100+ business analyzed, $20M in ad spend: Dominate every traffic source with The Core-4 Principle. 65% of Holiday shoppers will buy through this channel. Do NOT miss it. GDN targeting tips learned from spending $350k/month.



Facebook’s take on the holiday season. Building creatives that perform well

Facebook shares a guide on how you can take full advantage of the upcoming holiday season. Key pointers on coming up with entertaining creatives that sell.

Facebook’s marketing guide for Christmas

This marketing guide for Christmas was released last Tuesday and was featured in Depesh Mandalia’s post. However, with Christmas approaching fast we thought we should give this guide a bit more space today, just in case you missed it earlier.


It’s a very rich PDF that takes you through everything from preparing for the holiday rush to post-holiday sales and retention.

Here are some key highlights from the guide:

The whole Q4 is now a shopping season: In 2018, 48% of shoppers started shopping for Christmas in November or earlier. Last year, conversions visible to Facebook started increasing as early as October.

So, if you were thinking that it’s too early to start your holiday season preparations, FB says you’re dead wrong!

Shoppers won’t tolerate bad buying experiences: During the holiday season, shoppers are less willing to suffer any inconvenience. For this reason, they will engage with brands across multiple channels before deciding to buy.

Window shopping is shifting to Stories: During 2018, 62% of people became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. What’s more, 69% of people find Stories on Facebook and Instagram to be a great way to discover and become familiar with new products or services.

People are purchasing in-store: Despite the fact that global eCommerce grew by 18% last year, online sales still only account for 15% of the total retail market. The top reasons for shopping in-store during the Christmas period were to see products in person, get a different emotional experience and spending time with family.

Major shopping events have gone global: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles’ Day are becoming more and more global.

Messaging is fueling loyalty: 20B messages are now being sent every month between people and businesses on Messenger. It’s worthwhile too, with 65% of Christmas shoppers indicating that they’d be more likely to buy from a business if they could contact it through a messaging service.

This is just a quick insight into the trends expected for 2019 Q4. The guide continues into areas such as planning, how to build momentum, maximising sales and retaining customers after the holidays end.

Take a look here.

Key to successful creatives

How do you come up with high performing creatives for Facebook Ads? If you still haven’t found the answer to this question, this one’s for you!

Ace Reddy shared a few pointers that can help make your creatives catchy and conversion oriented on FB.

First of all, you should always keep in mind that people aren’t on FB to buy your stuff. They’re either looking for entertainment, seeing what their friends are doing or just killing time by scrolling around.

So, stop just talking about your product’s features. Instead, run entertaining or valuable ads. Basically, catch their eye, keep their interest, and then start talking about your products.

Let’s head to the tips:

  • Use great music on your Video Ads: This helps to grab the viewers’ attention and keep it.
  • Animation: If it’s fun and entertaining to watch, it’ll get the attention. How do you convert this attention into sales? That’s a tricky subject.
  • Flashy: Any Ad that stands out and has the “POP” Effect is going to convert. Though, remember to not take it to the extreme. Facebook might not like it…
  • Viral Products: If its a cool product that has the potential to go viral, it’ll convert on Facebook. Don’t sell people a boring shirt they can buy down the street. Sell them stuff they can’t get anywhere else.
  • Products that have a passionate audience: Dominate niches. Don’t just build general stores. If you sell products that have a pre-existing and passionate audience, it will make everything much easier for you.
  • Emotionally Reactive Creatives (Make people laugh, feel sad, etc.): If your creatives make your customers smile, laugh, cry or show any emotional reaction, you’re on the right path! You can leverage this to build a rapport with them that can eventually lead to sales.
  • Tons of Value/Free Gifts: Give your audience a ton of value that helps them solve specific problems and you instantly build rapport with them. Value needs to be delivered straight through the ad for it to have maximum effect.


So, now you have a plan for the holiday season and you know how to build creatives. Basically, we’ve set you up to crush Q4 this year!

Good luck!


🥇 The best marketers at the best price: The digital marketing’s industry job board by WHAT THE AFF!

It’s been a few months since we launched Jobs in Digital Marketing so we wanted to share some of the numbers and why we think our young job board is pretty much a no-brainer for someone who needs smart, experienced marketers!

  • We mean it when we say “the best in the industry”:
  1. ​​55% of readers have over 3 years of industry experience
  2. Performance comes natural: 44% generate over $10k in revenue a month!
  • Experience and interest in a wide variety of traffic types:
  1. 76.5 percent Facebook Ads
  2. 60.7 percent Google Ads
  3. 52.5 percent SEO
  4. 44.7 percent Email
  5. 38.4 percent YouTube Ads
  6. 38.1 percent Content Marketing
  • The same goes for verticals:
  1. 68% lead generation
  2. 62% e-commerce
  3. 36% in health and beauty
  4. 30% in software-as-a-service
  • No-hassle Google Jobs indexed listing. Yep, aside from our own audience, your job will instantly be indexed by Google Jobs without any extra work from you!
  • Trusted by companies like eGENTIC, Grabads, Maximus, On The Map Inc. and System1.
  • 7.5k+ marketers reached over our email. And that’s 20 times in a month! You don’t get a one-off shoutout but you have your job posted every single day in our newsletter.

And you’re probably wondering how much it costs… Well, it’s $6.5/day. Yep, the price of a fancy Starbucks coffee to find your next marketing rockstar. Over the month, there will be 300-400 people going to your job post page.

Use the code WTAFF here and post your current and future jobs for only $130.


The Core-4 Principle to scale your campaigns

We decided to give this a generic marketing tag despite the fact that this post revolves around Facebook. Why? Read on to find out!

It’s been shared by Depesh Mandalia, and it’s about the marketing system he uses to launch a successful campaign, no matter what the traffic source is.

Depesh calls this system The Core-4 Principle, and he has developed it after spending $20M on FB Ads and analyzing more than 100 businesses.

And now you can reap the rewards! Here are the 4 cores of a successful marketing campaign:

  • Product: Does this product clearly solve a problem or create a new, better solution for customers?
  • Offer: Are you confident that you could take your product door to door and sell it using your existing ad copy and lander?
  • Audience: Do you know exactly who your perfect customer is? A perfect customer loves your product, will not return it and will likely shop again and refer others.
  • Funnel: Is your funnel able to consistently convert prospects at a rate you’re happy with and an average order value that allows you to grow at the pace you want?

Once you have figured out these 4 things, you should evaluate your marketing campaign and give it a rating between 1 and 5. Give a score to each of the points above and, most importantly, be honest with yourself.

So answer the questions and give a score of 1 if you strongly disagree and 5 when you strongly agree.

  • A score of 20 means you’re in a perfect position to scale.
  • A score of 15-19 is strong. You can scale, but you need a system to improve and optimise.
  • A score of 10-14 means you have some work to do in one or more key areas of your CORE-4. Scaling too early could become costly and unpredictable.
  • A score below 9? You have a lot of work to do.

Very simple, huh? Though, it’s incredibly useful to understand whether you’re on the right path or not. Plus, this doesn’t just work for FB. It works for every traffic source.

So, save this post and use it in the future!


Quick way to test multiple bidding strategies. Targeting large publishers with GDN

There are so many smart bidding strategies out there and just not enough time or money to test them all. Here’s a quick way to test the ones relevant to your campaigns.

Some tips to target large publishers you might not otherwise be able to find on Google’s Display Network.

Tame smart bidding with this script

Don’t give too much control to Google, stick to manual bidding.

With Smart bidding, the conversions have increased for my account.

When it comes to bidding strategies, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and you’ll find plenty of contradicting advice out there telling you what works best.

The ideal strategy is to keep on testing and monitoring performance yourself so you can make an informed decision.

One way to test manual vs smart bidding is to run experiments, but this isn’t quick. And, if you intend to test multiple variations of smart bidding, it’s going to cost you a lot of time and money.

Here’s a slightly quicker alternative.

It’s a script that lets you test and monitor the performance of various bidding strategies in your campaigns based on predefined metrics.

The script can analyze a number of manual or automated bidding strategies, such as Manual CPC, Manual CPV, Manual CPM, Target search page location, Maximize clicks, Maximize Conversion Value, Target Outranking Share, Target CPA, Target ROAS and Maximize Conversions.

All you gotta do is pick the campaigns and the bidding strategies you want to test on them and the script will compare them all and spit out results on the following metrics for you: CPC, Clicks, Conversions, Cost, CTR, Impressions and Top Impression rate.

How does it work?

  • Make a copy of this spreadsheet.
  • Enter the account ID and the campaigns you want to monitor, the bidding strategy to test and the metrics you would like to analyze.
  • Paste this script into a new script in your Google Ad account using Tools > Bulk Actions > Scripts.
  • Before running the script, edit the SPREADSHEET_URL variable with the URL of your spreadsheet.
  • You can also make the script ignore or include paused campaigns by changing the ignorePausedCampaigns variable to true or false respectively.

That’s all! You are ready to run the script.

We’re interested in the results of this and to find out what bidding strategies worked for you and what type of accounts it was run on.

So, if you happen to test this script, do share the results or a case study with us.

Targeting top-tier publisher sites with GDN

Are you buying impressions on larger publisher sites through IOs (insertion orders)?

If you do, Josh Lucas shares a few tips on how you can target these publishers directly using Google’s Display Network (GDN) at a much cheaper cost.

For a little background, Josh came up with these tips after running a lot of lead generation campaigns, primarily targeting mobile traffic. The demographic used is very specialized and he spends around $350k/month on Google Ads.

Let’s get straight to them:

Managed Placements. Most large publisher sites don’t actively promote the fact that they’re on GDN, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t available there.

You can still choose Managed Placements and manually add each domain under “Add Multiple Placements”. Simply searching for the domain name might not give you any results, but if you add it manually you’ll see an estimate for impressions.

You might be surprised to discover how many top tier publishers sell their excess inventory on GDN, and you can buy it at a significantly lower price and without the commitment of an IO.

App Targeting. This involves the same process as above, but here you will look for apps and not domain names.

Here’s the format for apps. Use “mobileapp::1-” where after the 1, you input the Apple app ID number. And use “mobileapp::2-” and input the Google Play ID from the Play Store URL. (It’s the string after the =).

Tip: If it’s a paid app, it might not run GDN ads or any ads at all. But if it’s a free app, it most likely will be available.

PS: In both the above scenarios, look at the traffic estimates and, if it’s <1000 impressions, then it’s not available for targeting on GDN.

Bidding Strategy. After extensive testing, Josh found that CPM gives you the lowest quality traffic, CPC is in the middle and CPA has the best traffic.

Tip: You’ll need to start with CPC before moving on to CPA. Initially starting with CPA might not get you enough impressions.

Single domain/app ad groups. Just like SKAGs, keep your ad groups to a single domain or app. This helps you control the budgets and monitor performance better.

Ideally, you should start with the publishers you already know perform well. Then use Smart Display Campaigns to find more placements with standalone ad groups for each.


Do you ever forward our emails?

Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t… Either way, we just want to let you know about something we noticed when people forward this email to their friends.

If someone you forward the email to clicks the unsubscribe link, your email will be unsubscribed!

Several people have had this happen to them and wanted to know why they stopped getting our emails, so we thought it’d be best to tell everyone about it.

How should you share? Well, you could just share our newsletter archive, which you can find here. Each email is posted online a few hours after it hits your inbox.

Another option is to click the “just read in browser” link at the very top of the email and share that link.

Using either of these methods for sharing ensures that nobody unsubs you by mistake!

PS: Do you have any other feedback for us? Do you just want to make sure you have your say in our content?

Fill out this quick, 2-minute survey right here!


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The OMG Cable


If you’re one of those people who heads out without your phone charging cable, thinking you can just grab any random cable you come across, then you should be worried!

Why? First of all, it’s not cool to constantly bother your friends and colleagues for a charger!

And secondly, you are putting your phone and everything in it at risk.

In an effort to raise awareness about this, a hacker named MG took an innocent-looking Apple USB Lightning cable and placed a small Wi-Fi-enabled implant inside. This, when plugged in, allows a nearby hacker to run commands as if they had the phone in their hands.

Using a nearby device within Wi-Fi range, one can wirelessly transmit malicious payloads to the device to send phishing pages, or remotely lock a computer screen to collect the passwords.

MG spent thousands of dollars and countless hours working on this project to raise awareness.

The least we can do is to make sure that we always carry our own charging cables around.

Here’s what you can get if you share us with your marketing friends!

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