Did eBay waste $20M on ads targeting the keyword “eBay” on Google: Is it worth the ROAS? Dissecting a $1M/year Shark Tank business case to build a successful POD store. Depesh Mandalia’s latest CBO wisdom: Keys to a smooth transaction.



The same Crew but with a new name. Let’s give you more details on why the change!

Surprised? Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything here… Starting with why we wanted to change the name from WHAT THE AFF.

When choosing the name WHAT THE AFF, we wanted to move quickly. Our aim was to create a newsletter for the industry we knew the best using a name that gave a glimpse into our general tone, thus the play on WTF.

However, over the past 1.5 years we’ve noticed some serious problems with the name. People mispronounce it, misspell it, our domain is awful to verbally share and most people don’t get that “AFF” came from “affiliate”. Far too many people told us that they signed up in spite of the name, not because of it.

At the end of 2019, we started thinking of other names that would still clearly represent The Crew and what you ladies and gents have grown to love. Why did we go with STACKED MARKETER?

STACKED: Because we bring you information on various traffic sources in various verticals, so you have a complete stack of marketing content to hone your skills. A full stack of skills, if you will…

MARKETER: Because that’s you. You are a marketer, or at least a part of you is… It’s that simple.

And together, becoming a STACKED MARKETER is what most modern marketers aim for: A marketer armed with a complete set of skills that gives them the ability to drive measurable key results for small and big businesses alike.

What’s going to change? Well, our logo changed a bit, and the other thing that’s set to change is our domain. Starting next week, we will slowly transition to stackedmarketer.com. We’ll start off with a small group of our most frequent readers and slowly add more and more. We want to make sure this transition doesn’t affect the chances of you getting our newsletter.

Want to be part of the early group getting our emails from the new domain? If you read our emails every day and you also click a few links regularly (Gmail loves that stuff!), you can let us know you want to switch asap by clicking here.

Don’t forget to be on the lookout for the new email on Monday! Same time, same Crew!


How to make POD work

Maybe dropshipping isn’t your thing and you’re more a POD guy or gal. You probably think POD is a better way to build a brand due to its customizability.

Whatever your reasons for being into print on demand, here’s a sweet post shared by Chris Conrady on some principles that would make POD work, backed up with some examples.

POD success boils down to three things:

  • Uniqueness of products.
  • Uniqueness of brand / USP.
  • Build passion around the topic you focus on.

Some examples:

+ The Home T: They made it to Shark Tank and drove $1M revenue in their first year.

They have a unique design and a unique selling proposition – they sell “insanely soft” shirts and donate 10% of their margins. Plus, their brand has a story that creates passion around the company.

+ ENTRPRNR: They have a unique design, but what really sells is the movement they built. Their message is that, through their clothing line, they can provide inspiration to entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams.

Another similar example brought up from The Crew here is Work Hard Anywhere. They basically built a store around the digital nomad idea of being able to put in the hours wherever you are in the world.

+ IKONICK: They do high tickets here, with the same story of building a store around a movement, all backed up with great designs.

Alright, that’s a few businesses to get some inspiration from, but the post goes on to talk about some more practical things such as hashtags and influencers. Give it a look if it piqued your interest.


Things will never be the same


Since there will be a global transition to CBO starting next week (apparently), we should probably take one last look at this whole thing and prep you for a smooth transition. So, we dived into this post from Depesh Mandalia.

Some CBO details first, apart from the Campaign level budget.

  • CBO holds history and learning at the campaign level.
  • CBO makes daily decisions based on the auction, which we can’t see.
  • CBO likes recent data and lots of it.

There’s more stuff, but let’s focus on the big question: Can I simply create one ad set per campaign and mimic the ad set budget setup by creating lots of new campaigns?

According to Depesh, you shouldn’t do this because the system needs a lot of ad sets to optimize.

One more point is: How do you move working ABO campaigns to CBO?

There’s a high chance your strategy won’t work anymore on CBO, especially if you used to create many ad sets with a small budget. According to the post, the CBO system is harder to “tweak and hack”. But, on the other side, it does give more power to good marketing and proven offers.

However, does duplicating an ABO campaign into a CBO one work?

This is a high-risk move, and you should only do it if your ABO campaign has been performing consistently well and you already have proven audiences and creatives.

The longer the funnel, the more cautious you should be about this. This is because the more conversion steps in your funnel, the more data is needed. This decreases predictability.

Alright, these seemed like the main points, but you can check the whole post for more insights!

Wishing you a smooth transition!


Is your audience buying coz your advertising game is strong or were they going to buy anyway?

Savannah Sanchez brought up a very interesting topic when she shared this piece of article over a Twitter thread. It talks about the ways online advertising is managed and measured.

Back in the old days, advertising was an art. There was no hard data or measurements of ROAS involved, but this changed completely when Google, FB and others came onto the scene.

You can now get the exact details about how much you have spent on a campaign, how many people you reached out to, who these people are and what kind of ROAS you got from a particular campaign.

But is all of this data real? What about someone who sees your FB/Google ads and makes a purchase, but they were going to buy anyway?

Why? Maybe they already know your brand and have been to your website previously and are just considering purchasing. Then they see your ad, click on it and purchase something.

Should the ad platform or the campaign really get the credit for driving this sale? Or is that just going to inflate your ROAS figures?


Here’s what she suggests doing to avoid this:

  • Exclude all traffic and purchasers from prospecting audiences.
  • Spend the majority of your online ad budget on prospecting.
  • Measure success on click attribution.
  • Only spend $100 a day max on your own branded terms.

But what about your branded search terms? Only your most engaged audience will look for your business name online, and the likelihood is that they already have a high-purchase intent.

So, should you still bid for your own brand terms and include such conversions in the campaign/platform ROAS?

Economists refer to this as a “Selection Effect”. The option/ability to distinguish between people who see your ad, but were already going to buy, and the people who see your ad and started buying purely because of your campaigns.

eBay, for example, ran an experiment where they stopped running branded search campaigns for a month. As expected, all their traffic that had previously come from paid links started crediting ordinary organic links for the conversions coming from branded searches.

Annually, eBay was burning a good $20M just targeting the keyword ‘eBay’.

While we partly agree with the point she’s made here, we don’t recommend stopping bidding on your branded searches. Rather, just don’t make it a part of your ROAS calculations.

Also, as a fellow marketer mentioned in the thread, branded searches allow you to:

  • Rapidly test landing pages and CTAs by pushing users clicking on branded search ads to a different landing page.
  • Present a more tailored CTA and landing page off the bat for the prospects falling in the middle of the funnel.

What are your views? Are you for or against branded searches and why? Join the discussion over on the Twitter thread here.


How are your camps doing?

We noticed that many Facebook advertisers are experiencing a performance drop, and this problem was also brought up by Paul Jey in our Insider group. According to him and other marketers he’s been in touch with, the main issues have been:

  • Link CTR drop.
  • Increase in CPM.
  • Conversion rate tanked.
  • Intermittent performances.
  • Long periods of time (8-10hrs) where there are no conversions at all, only to get a bunch of them at the end of the day.
  • Tons of ATCs with lower than normal conversions.

If you’re having issues too and want to check what’s happening to other marketers and how they’re fighting it. Or maybe if you want to share your solution and help Paul, just click here.

But hey, the link only works if you’re in the group. If you’re not, refer 5 marketer friends to read WHAT T… Stacked Marketer and you’ll get an invite.

See you on the other side.


  • SEO: As per this new SMX 2020 study, e-commerce category pages are ranking and driving much more organic search traffic than product detail pages.
  • FACEBOOK: The blue eyed boy is testing out a new format for its separate Stories discovery page, which can be accessed by tapping on the ‘See All Stories’ prompt underneath the main Stories bar.
  • AFFILIATE MARKETING: One of our readers shared his journey of turning $20k into $100k with an affiliate blog.
  • FACEBOOK: Marketers targeting California, make sure to check your retargeting spends because some users are reporting huge drops as FB is not allowing the retargeting of pixel-based users from California.
  • GOOGLE: Announcing the launch of a new structured data element for Google Image license metadata that lets Google show a licensable image label in the search results.


If there are three cups of sugar and you take one away, how many do you have?

You can find the solution by clicking here.


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

What do you think of this job profile at Facebook?

Blow-drying your CEO’s armpits. Would you be up for it?


Because that’s exactly what Zucc’s assistants have to do to ensure that he looks all cool and dry instead of sweaty and nervous before he takes the stage at public events.

Why? Well, do you remember the infamous perspiration session he had during a televised interview in 2010? He’s learned his lesson…

Reps at FB subtly deny the claims saying that “We doubt this is true. If so, it would have been at our communications team’s request, but surely anyone who has ever worn a grey T-shirt can relate.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took a slice of the humorous pie by adding that he has never asked his employees to blow-dry his pits, but would be “happy to provide that service for anyone on our comms team if needed.”

Do you guys blow-dry your armpits when starting a new, heavy budget campaign targeting a cold audience?

Well, maybe you should. This might be the secret that all the rich people in the world are trying to keep from us!

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