Facebook has a new test

As per usual, it looks like Facebook’s been in the proverbial lab, cooking up a few new tests for advertisers.

The most recent idea was announced in a blog post on Friday. In the post, Facebook said that it would start testing topic exclusion controls with a small group of advertisers.

What that really means: Advertisers will get the ability to choose which topics in News Feed they don’t want their ads showing up next to. So, for example, you could pick not to have your ads shown around “Crime and Tragedy” content.

On the whole, this could be a positive change, particularly if your product is one with a specific audience. We don’t know when this will roll out to everyone, so keep an eye out for more updates!


Good writing, by the numbers


Most advice on good writing comes in the form of quotes and classic literary passages from our favorite authors. And, most of the time, this is helpful. But what if we looked at successful writing with an objective data analysis instead?

We recently came across an article in the Smithsonian where Ben Blatt, a data journalist, does just that.

Ben asked the question: What makes literary classics and bestsellers so good? These are a couple of his takeaways, which might be insightful for your writing:

  • The data supports Stephen King’s classic advice on adverbs. Stephen King famously wrote that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs,” and it’s advice taken to heart by many writers. In his study, Ben found that there is a correlation between fewer adverbs and book popularity. This applies to the writing on your landing pages and promo emails, too – get rid of those adverbs when you can!
  • Start with a short sentence. Ben found that the best opening sentences to novels are short ones. The same goes for your blog posts or online content; hook readers with a short, definitive sentence, and spin the story from there.

You can learn more about Ben and his findings in the full article here. The Crew here sends out this newsletter five days a week, and we can definitively say that he’s uncovered some good writing advice (and yes, we just used an adverb). It’s worth a full read!


PropellerAds convinced 22 affiliate marketing experts to spill the beans on their 2021 predictions


Let’s be honest. It’s hard to make predictions these days.

However, when you put 22 affiliate experts in the same (virtual) room and ask them what they think will happen in 2021, you’ll certainly identify some trends.

For instance, talking about verticals, many affiliates predicted that dating will grow bigger in 2021. People have been quarantined for too long, and they want to find a partner now, right?

But there are three other verticals that they predict will do even better. Find out which for free here.

Not all trends are global… Some countries are seeing a big spike in the health and beauty sector. What sub-niches will thrive?

How about traffic? Push notification traffic is starting to slow down, how will affiliates replace it?

S-M-Shhh! …Sorry, but we are not allowed to reveal this info.

However, you can download the Affiliate Marketing Trends and Prediction 2021 for free. And see what the likes of Maor Benaim, Ian Fernando, Amy Cheung, IAmAttila, Ella Mak, KJ Rocker, Servando Silva and 15 other experts have to say.

2021 will see some big wins and some disastrous losses. And while there’s no certainty, this report will help you to calibrate your strategy following the advice of experts that are winning.

Get it now for free.


How to future-proof your Facebook attribution


2021 started with a violent hook that Apple threw to Facebook and its advertisers.

Facebook now forecasts that small businesses might lose 60% of their sales. However, as always, smart marketers will find solutions, such as this one provided by Sarah Carusona from Common Thread Collective.

She gave three solutions that you can execute on. The post provides the instructions for each one of them (one requires a paid tool), but here’s a hint of what you’ll find:

+ Combine Google Analytics with Facebook Attribution: Google Analytics (GA) purchase data captured from UTMs won’t be affected by Facebook’s changes. The templates she provides allows you to compare the ROAS data in GA and Facebook, so you can learn what reporting on Facebook will look like.

+ Facebook Conversion API and Shopify Integration: Facebook Conversion API allows you to share customers’ browsing behavior from Shopify’s servers directly to Facebook’s servers.

However, all data from Facebook CAPI for iOS 14 users will be governed by Aggregated Event Measurement. In other words, you’ll only be able to track purchases.

+ Google Tag Manager (GTM) Server Side CAPI: This removes the limitation of the Shopify CAPI integration of passing only purchase data. With GTM, you can track all GTM events. The parameters are fully customizable and you’ll be able to send additional user parameters and custom data parameters directly to Facebook.

This looks like the best solution, however, it has some downsides:

  • It requires small investment to implement and maintain.
  • It’s not a one-click integration, so it’ll take time and testing.
  • It’s more technical than a GTM web pixel integration.

Well, advertising on Facebook is getting harder and the good ol’ days of low CPMs and easy sales may be gone. And if you’re not familiar with the technical lingo, this summary might’ve read like a foreign language.

But, if you’re looking for a silver lining: A lot of competition will be cut out.


FACEBOOK: Eric Seufert dished out some good thoughts on Twitter about Facebook’s ATT guidance and how it relates to iOS 14.

PINTEREST: The company has introduced a new feature called Story Pins, which it said will help users discover more content that they enjoy.

ADVERTISING: This is a great cheat sheet on Apple’s IDFA crackdown, and it clears up many of the big questions around the future of advertising.

SEO: You can stop worrying about having the same content repeated across multiple pages. According to John Mueller, duplicate content is not a negative ranking factor.


Flat as a leaf, round as a ring, has two eyes, can’t see a thing. What is it?

You can find the solution here.


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

Please don’t do this


You never really know what you’re going to come across on Twitter.

And back on Friday, we happened to come across this tweet from Danielle Baskin, which simply states:

“You can now get a Verified Badge crest on your Bay Area home if you’re an influencer, public figure, or represent a brand.”

And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Danielle even created a site where you can apply for a Victorian-style, blue checkmark badge crest to be installed on your home.

It’s ridiculous, it’s very 2021, and (fortunately) it’s all a joke, as Danielle explains at the bottom of the site. It’s a great lesson on going viral, though!

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