September 3, 2018


Here’s how to position your e-commerce brand to be unique

The overall news about dropshipping from China isn’t looking great.

Facebook doesn’t like low-quality e-commerce, which mostly comes from China.

The US doesn’t like the cheap ePacket anymore and might get rid of the subsidy as part of the trade war with China.

Facebook and ePacket are pretty much key to most dropshippers. So what can you do?

Well, first you have to get out of the mindset of competing (only) on price and try to build a real business. You can still dropship but it has to be of higher quality. You solve the Facebook issue then.

When it comes to ePacket, you still have time to take advantage of it and prepare if it’s gone.

We’ve featured a list of dropshipping suppliers a few months ago, you can check it right here.

If you have those 2 out of the way, you want to compete on branding, on what story you are telling and we found a great example.

Heard of Brands of Americas? We haven’t until yesterday. They sell Hispanic brands in the US.

We might have missed something but they don’t create any of the products. They provide a platform for others to sell, and maybe run some Facebook ads. Ain’t that right, Senator?

Of course, they have to figure out more than this but here’s the lesson we see from the Brands of Americas platform.

You can rely solely on branding and position existing products to a specific population.

Just gotta make sure that subset of the total population is big enough. There are ~57.5 million Hispanic Americans living in the US.

Maybe you don’t brand to target for ethnicity. You can position yourself in countless other ways, just think of those Teespring campaigns from a few years ago, where people tried some of the most ridiculous stuff.

Make a store for the vegan Taurus. There’s bound to be info on “what is healthy for a Taurus”.

The big benefit here is you can let the brand and its positioning target the audience, even if Facebook doesn’t allow you to target by ethnicity, religious views, political views, etc.

And you’re not competing on price or quality – you are competing for the best story you can tell.


Where should you draw the line with targeting?

If you’re following our newsletter regularly, you already know about the cancer sufferer from Vienna who got ads for a cemetery. Sadly, it isn’t the only case of targeted ads gone wrong.

How about Coca-Cola, when in 2015, they started with their #ShareACoke campaign on Twitter and put the name of the user into their ads. That one actually boosted their sales.

Or how about Target? In 2012, Andrew Pole, a statistician there, mined data about Targets customers to the extent that he could predict a pregnancy of a teenage girl even before her father! WHAT. THE. (AF)F… ?!

Personalized ads, ad targeting and behavioural targeting.

A good marketer should know about all these. But do you know what a great marketer knows? Where to draw the line.

You see, a study back in 2010 found that there is only a 0.3% increase in purchases if the ad is targeted at you and more visible, compared to a normal banner ad. And users who were more prone about their privacy were even less likely to click.

That’s 2010 though. Still, a more recent experiment conducted by the Harvard Business Review showed, that if brands are transparent about the data they collect, and if this data isn’t private (like sexual orientation or religion), consumers are far more likely to accept data collection.

Raising the trust level is important because it increases the click-through rates. And that, of course, leads to higher sales and interaction. But the trust level can easily drop.

If the website told the consumers that they inferred the information from outside sources, there was a 17% decline in purchase intent. And that’s massive.

This could be even worse if the website didn’t tell the consumer. Nothing more creepy than if a website knows everything about you with minimal input.

So what can we learn from these studies and experiences?

Don’t mine data madly. Take a transparent approach to what data you collect (GDPR makes this nearly impossible to avoid) and what you need to know about the consumers to click your ad and buy a product.

Selling a vitamin supplement? Why should you care if your consumers are Christians or if they are heterosexual?

Also, collect data only from your own inputs. Don’t mine them from other sources. It will feel invasive and creepy. You don’t want your customers to feel like that, do you?

And even if you don’t care about their feelings, you do care about your conversion rates, right?

Google “borrows” some info from MasterCard

Talking about creepy ads and how to not overstep your boundaries…

Do you have a MasterCard from a US bank? There’s a chance you’ve been tracked by Google to see if your buying offline purchases have been influenced by online ads.

Google paid MasterCard for this data and the deal was kept secret.

Not much more we can say about it… Usually, it’s cool to be Google. Not here though. Don’t be this Google!

And you’re not competing on price or quality – you are competing for the best story you can tell.


Getting tricky with SEO and coupons

We haven’t been around in the early Google days when people didn’t buy traffic but only tried to rank with search… The topic has not been as hot recently but SEO is still something any business in it for the long run does.

Or, someone who found that exploit to outrank everyone…

That’s what Seth Kravitz showed off in this Medium article.

He noticed some weird sites always ranking for coupons. In case you didn’t know, ranking for coupons is hard and very sought after because you can cookie the user and get a commission from any future purchases they make.

That’s also why most coupons don’t actually work when you find them! It’s all a hoax… just FYI.

OK, so back to ranking.

Amazon has great SEO, and they also provide a service called Amazon S3, where you can host static websites for cheap.

Well, someone found you can leverage Amazon’s reputation and SEO power to rank your S3 hosted coupon websites.

Seth goes into detail about what actually is happening in the original post and it’s worth the 10 minutes to read it in full, whether you do SEO or not.

Before you go, keep in mind this is a non-compliant strategy, so don’t go crazy… Take what you can learn and apply it in legit ways.


In case you were too late last time…

TrafficForce is back with another offer. Don’t know what it’s about?

How does 15,000,000,000 impressions from people watching “nothing” sound?

That’s what TrafficForce offers. 15 billion premium adult monthly impressions.

These impressions are spread over familiar ad formats like banner, pop-under and rich media so you can get creative with different uhm… creatives!

And you can take advantage of that scale with programmatic. TrafficForce works with DSPs and openRTB to get you into real-time auctions across this big inventory.

Just like last time – the first 25 people to sign up with the coupon WnMqhEp9Sq will get $100 credit to test their traffic out. No deposit required.

But you have to hurry up, there are 3000+ readers who could get there before you!

So go sign up before the coupons are all gone!

PS: No, you can’t get the credit then cash it out, obviously.


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

Oh Em Gee, Apple car gets into an accident

The trillion dollar company is working hard on developing autonomous driving tech (and will probably not build their own car), and it has 66 test vehicles on the road in California.

One of them got into an accident with a Nissan Leaf. Apple’s self-driving car was attempting to merge onto Lawrence Expressway South, in Santa Clara when the Leaf rear-ended Apple’s Lexus.

Good news is nobody was hurt, just the cars were damaged. It also seems like the Leaf driver is the one to blame… Very often the case with rear-ending accidents.

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