December 20, 2018


Hey, a quick word from The Crew!

From December 24th until 1st January we’ll be giving you our best of 2018 and predictions for 2019. For the industry and for WHAT THE AFF. And of course, some of the news that comes up. So you should definitely expect us in your inbox! 

Good reminder to check we show up where you want us and not in some obscure tab 😉

Aside from that, we want to get your thoughts about what has been and what will come.

1. Tell us, what was your biggest memory of 2018 when it comes to affiliate marketing, e-commerce, media buying and online business in general? 

2. What’s your prediction for 2019? Help out WHAT THE AFF readers by giving your view on next year.

We will put your answers together in one of our special edition letters next week!

And of course, if you have suggestions on how we can improve this daily treat, let us know. Just reply to this email. We read and reply to every message!

4 Levels of Marketing Benefits by Charles Ngo.

You might have heard of this 4-level marketing paradigm that allows your audience to understand and relate with your products in a better fashion.

Charles Ngo shares this quick insight with us over his FB page.

– Feature: It’s about introducing your product to your audience. Helping your audience understand the product.

– Advantage: How your product is better or different from others selling similar stuff. Why should they buy it from you over others?

– Benefit: How do they enjoy this product and its features.

– Benefits of benefits: Describing features is one thing, but how do those features solve a pain point for your audience. How do those features add value to their business or life?

It’s a simple paradigm that every marketer should keep in their repertoire. We see a lot of people still ignore this and instead push the sales-y pitches while promoting the products to a cold audience. So, a quick reminder is certainly useful!

Google Chrome to clamp down on “back button” hijacking.

There are many website owners who resort to unfair practices to squeeze every inch of juice from the traffic they get.

One such common practice is misuse/hijack of the “back button” of users browser. Be it disabling their back button to not let users bounce off their pages. Redirecting them to a completely random site, like an affiliate offer. Or refreshing the page to increase page views and Adsense impressions on their site.

9to5Google says such tactics will be done and dusted soon. With the release of the future version of Chrome Canary browser.

Chrome will flag such pages before sending the metric for analysis. It will then stop allowing websites to add such items to the ‘back/forward’ list without the user’s intention.

Fake “Play” buttons which redirect the users to some random webpage will also be penalized. All ads on such sites will be blocked on account of abuse.

There goes one of our most common ROI boosters… Aggressive tactics seem to not have a very long shelf life left on Chrome.


Data Privacy? Facebook knowingly shares your data with 150 companies.

What’s hot these days? You guessed it…Data!

Today, it’s about data deals that Facebook illegally made according to a New York Times report. Deals between Facebook and big companies, like Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and a bank also!

What are the deals about? Unlimited access to the new gold: its users’ data.

The detailed report explains how Facebook gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read users’ private messages. Worried? There is more…

FB let Amazon access usernames as well as contact information through friends.

It allowed Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, to collect the names of “virtually all Facebook users’ friends” without their consent. It also allowed Yahoo to access “streams of friends posts as recently as this summer.”

The investigation found that Facebook made deals with over 150 companies. Including online retailers, media organizations, automakers, and entertainment sites.

The social media giant considered these companies business partners and exempted them from its privacy rules. Without caring about its users’ data. WTAFF?

Facebook is clearly under attack, yet we can’t say it is a victim. They created this situation themselves and some of the deals were still active when the NYT investigated.

It’s impossible to predict how people will react to all these continued scandals. There are billions of people using it every day, yet we can’t say we see a bright future for Mark!

But we do hope they will come back on the right route. We advertisers need it as much as they need us…

Facebook Refund to Advertisers

Wait, before you start crying over FB, we have a nice piece of news: remember when FB went down right before the Black Friday? It looks they are starting to refund the affected ad accounts. Have a look here!

A bit of sugar in such a bitter coffee.

Trapeze Method: going big with a safety net!

How do you go from losing to being profitable during the holiday season?According to John Coyle, it has to do with CBO + Manual Bidding.

You’re already on holidays and don’t want to hear anything about Facebook Ads for a while? Well, you have to make sure they run smoothly… And that’s what this is gonna help you with!

Look at this campaign recipe:

The Setup: The CBO budget was at a level where 10-20 conversions per day could happen. The campaign contained 5-7 different ad sets that targeted all audiences with a relatively good history of the account.

There were 4 duplicates of each ad set at different bids: 1X, 2X, and 3X the CPA target.

Rocky Start: With CBO, Facebook starts off by basically pushing all the budget to the ad sets with the highest bids.

So you can expect some mediocre to poor returns at first unless all your ad sets crush it uniformly. Basically, just a dream.

You can mitigate this risk by using a bidding strategy where you are fairly safe even with the largest bids, but then you run the risk of not getting much delivery.

Optimizing to Profit and Beyond: Take the ad sets that aren’t at the highest bids, but are getting good returns. Duplicate them and use 10% intervals above and below their current bid.

For instance, if you had an ad set bidding $76 that had good returns, but not a lot of impressions, you would duplicate it to $61.50, $68.40, $83.60, $91.96, etc.

This helps you find more of the good ones for the campaign to distribute budget across and at this point the losers don’t get much budget preference.

There are still ad sets not getting much budget that could make them look like some of the best performers, but those are there, waiting for when the best ad sets get tired.

Scaling. You can scale it in these two ways:

Budget scaling: here you can do whatever method of budget scaling you like.

The nice thing about budget scaling with CBO is that there is data significance: increasing the budget by 20% won’t give you enough data to analyze. But given that the budget is at a campaign level and it’s larger, you will get more info to make decisions.

Duplicate high return, low impression ad sets into a non-CBO campaign: the CBO campaign will favour your higher bid ad sets.

Thus, a great way to scale is to take promising ad sets that aren’t getting much budget in the CBO campaign and duplicate them into a campaign where you are running ad set budgets.

How do you mitigate the risk while still getting statistical significance? Use “conservative” budgets that are safer. However, still use ad set level budgets that are 10X your target conversion cost or more.


Dirty dealings into Amazon listings.

Did you find yesterday’s short-documentary about Amazon scammers interesting? Well! Here is a real story of an Amazon seller under attack by competitors. And how hard it was for them to get back on track.

You will see how a seller discovered that they are under attack.

Sometimes hundreds of positive reviews start coming. Or you get a notification from Amazon saying: “Somebody bought your product, lit it on fire, took a picture and told Amazon that your products are explosive.”

This is a dirty strategy frequently used on Amazon.

You know what the sick thing is? Sellers are actually more scared of dealing with Amazon than with an actual court.

While Mark Zuckerberg mused recently that Facebook might need a “Supreme Court” to adjudicate disputes and hear appeals, Amazon already has something like a judicial system. One that is secretive, volatile, and often terrifying.

And if you’re under attack from a competitor, Amazon will likely ban you. And you will have a hard time getting back. Unless! You hire people who specialize in translating Amazon’s cryptic suspension messages. They then dig through every review, metric, and message in a seller’s account just to find the infraction they need to design a remedy for.

Yes, it’s a really crazy job! To read the full real story of an Amazon seller under attack, head over here.

Making a location map of your Shopify customers using Google Fusion Tables.

Remember Shopify’s BFCM map we shared with you, which showed real-time spends globally during Black Friday?

Well, you can create a similar map for your store which shows you a location map of your Shopify customers. Not just during BF but for the whole year around.

Here’s how:
– Export your sales data from Shopify as a .csv file.
– Sign-in to your Google account and visit Google Fusion Tables.
– Click on “Create”.
– Follow the prompts, upload the .csv file.

And in a short time, you will see a visual map of your Shopify customer locations.

Not working out well for you and need help? Visit the Google support forum for Fusion Tables and bust your data out of its silo!


When everyone’s putting a cap on their offers, you have SurveyJunkie daring you to hit their cap!

You might be wondering what we mean… Well, if you run lead-gen, you know late December is when most caps get hit and things come to a halt for the year when it comes to lead generation.

Not for SurveyJunkie! They’re working with high budgets from Fortune500 companies, so they told us to dare you to hit the cap, even in December!

And what they have for you is simple. They have a direct offer for a single opt-in email submit that converts between 25 and 50%.

For that one offer, you can get your custom pages if you show you can send them good quality, high-volume traffic. And you don’t have to worry about hitting the cap!

So, you have the perfect timing to test it out. You already got a bunch of emails how everything’s capped, right?

Sign up and get that juicy ROI!

Very important for after you sign up!

An account manager will get in touch over email or Skype, to help you get going! Make sure you check for an email from SurveyJunkie. You know how it is, emails can easily get lost. Then you’re left wondering if you got approved or not…


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

Finally, Elon explores space…

Well, Tuesday night saw Tesla making farting-noises-on-demand and Boring Company testing tunnels.

As if that was not enough to call it a day.

A guy, who goes by @KaziooFX on Twitter, released a parody video where he used manual editing to place Musk’s face on Matthew McConaughey, during the ocean landing scene from the movie Interstellar.

The video features footage of Musk in various interviews, including his public pot smoking debut scene. It also includes footage of SpaceX’s CRS-16 mission to International Space station, all in 2:48 mins long video.

As “MuskConaughey” says in the video… when something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour. Like starting a newsletter out of the blue without any prior But hey, we’ve got you now, so it was all worth it <3

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