The X-Factor for scaling to $1.5M ad spend on FB. Apple targets mainstream e-comm: iMessage & Apple Pay now available to 800k Shopify merchants. Stealing from Inc 5000 websites: 60 strategies to thrive after Google’s algo update.


Follow up on Google algo update: 60 successful websites from Inc 5000

There has been a lot of talk going on around the effects of Google’s core algo update this month and how it proved to be a boon for some websites and a curse for others.

We’ve already discussed a handful of cases where the algorithm update brought about such a drop in traffic that has forced websites into a near shutdown.

Gaps took a different approach to this, and instead analyzed some sites that have been thriving since the update. They look into their strategies and what they are doing differently, so you could learn a lot from them.

A different, more positive angle to look at Google’s June algorithm update.

Here are a few examples:

Bookkeeping: Watch how Pilot is doing content-wise with the $53M they’ve raised.

Health: AmyMyers hasn’t garnered as much attention as Dr. Axe or Healthline, but AmyMyers puts pageview counts on literally every single article posted, which could be great for coming up with content ideas.

Outdoor gear: Naturedog is killing it in this space in France. Find out about their unconventional approach to selling pet products.

Online Travel: Klook have already seen massive growth in Taiwan and their native country Hong Kong, and western markets are their next frontier.

General: Scribbr’s revenues will blow you away. There’s so much scope in the business of proofreading. That should give you a new business idea!

Well, we are keeping it very short and sweet here, but there’s a lot more to be learned.

Gaps has gone through all 5k businesses from the Inc. 5000 list to come up with this list of 60 successful websites. These sites are in several niches where search traffic really matters, so learning about what they’re doing right is super helpful.

Grab yourself a cuppa coffee, make yourself comfy and head to the detailed 8600 word article here for some much-needed inspiration.

Ah and that reminds us… Yesterday we discussed GreenMedInfo’s article about natural health websites like DrAxe, Kellybroganmd and Naturalnews getting hit hard by the algo update.

One of our readers, who works at DrAxe as a Media Buyer, wrote back to us and clarified that DrAxe hasn’t been as badly affected as other sites in the health vertical.

So, we just wanted to clarify that. If someone from GreenMedInfo is reading, you might want to take a note of it as well 🙂


GDPR has been gold for FB and Big G

GDPR was implemented in the European Union around a year ago now, so how have things fared under these new regulations?

As per a WSJ reportit has actually helped the tech giants grow even faster, while simultaneously making things harder for smaller ad-tech companies and businesses.

GDPR was introduced to help regulate the internet and as a way to control tech giants, especially Google and Facebook. But things haven’t panned out that way.

In fact, it’s actually looking like Facebook and Google have grown thanks to GDPR, possibly due to the competition getting wiped out.

As per the IAB report, Facebook’s ad revenue in Europe grew by 40% in 2018. Google’s revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew by 20% in the same period..

That’s huge when you consider that the overall growth in Europe’s digital advertising market was only 14% over the same period.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg kind of agreed with this at a conference in February:

“The truth is it’s actually easier for big companies like Facebook, or other big competitors, to put in place things that adhere to regulation than it is for startups. If I think back to Facebook 10 years ago, GDPR would have been much harder for us than it was now.”

The rules also made it harder for third parties to collect personal information for ad targeting.

This, in turn, gave these tech giants another advantage. They already have a relationship with the consumers using their products, so they could ask for consent directly from a much larger pool of individuals.

Well, the compliance costs are massive, so it has been really expensive for the smaller players to deal with the GDPR. This has contributed towards reduced competition in the market, further driving the tech giants’ growth.


It’s still early days for the GDPR though.

In the long run, the law might force a substantial change in Google’s or Facebook’s business model by restricting their ability to collect or employ their users’ personal data. But one can only wait and watch.


How much is a great marketer worth to your team?

We’re asking this question because, aside from you, there are about 7,500 marketers reading this daily email and we could put any of your marketing jobs in front of them!

Looking for a media buyer? A Facebook Ads expert? A Google Ads addict? Copywriter? SEO whizz? E-commerce pro? Or just an account manager with industry experience?

All of those jobs are popular on Jobs in Digital Marketing – a simple, focused job platform. It’s the only way to feature your open positions in front of all WHAT THE AFF readers – daily!

This is not for virtual assistant search, it’s for actual marketing professionals!

We’ve put everything under tried and tested software with a clear focus on utility:

  • Post or apply for jobs.
  • Search resumes of job seekers who want to be hired.
  • Have your job openings featured in a special WHAT THE AFF section.
  • Manage your hiring flow straight from the platform.
  • Lower price than all those broad, general platforms without an industry-specific audience.

Want to get your job featured in WHAT THE AFF for a whole month?

We’ll put your job in front of 7.5k+ of the most dedicated, smartest and up to date marketers in the world, from Monday to Friday, at 1pm CET.

Post your job and let us send you the perfect fit!

PS: Don’t forget to ping your HR person with this too 😉


$1.6M ad spend: “What I learnt”. New ToS from July 31

A FB advertiser shared the lessons he learned after spending $1.6M. Spoiler: One of them might offend you. FB updating its Terms of Service. Will anyone ever read them all? Not The Crew.

The X-Factor to 7 figures

The higher you climb, the more lessons you learn along the way.


Ashton Shanks, for instance, climbed his way up to $1.6M in FB ad spend, learning three main lessons along the way. We don’t have to climb that monumental mountain ourselves though – He hauled the lessons back with him and shared them with the FB advertisers familia.

Let’s roll into them.

Lesson 1: “The days of manually hacking your way to ad success are no more.”

That quote comes straight from Facebook. Bullying and budget manipulations to get the FB juice don’t work anymore.

What works now? Ashton says that you should listen to what FB preaches: The Power 5.

He says that after years of trying to hack the algorithm, listening to what FB suggests is outperforming his media buying tactics. And that’s what you should do.

We already talked in the past about the Power 5, so you can head here to have a refresher.

Lesson 2: It’s all about creatives. Ashton’s biggest barrier to scaling FB campaigns is actually the constant need for new creatives.

8 times out of ten, you probably don’t need to “duplicate” your ad set and target a new audience because your ad performance is declining. You probably just need to get new creative launched.

According to him, if you are spending $1k/day, you need:

  • 3 new videos every week.
  • 3 new headlines every weak.
  • 1 new body copy every two weeks.

Lesson 3: Patience and tolerance is the X Factor. “You need a sociopathic approach to data.”

You must be constantly trying to figure out why something works or why it doesn’t. It’s not good enough to just find success, you also have to understand why that success came.

You need to raise your pain tolerance too, because the chances are that you’re going to take some hits while the algorithm learns and optimizes.

Ashton’s optimization period is 2-3 days. If something doesn’t work after 3 days, cut it and test something else.

Something that is working for him at the moment is testing interests with ad set budget campaigns. Once he finds performing interests, he moves them to CBO.

Here’s how Ashton’s campaign structure looks like.

That’s all. Ashton isn’t the first one to stress the importance of creatives, so it’s surely a lesson you want to apply to your advertising game. The other two are essentially telling you to trust in the algorithm, which is forever growing in intelligence.

Give the algorithm the time to optimize and follow what FB suggests. Their platform is improving relentlessly, and the chances are that it’s smarter than you.

New ToS published by FB

From July 31, Facebook will update its Terms of Service. You might find this scary at first, but here’s the thing…

Don’t worry! There’s nothing specific in there that we advertisers need to watch out for. The new terms are all aimed at providing a clearer picture of the platform.

The update is the result of the conversations that FB had with regulators, policymakers and consumer protection experts around the world.

The new ToS goes through the ways FB remove harmful content, how they use data for ad targeting and the ownership of the content shared by users.

Well, we know that nobody in the history of the world has ever read the Terms of Service of any business. If you feel like bucking the trend and taking a step that has never before been made in humankind, you can find them here.


Shopify integrates Apple’s iMessage Chat

Ever heard about Apple Business Chat? It’s a messaging service by Apple which allows Apple users to chat with brands through their iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch.

Customers can find businesses and start conversations from Safari, Maps, Search and Siri.

Basically, it’s the FB Messenger of Cupertino.

What’s the news?

Previously, this service was accessible only to large companies such as the Four Seasons Hotel and Burberry. But now, thanks to this integration with Shopify, the service will be available to over 820k Shopify merchants worldwide.


Shopify says that the iMessage integration will make it easier for merchants to provide real-time support, especially if they’re running their businesses entirely on mobile.

Essentially, this is an alternative to Messenger. Users can see the iMessage icon on the store website, and click on it to chat with the business.

But there’s a bigger catch!

Customers will also be able to pay for purchases using Apple Pay from within the conversation itself.

This is probably the feature that could really push users to embrace iMessage as an alternative to Messenger.

It’s likely that FB will implement a similar feature of their own soon. For now, however, iMessage is leading the race. It could make payments quicker and easier, and if customers are already familiar with Apple Pay it could increase conversions too.

Let’s see what Apple users will choose.


‘Google for Small Business’: New hub for SMB owners

It’s International Small Business day today and Google has a gift for all you SMB owners and marketers.

A hub for small business marketing resources called Google for Small Business.

It’s a new initiative to help you find the right Google tools and services to reach your business goals.

Here’s how you can use this platform:

Personalized plans: Simply answer a few questions, select your goals and Google will provide you with a list of recommendations and the tools you need to stand out from your competitors and reach more customers.

In-Person workshops: Get hands-on help by attending free Grow with Google workshops happening near you.

Latest news: Be the first to know about all updates on Google’s small business-focused tools and services.

Find out more from the official announcement page.


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

Too hot for clothes?

The Germans have always been smart people.

They are famous for their high-performance cars and great beer, but that’s not all they’re good at. They build magnificent castles, run a butter-smooth bureaucracy, and they get naked in public.

Wait, what was that last one again?

Yep, you read it right. Naked in public. And here’s the proof.


He was found by police riding his scooter, wearing nothing but sandals and a helmet. Safety first, right?

When the officers questioned the man about his absence of clothes, he had a very reasonable explanation:

It’s too hot!

Well, who can blame him? Europe has been hotter than hell these past few days, and this man is just trying to make life bearable!

When the mercury’s hitting these heights, there are just two things you can do: escape to the closest beach, or lock yourself in your house or office with the air con on full and focus on scaling those campaigns!

However, maybe this German man has found a third option. The Crew are thinking about testing his new solution out… So, that’s a good reason to lock yourself at home.

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

Share with your friends:

Sign Up For Free

Stacked Marketer was built to filter through the daily noise that exists in the marketing world. It’s a digital marketer’s 7-minute daily read, jam-packed with the latest news, trends, tech and actionable advice.

You have referrals.

You're only referrals away from your next reward