March 15, 2019


The big apps say they are safe from Shopify update

Yesterday, we announced the Shopify seller agreement update that could possibly affect 3rd party apps that allow users to complete the checkout outside of Shopify. Apps like Bold Upsell, Zipify or OneClickUpsell were some of the key ones that came to mind.

However, Tim, one of our readers, decided to get to the crux of the issue and get more clarity on this update. So he got in touch with some of the involved apps.

He reached out to OneClickUpsell and Recharge.

Here’s what OneClickUpsell team had to say on the matter: “We are aware of these updates from Shopify. They will not affect OneClickUpsell in any way. We work closely with Shopify and are operating with their approval.”

So, if you use OneClickUpsell, there is nothing to worry about. ReCharge responded in a similar fashion:

“However, not to worry. This does not apply to ReCharge. We have previously been authorized by Shopify to bypass the Shopify checkout, so the ban they’re referring to does not apply to us as an authorized partner.”

These companies had likely already found a way to work with Shopify, without trampling on their territory.

We don’t have updates from other apps. So if you know something more, the Crew would be happy to hear from you. We’ll send you some cookies in exchange!


Seller Ratings in Google Shopping Ads

Remember the Merkle Advertising Report for Q4 2018 that we shared a couple of months ago? If so, you are probably aware that Google’s runway for Shopping growth is far from over.

In fact, Google Shopping is the largest growth chance for most online retailers in 2019.

As an e-commerce owner, if you are already using Google Shopping Ads, that’s wonderful. However, Jim Banks has a question for you.

Do you have Google Seller Ratings installed on your site?

Having Seller Ratings installed on your site can lead to a significant performance increase for your shopping ads. Especially the performance of your automated extensions.

You can easily configure Seller Ratings through your Google Merchant Center account too, so there’s no excuse!

To give you some background, Seller ratings on Shopping ads are generated based on the following sources:

  • Google Customer Reviews: A free program that collects post-purchase reviews on behalf of advertisers.
  • Aggregated performance metrics from Google-led shopping research.
  • Ratings from Google Consumer Surveys – A market research platform we use to collect data for certain domains and businesses.
  • Shopping reviews for your store domain, which include reviews from various third-party sources.

Yes, there are plugins available that help you to set it up. However, Jim recommends a manual setup as that gives you more control over how frequently you want Google to send purchase/product review emails to your customers.

For example, if you are dropshipping and typically take 2-3 weeks to deliver the products, having Google send out emails asking your customers to rate your products/service is going to land you a bad rating.

Jim also recommends always responding to negative reviews, even if the customer complaint is not valid.

Additionally, Seller Ratings allows you to include a badge along with your ratings, which shows at the bottom of your page. However, in his experience, this badge often overlaps with the Messenger/Chat plugin that you also might have installed. So, that’s something you might want to look out for.

Yes, product price, title, description etc are always going to be the major factors, but the absence of stars and reviews will certainly hurt your campaigns.

Zoom In

If you have a completely new store, it might not be of utmost priority for you to include customer ratings within your ads. However, if you have a decently seasoned store with a good amount of reviews, you are leaving money on the table by not making the most of this feature.

Set it up right away and watch the performance of your Shopping campaigns soar.


Terabytes of data stolen from software giant Citrix

An international group of hackers have stolen terabytes of data from a major US contractor that handles sensitive computer projects for the White House communications agency, the U.S. military, the FBI and many American corporations.

The software giant came under 2 attacks in the last 4 months and 6TBs of documents related to the aerospace industry, the FBI, NASA and Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company were hacked.

The hacker group is believed to have penetrated the software giant Citrix 10 years ago and remained inside the company’s computer network ever since.

Researchers at Resecurity had warned Citrix during the first attack. Although, it looks like they only started implementing measures after the FBI got involved on March 6th.

Citrix commented that there was no indication of any compromise to its products or services. However, it’s still a major concern as Citrix is a government contractor and could hold sensitive data on other companies.


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Things change. Facebook will implement GDPR privacy protections globally.

Yesterday, two senior executives called it a day on Facebook. The reasons are not clear, but we have something in mind. Also, Cat Howell shared a how-to video on creating Slideshow Carousel Ads.

Big changes happening at the Blue House

Yesterday, Chris Cox, Facebook’s CPO (Chief Product Officer) announced that he’s leaving Facebook.

He had joined FB in 2005. So he was there as the company grew from the ground up. He’s one of the men behind many of the products we use and was a major force in building several key features including News Feed and the new Workplace.

This is a big loss for Facebook, no doubt. Chris Cox didn’t explain his reasons though – He just shared some “goodbye” sentences and said that “social media’s history is not yet written”.

Cox’s isn’t the only office to be emptied at Menlo Park either. WhatsApp’s Vice President, Chris Daniels has left the company too.

Two losses in one day for Mark. However, he described himself as excited about the new chapter he is taking on at his new workplace.

This executive exodus comes right after Zuckerberg announced the new “privacy-focused” platform that Facebook is aiming to become. Therefore, these losses might be related to the new goals Facebook has set for itself. It’s likely that these guys didn’t relate with the new vision and the projects that FB is undertaking.

Let’s see what happens ahead and who will cover these big losses.

Taking Carousel Ads one step further

While Facebook is looking at restyling itself, marketers won’t change their route and will keep coming up with tactics to leverage the platform for the best results.

We already know that Carousel Ads can deliver good results, especially for e-commerce campaigns.

However, Cat Howell just took Carousels one step further. She shared a video on how to create Slideshow Carousel Ads.

Basically, these are still Carousel Ads, but instead of having one pic per slot, you can have a slideshow of 2 or more pics.

She suggests using a Dynamic Product Catalogue targeting a cold audience to utilize this feature.

What are the steps?

  • Ad set level: Instead of using it for retargeting, choose an audience interested in your product.
  • Ad level: Select the Carousel creative format. Scroll down to find the section where you can choose between a single image and slideshow.

This could be a good format for your campaigns as it gives great exposure to your ads, but without having to put in the work/resources to make a whole new video. You just need to upload images to your catalogue.

Plus, it allows you to have more data and insights about your audience as users are more likely to interact with the slideshow compared to static images.


Big G launches Policy Manager for Google Ads

What do you do when you experience any policy restrictions while launching ad campaigns on Google?

Hover your cursor over the disapproved ad status to find more details? Go through help articles? Contact email or phone support?

To give a better picture of all advertising policy-related issues, Google is now launching Policy Manager within Google Ads. This new interface will be available to all accounts starting from April 2019.

Here’s a sneak peek into the new interface:

  • View all policy-related issues affecting your ads, keywords or ad extensions.
  • View and manage disapprovals across your ad accounts.
  • Find recommendations for fixing violations.
  • Historical records of your appeals and certifications associated with your ad account.

And yeah, you can continue the hovering your cursor over the disapproved ad status. Google says it will continue to add more details to that section throughout the year.

Google is already working to add more features to this interface such as Appeals section. You’ll also be able to “Dispute a decision” and track the appeal’s status right within the Policy manager.


Looking for low CPMs? We got you!

In order to run campaigns at low CPMs, you usually look for platforms with less competition.

Pinterest is one such platform. Strangely, despite the Pinterest Ad business seeing growth, the CPM still saw a decrease from 2017 to 2018. A 20.6% decrease, to be exact.

How come?

Because it’s growing in popularity, meaning the increasing number of users is keeping CPMs low.

The average CPM on Pinterest is $1.50. Comparably, for Facebook, it’s around $2.36 to $3.94. This means you can reach twice the amount of people with the same budget.

Also, Pinterest is no longer seen as a platform specific to females between 25 and 54 years old. Users from other demographics have started joining in too!

Another commonly perceived limitation of Pinterest is that it was not as widely used outside of certain verticals, but even that is changing now.

Pinterest is becoming the go-to platform for planning and discovery for many people.

We have already discussed the many positive sides of Pinterest. The buying mindset of its users, the high Conversion Rates etc.

Here we’re talking about a new angle: Low CPMs.

This is unlikely to last forever. Pinterest executives have already started to pitch the ad platform to bigger brands, so if they start pouring money into Pinterest, the CPMs will surely go up.

If you want to join in the fun, the sooner the better!


Pause all notifications: New update

If you feel that your mental health is threatened by frequent Instagram notifications, there is an update that can help.

From now you can pause all Instagram notification on your phone. But, it’s only possible for iOS devices. So Android users are destined to suffer this digital pulling for a while longer.


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

Telegram grows from Facebook’s troubles

In life, everything is relative. A situation that might be a curse for you, could be a boon for someone else.

Like when your car’s tire get a puncture. You’ll be freaking angry, right? What about your tire repairer though? Money in his pocket is unlikely to make him angry.

This is what happened during the last Facebook outage, with someone benefitting hugely from the situation while FB scrambled around for a fix. But who were these mystery beneficiaries?


During the Facebook blackout, the messaging app saw over 3M new users joining the app.

Telegram’s currently has a user base of 200M users, so that’s a 1.5% growth in just 24 hours, without having to lift a finger. Telegram executives are probably raising a toast to Mark.

Or, more likely, these 3M new users will return to WhatsApp and Messenger now that they’re working fine again.

Who knows? Surely, a huge bonus for Telegram! Better than the results any marketing strategy can deliver.

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