Your definitive checklist for new international ad campaigns

Complete these 8 suggested actions after launching ads in a new country to help improve your advertising success

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Here are the themes we’llcover in this guide


As an international advertiser you may be wondering what key tactics you should use in your ad campaigns in each of the countries you advertise in. To help you optimize your international ad campaigns with less effort, we’ve done some research into which campaign tactics can have the highest positive impact on your results.

Whether you’ve recently launched Sponsored Products campaigns in your second country, or already your fifth, there are some core suggested actions you can take during the first couple of months after launching ads in an additional country to help maximize your potential success.

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These suggested actions are insight-driven recommendations that may lead to higher results for Sponsored Products advertising when implemented in an additional country for the first time.

In this guide we’ll recap some of the campaign basics you should keep in mind when setting up new Sponsored Products campaigns in an additional country. Then we’ll explain the suggested actions for new multi-marketplace campaigns in more detail. At the end you’ll find a checklist containing all suggested actions for a quick overview. Refer back to this checklist whenever you launch Sponsored Products ads in an additional country for the first time, this will help you set up your campaigns for long-term success.

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Once you’ve set up your campaigns for success with these suggested actions, review the campaign features that Amazon Ads has launched specifically for multi-marketplace advertisers to make it easier for you to launch and manage new campaigns in additional marketplaces. To learn more about features like multi-marketplace campaign creation and copy, manager accounts, or keyword localization, review our ‘International advertising made simple’ guide.

Launch a campaign

Recap of the ideal setup of your first campaign in a new country

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Chapter 1

Create and launch a Sponsored Products campaign

The campaign setup should only take a few minutes, and the campaign builder guides you through it step by step. You’ve probably recently launched a Sponsored Products campaign in an additional country, but it’s worthwhile reviewing these steps to keep them in mind when you launch Sponsored Products ads in your next country.

You begin a new campaign by selecting Sponsored Products. Give your campaign a name that helps you distinguish this campaign from others, maybe based on the types of products that you’ll be advertising, campaign goals, or seasonality.

Next, set your campaign duration. We recommend you simply leave the end date blank to use an always-on approach by running continuous campaigns without end dates.

Women holding a  cup of coffee

Then, set your daily budget. This is the maximum daily amount you want to spend on advertising the products in this campaign. You can change this at any time.

After that, you choose your targeting. When setting up your first campaign, especially if you don’t speak the main language of the country you’re going to advertise in, we recommend using automatic targeting. With this targeting strategy, Amazon automatically matches relevant shopping queries to your ad based on keywords and products relevant to audience interests and shopping queries in that country.

Next, add the products you want to advertise. For your first campaign in a new country, we recommend to advertise at least two suggested products because they have high-quality product detail pages and a high chance of being clicked if advertised. You can find the products by applying the “suggested” filter.

Then, it’s time to set your cost-per-click (CPC) bid. We recommend applying the suggested bid for automatic targeting as it helps you set a competitive bid that may help you win impressions.

From there you set your bid strategy. There are three strategies to choose from: dynamic bids - down only, dynamic bids - up and down, and fixed bids.

  • For dynamic bids - down only, Amazon may reduce your bids in real time for clicks that are less likely to convert to a sale.
  • The dynamic bids - up and down strategy may increase your bids for more-promising clicks that have a higher chance of leading to a sale or reduce bids for clicks that are less likely to convert.
  • With fixed bids, Amazon will only use your exact bid throughout the campaign.
Woman smiling

For your first campaign, we recommend you choose dynamic bids – down only. We’ll talk more about the dynamic bids – down only bidding strategy in the next chapter.

Now you’re ready to launch your campaign.

Pro tips*:
Copy successful campaigns to additional marketplaces: With just a few clicks, you can copy high-performing campaigns to other countries with the campaign copy feature.

Launch new campaigns in multiple countries at once: New campaigns that are relevant in several countries can be launched in multiple regional marketplaces at the same time with the campaign create feature.

campaign bidding strategy, settings and products window

*These features may not be available for all campaign types and in all marketplaces.

Budget and bid optimization

These small tweaks can go a long way

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Chapter 2

Monitoring and small adjustments are critical for your success

Once your first campaign in a new country is set up and running, make sure you monitor the performance of your campaign regularly in the campaign manager. Even if you run the same campaign in multiple marketplaces, the results can be different.

Define benchmarks for your campaign according to your business objectives and based on the performance of your campaigns in your first marketplace.

Women opeing an Amazon package
Man working on tablet

Then make sure you check your budgets and bids for all campaigns frequently, and optimize campaign setting based on the performance in each marketplace. Optimize your budget and bids for the first time at least within the first 30 days of launching a new campaign. Amazon Ads is continuously learning and automatically adapting your targeting, so every time you check back on your campaign, you can get new insights into what’s working well for you.

Especially when you’re running ad campaigns in two or more countries, you may not want or be able to allocate the same budget across all countries and bid as competitively on each targeting selection or keyword. As a multi-marketplace advertiser, it’s important that you keep an eye on your budget and bids, and reallocate funds strategically to what’s working well for you. Even a small increase in budget or bid for one campaign and doubling down on your success can help boost your overall results.

Use dynamic bids – down only

For your first campaign in a new marketplace we recommend you choose dynamic bids – down only. With this bidding strategy, Amazon may reduce your bids in real time for clicks that are less likely to convert to a sale.

It helps you control costs and reduce spend for less relevant shopping queries, or placements that don’t perform well. If you’re not quite yet seeing the return on ad spend (ROAS) you’d like, and right now you’re using another bidding strategy, make sure you try dynamic bids – down only.

This can help you control your spend while you are running your campaign for a couple of weeks, analyzing your performance, and getting ready to optimize your campaign.

Look at your search term report to see which keywords or targeting defaults perform best for you, and make a note of these as potential candidates for a bid increase.

Tabular representation showing bids in different rows

Strategically increase your bids

Once you have an idea of what’s performing well for you, you can start to improve the overall cost-effectiveness of your campaign. Campaigns in additional marketplaces may generate different results compared to your first marketplace, so keep an eye specifically on impressions and ROAS as key performance indicators to help you with bid optimization. One suggested action is to increase your bids, do this strategically in additional marketplaces in the following scenarios.

Low impressions: You might want to increase your bids when your campaign isn’t generating enough impressions. This means you’re not winning enough auctions for your ads to be displayed, and it probably has a downstream impact on your other metrics like sales and return on ad spend (ROAS). Increase your bids to help maximize your chances to show your ads to shoppers, and help generate more engagement with your products.

High ROAS: When your campaign is generating a high ROAS, this means that this campaign is generating great business results for you. You can increase your bids to double down on this success and help win even more impressions and drive even more sales.

Tabular representation showing bids in different rows

Increase your campaign budget

To ensure you don’t miss out on potential sales, you should set a daily budget that’s high enough to keep your ads showing throughout the entire day. We recommend you start with a minimum daily budget of 10 USD (or your local currency equivalent) when you first set up your campaign in a new country. Once you start optimizing your campaigns, increase that budget to help you engage more shoppers by generating more impressions.

quoteUpWe found that increasing our budget helps more shoppers engage with our brand.quoteDown
— Joe Song (宋华锐), General Manager, AstroAI

Make sure you increase your budget, especially in these scenarios:

Running out of budget frequently: If you have noticed that your campaigns have run out of budget more than once in the course of the last seven days, that’s a sign that you should increase your budget to help maximize the potential of your ads. Keep an eye on local seasonality in the countries you advertise in, and be mindful of local and regional high-traffic shopping days. Make sure you increase your budget accordingly to help keep your ads showing throughout the day.

Sponsored Products campaigns that are in budget for more than 75% of the day, have a 21.8% greater ROAS on average, compared to a campaign that was in budget for less than 75% of the day.

Amazon internal data, worldwide advertisers, November 2021

Low impressions: If your campaign doesn’t meet your impression goals, increasing your budget can help you win more auctions to show you ads to shoppers.

Increasing budget

Keyword targeting

Manual targeting helps you refine your campaign strategy

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Chapter 3

Manual keyword targeting in another country is easier than you may think

You’ve probably launched your first campaign in another country with automatic targeting to let Amazon automatically find the most relevant shopping queries for your ads.
With manual keyword targeting campaigns, you’ll manually select the keywords you want to target.

Selecting the high-performing keywords for your international campaigns in the main local language of the country you’re advertising in can actually be pretty easy, you don’t need to speak the language at all.

Women smiling and posing

1. Suggested keywords localization1:

When using manual targeting with Sponsored Products in a country with a primary language other than your language of preference, you will automatically see translations for the suggested keywords in your selected console language.

quoteUpThe translations under suggested keywords are an incredible addition. It seems like a small thing but it saves me a ton of time each time I manage campaigns.quoteDown
— Ronnie Gesser, President, EZ SOX

2. Keywords localization2:

For manual keyword targeting with Sponsored Products in a country with a primary language other than your language of preference, you can simply enter your keywords in your language and click the ‘Add keywords’ button next to ‘Translate to [foreign language] and add’. The feature automatically translates your keywords to the best-matching keywords in the default language of the Amazon site where your ads will show.

Keyword targeting window

3. Search term report:

Download the search term report for your automatic targeting campaign and find the keywords that are generating clicks and sales conversions for your brand and products. Select the best-performing ones and add these to a campaign with manual keyword targeting.

Whatever route you choose to add your keywords to your international campaign, remember to leverage all different match types: exact match, phrase match, and broad match.

If you’re not using all of these keyword match types yet, we’ve found that for a new campaign in an additional country, also using broad match and phrase match can have a positive impact on your overall performance.

Search term report

Add broad match keywords

With broad match your ad may appear when customers shop using all your keywords in any order, including close variations.

This match type helps you generate the widest traffic exposure and can help you discover new shopping queries relevant to your campaign. This is particularly useful for a newly launched campaign, as it can help you further refine your targeting in the long run.

Add phrase match keywords

With phrase match, your ad may appear when customers’ shopping queries use the exact phrase or sequence of words in your keyword.

This match type is recommended for longtail keywords. Those are the usually longer, more specific phrases that customers use as shopping queries when they are already a bit closer to knowing what to purchase. They may have slightly lower volume, but tend to be used by highly interested customers. Using phrase match helps you target these specific and any related shopping queries.

Add negative keywords

You can use negative keyword targeting to define for which shopping queries not to display your ads. This can help you refine your target audience and maximize keyword relevance, as it prevents ads from appearing on specific shopping results or detail pages.

Use negative keywords to:

  • Increase return on ad spend (ROAS): By excluding keywords that have high clicks but don’t generate sales, you can focus your ad spend on keywords that do generate sales.
  • Control your costs: Don’t pay for non-relevant and non-strategic clicks by excluding respective keywords.

1 This feature may not be available in all languages.
2 The feature does not currently support all possible combinations of secondary languages and marketplaces, please check your advertising console to find out which ones are available to you.

Product targeting

Reach international shoppers looking for products and brands like yours

Women on headphone using a mobile
Chapter 4

Select products and brands relevant to the products in your ads

Another option for you to expand your international campaigns is to use manual product targeting. It’s a great targeting tactic for campaigns in your second, third, fourth etc. marketplace, as you can simply select the products, categories, and brands relevant to yours in the campaign builder. There’s no need to localize anything, and you can use all features exactly like you’d set up product targeting campaigns in your domestic marketplace.

Women smiling

With product targeting you can help shoppers who are browsing detail pages and categories similar or complementary to yours, or generally looking for products on Amazon, to find your products. With this method, ad placements can appear at the bottom of product detail pages and categories or within shopping results.

Amazon website showing many products

Launch a campaign with product targeting

With manual product targeting you can target specific products, categories, or brands that are similar to the product in your ad.

This is useful to help you engage shoppers who already have an idea of what product or brand to buy, so they are closer to a final purchase. Product targeting helps you get your products in front of those high-intent shoppers.

How to set up a product targeting campaign:

Select the option for manual targeting when creating a new Sponsored Products campaign in a new country, then select ‘Product targeting’.

There, you can use the category suggestions provided to you or search for specific categories that you want to target. The categories show in your language of preference, which makes selecting the right ones for the specific product easier.

Product targeting

To target individual products, you can either select the suggested products, or enter the ASINs of products similar to yours. You can refine by brand, star reviews, price, and Prime shipping eligibility. This can help you connect with more customers and relevant audiences.

Product targeting pro tips:

Fine tune your targeting according to the product price, and select higher priced products for which your products could be a more economical alternative for shoppers.

Fine tuning your targeting for the Prime delivery status may be especially helpful for ad campaigns for seasonal events. Prior to shopping events like Christmas, target products that may not be delivered in time to showcase your own Prime eligible product alternatives.

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Exclude irrelevant products or brands from your campaign

Similar to negative keyword targeting, you can also use negative product targeting, to exclude brands and products you don’t want your ads to show against.

That way you won’t reach shoppers looking for those specifically, which you would want to do for either irrelevant brands or products, or products that drive high impressions or clicks but no sales for you.

How to add negative product targeting to your campaign:

To implement this suggested action:

  • Go to ‘Campaigns’ in your campaign manager.
  • Select a product targeting campaign and an ad group, then go to ‘Negative targeting’.
  • Click ‘Add negative product targets’. Then you can select the products and brands that you do want to exclude from your targeting.
Women posing and smiling
Quote icon

The ability to add negative product targets to campaigns substantially improved our ability to manage exceptions in our campaigns. Not only does ROAS improve by eliminating impressions for unproductive product targets, it allows us to be more accurate with our bids for category targets, which fuels discovery of new, high performing targets and benefits sales.

Quote icon

— John Rhinehart, Director, eCommerce, PF Harris

Checklist overview

All your suggested actions in one place

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Chapter 5

Well done, you’ve learned the basics of setting up your Sponsored Products ads in incremental countries for success. To help improve the performance of your international ads, remember to complete these suggested actions whenever you launch ads in a new country:

  • Use the ‘Dynamic bids – down only’ bidding strategy
  • Increase your bids
  • Increase your budget
  • Use manual keyword targeting with broad match
  • Use manual keyword targeting with phrase match
  • Add negative keywords to your manual keyword targeting campaigns
  • Launch a manual product targeting campaign
  • Exclude specific products from your campaign by adding them via ‘negative product targeting’

Once you’ve set up your campaigns for success with these suggested actions, review the campaign features that Amazon Ads has launched specifically for multi-marketplace advertisers to make it easier for you to launch and manage new campaigns in an additional marketplace. To learn more about features like multi-marketplace campaign creation and copy, manager accounts, or keyword localization, review our ‘International advertising made simple’ guide.

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Thank you for reading

Your definitive checklist for new international ad campaigns