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Cyber Monday Prep Series: 6 Tips to Ensure Your PPC Campaigns are Promotion-Ready

Published: November 1, 2018

Author: Devon Lehmann

With Cyber Week looming as one of the most competitive times of the year, it’s essential to make sure your promotional strategy sets you up for success. Below are 6 tried-and-true tips to help you capitalize upon all available options!

1. Ad extensions are your friend

While most advertisers will incorporate a promo-specific ad variation, don’t forget about ad extensions. I recommend using all available options – callouts, sitelinks, promo extensions (search and shopping), etc. With many advertisers taking advantage of the success rates found with Google’s new “optimize for conversions” rotation setting year-round, it can be challenging to get promo ad variations to serve against evergreen ads that have strong ad history. By utilizing all available ad extensions, you increase the likelihood that a promotion will appear every time your ads serves – helping to maintain strong CTR when your competitors are also getting promotionally heavy.

2. Use ad customizers to your advantage

Which leads me to my next point: it can be difficult to ensure that promo ad variations serve when they have limited ad history. I recommend incorporating 1 or 2 variations in each ad group that populate via an ad customizer promo template (found under business data). Not only does this make it easy to switch our promotions (when a promo changes, instead of uploading thousands of new ads, all you have to do is update your feed!), but it also helps to maintain and preserve ad history. For core head terms you will never stop bidding on year after year, you can just pause the ad template when not in use and enable it later in the year or during the next holiday season.

3. Create a sense of urgency with countdown ads

Countdown ads have been around for a while now, and they are a great way to create a sense of urgency and help increase CTR and CVR during peak holiday times. They are easy to set up and automatically stop serving on the time and date specified.

4. Try Google’s new extended ad format

Google recently came out with a new ad format that allows for three headlines and even longer description lines. Take advantage of this valuable additional real estate by dedicating one of your headlines to always include a promotion. Take it a step even further and use ad customizers in one of the headlines so that you can easily swap out promotions as they start and end.

5. Monitor competitor promotions

I recommend running a few test searches daily to make sure the promotions you are running are in-line with what your competitors are advertising. Sure, you might think it’s great that you are offering a 20% discount, but if a competitor bidding on the same term is offering 30% off, you will likely lose your click to them in the auction.

6. Keep a log of past promotions with corresponding AOVs

If you have been managing a PPC account for years, keep a log of past promotions handy with corresponding dates. That way if you see revenue or AOVs declining YoY, in tandem with reviewing competitor insights, you can easily pinpoint the promo you were running last year and pivot your strategy as needed.
Happy holiday prepping!

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