Ezra Firestone reveals his strategy on how he’s going to make $1M this Black Friday. Power-up your FB Pixel using this brilliant tactic: Anticipate purchase decisions & turn your CPMs down. Google testing emojis in Ad URLs?


Here’s why your performance might have dropped this week. A Pixel hack to anticipate buyers’ decisions

The outage that sparked anger among advertisers. Simple hack to find buyers in their purchase decision process and convert them.

Pixel Outage

Do you work with Facebook Ads? Then, to be honest, you should be used to these situations.


What happened? FB stated that an outage prevented a small percentage of pixels installed on websites from being logged correctly.

So, if you’re seeing fluctuations in your Custom Audiences and Dynamic Ads volumes, you’re not alone.

The outage happened on September 16 and 17, but the situation hasn’t necessarily stabilized yet.

This info has been reported by Andrew Foxwell, and it’s probably the case that this issue didn’t just hit a small percentage of advertisers. In fact, even if your Pixel kept working, your account performance could have dropped as well.

Ultimately, all the data the algorithm uses for optimization and targeting is connected, and if a portion of that data suddenly goes missing then the consequences are widespread.

So, the drop in performance that many advertisers experienced this week was probably related to this issue.

If your numbers are back on track, good for you… If not, consider pausing your ads or, as Depesh Mandalia suggested, only pause your TOF ads, and let your MOF and BOF campaigns run.

The hot traffic hack

Staying on the topic of the Pixel, here’s a nifty hack you could use as soon as things are back to normality.

We all know that Facebook takes advantage of users’ browsing history and behavior to deliver targeted ads to them.

This is because Facebook tries to anticipate your behaviour based on the intent you showed, and one surefire sign of intent is reading product reviews.

According to Bøgdan Alexandru Radu, reading reviews about a product is a sure sign that someone is ripe for being led down the funnel. Maybe the prospect isn’t quite ready to buy yet, but they are definitely in the decision process.

How can you leverage this? Bøgdan suggests creating a custom event to track every user that reads a review on your website.

Then, once you have enough events, create a Lookalike of this Custom Audience and target these people. Basically, you’ll be telling Facebook to give you people that are in the buying process of products similar to the one you’re selling.

So, your task is to target these users and funnel them down.

The positive side with respect to Purchase audiences is that you can gather more data.

Plus, you will also compete for an audience that not everybody is targeting. Almost everybody is building LLAs on ATC, Initiate Checkouts and Purchases. Few people are doing it on this custom event.

Although, it does take more effort on your part to guide them to the purchase decision.


🎂 This is The Ultimate CBO Cookbook and it’s a must-read for any Facebook marketer!

Facebook is making Campaign Budget Optimization, aka CBO, the only budget option soon. It might already be the case for some of your ad accounts. Does it work well? Maybe. Can it work better? For sure!

Especially when you have someone like Depesh Mandalia diving deep into the CBO strategies he uses first-hand with 7-figures in ad spend to create and perfect the best recipes.

Who is Depesh, you ask? He’s generated over $100M rev in e-comm, lead gen and mobile apps. He’s spent over $30M on Facebook since 2014, profitably. He and his group are regularly featured in our newsletter because of how good the content there is… So, back to the book…

This cookbook is not about fish and chips… Instead, you will be able to cook up some spicy Facebook campaigns. In 75+ pages, Depesh goes into deep insights and step-by-step CBO recipes you can apply to campaigns right away.

  • Learn how to stabilise CBO and how to build profitability from the start.
  • Learn how to setup testing for audiences and ads using CBO step-by-step with diagrams.
  • Learn how to prospect and test scale, before scaling.
  • Swipe Depesh Mandalia’s complete CBO Scaling Strategy.
  • Learn the inner workings of CBO to create your own recipe.
  • Case studies and examples for all of this.
  • BONUS: Swipe Depesh Mandalia’s INFINITY RETARGETING Strategy.

This book is the equivalent of spending days if not weeks picking Depesh’s brain so you understand everything he’s learned about CBO from running campaigns first-hand.

As a WHAT THE AFF reader, we know you like to be the most up to date and the smartest marketer in the room. So we’ve asked Depesh to do us a favour… and he did.

Grab The Ultimate CBO Cookbook for 25% off right here, only for WHAT THE AFF readers.

It’s “back 2 school” season for the kids but we say it’s “back 2 work” for marketers. It’s time to get ready for the holiday season, higher CPMs, more competition but also for hungry shoppers!

So hey, even if you’re just curious about the exact table of contents for this Cookbook, head over here. It’s all revealed!


Close variants for different keyword match types. Emoji in SERPs

How has the performance of ad campaigns been affected by the launch of close variants for different match types? Google testing emojis in Ad URLs.

A look at the performance of close variants

Google made a huge change to how match types work when it announced same-meaning close variants to exact match last year, and then they doubled down in July with same-meaning close variants for Phrase match.

It completely changed how marketers themed their ad groups, SKAGs were no longer exactly SKAGs, and everybody was understandably concerned about the potential harmful effects this could have on performance.

Let’s take a look at how this update has worked out and talk about how you should think about it moving forward:

As per this study from SEL, which looks at match types in search query reports based on the relationship of the query with the keyword triggered:

  • Close variant share took off in Q4 of 2018 and has remained elevated ever since.
  • Close variant click share went from 26% in Q3 2018 to 35% so far in Q3 2019.
  • For brand keywords, close variant share of exact match clicks went from 5% last Q3 to 8% this year.
  • For non-brand keywords, close variant conversion rates are 10%-15% lower than true exact matches.
  • Non-brand close variants were found to be converting 13% less than true exact matches
  • Cost per click for these non-branded close variants was 2% higher than that of true exact match.

For most advertisers, the conversion rate for close variants of brand keywords is pretty similar to true exact matches on average. This shows that Google is usually very good at identifying close variants that carry the same intent as brand searches.

However, keep in mind that the above comparison data is heavily impacted by the consistent efforts of the account managers that manage the advertiser accounts used for this study.

Final Thoughts

Performance of close variants will vary depending on the advertiser, campaign structure, keywords used. Advertisers are seeing conflicting results in conversion rates of close variants.

However, there’s no account where close variants are so relevant and tightly related to all the keywords being triggered that advertisers should simply allow them to run their own course.

Emojis in Ads

Have you ever seen an emoji in Google Ad URLs?

Well, as shared by Brent, Google seems to be testing this feature for a small set of advertisers.

Keep in mind that Google’s Ads policy doesn’t allow adding emojis while writing ad copies, which means this is something that Google is doing on its own.

At the time of writing, there is no further information on this, but rest assured that we will update you as soon as there is more clarity on this from Google’s side!

Oh, and while we were researching this topic we came across something unrelated but nevertheless interesting: Go to Google and search for “emoji domain” 😉


  • MARKETING: The latest sensation in the marketing world is the rise of podcasts, and with this has come a wave of people leaving unjustified negative reviews for some podcasts.
  • SEO: Check out the Enhancements section of your Search Console and you will find a new report called “Breadcrumb structured data”. This will help you resolve issues if your breadcrumb trail isn’t displaying as expected.
  • TOOLS: There are various tools out there to monitor page speed for individual URLs. But what should you do if you want to track multiple URLs on a consistent basis? Automate the whole thing using Google Sheets.
  • E-COMMERCE: Ezra Firestone has been running Black Friday promos since 2008. In this video, he talks about the strategies he uses to hit 7 figures on Black Friday.
  • FACEBOOK: Delivery view makes you understand the relationship between your cost, bid strategy, audience saturation, auction overlap, auction competition and significant edits.


The leaves are on the fruit, The fruit is on the leaves.
What is it?

You’ll find the answer at the end of this email.


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

Don’t tell, show!

Marketing your products is all about angles and positioning your products in unique ways, right?

Well, sometimes we come across angles that are so unique that they’re just plain weird!

The marketing campaign in question? Burger King, who used  “food coma” as an angle to market their burgers.

Their agency, We Believers, came up with this idea of using the post-gorge nap when in a conversation. A restaurant manager told them that some customers like to sneak in brief naps after a meal. The larger the burger, the more likely the nap.

That was their Aha moment!


They hired a photographer, who was tasked to spend a month capturing real customers dozing off after a big meal and turning them into ads. These ads specifically promote the “King’s Collection”, which are the largest burgers on BK Mexico’s menu.

Does this ring a bell? Maybe this simple but effective idea could spark some inspiration in you as we approach the holiday season!


A pineapple.

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