527k FB Ads, $56M in ad spend analysed: How politicians use FB Ads to influence the masses. Amazon tech will ship read your mind: Sending products before you order. Step-by-step strategy for 80x ROAS in preparation for Black Friday.


527k ads from presidential candidates analysed

The team from Medium scraped the Facebook Ad Library and analyzed over 500k ads placed by the US Presidential Candidates.

A lot of ads, uh? A lot of Benjis too: The overall spend totals $56M! This gigantic sum came from a total of 527,350 ads, with D Trump accounting for 30% of the total.

However, it’s worth noting that the study only focused on candidates with a spend of over $1M.

Well, let’s leave any political biases aside and see what we can learn from the most skilled sellers in the world: The politicians themselves.

Spend by gender: Most candidates are leaning towards targeting a female audience. In fact, the average split across all candidates aggregated is 57% – 43% in favour of the female audience.

Age: The majority of candidates are focused on older audiences of 35+. Again, mainly women. Of all politicians, Trump hits a large share of this segment because of poor overall competition (45+ years old men).

This is just a quick summary of what American politicians are up to right now. You can find all the charts here. Take a read and maybe you can learn some lessons.


An “End of Season” sales strategy for 80x ROAS

Whether you work with fashion brands or you run your own fashion e-commerce store, if you’re in this sector you will find yourself dealing with a lot of “End of Season” sales.

Obviously you want to achieve the best results possible during these periods, so you’ll definitely want to take a look at the strategy shared by Christiaan Vermeulen.

You could even use this to prepare for Black Friday.

Let’s first have a look at some background: A clothing store with an AOV of $80. The brand already had proven products and creatives.

Okay, background check over. Let’s move on to the strategy:

Step 1: They took their best performing creatives and modified them, with the goal being to spread awareness of the sale through all their channels. This was done a week before the sale was due to begin.

These variations of the creatives were run in every step of the funnel:

  • Customers.
  • Warm audiences: Video Viewers, FB and IG engagers, Website Visitors.
  • Email list.
  • Cold audiences.

Here, they adopted a budget change from 70-30 to cold/warm audiences to 50-50 cold/warm. Also, they only ran Reach and PPE campaigns.

They saw a ROAS drop (from 7-8x to 4X) in this phase, but an increase in visitors (10k) and ATCs (1.2k).

Step 2: Here the sale starts. By this time, they had already built up a massive audience to retarget.

They targeted all the prospects that engaged with the pre-sale creatives, as well as all the existing customers and old website visitors and engagers.

The budget now shifted from 50-50 cold/warm to 20-80 cold/warm.

Moreover, in this phase, they ran a personalized FB campaign for their email subscribers, as well as preparing an email campaign. This generated them a 56x ROAS. So, this is something you might want to take ideas from.

In this phase, they generated $50k at a 55x ROAS.

Step 3: After 2 days, the focus shifted to cold audiences again, with the budget changing accordingly. They took the top performing creatives from warm audiences and ran them to cold audiences.

It’s good to use a sales period to gain new customers. They just used LLAs for this phase.

This is the step-by-step process, but Christiaan shared some more tips too:

  • Don’t forget to post organic content on your FB page. This helps to keep the CPMs down.
  • They ran a Reach and a Conversion campaign targeting ATCs at the SAME time with similar creatives. The Conversion campaign got a 112x ROAS in 2 days. The reach campaign got over 40x ROAS. So, use this tactic for Black Friday.
  • They didn’t use a product catalogue as this wouldn’t display the sale good enough. Instead, they used creatives that clearly stated the sale in every step of the funnel.

That’s it! You can use this strategy for the end of the season, or adapt it for Black Friday.

Smart marketers are already preparing for the gold rush!


📚 The Performance Marketer’s Complete Guide to Native Ads, straight from Outbrain!

Do we have a treat for you today! Outbrain, one of the biggest native ads platforms in the world with premium publishers like CNN, MSN, NY Post, TIME, SKY News and many more, is giving away their complete guide to Performance Marketing on Native Ads, for free!

Let us explain why this is so powerful… Outbrain has huge, high-quality reach, accounting for 88% of the US digital audience in April 2019 (surpassing FB and other ad platforms). It also has more flexible ad policies than FB on this high-quality reach! You can call out your audience in the headline, you can address the reader as “you”.

It’s a perfect combination of reach, quality and flexible ad policies. Let’s focus on this cool guide though. This is what you can discover in it:

  • Best performing images and headlines with best practices to create similar images and headlines for your campaigns
  • Images with best CTR for 6 of the biggest content categories. See which style works best for different content category targeting.
  • The top keywords to use to evoke the right emotions in readers.
  • The CPCs and CTRs split by 9 ad categories and 9 advertising verticals!See approximately how much you would pay based on vertical and target category.
  • The top 3 verticals for each content category, including the difference in CTR performance.

Get The Performance Marketer’s Complete Guide to Native Ads by Outbrain for free here.

Once you go through the guide, you will be ready to use Outbrain’s handy marketer toolkit:

  • The Outbrain Pixel. Track multiple conversions and build audience pools for retargeting. Very similar to FB, right?
  • Audience Insights. Leverage Outbrain’s data assets to gain a deeper understanding of your customers and prospects.
  • Lookalike Audiences. Need we say more? Reach people that share common attributes with existing customers.
  • Interest Targeting. Show ads to users based on key topics that captivate their attention.
  • Bid Strategy. Maximize your campaigns for clicks or conversions, within your budget! Peak performance!

Download the free guide here.

PS: Are you in NYC for Affiliate Summit East? Learn about CPA-driven buying options, dedicated Account Managers and more by booking a meeting with Outbrain!


New keyword selection preferences explained

Last week, Google announced the extension of same-meaning close variants to phrase and broad match keywords.

It also mentioned that its keyword selection preferences will change to help prevent keywords from competing against each other.

To help you understand how Google’s keyword selection preferences work with same meaning keywords, SearchEngineLand came up with a few scenarios.

Existing preferences will take priority. What does this mean?

If a search term matches an exact, phrase, or broad match modifier keyword that currently exists in your account, it’ll prevent that query from matching other new phrases or broad match modifier keywords now eligible to enter same auction.

Example: The search term lawn mowing service near me will be the preferred match to the phrase match keyword “lawn mowing service”, even though another keyword in your account, “grass cutting service,” could also match that query based on same-meaning matching.

Same meaning exact-match keywords. Within exact match, keywords closest to the query will continue to take precedence over other eligible exact match keywords.

Example: The search term grass cutting services will trigger the exact match not , regardless of Ad Rank.

Adding new keywords with the same meaning as existing keywords. Same-meaning, closer word matches of a search term will take precedence, even if these keywords are newly added.

Example: The phrase match keyword “lawn mowing service” is currently matching the search term grass cutting service near me, and then you add two keywords, “grass cutting service” and +grass +cutting.

Even though they all have the same meaning, the new keywords are closer word matches to the query than the original keyword. Hence, “lawn mowing service” will be prevented from triggering on related grass cutting searches.

PS: The two new keywords will compete against each other on Ad Rank to determine which triggers the ad.

Adding a phrase match or BMM of an existing exact match. Newly added phrase match or BMM keywords will not compete with an existing exact match keyword, and the exact match will take precedence.

Example: The exact match triggers for the search term grass cutting service because of it being a same-meaning close variant match. Now, if you added the phrase match “lawn mowing service”, exact match type will be preferred and the phrase match keyword will not compete with the exact match keyword.

Adding an exact match of an existing phrase match or BMM keyword. This is just the opposite of the above scenario. But even in this case, the exact match type will be preferred over an existing phrase match or BMM.

UNLESS, the keywords are in different ad groups and the phrase match keyword has a lower bid and higher Ad Rank. In that case, phrase match keyword will be preferred instead.

Are there any additional factors that can cause same-meaning matching to kick in when it shouldn’t have? To make things a little more complicated, yes, there are.

  • Match types in separate ad groups. Match type variations of keywords in different ad groups will compete on Ad Rank. Consider grouping such keywords under one ad group.
  • Paused Keywords. Needless to say, all paused keywords are treated like they don’t exist by the system. So, if you pause a keyword, the other same-meaning keywords will then trigger on the search terms which the paused keyword had previously matched to.
  • Limited Budgets. While Google tries its best to match existing traffic to your keywords, there may be instances where a campaign constrained by budget isn’t eligible to show on all queries.

Final Thoughts

Having said that, it’s important to keep in mind that these systems aren’t perfect. Your idea of “same meaning” and the system’s idea of “same meaning” might not always be the same.

Your best bet is to keep monitoring your Search terms report regularly and add negative keywords often.


Indexing issues are now resolved

Google has confirmed that the indexing issues that arose last week have now been resolved, meaning that it is now able to crawl, index and rank new content as usual.

A full assessment is being conducted as part of the procedure, with time frames and post notes about Search Console impact due to be shared shortly.

You will most likely see a drop in your traffic if most of it comes from new content.

Your Google Search Console performance reports will reflect the indexing issue as well.

The issue occurred between around 3:00 a.m. ET on August 8th through around 3:00 a.m. ET on August 9th.


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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.

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

Just think and it shall be delivered

We’ve all heard of the strangely popular belief that FB listens to our conversations. Some even think that FB reads their mind to deliver targeted ads to them.

Someone is just thinking of taking a vacation and suddenly an ad selling vacation packages pops up right in front of them.

Well, looks like this isn’t just a bunch of made up stories about technology that doesn’t exist!

Amazon has patented a system called “Anticipatory Shipping”, which will deliver your order before you even place it.

Yup, you heard that right!

The system is designed to predict, pack and ship the products that are expected to be bought soon by its customers.

Apparently, Jeff Bezos patented this tech as far back as 2014.

How does it work? Well, Amazon already has all the data it needs about its customers. User behaviour, shopping history, CC, addresses etc. Then, there are other forms of intent they are able to harvest using advanced machine learning and data analytics.

The game is getting so hot that it’s about time that someone develops a similar tech that will predict Amazon’s prediction and have the customers pay for an order which Amazon hasn’t even predicted yet.

Lol, it doesn’t even make sense. But, just this once we’d like to beat Amazon at its own game.

Now, let’s just wait for some e-comm workshop guru to get ideas from this and come up with a workshop or a course where he teaches wannabe e-commerce owners to implement this tech onto their Shopify stores.

Any bets who that’s gonna be? *wink wink*

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