April 25, 2019


Kobi Digital closes down on May 1st, 2019

Kobi has been one of the more popular lead-gen advertisers for affiliates in the past few years, so it came as something of a surprise when they announced that they are ceasing their lead-gen operations in an email to publishers.

Unlike some of the previous stories, there doesn’t seem to be any drama here. You can check out the full email in the screenshot below.

What’s important?

  • The team will focus on something else.
  • Stop sending traffic to their offers.
  • Send in your remaining invoices.
  • Maybe give Big Bang Ads a try instead.

If there’s more to the story, we’ll let you know as soon as we find out!


Strategy to 6x your cold email signups

We hope you enjoyed the case study we shared yesterday on email copywriting and that you’ll be keeping our secrets very close to your chest.

We’re not stopping at that though. Today we have some good sauce that Ian Naylor used to increase his cold email signups by 6x and ROAS by 8x.

Here are the steps:

  • Export your email list of cold customers to Google sheets using a CSV file.
  • Create a personalized image for the recipients of your cold email campaign. (Ian uses a paid tool for this, but you can use your own tools or alternatives for this).
  • Link your email campaign to your landers, add a FB pixel for remarketing and use the same personalized images everywhere.
  • Add a non-scripted version of FB Pixel to your sales page.
  • Send out the cold email campaign.
  • Upload these same images as a Product Catalog to FB Ad Manager. Each product in your catalogue will be personalized to a recipient that opened your email or visited your sales page.
  • Create a remarketing campaign with “Catalog Sales” objective targeting people who opened your emails, using the same personalized images as creatives again.

Sound interesting? Got questions? Have a look at Ian’s post here for detailed steps or to shoot any questions his way.


FB is flourishing. Mark’s take on it. Record fine ongoing

FB released its 2019 Q1 report, and once again they have managed to smash all their forecasts. All this despite a $5B fine as well! Mark shares his thoughts about the company too.

2019 Q1 report

Yesterday it was all about Snapchat and Twitter. Now, it’s time to have a look at FB’s Q1’19 report. You can probably guess how positively this was received by the fact that their share price jumped by more than 10% yesterday!

In fact, Facebook, like Snapchat, beat every forecastDamned forecasts…

  • Revenue: $15.08B, vs. $14.98B, as forecast by Refinitiv.  A big jump respect to Q1’18 revenue of $ 11.96B.
  • Advertising revenue: $14.91B. +26% year over year. Did you expect such a big increase?
  • Mobile advertising revenue: 93% of total advertising revenue.
  • Net income: $2.42B. A step down compared to net income during Q1’18: $4.98B. But you have to consider that in this Q1’19 report included $3B in expenses related to an ongoing FTC fine. But we’ll talk about this later.
  • Diluted earnings per share: $0.85. +0.50% Year on year.

So, excluding that $3B fine, it seems the money is not going to be an issue at Menlo Park anytime soon.

Wanna dive deeper into their accounting books, have a look at the whole report here.

Now let’s have a look at its user base.

  • Daily active users: 1.56B, 8% increase year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users: 2.38B, 8% increase year-over-year. The forecast? 2.37B
  • Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger daily active users:2.7B

But there is still more to talk about: Stories.

In fact, FB, Messenger and WhatsApp stories reached 500M daily active users. (Instagram hit that mark in January).

Now, remember Snapchat – The Stories-based social network has 190M total daily users.

Plus, 3M advertisers are using Stories. This means that they’re important both for engagement and revenue.

Well done FB. We couldn’t ask for any more!

The Crew’s take

Despite all the controversial stories. Despite all the privacy issues. Despite all the data breaches. This giant beast is still growing!

Neither users nor advertisers seem to be scared by all the negative PR.

Yes, it’s true that the platform is getting stricter for everyone. It’s true that sometimes the platform acts like a hopeless startup. FB has many other downsides on top of this.

However, the numbers speak for themselves. The user base is growing, and with Stories users growing as well this provides new media space to fight the Newsfeed saturation. Also, don’t forget that, currently, there isn’t a smarter advertising platform than FB.

This report will probably calm some marketers who were worried about the future of FB.

This is just a quarterly report, so is just a small piece of a whole trend. Still, it’s a very positive one.

Mark’s thoughts

As the quarterly report was released, Mark Zuckerberg took the chance to share his thoughts about the company.

Let’s see what the main takeaways are:

  • Mark talked again about a new privacy-focused social network and how they are still working in that direction.
  • Facebook is headed toward more regulated content. Still, nothing new here.
  • FB is now the equivalent of a town square. But people also need a “digital living room”. FB wants to be the ones to build that.
  • Facebook is thinking about tools to improve private interactions like payments and commerce.
  • Reducing the permanence of data: Historical data will be less accessible than recent data. But according to FB, recent data is worth more for advertisers.
  • Privacy-focused platforms based on intimate interactions won’t replace FB and Instagram as they are now, because people need both of them.
  • A public process to determine what’s allowed and what’s required to keep harmful content to a minimum. A solution could be the participation of governments in this.
  • According to Mark, more countries should adopt the GDPR to avoid a fragmentation of the internet.
  • There will be more regulations to limit.

This is all from Mark. Many points are related to his previous post about the new privacy-focused platform they have in mind.

Mark Zuckerberg seems to be well aware of the fact that new regulations could hurt their business, so they’re focused on finding a solution that both assures the safety of users but doesn’t hurt advertisers and creators.

$5B fines on the way

If you read the FB Q1 report, you will have noticed that it is expected to pay a fine to the Federal Trade Commission.

In the report, they included a $3B expense. Although the fine could go up to $5B.

The penalty is due to the violation of a 2011 privacy consent decree.

That year, the social network promised a series of measures to protect its users’ privacy after an investigation found that its handling of data had harmed consumers.

Then, last year the FTC opened another investigation when FB was under fire for data harvesting scandal. The organization accused Facebook of not protecting its users’ data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica.

A $5B fine would be a milestone for the FTC, whose biggest fine for a tech company was previously $22M against Google in 2012.

However, some lawmakers said the amount is not high enough for a company as big as FB. They say that this fine is just a “slap on the wrist” for them.

“This would be a joke of a fine — a two-weeks-of-revenue, parking-ticket-level penalty for destroying democracy,” said Matt Stoller

Well, in any case, FB’s business is looking very robust and from the looks of the quarterly report, it looks like they’re ready to pay.

And, from Zuckerberg statement, they’re already working on improving their privacy.

So, while a $5B fine isn’t enough to punish them, apparently they have learned their lesson.



Shoppable Instagram Posts for e-commerce

Let’s talk a bit about every e-commerce owners’ and influencer’s favourite social platform: Instagram.

Ever since IG launched, the biggest frustration for anyone using this platform commercially has been the inability to use clickable links in their posts. The best you could do was direct your audience to the worldwide catchphrase “Link in Bio”, right?

Did that solve your basic need for clickable links? No.

This was finally changed a year ago by Instagram when they launched the ability to integrate your Instagram ads with your Facebook Shop to create shoppable Instagram posts. It also allows you to get a “Shop” button on your Instagram page. Yes, that’s how you get those “Shop” buttons for Instagram posts!

How does this work?

Instagram allows you to add pop-up shopping links to your images. When clicked, these links take users back to your website. Users can also browse around using the Shop button located on the brand’s page.

Without a doubt, this is an exciting new way to drive conversions, lead generation and brand awareness.

But there’s gotta be a catch, right? Yup!

Not all accounts are eligible for this. Though it’s not too difficult to get through, so don’t be disheartened.

It’s only available for certain geos for now, and while it’s not a conservative list by any means it does mean that if your business is located elsewhere, you’re pretty much stuck for now.

Aside from that, you gotta be selling physical goods, comply with all policies, have a business account for Instagram and have your Insta account connected to your FB page. That’s pretty much the entire eligibility criteria.

For more details, Instagram has a complete guide to the setup process available here.

Now, let’s suppose you have the whole thing set up. How do you get the most out of it?

Instagram always prioritizes high-engagement content that people want to share, like, and click on.

Well, forget the algo and focus on producing content that users will enjoy, find useful, or preferably both!

Here are a few types of posts that lend themselves well to adding shopping links:

  • Posts highlighting seasonal items.
  • Celebrity or influencer endorsements.
  • Ideas for fun, interesting or unusual uses of your products.
  • Aesthetically pleasing photography.
  • Gift guides for holidays.
  • Beginner’s guides for getting into a new hobby or sport.

The Final Step: Smooth User Journey

It’s important to finish strong by providing a smooth transaction process on your website. Have you checked out Instagram’s native payment features yet? Again, they’re not widely available yet but they’re definitely worth a look.

Shoppable Instagram posts are easy to use and open up plenty of new options. So, if you think you are a good fit for each other, go play!


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

Blockchain art marketplace by Pinterest’s first ever employee


Apparently, Pinterest is a great place to find digital art but a terrible place to sell it!

The first person who realized this was also the first ever employee who walked into Pinterest’s office: Yash Nelapti!

Today, Pinterest’s first employee is addressing that problem.

How? He’s launching a marketplace where users can create crypto-tokenized artworks that proves who made it and lets it be sold as part of a limited edition – MakersPlace!

It’s designed in a simple manner so that users fingerprinting their artwork can just upload it to MakersPlace before sharing it elsewhere.

How’s their identity verified? An Ethereum-based token is generated with the creator’s name, the art’s name, its impression and edition number and the date. A permanent record of authorship.

Nearly $67.4B were generated in total art sales last year, but only $4.64B of that came from online art sales.

Uncork Capital saw the chance and has already invested $2M in MakersPlace

No more of getting your work copied, shared and scammed.

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