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In today's blog post, I'll show you how you can manage and control your Amazon Advertising campaigns using Amazon Bulk Operations. We as Amazon PPC Agency rely on the Amazon Bulk Operation feature for 100% and have even developed a tool that helps us to optimize advertising campaigns in just a few minutes, even with complex campaign structures.

Bulk operations offer advertisers the opportunity to optimize their campaign management processes by allowing them to make multiple adjustments at the same time. This can save time and minimize manual effort. The "Bulk Sheets" tool, which is based on spreadsheets, makes it possible to carry out bulk operations for sponsored advertising campaigns (sponsored product, sponsored brand and sponsored display). As an advertiser, you have the option of downloading the metrics of your sponsored ads in a bulk sheet, editing them and then uploading them again.

You can not only use bulk operations to make adjustments to existing campaigns, but you can also easily create completely new campaigns by uploading them. This is particularly helpful if you have many very similar campaign structures and products to advertise that you want to launch. Instead of manually creating advertising campaigns via the Amazon Advertising portal, you can prepare a bulk file here and upload it. There is no doubt that uploading bulk operations requires some practice, but the time is a good investment if you have a large and heterogeneous product range.

Here is a brief overview of what you can do with bulk operations:

  • Create new campaigns
  • Add new ad groups, keywords, negative keywords & products
  • Increase or decrease campaign budgets
  • Change the naming of campaigns
  • Add campaigns to portfolios
  • Adjust bids for keyword and product placements
  • Pausing campaigns, ad groups, keywords and products
  • Customize match types

There are basically two different processes for the use of bulk operations.

  • The creation of new campaigns

You can also here download the Excel template with which you can create the campaign structure and finally upload it.

You will find 4 spreadsheets in the Excel template: 

This applies to the creation of portfolios, sponsored product, sponsored brand and sponsored display campaigns.

  • Download previously created campaigns 

To do this, we create a download file in which we define certain parameters that are to be taken into account, which may include the following:

  • Period of data to be downloaded (max. 60 days in the past)
  • Type of advertising campaign to be downloaded (Sponsored-Product, Sponsored-Brand & Sponsored-Display)

Next, let's take a look at when it is advisable to use bulk operations and when it is better to manage your campaigns with the Advertising Console

Action / Task Advertising-Console Bulk operation
You have a small product portfolio and a maximum of 10 advertising campaigns x
Attachment from the first campaign x
Receive recommendations on bids and categories x
Access reports on search terms, budgets, impression share for search terms and more x
Create many campaigns at once x
Perform optimizations based on ROAS, CPC & CTR  X
Make changes to many existing campaigns at once X
Add or archive keywords for hundreds of campaigns in large quantities X

Download & edit Amazon Bulk Sheets

To access the Amazon Bulk Sheets, first log in to the Advertising Console and select the "Bulk transactions" tab for sponsored ads.

Amazon Bulk Operation

This takes us to the bulk operation overview page. Here we have the option of downloading the performance of previous campaigns, uploading files and checking previous uploads.

 

Bulk sheets

To download a bulk file, we select the following variables:

  1. "Use the new table format ......."
  2. We select the desired time horizon of the campaigns
  3. We define which campaigns should not be part of the download

It is advisable to only request the components that you really want to use and edit, as otherwise errors can occur more frequently, which can have a lasting negative impact on your campaign performance.

Once your bulk file is ready, navigate back to "Bulk Operations" in the Advertising Console. Click on "Select file" and select the appropriate bulk file in the location where you saved it. Supported file types are .xlsx and .xls. Click on "Upload to process changes" to upload your bulk file. The duration of the upload depends on the number of rows in your bulk file. Once it has been uploaded, the corresponding status will be displayed in the "Status" column, indicating whether the information has been successfully uploaded or not. Check any errors or warnings before attempting to upload the bulk file again. To access an error report, click on "Download report" in the "Report" column.

Once the upload is complete, it may take a few minutes for the system changes from the bulk file to become visible in the Campaign tab in the Advertising Console overview. You may need to refresh the "Bulk operations" tab occasionally once the upload is complete as it does not refresh automatically.

How to create a new campaign using a bulk file

First we download the Template for the creation of bulk files. To create a new sponsored product campaign, the following content must be stored for the campaign entity:

  • Product = Sponsored Product
  • Entity = Campaign
  • Operation = Create
  • Campaign ID = The campaign name
  • Campaign Name = Campaign name
  • Start date = Start date
  • Targeting type = Auto or Manual
  • State = Enabled
  • Daily Budget = daily budget
  • Bidding Strategy = Dynamic bids - down only, Dynamic bids - up and down, or Fixed bid

The next step is to create the first ad group by filling in the following fields:

  • Product = Sponsored Product
  • Entity = Ad-Group
  • Operation = Create
  • Campaign ID = The campaign name
  • Ad group ID = The ad group name
  • Ad group name = Ad group name
  • State = Enabled
  • Ad Group Default Bid = Standard Bid

Now we come to the products we want to promote:

  • Product = Sponsored Product
  • Entity = Product Ad
  • Operation = Create
  • Campaign ID = The campaign name
  • Ad group ID = The ad group name
  • State = Enabled
  • SKU = SKU of the product (for vendor participants, the ASIN must be defined)

Finally, we come to the definition of keywords and product placements. Let's start with the keyword entity first:

  • Product = Sponsored Product
  • Entity = Keyword
  • Operation = Create
  • Campaign ID = The campaign name
  • Ad group ID = The ad group name
  • Bid = The click bid
  • Keyword text = the keyword to be advertised
  • Match Type = match type (exact, phrase or broad)

For product placement campaigns, it looks like this:

  • Product = Sponsored Product
  • Entity = Product targeting
  • Operation = Create
  • Campaign ID = The campaign name
  • Ad group ID = The ad group name
  • Product Targeting Expression = product placement, e.g. ASIN="B0xxxxxx"

You can download an example file view here

Let's now take a look at which elements of a campaign can be customized using bulk sheets.

Here you will find an overview of the campaign components that you can customize in a Sponsored Product campaign using a bulk file:

  • Customize campaign name
  • Adjustments to end date, campaign budget and bidding strategies 
  • Pause campaigns
  • Change ad group names and change the default bid
  • Pause ad groups
  • Add ad groups to a campaign 
  • Archive and pause keywords
  • Add new keywords to a campaign

To make a change, simply change the entry in the bulk file and select "update" in the appropriate line under "Operation". This is how we communicate with the Advertising Console which changes are to be made. However, if a keyword is to be paused, the state field must also be adjusted in addition to the operation field. To do this, the operation field is set to "update" and the state field to "paused".

The entry "archive" in the operation field is sufficient for archiving a keyword.

At the end of the blog post, we will take a look at which components cannot be customized. This will help you to avoid future error messages.

The following fields CANNOT be updated:

  • Campaign ID
  • Ad group ID
  • Start date
  • Targeting type
  • SKU or ASIN
  • Keyword text
  • Match type

Conclusion on the article: Bulk operation for your Amazon Advertising campaigns

In this blog post, I have shown you the functions and possibilities of bulk operations using bulk sheets to manage your Amazon advertising campaigns. We use bulk operations on a daily basis for our agency clients. Especially if you have a complex campaign setup, you should look into the use of bulk sheets.

Frequently asked questions about bulk operation and bulk sheets

What is the significance of the "Information Only" columns?

When you download a custom bulk file with campaign data, you will see some fields marked as "Information Only". These include, for example, the campaign and ad group name, the campaign and ad group status, the ASIN eligibility status fields and the ad group default bid. 

The purpose of these fields is to give you helpful information about names and statuses that would otherwise be hidden if you have filters assigned to the "Entity" column. For example, if you only want to isolate keywords, you could apply a filter to only show keyword entities. In this case, the names and statuses of the associated campaigns and ad groups would remain hidden. But with the "Information Only" fields, you can still see these values, regardless of the filter setting.

NoteWe regularly delete these columns as the added value is relatively low.

How can I pause a campaign using bulk files?

Similar to campaign management in the advertising console, you can archive or pause campaigns to end them. Archiving is a permanent action that cannot be undone, while pausing is less permanent. To archive a campaign, the mandatory fields Product, Entity, Operation and Campaign ID are required.

These fields are already filled in in a downloaded file. In the "Operation" field, enter "archive" to archive the campaign. To pause a campaign, the mandatory fields Product, Entity, Operation, Campaign ID and Status are required. Enter "update" in the "Operation" field. In the "Status" field, enter "paused". To undo this action, you can repeat these steps, but enter "active" in the "Status" field.

Can I customize the headline of Sponsored Brand campaigns?

No. Creative components in Sponsored Brand & Display Ads, such as headlines, cannot be updated using bulk files after you have created them. Instead, you should archive the campaign and create a new campaign in which you apply the desired creative headline. If the creative headline is the only campaign element you want to update, you can save time by copying some of the other campaign data (for example, brand asset IDs) into the new campaign line.

My bulk upload shows error messages, what can I do?

If your bulk file contains errors, you will see a message in the "Bulk Spreadsheet History" section indicating how many rows have been processed and how many rows contain errors. You can download your report to see exactly which rows the errors occurred in and what the cause of the error might be. You can then edit directly in the error report file and upload this file to create or update the campaign. 

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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