Smart Campaigns Overview

March 6, 2024

Smart Campaigns is a key feature in Merch Jar that enables you to automate your campaign structuring through the automated management of keywords and product targets. By setting up rules and conditions based on performance metrics, Smart Campaigns automatically creates keywords from high-performing search terms in your selected ad groups or negates underperforming terms, optimizing your campaign's performance.

What are Smart Campaigns?

A Smart Campaign is an individual instance that includes one or more ad groups which can be from any of your campaigns, all managed in a centralized manner, saving you time and making campaign management more efficient. The key component of a Smart Campaign is the set of rules it contains. These rules dictate the conditions under which search terms are to be created as keywords or product targets, or when they should be negated.

Smart Campaigns works at the search term level. Search terms from your chosen source ad groups are evaluated against these conditions. If they meet the conditions, they are either added as keywords or product targets in the target ad groups or negated from the negation ad groups. This automated process optimizes your PPC campaigns based on the rules and conditions you set.

Smart Campaign Use Cases

Smart Campaigns can be used in various ways depending on your campaign goals and strategies. Here are some common use cases:

  1. Campaign Structure: Automate the structure of your campaigns by utilizing smart campaigns. Create rules that transfer keywords between ad groups based on their performance, allowing you to optimize your ad spend and focus on high-performing keywords.
  2. Keyword testing and Harvesting: Automate the promotion of search terms to keywords based on performance. If a search term from your source ad group performs well, it becomes a keyword in your target ad group. This process, often called 'keyword harvesting', allows you to test a variety of keywords and find the best performers.
  3. Negating irrelevant terms: Streamline the addition of negative keywords. If a search term doesn't meet your set performance metrics, it is automatically negated.
  4. Scaling campaigns: As your Amazon PPC efforts expand, managing keywords across various campaigns can be challenging. Smart Campaigns automate this process, saving valuable time.
  5. Keyword isolation: Isolate and evaluate the performance of individual keywords across your ad groups and campaigns.

Smart Campaigns Index

Smart Campaign Index Page

The Smart Campaigns Index is your central dashboard for managing all your Smart Campaigns. To access the Smart Campaigns Index, you can either click the Smart Campaigns link in the sidebar or visit Smart Campaigns page.

You can perform the following actions on the Smart Campaigns Index:

  1. Create new Smart Campaign
  2. Enable and disable Smart Campaign
  3. Perform Dry Run
  4. Duplicate Smart Campaign
  5. Delete Smart Campaign

A Smart Campaign does not need to be enabled to perform a Dry Run. However, only rules that are enabled within a Smart Campaign will run during the Dry Run.

Smart Campaign Detail Page

Smart Campaign Detail Page

Once you've created a Smart Campaign, you can view and manage its details on the Smart Campaign Detail Page by clicking on the Smart Campaign name in the Smart Campaign Index. Here, you'll find the options to name your Smart Campaign, link ad groups, add rules, and save your Smart Campaign.

The Detail Page contains two important sections:

Linked Ad Groups

This table shows all the ad groups that are part of the Smart Campaign. Linked ad groups can be deleted using the "..." options button unless they are used in a rule.

Link New Ad Group to Smart Campaign

Paused ad groups can be linked to a Smart Campaign and have keywords created within it. This can be useful to setup "staging" ad groups to harvest potential keywords you would like to manually evaluate before creating them.

Smart Campaign Rules

In this table you'll find all the rules set for the Smart Campaign. Rules are the core of your Smart Campaign. They define conditions based on performance metrics that select search terms from your source ad groups, create keywords/product targets in target ad groups, and negate search terms in negation ad groups. Each rule has an enable switch, which controls whether it will run during the daily check. Only rules that are enabled will be checked daily.

Create Smart Campaign Rule

Smart Campaign Rule Editor

The Rule Editor is where you will configure each rule for automated keyword management. There's three components to every rule:

  1. Data Source: The ad groups from the which search terms will be evaluated against the conditions.
  2. Conditions: The date range and performance metrics the search terms will be evaluated against.
  3. Actions: The ad groups and matchtypes of the keywords or negative keywords that will be created for search terms that meet the set conditions.
Smart Campaign Rule Editor

Checkbox Selection

In the rule editor, each linked ad group is displayed in a row. For each, checkboxes for Source, Target, and Negation columns allow multiple selections for each category. Uncheck the box next to an ad group to remove it from a category.

To show only the ad groups that have at least one checkbox selected, enable the "Hide unused ad groups" switch.

Data Source

Smart Campaign Data Source Column

The Data Source is the ad groups from which search terms will be evaluated against the conditions you set each day. The ad groups are chosen using the checkboxes in the "Source Ad Groups" column.

When selecting multiple ad groups as a source, the data for all selected ad groups will be aggregated for each search term.


Smart Campaign Conditions

The conditions are the metrics and timeframe each search term's performance will be evaluated. They include:

  1. Orders: Number of orders received from a search term.
  2. ACoS: Advertising Cost of Sale, a key performance indicator.
  3. Clicks: Number of clicks a search term has received.
  4. Lookback period: The timeframe over which search term performance is measured.


Smart Campaign Actions Columns

The actions section is where you choose what will happen for every search term that meets the conditions set. There are two general actions that can be performed:

  1. Create keyword or product target
  2. Create negative keyword or product target

The actions are chosen by selecting the match type of the keyword to be created or negated. Only the match types that are supported for that ad group will be shown. If more than one checkbox is selected for your actions, for every search term that meets the conditions regardless of the source ad group, ALL actions will be performed.

If a search term already exists as keyword or negative keyword, whether it's enabled, paused, or archived, a new keyword or negative keyword will not be created.

When negating search terms, consider creating separate rules for each source ad group. This approach allows for more precise control and prevents a search term that performs well in one ad group from being negated due to its performance in another.
If a negative keyword is created that you do not which to be negated, you can archive the negative keyword and Smart Campaigns will no longer create that negative keyword in that ad group.

Target Ad Groups

Target ad groups are where keywords/product targets are created if search terms from the source ad groups meet the conditions specified in your rules. Utilize the checkboxes to select one or more of the keyword types to be created: broad, phrase, exact, or product. Only the match types that an ad group are eligible for will be shown.

This section is disabled for auto campaign ad groups, as keywords cannot be created in these ad groups.

Negation Ad Groups

Negation ad groups are where search terms from the source ad groups are negated if they meet rule conditions. To select a negation ad group, check one or more boxes under the "Negation" column. You can select phrase and/or exact match type, or product for negation.

Bids for Newly Created Keywords

Smart Campaigns feature a bid resolution process that intelligently determines the optimal bid for keywords based on performance data. This process takes into account the presence and performance of search terms within selected ad groups during a specified lookback period.

Learn how Bid Resolution works

Bid Change

When a new keyword or product target is created, you may optionally increase or decrease the resolved bid for the newly created keyword or product target using the Bid Change section, or leave blank for no bid modification.

Smart Campaign Schedule

Smart Campaigns perform daily checks at approximately 5:00am UTC. Depending on your location, this translates to:

  • Midnight East Coast US time
  • 9pm West Coast US time
  • 5am London time
  • 6am Berlin time

These daily checks include all enabled Smart Campaigns and the enabled rules within them.

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