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Channel Key’s Proven Six-Step Prime Day 2023 Marketing Guide

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

May 31, 2023

Are you ready for Amazon Prime Day? The most important online shopping event of the summer will take place from July 11-12, 2023. Last year, the 48-hour sale generated $11.9 billion in U.S. sales – an 8.5% increase from the 2021.  Prime members purchased more than 300 million items worldwide during Prime Day 2022, including over $3 billion on small businesses.

With the stakes this high, brands should take every step possible to prepare. If history is any indication of the future, this year’s event will be the most competitive yet. To help position your brand for success, we’ve compiled this essential six-step marketing guide proven to give you an advantage during Prime Day 2023.

STEP ONE: Optimize for Conversions

Retail readiness is one of the most important concepts on Amazon – especially during Prime Day. When your product is considered retail ready, it means the detail page includes all the necessary information that a customer needs to make a purchase. It makes no sense to waste money promoting products that have little chance of converting. Take the next few weeks to review your product listings and ensure they are fully optimized. Pay special attention to the following:

  • Include the most important keywords in your product titles.
  • Utilize all available bullet points and include additional keywords and phrases.
  • Utilize all available product image slots with high-resolution imagery.
  • Include a product video if possible.
  • Include up-to-date A+ content.

After auditing and optimizing your product listings, create a new page on your Store devoted to your Prime Day offers. This takes little time and offers customers an easy way to browse your best deals during Prime Day. Plus, keeping customers on your Store fends off competitors. Brands are not allowed to advertise on your Store the way they can on your product detail pages.

Finally, pay special attention to your most recent customer reviews. Don’t let one unhappy customer spoil the experience for hundreds of others. Put extra energy into your customer service in the weeks leading up to Prime Day.

STEP TWO: Choose the Right Products to Promote

Brands often make the mistake of not being selective about which prodcuts to promote during Prime Day. As a result, not every ASIN is a good candidate. Remember, this is the most competitive event of the summer. Shoppers want the best deals, and brands want the most sales. This means you need to offer steep discounts and spend more on advertising to remain competitive. These additional costs can quickly eat into your profit margin. To maximize revenue and profit during Prime Day, only promote top-selling products with a high search volume, high profit margin, and enough inventory to support your ad spend.

STEP THREE: Trust the Three-Phase Prime Day Marketing Strategy

  1. BEFORE Prime Day (2–3 weeks): Promote your deals and brand to researching audiences

    The weeks leading up to Prime Day is the time to showcase the value of your promoted products and brand to audiences actively researching products. This will help make your promoted products and deals even more discoverable and increase the likelihood of selling your deals on the day of the event. You can also use this time to optimize your campaign inputs, such as audiences and keyword strategies, so your campaigns run at maximum performance on Prime Day.

    PRO TIPS:

  • Create and select the strongest products in your campaign.
  • Prepare your budget.
  • Choose how to allocate your budget in your bidding strategy.
  • Select your targeting and add keywords.
  1. DURING Prime Day: Reach brand-aware audiences who may be more likely to purchase your products

    On Prime Day, you can turn on additional advertising tactics to help maximize reach among audiences already exposed to your ads. For example, you can remarket to audiences that visited your product detail pages before Prime. This helps to stay top of mind with an audience who is already in the consideration stage of the funnel.

    PRO TIPS:

  • Make sure to review your bids and budgets.
  • Understand your top-selling item.
  • Understand your least-selling item.
  • Don’t measure your ROAS right away.
  • Check your inventory levels.
  1. AFTER Prime Day (2+ weeks): Reengage your audiences at scale

    Reengage your Prime Day audiences that continue to visit Amazon to browse and shop products after the event. During this time, you can promote complementary products to your existing audiences or reach new audiences who didn’t purchase your products during Prime Day.

    PRO TIPS:

  • Make sure you understand your top-performing products and help maximize them by creating new, always-on campaigns.
  • Review your advertising budgets and plan for your next shopping event.
  • Help drive incremental sales with Sponsored Products by reviewing the search term report and try increasing bids on high-converting keywords using manual targeting. This can help maximize impressions and generate more sales even after Prime Day.

STEP FOUR: Create Prime Day Ads That Actually Work

Advertising on Amazon during events like Prime Day and the holiday shopping season differs from the rest of the year. If you’re not careful, you can easily burn through your budget without seeing results. Some of the most well-known brands in the world now sell on Amazon – and they have big budgets. To compete during Prime Day, you need to run heavy discounts, increase your CPC bids, and target high-traffic keywords. Be prepared to spend more than you normally would. This will ensure visibility for your deals. Use the following additional tips to help your campaigns stand out from the competition:

  • Set up your campaign at least two weeks before Prime Day to give it time to collect data for optimization.
  • Advertise 10+ ASINs per campaign to help increase ROAS and lower CPC,
  • Set strong bids (of at least $1, or your currency equivalent) for your cost-per-click and competitive budgets to help keep your ads serving all day. Like Sponsored Products, you can use dynamic bids down only and up and down strategies.
  • Target both products and categories in your product targeting campaigns. Product targeting can help promote your product with customers browsing your product, similar products, and relevant categories. Category targeting can promote your product with customers browsing categories relevant to the product you’re advertising and engage a wider set of potential customers.
  • Use audience targeting to engage new and existing audiences on and off Amazon who’ve visited your product detail page, the detail pages of similar products, or any relevant category on Amazon but haven’t made a purchase. You can do so through views remarketing or Amazon audiences such as in-market, lifestyle, interests, and life events.
  • Use custom creative headline and logo to become eligible for all Sponsored Display placements.

STEP FIVE: Use External Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Listings

Success on Prime Day requires off-Amazon marketing. Brands that drive the most traffic to their Prime Day deals typically earn the most sales. In addition to your on-Amazon marketing efforts, utilize every weapon in your arsenal to drive external traffic to your Store and product listings. Let your customers know in advance about the amazing deals you’ll offer during Prime Day. Amazon prohibits Prime Day messaging in ads running on Amazon, but you can use it on ads that run off the platform if they include an official Prime Day deal linking back to Amazon. Tease your upcoming Prime Day deals on your website, email marketing, and social media channels. The more external traffic you drive to your Prime Day offers, the more sales you will  generate.

STEP SIX: Harness the Prime Day Halo Effect

Brands often make the mistake of thinking Prime Day is a 48-hour event. In reality, brands often see a continued rise in sales for 7 – 14 days afterward. This is known as the Halo Effect. According to Adobe, the Halo Effect can boost sales by as much as 50%. The key to leveraging the Halo Effect is to maximize sales momentum. If you run an offer that outperforms similar ones from your competitors, continue to promote this item immediately after Prime Day. Here’s why: the success of your offer shows Amazon’s algorithm that customers are interested in your product. By pumping advertising dollars into this item right after Prime Day, you’ll accelerate the momentum of the flywheel and maximize sales during the Halo period.

Another way to take advantage of the Halo Effect is to retarget customers. Consider reengaging with shoppers who visited your product detail page but didn’t make a purchase. You can also retarget your Prime Day customers with ads for relevant product accessories. Remember: Prime Day momentum doesn’t end with the event. The Halo Effect is a golden (short-term) opportunity to improve the cost performance of your Amazon Ads campaigns.

Channel Key Takeaway

Prime Day can be a double-edged sword for brands. On the one hand, it’s one of the biggest online sales events of the year. Millions of shoppers will be anxious to spend money on the best deals. If Prime Day continues to outperform itself as it has every year since its inception, this year’s event could generate over $12 billion in sales. On the other hand, the competition on Prime Day is fierce and well-funded. Brands that don’t take the proper precautions can easily get lost in the noise and end up losing money.

The good news is that competing during Prime Day is more about strategy than budget. Even smaller brands can outperform their heavyweight competitors by following the steps outlined above. The most important thing to know about Prime Day is that no magic bullet will guarantee success. Instead, it’s about implementing a comprehensive marketing plan incorporating content optimization, advertising, promotions and deals, external marketing, analytics and reporting, and the Halo Effect. Maximize your efforts in each of these areas and set your brand up for success during Prime Day 2023.

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