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E-COMMERCE

Cyber Monday sales are down this year. Here’s why

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$10.7 billion.

That’s how much Americans spent on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, which tracks over one trillion visits to U.S. e-commerce websites. This is down 1.4% from last year. Uh-oh.

Why there is a drop: Fear. People have started shopping earlier due to fears of shortages, according to Adobe. This is supported by the data. In November for example, consumers spent $109 billion, an increase of 11.9% over last year. Looks like people would rather be “safe than sorry” and begin their holiday shopping before, you know, the holidays.

What you can do about this as a marketer: Be aware that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are starting earlier and earlier each year. So start your promotions earlier (like October) as well to capture the purchase intent.

Otherwise, you might wonder “why my Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales are down” when you only advertised on Friday and Monday.


FACEBOK

Facebook: Interest-based targeting can hurt you

Running interest-based campaigns on Facebook? Your targeting may be too narrow, according to the social networking company.

The analysis: Facebook analyzed 50 CPG campaigns in the EMEA region. The goal was to analyze why (and why won’t) these campaigns work well.

The conclusions: 50% of campaigns used very narrow interest audiences, limiting their reach significantly. The interest-based campaigns were 22% more effective than demographic campaigns, but the loss of reach more than offset that.

In contrast, for the other half of campaigns, both demographic and interest targeting had comparable reach and effectiveness because the selected interest audiences were broad enough. So interest-based targeting can work as long as it’s not too narrow.

Is interest-based targeting useless? Not really. According to Facebook, interest-based marketing was more effective for lower-funnel actions like purchases, while demographic-based targeting was better for brand and top-of-mind awareness.

The lesson: If you’re just getting started with interest-based targeting, don’t narrow down too quickly. Test broad interests first, then narrow down as needed. So if you’re selling Metallica t-shirts, try targeting interests like “Metallica” or “heavy metal” instead of “Nothing Else Matters.”


SPONSORED BY DASH.FI

Two years of cashback paid upfront in Bitcoin

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The advertising community has been taken by storm – a storm that gets you up to 10.58% cashback on your ad spend paid out up front in Bitcoin.

AdCard by dash.fi is a card built specifically for advertisers, from the ground up.

And there’s the offer of the decade (so far) from dash.fi: get 2 years of cashback upfront paid in Bitcoin if you sign up today.

To put it into perspective, that could be $400k in BTC if you spend $10M per year on ads…

That’s without looking at Bitcoin’s performance. When you see that on an annualized scale, BTC has returned 230%… you realize that at this pace, your $400k would be $2.1M after just 2 years.

A quick cashback calculation and that’s $2.1M on $20M total ad spend ($10M yearly) so a 10.58% cashback.

Get your AdCard by dash.fi in just a few minutes here.


MARKETING

How to craft authentic holiday greeting messages to reach the heart of your customers

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Holidays aren’t just a chance to put your products on discounts or run some promos.

Holidays are another chance to strengthen the relationship with your customers.

If you’ve never done it, this year you can send holiday greeting messages to your customers to show them your appreciation.

Many businesses already do it, however, they send the same boring, copy/pasted messages that end up being ignored.

To avoid that, Kristen McCormick published a blog post on WordStream that will help you send authentic holiday greetings.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Simplicity: Keep the message short. Use a conversational tone and avoid sarcasm.
  • Positivity: Share a good vibe and warm holiday wishes.
  • Growth: Give customers a reason to stay confident in your business: “This year was a big one! We launched a new site, brought on five new team members, and started some exciting partnerships.” But avoid jargon like “We crushed it this year.”
  • Achievements: Talk to them about the achievements you have been able to accomplish thanks to the help of your audience.
  • Inspiration: Refer to your mission rather than your selling proposition.
  • Future focus: Don’t include a CTA or sales promotion. Keep this message genuine.

Besides these guidelines, Kristen McCormick listed specific words to use as well as templates to help you create a touching holiday message.

Sometimes it’s not just about making them click purchase, it’s also about making them feel special.


SPONSORED BY CHATTY

Scale your content production without jeopardizing your content quality

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Take advantage of Chatty’s on-demand editing: Plug an expert editor into your content team and publish with confidence with unlimited on-demand content editing.

Stop wasting time trying to find a decent editor on other platforms: Chatty works with a crew of carefully pre-vetted editors that can help with everything from structural improvements, to voice and tone, to copyediting.

Get an expert editor on demand.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

Common dark patterns we’ve seen

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If you don’t know what “dark patterns” are, this website can help you.

Dark patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, like buying or signing up for something.

What are the most common ones we run into when analyzing brands?

Fake countdowns and deadlines:

This is so common that people might not even consider it a dark pattern. Fake countdowns that reset a refresh or “last chance” offer that becomes an offer again in a week.

Urgency is powerful, but please make it real.

Fake visitors as social proof:

You’d think this is something only a new website tries because they don’t have traffic but even a rather big European brand, InterSport, does this.

Usually done by adding a widget saying visitors are looking at the same product.

Discount for the first month only on a subscription:

You can see an example from Snow, an oral care brand.

Pitching a subscription at a certain (discounted) price in a big bold text while putting an asterisk with low-contrast text that it’s just for the first month looks like a mini-dark pattern to us.

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


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

EMAIL MARKETING: Drip automatically works to convert more users into customers and make existing customers spend more money. How? Drip dives deep into your customer data and highlights the most profitable growth opportunities for your business. Over 30k brands use Drip to multiply their sales. Try it for 14 days for free.*

PPC: Google Ads made some improvements for its Performance Planner.

E-COMMERCE: Here’s one big winner on Black Friday. The buy-now-pay-later industry.

AMAZON: How many brands on Amazon are owned by Amazon itself? This handy browser extension gives you the answer.

CONTENT MARKETING: How do you make an audio go viral? This dating app will teach you a thing or two.

TIKTOK: The short video is testing a feature where users can tag other profiles within a video.

SEO: Domain history matters. Pure spam or adult old domains can be problematic for SEO, according to Google.

ADVERTISING: Short video ad formats perform best for games, according to an analysis.

*This is a sponsored post.


BRAIN TEASER

How do you spell candy in 2 letters?

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.

Robots can now reproduce

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So it begins.

US scientists have created the first living robots. These robots are also known as xenobots, and yes, they have the ability to reproduce.

The robots were created from the stem cells of an African clawed frog (which must be one of the top trending keywords after this announcement). This type of introduction hasn’t been discovered before and is something totally new to science.

Before you start worrying that these robots will take over the world and become our new overlords, scientists have a message for you. “You don’t need to worry.” These living machines were entirely contained in the lab and could be extinguished with ease.

The scientists hope we can use this knowledge for things like inspecting roof systems, collecting microplastics in the ocean, and regenerative medicine. Taking over the world isn’t (yet) on the agenda.

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