March 11, 2021

Hidden Tricks to Maximize Efficiency on Amazon DSP

By Alexis Anderson / Advertising, Amazon

When most people decide to dive into Amazon DSP, they are immediately overwhelmed. While many common advertising platforms have a similar setup, Amazon DSP has a different format and different terminology. But, once you learn the ways of DSP, my bet is that it will become one of your favorite ad types to work with.

The first step to maximizing efficiency on DSP is knowing what you are working with. It is pertinent to understand DSP campaign creation, optimization, and reporting. My first encounter with DSP was blind, and it took a lot of time and research to figure things out. I eventually got the hang of it, but never felt confident to expand my strategies on DSP. About a year later, I came across a treasure trove of knowledge.

Let me save you some time and brain power. This DSP Help Center is like the bible of DSP. I strongly encourage you to watch the videos and review the best practices. Those will give you the headstart I dreamt of having. Unfortunately, you will need to have an Amazon Advertising account to view this, but if you are trying to maximize your Amazon DSP, I am assuming you have one.

Once you have dug into this site a bit, you will be ready to move on to the fun part.

Tips & Tricks for your DSP Strategy

Here are 14 tips and tricks to make your DSP experience smoother:

Creatives

Take advantage of the creative opportunities you can use on DSP. Making your ads engaging is the first step to running an efficient and effective campaign. You could have the best placement and the perfect audience, but if your ad falls flat you won’t pull in new customers. Amazon recommends trying the following options to increase clickthrough rates and conversions:

  • Use Brand Logos & Headlines - Make sure your ads are recognizable as your brand so consumers know exactly who and what they are getting.
  • Include Customer Reviews & Ratings - Sharing positive feedback from other consumers helps build authority and trustworthiness for your brand.
  • Use Responsive E-Commerce Ads - This is a new creative type that allows you to advertise multiple ASINs in a single creative. It automatically builds out all of the sizes for each ASIN, saving you a lot of time and energy.
  • Consider Using Video Content - The video requirements for DSP are the same as Sponsored Brand Video. This is a big win because you now have another place to utilize your video creative and reach the exact audience you are aiming for.

Audiences

This is where strategy really comes into play. Choosing the right audiences for your campaign is the key to success. Here are some things I learned quickly about this.

  • Audience Insights -** Audience insights are available when looking on the audience section of the platform. They can help you gauge the relevancy of and audience for your brand and determine the kind of reach you can achieve. This is a no brainer when it comes to planning an effective strategy. Is an audience too broad or too niche? Amazon Insights can help you make that decision.
  • ASIN Retargeting - You can build custom audiences for your ASINs that target past page views, searches, similar searches and purchases.
  • Use the Look Back Window Effectively - You can retarget up to 365 days back. But you should choose what makes sense for your product. Is it a supplement? Retargeting 90 days back would be more effective to remind the customer to buy again as their stock starts to run low.
  • Use Exclusions - You can exclude specific audiences that you don’t want to target. An example of this would be a customer that purchased a 30 day supply of supplements. You can exclude past purchases in the last 30 days to make sure you aren’t just annoying your customers and wasting spend showing an ad that is unlikely to bring in more business. Once a customer falls out of the 30 day window (or the window you have set), they will automatically be reincluded in audience targeting.
  • Overlap Reports - Use overlap reports to take a specific audience you are already using successfully, search it, and receive 30 audiences that fall into the same consumer profiles. This can be a really useful tool for fine tuning a campaign. Plus, targeting a more specific audience set will help increase efficiency in ad spend. Overlap reports allow you to spend more on the customers you actually want to reach.

Optimizations

  • Amazon Recommendations - Similar to google ads recommendations, Amazon will provide you with recommendations to optimize campaigns. I would recommend trying them to see how it affects campaign performance. I opted to let Amazon do “Automatic Budget Optimizations” as a test for one of my brands and saw a lift in impressions, clicks, and sales within the first week.
  • Shift Budgets - Shift budgets to the line items that are performing better. I always have 2 line items per campaign, Standard Display (Desktop) and Mobile. If I see one is clearly performing better than the other, I will reallocate budget on a line item level.
  • Frequency Cap - Consider adjusting Frequency Cap. If impressions are low, you can increase the frequency the ads are served. Typically for a retargeting campaign I set my cap at 6 times a day. But when I am trying to get lift on a campaign launch, I will increase it to 8 and then lower it once I see the campaign has gained some momentum.
  • Website Exclusions - Make sure you start your campaigns off right and exclude websites you already know you don’t want to target. You can also run a performance report and review the sites & supply tab. From there you can look at sites that you see low performance on and add it to the exclusion list. This is essentially like adding negative keywords to your campaigns.
  • Don’t Over do it - Once you have made a change you should give the campaign at least 7-10 days to monitor performance. I usually wait 2 - 3 weeks. You want to give Amazon’s Algorithm time to learn from your changes so you can see if they made a real difference. As you begin to play with DSP more, you will find your own cadence for optimizing existing campaigns.

And that’s a wrap!

Not really though, because this platform is constantly evolving. It is vital to stay informed on what updates and changes are coming and how to use them to your advantage. For that reason, I regularly check the DSP Help Center for updates and new articles and I think you should, too.

My final recommendation for building an efficient money-making machine is to plan every detail of your campaign strategy before you build it. Then look it over, does it make sense? Amazon has provided some really useful best practices for all aspects of DSP, so make sure your campaign settings align with those and the goals of your campaign. Optimizing your ads will be much more successful if you are starting with a strong foundation.

Good luck on your DSP endeavors!

More Resources
Digital Shelf, SEO, & Advertising—How to Optimize Your Amazon Strategy for 2021
The Experts' Guide to Amazon Advertising Strategy