Leaked Email: Affiliate World Europe will take place as scheduled. Taboola + Adroll case study: $2k at 18k clicks with a $21 CPA. 50M SERPs analyzed: Featured Snippets are not eating up your CTR.

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CONFERENCES

What’s in, what’s out, what’s unsure? Here’s what we know so far…

COVID-19 is all over the news, and while we’ll shy away from providing any medical advice, we can’t ignore the fact that it’s having a very real impact on business. This is especially true when it comes to conferences – MWC Barcelona, FB F8, Google I/O and, more recently, SXSW have all been cancelled.

Among all that bad news, there’s also some good… One of you ladies and gents asked Affiliate World what the plans were for their event, and they’ve shared the reply with us.

In short, Affiliate World Europe will take place as scheduled, with extra safety precautions in place both before and during the event. The expectation from the organizers is that the situation will stabilise in the next few months. However, they did state that it will be postponed if required by authorities, with any ticket purchased being transferred to the new date.

So, COVID-19’s effect has been less pronounced when it comes to the affiliate industry. Affiliate EXPO, on the other hand, has been postponed. T&C Summit has publicly announced they are taking precautions but the event will take place. AWSummit and Affiliate Summit Europe also seem full steam ahead, but rest assured that we’ll keep you up to date if anything changes.

PS: Can anyone do this sort of live ticker for events in our industry?

PPS: For all you search marketers out there, this article might be of interest. It reports on all the search marketing conferences affected by the outbreak.


NATIVE

“Try native ads, you must”

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Oh yes! If you are on a journey to become an Ecom Jedi, you probably have to add another traffic source to your skillset. To help you out here, we bring you this post, shared by Sandeep Kumar, on how he achieved some sweet figures with Taboola:

Spent $2197 for 18k clicks. The vCTR was 0.28% with a CPA of $21.97. Well, we’d like to know about revenue and ROAS, but his info still seems interesting. Let’s take a look:

  • Start by testing different native platforms: They started testing Taboola, RevContent, MGID and Outbrain. Taboola Tier 1 traffic was found to be the cheapest and highest quality option.
  • Build a strong retargeting engine: This looks like the most creative point from the post. He suggests using third party-marketing tools for retargeting, such as Adroll or Criteo. We said that you gotta hit all channels to become a Jedi.

Okay, these two pieces of advice apply to everybody. The following ones, however, are related to findings from his camps, which may or may not apply to you depending on your product, target etc. Anyway, here they are:

  • Black and white thumbnails are more eye-catching than coloured images.
  • Human presence in thumbnails gets a higher CTR.
  • Using words like “he, she, photos, inside, looks, family and who” in the headlines had a positive impact on CTR.
  • Images with men deliver more clicks. Sorry ladies, it’s just for the sake of marketing.
  • Outdoor and closeup images get more clicks.

That’s all folks!


SPONSORED

📕 The ultimate “What’s Working In Affiliate Marketing In 2020” report from STM Forum is here and it’s free!

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What do you get when you interview almost 100 industry experts that work on all sides of the business, from spy tools to affiliate networks, traffic sources to media buyers, affiliate and e-comm owners?

We’ll tell you… You get a birds eye view of everything that is working (and what is doomed to fail) in 2020 in affiliate marketing.

Everything that has to do with traffic sources, ad formats, verticals (including e-commerce), best performing ads, funnels and so much more.

Basically, if you are buying traffic online in 2020, you should give this report a thorough read. This is just Volume 1 and it contains 114 pages of priceless intel.

Download STM Forum’s What’s Working In Affiliate Marketing In 2020 Report for free right here.

Be on the lookout for Volume 2. It will be heading to your inbox automatically in a couple of weeks if you check out Volume 1.

PS: There may or may not be a bonus for signing up to the STM Forum revealed inside that report.


GOOGLE

What if you use the same Pixel for two ad Are position-zero spots really eating up your CTRs? 250M SERPS analyzed

Perficient Digital recently published a new report based on their analysis of 250M SERPs. The report delves into the impact of Google SERP features (ads, snippets, carousels, people also ask boxes and sitelinks) on organic CTRs.

Here are the key findings from the report:

  • Zero-click search results are a way too small a factor when commercial search queries trigger the ads.
  • There are significant differences in position 1 CTRs for branded and non-branded queries.
  • Featured snippets don’t impact CTRs in the aggregate.

As far as desktop and mobile results are concerned, the percentage of no-click results looked something like this:

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Overall, the study found a blended desktop and mobile no-click percentage of about 44%.

  • When ads triggered by commercial queries are present, the percentage of no-click results declines significantly on desktop.
  • The percentage of organic clicks remained fairly close: 55.5% with ads and 61% without.
  • The CTR for branded/navigational queries is radically different (and higher) than for non-branded queries.
  • For position 1, branded organic CTRs are nearly 70%, but for non-branded queries this drops to just under 20%.

The report concludes that the traditional CTR models are quite meaningless because they don’t separate CTR behavior into branded and non-branded queries.

How are Featured Snippets affecting the CTR? Most of us believe that Featured Snippets contribute to more zero-click results because people already get the information they want, without having to click through to a site.

However, this study finds Featured Snippets click-neutral, with them having a negligible impact on the overall CTRs.

  • CTR for queries with featured snippets are slightly higher than they are for queries without.
  • In some cases, the snippet answered the question without a click. In others it actually drove a higher CTR to the sites from which the featured snippet was derived.

Zoom out

We can take home two key action items from this report:

  • It’s best to optimize for and try to rank in these SERP features such as local packs, carousels, snippets.
  • Create content that addresses long-tail searches. They represent 70% or more of all searches, and Google can’t provide zero-click answers to all these queries.

ROUNDING UP THE STACK

  • FACEBOOK: As per FB’s Product Director Rob Leathern, Facebook is banning ads and commercial listings selling face masks.
  • ADVERTISING: Despite his large digital spend, Mike Bloomberg pulled out of the presidential race. This video tries to explain why even those popular meme campaigns couldn’t help him.
  • GOOGLE: Importing Google Analytics conversions into your Google Ads might not be such a wise decision. Find out why.
  • MARKETING: In a world beyond third-party tracking cookies, what are businesses resorting to? Email newsletters, it seems.
  • SEO: Thorough SEO Audit checklist by Steven Kang. In addition, some more tips from other SEOs in the group. It might become an interesting source.
  • PPC: How much automation is good for your campaigns? Take a day off and let this script test out whether responsive search ads are good for you or not.
  • CORONAVIRUS: The Italian Govt’s new enforcement measures locked down an area containing around 20M people to limit the spread. However, internal mobility is still permitted for business reasons, so shipping should still be available in these areas.

BRAIN TEASER

Only one color, but not one size,
Stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies.
Present in sun, but not in rain,
Doing no harm, and feeling no pain.
What is it?

You can find the solution by clicking 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.

When dead people rise to make your product go viral

What are the chances that a simple ecomm product you’re testing goes viral because of a coincidence you could never have foreseen?

Zero, you might think…

But it happens all the time.

For example, these Puma trainers recently went viral. The reason? Well, because they resemble Adolf Hitler, of course.

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Apparently, the distinctive black cut-away shaped toe and a black tongue looked like the Nazi leader’s hair and moustache to some people.

There were some who were quick to point out this resemblance, whereas others who already owned the shoes were surprised by this revelation.

Though, this isn’t the first time people have spotted a dead ringer for the late dictator in everyday objects.

In 2017, a man called Stuart Boyd received his passport through the post and noticed that a small printing error made it look like he had a Hitler-style moustache.

Our thoughts? Well, any publicity is good publicity. Intentionally or unintentionally, maybe that’s the recipe for the next big item in your ecomm stores?

PS: if you want to follow this road, try to make sure your product does not look like a tyrant…


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