June 25, 2019

AFFILIATE MARKETING

Stop your traffic: Another ‘Goodbye’

The curtains have fallen on another affiliate network. This time it’s ‘Above all Offers’ saying their goodbyes to the affiliate marketing community.

After being in the industry for over 8 years, the network has decided to close the doors.

Why? Above All Offers says that it’s due to a common problem within this industry:Advertisers that ditch out on their affiliate bills leaving the affiliate networks high and dry.

Unfortunately, those missed payments ate up the network’s margin over the years. Finally after 18 months in the red, they have decided to cease operations.

“We believe firmly in affiliate networks paying their affiliates no matter what happens with the advertisers; […] AAO also firmly believes in not resorting to unethical steps to bridge the margin/loss gap such as grabbing back margins or shaving.”

Well, some networks choose to delay payments to affiliates in order to keep their balances healthy. AAO choose a more ethical way. Unfortunately, that ethical way of operating worked against them in the end.

That hasn’t changed their morals though – They have still cleared all payments, so if you still have an open balance with them, just hit them up.

June 29 will be their final official day in business. After that, the network will shut down.

Our Take

It’s always sad to see a business closing its doors, especially when the reasons behind the closure stem from unfair partners rather than bad management. Unfortunately, this happens in every industry.

Healthy cash flow is the foundation of every company. Therefore, advertisers that don’t pay up can literally kill a network, just as a network that doesn’t pay on time can make or break an affiliate business.

Take this story, and many others that came before it, as a warning – Be as selective as possible while choosing your clients/partners. Be picky when you choose a network/advertiser. The health of your business relies on the connections you make.

We really hope that the Above All Offers team find a happy place in the industry.


BUSINESS

2.5M unsolicited messages = £100k fine

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has slapped mobile provider company EE Limited with a fine of £100k for sending over 2.5M unsolicited messages to its customers.

The messages were sent out in early 2018, and asked customers to use the ‘My EE’ app to manage their account and to upgrade their phone.

To make things worse, EE then sent follow-up messages to those who hadn’t engaged with the first batch of messages.

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As per EE’s claims, these were not messages, but rather just simple service messages to their customers. However, while they did encourage customers to take advantage of the My EE app, they also invited them to upgrade their phone.

As a result, the ICO decided that these were messages sent to people who had opted out of receiving such communication.

The guidance is clear: If a message that contains customer service information also includes material to buy extra products for services, it is no longer a service message and electronic marketing rules apply.

“EE Limited were aware of the law and should have known that they needed customers’ consent to send them in line with the marketing rules.

Companies should be aware that texts and emails providing service information which also include a marketing element must comply with the relevant legislation or could face a fine up to £500,000.”

Well, in that case, we can clearly say that this is not £100k lost for EE, rather £400k saved.


YOUR CONTENT HERE

Did you know that you can run ads with us?

Yes, just like Facebook has to run ads to survive so does The WTAFF Crew…

We’re now over a year old and we’ve never put this out there, but we thought it’s about time… We’ve seen what works, what doesn’t and we know this community that you are also part of, is second to none.

Calling all traffic sources, affiliate networks, advertisers, software tools and service providers that want to reach affiliates, e-com owners and media buyers!

The WTAFF Crew wants you to get in touch! Why? Well, to run ads with us, of course!

If you are:

  • An advertiser
  • A traffic network
  • A software service
  • An affiliate network
  • A marketing training program

… get in touch with us by replying to this email.

You can check out a detailed breakdown of our reach, past results and pricing right here. Yep, we don’t see a reason to hide our prices for these ads.

What’s with the #sellout, you ask?

After a year of sending this newsletter every weekday, we’ve learned what and how to present products to you, our readers. We’ve smoothened up our internal processes too.

We want to make sure that everyone reading this is aware we’re here to help put their products and services in front of 7.5k+ marketers (and growing 10% per month organically). We think we’ve now proven ourselves as a great promo avenue.

If you are interested or think this newsletter is a great way for one of your friends to promote their product share this media kit with them and tell them to get in touch!


FACEBOOK

Notes from Tim Burd and Alexander Fedotov FB Live

A fellow marketer has been compiling notes from Alexandr Fedotov and Tim Burd’s recent FB Live about Facebook Ads, and he’s been kind enough to share it with the community.

Sandeep says the words of wisdom from this interview helped him double the ROAS on one of his clients’ accounts.

Here are some of the key pointers from the interview:

  • Subscription model is the future of any e-commerce business. Try to add a subscription to your current business such as VIP members with an offer or an additional 15% monthly discount to your customers.
  • If you’re using ad set level campaigns, you can avoid using CBO for now.
  • FB Pixel needs a lot of data on any particular event to proactively optimize and make it work for you. Hence, if you’re targeting “Purchase” in your conversion campaigns, make sure you already have around 100 – 1000 purchases.

Otherwise, it’ll be very hard for the Facebook algorithm to optimize for purchases. If you don’t have enough purchases, optimize for the VC, ATC, or other events from the funnel to gather data.

  • For advertisers with smaller daily budgets ($5-$10), a good starting point would be to find and work with medium-sized influencers who can market your products. You can then retarget those visitors with your $5-$10 budgets using dynamic ads.
  • While scaling, raise (double) the budget for your well performing ad sets before NOON. Revert it back to the normal budget at the end of the day. Repeat this cycle until Facebook has gathered enough data, and then you can start running them consistently at higher budget.
  • Before using lookalike audiences, check for overlap in the audiences of the saved audience and lookalike audience. If the audience overlap is over 30%, you will end up spending more reaching out to the same set of audiences. This holds especially true for campaigns with larger budgets.
  • Use separate Pixels or Ad accounts for the different categories of a general store. Otherwise, use custom conversions.
  • When using dynamic creatives, use 2-3 combinations for low budget ($10/day) ad sets and 5-6 combinations for larger budget ad sets ($100/day).
  • Use 3-5 ad sets with 4-5 different ad creatives for every new product targeting interests, broad audiences, LLAs, and behaviors separately.
  • For retargeting, if your audience size is large enough (100K video views), use conversions in the delivery. For smaller audiences, use landing page views in delivery. While retargeting smaller Add-to-Cart (ATC) audiences, use impression shares only for the delivery part and conversions and purchases as your campaign objective.
  • When targeting worldwide, use different campaigns for different demographics, like Asians and English speaking countries, to make ad copies and auction better.
  • Utilize the TV shows interests. A lot of people are still not using TV shows as targeting, so make use of it before it gets competitive.

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Sounds interesting? Check out their complete FB Live here.


E-COMMERCE

$500k in 30 days

The Facebook Ad Buyers Group saw an interesting post recently, with Chris McCarthy sharing the many takes he learned while scaling a store to $500k per month.

It touches upon all aspects of an online business, so let’s save oxygen and go straight to the main lessons.

Up-sells/Cross-sells: Customers and rivers have some strange similarities. Both crave the path of least resistance, looking for the easiest way to the best deals and offers available. Therefore, use one-click upsell and cross-sell to show related and similar products.

Variations: Having different variations (colours, style) of the same product can be crucial. Different people have different tastes, so the more variations you have, the more likely you are to hit upon the customers’ preferences.

Copywriting: Speak in your buyer persona’s language. And ensure that your headlines, copy, product description and creative are congruent. This helps to build trust and lower scepticism.

Holiday sales: Chris McCarthy said that he drove the most revenues during national holidays. But start the sale one week before the holiday in order to build momentum.

Email: You can use emails for things other than building a list. Use them to recover abandoned carts and to upsell after a customer purchases something.

SMS: Chris says that SMS Bump or Postscripts can be pivotal to lifting revenue and decreasing the cost per purchase. He found a lot of success with abandoned cart text reminders after one hour.

Targeting: According to Chris, dialling in on higher performing audiences and removing lower performing audiences through the process of elimination is an art. When you start a new brand, try to create the most valuable audience, and then build variations from them.

Facebook Ads: Ads Manager is an extremely delicate beast. Be as scientific as you can when you buy media on FB. Every time you make a change, ask yourself if it’s the best option for you. Making the right decisions here comes from experience, testing, and education.

Google Ads: Branded search in Google Ads are the low hanging fruits when trying to build a brand. Keeping your brand at the top of the search results when people start searching for your brand is a great way to gain more trust from your potential customers and convert them into paying ones.

Research: It’s the key to success. The more tools you use, the more data you can gather. It’s mandatory to build a broad base of knowledge of the product arena you are in by comparing numbers and stats with user reviews, comments, industry, and competitor messaging and branding.

SEO: Begin by setting up Google Search Console, reviewing robots.txt, organic traffic, queries, and keywords. Improve meta titles and descriptions, remove duplicates, improve mobile usability and page speed. Then you can move on to link building, keyword focused content etc.

These are the main takeaways from Chris McCarthy post, but there’s more about fulfilment, branding and analytics that makes it a worthwhile read.

You can head to the post here to find more.


SEO

New features added to Search Console

Google is rolling out two new features for Search Console’s testing tools.

These URL testing tools, such as AMP test, rich results test and URL Inspection tool, look for the correct implementation of code and structured data markup.

You can now use these tools to:

  • Search within the markup, so you can quickly find the spot in your markup that you want to adjust.
  • Copy the code and markup, make tweaks to it, and then see if those changes pass validation.

What does this mean?

Let’s suppose that you are testing a URL and come across a structured data error. You can now find the exact piece of code that contains this error.

You can then simply copy it, tweak it, paste it back in, and re-test it.

How is this helpful?

  • It makes debugging your markup for structured data issues faster.
  • It makes it easier to spot the issues within your markup, so you can test the changes you make and ensure that it passes validation by Google.

Checkout Google’s announcement and a GIF of it in action here.


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POOLSIDE CHAT

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

The last best present you can offer your loved ones

Now, we don’t want to turn all morbid here and make you think about the sad events of the future… but we found a company that is combining space voyages and funerals.

We are talking about Celestis, a memorial spaceflights company.

What did they do to gain a place in the Poolside chat section? Simple. They offered a bunch of weird services.

“For more than twenty years Celestis has assisted people from all over the world celebrate, honor, and remember lives dedicated to exploration, adventure, passion, and humanity’s presence among the stars.”

In other words, after someone passes away, they take the cremated remains and send them off on a trip into space.

There are actually four packages you can choose for yourself or your loved one: Earth Rise, Earth Orbit, Luna and Voyager.

Our favourite one is the Earth Orbit Service: It places the Celestis spacecraft carrying cremated remains or DNA into orbit where it remains until it re-enters the atmosphere, harmlessly vaporizing like a shooting star in final tribute.

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All this for just $5k!

What a time to be ali… Ehmmm, dead.

Here’s what you can get if you share us with your marketing friends!

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