January 30, 2019


Amazon knows what you buy. And it’s building a big business from it.

Over the last few months, we have consistently been talking about Amazon Ads. And how it is steadfastly growing its advertiser base. Pushing itself as the 3rd largest digital ad business in USA.

Not just their search and sponsored ads, they have been expanding their video and display ads gaining ground on the industry leaders, Google and Facebook.

So what weapon does Amazon have that other digital advertising houses don’t have?

  • Data! And not just raw data but highly accurate data of its customers.
  • Not just their interest data but their accurate purchase behaviours from the recent past.
  • Not just the location of people, but also their exact delivery addresses.
  • It even knows which credit cards its consumers use.
  • Ordered baby products? It knows how old your children are.
  • Ordered a cough syrup on a 2-hour delivery? It knows which of your children have caught cold right now.

And how is Amazon leveraging on this data?

  • A physical therapy centre wanted new patients? It targeted people near its offices who had bought knee braces recently on Amazon.
  • A financial services provider wanted to promote its retirement advisory business? It directed ads to people in their 40s and 50s who had recently ordered a personal finance book from Amazon.
  • A major card company wanted new customers? It targeted people who used cards from other banks on the retail site.

It’s not just plain Interest and Demographic targeting. Not even the loosely reported behaviour data by third parties that we use on Facebook for audience targeting.

Well, there is no guesswork on Amazon. It knows better than anyone else. And that is where the insane scale can happen for the business.

A brand selling crunchy dried cheese bars noticed that people who searched for keto snacks and cauliflower pizza crust, both low-carb diet trends, also bought a lot of cheese bars. So, they ran display ads across the web targeting Amazon customers who had bought those two specific product categories.

Over 3 months, Amazon showed these ads on websites more than 6M times, which resulted in almost 22K clicks and more than 4K orders.

That’s a 20 percent conversion rate — a sale to one out of five people who clicked on the ads.

Amazon is able to do all this just by using Pixel data, cookies and other tracking tools like other ad networks do, but a lot more accurately.

A person who recently bought a diet book is now reading news on CNN and could be targeted on that site with an ad for a protein bar. Amazon does not tell the advertisers who that user is, but it does serve them ads on the brand’s behalf.

Amazon is now well equipped with custom audiences to target existing customers and their lookalikes. And their lookalikes are many times more accurate than FB or Google.

Not just ads targeted at consumers’ shopping behaviour. People who do a lot of research on products may see an ad that features positive product reviews. People who signed up for regular deliveries of other products in the past might see an ad offering a discount for those who “Subscribe & Save.”


Facebook’s contradictory moves. And how to manage frequency

Maybe you didn’t notice, but we’ve gone a day without talking about Facebook. Yesterday.

But don’t worry! Today it’s back in our briefing. And with very contradictory news. Because on one side they are talking about hiring an independent board for managing content related decisions, on the other side they pay people to share all their smartphone data. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Apart from this, we have things that you love most: practical stuff. A plan from Jon Loomer on how to manage ad frequency.

But let’s start with the part where Facebook tries to look innocent.

Charting a course for an Oversight Board for Content Decisions

In 2018, Mark talked about his vision for how content should be governed. And they announced they were going to build an independent organization. The “the supreme court of quality content”. Do you remember?

The independent oversight body to judge policies related to the content.

Well, given that among Mark’s 2019 resolution is to take more action, he announced that they’re finally starting to create this board.

As we build out the board, we want to make sure it is able to render independent judgment, is transparent and respects privacy.

This is what is on their minds. However, they still have to decide other key factors. Like the number of members, length of their terms and how cases will be selected. Meanwhile, there are consultations with experts and stakeholders from all around the world to make better decisions.

Though, they already have an idea of how the board will be formed.

What does The Crew think about it? We don’t know if this is just a political move to calm the waters. And to answer all those angry people that accused Facebook of letting dangerous content spread around its social network. Or Facebook really started to care about the content on its platform.

Facebook pays teens to spy on them

Facebook is made up this way: As soon as you make a candid impression of them, something else comes out. And usually, that something else is very, very bad!

What did they do this time? They bought data! Literally!

Information is never enough these days…That’s why Facebook has been paying users aged 13 to 35 up to $20 per month to sell their privacy by installing the “Facebook Research” app.

Is this enough to cancel that candid idea you just started to get about Facebook? Don’t worry, there is more:

Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page.

Probably, they’re scared about their rising competitor. We’ll cover that topic later in more detail.

This operation started in 2016, and even worse, FB declared they don’t plan to stop it.

What data are they able to gather? When a user accepts to install the app, Facebook can access all the data on their device.

Private messages on social media apps, chats from instant messaging apps – including photos/videos sent to others. Emails, web searches, web browsing activity, location information. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

They have limitless access to what’s inside your phone. Nowadays, your whole life.

Despite users installing the app with their consent, this shows how far Facebook is willing to go. Everything to protect their dominance.

Putting our worries apart, let’s move on to some “how to” posts you can implement right after you read them.

How to manage Ad Frequency

One of the factors that kill a campaign’s performance is high ad frequency. But before discussing how to manage your campaign frequency, let’s see what are, according to Jon Loomer, the factors that determine high frequency:

  • Placements used: If you only run ads in the News Feed, you may start seeing a negative impact when reaching the same people regularly. Choose more than one placement.
  • Length of the campaign: Is a frequency of 3.0 bad? It depends. If the campaign lasts one day, yes! If one month, the answer changes…
  • Quality of the audience targeted: If you are targeting people who know and trust you, they are more likely to give you some rope on how often you reach them.
  • Does it still work? Maybe high frequency can scare you. But as long as it’s profitable, why worry about it?

Now let’s see what Jon Loomer’s advises to do in order to keep your frequency low.

  • Get Creative with Exclusions: High frequency can be partially attributable to a mistake: targeting people that no longer need to be targeted. So, begin by excluding people that already converted or took the action you wanted: read your blog post, gave your their email, bought your stuff, etc.
  • Use a budget consistent with audience size: Another mistake that drives up frequency is using a budget too high for the audience size.

When targeting an audience of 100,000 people, for example, you won’t reach all 100,000 people. If optimizing for an action, Facebook may only show your ad to only 10-25% of that audience.

So if your CPM is $10 and you’re spending 100$ per day, you’re reaching 10K people. In a week 70K users are reached. If your audience is 100K, then your frequency will invariably rise.

  • Keep Copy, Creative, and Targeting Fresh: A strategy to keep frequency low is to keep the copy, creative and targeting fresh. Therefore, test new copy, new creative and change your target audience.
  • Run Short Campaigns: Unless you are spending a ton for a small group, short campaigns will almost always mitigate your frequency issues. That said, you may not WANT to stop a campaign that’s working particularly well, though.
  • Frequency Capping: You can instruct Facebook to keep your frequency low. How?
  1. Reach and Frequency Buying: Instead of selecting the default “Auction” option, you can instead select the Reach and Frequency option next to it. With this one, you’ll have many ways to control frequency.
  2. Frequency Capping with Reach Optimization: If you use the Reach objective, you can choose to optimize for Reach and then utilize a frequency capping option.
  3. Daily Unique Reach Optimization: This is an optimization option that is available under several objectives and has been around for some time now. When this is selected, Facebook will deliver your ads to people up to once per day.
  • Utilize Evergreen Campaigns: According to Jon Loomer, this is the best way to keep frequency low. Why?

Because Evergreen Campaigns allow you to show a series of ads to a particular person, in a particular order, for a set number of days.

If during the campaign, the person converts, they are excluded and won’t be targeted again. But when they don’t convert within a designated number of days, they get dropped out of the campaign.

Zoom in: While the first two suggestions may look basic, the Frequency Capping and the Evergreen Campaign points look very useful. And if you want to go deeper, just check Jon Loomer’s blog post.

However, keep in mind that high frequency isn’t always bad. If you want to build brand awareness and recall, a high frequency is what you might want to go for!


Modernising VAT for cross-border e-commerce in EU

The European Commission announced a proposal to implement new measures to simplify the VAT obligations for cross border e-commerce sales.

This VAT e-commerce package will facilitate smoother cross-border trade, combat VAT fraud and ensure fair competition for EU businesses. And will come into effect from January 2021.

What does this mean for EU businesses?

  • A substantial reduction in cross-border VAT compliance costs. This will facilitate greater cross-border trade.
  • The ability for EU businesses to compete on equal footing with non-EU businesses that are not charging VAT.
  • Proper taxes (VAT & Customs) must be paid on all items even if it’s just €1 in price.

What changes for people importing into EU?

As a seller importing items from outside the EU such as China or US, formal paperwork for your EU customers to claim the items will be applicable to all items, irrespective of the value of the item. Until this comes into effect, only items valued above €22 need this kind of clearance from the customs.

Well, look at it from a positive perspective. It will only help genuine and competent businesses with a proper business setup. Those who are willing to pay their due taxes and go the extra mile to build a legitimate brand.

It will also avoid low-quality products from entering the EU markets and provide a better experience for your customers. Additionally, having a local fulfilment centre will also be helpful to make the entire journey more comfortable.


$30k profit with push notifications on PropellerAds!

PropellerAds have been early movers when it comes to push notifications. That’s why this case study provided by SpyPush uses PropellerAds as the only traffic source. Hopefully, after we show you the major steps, you’ll be able to propel your ROI too. (see what we did there?)

  • Vertical: Dating
  • Numbers: spent $39k, earned $69k, in the green for $30k, ROI: 77%
  • Geos: FR, IT, ES, RO, PT, PL, CZ, SE, BE, NL, TR, HU, ZA, DE, MX, TH, NO, GB, SK, NZ, DK, KR
  • Traffic Source: PropellerAds (Push Notifications)
  • Period: 01.02.2018 – 01.05.2018; 01.09.2018 – 13.12.2018

Why did SpyPush choose PropellerAds? “We have chosen PropellerAds because they have their own HUGE subscriber base around the globe and very adequate traffic prices”. By the way currently, there are 200+ million subscribers in PropellerAds base.

Why the long break in the case study? “We had no choice but to stop all our activities because using different creatives (more policy-friendly ones) wasn’t as profitable. But, good news, after 4 months PropellerAds decided to return the old policies, and we have relaunched all our campaigns.”

Choosing your affiliate network: Smart links can work but you should go with single offers too. Test a lot here, no need to stick to one, plus offer performance changes often. The Crew’s advice is always to test everything.

Choosing your landing pages: Check out some of the mainstream dating landers that are used on display sources right now, or use some spy tools. They tend to be a good starting point. This is the main lander used in this case study. Translated for all geos, of course!

Creatives: For each push notification you’ll need:

  • An icon (192×192)
  • Title (up to 30 characters)
  • Description (up to 40 characters)
  • Banner image (360×240) – optional

You can see 3 example ads here. For dating, the best are the ones that look like a flirty girl looking to chat.

Running campaigns and optimization

Test multiple geos, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3. The list above is a good one for geos when it comes to dating. Secondly, use both CPM and CPC bidding models. Great creatives on CPM could bring you plenty of cheap clicks!

Start with targeting all users. Then use PropellerAds’ option to target newer users that have high or medium recent activity. You can see the difference this makes in this screenshot.

That pretty much covers a full working funnel, so there’s no excuse to not take action. Sure, you still have to test and optimize but we have you covered.

Sign up right now with PropellerAds and use the code WTAFF50 to get a $50 bonus on your first $200 deposit. Hurry up, the offer is valid until 8 February!


5 missed Google ads fundamentals for better CPLs

Coming back to the age-old warhorse, the OG gangsta’, i.e Google Ads.

Being one of the oldest ad networks around, it has its own set of strengths. Unlimited amounts of tweaks, hacks, and customizations you can run. From automation to in-depth audience development, Google Ads packs some serious firepower.

And when it has so much to offer, some basic fundamentals tend to get overshadowed by
many advertisers. Especially those who adopted this platform after using Facebook Ads.

So today, we discuss some of the most common fundamentals that are missed by advertisers lured by quick growth hacks the platform offers.

  • Research long-tail phrases for cheaper CPCs.
  • Use SKAGs to rank higher and pay less.
  • Perfect your landing pages to improve quality scores.
  • Use only the most relevant ad extensions.
  • And for the love of everything holy, don’t neglect those negative keywords!

Once you have got these basic fundamentals right, the fancy hacks and quick growth tactics may be further helpful. However, without having these basics set up properly, you will just be burning your budgets in the dark and might not even get to warm your hands off it. Hit these basics first.


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

What to do when your customers are demanding

Unfortunately, what you get when you buy online isn’t always what you expected. Maybe that’s why customer service is everything today, right?

Whether you agree or not, you should follow what this AliExpress seller did. Why? ‘Cause it will bring your e-commerce game to the next level! 100% of the time!

What did he do? He went straight to the point. When a customer asked for real pictures of the dress she wanted to buy, he did what every hustler out there should have done.

He just wore the dress himself, took some pictures and sent them to his buyer.

We don’t know the ROI of this “down to earth” strategy, but he sure got a lot of fame on Reddit. He even gained the title of“Disney Princess”.

Talk about brand building! What a success story!


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