Achieving 14.8x ROAS on a custom CMS without any Pixel tracking. This 178-year old travel giant destroyed itself by not moving its business online. Google’s user history manipulation update: End of the back-button redirect trick?



No more link shenanigan-ing

It’s almost 2020. Online marketing has completely changed over the last few years and continues to change at a rapid rate.

However, there are some old tricks that never get old. And as long as they help us make an extra-buck, let’s just use it!


The technique in question is that of manipulating a browser’s back button to make it difficult or impossible for users to go back to the pages they came from. It’s time to let go of this technique and move on.

This new update to the browser’s back button will skip pages that have added history entries or redirected the user without ever getting a user gesture. This intervention will only impact the browser’s back/forward button UI and not the history.back/forward APIs.

What does this mean? Let’s simplify by using an example:

  • User is on Site 1 and clicks to go to Site 2.
  • Site 2 adds a history entry using pushState or navigates the user to another page (Site 3) without ever getting a user gesture.
  • Site 2 will then be skipped if the user presses back and the user will directly be navigated to Site 1.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If you want the browser’s back button to land on a page that redirected after loading, then that page should have had a user gesture before redirecting.
  • If a history entry is added but there is no user gesture by the time the user hits back, the page adding the history entry will be skipped and the popstate event will not fire.

This new update is applicable to platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and Android WebView.


14.8x ROAS and 160% increase in revenue without sales tracking

Razvan Alexa took a store into his hands, hoping to use his expertise to help it grow and thrive. But he had a big problem: The store was built on a custom CMS, the sales tracking didn’t work, and there was nothing they could do to fix it.

They could see the sales, but not the channel that drove these sales. Basically, no Facebook Pixel.

Despite this, Razvan managed to increase revenue by 160%.

It’s a home furnishing store, the AOV is €600 and the target countries are Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK.

What they did

Firstly, they created their target customer based on 2 years worth of data from Google Analytics: female 35+. Also, 67% of sales came from Desktop, so they approached it like this:

  • Traffic objective mobile + desktop, wi-fi only, ad sets split by country.
  • Brand Awareness objective mobile + desktop, wi-fi only, split by country ad sets.
  • Lookalike mobile+desktop, wi-fi only, ad sets split by country.
  • Remarketing desktop only, wi-fi only, Europe.

They then put Germany and UK ad sets into separate ABO (adset budget optimized) campaigns, since the CBO (campaign budget optimization) wasn’t really working well here, and then created ad sets targeting affluent areas of the countries.

The “game-changers” according to Razvan have been:

  • Creating a different promo every week.
  • Studying the conversion and sales data from analytics and tailoring accordingly: desktop, wi-fi only, country split.

This increased the monthly revenue from €15k to €40k. The ad spend was €2k. Nice stats considering all the data they didn’t have at their disposal.


🗓 Plan, create, publish and analyze posts across all your social media accounts with just one tool!

It’s called ContentCal and as the name suggests, its main purpose is to be a calendar for all your content… but it does so much more than that!

  • Build a content library within ContentCal that you can reuse across your accounts.
  • Preview posts and manage approvals before they go live to make sure they look right on all social media platforms and are signed off compliantly.
  • Plan your whole social media strategy, whether that means starting up a new page, planning social media sequences for funnels, e-commerce brand, etc.
  • Detailed analytics to discover the impact each and every post had on your growth, engagement and find the best times to post to maximize results.
  • Instantly connect it to Shopify, WordPress, Asana, Google Docs and hundreds of other apps with Zapier so you can publish or gather info for your posts from different apps automatically.
  • Respond and engage with your followers from one dashboard across all social media accounts, whether that is mentions or direct messages that you receive.

One great use-case for some of you pure affiliate media-buyers out there is that you can assign a repeatable process to your team for new pages, then carefully review their work from a beautiful and intuitive UI to minimize mistakes when building your initial FB Page reputation.

Whether you are:

  • A media buyer who needs to keep your social media active in less time to boost that ROAS for campaigns…
  • A small brand who needs to be efficient and optimize every process to compete and grow your social presence…
  • A digital marketing agency that manages social media for several small and medium businesses…

… you should test it out for yourself. There’s no CC required, just sign up to instantly get it for free for 14 days to ContentCal and a plethora of concise video tutorials explaining each and every feature.

Sign up to ContentCal’s 14-day trial right here.


How to find the best Interests to target. Updates for a faster Catalogue sync

Don’t just test Interests; test groups of them! New updates from Depesh Mandalia’s Facebook Rep.

3 Targeting+placement strategies that worked wonders

Lotfi Drif shared 3 targeting strategies that worked extremely well for him.

Jumping straight to them.

+ Interest grouping + affinity-based Interests: Let’s say you want to test 20 audiences. You can split up the 20 different Interests into 3-4 groups.

For example, 5 influencer based Interests, 5 books based Interests, 5 magazine based Interests and 5 brand based Interests in your niche.

Using this approach, you’re also testing the groups of Interests that give better results. For example, you might find that influencer Interests give a higher ROAS. Therefore, you would test more influencer Interests, as well as finding the best performing Affinity within these Interests.

+ Testing conversion windows for retargeting + best-performing ad sets: At some point, every campaign starts to fatigue. What you can do to combat this is to duplicate the ad set and change the conversion window: So, shifting from 1-day click to 7-day view, or vice-versa.

In addition, Lotfi says that this works well with high performing ad sets. If you have an ad set that has been performing well for weeks, you can duplicate it and change the conversion window. This works fine, especially in CBO camps.

+ Narrow down to one Placement: Lotfi says to start out with Automatic Placements. However, once you have a few performing ad sets, narrow it down to just Mobile-Facebook-Feed or/and Mobile-Instagram-Stories. This method means that you’ll have creatives made specifically for that one placement.

That’s all.

Worth a test? Let us know!

Updates direct from my rep

For all you ecomm gals and guys out there, this is a cool update for you: A faster synchronization of your Products Catalogue. A Facebook Rep shared it with Depesh Mandalia, who went on to share it on his groups.

Here’s all about it from FB: “If you set scheduled data feed file uploads, your inventory information will now upload to your catalog as soon as Facebook detects that you’ve changed your data feed file on your server. You won’t need to wait until your scheduled hourly, daily or weekly upload time.”

This brings us several benefits:

  • Keep your catalogue up-to-date, with all your inventory information correct at all times.
  • Give your customers a better experience. Having conflicting info between ads and your store isn’t a good way to build up trust.
  • If you’re running low on stock through sales, your Dynamic Product Ads won’t be out of sync.

Short but useful update!

Keep it up!


  • PINTEREST: Pinterest announced the release of new “Shop the look” collection of ads for mobile, allowing you to showcase up to four products that users can click through to purchase on your website.
  • GOOGLE: After Apple, FB, Amazon and Microsoft, Google has admitted to using third-party subcontractors to access recordings of Google Home device owners. But Google is sorry, okay?
  • YOUTUBE: YouTube’s launches new Video Reach ads to allow advertisers to upload three different asset types, six-second bumper ads, skippable in-stream ads and non-skippable in-stream ads, all in a single campaign.
  • FACEBOOK: Where is Facebook headed with its plans to merge Messenger, Instagram & WhatsApp together? The Facebook SuperApp.
  • SEO: A handy tool that provides an easy to use overview of your website’s meta data and search engine optimisation.


I have keys without locks.
I have space without rooms.
You can enter but you cannot go outside.

What am I?

You’ll find the answer at the end of this email.


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

How neglecting the internet killed a 178-year company


When you are at the top of the ladder, sometimes the only way is down.

This is exactly what this 178-year old business experienced.

British travel giant Thomas Cook announced that it’s “ceased trading with immediate effect”, leaving 22k jobs at risk and 150k tourists stranded.

The company announced the cancelation of all bookings, including flights and holidays, after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the holiday firm failed.

What happened?

  • Customers moved online for many of their travel needs, while Thomas Cook did not. They relied on brick and mortar stores and telephone assistance. Incredible but true.
  • Package tours are no longer in demand. Thanks to the Internet, it’s very easy for travellers to organize everything by themselves.
  • After acquiring their own airline, Conor, running operations became expensive.
  • Brexit led many U.K. customers to postpone their holiday plans.

They were once known as one of the finest holiday brands, operating in 16 countries and running hotels, cruises and airlines for more than 19M travelers annually. Their failure to adapt left them with huge debt, cash-strapped and facing political uncertainty and a new age of fierce competition.

More than 16k travelers were due to return on Monday, and now face the heat of this sudden shutdown. The Government is making an effort to charter 45 additional jets to bring them home, all while Thomas Cook’s own airliners sit dormant on the runway.

This operation will temporarily make it the UK’s fifth-largest airline with operators such as easyJet and Virgin pitching in for help.

What can we marketers learn from this?

Well, the basics of running any business.

  • Don’t get complacent, even if you have a stable and successful business.
  • Be where your customers are. They might not hang out at the same place all the time.
  • Avoid shiny object syndrome and make operations run smoothly at the lowest possible cost. Aka, do not buy an entire airline.
  • Hope for the best.

Yes, it’s not just us small business owners, even giants make these mistakes. And as they say, you must learn from the mistakes of others because you will not live long enough to make them all yourself.



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