Amazon Marketing Services: Breaking Down Its Different Components

As much as we want to have every click on our listing convert to a sale, things just don’t happen that easily. And this is why the more serious of Amazon sellers devote a huge chunk of their time understanding buying behavior in order to adjust their branding/marketing campaign to boost conversion.

A common misconception is that Amazon Marketing Services is nothing more than another name for Amazon PPC. Well, it isn’t.

What Is Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)?

Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) encompasses three Amazon paid advertising systems.

  • Amazon Sponsored Products Ads
  • Amazon Headline Search Ads
  • Amazon Product Display Ads

Amazon Sponsored Products

Amazon Sponsored Products are divided into two, “Automatic” which are content driven, and “Manual” targeting. The latter being the ads you see on the top, bottom and right part of Amazon search results.

These ads are seen as “middle-of-funnel ads” due to them appearing in specific locations where buyers are known to compare their purchase options between products.

The popularity of Amazon Sponsored Products stems from the fact that it is available for both regular and FBA sellers, and because applications for the ad system usually gets approved in a matter of hours.

AMS Amazon Sponsored Products | Sellerlift

Difference between “Automatic” and “Manual” targeting

Automatic Targeting – You allow Amazon’s algorithm to generate keywords for your ad campaign. The generated keywords are based on their conversion data and relevance to your product.

Manual Targeting – You come up with the keywords, either by researching yourself or through an Amazon solution provider like Sellerlift.

TIP: Sellers usually use Automatic campaigns to generate keywords and then move on to Manual to further refine the list. We use this method and so should you.

Where do Amazon Sponsored Products appear?

For desktop:

  • Above, on the right and bottom of search results
  • Product detail page

For mobile:

  • At the bottom of search results
  • Product detail page

How much do Amazon Sponsored Products cost?

The minimum daily budget for Sponsored Product Ads is $1, and you’re only charged when a shopper actually clicks your ad.

There is no limit as to how much you want to spend on an Amazon Sponsored Product campaign. But the base amount to start one is only $1.

As you only pay Amazon for each time a user clicks on your ad, you need to fully understand how to run an effective and profitable campaign.

This is why it is advised to hire an experienced Amazon PPC manager if you have little experience with PPC campaigns in general.

Amazon Headline Search Ads

This type of ad is driven by keywords and appears on the top part of Amazon’s SERP (search result page) and is only available for those with vendor accounts.

They are considered as top-of-the-funnel ads as they usually are the first clickable link a buyer goes through when entering into the purchase funnel.

To use Amazon’s own words to describe Headline Search Ads:

“Headline Search Ads supports Exact and Phrase match, but without variations such as stemmings, plurals and/or misspellings. At this time synonyms of the terms are not supported. Sponsored Products Ads allow Exact/Phrase/Broad matches, including negative matching for exact and phrase, considering variations of the terms.”

Because Headline Search Ads require more creativity than other types of Amazon ads, It’s probably worth A/B testing them.

Since Amazon Headline Search Ads uses “exact” keyword matching, your keywords need to be very accurate. I advise that you do a bit of testing to see what keywords works best.

You need to focus on adjusting keywords for your:

  • Headline
  • Image
  • Number of featured ASINs
  • Order of ASINs
  • ASIN selection
  • Custom landing page selection

Where do Amazon Headline Search Ads appear?

They appear above Amazon’s search results when using a desktop site. They also appear at the same location for mobile users, but “only” for the Amazon site and “not” the app.

Amazon Marketing Services | Sellerlift

How much do Amazon Headline Search Ads cost?

You can either opt to start with a daily minimum budget of $1 or a minimum campaign budget of $100.

For Amazon Headline Search Ads, you will only be charged for click throughs and not impressions.

TIP: The cost for Headline Search Ads is significantly higher than the other two Amazon PPC systems. But the reward justifies the cost.

Amazon Product Display Ads

Product Display Ads are referred to as “bottom-of-the-funnel” ads as they usually are the last type of ads a buyer sees before clicking the add to cart button.

They appear either on your own product page, or that of your competitor. This unique advertising set-up allows you to choose between an “offensive and/or defensive” advertising strategy depending on where you want your ad to appear.

Product Display Ads and are only available for those with vendor accounts.

Where do Amazon Product Display Ads appear?

Product Display Ads are shown for both desktop and mobile devices, and can be seen on:

  • Product detail page
  • Right rail of search results
  • Bottom of search results
  • Customer reviews page
  • Read all reviews page,
  • Top of the offer listing page
  • Amazon-generated marketing emails
AMS Amazon product display ad

Difference between “Product” and “Interest Based” Targeting for Amazon Product Display Ads

Interest-based targeting – Ads appear to buyers that who are interested in your target. High volume and lower conversion rate.

Product targeting – Ads appear when buyers view your target or something similar to it. More detailed data and higher conversion rate.

TIP: Usually, you should bid lower for Interest-based targeting and spend more for Product targeting. If you’re the type who sells products that are unique, or relatively rare on Amazon, Interest-based targeting is your best option. Just experiment with both for you to ascertain what works best for you.

How much do Amazon Product Display Ads cost?

The minimum for Product Display Ads is at $0.02.

You also have the option to set a daily budget with $1 as minimum, and a campaign budget starting at $100.


Amazon Marketing Services is just one of many tools that you can leverage to streamline your marketing campaign on Amazon and get more sales.

Having said that though, I know that some might be thinking that AMS looks too technical and time consuming. And to a certain extent, yes, that is true. But then again, business success does not come with a pretty bow and happens overnight. So either you do your homework, or you let someone else do it for you. Hopefully, that someone is us.

Anyway, what do you think of this article?

I would love to hear what you think, or maybe you have something useful to add? You know the drill, leave a comment below.

As always, have a great day and see you next time.