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MICROSOFT

Microsoft announces more than 10 new advertising features

Microsoft is on a roll today, announcing a slew of new features relevant to advertisers. If you’re into e-commerce, travel, or frequently use video, pay attention. Here are some of the announcements:

+ Price comparison integration. Microsoft Edge already has a feature where, if you’re on a website product page, it will give you a price comparison toolbar with other retailers and prices. The change: You can now integrate your website into the toolbar.

For example, if someone is looking for an InstantPot on retailer A website and you’re retailer B with a lower price – you could appear there. Sneaky, eh?

+ Video extensions. Say someone types “fidget spinner” into Bing. If you sell fidget spinners, your ad can now appear alongside a video thumbnail. When people click on the thumbnail, the video will expand to full size, showing them your video of the spinner in glorious action.

+ Native property tour ads. If someone searches for “Chicago” on Bing Maps, your property can now appear as an ad there. And if someone types a keyword that indicates a travel experience intent (such as “things to do in Chicago”), people will now see a new type of ad format displaying the experience title, image, starting price, reviews, and so on.

We’d love to cover all 10-plus announcements, but we don’t want to rename this newsletter issue to “all about Microsoft”, so check out the official blog post for a complete list.


PINTEREST

Pinterest <3 Shopify

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Pinterest is expanding its partnership with Shopify to 27 new countries.

What this means: The Shopify Pinterest channel is now available to over 1.7 million Shopify merchants worldwide, including those in Australia, Brazil, Spain, UK, and 23 other countries.

Discoverability: Using the Shopify Pinterest channel, Shopify merchants will be able to easily turn their product pages into shoppable Product Pins. Those Pins could then be potentially discovered by more than 450M users on Pinterest.

In addition, Pinterest has announced 2 new features for all Shopify merchants:

Retargeting: Shopify merchants now have access to dynamic retargeting, enabling them to re-engage with Pinners who already expressed interest in their product on Pinterest.

Multi-feed support for catalogs: Shopify merchants can now add up to 20 product feeds to their Pinterest account. Each feed can indicate a specific piece of local data. This includes things like language, currency and product availability. If you’re a merchant who sells your product across multiple markets, this is extremely helpful.

Overall? This is a win-win-win-win for Shopify, Pinterest, merchants, and pinners.


SPONSORED BY LOB

A 300 years old channel that will wipe away the digital clutter

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“60% of companies sending direct mail say it’s their highest ROI marketing channel. Over 50% of companies see response rates of 5% or higher on their direct mail campaigns.”

Who would’ve thought?

This is one of the insights that Lob gathered by surveying 200+ businesses across the US that leverage direct mail. They shed some light on the approach, effectiveness, and best practices of modern direct mail marketers.

To put it simply: Direct mail has great targeting, great ROI and now it can also be streamlined! How?

With Lob! Lob automates and simplifies direct mail and address verification, allowing businesses to scale this offline channel.

One in two households in the US has received mail generated through Lob’s platform. Companies like Booking, Twitter, LendingHome, and many others have used Lob.

If you want to find more about the current state of direct mail marketing and its potential, download The State of Direct Mail report by Lob – it’s completely free.

Direct mail marketing is changing. New technologies have been introduced that make it easier to scale. The way businesses use it is changing too.

While it was traditionally used for acquisition, businesses are increasingly using it for customer engagement, retention, and advocacy. And they’re seeing successful results. If you want to understand how they’re doing, download The Retention Marketer’s Playbook here.

Discover how you can grow your business with this under-used channel.


FROM THE CREW

We really like cake… But not as much as you will like a new MacBook Air

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It’s our birthday month. And, as you know, birthdays mean cake. Lots of it. It’s taken us a few days to eat it all, but we’re almost there.

Which means… You have just until 23:59 Central European Time tomorrow to collect raffle tickets.

All you have to do is use your unique referral link to recommend our free newsletter. For every new sign up, you will get a ticket. It’s that simple.

Click here to grab your referral link.

We’ll get back to our cake now. See you tomorrow!

PS: Giveaway rules.


COPYWRITING

Writing tips to improve your persuasion power

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Do you want to improve your writing abilities?

The better you write, the easier it will be to communicate your message. And, as a result, get more people to take the desired action.

And here’s a useful post by Jeremy Moser on how to write better.

  • Audience + objective first: The audience dictates the tone, style, and depth of information. The objective determines the format, delivery, and goals. Do not write a single word until you know who is going to read it and what the reader should do.
  • Attention + flow: People have short consideration spans, not short attention spans. Your goal is to get them to read the next line. Jeremy recommends using bridge-phrases to draw attention to the next line. He also shows an example.
  • Make use of copywriting formulas such as Problem-Agitate-Solution or AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).
  • Make complex ideas appear simple by removing confusing words, filler sentences, and jargon.
  • Read content from prolific writers. Some books Jeremy suggests are: Ogilvy on Advertising, The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, The Boron Letters, Zero to One, Breakthrough Advertising.
  • Use writing tools to help you improve your tone, style, vocabulary, and readability. Grammarly, Copy AI, Hemingway App, and Writer are a few examples. Tip from The Crew: QuillBot.

Whether you’re writing ads or tweets, you need to be able to write well and get your message across. And following these simple guidelines is one strong step towards improving your writing.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

OUTBRAIN: The ad network will implement a new surcharge for advertisers targeting the UK.

ADVERTISING: Apple has clarified that ATT enforcement will begin on 26 April.

GOOGLE: According to Google’s John Mueller, now is the “perfect time to level up” your SEO skills in preparation for the core vitals update.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Here are the key takeaways from Hootsuite’s new 200-page report on the state of the internet in 2021. There are also a lot of insights about social media.

FACEBOOK: A security researcher discovered a tool that claims to be capable of matching almost any Facebook profile to an email address.

INSTAGRAM: The social network is working on new sticker types. One of them is a “Link” sticker, which indicates that users with fewer than 10,000 followers will soon be able to include links in their stories.

SOCIAL MEDIA: A survey of 163 enterprise marketers reveals interesting influencer marketing approaches.


BRAIN TEASER

How far can you walk into a forest?

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Beware, makers of bad gelato

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This isn’t a politics newsletter. But, when it comes to Italy and laws about bad gelato… We feel comfortable dipping our toes into the water.

Here’s the deal: Six Italian senators have proposed a law that would make it illegal to add excess air to gelato in an attempt to make it appear fluffier. The law would also prohibit the use of some artificial products and flavorings.

The proposed law isn’t all talk, either: Vendors could get fined up to 10k Euros for failing to adhere to the gelato guidelines.

We’re just happy that ‘government regulations on bad gelato’ is now a topic that’s entered the public conversation. If 2021 has anything going for it, it’s that news like this pops up on a regular basis.

But, perhaps the shame of selling bad gelato is worse than the fine itself? Time will tell…

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