Holiday

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GOOGLE

What to sell this holiday season

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The search company has released their annual “Google Shopping Holiday 100,” a list of what Google predicts will be the 100 most popular products and categories in the United States for the holiday season based on Google searches.

Here are a few interesting tidbits from the list:

  • Colognes and perfumes are trending higher in 2021 than they were last year.
  • There’s an increase in the number of people who search for at-home coffee makers.
  • Older gaming consoles (such as the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy) are also prominent on Google’s list.

The complete list of categories and products can be found here.


E-COMMERCE

$84.54 billion

Forget about Black Friday. Alibaba’s Singles Day ended yesterday and is expected to be (once again) larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

According to Reuters, Alibaba received $84.54 billion in orders yesterday, a 14% increase over last year

Other platforms also did well: China’s JD.com beat its previous year’s sales record with $48.7 billion in sales.

Just for a comparison, last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales totaled a “mere” $9 billion and $10.8 billion, respectively. You do the math.

I want a piece of the pie! Selling on Chinese platforms isn’t easy, but it’s possible. In addition, the profit margin might not be as high as in the US, but the high volume more than makes up for that.


SPONSORED BY MERCURY

Do you need a US banking account, but don’t want to leave your desk?

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You can get it right now. Without ever worrying about account opening fees, monthly account fees, or minimum balances. Oh, and it’s FDIC-insured.

How? With Mercury. Because Mercury is banking built for e-commerce.

You can get an account quickly, without leaving your house, and it will come with:

  • Virtual debit cards. These can be useful when Facebook cuts one of yours. Or you want to assign a card to one of your employees.
  • Stripe, Shopify, PayPal, & Amazon. You can seamlessly integrate Mercury with almost every payment processor and marketplace.
  • An easy-to-use dashboard to streamline all your ins and outs. Stop switching from one account to another. Get everything in one place.
  • You can send international wire transfers easily, without stepping foot in the bank.

And one more thing to sweeten the offer. As a Stacked Marketer reader, they’ll also gift you $200 if you spend $2000 within 90 days.

Experience banking built for e-commerce.


ADVERTISING

How to create video thumbnails the same way Netflix does

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We all know how important the thumbnail of a video can be.

We all want to get more clicks, exactly like Netflix. A Netflix user will browse the app for 90 seconds and leave if they find nothing.

The thumbnail of a show is one of the biggest levers Netflix has to influence the choice of its customers. And they biliously don’t leave it to the case.

Trung Phan shared a Twitter thread explaining how Netflix creates their thumbnails.

Let’s boogie.

Netflix uses an elaborate thumbnail selection process for each of its 200m+ users. This means different users will see different thumbnails for the same movie.

This is how the process works:

1) Each movie has tens of thousands of frames. For reference, a one hour episode of “Stranger Things” has 86k frames.

In a process known as Frame Annotation, they attribute a tag to each frame to identifying key variables:

  • Saliency.
  • The number of the frame.
  • Brightness and contrast.
  • Nudity probability.
  • Face or skin tone.

2) The system chooses a thumbnail based on:

  • Visual elements: brightness, contrast, color, motion blur.
  • Contextual: face detection and shot angle.
  • Composition: photography principles like “rule of thirds,” symmetry, depth of field.
  • Expressive faces.
  • Main characters.
  • Brightness.

Other lessons:

  • Netflix uses different thumbnails for each country. They pick the one that appeals the most to a specific region.
  • Thumbnails showing villains characters get clicked more.
  • Thumbnails showing more than three people vastly underperform.
  • Machine Learning selects a thumbnail for you based on recent watch history. If you watch romantic movies, Netflix will show you a romantic frame from a show.
  • Netflix shows trending actors for shows they played a smaller role. For instance, they’ll show Anya Taylor-Joy, who is the main star of The Queen Gambit, in a Peaky Blinders’ thumbnail, where she played a limited role.

Whether you prefer The Queen’s Gambit or Peaky Blinders, Netflix can definitely help you make thumbnails with a higher CTR.


SPONSORED BY AAMA

Join the AAMA to foster the growth of African-American marketers

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The African-American Marketing Association (AAMA) is a professional membership organization for Black marketers to help with their career and entrepreneurial journeys.

They started the Giving Campaign with the goal of raising $20k to help the members of their organization develop their careers. Contributions of $100+ will be added to the AAMA Donor Wall – you can even add links to a website or social media account with such a donation.

Support AAMA’s mission.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

We think this is the best way to improve your open rates

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Reaching the Primary or Updates tabs for Gmail will give you 20-25% more unique opens than when you reach Promotions. And that’s every single time you send a campaign.

Sure, you can say open rates matter less now with Apple’s update but do they? They are just less reliable as a metric. You still want more people to read your emails, don’t you?

The best way to increase your chances of reaching Primary or Updates is to get engagement. One of the best (if not the best) engagement is a reply on the very first email you send to someone.

In order to increase your reply rate, here are some tips:

  • Ask for the reply. Seriously, ask people to reply. For some reason, most welcome emails don’t ask for a reply.
  • Focus on the main goal. You will hear advice that the welcome email has the highest open rate so you should use this as an opportunity to tell your whole life story. You probably shouldn’t do that. Instead, focus on the goal of getting engagement – the reply.
  • Offer something interesting in exchange for a reply. Have a unique report? A template? A valuable mini-course perhaps? Pitch it and tell readers to reply to get it.
  • Don’t just copy other welcome emails. If you use the exact same text as everyone else, your welcome emails are more likely to be sent to the Promotions tab.

Optimizing our welcome email has been the biggest improvement for our deliverability. You can read our full deliverability guide here, including the current welcome email we have.

If you like what you read, feel free to check us out on Twitter.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

E-COMMERCE: Triple Whale is the operating system for e-commerce. Do you know what would happen to your profit if you increased your ads CTR by 0.5%? Or increased your AOV by 15%? Or if you used the Triple Pixel for better server side attribution? Try it with a 30 day 100% money-back guarantee.*

SEO: It’s done. Google has fully rolled out its November spam update.

AMAZON: Affirm and Amazon are getting in a serious relationship. This deal makes Affirm the exclusive buy-now-sell-later provider for Amazon.

TIKTOK: Creative ads are something everyone wants, but it’s hard to achieve. TikTok has just launched a platform called “Creative Exchange” hoping to solve this problem.

INSTAGRAM: Reels is getting a text-to-speech feature.

APPLE: Take note Google and Microsoft. Apple has entered the small-business-tools market with a service called “Business Essentials.”

ADVERTISING: Google’s FloC was a FloP. Will FloC 2 arrive to save the day? There’s some hope.

BUSINESS: A friend in need may not be a friend indeed. Keep an eye out for this simple but effective scam that could compromise your WhatsApp (or other major social network) account.

*This is a sponsored post.


BRAIN TEASER

What is more useful when it is broken?

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.

Influencers are beginning to wear digital versions of physical clothes

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The fashion metaverse has arrived.

According to Vogue, an increasing number of influencers promote clothing by not wearing it in real life. Instead, they wear digital versions of physical clothing.

AR is to blame: Artificial reality is becoming quite advanced, to the point where you can digitally sample not only makeup but also clothing such as t-shirts and dresses.

There are currently specialized 3D companies that “digitally dress” influencers. It’s likely that technology will advance soon enough to allow influencers to “try on” clothes with just a tap.

So, the next time you want an influencer to wear your clothes (instead of sending physical samples), a simple JPEG might do the job.

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