you with daily bid adjustments, based on your criteria, so that you can always meet your ACoS targets. 

Step 4: Add Negative Keywords 

The final step to building your customized automatic campaign is to include negative keywords so that you won’t waste any of your initial ad spend on placement for keywords that don’t match your goals. 

If any previous campaigns of yours have shown that certain keywords take a large chunk of your budget without converting, consider adding those as negative keywords for your next campaign. 

Step 5: Monitor Your Results

After you’ve launched your campaign and it’s been running for at least a week, you can start to monitor your performance. If you’re a brand-registered seller on Amazon, you’ll have access to the Brand Analytics Dashboard where you can see an overview of your campaign performance. 


Using Amazon automatic targeting for your campaigns is clearly a great strategy if you’re just starting out with your ad campaigns. We hope our guide has given you a great formula to help you get the best ROI for your Amazon marketing efforts. 

If you want to spend more time perfecting your product listings, you can consider using powerful Amazon ad automation software like MerchJar. It’s a perfect tool if you have a lot of products to sell and a lot of ads to create. Your advertising efforts will be on autopilot, and your bid adjustments will be perfectly optimized to make sure you get the ROI you deserve. Try the 30-day free trial today!