Two recessions



Email marketing is coming, Amazon is opening up to third-party sellers, and more


You can’t see it, but we’re opening our arms as wide as we can because today’s news is thiiiiiiis big…

It’s really happening: Email marketing is rolling out to all registered US sellers in early 2023 and will allow you to target:

  • Repeat customers – ordered more than once in the last 12 months.
  • High-spend customers – 25% of your brand’s highest spenders in the last 12 months.
  • Recent customers – 20% of your most recent purchasers.

Alexa, answer this for me: Believe it or not, you can answer customer questions using Amazon’s assistant.

Alexa now responds to product queries with the helpful answers provided by brands, and brands cank link queries to their storefronts. Whoa.

If you’re registered with Amazon Brand Registry, you should see the new Customers ask Alexa feature in Seller Central.

Third-parties aren’t so bad after all: Amazon also seems to be warming up to third-party selling. They’re now allowing merchants to drive traffic from Sponsored Brands ads to their websites.

Of course, the traffic has to come from Prime members, and only after they land on your Amazon Store first… but it’s a start!

Amazon is also giving free shipping software to merchants so they can manage their orders on and off the platform and display the best shipping rates. So nice.

And lastly, the company might change its policies and allow sellers to offer cheaper prices in other platforms, after being sued by California.

Quite the boost for third-party merchants.


Are some markets and ad channels recession-proof?

It’s a tale of two recessions.

Despite all the economic concerns, inflation, and growing production costs across the globe, some markets aren’t feeling the crisis that much.

The resilient bunch: Most small businesses in the US are hiring, with job openings at an all-time high and unemployment at historically low levels.

… Not exactly recession signals.

Oh, and did we mention that small businesses employ half of the entire US workforce?

China is also holding steady, with retail sales topping expectations and growing 5.4%, while online sales of physical goods grew 12.8% last month.

Who’s falling behind: UK retail sales dropped by 1.6%, more than expected, following a new 37-year low for the pound sterling.

Experts say “retail sales in the UK will continue to struggle for the time being.”

Is advertising feeling the recession? Not if you ask search advertisers. The search ad market is expected to hit around $112B by 2023, doubling 2019 revenue.

However, advertisers are cutting budgets on the more expensive, worse performing channels like linear TV, CTV, and billboard ads.

Why we care: You chose a good profession. Most brands still need marketing, especially in markets like the US or China, which seem healthier and more spending-friendly.

By the way, if you’re looking for the best place to show ads, stats are in favor of search ads.

And not only Google Ads, but Apple, Amazon, and Bing as well.


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“Whaaat… Fifteen fields just to book a demo?! I’m out.” —That lead you just lost thanks to your long opt-in form.

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That’s hard enough as it is. It’s even harder when users “X” out of your signup forms.

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Here’s what Clearbit for Forms can do:

  • Boost your conversions by 50-70% by removing friction for web visitors—just like B2B brands Greenhouse and Gong!
  • Deliver more qualified leads to sales without breaking the budget.
  • Autofill known data and trigger alerts to engage high-intent visitors.

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Want to increase customer loyalty and retention? Try handwritten notes


Getting personal is a shortcut to your customers’ hearts… and their wallets.

However, the modern customer often sees through automated personalization methods and won’t necessarily respond with a purchase.

… Unless you do personalization the old fashioned way.

Ariyh reported an interesting experiment from a South Korean beauty retailer. They sent different types of thank you notes to 1,232 different customers, then tracked the customers’ future spending.

The message with the highest “future spending rate”? A handwritten thank you note.

Let’s look at the numbers: Customers who received a package without a note or a package with a typed-out note spent around $26, while customers who received a handwritten note or even a photocopy of a handwritten note spent $52.

The order value doubled!

Now, before we dig in, there are a few things to consider…

First, this study is based on beauty products. Products like these sell based on emotion, so it’s unclear whether the effect would be the same if you’re selling screwdrivers.

Also, because it was a one-time test, it’s not clear how handwritten notes would affect customer spending once they start expecting handwritten notes.

Here’s what you should do if you want to replicate this experiment at your online store:

  • Write a nice and readable handwritten note – or find someone who can do it for you.
  • Don’t add any discounts or free samples. It contrasts with the warmth of the letter.
  • Photocopy the note in high quality paper so it looks like a carbon copy of the original.
  • If your customers repeat buy from you, freshen the note with new copy.
  • Test out handwritten fonts on your packaging or website.

Handwritten notes seem to work because they add a personal touch in a world where human contact is minimal.

And no matter what you’re selling, adding a genuine human touch can go a long way toward evoking happy emotions – and maybe even opening wallets.


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You’re not allowed to read this


Hey, wait, are you seriously reading this? Didn’t we say you’re not allowed?

Ah, well, since you’re here, you rule-breaker, you might as well keep on reading, then.

So. Ever heard of the Reversal Close? It’s the idea that by telling someone they can’t have something, they’ll want it even more.

Used right, it can be deadly effective. But only if it’s done well.

How can you use the Reversal Close in marketing? The most important thing to understand is that the Reversal Close only works if it feels justified.

When you take something away from someone, it can’t feel arbitrary. They need to feel as though there’s a valid reason they can’t have it.

Here are a few examples:

  • A marketer selling an online course says there’s only a one-week window to buy the course. After that, door’s closed. This works because they justify the window by saying the course is “only for real go-getters who can act fast.”
  • An e-commerce site puts a notice on one of their products that says “14 purchased in the last day. Only 2 left in stock.” This works very well, but it’s only ethical if it’s true.
  • A payroll SaaS product shows a pop-up window to users after 2 minutes on their site without clicking a CTA. The window says “Can’t decide? Then we might not be for you. It’s only for people who are truly ready to run one-click payroll.”

There you have it. Enjoy psychology-based marketing principles like this one?

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E-COMMERCE: No more dressing room queues. Walmart is testing out a realistic virtual dressing room to boost online sales. The feature is rolling out to iOS users on the Walmart app. Will be interesting to see how this works out…

META: Facebook released a bunch of interesting updates, the most notable being Advantage Custom Audience, which delivers ads beyond your uploaded Custom Audience to users that are likely to improve your performance. Sweet.

YOUTUBE: 16 ads in a row!? YouTube recently tested an “ad reel of death,” but confirmed that the experiment is now over. If your ads were among the “hateful sixteen,” the experiment may have impacted their performance. Just so you’re aware.

BUSINESS: Are you targeting the African market? If not… why not? According to Google, one in four people will be living there by 2050. Google plans to be among the companies driving the continent’s economic growth.

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What rock group has four men that don’t sing?

You can find the answer here.


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

“How dare you call me a billionaire”


Ever felt so angry that you gave away a $3B clothing empire?

That’s what Yvon Chouinard did.

Last week the Patagonia founder got so mad about Forbes listing him as a billionaire that he promptly gave the company away to fight climate change.

Apparently Yvon doesn’t have $1B in the bank, and he doesn’t drive a Lexus.

Looks like not everyone wants to be a billionaire… Some just want to keep our planet safe.


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