November 21 Update | 2022 Holiday Ride Along

June 7, 2023


In this video, I'm giving you an update on my account and my hero product, some general thoughts on what my strategy and approach is, with the days leading up to this Black Friday, Cyber Monday and what I'm looking at when I'm making decisions on what to do with my ads.

My entire goal right now, with just days away from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, kind of that kickoff of the holiday sales season is strictly ranking, it's not about profit and trying to make money, it's about trying to put my products in as good of a position as possible. So that as we move through this holiday season, they can get as many sales as possible. So, making profit isn't the number one goal right now me in this is going to depend on how aggressive you want to be, of course, I am being extremely aggressive. And with my hero product, it is competing in some very high competition keywords. So, it requires to be aggressive just to kind of hit that level. So maybe this will be given you an idea of what it looks like it’s kind of those lower BSR as those high competition keywords that I do target with this product. So, and the whole reason behind this, that I'm so aggressive now, and I will be even through Black Friday Cyber Monday is because I know that based on my previous year’s sales history, that sales continue to climb after Black Friday, after Cyber Monday, all the way up pretty much till Christmas, if you can still deliver your products by Christmas Day. Once that shipping date passes December 25, sales plummet. So that's kind of the where the peak is at. And if we look at, we look at previous sales’ previous year, we can see Black Friday, Cyber Monday is here. So Black Friday, and then Cyber Monday. And it continues to climb all the way up through December 17. For me, and then 18th is when the shipping times for my products past December 25. And then there's that sales cliff, and we're in that post holiday season. So, my entire goal right now is to get my products in as good a position ranking, so that I can take advantage of these sales. I mean, you can look at a couple these days here. They are pretty much double what Black Friday, Cyber Monday days themselves, those days that are historically good sales days, the better best sales days are even after that the next three weeks or so again, if you can still deliver to customers by Christmas day, you're going to see sales growth.

The other advantage of that being aggressive with ads, and I will be aggressive even all throughout this time period is that if you can keep delivering products, when your competitors can't, that's a great opportunity to obviously get sales and increase your rank that way as well as if they start letting up on advertising. There's another opportunity that you can step in, they let off the gas are they run out of budget, and you still do have an advertising budget, it puts your products in a great position to make the most of out of the holiday sales season.

Account Review

So, let's jump over to the account. Right now, it is November 21, about 6pm, Eastern time, so still quite a few hours left in the day. And you can see kind of how my weeks been. And what I'm jumping into the account and kind of what I'm first looking at is first is just my overall sales. I'm going to start yesterday, that's kind of like the first full day. We don't have complete advertising and sales data yet for today. But I will look at that. But first thing I'm going to do is just look at my total sales for yesterday. And this is merch by Amazon or Amazon merch on demand. If you're not selling on Amazon merch on demand, it's a royalty system. So, I get paid, it's about 25% profit margin off of each sale so that the royalties are just my profits. I don't have any other expenses outside of advertising when it comes to direct product costs related to sales. So, if you're selling another product or another platform, you want to keep in mind what your profit margins are minus the ads, as we'll talk about separately there. So, in your cost of goods sold, your Amazon, Amazon fees, make sure to take that into account when we're looking at this so that $1,100 yesterday is my profit before ads. And I'm just going to compare that directly to my advertising. So, if my advertising is below what my profit is, I'm fine with that. If it is below, I kind of see that as opportunity to be more aggressive with my advertising. So, if we look at our advertising, so this is the ad account last seven days, that follows the graph here yesterday, we spent $883 in ADS. And you can see just overall, the spend, the blue line here has been increasing, a cost has been increasing. And that's probably going to be the trend. Throughout the next few weeks, I will say I have been a little lack when it comes to eliminating ad spend. From not as from performers, I haven't done a whole lot of optimizations. When it comes to that, I'm kind of letting everything I'm trying to get as many sales as possible. And if I'm not losing money in an account, that's kind of where I want to be. So yesterday sold 880 or spent $883. And I have 1100. So, what is that about $200 in profit. So, there is a little bit of room, I could be a little more aggressive.

High level strategy

And when it comes to advertising, there's kind of two general there's kind of two broad actions you can take there's are different types of activities, when it comes to your account, there's expansion activities, and contraction activities is kind of how I like to think of it. So, expansion is anytime you're increasing you spend, where contraction is the opposite, where you're decreasing you spend. So, expansion activities would look like increasing bids or creating new campaigns, adding additional targets or keywords to your existing campaigns. So, you might target like new competitors, or whatever that looks like. And then with contraction, that's going to be kind of the opposite. You're lowering your bids, you're pausing keywords, targets or campaigns, or negating your search terms to kind of make things more efficient. So, I haven't been doing a whole lot of contraction in the weeks leading up to this. So that has probably hurt me a bit when it comes to what my ACOS is, and being you know, as profitable, that hasn't been as big of a concern. I do have automations running through my Merch Jar account, I'll cover some of those more detail in another video. But I have automations that run that automatically adjust all my bids, poor performers, high performers just every single day. So, there is some of that going on, it's probably not as aggressive as what it could be. So, I could make some changes there. But as of now, I'm just kind of like leaving that. And then more about those expansion activities. So, when I look here, so like, I'm seeing that I have a couple $100 in play that I could use to potentially increase my spend on my products to get more sales, increase the ranking for hopefully more organic sales later. Again, this is a very aggressive strategy. And you'll have to determine kind of what your risk threshold is with this because there is risk involved too. Let's say for example, with merch in particular, the platform I'm on, I don't control any inventory, that's all based on Amazon, if they run out of T shirts for me to print my designs on, they're going to stop selling them or if the shipping dates go after. So, if I'm not able to take advantage of this full cycle here, it could be it could hurt me where I may have been better off trying to be a little bit more profitable earlier, kind of throughout this whole process.

This is this video is more about kind of just reviewing where we stand right now. And what I may be looking to do so that's kind of the account wide, where things are at. Most of that is going to be with the hero product. So, our one product, you can see just far more sales and everything else. I have a couple other products that they do, okay, I mean in all together, they do. Alright, you can see the one product is $622 Yesterday in royalties. So, all the other products combined about $500 in royalties, and what comes to ad spend on that one product, we are at yesterday $399 spent on this one product. And I'm doing this just in I'm just typing in part of my ASIN. I use my ASIN and every single campaign name for any campaign that's specific to that product. So, it makes it easy to filter. So yesterday I spent $399 out of $622, so about $200 in profit, so most of the profit came from there. So again, that means I do have some room I can be a little more aggressive on some of these campaigns, which I would probably look at doing so what that might look like for this product is targeting more competitors. So, I have started a couple new ad groups and campaigns with getting competitors targeting specific competitors. So, I have three primary products that I kind of track for that that I have in a its own ad group that I'm kind of testing and it's just trying to one steal sales away from them and rank for similar terms that they are. Another area, I could have some expansion with this product is increasing bids. So, I can go through and increase bids across the board, if I like. Or I can be a little bit more strategic with which specific keywords, which is probably what I would do, again, I have some automations running. So that's kind of happening already in the background. But if I want to be a little more aggressive with those bid changes, I can go in and target just any of my keywords and targets that are selling multiple units a day or you know, within the last few days, and have an acceptable ACOS. And for me, I mean this you can see like this ad group is high. And in total, we're running about 50% ACOS across all these different campaigns that might be a little higher, higher than what I like, I probably bring it down to anything, I'm looking to increase closer like 30%, even up to 40%. Again, being aggressive. So that's kind of the first thing I look at overall, just kind of yesterday, sales versus yesterday has ad spend kind of its settled at this point, we don't worry about like a delay in data. Although spend is up to date that I've seen in sight of ad console, so it's not a bad metric to go from. And then I'll also look at today's just kind of keep especially like later in the day here just kind of get an idea of where my spend is at versus sales. So, today's sales $591, $339 of that to the hero product. And again, back to ads out of that $339, the hero product is at $149. So, it's doing pretty, decent, it's got profit and opportunity for expansion to be more aggressive, and total 347 spend for the account out of that 591. So, we'll probably end up close to where we were at yesterday margins. And then once I kind of get an idea of like where I'm at with spend, you know, I do I have room to increase is it getting a little high that I need to maybe consider doing some contraction activities, maybe going in and just making sure everything's okay, negating some additional search terms that might not be working, whatever that looks like, that's kind of like this is like your barometer for the account to give you some direction to go in. So, this where I'm at right now, it's probably a little bit both, it's creeping up there, I still have some room, I can be a little more aggressive. But I may want to look at creating some new campaigns, focusing on my hero product, and then maybe even some of these other products that are selling. You know, maybe if we look at the last seven days, some of these products that do have potential to increase rank and get some decent sales over these next few weeks.

Then diving into the hero product, itself, I want to kind of see how it's doing just overall against the category against my competitors. And to do that I'm looking at one of my main parameters is BSR, I want to see how it's doing. Overall, you'd see the BSR chart over the last seven days. So, we are decreasing in rank. And we were down towards the 6,000-7,000 BSR, which is great for this time period. It's about where it was last year, this timeframe. And I use this just again to get an idea of kind of where I'm at. And by itself, it's not super useful because your BSR and like how many sales you're getting for that BSR ranking is going to depend throughout the year, even year to year that can be different, you know, a 10,000 BSR this year could be completely different than what 10,000 BSR last year looked at like at the same time period. So, I also want to look at where my competitors are at in comparison to that, with their BSR. BSR is based on how many sales you're getting recently as your sales velocity essentially. So, you can see how many by comparing your BSR to your competitors. And this could be direct competitors. So, I have a few that are kind of tangentially related to my product or could be a substitute for my products and they make for good comparisons, they could be direct copycats, as well. So, for me, I have these three comparison products. So, I like to see kind of where I'm at in relation to them. And that's going to give me some direction as well. And usually, it points towards aggressive is kind of my mentality. If they're beating me in BSR, I need to step on the gas and if I'm beating them, it's kind of like I don't want them to catch up. Most things for me, I do tend to point to be aggressive, but again, it gives me a barometer to know where I'm at in line with the rest and comparing where I'm at with the three competitors I do keep track of. It's looking like it could be a pretty good, I'm happy with where this product is sitting at right now as we head into this time period. So, I do recommend having some kind of idea of what your competition is doing just so you know how you're doing in relation to that and then If you're doing okay on your advertising spend or not, the other thing I'm going to look at with this product, I use Helium 10 to track keywords. It's a little bit pricey of a tool but is really useful if you get the full suite where you can track specific keywords. So, this product again ranks for some very high traffic super high competition keyword, when you're looking at for things like gifts for men or gifts for Dad, those are keywords that I'm targeting. And this is one of the great things about Helium 10, and there's other ones are a reverse ASIN search. So, they're tool called Cerebro has a reverse asin search where you put in your ASIN, it gives you a list of all the search terms that you rank for, and what your position on the pages. So, I have a few that I've done that with and I'm really paying close attention to that I'm trying to rank and its ones that I have a shot at getting close to the top of the first page or as high up as possible, which is going to be anything kind of in that 5060 or below positioning, there's, I believe 60 products on a single page on the first page of Amazon. So, anything below that you're on the first page already. So, anything where I'm like greater than 306, I think that's the first five pages, I'm not going to be making a whole lot of headway with something like that with ad spend. So, I'm looking at more of a couple different so like this one here, where I'm rank 36, I want to make a push to increase my rank for that. So just kind of gives me an idea of like, how am I doing here. So, this one, I have increased rank recently. And then another one, this dad birthday gift. And I have things sorted here by my search volume, by the way, because I want to see what I could potentially, you know, most bang for your buck, I want to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible. This isn't 100% accurate, no one knows exactly how much traffic there is on Amazon but it's close enough for we're just compare I know gifts from is going to have a lot more search volume that's at some of these on the lower rankings. So, I have a couple of keywords that I'm looking at, see kind of where I'm at, make sure nothing's gone, you know to arrive in some of these. And it does look like I have dropped in a couple of these are already a little bit higher ranking. So maybe not as much of a concern. But these are the two I'm kind of focused on for now. And the ones I do have highlighted in red are ones I'd have specific campaigns for. So, these are my single keyword campaigns that I've started here. So, another way to kind of look at these and a single keyword campaign is it's one campaign one ad group, one keyword. And the reason for that is take advantage of placement adjustments, and just have the most granular data as possible rank as much as possible for it. So that's kind of my goal with these two now. And of course, I want to just rank across the board, I have other campaigns for them automatic campaigns, there's broad and phrase match campaigns, and so forth. So, for the two that I believe I can try to get to the or I want to make a run for the front page for like gifts for Dad, for example.

This is where I will jump to Merch JAr and just see kind of what my spend looks like for not just spam but just results. Who am I getting paid traffic for this? This shows that my sponsored rank is greater than 96. I'm not even showing up in the first several pages of advertising, which makes sense, it's a very expensive keyword. Let's look at some of the products. So, gifts for dad. And some of them are going to be more expensive product could have more profit margin that gives them more ammo to put into ADS. Again, some of these so it's kind of all over the board here. So, I'm competing for this keyword. And it is going to be difficult since my profit margin is on my product, my hero product $5.23. So, I have $5.23 that I can use to pay for each sale before I become unprofitable. And I am willing, especially on a keyword like this, I'm willing to lose money on this keyword and pay higher cost per click to rank for it. Because the organic that you can potentially see from this, especially as we get through the holiday season can more than make up for that. So, we have gifts for data here. And I just want to kind of look at and see inside a Merch Jar. So, I go to search terms, type in gifts for dad, and it's going to pull up any of those search terms and every single ad group and campaign as contributing to that. Let's do something a little more recent. Let's do last seven days. So, one thing to keep in mind is when you do an exact match searcher, I just want to call this out so we I could have an exact match search term for gifts for dad. But even with that you're going to appear for misspellings and more commonly plurals so gifts for dads could appear those will be separated into two different search terms in Amazon's data but be the same keyword that's targeting that. So, there are and I'm just looking through, there is a gift for dads. So that same thing, but it's only got a few dollars and spent. So, we're not going to pay attention to that. So, we have gifts for dad here in the last seven days I've spent $135, 75% ACOS, so it is not doing great and a high CPC of $1.83. So, I am spending here, let's go even like yesterday, but $7 and spend yesterday, not a whole lot. So, this may be a search term that I want to increase. So, I can do that through my keywords page and ad manager, it's going to pull up the search terms, and then the campaigns and ad groups that are associated with that. And I am targeting this keyword in a few different campaigns, which is fine, you can't compete against yourself. So, you don't have to worry about that your data is just going to be spread across different campaigns, I'm fine with that. These are the ones I'm really concerned about looking at the bid, I do have a top of search with an 85% adjustment already. So, I do need to keep that in mind. This is seeing this one campaign seen $2.38 cent CPC, so it is high, I think I still want to increase again, I got some room on this product to be a little aggressive. And this one does not have an adjustment. So, anything I place here is going to be what the beta, so let's go dollars. And I think that'll be okay, and those will get updated. So that'd be that's one thing I'm looking at. So that's one keyword I'm focusing on. And I could do that again for some of these others or find additional ones, but I'm trying to stick to just a couple main ones. And I'm letting the rest of my campaign strategy handle the rest.

Outside of that I would also I look at my lottery campaigns to see that's where a lot of my advertising dollars go to right now is the lottery campaigns to kind of pick-up orders across the board. And of course, I do have campaigns set up for a lot of my other products that do sell well, some of these other best sellers, non-hero products during this time of the year, I'd say. So, I already do have campaign structure set up where I don't need to necessarily like create new campaigns or new targeting. And I have automation set up that's already handling that not just with bids, but through keyword automations, where it's structuring my campaigns automatically by moving keywords from one ad group to another or pulling search strings from an auto campaign and placing it into a manual campaign automatically. That's all happening behind the scenes, I don't have to mess with that. So, it saves me a lot of time by using Merch Jar. So, you would probably have a little bit more to do when it comes to just doing everything manually if that's the way to go. But there's going to be some more strategies on jump into in other videos lottery campaigns, I'm going to jump into in a future video just reviewing kind of what my lottery campaigns are, and then another video on how I'm optimizing them as well. So, look forward to that.


If you're not already subscribed, make sure you do that if you found anything in this video useful and would like to be notified about all the future videos. And last thing I'm going to look at and I'll go into more detail or some of this is budgets, I typically use Amazon's budget console, I don't have any rule set up for budgets myself, I may look at doing some of those. But I don't mind jumping in here. As we go just swing your eyes on it to see if I do want to increase it. I'll go into more detail what this looks like. I'm not going to adjust these. But this is where I'm doing my budgets and I'm anything that's a filter for anything in budget less than 100. And it's still enabled. And I'll go through and kind of look at the ACOS and time and budget and some of that, so I'll do a video with some more stuff and actively go through that. But that's the other thing I'd be looking at is budgets. And as we get through the holiday year, I'm going to pay more and more attention on check this more often. So, I'm not running out of budget prematurely in the day, especially for some of my important campaigns like for my hero product. And that's it for my November 21 update and I'll see you in the next video.

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